Khonvum, among the Pygmies, is a supreme god controlling the celestial phenomena. When the sun dies he gathers pieces of stars into a sack, and then in the morning throws armfuls of them at the sun so it will rise again. He still retains his original character of the “Great Huntsman,” with his bow made of two wielded snakes assuming the form of the rainbow. He contacts men through the intermediary of a real animal, the chameleon, or an imaginary animal who appears in dreams-the elephant Gor.

Below Khonvum exists numerous monsters whose stories are told when people gather at night. Such stories include the tale of the ogre Ngoogunogumbar, who swallows children, or the dwarf Ogrigwabibikwa, who changes into a reptile. There are bases for such tales that are thought possibly originated with the first meeting of the Pygmies and Negroes before the Pygmies were pushed further back into the heart of the forest. A.G.H.


Grimal, Pierre, Larousse World Mythology, Secaucus, New Jersey, Chartwell Books, 1965. p. 520