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List of creation myths

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A creation myth (or creation story) is a cultural, traditional or religious myth which describes the earliest beginnings of the present world. Creation myths are the most common form of myth, usually developing first in oral traditions, and are found throughout human culture. A creation myth is usually regarded by those who subscribe to it as conveying profound truths, although not necessarily in a historical or literal sense. They are commonly, although not always, considered cosmogonical myths--that is they describe the ordering of the cosmos from a state of chaos or amorphousness.

The following are common categories used to catalog or compare the various creation myths found throughout the world:

Basic type

Creation from chaos

Earth diver


Ex nihilo

World Parent




Arctic American


Mid North American

South American


Central Asian

East Asian

South Asian

Southeast Asian


Middle Eastern

Pacific Islander/Oceanic


  • Leeming, David Adams; Leeming, Margaret Adams (1994). Encyclopedia of Creation Myths (2nd ed.). ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0874367393. 
  • Leeming, David Adams; Leeming, Margaret Adams (2009). A Dictionary of Creation Myths (Oxford Reference Online ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195102754. 

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