J Luis Rivera rated it really liked it Nov 20, Apr 29, Reda El bardai rated it really liked it. Each region of Africa has its own deities. For example, people in Nigeria believe in Allah, the mother goddess, ruler of the underworld and goddess of fertility. However, people in Mali believe in Amma, the supreme god. On the other hand, people in East Africa believe in a god called Katonda, the creator god, father of the gods, king and judge o Reda El Bardai April 21 The book entitled African Mythology A to Z by Patricia Ann Lynch contains multiple series of african myths throughout it.
On the other hand, people in East Africa believe in a god called Katonda, the creator god, father of the gods, king and judge of the universe. Over the years, many beliefs have been formed in different parts of Africa. However, when Islam conquered North Africa, he believes slowly started to disappear. But to this day, many people in countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia still believe in these old myths. To conclude, because of how separated Africans were, their myths varied depending on the region they lived in.
There are many differences and similarities between African myths and Greek myths. People in Eastern Africa believe that humans were supposed to be immortal but through an unlucky mistake, the supreme god gave them death instead. She opened the box which let out all the evil in the world.
People in Western Africa believed that the earth was formed from the body of an enormous snake. Others in the South believe that a cosmic egg was hatched and the universe came out of it. However, the Greeks believed that Chaos was bored and wanted to create something that would entertain him and he created the world. His first thought was to bring a beautiful goddess named Earth. African people who live in the Niger and Congo region believe that twins represent duality. They believe that twins are special, almost sacred beings and that they have a great future that awaits them.
Many gods in these beliefs are thought to be twins because they show balance. In Greek mythology, twins also represent duality, just like Apollo and Artemis. Apollo became the sun god and Artemis the moon goddess. In conclusion, African and Greek mythology have many differences but also several similarities.
What I really liked about this book is that there are many things that are different in Greek mythology. For example the myth of the earth being created. Some africans believe it was a cosmic egg that hatched but the greeks believed it was Chaos who made the world. What I disliked about this book is how complex the words are for people to read. I recommend this book for people between the age of 14 and above.
I also recommend it for people who are interested in myth and african cultures and to learn more about them. This book has very complex sentences which not everyone can understand. View all 6 comments. Jae Xerrano rated it really liked it Jul 21, Powerispower rated it really liked it Sep 02, Dana White rated it really liked it Jul 01, Darth Casanova rated it really liked it Sep 13, Abigail rated it really liked it Feb 28, Valerie rated it really liked it Jul 17, Melis rated it it was amazing May 28, Ciara Reed rated it it was amazing Aug 01, Marlin Harrison rated it liked it Aug 08, Kriskad rated it liked it Dec 09, Dracolibris rated it liked it Aug 14, Racquel rated it really liked it Nov 02, Michael Anthony Norwood rated it liked it Apr 09, Chris rated it really liked it Mar 31, Allison Ruvidich rated it really liked it Jan 23, John rated it really liked it Aug 07, Trevor rated it it was amazing Nov 03, Flores rated it really liked it May 25, Amanda Gicharu rated it really liked it Nov 04, Porshea rated it really liked it Aug 19, Anne marked it as to-read Oct 19, Khadija marked it as to-read Jun 22, Lee Bullitt marked it as to-read Jul 20, Jbondandrews marked it as to-read Sep 28, Dash Williams marked it as to-read Nov 14, Mariam marked it as to-read Aug 07, Nikhil P.
Freeman marked it as to-read Aug 07, Paul added it Jan 12, Joe added it Jul 10, Peter is currently reading it Jul 18, Brian added it Nov 12, Caleb marked it as to-read Feb 09, Darren added it Mar 10, Anansi is one of the most popular characters in West African mythology. He is often referred to as Kwaku Father Anansi.
As a trickster figure, Anansi was renowned for his cleverness and ingenuity. In some stories, Anansi served as the intermediary of the sky god Nyame, his father. As a culture hero, Anansi was regarded as the creator of the Sun, Moon, and stars and therefore responsible for day and night. He also brought rain and taught humans how to sow grain. In the beginning, all tales belonged to Nyame. Anansi wanted to own the stories himself, so he offered to buy them.
Nyame told Anansi that he was willing to sell the stories, but the price was high. He wanted three things: Mmoboro, the hornets; Onini, the great python; and Osebo, the leopard. Anansi was confident that he was clever enough to perform these tasks. He first cut a gourd and made a small hole in it.
He then poured water on himself and on the tree where the hornets lived. Anansi then told the hornets that they were foolish to stay in the rain, and he offered the gourd as shelter. When the hor- nets flew into the gourd, Anansi plugged up the hole and took the hornets to Nyame. Next, Anansi cut a bamboo pole and went to visit Onini, the python. He told Onini that he and his wife had been arguing over whether Onini was shorter or longer than the pole.
Onini suggested that Anansi measure him against the pole, and he stretched out along it. Anansi convinced Onini to let him tie the python to the pole to keep him straight. He then carried the bound python to Nyame. To capture Osebo, the leopard, Anansi first dug a pit and covered it with branches and leaves. When Osebo fell into the pit, Anansi offered to rescue him. He bent a tall tree toward the ground and tied it in place.
Next, he tied a rope to the top of the tree and dropped the other end of the rope into the hole. He told Osebo to tie his tail to the rope. When Anansi released the rope that held down the tree, the tree sprang upward, leaving Osebo dangling in the air. Anansi had no trouble capturing the helpless leopard. When Anansi presented Osebo to Nyame, the sky god agreed that the price had been paid. From that day onward, all stories belonged to Anansi. Another Anansi story explains why some people are wiser than others.
In the beginning, Anansi was renowned for his wisdom, because he owned all the wisdom in the world. To punish people for their lack of gratitude, Anansi decided to stop giving advice and to repossess all the wisdom he had given out. He went from house to house, col- lecting all the bits of wisdom. He stored the wisdom in a large pot or a gourd , which he planned to hide at the top of a tall tree.
Anansi tied a rope around the pot and hung it on his chest. When he tried to climb the tree, however, the dangling pot prevented him from getting a good grip. After Anansi had made several unsuccessful attempts to climb the tree, his son, Ntikuma, shouted that he might have an easier time of it if he hung the pot on his back. With the pot on his back, Anansi quickly reached the top of the tree, but his anger made him clumsy. As he tried to tie the pot to the tree, it slipped from his hands.
The pot fell to the ground and smashed on a rock, setting free all the bits of wisdom. People came from all over to snatch up as much wisdom as they could. The first to arrive were able to collect a great deal of wisdom, but the latecomers found very little left to collect. See anansasem for a story about why Anansi is the oldest animal.
Although unseen, they are forces in the lives of the living and can be called on for guidance and protection. Ancestor cults have a prominent place in the mythologies of the people of East Africa and southern Africa, with the exception of the nomadic Maasai. In the tradition of the Bambara of Mali, when the first humans died, they did not disappear.
For the Bambara, death is viewed as a positive transi- tion in the direction of the Creator. Living humans appeal to the ancestors to intercede with the Creator for them or to exercise power on their behalf. A major component of Bambara religion involves ritual com- munication with the ancestors. Ancestral spirits were usually seen as spiritual guardians who protected the community against enemies. People expected ancestral spirits to con- tinually guard the living. The Zulu of South Africa invoked the help of the spirit world by calling on the amadlozi, the ancestors of the Zulu people.
Ancestral spirits known as ombwiri or ombuiri functioned as guardians for a number of ethnic groups in Central Africa, particularly in Gabon. The ombwiri took a personal interest in the affairs of their descendants. Depending on their feelings toward the chosen descendant, these spirits could bring well-being and wealth or inflict illness and misfortune. They could lO ANIMALS appear in dreams, in visions available to members of the ombwiri cult, and during ceremonies in which narcotic herbal preparations were consumed. According to the tradition of the Fon of Benin, the tohwiyo founders were the divine founding ancestors of the Fon clans.
The tohwiyo started the clans, instituted their laws, and organized their cults. The mizhimo — the ancestral spirits of the Ila and Kaonde of Zambia — mediated between humans and the Supreme God, Leza. The rain chief of the Bari and Fajulo of Sudan received his rainmaking tools and powers from the ancestors and interceded with the Supreme God through the ancestors. Accord- ing to the Ashanti of Ghana and other members of the Akan language group, living persons could communicate with the nsamanfo — the spirits of the ancestors — in dreams or meditative states. The Dogon of Burkina Faso and Mali have two categories of ancestors: those who lived before death entered the world and those who lived after death came to humanity.
Ancestors in the first category were considered immortal; those in the second category were mortal. Animal trickster heroes are common. Chief among these are the tortoise see Ijapa , spider see Anansi; Gizo; Wac , hare see Kadimba , fox, and jackal. Animals have symbolic relationships to the gods. Rams, for example, were sacred to Shango, the Yoruba god of thunder and lightning.
Typically, one animal bore the message that humans would die but be reborn, and the other carried the message that death would be permanent. The most frequently paired messenger animals were the chameleon and the lizard. Other animals used as messengers were the dog, duck, frog, hare, mole, and toad. In some tales the goat, hyena, and rabbit were associated with the origin of death in various ways. Animals are also ritual guardians of sacred places. They are often seen as signs of communication from the spirit world, and their appearance in a place may mark it as sacred.
Chinawezi, the cos- mic serpent of the Lunda people, governed the Earth and its waters. Snakes were commonly associated with rain and the rainbow. See Bunzi; Mbumba. Where hunting was the way of life, the master animal — the primary source of food for a people — was revered. In traditional hunting societies, people believed that if their deaths were honored, animals would appear and offer themselves willingly. By killing the animal, the hunter enabled it to enter the spirit world, from which it would return to nourish humanity.
When the master animal was not treated properly, the consequences could be terrible for the people who depended on it. See buffalo for a tale in which the mistreatment and death of the Baronga master animal had a devastating effect. See Eland for tales about the master animal of the San.
The origin of animals is part of the creation accounts of most African cultures. In many tradi- tions, animals, plants, and humans were made by the Creator after the Earth was first formed. The gift of specific animals is described in various myths. The Maasai of Kenya, for example, were given cattle by the culture hero Naiteru-kop or in some versions, the Supreme God En-kai , who lowered them down from the sky. In another Maasai myth, livestock emerged from a termite hole in the ground.
For other myths involving animals, see bat, crocodile, leopard, and lion. ANTS The common ant, a tiny insect that lives in underground colonies and gathers food, is credited in North African myths with teaching the first humans about the uses of plants and grains, among other things.
The Berber and Kabyl tribes have a myth that tells the story of the wise ant that helped the first humans. According to the myth, the first man and woman lived underneath the earth. One day, they noticed little piles of seeds and grains on the ground. Looking closer, they saw a tiny ant struggling to remove the husk from a grain of wheat.
After a long time, the ant finally ate the grain. The woman wanted to step on the ant, but the man persuaded her to study it further. The man remarked that the ant seemed to be working too hard for such little reward. The humans had never heard of a spring.
When they came to the spring, the man and woman knelt down and tasted the water. They smiled, because it tasted so good. They sprinkled some grains in the water and then tasted the grains. They made faces. He led them to two flat stones and gave them direc- tions for grinding the grain into flour. The woman and man tasted the flour and grimaced again. Next he showed them an empty gourd and gave direc- tions for mixing the flour with water in the gourd to make dough and then kneading it until it was smooth and elastic.
The man and woman tasted the dough, and once again each made a face.
The ant laughed again. Next he showed them how to start a fire with stones, dried grass and wood, and a flint stone. He explained how to clear the ashes away, lay the flat cakes of kneaded dough on the hot- test spot, and then cover them up again with the hot ashes. All the while, the man and woman wondered why so much work was needed to cook the grain, when it was easier to eat leaves and berries. But when the ashes were cleared away and the hot cakes of bread had cooled, the man and the woman each broke off a piece and chewed it slowly. Smiling at the delicious taste, they ate every last crumb.
The ant gave the humans one last piece of important advice. While baking their daily bread, the woman had carelessly spilled seeds on the ground, which was wet from the rain. Later, the man found green shoots growing on the spot. The shoots grew into tall stalks of barley and wheat. The man and woman picked the grains and then threw handfuls of seeds all over the ground, hoping to grow more. But it was the dry season, and the hot sun scorched the seeds.
No green shoots sprouted. No barley and wheat grew. The man went to the ant and explained what had happened. The ant explained that it was the wrong season for growing. He gave them directions for saving the seeds in a dry place until the rainy season, when seeds sprout. His greatness gave rise to many legends about his deeds, which are retold in the Arabic epic Sirat Antar Romance of Antar.
Antar represented the ideal of a Bedouin chief: rich, generous, brave, and kind. Rather than being born to rule, he achieved leadership through his strength of character and his powerful spirit. He was the champion of the weak and oppressed and famed for his courage and gallantry. According to legend, Antar was the son of an Ethiopian slave woman and Shaddad, chief of the Abs tribe. His father did not acknowledge him as his son, so Antar was treated as a slave.
At the age of 15, he proved himself in a battle with a neighboring tribe. As a poet, Antar was praised by his contemporaries, as he is by present-day critics. Although Antar was not a Muslim, one of his poems received the highest honor possible for an Islamic writer: It was displayed at the entrance to the great temple at Mecca.
As the story is told in the Sirat Antar, Antar was unaware that the chief was his father. He fell in love with his cousin Ibla or Abla and sent her love poetry. Malik and Shaddad plotted to kill Antar. However, when they saw Antar kill a lion with his bare hands, they did not go through with their plan.
Antar later discovered that Shaddad was his father. He demanded that Shaddad acknowledge this, but Shaddad only beat him and drove him off. Antar then set off on the quest typically under- taken by epic heroes. According to the legend, he conquered Algeria and Morocco and fought with the king of Ethiopia. He also struggled against spirits and other supernatural forces.
Antar returned home victorious and wealthy. The Efe and Mbuti are two of the 10 populations of Pygmies. Some groups make no distinction between Arebati and Tore. For others, Arebati is a lunar deity, and Tore is a god of the forests and hunting. In the beginning, there was no death. When people grew old, Arebati made them young again. One day, however, a woman did die, so Arebati went to bring her back to life.
He warned the toad that if they fell into the pit, great misfortune would come. As Arebati had warned, misfortune came. The woman did not come back to life, and from then on all people were fated to die. In a different myth about the origin of death, the Supreme God called Baatsi in the Efe story and Tore in the Mbuti myth had told humans that they could eat the fruit of any tree but the tahu. As long as humans obeyed this rule, Baatsi took them to live in the sky with him when they grew old. One day a pregnant woman craved tahu fruit and had her husband pick some for her.
The Moon saw this and told the Creator. Baatsi was so angry with humans because of their disobedience that he sent death as a punishment. Aruan was one of two sons born to King Ozolua on the same day by different wives. According to legend, the child that cried first would be the heir to the kingdom. Although Aruan was born first, he made no sound. His half-brother Esigie cried out when he was born, so he became the heir.
However, King Ozolua favored Aruan over Esigie. When Aruan was grown, Ozolua gave him the royal necklace and a magical sword. He instructed Aruan to choose a place and plant the sword in the ground. That place would become the new capital of the kingdom, and Ozolua was to be buried there. Esigie tricked Aruan into planting the sword in an undesirable location. When Ozolua died, Esigie had him buried in Benin before Aruan could claim the body. Esigie then demanded that Aruan give him the royal necklace. When Aruan refused, the two went to war. Aruan wore a large bell on his chest.
He told his servants that if he lost, he would ring the bell. He instructed them to throw his wives, slaves, and all of his possessions into the lake at the sound of the bell. Before Aruan could return to stop them, his servants carried out his orders. Aruan cursed the lake and threw himself into it. The myth says that every five days he emerged from the lake and wandered around moaning in anguish over the loss of all he had. According to the myth, a birap- inya tree linked the heavens and Earth. This great tree reached up to the sky, which was much closer to Earth than it is now.
Humans traveled back and forth between the sky and Earth by means of this tree, and the sky people used it to visit villages on Earth. One day, however, an elderly woman became angry because she thought she had been wronged, so she cut down the tree. There was no longer any way to get to the heavens, and the sky moved far away from Earth. Before this, death had not been permanent. After the destruction of the tree, death became final. Arwe See Solomonic dynasty, founding of.
Asaase Yaa was the goddess of the barren places of the Earth. In some tales, she appears as the mother of the trickster and culture hero anansi the spider. Another name by which Asaase Yaa was known was Aberewa. According to myth, Aberewa had a long, sharp sword that could fight by itself. When she ordered the sword to fight, it slaughtered everyone it encountered.
When she commanded the sword to stop fighting, it did. Once, there was famine in the land, and the only food available was in the storehouse of Nyame. However, the shaving was painful, and people made fun of the way he looked. When he asked the goddess for her protection, she granted it. One day, when Aberewa left the house, Anansi stole her sword. He returned with it to Nyame and offered to use the sword to protect Nyame whenever he needed help.
When an enemy army approached, Anansi ordered the sword to fight. It killed all of the enemy forces. However, Anansi could not remember the command to make the sword stop. When only Anansi was left alive, it killed him too. Then it stuck itself into the ground and turned into a plant with leaves so sharp they cut anyone who touched them. The plant still cuts people, because no one has ever given the sword the command to stop. Asamando Ashanti Ghana The land of the dead see also underworld. A woman named Amokye welcomed the souls of dead women at the river that souls crossed to reach Asamando.
In payment, she received from them their nmocisie loin- cloths and beads. Ashanti women prepared for burial were dressed in amoasie and beads so they could give these to Amokye at the river crossing. In a well- known Ashanti tale, a young man made a journey to Asamando in search of the spirits of his dead wives see Kwasi Benefo. Asis first created the Sun, Moon, sky, and Earth. Next he created the first four living beings: a human, the elephant, the snake, and the cow.
Although distant, Asis was the force behind everything; he gave humans everything that was good. The oiik , the spirits of the dead, mediated between Asis and humans.
African Mythology A To Z 2Nd Edition
If humans upset the balance of nature, the oiik punished them. Ataa Naa Nyongmo was considered a nurturing god, an important quality for the deity of an agricultural society. If humans failed to perform rites properly or violated his commandments, he punished them by withholding the things necessary for life or by causing catastrophic natural events such as earthquakes. After Abassi created the first man and woman, Atai convinced him to allow the couple to live on the Earth. Abassi set two conditions on the humans: They could neither grow their own food nor have children. When the couple violated these prohibitions, Atai sent death to Earth.
Death killed the couple and caused discord among their children. In the beginning, there was just formless space in which Orisa-nla and Atunda lived. One day, while Orisa-nla was working in a hillside garden, Atunda rebelled against the Creator. He rolled a huge boulder down the slope. When the boulder struck Orisa-nla, he shattered into hundreds of frag- ments. Each fragment became an orisa, part of the Yoruba pantheon of gods and goddesses. Azo See Sagbata. Tore made Baatsi by knead- ing clay into the shape of a man, which he covered with a skin. When Tore poured blood into the skin, the man came to life.
The Creator told Baatsi that he would live in the forest and produce many children. Baatsi warned his many children of this prohibition and then went to live with Tore in the sky. One day, however, a pregnant woman had such a craving for tahu fruit that she could not resist. Her husband got the fruit for her and hid the peel, but the Moon saw him. When the Moon told Tore what the humans had done, Tore became so angry that he sent death as a punishment.
Bachwezi See Chwezi. Baganda pantheon See Lubaale. Bakuba creation account Bakuba Demo- cratic Republic of the Congo In the beginning, the great god Mbombo ruled over darkness and water. When his stomach began to throb and burn, he vomited up the Sun, the Moon and the stars, which produced light. The heat from the Sun made the water evaporate, creating clouds above and drying the land below it. Mbombo vomited up trees and plants for the land and lightning to create fire. Then he vomited up fish, insects, and animals, including the leopard, eagle, and monkey. Then he vomited up the first woman and the first man.
For a while, lightning produced fire to keep the two humans warm. But when lightning began to strike trees and animals, Mbombo banished it to live in the sky. Mbombo taught the man and woman to make fire by rubbing branches together to spark a flame. The woman and man had a son and daughter named Woto and Labama, who married each other.
Woto was a curious man and wanted to see what else was in the world. He and Labama traveled west, past forests and rivers, until they came to a desert. Labama was unhappy about living in such a barren place, so Woto blew his horn again and again. The sound coaxed trees to rise out of the desert land, forming an entire forest where the couple built a house and brought up their own children. This creation account is similar to the Bushongo creation account from a neighboring tribe of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Bambara creation account Bambara Mali There are several different versions of the Bambara creation account, each of which offers conflicting descriptions of the relationships among the principal figures. According to legend, in the beginning there was nothing but the emptiness of the void. The universe began from a single point of sound — the sound Yo. Everything — including human consciousness — came from this root sound. Yo — the primeval creative spirit — created the structure of the heavens, the Earth, and all living and nonliving things. Yo brought into being the creator figures Faro, Pemba, and Teliko.
Faro who was male in this account was a water spirit. He created seven heavens corresponding to the seven parts of the Earth and fertilized them with rain. Teliko was the spirit of the air. He created a set of twins who were the ancestors of the first humans. Pemba created the Earth. He then mixed together his saliva and dust and created a woman, Musokoroni, who became his wife. Together they created all the animals and plants. She then left and wan- dered the world, creating disorder and unhappiness and bringing illness and death to humanity.
Before Musokoroni died herself, though, she taught humans the skill of agriculture. Faro uprooted Pemba and took over responsibility for the harmony of life on Earth. In another account, in the beginning the Supreme God, Bemba, created a set of twins. They were a male creator figure, Pemba, and his sister, Musokoroni, the goddess of disorder. Musokoroni rebelled against Bemba, and she and Pemba left the heavens. They went down to Earth on an umbilical cord. Then they severed the cord, which broke their connection to the heavens. Bemba was determined to end this activity. He created a second set of twins — a female creator figure named Faro and her brother, Koni — and sent them to Earth in a golden canoe.
Bemba intended the two sets of twins to join together to create humans and animals to populate Earth. However, Musokoroni was jealous of Faro, and she tried to turn humans against her. She lured human men to herself, had sexual relations with them, and then destroyed them. As punishment, Bemba sent a flood to cleanse Earth.
African Mythology A To Z Infobase Publishing (ePUB/PDF)
Musokoroni died in the flood. Faro paddled around in her golden canoe rescuing humans and animals so that they could repopulate Earth. In a different account in which Musokoroni is not mentioned, the two creator figures Faro and Pemba emerged from the forces of creation. Faro created the sky, and Pemba created the Earth. Faro had a male twin, Koni, who was also her husband.
The Supreme God sent a flood to cleanse the Earth. Faro gathered humans into an ark that drifted for seven days. After Faro and the humans emerged from the ark, they built the first village and planted seeds. After the first rain fell, those seeds grew into all of the plants and trees on Earth. Then Faro created animals and ordered night and day, the seasons, and life itself. For another creation account involving Pemba and Faro, see Mande creation account. BARD A poet-singer skilled in composing and recit- ing verses about heroes and their deeds.
Epics — long, narrative stories that recount the deeds of a legendary or historical hero — are performed by bards. In western Africa, bards were known by the French term griot. See also oral tradition. Among the Fulbe, or Fulani, people of Sudan, a nobleman customarily set out in quest of adventures accompanied by a bard mabo who also served as his shield bearer.
BAT The bat is the only mammal that can truly fly rather than just glide. Bats are nocturnal. Many bats live largely on insects; some are carnivo- rous; some live on flower nectar and pollen; and one group — the flying foxes — are fruit eaters. Because of 1 6 BAUDI their nocturnal nature and ability to negotiate their way in darkness, bats have been viewed as creatures of mystery and are frequently feared. A legend told by the Kono of Sierra Leone explains why bats sleep during the daytime.
Long ago, the Sun shone during the day, the Moon shone during the night, and there was never any true dark- ness in the world. Then the Supreme God, Yataa, put darkness into a basket and told a bat to take it to the Moon. When the bat grew tired and hungry, it set the basket down and flew off to look for food. Other animals found the basket, opened it, and let the darkness escape. To this day the bat sleeps during the daytime and flies around at night, trying to recapture the darkness.
Being a younger son, Goroba-Dike had no inheritance. He was so angry because of his lack of status that he left the land of the Ardo and wandered around the lands of the Bammana people in a destructive mood. The bard convinced Goroba-Dike to return to his own people, who owed him a kingdom. In order to determine the situation in Ardo, Goroba-Dike disguised himself as a peasant and went to work for a blacksmith. The smith told him that Kode Ardo, the daughter of the king, Hamadi Ardo, wore a tiny ring on her little finger.
She had declared that she would marry only the man whose linger the ring would fit — someone with the delicate bones of a true Fulbe. Men came from all over to try to fit the ring on their fingers, but it fit none of them. Goroba-Dike, still dressed in rags, was the last to try — and the ring fit. Kode Ardo protested that she could not marry a ragged, filthy peasant.
Her father insisted that she had set the test, and Goroba-Dike had passed it. The two were married. Burdama, or Tuaregs, had been stealing the Fulbe cattle, so Hamadi Ardo sent his army against them. Mounted on a donkey, Goroba-Dike left to join the battle, with his wife jeering at him. During the battle, he transformed himself into a richly dressed warrior on a splendid horse. After each battle, Goroba-Dike changed back into a peasant riding a donkey.
- Lipidomics and bioactive lipids: lipids and cell signaling.
- African Mythology A To Z 2Nd Edition.
- Managing Information and Human Performance!
- Biologically Inspired Control of Humanoid Robot Arms: Robust and Adaptive Approaches.
- African Mythology A to Z Second Edition!
- Major Companies of the Arab World 1988.
At one point, the Burdama kidnapped Kode Ardo. Goroba-Dike — in his heroic form — rescued his wife but was badly wounded. Not recognizing him as her husband, Kode Ardo bound up his wound with a part of her dress. That night, Kode Ardo saw that her husband had been wounded, and she recognized the cloth that covered his wound.
When she asked her husband for an explanation, he revealed that he was the son of a king. He displayed the ears he had taken to prove that he was the hero of the battles. See also Abu Yazid. The Hausa claim to be origi- nally of Arab descent through Bayajida. According to tradition, Abuyazidu commanded a large army. After fighting a war against enemies that had attacked Baghdad, Abuyazidu wandered about with his army until they reached Bornu in the north- ern part of Nigeria.
He allied himself with the sultan of Bornu and helped the ruler defend his territory in several wars. During this time people began to call him Bayajida. The couple fled Bornu and settled in Garum Gabas. Bayajida left the pregnant Magira there and continued on his travels. Bayajida reached the town of Daura, which was ruled by a woman named Daurama.
An elderly woman agreed to let him stay in her house. When Bayajida requested a drink of water, the woman told him that there was none. The town had just one well, in which a great snake lived. Villagers could draw water from the well only when the entire community came together and formed a group strong enough to hold the snake off. Undaunted, Bayajida took a bucket, went to the well, and began to draw up water. As the bucket rose, the giant snake clung to the rope attached to the bucket.
Astonished, the queen declared that she would give the rule of half her land to whoever BIRDS 17 A wooden shrine in the shape of a stylized Ibis. The water bird is revered by West African tribes, includ- ing the Baga of Guinea, for its ability to predict future events. Many people claimed that they had killed the snake, but no one was able to produce its head. Finally, the woman who had housed Bayajida came forward and told about her unusual guest. When Daurama offered Bayajida half her land, he refused. She accepted, and they lived a long, happy life together.
Their son, Bawo, ruled Daura after their death. The son of Bayajida by his first wife, Magira, founded and ruled the seventh Hausa state. Bemba was the master of the air.
He was responsible for creating a great flood on Earth. To ease his loneliness, Bemba created a set of twins, Pemba who was a male creator figure like Bemba and his sister Musokoroni the goddess of disorder. Pemba was an obedient child while Muso- koroni was stubborn and continually argued with Bemba. She teased the gods, causing much mischief in heaven. Bemba forbade Musokoroni to visit Earth, fearing the damage she might do to humans. But Musokoroni talked her twin into taking a peek at Earth. Pemba agreed and they slipped down to Earth on an umbilical cord.
When Bemba found out, he created a second set of twins, Faro and her brother Koni, and sent them down to Earth in a golden canoe. Bemba hoped they would be a good influence on the first set of twins.
African Mythology A To Z Infobase Publishing
But their arrival only made Musokoroni jealous. She began to infect humans with her wildness, enticing them to have sex with her, then destroying them and their villages. Not knowing how else to stop Musokoroni, Bemba sent a flood to drown her and cleanse the Earth of disorder. See Bambara creation account. Bia See abosom-, Tano. Bigo Bya Mugenyi a late Iron Age settle- ment in Uganda, said to have been built by the Chwezi, or Bachwezi, a semimythical people who migrated into the area of what is now Uganda and founded the ancient kingdom of Bunyoro. Bigo Bya Mugenyi was an enormous enclosed area — covering nearly four square miles — that contained villages and forts.
The settlement was surrounded by a foot ditch dug into the bedrock. It was occupied from about a. BIRDS Because of their ability to fly, birds were often seen as intermediaries or messengers between the sky deities and humans. In the tradition of the Anang of Nigeria, a vulture kept the Supreme God, Abassi, in touch with earthly activities. For the Kamba of Kenya, birds were the messengers the Creator sent to humans to tell them that death would be permanent.
See death, origin of; Mulungu; Ngai. Waka, the Supreme God of the Galla of Ethiopia, sent a bird to tell humans that they would be immortal. The bird, however, gave the opposite message, bringing death to the world. A Fon tale relates how a bird called Wututu or Otutu intervened in a quarrel between the gods Sagbata and Hevioso.
Wututu was able to reconcile the gods, and the drought ended. According to the Kaonde of Zam- bia, the Supreme God, Leza, gave a honey bird three sealed calabashes a kind of gourd to take to the first humans. The bird was to tell the humans that they could open the first two gourds, which contained seeds, but not the third one. They could open that only after Leza went down to Earth and taught them about its contents.
On the way, however, the curious honey bird opened all three calabashes. The first two held seeds, but in the third were all the evils of the world — death, disease, venomous reptiles, and beasts of prey. Leza was unable to recapture these evils, and so they remained in the world. In a Krachi myth, a ground toucan developed a liking for human flesh. It killed and ate every person it met. See Wulbari.
For the Xhosa, lightning was a bird — Impundulu or Intakezulu — whose wingbeats produced thunder. Impundulu was greatly feared as a messenger of death. In a myth told by the Sara of Chad and Sudan, a crow was respon- sible for the scattering of humans, fish, and plants throughout the world. See Wantu Su. In some cultures, birds were revered for various powers they were supposed to have. In West Africa, ibis were revered for their supposed oracular powers — their ability to predict future events. In the Kono creation account, there was no light in the world until a man named Sa gave birds the ability to sing.
Their voices called light into the world. In the Shangaan creation account, a bird was responsible for the origin of humans. The first human hatched from this egg. In one section of the dausi, the great epic of the Soninke people, a buzzard was responsible for the recovery of Tabele, the great war drum that had been stolen by jinn evil spirits. There are two types: the large savannah, or plains, buffalo and the much smaller forest buf- falo.
The savannah buffalo weighs more than 1, pounds on average and stands 6 feet tall at the shoulders. Cows, or female buffalo, are lighter and On the treeless plains of a Tanzanian reserve, birds perch on the back of a buffalo. Buffalo bulls are dark brown or black, but buffalo cows are reddish in color. Buffalo are swift runners, able to sustain speeds of 3 7 miles per hour on open ground. They are fearless fighters against their enemies — human or animal. The buffalo cow is closely associated with female deities in various African traditions. This power is seen in the continuing renewal of the supply of game.
The goddess associated with game animals offers them as food for humans and then brings forth more animals. The people took care of the master animal, which in turn assured the supply of buffalo for the hunt. A Baronga myth illustrates the dire consequences of breaking this covenant.
A young Baronga woman married a man from a faraway village and asked her parents for a buffalo to accompany her to her new home and be her servant. Her parents refused; the master animal was not the servant of humans. When the woman left the village with her new husband, though, the buffalo accompanied them, visible only to her. However, the young woman never thought to feed her servant, and the buffalo grew weak with hunger. Angered at the theft of their crops, the villagers set up a guard at night.
The buffalo could not remain invisible while eating, and so he was seen. Horrified, the young woman tried several times to restore the buffalo to life. Her husband interrupted her each time, and she had to give up. She returned home to tell her people about the death of the Miracle Worker of the Plains. Devastated, the villagers killed themselves and their children rather than face starvation. In a myth about the origin of game animals that was told by the Kabyl of Algeria, the primordial buffalo, Itherther, emerged from a dark place under the ground with a female calf named Thamuatz.
They produced a young bull that drove off his father and mated with his mother and his newborn sister. Itherther wandered into the mountains. Every time he thought of Thamuatz, his semen ran into a natural bowl of rock. The Sun used this semen to create all the game animals.
This myth reflects the cultural heritage of the caravan, in which a large group of traders, servants, and pack animals usually camels head out across the desert to other lands. In one myth, Bulane was responsible for a great drought that left an entire country without water. The chief sent a caravan led by his servant Mapopo to buy water from a nearby country. After climbing up a mountain ridge, Mapopo spotted a deep gorge filled with water.
Upon reaching the water, Mapopo knelt down to drink, but he was pushed away by an invisible hand. His ox drivers tried to fill their calabash water jugs, but the jugs became like sieves, unable to hold even a drop of water. Mapopo prayed to Bulane to let his thirsty men and animals have a drink of water. Bulane had seen the girl and fallen in love. He also promised to end the drought. Mapopo delivered his message to the chief, who reluctantly agreed.
He sent a second caravan to deliver his daughter, along with many fine gifts. Then the caravan turned around for home, leaving poor Motsesa alone. As the sky darkened into night, she wondered where she would sleep. No one was there, yet the disembodied voice once again urged her to sleep where she was. Motsesa laid down on the ground and finally fell asleep. She woke up in a warm bed inside a fine house. A dish of bread 20 BUMBA Just as in the myth of Bulane, camel caravans are still an important method of transporting goods and belongings for nomadic tribes of North Africa's desert climates.
When she finished eating, the dish disappeared. Day after day, all she had to do was think of something — flowers, trees, dates, figs, birds, honey, jewels, and toys — and the wished-for object magically appeared. Eventually, Motsesa noticed that her stomach was steadily growing. At the end of nine months, Motsesa gave birth to a baby boy. She thought of how much she missed her mother, father, and younger sister. Magically, a caravan appeared.
The deep, kind voice gave her permission to return home for a short visit. The fields and forests were green and lush, for Bulane had kept his promise to bring rain. At the end of the month, the magic caravan appeared to take Motsesa and her son home. Unwilling to be separated from Motsesa again, her younger sister decided to accompany her.
He picked up the baby. Motsesa and her sister leaped up to protect the child. Bulane took them all to see his kingdom at the bottom of the great gorge, where a thriving village of fine, tall huts stood. Well-dressed, handsome people offered them food. See Bushongo creation account. Bunyoro pantheon See Chwezi. Bunzi was the daughter of Mboze, the Great Mother, who brought life to and watched over human beings. When a rainbow appeared in the sky, people knew that it was Bunzi. Bumba, the Supreme God, was alone. Stricken with stomach pain, Bumba began to vomit.
First, he vomited up the Sun, and for the first time there was light. Then Bumba vomited up the Moon and the stars. He vomited again, and various animals, birds, and fish appeared. Last, Bumba vomited up human beings. The creatures that came out of Bumba created other animals.
A heron created all the birds, a crocodile made reptiles and lizards, a beetle created all the other insects, and so on. When all their work was done, Bumba gave the completed world to humans. They also cause a lot of chaos for unsuspecting humans. As he hacked away at the tangle of weeds, a group of bush spirits appeared and asked him what he was doing.
Kigbo explained that he was clearing the land to plant corn. The next morning, Kigbo returned with a sack of corn and a stick to till the soil. Again, the bush Nigerian farmers help each other with the hard work of preparing the land by hand for planting, just as in the myth of Kigbo and the bush spirits. Day after day, the stubborn man watered and weeded his fields, watching with satisfaction as the sea of corn grew taller.
When it was almost harvest time, he invited his wife and son to see his fields. She searched and searched, but the fields of high corn blocked her view. After a while, her little boy started to cry with hunger. The bush spirits instantly appeared and asked what she was doing. The startled wife told them. The spirits said they would copy what she did and began picking all the unripe ears of corn.
Frantic, the poor wife cried out for them to stop, weeping at the ruined fields, afraid of what her husband would say. Hearing her cries, Kigbo came running. When he saw the ruined fields, he exploded in anger, shaking his fist at his wife and son. The bush spirits yelled and shook their fists, too. In frustration, Kigbo smacked his fist against his head.
Thinking quickly, the wife scooped up her son and announced that she was going to run back to the village. The wife ran. The spirits stopped beating Kigbo and ran after her. Then Kigbo rose and ran home, too. At the edge of the bush, the spirits disappeared. Back home, Kigbo apologized to his wife and his elders, vowing never again to venture into the bush. Some scholars think that cannibals killed and ate people from outside tribes as part of a ritualistic or religious ceremony. Some ceremonies were connected to the belief that by killing and eating an enemy warrior, the cannibals would gain all the powerful qualities of that warrior.
Other scholars think cannibals ate people only during times of severe drought, when there were no animals or grains to eat. Many monsters, witches, giants, and magical crea- tures are also man-eaters. The Fulani tribe of Mali tells the story of a witch named Debbo Engal, who had 10 daughters, a sharp knife, and a taste for eating the flesh of the young men who came to court her daughters.
The Bantu tribes of the Republic of the Congo have a folk tale about a witch called Tshikashi Tshikulu, the old woman of the forest, who eats children or women when there is no other meat available. The Khoikhoi of South Africa have stories about the Aigamuxa, man-eating monsters that had eyes on the bottom of their feet, and the Hai-uri, a semi- invisible, one-legged, and one-armed man-eater that could jump over bushes and chase after men. Another folk tale involves a giant with seven heads, who was one of a group of giant cannibals ready to eat an unsuspecting hunter.
When the seven-headed giant recognized the hunter as the man who saved his life in the forest, he helped the hunter escape from the giant cannibals. In some folk tales, the cannibals outwit their vic- tims, while in others the would-be victims survive by outwitting the cannibals. In one humorous cannibal story, a man cutting vines in the forest was swallowed whole by a cannibal who had not eaten in two days. Many African tribes have folk tales warning against the tricks cannibals use to catch and eat people.
Many A hollow wood drum, like the traditional drum shown here, was used by a cannibal to conceal and cart his victim home to be eaten in one of the myths of the Baluba tribe. One popular folk tale, which has many different versions, is about a child whose mother or in some cases, a brother has locked her away inside a cave, giving her explicit instructions not to open the door unless she heard a special phrase.
See Demane and Demazana. In the story below, which comes from the Baluba and Lulua tribes of the Republic of the Congo, a can- nibal uses his drum to lure unsuspecting children: A tribe of cannibals lived deep in the woods near a large lake. For a while no other tribes lived in the area, but one day a chief from another village was hunting farther from home than usual.
When he saw the lake, he decided to move his people there. The cannibal tribe was alarmed at how fast the chief and his men cleared the land near the lake and built their huts to create a village.