Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Vodun Creation Story

This is not Adam and Eve or the Big Bang theory. It's the Vodun creation story*.
MAWU-LISA, the Great Creator, is a being with two faces. The first is MAWU, a Goddess, whose eyes are the moon. The other is LISA, a God, whose eyes are the sun. MAWU is calm and cool like the moon, and LISA, is hot and ruthless like the sun.  
MAWU-LISA  
     
Since MAWU-LISA is both God and Goddess, MAWU became pregnant and had a total of 9 children; including 2 pairs of twins (Dahomey/Benin has the highest percentage of twins in the world). The first to be born were twins, a God named DA ZODJI, and a Goddess called NYOHWE ANANU. The second birth was SOGBO, who like his parent was God and Goddess in one. The third birth was also twins, a God, AGBE, and a Goddess, NAETE. The fourth to be born was AGE, a God. The fifth GU, also a God: GU is all body. He has no head, instead of a head, a great sword is coming out of His neck. His trunk is of stone. The sixth birth was not a spiritual being, but DJO, air, and is needed to create the breath of life. The seventh to be born was LEGBA; MAWU said LEGBA (this was our ancestor’s favourite) was to be her spoiled child God, because he was the youngest.
LEGBA

One day the Goddess face of MAWU-LISA assembled all the children in order to divide the kingdom of the Universe. To the first twins, DA ZODJI and NYOHWE ANANU, She gave all the riches and told them to go and inhabit the earth. She said the earth was for them. MAWU said to SOGBO, that he was to remain in Heaven, because he was both God and Goddess. She told AGBE and NAETE to go and inhabit the sea and command the waters. To AGE, she gave command of the animals and birds and told him to live in the bush (forest) as a hunter. To GU, MAWU said he was her strength, and that was why he was not given a head like the others. GU is a blacksmith God who makes weapons for war and tools to build. Thanks to him, the earth would not always remain wild bush. GU taught men about warfare and how to build houses and farms. MAWU told DJO to live in space between the earth and sky. He was assigned the life-span of man. Thanks to him also, his brothers and sisters would be invisible. This is why another name for Vodun (Gods and Goddesses) is DJO the Invisible Ones.
AGBE & NAETE

When MAWU said this to the children, she gave the DA ZODJI and NYOHWE ANANU the language which was to be used on earth, and took away their memory of the language of Heaven. She gave SOGBO the language he would speak, and remove the memory of the parent language. The same was done for AGBE and NAETE, AGE, and GU. But DJO was given the language of men.
Next she said to LEGBA, "You are my youngest child, and as you are spoiled, and have never known punishment, I cannot turn you over to your brothers. I will keep you with me always. Your work will be to visit all the Kingdoms, and to give me an account of what happens." So LEGBA knows all the languages known to his brothers and sisters. He also knows the language MAWU speaks and LEGBA is MAWU's spokesman. If one of the siblings wishes to speak, he/she must give the message to LEGBA, for they no longer know how to address MAWU-LISA. That is why LEGBA is everywhere and probably who our Abojevi Zahwenu/Robert Antoine favours this diety.
* Research by Tash Wilson

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