An origin myth is a fictional story of Native American Literature that explains events in the natural world.  Origin myths describe how events of the present day came to be.  They are of Native American tradition, therefore the myths usually revolve around nature.   Origin myths are also passed on in the form of oral tradition which is simply a form of storytelling from generation to generation by word of mouth.  In this tradition, elders  tell stories of existence to the younger children to help their understanding of the way our world is today.  An oral presentation helps them understand the story while also entertaining them.   Oral tradition also helps the story pass on to future generations of the Native American Tribe.  

Ten Main Characteristics of Origin Myths:

1.)  Passed on through oral tradition
2.)  Reflects the culture with cultural details and references to objects, nature, and events that show how the people of that culture live, think, and worship
3.)  Recount origins of life and the natural world
4.)  Contain characters like gods and spirits
5.)  Personify animals
6.)  Traditional beginnings
Ex. - “Once Upon a Time …”
        - “Long ago …”
        - “Before there was Earth …”
7.)  Repetition of lines, descriptions, or thoughts
8.)  Surprises and twists
9.)  Beginning, middle, and end
10.) Suspense to grab interest