This tile addresses the larger theme of the piece. The hollow world tree is growing on the back of an enormous turtle. In the lower right corner, we see muskrat holding a ball of mud. In this Iroquois story, Sky Woman accidentally falls through a hole and out of the Sky World. But there is no place for to land as the world doesnít exist yet. Instead, there is endless water filled with aquatic birds and beasts. Different versions of the story feature a varying cast of marine organisms. Regardless, big strong animals attempt to swim down into the water to find something to make the world out of, giving Sky Woman a place to land. Two proud creatures dive down but fail to reach to bottom. Finally, a small, humble beast takes the plunge. In this tile, that is muskrat, but Iíve seen toads and fishers, too. It barely (or doesnít) survive the ordeal, yet retrieves a lump of mud in the process. And that is how the world is made.
I would like to note that this is also Morla, the Aged One from Michail Endeís Neverending Story. She lives in the Swamp of Sadness, and is often mistaken for a mountain. I purchased a copy of the book for my classroom. I was careful to grab the awesome version of the text that has two different colors of print (green and red) to distinguish between the different worlds. Wild stuff.Back
I think I'm supposed to put some copyright information here at the bottom:
Copyright Daniel Miller, 2011