Kananesky Amaiyehi

Kananesky Amaiyehi In North American Indian mythology (Cherokee), the water spider who brought back fire to the animals. In the beginning there was no fire, and the entire earth was cold. Using a flash of lightning, the Thunderers put fire into the bottom of a sycamore tree, but no animals were able to go near the tree and get the fire.

After many attempts to get the fire, Kananesky Amaiyehi, the water spider, who had downy hair and red stripes on her bottom, volunteered to try. But the problem was, how was she to carry the fire? “I’ll manage that,” she said as she spun a thread from her body and wove it into a tusti bowl, which she fastened on her back. Then she crossed over to the island where the tree was located. She put one little coal of fire into her bowl and came back with it.

Ever since, animals have had fire, and the water spider still keeps her tusti bowl.

Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow – Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

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