Before humans, Tunkasila, the Creator was very angry with the creatures living on the earth because they were not looking after the gift he gave them. Tunkasila sang and sang till it started to rain so much that the earth was filled with water. The Creator set out to make a new earth and wanted to use the mud in the water to make the ground, but could not find a place to put the mud on because the earth did not have land. Tunkasila asked the turtle to carry the mud on his back so the ground could be formed into a new world. This is why the turtle moves so slow because he carries the world and all who live in it on his back. Lakota people believe that the sacred turtle represents life and longevity.The Medicine Wheels on this turtle's back is the link to the great Tunkasila, the giver of life.
"This design came very easy to me. I always wanted to do something with the turtle, because even today the Lakota still hold the same rituals, concerning the Turtle, as what the ancestors did. It is understood that when a baby is born, they are given a beaded lizard (for a boy) or a turtle (for a girl). Before the beading and stitching is completed, a part of the baby's umbilical cord is placed into the turtle/ lizard. This is to keep the connection to the spiritual world, the place it is believed we all originate and return to. The story above gives yet another account of the Turtle's purpose. "........... Melvin War Eagle.