Page:Primitive Culture Vol 1.djvu/345

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327
MYTHS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.

as their mother, and the Great Spirit as their father. A story told by Gregg shows a somewhat different thought of mythic parentage. General Harrison once called the Shawnee chief Tecumseh for a talk: — 'Come here, Tecumseh, and sit by your father!' he said. 'You my father!' replied the chief, with a stern air. 'No! yonder sun (pointing towards it) is my father, and the earth is my mother, so I will rest on her bosom,' and he sat down on the ground. Like this was the Aztec fancy, as it seems from this passage in a Mexican prayer to Tezcatlipoca, offered in time of war: 'Be pleased, O our Lord, that the nobles who shall die in the war be peacefully and joyously received by the Sun and the Earth, who are the loving father and mother of all.'[1] In the mythology of Finns, Lapps, and Esths, Earth-Mother is a divinely honoured personage.[2] Through the mythology of our own country the same thought may be traced, from the days when the Anglo-Saxon called upon the Earth, 'Hâl wes thu folde, fira modor,' 'Hail thou Earth, men's mother,' to the time when mediæval Englishmen made a riddle of her, asking 'Who is Adam's mother?' and poetry continued what mythology was letting fall, when Milton's archangel promised Adam a life to last

' . . . . till like ripe fruit, thou drop Into thy mother's lap.'[3]

Among the Aryan race, indeed, there stands, wide and firm, the double myth of the 'two great parents,' as the Rig-Veda calls them. They are Dyaushpitar, Ζεὺς πατήρ, Jupiter, the 'Heaven-father,' and Prthivî mâtar, the 'Earth-mother;' and their relation is still kept in mind in the ordinance of Brahman marriage according to the


3 Grimm, 'D. M.' pp. xix. 229-33, 608; Halliwell, 'Pop. Rhymes,' p. 153; Milton, 'Paradise Lost,' ix. 273, i. 535; see Lucretius, i. 250.

  1. J. G. Müller, 'Amer. Urrelig.' pp. 108, 110, 117, 221, 369, 494, 620; Rivero and Tschudi, 'Ant. of Peru,' p. 161; Gregg, 'Journal of a Santa Fé Trader,' vol. ii. p. 237; Sahagun, 'Retorica, &c., Mexicana,' cap. 3, in Kingsborough, 'Ant. of Mexico,' vol. v.
  2. Castrén, 'Finn. Myth.' p. 86.
  3. 3