Kambel In Melanesian mythology, a sky god. According to the beliefs of the Keraki Papuans, Kambel cut down a palm tree and heard sounds issuing from it. Within the tree were people. At night Kambel tried to catch hold of a shining white object that moved upward from the palm tree. It slipped away from him and became the moon.

In another tale Kambel sent several lizards out in search of fire. It was the smallest lizard that succeeded in bringing it back. Kambel cooked the pith of a palm over the fire, and by casting it into the sky, he caused the clouds to be created. It was said that these clouds caused the sky to be pushed up, separating it from the earth.

Kambel is mentioned in another myth involving the concept of incest. A man became aware of an incestuous relationship occurring between his wife and his son. The father killed his son, and the boy’s dog reproached the man for having committed such an awful act. Kambel put the feather of a cassowary in the dog’s mouth to prevent the mother from learning how her son had died. Ever since that event dogs have lost the power of speech.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante