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** Maori history has the demigod Maui to explain almost everything. He raised the north island of New Zealand when he caught it while fishing. (It was a stingray. The South island is his canoe.) His greedy brothers chopped it up, creating all the mountains. He stole fire from his grandmother and hid it in a tea tree for later use (Tea tree is very flammable.) When the sun went around too fast, making the days short, he trapped it and beat it half to death with his grandmother's jawbone.

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** Maori history has Many Pacific islanders use the demigod Maui to explain almost everything. He The Maori say he raised the north island of New Zealand when he caught it while fishing. (It was a stingray. The South island is his canoe.) His greedy brothers chopped it up, creating all the mountains. While the Hawaiians, Tongans, and Mangarevans say he dredged their islands from the seafloor with his fishhook. He stole fire from his grandmother and hid it in a tea tree for later use (Tea tree is very flammable.) When the sun went around too fast, making the days short, he trapped it and beat it half to death with his grandmother's jawbone.


** A few natural phenomena happen because the demi-god Maui did it.

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** A few natural phenomena happen because the demi-god Maui (see Pacific Mythology below) did it. it, as he boasts in the song "You're Welcome."


** Existing somewhere in the space between this trope and a CreationMyth, [[DependingOnTheAuthor various stories told by different peoples]] in the Western parts of North America credit [[TheTrickster Coyote]] (or his more Northern {{Expy}} Raven) for the existence of fire (a la Prometheus), sunlight[[note]]Raven stole it from the first chief, who kept it in a box all to himself, and then released it in an attempt to [[KillEmAll get back at]] a couple of fishermen [[DisproportionateRetribution who wouldn't give him their catch]]. [[ApocalypseHow It worked]], and created the notion of daytime, thus ushering in the era for modern humans[[/note]], the stars[[note]]he begged to be allowed to or was asked to place the stars in the sky by the creator deity. He ''started'' doing it carefully, until he got bored/tripped and fell/couldn't help but peek in a bag he was told not to/sneezed, and the rest wound up scattered all across the sky without rhyme or reason[[/note]], death, or humans, among other things, with the impetus ranging from [[GuileHero underhanded heroics]] to malicious intent to [[HanlonsRazor incompe]][[NiceJobFixingItVillain tence]].

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** Existing somewhere in the space between this trope and a CreationMyth, [[DependingOnTheAuthor various stories told by different peoples]] in the Western parts of North America credit [[TheTrickster [[TricksterGod Coyote]] (or his more Northern {{Expy}} Raven) for the existence of fire (a la Prometheus), sunlight[[note]]Raven stole it from the first chief, who kept it in a box all to himself, and then released it in an attempt to [[KillEmAll get back at]] a couple of fishermen [[DisproportionateRetribution who wouldn't give him their catch]]. [[ApocalypseHow It worked]], and created the notion of daytime, thus ushering in the era for modern humans[[/note]], the stars[[note]]he begged to be allowed to or was asked to place the stars in the sky by the creator deity. He ''started'' doing it carefully, until he got bored/tripped and fell/couldn't help but peek in a bag he was told not to/sneezed, and the rest wound up scattered all across the sky without rhyme or reason[[/note]], death, or humans, among other things, with the impetus ranging from [[GuileHero underhanded heroics]] to malicious intent to [[HanlonsRazor incompe]][[NiceJobFixingItVillain tence]].


*** Certain demigods could also stand in if they were enough of a big deal--and by "certain demigods," we mostly mean Heracles. The two royal houses of Sparta[[note]]Sparta was a constitutional ''di''archy, and the classical Spartan constitution centered around ''two'' kings reigning at a time[[/note]] are perhaps most famous for this, legitimizing their claims to their thrones by their descent from two of Heracles's sons.

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*** Certain demigods could also stand in if they were enough of a big deal--and by "certain demigods," we mostly mean Heracles. The two royal houses of Sparta[[note]]Sparta was a constitutional ''di''archy, and the classical Spartan constitution centered around ''two'' kings reigning at a time[[/note]] are perhaps most famous for this, legitimizing their claims to their thrones by their descent from two of Heracles's sons. Other houses were so numerous, that a separate myth was composed about the guy impregnating fifty sister princesses at their father's request (either in as many nights or in a single one, depending on the variant).


The "Just So" Story (also known as a "pourquoi[[note]]French for "why?"[[/note]] story," "origin story," or "aetiological tale"[[note]]from the Ancient Greek αἴτιον, "cause"[[/note]]) is a myth or folktale which, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_myth to quote Wikipedia]], "purports to describe the origin of some feature of the natural or social world." The question, often posed to an adult by a child, could be "why do the seasons change?", or "why do zebras have stripes?", or "why do people speak different languages?" The answer given is usually that some god(dess), hero(ine), or mythical ancestor did something a long time ago that caused that thing to become that way: "[[Myth/ClassicalMythology Because Hades abducted Persephone and took her to the underworld]]", or "[[http://www.gateway-africa.com/stories/How_the_Zebra_Got_his_Stripes_San.html Because the zebra's son burned himself in the baboon's fire]]", or "[[TowerOfBabel Because God punished humanity for trying to build a tower to heaven]]."

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The "Just So" Story (also known as a "pourquoi[[note]]French for "why?"[[/note]] story," "origin story," or "aetiological tale"[[note]]from the Ancient Greek αἴτιον, "cause"[[/note]]) is a myth or folktale which, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_myth to quote Wikipedia]], "purports to describe the origin of some feature of the natural or social world." The question, often posed to an adult by a child, could be "why do the seasons change?", or "why do zebras have stripes?", or "why do people speak different languages?" The answer given is usually that some god(dess), hero(ine), or mythical ancestor did something a long time ago that caused that thing to become that way: "[[Myth/ClassicalMythology Because Hades abducted Persephone and took her to the underworld]]", or "[[http://www.gateway-africa.com/stories/How_the_Zebra_Got_his_Stripes_San.html Because the zebra's son burned himself in the baboon's fire]]", campfire]]", or "[[TowerOfBabel Because God punished humanity for trying to build a tower to heaven]]."

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* A DC story depicted Krypton as tidal locked at one point in its history, with a twilight area the only habitable zone fought over by two different tribes. Eventually they decide to have one final battle between their champions, during the course of which they discover that the metals they use for their weapons interact to generate a rotational field. Informed by this both tribes come together to gather as much of these metals as possible in a giant chasm, finally making all of Krypton habitable through a proper rotation.


* Myth/AfricanMythology:
** A number of stories about Anansi the spider are said to explain the behavior of spiders. To name one example, spiders like to make their webs in dark corners because when Anansi was caught stealing crops from his neighbor, he was so ashamed he hid in the rafters of his house for a week.
** According to the San peoples of the Kalahari, animals are wary of humans because they were scared off when the first men on Earth disobeyed the creator Cagn and made fire.
* One Indigenous American story tells that the coyote has yellow eyes because he was tricked by some birds into losing his eyes (he saw them juggling their eyes and wanted to join in, despite their warnings), and he needed to make new ones from tar. Substitute crabs for the birds and Jaguar for Coyote, and the same story is told further south as well.



* Myth/AfricanMythology:
** A number of stories about Anansi the spider are said to explain the behavior of spiders. To name one example, spiders like to make their webs in dark corners because when Anansi was caught stealing crops from his neighbor, he was so ashamed he hid in the rafters of his house for a week.
** According to the San peoples of the Kalahari, animals are wary of humans because they were scared off when the first men on Earth disobeyed the creator Cagn and made fire.



* Mythology/NativeAmericanMythology:

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* Mythology/NativeAmericanMythology:Myth/NativeAmericanMythology:



** One Indigenous American story tells that the coyote has yellow eyes because he was tricked by some birds into losing his eyes (he saw them juggling their eyes and wanted to join in, despite their warnings), and he needed to make new ones from tar. Substitute crabs for the birds and Jaguar for Coyote, and the same story is told further south as well.



*** Conversely, to the Inuit, it's the other way around: the Sun is a woman who was '''raped''' by her brother, the Moon, and is running away from him. The Moon's motives may vary, either begging for forgiveness or being abusive again.
*** To southeastern Australians, the sun is a woman who is pursuing [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahloo the male moon]], who rejects her advances. But don't feel too sorry for him, since he also instilled humanity's enmity with snakes for petty reasons.

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*** Conversely, to the Inuit, Myth/{{Inuit|Mythology}}, it's the other way around: the Sun is a woman who was '''raped''' by [[BrotherSisterIncest her brother, brother]], the Moon, and is running away from him. The Moon's motives may vary, either begging for forgiveness or being abusive again.
*** To [[Myth/AboriginalAustralianMyths southeastern Australians, Aboriginal Australians]], the sun is a woman who is pursuing [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahloo the male moon]], who rejects her advances. But don't feel too sorry for him, since he also instilled humanity's enmity with snakes for petty reasons.


* There is a remarkable story of the First Nations trickster god Coyote that explains [[http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1434466 why dogs sniff each other's butts]].

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* Mythology/NativeAmericanMythology:
**
There is a remarkable story of the First Nations trickster god Coyote that explains [[http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1434466 why dogs sniff each other's butts]].



** A tale states that the first people were made out of cornmeal dough and baked in an oven. The Baker took the first batch out too early, and they were all pasty and pale, so he threw them away across the sea. The second batch he left in too long, and they came out all black and burnt, so he threw them away across the sea. The third batch came out all reddish brown, just right, so he kept them. (This tale almost certainly postdates contact with Europeans, which just goes to show that not all myths are ancient.)



*** Conversely, to the Inuit, it's the other way around: the Sun is a woman who was '''raped''' by her brother, the Moon, and is running away from him. The Moon's motives may vary, either begging for forgiveness or being abusive again.
*** To southeastern Australians, the sun is a woman who is pursuing [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahloo the male moon]], who rejects her advances. But don't feel too sorry for him, since he also instilled humanity's enmity with snakes for petty reasons.



** Conversely, to the Inuit, it's the other way around: the Sun is a woman who was '''raped''' by her brother, the Moon, and is running away from him. The Moon's motives may vary, either begging for forgiveness or being abusive again.
** To southeastern Australians, the sun is a woman who is pursuing [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahloo the male moon]], who rejects her advances. But don't feel too sorry for him, since he also instilled humanity's enmity with snakes for petty reasons.
* Myth/NativeAmericanMythology: The first people were made out of cornmeal dough and baked in an oven. The Baker took the first batch out too early, and they were all pasty and pale, so he threw them away across the sea. The second batch he left in too long, and they came out all black and burnt, so he threw them away across the sea. The third batch came out all reddish brown, just right, so he kept them. (This tale almost certainly postdates contact with Europeans, which just goes to show that not all myths are ancient.)


** Most of the Greek myths that go "[[DoubleStandardRapeDivineOnMortal Zeus shagged/raped a hot human chick and she gave birth to a son]]" are origin myths explaining one of three things: (1) Where each of the Greek tribes/peoples came from (e.g. the tale of Zeus and Eurymedusa, producing the Myrmidons); (2) How the Greek cities came to be built (e.g. the tale of Zeus and Antiope, producing one of the twins who built Thebes); or (3) Why a particular family got to be king of a city and others didn't (e.g. the tale of Zeus and Europa, producing Minos, who legendarily founded the royal dynasty of Crete). Other gods could step in--for instance, the Kings of Athens[[note]]Yes, famously democratic Athens had a king before it became a democracy. The kings supposedly gave up rulership to save the city--the king had a prophecy that either the king would die or the city would be destroyed, so he [[KingIncognito had himself killed disguised as a peasant]], and the monarchy was abolished because [[ToughActToFollow nobody could be as good a king as that]]--and instead took semi-hereditary positions in the Athenian judiciary (one of the judges would always be a member of the royal family).[[/note]] claimed descent from Poseidon instead, which supposedly explained Athens' domination of the sea.

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** Most of the Greek myths that go "[[DoubleStandardRapeDivineOnMortal Zeus shagged/raped a hot human chick and she gave birth to a son]]" are origin myths explaining one of three things: (1) Where each of the Greek tribes/peoples came from (e.g. the tale of Zeus and Eurymedusa, producing the Myrmidons); (2) How the Greek cities came to be built (e.g. the tale of Zeus and Antiope, producing one of the twins who built Thebes); or (3) Why a particular family got to be king of a city and others didn't (e.g. the tale of Zeus and Europa, producing Minos, who legendarily founded the royal dynasty of Crete).
***
Other gods could step in--for in if it made sense for the city. For instance, the Kings of Athens[[note]]Yes, famously democratic Athens had a king before it became a democracy. The kings supposedly gave up rulership to save the city--the king had a prophecy that either the king would die or the city would be destroyed, so he [[KingIncognito had himself killed disguised as a peasant]], and the monarchy was abolished because [[ToughActToFollow nobody could be as good a king as that]]--and instead took semi-hereditary positions in the Athenian judiciary (one of the judges would always be a member of the royal family).[[/note]] claimed descent from Poseidon instead, which supposedly explained Athens' domination of the sea.sea.
*** Certain demigods could also stand in if they were enough of a big deal--and by "certain demigods," we mostly mean Heracles. The two royal houses of Sparta[[note]]Sparta was a constitutional ''di''archy, and the classical Spartan constitution centered around ''two'' kings reigning at a time[[/note]] are perhaps most famous for this, legitimizing their claims to their thrones by their descent from two of Heracles's sons.


* ''Literature/AnansiBoys'': At one point, Anansi tells Maeve's ghost the story of how Anansi won all stories from Nyami the sky god, explaining how this led to humanity's evolution. He observed that before Anansi all stories were "Tiger" stories ("Tiger" in this case meaning any big predatory cat), in which the protagonist won by pure strength, and they were dark and violent, relaying the message that only the strong prevailed. Once Anansi won the stories, they became "Spider" stories, in which the protagonist prevailed by his wits and trickery instead of brute strength. Thus by making all stories "Spider" stories, Anansi caused people to become more intelligent.

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* ''Literature/AnansiBoys'': At one point, Anansi tells Maeve's ghost the story of how Anansi won all stories from Nyami the sky god, god is treated as a "Just So" story, explaining how this his winning the stories led to humanity's evolution. He Anansi told this story to Maeve's ghost, and he observed that before Anansi his bargain with Nyami, all stories were "Tiger" stories ("Tiger" in this case meaning any big predatory cat), in which the protagonist won by pure strength, and they the stories were always dark and violent, relaying the message that only the strong prevailed. Once Anansi won the stories, they became "Spider" stories, in which the protagonist prevailed by his wits and trickery instead of brute strength. Thus by making all stories "Spider" stories, Anansi caused people to become more intelligent.

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* ''Literature/AnansiBoys'': At one point, Anansi tells Maeve's ghost the story of how Anansi won all stories from Nyami the sky god, explaining how this led to humanity's evolution. He observed that before Anansi all stories were "Tiger" stories ("Tiger" in this case meaning any big predatory cat), in which the protagonist won by pure strength, and they were dark and violent, relaying the message that only the strong prevailed. Once Anansi won the stories, they became "Spider" stories, in which the protagonist prevailed by his wits and trickery instead of brute strength. Thus by making all stories "Spider" stories, Anansi caused people to become more intelligent.

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* Various tales associated with the Lorelei--a cliff of slate rock flanking the Rhine river, situated in the gorge-like Upper Middle Rhine Valley--offer Just-So Stories for the natural features of the area:
** Heinrich Heine's poem "Literature/TheLoreley" describes how a skipper is entranced by the river nymph Loreley and, staring only at her, does not notice the dangers of the river, and thus is shipwrecked (and presumably drowned). This suggests all nautical accidents in the area are really to blame on the Lady Loreley.
** In the last stanza of Clemens Brentano's ballad "Literature/LoreLay", the narrator claims he heard this very song sung by a skipper on the Rhine, and takes note of the name "Lore Lay!" echoing thrice from the Three-Knights-Rock (''Dreiritterstein'', a part of the Lorelei rock). In conjunction with the preceding stanza, which reported the tragic death of the three knights who tried to climb after Lore Lay, this implies the ''Dreiritterstein'' derives its name from the dead knights, and the threefold echo just ''may'' be the voices of their ghosts haunting the place.

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** Norse myth also have a story detailing why some things ''don't'' exist. Namely, the beards of women, the roots of the mountain and the breath of fish were used to forge the chains that bind Fenris.


** The river Pactolus had a lot of electrum in it during ancient times, supposedly because King Midas washed his hands in the river to remove [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor his golden touch]].

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** The river Pactolus (in what is now western Turkey) had a lot of electrum (a naturally-occurring alloy of gold and silver) in it during ancient times, supposedly because King Midas washed his hands in the river to remove [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor his golden touch]].


Not to be confused with SuperheroOrigin. A CreationMyth is a particularly ambitious "Just So" Story regarding how Life, the Universe and/or Everything began. Compare PeeveGoblins, PaintingTheFrostOnWindows, and GripingAboutGremlins, for when smaller-scale ocurrences are attributed to supernatural beings.

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Not to be confused with SuperheroOrigin. A CreationMyth is a particularly ambitious "Just So" Story regarding how Life, the Universe and/or Everything began. Compare PeeveGoblins, PaintingTheFrostOnWindows, and GripingAboutGremlins, for when smaller-scale ocurrences occurrences are attributed to supernatural beings.

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