Humans and their environment: Genesis, the Pomo Indian story, and the Hindu Creation story

There are many creation stories in the world due to differences in people’s ideas, traditions, values, and cultures, and there are similar ideas repeated in these stories, which suggests that early man understood that he needed the environment to fulfill his needs and to survive.  Despite the differences between the stories, one similarity is inherited in them, which is the relationship between human beings and the environment; humans are responsible for environment because it has been created for them. In other words, humans and the environment are interdependent.

In the Pomo Indian story, the world was created from Kuksu’s armpit wax, and in Genesis, Adam was created from dust, which is an element of the environment. Therefore, we can conclude that since humans were created from environment, they should take care of it because they are a part of it. Nature is considered a gift from god and everyone should do his/her best to take care of the environment.

Furthermore, the environment was created for humans. In the Promo Indian story, Marumda and Kuksu created nature before human beings so that man can be created in a ready environment that is prepared for his life. Moreover, In the Hindu creation story, a servant builds up the world from a flower and then makes humans to live in it, which explains how nature is formed for humans. In addition, God first created the whole world in six days in Genesis, then he created Adam. This implies that the environment was created for humans to help them survive; hence, it is their responsibility to sustain the environment in order for it to fulfill its purpose. Otherwise, they will not find any other means of survival because the moment they stop giving to their Mother Nature, it will stop giving back to them.

Another common aspect between all stories is that everything started from darkness or nothingness. In Genesis, the earth was filled with darkness when God said, “Let there be light”. In addition, in the Hindu creation story, “a vast dark ocean washed upon the shores of nothingness and licked the edges of night “. Therefore, it is the man’s responsibility to take care of the environment, or else it will bring us back to that nothingness. For example, the greater Cairo area, home to 15 million people, has the worst air pollution in Egypt. Its most notable sources are transportation, industry and open-air waste-burning; activities that man does without considering their effect on the environment. As a result, many people are now suffering from fatal health problems such as lung cancer and heart disease problems. In addition, pollution contributes to global warming which causes climate changes threatening man’s existence and destroying agriculture, man’s food. Therefore, dark times will await man if he does not start taking care of the environment.

Through the different versions of the world creation stories, one can conclude that similar conclusions were reached in the end. The path that was used in each story to achieve the common end was dissimilar. Each story has proved, in a different way, the important relation between human and environment. Man must take care of the environment because it is a part of him and he is a part of it. Neither of them can exist without the other because they are connected in different ways.

Salma Mahmoud, Nada Elemam, Salim Shorafa, Youssef Murad.

AUC Students.




This entry was posted in CCR exchange: Stanford-AUC, Fall 2010: Creation Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Humans and their environment: Genesis, the Pomo Indian story, and the Hindu Creation story

  1. Shaheen Jeeawoody says:

    Which Hindu creation story did you read? There are many versions with various deities portrayed within them, and I’d like to know which one exactly you are discussing here.
    How does the Hindu creation story describe the creation of the earth and of humans? Are they linked in any way?
    I definitely agree with your analysis of these texts and this very important conclusion, and I think it is very unfortunate that Cairo has such bad pollution. We need to take better care of the environment.

  2. Morgan Abbett says:

    I am curious to hear what you think about the way humans were created in the Pomo Indian story. Marumda and Kuksu created mankind, but were they not men themselves? Or do they represent larger, more abstract entities, more like God from Genesis? I would love to hear thoughts on that question, as it was something I was grappling with in reading “Marumda and Kuksu Make the World.”

    Well done – I especially like the section about darkness. While most blog entries mention the lack of light in the creation stories, you took it a step further and highlighted the possible return to darkness if humans do not take care of the environment. Your Egyptian example, while tragic, illustrated your point well and definitely connected your main idea to the present in a poignant way.

  3. Darren Jindal says:

    Nice job, guys. Your post appeals very effectively to logos and pathos. The theme of our interdependence with nature is quite profound. I enjoy how you bring up the personal example of Cairo–this really helps prove your point.

    However, some might disagree that the environment was made for humans. Although this is indeed the common thread in many creation stories, science does disagree.

  4. emily says:

    where is the story in question for everybodyshould have their own opinion that may reveal the stories real intentions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s