An Evenk (Mongolian) Creation Myth

Creation of the Middle World

Long ago Father Heaven had two sons, Ulgen Tenger and Erleg Khan, Ulgen became the lord of the upper world and Erleg Khan became the lord of the lower world. At that time the earth was covered with water, there was no land. Ulgen Tenger asked the loon to bring up mud from below the water to create land, he was not able to do so, and he was punished by having his legs broken so he could not walk, and the goldeneye duck was called next to bring up land. The duck created a small piece of land that Ulgen was able to lay on. Erleg Khan seeing that his brother had fallen asleep on the new land, tried to pull the land out from under him, but instead the land stretched out in all directions as he pulled it. Next, Ulgen Tenger created animals and humans out of mud and he spread them out to dry. He created the dog to keep watch over the bodies of the new humans while he was gone. Erleg Khan, unhappy to see that his brother was creating humans, came to see the new bodies. The dog would not let him come close, at that time the dog could talk but had no fur. It was cold, and snowing, so Erleg Khan tempted him, saying that if the dog allowed him to see the humans' bodies he would give him a beautiful fur coat. The dog agreed, and was given a shiny beautiful coat. Erleg Khan then spat on the bodies so that humans would have diseases and not be immortal. When Ulgen returned he saw that the dog had fur and that the humans had been damaged, so he punished the dog by making his coat smelly, taking away his voice, and by making the dog follow humans in order to get its food.