Cherokee Underworld Folklore- An Excerpt from The Legend of The Tlanuhwa and The Uhktena ” The people living in the town never had any problems with the Tlanuhwa until one day, the Tlanuhwa began to swoop down out of the sky, grabbing young children in their talons and taking them away to their caves by the Hogahega Uweyu i. The people of the town became very upset and all the mothers started crying and shouting at the men to bring back the children stolen by the Tlanuhwa.”
Indian Underground Origins
An Excerpt from: The Whirling Mountain of the Navajos “
The Navajo religious system is intricate. Like most Amerindian nations, they claim to have come from a subterranean world through caves or vents that connect with this upper world. Theirs is a Mystery Religion based on Drug Cults (Peyotism), on shamanism, and on amuletic songs, dances, design and rituals. But the idea of a subterranean Creation one in which Mankind somehow originated underground and later ascended to this earth in some manner is peculiar not only to the Navajos, but to most Indian nations of the three Americas.
As a matter of fact, this conception of a subterranean Paradise whence Mankind sprung into the present era coming from a former one was also widespread in the Ancient World as well. For instance, Civilizing Heroes such as Osiris, Serapis, Mithras and several others originally rose from a cave or a subterranean abode, more or less in the way that Christ too rose from among the dead.
This cave or tomb is the Primordial Cave, the Cave of Archetypes of which Plato tells us in his dialogues. It is the Pacari-tambu of the Incas, and the Cave of Illusion so masterfully described in the Ramayana. In fact, this cave is no other than the sunken, submarine realm of Atlantis-Eden. Again, the Polynesians also claim to have come originally from a sunken island or continent which they called by names such as Hawaiki (or Javaiki), which mean something like ” Sunken Grove “, that is, the same as the sunken Garden of Eden. And, as we argue elsewhere, the Polynesian Paradise, just as all others indeed lay in the submerged portion of primordial Indonesia.”
Chippewa: In the beginning before there were people, before there were animals a lone woman lived in a cave. She lived on the roots and berries of the plants. One night a magical dog crept into her cave and stretched out on the her bed beside her. As the night grew long the dog began to change. His body became smooth and almost hairless. His limbs grew long and straight. His features changed into those of a handsome warrior. Nine months later the woman birthed a child. He was the first Chippewa male and through him came the Chippewa peoples.
Choctaw: At the beginning there was a great mound. It was called Nanih Wiya. It was from this mound that the Creator fashioned the first of the people. These people crawled through a long, dark cave into daylight. They became the first Choctaw.
Tewa Pueblo: In the beginning the People lived in the darkness of the underground. One day the Mole came to visit them. The People asked him if there was another world beside the one they lived in. The Mole told them to follow him. The People formed a line behind the Mole as he began to dig his way upward. The People took the soil he loosened and passed it back to the end of the line. That is why the tunnel that was dug was closed behind them and they could never find their way back. He led them to a land with sunlight and blue skies. That is the end of the story. Hopi- ” Way back in time all men emerged from a single hole in the earth.
There was a mockingbird there at the entrance to the hole. He gave each a name and a language. To one he would say, ‘You shall be a Hopi and speak that tongue.’ To another, ‘You shall be an Apache and speak that language.’ And so it went for all who came from the hole, including the White People. The earth was still covered in darkness in those days so the peoples came together and decided to change things. They made the sun and the moon and placed them in the sky. With light and warmth things got easier for the people so the chiefs of all the races and tribes got together and decided to break up and go to different places.
They decided to go eastward to where the sun rises and that whoever got there first was to cause a shower of stars to fall from the sky, and then everyone would see this and stop where they were. The Whites, always impatient, soon grew tired. Their women rubbed flakes of skin from their bodies and molded them into horses. Thus, mounted on these speedy animals, the Whites were first to arrive in the east. Thereupon a shower of stars fell to the ground and all remained where they were at the time.”
So the men made a plan; they went very near the Tlanuhwa caves and took vines growing there from some trees and made ropes to climb down over the cliffs to the caves. The men waited until they were certain that the Tlanuhwa were out of the caves. Then down the ropes some of the men went, into the caves of the Tlanuhwa. All of the children that had been taken from the Ani Yunwiya town were there in the caves and, were very anxious to get back to their homes.
Also in those caves were many eggs of the Tlanuh.” Huyata’kéá’ The Cherokee word huyata’kéá’ has been translated as ” cave people,” and is a word which the Cherokee use to refer to themselves.
( An Excerpt from American Indian Creation Myths. )