Even the stars had to come from somewhere...
Navajo first star
A long time ago, there was only enough sunlight to last for half of the day. In the morning, the sun would rise in the east and the skies would be bright and blue. But then the sun would travel across the skies. And as the sun got lower and lower in the west, the bright blue skies of day slowly darkened into the red skies of evening. And eventually, the sun would travel all the way below the horizon. And the red skies of evening gave way to the blackness of night.
The people were afraid. They were alone in the darkness. They would get lost and be unable to find their way home. So they went to Great Spirit and asked for help. He said to them:
"Go down to the river and collect all the bright, shining stones you find there, and bring them before me."
The people did as Great Spirit asked. They went down to the river and at their feet were hundreds of these bright, shining stones. They brought them before Great Spirit and he said:
"From now on these stones will be called stars. In the north I will place a single star that will never move. It will be called the Home Star. Look for it it you are lost, and you will always be able to find your way. Now I want you to take the rest of the stars, go into the sky, and draw pictures of yourselves."
The people did as Great Spirit had asked. But the stars were very heavy, and they could only carry a few of them at a time. So Great Spirit put the rest of the stars in a bag and gave them to Coyote.He asked Coyote to help the people draw their pictures.
Coyote did this, but he wasn't very patient. He told the people to work faster, but they couldn't work fast enough for him. So in his impatiece, he opened the bag of stars, and threw them across the night sky. That is why you will notice some stars are not in constellations, and some constellations look unfinished-because there were no more stars left in the bag.
And Coyote realized this, and he realized he had not yet drawn his own constellation. So in his sadness, he howled at the night sky. And now and forever, Coyote howls at the night sky because his picture is not there.
The Zia Legend of the Star People
Long ago the Star people formed groups in the lower world. When they felt the time was right, they decided to go to the upper world. Ut'set sent the mole first with a bag of stars. Mole did not know what he carried, and when he reached the upper world he was very tired, and also curious about what he carried. He cut a small hole in the bag, and the stars shot out from the bag an into the night sky. Ut'set was angry, so she cursed the mole with blindness.
The Norse explaination for the stars
According to the Norse creation myth, the universe came about as a result of a battle between the gods and giants. In the end, the gods were victorious. They took two large flames from Muspellheim, the realm of primordal fire, and created the sun and moon. Then they took smaller fires and placed them in the sky to form the stars.
The Babylonian Cosmology
The Babylonians also saw the universe as the result of a battle. This battle occured between the god Marduk and the chaos dragon Tiamat. In the end, marduk won. He took Tiamat's body and created the heavens and earth from it. To prevent the upper waters of heaven from flooding the world, he stretched Tiamat's tail across the sky to form the Milky Way. He then assigned each of the other gods a place in the sky, thier constellation.
(NOTE: This story is told by several different Native American tribes, so there are several variations to this story. I am recounting the one I am most familier with. It explains "Turtle Island," or North America. This version comes from Cheyenne tribe)
In the beginning, the world was covered with water. And there were Water People: the birds, turtles, fish, and mollusks. The birds grew tired of swimming, so Great Spirit gifted them with flight. But the birds couldn't fly forever; they needed someplace to rest and build their nests. So Great Spirit asked them to find mud for him.Each bird dove down into the great water to find mud, but none could dive deep enough. Until along came the Coot, a tiny but brave bird. The little bird dove as deep as he could, and was able to bring up a small ball of mud. Great Spirit took the ball of mud and rolled it in his hands, but soon he had too much to hold. He spoke to the water people:
"I need your help. One of you must allow me to put this ball of mud on your back."
First came the fish, but they were too slender and their fins sliced through the mud. Then came to mollusks, but they were too small and lived too deep in the water. Finally, there was only one person left.
"Grandmother Turtle," said Great Spirit, "will you allow me to place this ball of mud on your back?"
Grandmother Turtle was very old and slow, but she wanted to help as best she could. Great Spirit piled the mud upon her back until she was out of sight, forming the first dry land.
"So be it," said Great Spirit, "that from this point on, let the Earth be known as your Grandmother, and let none do her harm. And may Grandmother Turtle's decendants be the only people at home above the ground, below the ground, or in the water."
And for that reason, Grandmother Turtle's decendants walk very slowly, for they carry the weight of the world on their back.