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African Creation Stories Essay

753 words - 4 pages

African Creation Stories

Since the beginning of humankind, there has been one common thread that ties together all cultures and religions of the world: an attempt to explain their origins. this holds true for the numerous religious groups existing on the African continent. In the absence of science, they resorted to creating stories to account for what they did not and could not understand. While similar in their basic design and theory, these stories varies greatly in their content and meaning. By studying them, much can be learned about the African people of the present and past.

The Shilluks of the Nile region, for example, tell a story in which humankind is fashioned out of clay. ...view middle of the document...

Much like that of the Shillu k people, this story serves a two-fold purpose: it explains both the creation of man as well as accounts for the differences among him. This tale shows the West Africans value these differences because they feel that all men are created equal and should be treated as such.

The Boshongo, a central Bantu tribe of the Lunda Cluster, tell a different story. For them, their creator was a man named Bumba who created both the sun and moon along with various creatures before man ("An African Cosmogony"). In the explanation of how each creature created another, one can see the deep relationship between the Boshongo and nature. Because they were the last to be created rather than the first, they are no more important than any other living organism. There is a oneness that exists in their society, for they all work for the betterment of their world.

The Abaluyia, on the other hand, believe that God created man so that the sun would have someone to shine on. He then created plants and animals to provide them with food and gave man woman so that they would have someone with whom to talk (Mbiti 120). This shows that the Abaluyia...

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