Tag Archives: African Mythology

Arebati, the Toad, and Death

(Efe/DRCongo) Arebati, the supreme being, created the world, including the first man; he continues to create every person who is born into this world. In the beginning, death did not threaten people. They did not die: when they became old, God rejuvenated them. When they reached an advanced age, he made them into vigorous young men and women again. One ...

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Snakes in African Mythology

The snake is a potent symbol in African cultures throughout the continent. It is associated with healing, fertility, rain and the rainbow, and the knowledge of secret things.

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Origin of Humans in African mythology

The creation of human beings is mentioned in many accounts. In some African myths, humans were in existence from the beginning (sometimes in spirit form) and lived in the heavens with the Creator. At some point, the Creator allowed the humans to descend to Earth to live. In many tales that describe how humans were created, they were made from ...

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Rain in African Mythology

Rain, which is so essential to agriculture and therefore to survival, has a prominent place in African religion and mythology. When it rained, according to various tribes, God was weeping or God’s blessings were falling. Rain was viewed as a divine gift that fell on Earth. When it failed to rain, people wondered what they had done wrong and tried ...

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Gxam – Mythical Hero

Xhosa (South Africa). Gxam is a mythical hero who had an encounter with Death. While seeking work, Gxam was blinded by two so-called friends when they stole food from him. His sight was magically restored by Crows, which the Xhosa regard as birds of God. Gxam continued on his quest, eventually arriving at the home of Death, Malikophu. Death—the force ...

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African Ancestors and Ancestor Cults

In many traditions throughout Africa, ancestors are not truly dead in the final sense of the word. 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 ...

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Atunda

Atunda is a being who was the slave of the Creator, Orisa-nla. In the beginning, there was just formless space in which Orisa-nla and Atunda lived.

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Frogs in African Mythology

An amphibian that lays its eggs in water and undergoes a metamorphosis, changing from an aquatic, gill-breathing tadpole into a semiaquatic, lung-breathing adult frog. Because of this change in form, frogs represent transformation. For many cultures, frogs symbolized the link between the Underworld and the spiritual realm and functioned as messengers between humans and the gods. In a myth told ...

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Ogbe Baba Akinyelure

Yoruba (Nigeria). Ogbe Baba Akinyelure is a famous warrior hero who, when his son was killed in a battle, refused to return home because of his guilt. Ogbe was so renowned as a warrior that when he went into battle, only the greatest warriors faced him. As suited a great warrior, he had many wives and many children. His favorite ...

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Owuo

Owuo is a cannibalistic giant. A young man in search of food came across the giant and asked him for food. The giant agreed to give him some, on the condition that in payment the youth would work for him.

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