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Spider Woman and the Sun

Glynn ManyironsTraditional Mohawk Story

As the Creator finished putting everything in place on Mother Earth, He realized that the beings on it needed sleep. So He made dark and light. One half of Mother Earth was dark and the other half light. So the people on the dark side said:”This is not fair, we have to do something about this.” So they said to the Eagle:” Brother Eagle, your eyes are sharp and you can fly high, could you go and look to see if there was light some where?” The Eagle flew way up high and sure enough he saw bright light. When he came down, he said to the people: “there is light, but far away.”

So the Rat said: “Let me go and see if I can get some. I have a big bushy tail and I can wrap the light in it, so no one can see and bring it back.” So he went and after a long time he found the place where the light was kept. It was in a hut and it was called sun. The Rat took a piece of it and wrapped it in his tail, but it was so hot that it burned off all the hair from his tail and he had to drop it. To this day he has no hair on his tail.

Then the Turkey said:” I will go and try. I have lots of beautiful feathers on my head, I will hide it there and bring it back.” So he went to the place and took a piece of the Sun and hid it in his feathers and ran. Again it was so hot that it burned all the feathers off his head. To this day he has a red head and no feathers on his head.

So the people said: “Who will go now and get the light for us?” The Spider Woman said: “Let me go, I will bring the light back for us.” The people laughed at her and said: “You are so small, how could you do it? But go, we have no choice.”So the Spider Woman made her web and put some clay in it and that way she went to the hut. She put the sun in the clay and took it back to the people. The people were happy, but now the other half had no light. So they said: “Let us go and get our light back, if we can’t get it back peacefully, then it will be war.”

The Spider Woman saw the trouble coming. She stood between the two sides and said: “Let us not fight each other, there is plenty of light. We can live in peace if we share. “One side will have the light for a half a day, then the other side will have it for the other half a day.” So the two sides talked it over and said: “That is a fair deal” and agreed with Spider Woman.

So from that day on there is half day light and half day dark all over Mother Earth. Thanks to Spider Woman.



I work with Muskwa International Foundation Inc. which is an entity that was formed to assist the street children in the Philippines, mostly in Manila and Davao, the two largest cities in the Philippines.  You can find out about their projects here Street Children and Natural Disasters.

The stories I tell here I learned from the Elders and Story tellers and I am passing them on with their blessings. These stories can be anything from 4,000 to 5,000 years old.




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