in

5 African Creation Stories You Probably Did Not Know About

Efik Women. Photo: Connect Nigeria

 

One of the longest and never-ending debates about life is the creation of humans.  Religion tells us that a Supreme Being created the world and everything in it.  Science, on the other hand, tells us that humans evolved from their ancestors all through history to be what we are now: Homo sapiens.

In Africa, the appearance of humans, and many other natural phenomena have been explained in myths. They are as diverse as the communities in Africa, but it is not surprising to see similarities in communities related to or living close to each other.

Here are some African creation myths you need to know:

 

Egypt and the envisioning of humans

In Egypt there were a number of creation myths, depending on the residence of the people.

In Heliopolis,  the creation of the world and humans was the work of Atum.  Atum sneezed out Shu and spat Tefnut, two gods who later coupled to produce two other gods, Geb and Nut, who also coupled to give birth to four other gods: Osiris, Isis, Set and  Nephthys.

In the city of Memphis, Ptah is seen as the creator supreme. Ptah is the god of craftsmen and architects and as such, he is seen as having the ability to envision a finished product. This ability is believed to have resulted in the formation of humans.  According to the myth, an idea would appear in Ptah’s heart and he would give it life by naming it with his tongue.

 

Photo: MediaMax

Gikuyu and his nine daughters

In Kikuyu mythology, Ngai is the supreme being, who lives atop Mt. Kenya.  He had a manservant, Gikuyu to whom he gave the world. As he was walking around looking at his creation, he took Gikuyu on top of Mt. Kenya and showed him a beautiful place called  Mukurwe wa Gathanga, where he could live.

On arrival, Gikuyu found a woman called Mumbi waiting for him. He married her and together they had nine daughters:  Wanjiru, Wambui, Wanjiku, Wangari, Waceera, Wakiuru, Waithira, Wairimu, Wangui.

When they came of age, Gikuyu went back to Ngai to ask him for husbands for his daughters.  According to the myth

Ngai said: Go, take a lamb and a kid. Kill these under the big mugumo tree near the homestead and the blood and the fat pour them on the trunk of the tree. Let the family make a big fire under the tree. The meat will burn as a sacrifice to Ngai or Gikuyu. When you take your wife and daughters home, go back alone to the mugumo tree. There you will find nine very handsome men who are willing to marry your daughters. Then your people will increase and multiply and fill all the land.”

Loading...

 

The Fang….Pinterest

The Fan and the destruction of the first earth

The creation story of the Fan or Fang tribe that lives in West Africa features a god trilogy comprising Mabere, Nzame and Nkwa.

Nzame created heaven and earth and called the other gods to admire his handiwork. In the process, they thought they’d be better off if the earth had a ruler. Therefore they created Fam, a creature in their image and likeness.

Fam was in charge of the animals but over time he mistreated the animals and turned against the gods. Angry and disappointed, the gods destroyed everything except Fam, to whom they had promised immortality.  They then decided to create a new layer of earth a new tree grew on it.

The tree dropped seeds, which grew to more trees.  As they shed, the leaves that fell into water turned into fish and those that fell on land turned into animals.

Nzame then decided to create a new Fam and called him Sekume. Sekume fashioned a woman from a tree and called Mbongwe. They then had many children

 

Efik Women. Photo: Connect Nigeria

The Efik and the meal in heaven

Abassi, the creator, was not too sure about the two humans he had created for he feared their ambition. He was on the verge of denying them the opportunity to live on earth if not for the intercession of his wife. He, however, gave one condition: that humans must take meals with him in heaven.  He forbade them from hunting, farming and procreating.

However, the female human went against Abassi and started growing food on earth and stopped showing up in heaven to eat.  The two humans worked the farm together and eventually had three children, whom they were hiding from Abassi.  When he discovered their discretion, he punished them with chaos and death.

However, the female human went against Abassi and started growing food on earth and stopped showing up in heaven to eat.  The two humans worked the farm together and eventually had three children, whom they were hiding from Abassi.  When he discovered their discretion, he punished them with chaos and death.

 

Fulani couple in folk costume. Photo: Wiki CC

The Fulani and the drop of milk

The Fulani of West Africa believes that the earth was created from a drop of milk.  From the drop of milk, the creator, Doondari emerged and made stone.  The stone then created iron, which made fire, which made water, which made air.

Doondari came back to earth again and made a man, who then became arrogant. To punish him, the creator made him blind. But he was still proud so Doondari made sleep to keep him out of trouble. When things did not change, he made worry to cause trouble for sleep and eventually created death to beat worry, which had become too strong.

Loading...

Written by PH

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CAPTCHA


Why Dutch City Wants To Pay For Descendants Of Enslaved Africans To Change Their Names

Remembering Godwin Ajala, 9/11 Nigerian Hero Who Died Saving Others From Burning WTC