Origin myths,” “founding myths,” and “creation legends” provide a way for us to see into and imagine the distant past in metaphorical, poetic, and compelling ways. The oldest origin myths help us understand how a people or a place (such as the universe) were believed to have come into existence. Anthropologists describe these as creation myths or “cosmogonic” myths. They might explain how the world came to be. For example, Native North American peoples such as the Cherokee, Ojibwe, and Aztecs share an origin myth that land was first created on top of a great ocean. One of the most common Western origin myths is the creation of Adam and Eve. But founding stories exist for all kinds of social conditions, historical customs, and objects, as well as places—think of the myth of the brothers Romulus and Remus, suckled as babies by a wolf, who survive to found the city of Rome (after Romulus got rid of his brother).