The Indian Country, 1800: A Brilliant Plan for Living
Creators Gifts Men and Women A Vast Network


First Creator and Lone Man

Creation stories describe the origins of the earth and the animals and plants that cover it. They also teach lessons about how to live together in successful communities.

In one Mandan story, First Creator and Lone Man see the world covered with water and ask a duck where he gets his food. Learning that there is earth beneath the waters, they ask him to bring some up to them. When the duck gives them a ball of mud, First Creator and Lone Man use it to create the earth.

The story teaches that human beings were created through the joint efforts of animals and spirit beings, and that creation is a process that requires cooperation, sensitivity, and respect.

Click to read the story of First Creator
and Lone Man.

John James Audubon. "Mallard" and "Pintail Duck," in The Birds of America, 1840.


Newberry Library