An account of the creation from Elias Johnson, a native Tuscarora Chief from the beginning of turtle island to the many challenges that confronted the Iroquois in their quest for a safe and peaceful existence.
Fables centred on the bear are widespread in Cherokee culture, which is not surprising given the human tendency to idolize the bear and the prevalence of bear populations in traditional Cherokee territory.
Hereafter we shall be called yânû (bears), and when you yourselves are hungry come into the woods and call us and we shall come to give you our own flesh. You need not be afraid to kill us, for we shall live always.”
As with other texts a great deal of Popol Vuh's significance lies in the scarcity of early accounts dealing with Mesoamerican mythologies. The account that follows is the Creation of the Animals portion of the Popol Vuh, in a masterful translation by Allen J. Christenson.
The Á-shi-wi, or Zuñis, suppose the sun, moon, and stars, the sky, earth, and sea, in all their phenomena and elements; and all inanimate objects, as well as plants, animals, and men, to belong to one great system of all-conscious and interrelated life.