The Oneida Creation Story is the oldest tradition of the Onyota'aka (People of the Standing Stone) and is one of the greatest pieces of oral literature of Native North America. Ancient elements of Iroquoian cosmology are the heart of the saga: Sky-world, the fall of Sky-woman, the creation of Earth upon Turtle's back, and the creation of mankind and early society by the twins. Various versions have been passed down from generation to generation, but the story has never before been published in the Oneida language. The Oneida Creation Story makes this majestic and beautiful story available in both Oneida and English for the first time. This special bilingual edition also features earlier translated versions of the Creation Story, a discussion of its cultural and historical contexts by Oneida Indian historian Anthony Wonderley, and lexicons cross-referenced to the story.
Oneida elder Demus Elm first told the Oneida Creation Story to the renowned linguist Floyd G. Lounsbury in 1971. Lounsbury is the author of Oneida Verb Morphology and other works. The transcription and translation of the story were completed with the assistance of Harvey Antone, a relative of Demus Elm, and Bryan Gick. Gick is an assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics and Speech Sciences at the University of British Columbia.