Who were the first story tellers? Well, the first people of course. If you are Christian, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27) If you are an LDS Christian, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) your twist on the story would be “Gods” as in Heavenly Parents who came to earth, partook of earthly food and had two earthly children. So I guess in that case the storyteller would be Heavenly Mother. But, if you are some other persuasion, you have a different story.
If you are Piute the first woman was Bear’s wife. The first man came to live in the area and she wanted to see him. Bear was jealous, they quarreled, he was killed, (that’s one tough woman) and she went to find the first man. They met, married and started the Piute people. One of her sons was unruly and caused such an uproar that he and a sister were sent away to start another group of people. The first woman missed them so much that her tears formed a lake and she waited so long by the lake, she turned into stone. (http://plpt.nsn.us/story.html) Photo found on: (http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nevada/underrated-lake-hidden-gem-nv/)
If you lived in Ancient Greece, you believed that the world was first populated with the gods. One group, the Titans was pretty much wiped out by the god Zeus. One of the remaining Titans, Prometheus made humans out of clay. Since Zeus didn’t like Prometheus, he decided humans were not worth it either. So, he flooded the earth to drown them out. Two survived, huddled in a boat. Deucalion and Pyrrha (daughter of Pandora, yup, the one with the box) decided to consult the Titan goddess Themis to see what they should do. She told them to throw their mother’s bones over their shoulders. Confused and a bit horrified at what seemed sacrilege, they pondered the words and decided that the goddess meant mother Gaia, the Earth and bones were rocks. So they tossed rocks which transformed into the ancestors of humans today. (http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSGaia.html) Picture found on: (https://mrpsmythopedia.wikispaces.com/Deucalion+and+Pyyhra)
If you are Hindu, Praja-pati, the Lord of Creation, was all that existed in the beginning. From his will alone, he created mind, water, earth, fire, sun and air. Then because he was lonely, he split himself into two parts, man and woman. From these two came all of the animals, humans included. (http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSSelf.html) Picture found on: (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/475692779364306624/)
If you are from China you may have been told of the goddess Nü Wa who roamed the world in solitude. She wanted company so she shaped some mud into the form of a human. As soon as she set it onto the soil, it gained life. She made many more and then, wanting even more people, too a long vine and dragged it through the mud. Then she swung the vine in the air and scattered mud all over. Each drop turned into a human. The handmade ones became aristocrats and the mass produced ones the common folk. (http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSPG&NW.html) Picture found on: (https://ferrebeekeeper.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/nuwa-the-serpent-goddess/)
And, if you grew up long ago in Babylon, you learned of Ea, Marduk and Nintu. Their gods were just as loving and gentle to each other as the Ancient Greek’s. Ea, the god of rivers, ended up doing in his great-grandfather, Apsu. This really caused a battle which his son, Marduk led, won and became head god. It seems the earth had water and land, but nothing else, so Marduk filled in the details: rivers, plants and animals. Okay, so he gave the vanquished gods chores to do to take care of this newly filled planet. Surprise, surprise, they didn’t like it. So, Marduk called the leader, Kingu, to come forth and slew him, right on the spot. Then, with spit from the other gods, Kingu’s blood and clay, Ea and Nintu, the birth-goddess, created humans. Guess who got all the chores? Yeah, the measly human underlings were also given the honor of worshipping the gods and holding festivals for them. (http://www.gly.uga.edu/railsback/CS/CSMarduk.html) Photo found on: (http://www.annunaki.org/who-is-marduk/)
All these stories and more may be found in a bounty of books and on-line. There are many sites in addition to the University of Georgia web site cited above, all just a few clicks away. Try out your local library first. In my un-humble opinion, the rustle of turning pages far surpasses the clicking of a computer mouse.
Each time I read a creation story I’m filled with respect for the ancient people who with limited knowledge and revelation did their best to make sense of the beautiful world they called home.