When the earth was young, evil spirits unleashed a terrible flood. A few animals managed to survive by fleeing to a high mountain in the southwest. This mountaintop was the home of Cautantowwit and from close association with Him these birds and beasts protected by Him took on many god-like qualities.

Cautantowwit remade the mud-soaked earth and fashioned a man and woman from stone. Dissatisfied with the results, He broke them into tiny pieces and made a new pair from clay (Mother Earth)*. He was pleased. These people had immortal souls. Cautantowwit gave them general instructions on how to live, often through animal teachers like wolves, bears, turtles, eagles and muskrats. Eventually he gave them the three sisters from His own garden. Everyone who learned to live in harmony with the fellow creatures by making the most of his god-given gifts - wisdom, valor, courage, strength and the like - would journey to the great southwest Courts of Cautantowwit to live in peace and plenty after death. It is said that murderers, adulterers, thieves, liars and disrespectful people were doomed to a restless wandering throughout eternity.

Cautantowwit did not intervene in the worldly affairs of His children. Each person (Algonquian) chose on personal god or manitoo-oo as his guardian and mentor. This spirit would reveal itself through dreams, visions or natural sights, sounds and events. The manitoo-oo was always present symbolizing the everlasting bond between all people, creatures and Cautantowwit Himself. Amulets or totems representing one's personal manitoo-oo would keep the wearer safe from accident or sickness.

Note*: Some tribal versions of the origin of man and woman say that Cautantowwit chose a living tree from which to form the second pair that He found satisfactory. In spite of this, "Mother Earth" is commonly recognized as the source of our physical bodies.