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The zealous god of the Efik. Although on the advice of his wife Atai, the sky god Abassi let a human couple settle upon the earth, he greatly feared that they might not only become his equals, but excel him in wisdom. Atai promised to see that such a thing did not come about. Therefore, the man and wife were forbidden either to procreate or to work, and even their meals were to be taken in heaven ‘when Abassi rang his dinner bell’. In the course of time the couple began to disregard these rules: they tilled the soil, cooked for themselves, and produced children. They had forgotten Abassi, who pointed out this deplorable state of affairs to his wife. Once again Atai promised to take a hand in the matter. She sent death to the husband and wife, and caused discord between the children. The price of apparent independence for mankind, this Efik myth suggests, was the advent of death and evil.

Subjects: Religion.

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