Kanyen’keha and Onoñda’gega’ versions of the Haudenosaunee story of Earth’s creation transcribed in the late 1880s by J. N. B. Hewitt contain ethnobotanical detail not present in many other recorded versions of the story. They also, especially the version told by Skanyatarí:yo John Arthur Gibson, build nuanced actors and articulate the negotiations of relationship through dialogue, imagery, and arcs of naming. Using close readings of these versions, I argue that the narrative arc of biome, as described through ethnobotanical detail, and of the story’s dynamic actors, as described through the poetic devices present in fuller versions, inform one another. The intersection of these arcs encodes a matrix of human responses to catastrophic climate change specific to the narrative’s home biome.

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