Inuit Creation Myth for Kids - Sedna and the Giants

Inuit Creation Myth

Inuit bird carving
Inuit carving of a bird
(from the American Museum
of Natural History)

First there were giants. The giants lived on the land and ate plants that they gathered. One day, when it was almost winter, a mother giant and a father giant had a baby girl. Her name was Sedna.

As the days got shorter, Sedna got bigger and bigger. Every day she got bigger. Soon she was huge - bigger than her giant mother and father. She got so big that there wasn't enough food for her anywhere. She got so hungry that she started to bite her mother and father's legs!

Well, that was too much for her parents. They managed to push Sedna into a blanket and between them they carried her to their canoe. It was dark but there was a moon to see by and they paddled the canoe out to sea. When they got way out in the middle of the ocean, where you couldn't even see the land, they dumped Sedna overboard into the cold water and left her to drown.

Inuit kayak
Inuit kayak (about 1890 AD)

That was that. They started to paddle their canoe home, feeling cold and ashamed of themselves for dumping their own daughter overboard. But they had just started when the canoe stopped - they couldn't seem to make it go no matter how hard they paddled. Oh no! They saw that Sedna's huge hands were holding their canoe and rocking it. She was going to toss them into the ocean and they would drown!

Inuit sea lion carving
Inuit carving of a sea lion
(American Museum of Natural History)

So Sedna's mother and father started to chop at Sedna's fingers with their sharp stone knives and they cut off her fingers, one by one. But as Sedna's big fingers splashed into the water, they changed into animals. One finger became a whale. One finger became a seal. One finger became a walrus. One became a salmon.

Sedna swam to the bottom of the ocean and stayed there. The fish built her a tent there to live in. She still lives there, and if we are hungry, we can ask Sedna to send us more food, even in the winter.

This is only one version of Sedna's story, and there are many others. Here's another version in a video made by a kid for school:

To find out more about the Inuit creation myth, check out these books from or from your library:

Inuit creation myth
Cherokee creation myth
Navajo creation myth
Pueblo creation myth
Chinook creation myth
Main North American creation myth page
North American religion before 1500 AD
Main North America page
Main South America page
Kidipede - History for Kids home

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