The mythology of Africa is the collection of myths, gods, goddeses, stories, legendary beings, books, culture, folklore and mythical creatures that appear in African mythologies.
Contents of the Article
- 1 The mythology of Africa Definition and examples
- 2 African Creation Myths
- 3 Main Gods and Goddesses in African Mythology
- 4 African Mythological Creatures
The mythology of Africa Definition and examples
African Mythology is a blend of myths, gods and stories of different culture of Africa. Most of the themes relating to animals and especially tricksters.
Gods of different elements have been appointed as in the tradition in Africa. African Mythologies are credited for most happenings in their part of the world and revered as deities to be worshiped.
Check also for the Best African Myths Books that cover this topic
African Myths carry over from instances in the past. They represent the traditions of any particular culture or religion and are fables to amuse or beware people.
Africa is home to a versatile and eclectic group of people, spread out through the continent. Each with their own beliefs and customs, their own languages and way of life.
With the Southern Africa cut off from the world throughout an extended period in history. Their beliefs are more deep rooted and the myths are an active part of their life, even today. They received influence from a wide variety of religions, such as Christianity and Islam, as well as people.
Now we will mention some examples of the mythology of Africa.
African Creation Myths
The Creation myth of the World mythology
Many African tribes hold true to the idea that Amma. A supreme god mated with the Earth to produce an egg. A cosmic one at that, from which the twin Nummo gods hatched and created the universe. Another belief is that Amma created the cosmic egg. It rise to the entire world.
Then there are those who believe that a snake is responsible for the advent of the Earth. One that forms the rainbow as it spans across the sky. Another myth revolves around Bumba, the supreme God. He in the grips of great pain, retched and vomited up the entire universe and the human race.
The Creation myth of Mankind
One folklore surrounding the creation of the humans is that Juok, the creator, meandered around the world and fashioned mankind out of clay, using material of different color from the various areas he visited. By calling out the different attributes he wished to see, he molded the men into perfect beings.
The Shilluks believe that the colors of the races are from the types of sand and clay he used to mold man. Another folklore cites that the son of the sun (Lisa) and the moon (Mawu) sent their son, Gu, down to Earth in preparation for the people and he taught them the essentials of growing their own food and building shelter.
The Creation myth of Death mythology
The African mythology myth is that the gods meant for humans to be immortal. Also that death was introduced when the wrath of the gods was incurred. Either by the animals or the people by some unlucky mistake.
Nuer people blame a hyena to severed the rope that linked heaven and Earth. While the Dinkas tell of a women who in her greed hit the god with her hoe. Who in a fit of anger cut this rope.
The people of Luyia relate that a chameleon placed the curse of death on the people when a man refused to give it food. Another tale of the chameleon is that it was to deliver the news of eternal life to the people. But a lizard arrived first and told the people of death instead.
The Afterlife myth
The Africans mythologies do have faith in life after death. Also maintain that human spirits persist even in death. Griots tell that these spirits inhabit an underworld where the order of events is alternate to the real world. Folklore also has it that the dead spirits remain with the relatives and offer protection.
They are worshipped and kept alive in the parables and legends. In respect, the people of Zulu also hold ceremonies to transfer the soul of the dead into a newborn baby.
Snakes are respected by the Africans. It is because they believe the dead to come back to life in other forms such as snakes. Some also believe the dead to become stars that illuminate the night sky.
The Trickster myth
Legends hold rulers and heroes in a divine light and as can be garnered from the myths, Africans twins are sacred. They appear in many of their tales and represent balance and dualism.
Main Gods and Goddesses in African Mythology
This is the list of the main deities, gods and goddesses:
- Ibini Ukpabi
African Mythological Creatures
Some of the most important east, west and south african mythical creatures and beings list:
- Lightning bird
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