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Darkness


Like many peoples the Africans composed myths describing natural phenomena and their origins. The following is an example. At first the world was never dark or cold. The sun shone by day and the moon by night. Then God called the Bat and asked jim to take a covered basket of darkness to the moon, saying he would follow and tell the Bat what to do with it.

The Bat set off with the basket on his back. After some while he broke his journey, put his basket down and went in search for something to eat. During his absence some animals found the basket by the roadside. Imagining that it contained food they opened the lid and the Bat returned too late to prevent the darkness from escaping.

So now the Bat sleeps all day, but at dusk he begins to fly hither and thither trying to recapture the darkness so that he may return it to its basket and obey God's order to take it to the moon. Always however, day returns before he has succeeded. (Kono myth, Sierra Leone) A.G.H.


Source:

Savil, Sheila. Pears Encyclopedia of Myths and Legends. "Western and Northern Europe, Central and Southern Africa." London. Pelham Books Ltd. 1977. pp. 155-156



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