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How the Day and Night were divided

A graphic with night on the left and day on the right. A raccoon, and ground squirrel and a black bear are in front.

For Indigenous people, stories explain how things came to be or why animals look a certain way. I wanted to share with you the Muscogee story of how the day and night were separated.


How the Day and Night were divided


The animals held a meeting and Nokose(Noh-goh-see Bear) led the meeting. The question was how to divide the day and the night.


Some animals wanted the day to last all the time. Others wanted night all the time. After much discussion, Cerokco (Gee-thlock-joh Ground Squirrel) said, “I see that Wotko (Woht-koh) has rings on his tail divided equally, first a dark color and then a light color. I think day and night should be divided like Wotko’s tail.”


The animals were surprised at Cerokco. They adopted his plan and divided the day and the night like Wotko’s tail, day following night in regular order. Nokose was envious and scratched Cerokco on the back. Now, all of his descendants have stripes on their backs.


For more stories like this: 

Totkv Mocvse New Fire: Creek Folktales by Earnest Gouge

Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians by John R. Swanton



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