The turtle is credited in many Native American folk stories with preserving humanity from the Great Flood. It has come to symbolise Maka, the immortal Earth Mother who gently bears the weight of humanity on her back. The underside of many turtle species is divided into thirteen pieces. The turtle is related with the lunar cycles and the tremendous powers of the female because these thirteen portions reflect the thirteen moons.

Native Americans believe that if humans take care of and safeguard Mother Earth, the turtle will take care of and protect humanity. We are reminded that, just as a turtle cannot be divorced from its shell, neither can humans be detached from the consequences of their actions on Mother Earth.

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