The Jesuits had to learn Mohawk. They didn’t force us to learn French. They borrowed names and concepts from our creation story to teach us their story. Karonhià:ke, the Mohawk name for Sky World, became the Mohawk word for heaven in the Lord’s Prayer. This was not just a linguistic shortcut, but a conceptual bridge from one cosmology to another.
We had something else in common: the belief that it was possible for a human female to unite with a powerful, unseen spirit, and to produce children with mystical powers from this union. This is found not only in our creation epic, but in the story of the Peacemaker and the legend of Thunder Boy. Hearing the story in Mohawk, Mary and her “fatherless boy” must have sounded like one of our own tales.
Did Káteri Tekahkwí:tha see herself in that light, as an earthly woman uniting with a Sky Dweller?
Or had she been a Sky Dweller all along?