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Extra resources for African Mythology A to Z,Second Edition
In turn, each animal told why it was the oldest. The guinea fowl said that when he was born, there was a great grass fire. Since there was no one in the world but him, he had put out the fire. The fire had burned his legs, and they were still red. The parrot claimed that when he was born, there were no tools or weapons. He had made the first iron tool with his beak, which is why parrots’ beaks are bent. The elephant claimed that when he was created, the Supreme God gave him such a large nose that there was very little material left.
As the bucket rose, the giant snake clung to the rope attached to the bucket. Bayajida bravely grasped the snake’s head with one hand and cut it off. He left the snake’s body by the well but put its head into his sack, which he carried back to the woman’s house. When people passed by the well the next morning, they saw the snake’s dead body and brought the news to Queen Daurama. Astonished, the queen declared that she would give the rule of half her land to whoever birds 17 To ease his loneliness, Bemba created a set of twins, Pemba (who was a male creator figure like Bemba) and his sister Musokoroni (the goddess of disorder).
However, the young woman never thought to feed her servant, and the buffalo grew weak with hunger. When he complained, his mistress told him to take food from the villagers’ gardens. Angered at the theft of their crops, the villagers set up a guard at night. The buffalo could not remain invisible while eating, and so he was seen. The young woman’s husband killed him. Horrified, the young woman tried several times to restore the buffalo to life. Her husband interrupted her each time, and she had to give up.
African Mythology A to Z,Second Edition