Deng : In African mythology (Dinka of Eastern Sudan), sky god, ancestor of the Dinka. Deng, the son of god, mediates between man and the universal spirit. The Dinka believe that in the beginning the sky was very low, so low that man had to be extremely careful when hoeing or pounding grain so as not to hit the sky. One day the greedy woman Abuk pounded more grain than she was allotted, using an especially long pestle. Deng was so angered by this that he cursed mankind, saying people would have to work harder for the fruits of the earth and in the end would also have to die. Lightning is Deng’s club, and rain and birth are manifestations of his presence. If one is struck by lightning, one is not to be mourned because it is believed that Deng has taken that person directly to himself.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow – Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante