[220] National Flood Myths

There are over 200 different nations with flood legends. We have listed just over 30 of the more interesting ones below. If you wish to see more, then please visit the sites below from which we have taken our 30 national flood legends.


We start with a historical document, the Sumerian King List:

The Sumerian King List

Dated around 2100 BC. This is quoted from David Rohl's 'Legend':

When Kingship was lowered from heaven, the kingship was in Eridu. In Eridu Alulim became king and reigned 28,800 units. Alalgar reigned 36,000 units. Two kings, reigned 64,800 units. I drop Eridu its kingship to Badtibira was carried

In Badtibira Enmenluanna reigned 43,200 units, Enmengalanna reigned 28,800 units, divine Dumuzi, a shepherd, reigned 36,000 units. 3 kings reigned 108,000 units. I drop Badtibira, its kingship to Larak was carried.

In Larak Ensipazianna reigned it's 28,800 units. One king reigned 28,800 units. I drop Larak, its kingship to Sippar was carried.

In Sippar Enmenduranna became king and reigned 21,000 units. One king reigned its 21,000 units. I drop Sippar, its kingship to Shuruppak was carried.

In Shuruppak Ubartutu became king, and reigned 18,600 units. One king reigned 18,600 units.

5 Cities were they, 8 kings reigned their 241,200 years. (Then) the flood swept thereover. After the flood had swept thereover, when Kingship was lowered from heaven, kingship was in Kish

As we saw in section [1], Enoch was transferred so as not to see death in 3040BC. But if we take the 241,200 units of time in the Sumerian King List as being days (and there is no other sensible unit of time to take them as) we find that it's 670 years of 360 days each. Also every reign of the first 8 kings in the SKL is divisible by 360 except the last two which are divisible by 120, or thirds of a year, which indicates that the Sumerians had 3 seasons, and of course their sum 241,200 is divisible by 360. The ancient calendars of mankind all had 360 days in the year see [90], as does the Biblical Lunar Calendar see [4]. The longest reign of the 8 Kings is 120 years, this is short for a son of Adam. The average reign was 84 years, which is long for a man if he was not a son of Adam and if he was living 120 years max. Now the bible dates the year of the flood as 2371 BC - see [16]. If we count back from the year of the flood 2371Tishri (September/October) - 2370Elul (August/September), 670 years, we end up in 3041Tishri to 3040Elul. If we count the years inclusively, then we end up in 3040Tishri - 3039Elul, the year in which Enoch ascended to heaven:

And Enoch lived on for 65 years. Then he became father to Methuselah.
And after his fathering Methuselah Enoch went on walking with the [true] God 300 years. Meanwhile he became father to sons and daughters.
So all the days of Enoch amounted to 365 years.
And Enoch kept walking with the [true] God. Then he was no more, for God took him
(Genesis 5:21-24).

By faith Enoch was transferred so as not to see death, and he was nowhere to be found because God had transferred him; for before his transference he had the witness that he had pleased God well (Hebrews 11:5).
For the chronology of the sons of Adam see [96]. The ancient Hebrew year ran Tishri (September/October) to Elul (August/September). Did Enoch appoint Alulim king in his last year or did Alulim take over on the ascension of Enoch, Enki, after he was out of the way - physically?

The SKL carries on to document that in Kish there were 23 kings, the first King reigned for 1200 units, the second for 960 units etc.

Sumerian Gilgamesh Epic

Gilgamesh has made a long and difficult journey to learn how Utnapishtim acquired eternal life. In answer to his questions, Utnapishtim tells the following story. Once upon a time, the gods destroyed the ancient city of Shuruppak in a great flood. But Utnapishtim, the son of Ubartutu, the last king of Shuruppak in the SKL before the flood, who lived in a reed house, forewarned by Ea, managed to survive by building a great ship. His immortality was a gift bestowed by the repentant gods in recognition of his ingenuity and his faithfulness.

Shurippak -a city which thou knowest, (And) which on Euphrates' banks is set- That city was ancient, (as were) the gods within it, When their heart led the great gods to produce the flood. There were Anu, their father, Valiant Enlil, their counselor, Ninurta, their herald, Ennuge, their irrigator. Ninigiku-Ea was also present with them; Their words he repeats to the reed-hut: 'Reed-hut, reed-hut! Wall! Wall! Reed-hut, hearken! Wall, reflect! Man of Shuruppak, son of Ubar-Tutu, Tear down (this) house, build a ship! Give up possessions, seek thou life. Despise property and keep the soul alive. Aboard the ship take thou the seed of all living things. The ship that thou shalt build, Her dimensions shall be to measure. Equal shall be her width and her length. Like the Apsu thou shalt ceil her.' I understood, and I said to Ea, my lord: 'Behold, my lord, what thou hast thus ordered, I shall be honoured to carry out. But what shall I answer the city, the people and elders?' Ea opened his mouth to speak, Saying to me, his servant: 'Thou shalt then thus speak unto them: "I have learned that Enlil is hostile to me, So that I cannot reside in your city, Nor set my foot in Enlil's territory. To the Deep I will therefore go down, To dwell with my lord Ea. But upon you he will shower down abundance, The choicest birds, the rarest fishes. The land shall have its fill of harvest riches. He who at dusk orders the hush-greens, Will shower down upon you a rain of wheat. With the first glow of dawn, The land was gathered about me. .. The little ones carried bitumen, While the grown ones brought all else that was needful. On the fifth day I laid her framework. One (whole) acre was her floor space, Ten dozen cubits the height of each of her walls, Ten dozen cubits each edge of the square deck. I laid out the shape of her sides and joined her together. I provided her with six decks, Dividing her (thus) into seven parts. Her floor plan I divided into nine parts. I hammered water-plugs into her. I saw to the punting-poles and laid in supplies. Six 'sar' (measures), of bitumen I poured into the furnace, Three sar of asphalt I also poured inside. Three sar of the basket-bearers transferred, Aside from the one sar of oil which the calking consumed, And the two sar of oil which the boatman stowed away. Bullocks I slaughtered for the people, And I killed sheep every day. Must, red wine, oil, and white wine I gave the workmen to drink, as though river water, That they might feast as on New Year's Day. . . . On the seventh day the ship was completed.

The launching was very difficult, So that they had to shift the floor planks above and below, Until two-thirds of the structure had gone into the water. Whatever I had I laded upon her. Whatever I had of silver I laded upon her, Whatever I had of gold I laded upon her, Whatever I had of all the living beings I laded upon her. All my family and kin I made go aboard the ship. The beasts of the field, the wild creatures of the field, All the craftsmen I made go aboard. Shamash had set for me a stated time: 'When he who orders unease at night Will shower down a rain of blight, Board thou the ship and batten up the gate!' That stated time had arrived: 'He who orders unease at night showers down a rain of blight.' I watched the appearance of the weather. The weather was awesome to behold. I boarded the ship and battened up the gate. To batten up the (whole) ship, to Puzar-Amurri, the boatman, I handed over the structure together with its contents. With the first glow of dawn, A black cloud rose up from the horizon. Inside it Adad thunders, While Shallat and Hanish go in front, Moving as heralds over hill and plain. Erragal tears out the posts; Forth comes Ninurta and causes the dikes to follow. The Anunnaki lift up the torches, Setting the land ablaze with their glare. Consternation over Adad reaches to the heavens, Turning to blackness all that had been light. The wide land was shattered like a pot!

For one day the south-storm blew, Gathering speed as it blew, submerging the mountains, Overtaking the people like a battle. No one can see his fellow, Nor can the people be recognized from heaven. The gods were frightened by the deluge, And, shrinking back, they ascended to the heaven of Anu. The gods cowered like dogs Crouched against the outer wall. Ishtar cried out like a woman in travail, The sweet-voiced mistress of the gods moans aloud: 'The olden days are alas turned to clay, Because I bespoke evil in the Assembly of the gods, How could I bespeak evil in the Assembly of the gods, Ordering battle for the destruction of my people, When it is I myself who give birth to my people! Like the spawn of the fishes they fill the sea!' The Anunnaki gods weep with her, The gods, all humbled, sit and weep, Their lips drawn tight. . . . one and all. Six days and six nights Blows the flood wind, as the south-storm sweeps the land. When the seventh day arrived, The flood (-carrying) south-storm subsided in the battle, Which it had fought like an army. The sea-grew quiet, the tempest was still, the flood ceased. I looked at the weather.

Stillness had set in, And all of mankind had returned to clay. The landscape was as level as a flat roof. I opened a hatch, and light fell on my face. Bowing low, I sat and wept, Tears running down my face. I looked about for coast lines in the expanse of the sea: In each of fourteen (regions) There emerged a region (-mountain). On Mount Nisir the ship came to a halt. Mount Nisir held the ship fast, Allowing -no motion.


[For six days the ship is held fast by Mount Nisir.] When the seventh day arrived, I sent forth and set free a dove. The dove went forth, but came back; There was no resting-place for it and she turned round. Then I sent forth and set free a swallow. The swallow went forth, but came back, There was no resting-place for it and she turned round. Then I sent forth and set free a raven. The raven went forth and, seeing that the waters had diminished, He eats, circles, caws, and turns not round. Then I let out (all) to the four winds And offered a sacrifice. I poured out a libation on the top of the mountain. Seven and seven cult-vessels I set up, Upon their plate-stands I heaped cane, cedarwood, and myrtle. The gods smelled the savour, The gods smelled the sweet savour, The gods crowded like flies about the sacrificer. As soon as the great goddess arrived, She lifted up the great jewels which Anu had fashioned to her liking:

'Ye gods here, as surely as this lapis Upon my neck I shall -not forget, I shall be mindful of these days, forgetting (them) never. Let the gods come to the offering: (But) let not Enlil come to the offering, For he, unreasoning, brought on the deluge And my people consigned to destruction.' As soon as Enlil arrived, And saw the ship, Enlil was wroth, He was filled with wrath against the Igigi gods: 'Has some living soul escaped?

No man was to survive the destruction!' Ninurta opened his mouth to speak, Saying to valiant Enlil: 'Who other than Ea can devise plans? It is Ea alone who knows every matter.' Ea opened his mouth to speak, Saying to valiant Enlil: 'Thou wisest of the gods, thou hero, How couldst thou, unreasoning, bring on the deluge? On the sinner impose his sin, On the transgressor impose his transgression! (Yet) be lenient, lest he be cut off, Be patient, lest he be dislodged Instead of thy bringing on the deluge, Would that a lion had risen up to diminish mankind! Instead of thy bringing on the deluge, Would that a wolf had risen up to diminish mankind! Instead of thy bringing on the deluge, Would that a famine had risen up to lay low mankind! Instead of thy bringing on the deluge, Would that pestilence had risen up to smite down mankind! It was not I who disclosed the secret of the great gods.

I let Atrahasis see a dream, And he perceived the secret of the gods. Now then take counsel in regard to him!' Thereupon Enlil went aboard the ship. Holding me by the hand, he took me aboard. He took my wife aboard and made (her) kneel by my side. Standing between us, he touched our foreheads to bless us: 'Hitherto Utnapishtim has been but human. Henceforth Utnapishtim and his wife shall be like unto us gods. Utnapishtim shall reside far away, at the mouth of the rivers!' Thus they took me and made me reside far away, At the mouth of the rivers.

The above is really an awful mix of the truth and the lie. It is classic propaganda from the father of the lie who speaks according to his own disposition, as characterised precisely by Jesus:

You are from your father the Devil, and you wish to do the desires of your father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of [the lie] (John 8:44).

But it shows that the flood was a fact to men of those days.

Akkadian, Astrahasis epic, circa 1640 BC

Enki made his voice heard...
Dismantle the house, build a boat
Reject possessions, and save living things.
The boat that you build...
Make upper and lower decks.
The tackle must be very strong,
The bitumen strong, to give it strength
I shall make rain fall on you here.

The Flood roared like a bull,
Like a wild ass screaming the winds
The darkness was total, there was no sun...
For seven days and seven nights
The torrent, storm and flood came on


Xisuthrus was warned of a coming flood by the God Chronos, who ordered Xisuthrus to write a history and to build a vessel (5 stadia by 2 stadia) for his relations, friends, and two of every type of animal. After the flood began to subside, he sent out some birds, all of which returned. Upon trying again, the birds returned, their feet covered in mud. On the third trial, the birds didn't return. The people disembarked and offered sacrifices to the Gods. Xisuthrus, his wife, daughter, and the pilot of the ark were eventually transported to live with the Gods.


Ahura Mazda warned Yima that destruction in the form of floods, subsequent to the melting of the snow, was threatening the sinful world and gave him instructions for building a vara in which specimens of small and large cattle, humans, dogs, birds, fires, plants and foods were to be deposited in pairs.


Manu, the first human, saved a small fish from the jaws of a larger fish. After hearing the smaller one beg for protection, Manu kept the fish safe, transferring it to larger and larger containers as it grew, finally returning it to the ocean.

Because of this kindness, the fish returned to warn Manu about an imminent flood and told him to build a boat, stocking it with samples of every species. After the flood waters rose, Manu tied a rope to the fish's horn. The fish led him to a mountain and told Manu to fasten the ship's rope to a tree so that it would not drift. He stayed on the mountain (known as Manu's Descent) while the flood swept away all living creatures. Manu alone survived.

Jicarilla (Apache)

Before the Apaches emerged from the underworld, there were other people on the earth. Dios told an old man and old woman that it would rain forty days and nights. People were warned to go to the tops of four mountains (Tsisnatcin, Tsabidzilhi, Becdilhgai, and another whose identity isn't known) and not to look at the flood or sky. The people didn't believe the old couple. When the rains came, only a few people made it to the mountain tops and shut their eyes. Those who looked at the flood turned into fish or frogs; if they looked at the sky, they turned into birds. After eighty days, Dios told the 24 people remaining to open their eyes and come down. These 24 people went into mountains. Eight other people survived the flood who were able to travel by looking where they wanted to go, and they were there. These people told the Apaches about the flood before going into two mountains themselves. Around the turn of the millennium, the surface of the earth will again be destroyed, this time by fire.


In the Valley of Mexico there lived a pious man named Tapi. Creator told him to build a boat to live in, to take his wife and a pair of every animal that existed. Neighbors thought he was crazy. As soon as he finished, it began to rain. The valley flooded; men and animals went to mountains, but they were submerged. The rain ended, waters receded, etc. Tapi realized that the flood waters had receded after having sent a dove that did not return. Tapi rejoiced.


When the Squamish saw the great flood coming, they made a giant canoe and a long rope of cedar fibers with which they fastened the canoe to a giant rock. Into the canoe, they put every baby, a young man and woman to be their guardians, and food and water. The waters rose and drowned everyone else. After several days, the man saw Mount Baker in the distance. He cut the rope and paddled south to it, and made a new home there. The outline of the canoe can still be seen halfway up the slope of Mount Baker.


The Creator made the earth and gave four names for it -- for the sun, waters, soil and forests. He said only a few people, with special preparation for the knowledge, should know all four names, or the world would change too suddenly. After a while, everyone learned the four names. When people started talking to the trees the change came in the form of a flood. When the people saw the flood coming, they made a giant canoe and filled it with five people and a male and female of all plants and animals. Water covered everything but the summit of Kobah and Takobah (Mts. Baker and Ranier). The canoe landed on the prairie. Doquebuth, the new Creator, was born of a couple from the canoe. He delayed getting his spirit powers, but finally did so after his family deserted him. At the direction of the Old Creator, he made people again from the soil and from the bones of the people who lived before the flood..


In early times, many people had gone to war with other tribes, but there were still some good people. One of the good men heard from the Land Above that a big water was coming. He told the other good people and decided they would make a dugout boat from the largest cedar they could find. Soon after the canoe was finished, the flood came, filling the valleys and covering the mountains. The bad people were drowned; the good people were saved in the boat. We don't know how long the flood stayed. The canoe can still be seen where it came down on Toppenish Ridge. The earth will be destroyed by another flood if people do wrong a second time.


Four monsters grew large and powerful until they were high enough to touch the sky. One man heard a voice telling him to plant a hollow reed. He did so, and it quickly grew very big. He, his wife, and pairs of all good animals entered the reed. Waters rose to cover everything but the top of the reed and the heads of the monsters. Turtle destroyed the monsters by digging under them and uprooting them. The waters subsided, and winds dried the earth.


The people repeatedly became distant from Sotuknang, the creator. Twice he destroyed the world (by fire and by cold) and recreated it while the few people who still lived by the laws of creation took shelter underground with the ants. When people became corrupt and warlike a third time, Sotuknang guided them to Spider Woman, who cut down giant reeds and sheltered the people in the hollow stems. Sotuknang caused a great flood, and the people floated in their reeds for a long time. They emerged after coming to rest on a small piece of land. They still had as much food as they started with. Guided by their inner wisdom (which comes from Sotuknang through the door at the top of their head), the people traveled on, using the reeds as canoes. They went northeast, finding progressively larger islands, until they came to the Fourth World. When they reached it, they saw the islands sink into the ocean.


Zeus sent a flood to destroy the men of the Bronze Age. Prometheus advised his son Deucalion to build a chest. All other men perished except for a few who escaped to high mountains. The mountains in Thessaly were parted, and all the world beyond the Isthmus and Peloponnese was overwhelmed. Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha (daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora), after floating in the chest for nine days and nights, landed on Parnassus. When the rains ceased, he sacrificed to Zeus, the God of Escape. At the bidding of Zeus, he threw stones over his head; they became men, and the stones which Pyrrha threw became women. That is why people are called laoi, from laas, "a stone."


Jupiter, angered at the evil ways of humanity, resolved to destroy it. He was about to set the earth to burning, but considered that that might set heaven itself afire, so he decided to flood the earth instead. With Neptune's help, he caused storm and earthquake to flood everything but the summit of Parnassus, where Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha came by boat and found refuge. Recognizing their piety, Jupiter let them live and withdrew the flood. Deucalion and Pyrrha, at the advice of an oracle, repopulated the world by throwing "your mother's bones" (stones) behind them; each stone became a person. [Ovid, book 1]


Heaven and Earth were great giants, and Heaven lay upon the Earth so that their children were crowded between them, and the children and their mother were unhappy in the darkness. The boldest of the sons led his brothers in cutting up Heaven into many pieces. From his skull they made the firmament. His spilling blood caused a great flood which killed all humans except a single pair, who were saved in a ship made by a beneficient Titan. The waters settled in hollows to become the oceans. The son who led in the mutilation of Heaven was a Titan and became their king, but the Titans and gods hated each other, and the king titan was driven from his throne by his son, who was born a god. That Titan at last went to the land of the departed. The Titan who built the ship, whom some consider to be the same as the king Titan, went there also. [Sproul, pp. 172-173]


The lake of Llion burst, flooding all lands. Dwyfan and Dwyfach escaped in a mastless ship with pairs of every sort of living creature. They landed in Prydain (Britain) and repopulated the world. [Gaster, pp. 92-93]


From his heavenly window, the supreme god Pramzimas saw nothing but war and injustice among mankind. He sent two giants, Wandu and Wejas (water and wind), to destroy earth. After twenty days and nights, little was left. Pramzimas looked to see the progress. He happened to be eating nuts at the time, and he threw down the shells. One happened to land on the peak of the tallest mountain, where some people and animals had sought refuge. Everybody climbed in and survived the flood floating in the nutshell. God's wrath abated, he ordered the wind and water to abate. The people dispersed, except for one elderly couple who stayed where they landed. To comfort them, God sent the rainbow and advised them to jump over the bones of the earth nine times. They did so, and up sprang nine other couples, from which the nine Lithuanian tribes descended. [Gaster, p. 93]


After seven years of drought, the Great Woman said to the Great Man that rains had come elsewhere; how should they save themselves. The Great Man counseled the other giants to make boats from cut poplars, anchor them with ropes of willow roots 500 fathoms long, and provide them with seven days of food and with pots of melted butter to grease the ropes. Those who did not make all the preparations perished when the waters came. After seven days, the waters sank. But all plants and animals had perished, even the fish. The survivors, on the brink of starvation, prayed to the great god Numi-tārom, who recreated living things. [Gaster, pp. 93-94]


People have become rebellious. Atum said he will destroy all he made and return the earth to the Primordial Water which was its original state. Atum will remain, in the form of a serpent, with Osiris. [Faulkner, plate 30] (Unfortunately the version of the papyrus with the flood story is damaged and unclear. See also Budge, p. ccii.)


In early times, the earth was full of malign creatures fashioned by the evil Ahriman. The angel Tistar (the star Sirius) descended three times, in the form of man, horse, and bull respectively, causing ten days and nights of rain each time. The first flood drowned the creatures, but the seeds of evil remained. Before returning to cause the second flood, Tistar, in the form of a white horse, battled the demon Apaosha, who took the form of a black horse. Ormuzd blasted the demon with lightning, making the demon give a cry which can still be heard in thunderstorms, and Tistar prevailed. The poison washed from the land by the second flood made the seas salty. The waters were driven to the ends of the earth by a great wind and became the seas. [Vitaliano, pp. 161-162]


The gods, led by Enlil, agreed to cleanse the earth of an overpopulated humanity, but Utnapishtim was warned by the god Ea in a dream. He and some craftsmen built a large boat (one acre in area, seven decks) in a week. He then loaded it with his family, the craftsmen, and "the seed of all living creatures." The waters of the abyss rose up, and it stormed for six days. Even the gods were frightened by the flood's fury. Upon seeing all the people killed, the gods repented and wept. The waters covered everything but the top of the mountain Nisur, where the boat landed. Seven days later, Utnapishtim released a dove, but it returned finding nowhere else to land. He next returned a sparrow, which also returned, and then a raven, which did not return. Thus he knew the waters had receded enough for the people to emerge. Utnapishtim made a sacrifice to the gods. He and his wife were given immortality and lived at the end of the earth.


The gods had decided to destroy mankind. A god (probably Enki) warned the priest-king Ziusudra ("Long of Life") of the coming flood by speaking to a wall while Ziusudra listened at the side. He was instructed to build a great ship and carry beasts and birds upon it. Violent winds came, and a flood of rain covered the earth for seven days and nights. Then Ziusudra opened a window in the large boat, allowing sunlight to enter, and he prostrated himself before the sun-god Utu. After landing, he sacrificed a sheep and an ox and bowed before Anu and Enlil. For protecting the animals and the seed of mankind, he was granted eternal life and taken to the country of Dilmun, where the sun rises.

The Koran [11:25-48] refers to the same flood event, adding that the earth swallowed the water, the boat came to rest on the mountain Al-Judi, and one of Noah's disbelieving sons drowned in the flood.

Aprocryphal scripture tells that Adam directed that his body, together with gold, incense, and myrrh, should be taken aboard the Ark and, after the flood, should be laid in the middle of the earth. God would come from thence and save mankind. [Platt, p. 66, 80 (2 Adam 8:9-18, 21:7-11)]


Three times (every 1200 years), the gods were distressed by the disturbance from human overpopulation. The gods dealt with the problem first by plague, then by famine. Both times, the god Enki advised men to bribe the god causing the problem. The third time, Enlil advised the gods to destroy all humans with a flood, but Enki had Atrahasis build an ark and so escape. Also on the boat were cattle, wild animals and birds, and Atrahasis' family. When the storm came, Atrahasis sealed the door with bitumen and cut the boat's rope. The storm god Adad raged, turning the day black. After the seven-day flood, the gods regretted their action. Atrahasis made an offering to them, at which the gods gathered like flies. and Enki established barren women and stillbirth to avoid the problem in the future. [Dalley, pp. 23-35]


The god Chronos in a vision warned Xisuthrus of a coming flood, ordered him to write a history and bury it in Sippara, and told him to build and provision a vessel (5 stadia by 2 stadia) for himself, his friends and relations, and all kinds of animals, all of which he did. After the flood had come and abated somewhat, he sent out some birds, which returned. Later, he tried again, and the birds returned with mud on their feet. On the third trial, the birds didn't return. He disembarked in the Corcyraean mountains in Armenia and, with his wife, daughter, and pilot, offered sacrifices to the gods. Those four were translated to live with the gods. The others at first were grieved when they could not find the four, but they heard Xisuthrus' voice in the air telling them to be pious and to seek his writings at Sippara. [G. Smith, pp. 42-43]


The Supreme Sovereign ordered the water god Gong Gong to create a flood as punishment and warning for human misbehavior. Gong Gong extended the flood for 22 years, and people had to live in high mountain caves and in trees, fighting with wild animals for scarce resources. Unable to persuade the Supreme Sovereign to stop the flood, and told by an owl and a turkey about _Xirang_ or Growing Soil, the supernatural hero Gun stole Growing Soil from heaven to dam the waters. Before Gun was finished, however, the Supreme Sovereign sent the fire god Zhu Rong to execute him for his theft. The Growing Soil was taken back to heaven, and the floods continued. However, Gun's body didn't decay, and when it was cut apart three years later, his son Yu emerged in the form of a horned dragon. Gun's body also transformed into a dragon at that time and thenceforth lived quietly in the deeps. The Supreme Sovereign was fearful of Yu's power, so he cooperated and gave Yu the Growing Soil and the use of the dragon Ying. Yu led other gods to drive away Gong Gong, distributed the Growing Soil to remove most of the flood, and led the people to fashion rivers from Ying's tracks and thus channel the remaining floodwaters to the sea. [Walls, pp. 94-100]

The goddess Nu Kua fought and defeated the chief of a neighboring tribe, driving him up a mountain. The chief, chagrined at being defeated by a woman, beat his head against the Heavenly Bamboo with the aim of wreaking vengeance on his enemies and killing himself. He knocked it down, tearing a hole in the sky. Floods poured out, inundating the world and killing everyone but Nu Kua and her army; her divinity made her and her followers safe from it. Nu Kua patched the hole with a plaster made from stones of five different colors, and the floods ceased. [Werner, p. 225; Vitaliano, p. 163]

Bahnar (Cochin China)

A kite once quarrelled with the crab and pecked a hole in its skull (which can still be seen today). In revenge, the crab caused the sea and rivers to swell until the waters reached the sky. The only survivors were a brother and sister who took a pair of all kinds of animals with them in a huge chest. They floated for seven days and nights. Then the brother heard a cock crowing outside, sent by the spirits to signal that the flood had abated. All disembarked, birds first, then the animals, then the two people. The brother and sister did not know how they would live, for they had eaten all the rice that was stored in the chest. However, a black ant brought two grains of rice. The brother planted them, and the plain was covered with a rice crop the next morning. [Gaster, p. 98]

Lenape (New York area)

Survivors of the deluge took refuge on a turtle's back. They asked Loon to dive for some earth, but the water was too deep. However, it flew far off and returned with dirt in its beak. Guided by the loon, the turtle swam to the land, where people settled. Those saved by the turtle became the Turtle Clan. [Bierhorst, 1995, pp. 30, 43]

After the Great Spirit created the earth, he flooded it. He sent various animals diving for earth. At last the muskrat succeeded. He put the earth on the turtles back, and it increased in size. [Bierhorst, 1995, p. 44]


Bierhorst, John. Mythology of the Lenape, University of Arizona Press, Tuscon, 1995.
Budge, E. A. Wallis. The Book of the Dead, Arkana, London, 1923, 1989.
Dalley, Stephanie. Myths From Mesopotamia, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1989.
Gaster, Theodor H. Myth, Legend, and Custom in the Old Testament, Harper & Row, New York, 1969. (Most of the flood stories in this work are taken from Frazer, Sir James G. Folklore in the Old Testament, Macmillan &
Co., London, 1918.)
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