From the onset of the class, I was surprised to discover the seemingly endless number of cosmogonic myths that exist throughout the world. Although I expected the focus of the class to discuss Christian beginnings and endings, I am not disappointed with the breadth of knowledge I have learned studying myth. I have now studied a variety of cosmogonic myths from around the world. However, the myths that most intrigue me originated here, on our native soil of North America. The Jicarilla Apache creation myth follows the basic ideals of an etiological myth. The myth entitled In The Beginning Nothing Was Here is typical of most cosmogonic myths and more specifically typical of Native American creation myth. The story goes into much more depth than a traditional etiological myth. Not only does the myth explain why objects, animals, and humans are here, it explains the reasons for our habits and preferences. These are the key factors in determining the similarities and differences between Native American cultures, traditional creation myths, and the Jicarilla Apache belief of In The Beginning Nothing Was Here.
The myth begins with a tale of nothingness, a tale of nothing but darkness, water, cyclone, and an all-knowing force called the Hactcin. If darkness, water, cyclone, and the Hactcin existed in the beginning, I find it incorrect to tell stories of nothingness. Although no living things existed, the world was not empty. At first, one would find similarity between Hindu and Jicarilla Apache creation myth. In fact, Hindu creation myth truly tells a story of nothingness. "There was neither non-existence nor existence then; there was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond" (Bierlein, 37). "All the Hactcin were here from the beginning" (Sproul, 263). The myth contradicts it's own wording from the very beginning. Hactcin are personifications for the power of natural objects and give every object in the world power.