Okikurmi’s descent upon five colored clouds to the world

According to mythic poetry, the world was created when oil floating in the ocean rose like a flame and became the sky. What was left turned into land. Vapor gathered over the land and a god was created. From the vapor of the sky, another god was created who descended on five colored clouds. Out of those clouds, the two gods created the sea, soil, minerals, plants, and animals. The two gods married and produced many gods including two shining gods—the Sun god and the Moon god, who rose to Heaven in order to illuminate the fog-covered dark places of the world.

Okikurmi of the Saru region is a semidivine hero who descended from Heaven to help humans. Humans lived in a beautiful land but did not know how to build fire or make bows and arrows. Okikurmi taught them to build fire, to hunt, to catch salmon, to plant millet, to brew millet wine, and to worship the gods. He married and stayed in the village, but eventually returned to the divine land.

 

Sources and references:

Ainu“, www.everyculture.com

Cloudsoul, chinkonsai, soul-binding, soul-summoning and soul-shaking practices – origins and theories

The Five-Colored Clouds of Mt Wutai – In The Five-Colored Clouds of Mount Wutai: Poems from Dunhuang, Mary Anne Cartelli examines a set of poems from the Dunhuang manuscripts about Mount Wutai, the most sacred mountain in Chinese Buddhism. Five colored clouds, and the idea of descent (and ascent) upon clouds of deities, immortals and other ancestor heroes, is a common art, literary, religious, legend and genealogical motif and theme clear across Eurasia, particularly among the Turkic-Mongol, Manchu and Amur tribes. The use of the five colored cloud in an ancestral creation myth suggests the early pastoral nomadic history or contacts with Central Asia or Eurasia. It shows the cosmology of sky and earth, clouds upon the mountain. See also Cloudsoul, chinkonsai, soul-binding, soul-summoning and soul-shaking practices – origins and theories

On a Five-Colored Cloud: The Songs of Mount Wutai, by Mary Anne Cartelli, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 124, No. 4 (Oct. – Dec., 2004), pp. 735-757; Schyler Camman, “The Symbolism of the Cloud-Collar Motif”; A Theory of Cloud: Toward a History of Painting“, by Hubert Damisch

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