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In Iroquois mythology, Atahensic (also called Ataensic or Eagentci) is an Iroquois sky goddess. "This [Atahensic] is the Huron name for the first mother, and not that of the (confederated) Iroquois. The Senecas generally give this character no name other than Eagentci, literally old woman or ancient bodied."[1] According to legend, at the time of creation, a tree broke and left a hole in the ground that led to the centre of the Earth. Atahensic fell from the sky, and before falling into the hole left by the tree, she was carried down on the wings of birds. After her fall, the birds brought her down the hole onto water. A giant turtle then emerged from the underground waters and carried her to the surface. She then gave birth to Earth Mother, who in turn gave birth to Hahgwehdiyu and Hahgwehdaetgah, twin sons. Hahgwehdaetgah, the evil twin, killed Earth Mother by bursting out of her side during birth. Hahgwehdiyu, the good twin, then planted a seed into his mother's corpse. From this seed grew maize, as a gift to mankind.

Atahensic is associated with marriage, childbirth, and feminine affairs in general.[2]


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Converse, Harriet Maxwell (1909). Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, vol.36. p. 31. Retrieved August 20, 2018. 
  2. ^ Douglas M. George-kanentiio (1995).Skywoman: Legends of the Iroquois. Clear Light Books ISBN 978-0-940666-99-3