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Abuk Strikes God on the Toe


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(Dinka/Sudan)

Abuk, the first woman, is the primordial woman later elevated to a god. Abuk, sometimes spoken of as the wife or mother of Deng or of other divinities, presides over women's activities, especially the growing of millet and the brewing of millet beer.

In the beginning, the supreme god allowed Garang, the first man, and Abuk, his wife, to plant one grain of millet a day. That was sufficient; they were able to live from it. But Abuk, hungry, once planted more grains than one, and, as she did this, she struck the supreme god on the toe. He was so irritated that he retreated from humanity, severing the rope that linked heaven and earth. Since that time and because of the activities of Abuk, humans have had to endure sickness and death. See also: Deng, Nhialic.

Subjects: Religion.


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