Native American Deities – Tawiskaron

Published on July 20, 2013 by Casey

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Native American Deities - Tawiskaron
Native American Deities

Native American Deities – Tawiskaron

The malevolent, destructive counterpart to the benevolent and constructive creator deity Tharonhiawakon, his twin brother. When the two deities were in their mother Eithinoha’s womb their conflict began with the good twin arguing that they should spring forth from their mother’s vagina and the evil twin insisting they should be born through her armpit. (This intra-uterine conversation parallels many African myths which feature deities in the womb discussing with their mother what body part they will emerge from. )

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Tharonhiawakon emerged from Eithinoha’s vagina but Tawiskaron insisted on emerging from her armpit instead and his razor-sharp flint-like Mohawk “comb” or hairstyle slashed the goddess so badly she passed over to the land of the dead. Iagentci was furious at this but Tawiskaron lied and claimed Tharonhiawakon was the twin who had emerged in such a way that killed Eithinoha. In her angry grief over her daughter’s death Iagentci cast out Tharonhiawakon who grew up shunned by her. Later, when Tharonhiawakon was refining Iagentci’s creation (the Earth) by sculpting landmarks and by creating trees and animal life through “orenda” (positive life energy) Tawiskaron jealously distorted many of his brother’s creations, making monsters, poisonous lakes and deadly serpents through “otgon” (negative life energy). His brother banished most of the monsters far away.

Knowing that Tharonhiawakon wanted the human race he would soon create to be able to live off of the game animals the good deity had created Tawiskaron at one point stole them all and imprisoned them in caves, making game scarce. His brother freed them. The evil god also created ice and snow which took Tharonhiawakon some time to drive away, but eventually his indefatigable twin brother would bring it back, and would once again imprison the game animals in caves. All this was a myth explaining the change of seasons, with Tawiskaron bringing winter which drives various game animals into hibernation or migration to warmer climes and with Tharonhiawakon eventually restoring warm weather and freeing the game animals in spring and summer.

Tawiskaron traveled by standing on a grey cloud from which snowflakes fell. Another of his perennial winter undertakings was an attempt to freeze the ocean into an ice bridge paving the way for the return of all the monsters he created but which Tharonhiawakon had banished. The good deity had originally intended for animals to come to humans to be killed voluntarily but Tawiskaron interfered, causing men to have to labor to hunt animals down. The earthquake goddess Doendzowes is one of Tawiskaron’s daughters.

Source: glitternight Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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