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#1 Jul-16-2017 11:51:am

sschkaak
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CREATION

He was silent for a little while, either as if unable to climb up at once so high with his thoughts, or to express them without help, and then took a piece of coal out of the fire where he sat, and began to write upon the floor. He first drew a circle, a little oval, to which he made four paws or feet, a head and a tail. “This," he said, “is a tortoise, lying in the water around it," and he moved his hand round the figure continuing, “This was or is all water, and so at first was the world or the earth, when the tortoise gradually raised its round back up high, and the water ran off of it, and thus the earth became dry." He then took a little straw and placed it on end in the middle of the figure and proceeded, “The earth was now dry, and there grew a tree in the middle of the earth, and the root of this tree sent forth a sprout beside it, and there grew upon it a man, who was the first male. This man was then alone, and would have remained alone; but the tree bent over until its top touched the earth, and there shot therein another root, from which came forth another sprout, and there grew upon it the woman, and from these two are all men produced."  [Jaspar Dankers & Peter Sluyter, Journal Of A Voyage To New York In 1679-80.]


Tantaqua (a.k.a., “Jasper") told this story to two Dutch men, in the Dutch language.  Here is how it might have been said, by someone, in Delaware (Northern Unami):


“Won tulpe mbink schengiechin, mbi wiwunigagun.  Jun wemi mbi hattep, woak ninutschi pemhakamigek

“This turtle in-the-water she-(anim.)-lies, water it-surrounds-her.  This all water it-was-here, and in-the-beginning the-world-round-about

schita haki leu, nan tulpe enda anena hokquewi aspenunk peetquek wawikan, woak mbi palli lepehelleu,

or Earth it-is-so, that turtle when by-degrees high she-lifts-it that-which-is-round her-back, and the-water elsewhere it-runs-off,

woak haki elgiqui gachtep.  Juke haki gachteu, woak lauhakamike hittuk wtelli wuntschikin, woak tschuppik

and the-Earth like-as it-was-dry.  Now the-Earth it-is-dry, and the-middle-of-the-ground a-tree it-(anim.)-thus grows-from, and a-root

hittukunk untschi pechotschi saken, woak untschi sakink lenno wtepikop.  Netamichin lenno epitup.  Won

of-the-tree of nearby it-sprouts, and from that-which-sprouts a-man he-grew-to-maturity.  He-is-the-first man who-was-here.  This

lenno likhiqui nechohanneu, woak nechoha a achpo; schuk na hittuk wtamachgitam shaki wanachquaque

man at-that-time he-is-alone, and alone would he-stay-there; but that tree he-bowed-down until the-treetop

untschi alennink haki, woak allamhakink pili tschuppik wdaton, woak lappi saken, woak ochqueu tepiko

by it-(anim.)-touches the-Earth, and in-the-earth another root it-(anim.)-places-it, and again it-sprouts, and a-woman she-grows-to-maturity

untschi sakink, woak untschi juk wemi auweenik ahanhoqui mehittachpuwak."

from that-which-sprouts, and from these all persons over-and-over they-are-born."

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