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Aido-Hwedo, the Cosmic Serpent


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(Fon/Benin)

Aido-Hwedo dramatizes a creative force that is primal, existing before Mawu-Lisa, the power that enabled that creator god to shape the universe. He remains the servant of Mawu-Lisa, this creative force continuing today, sustaining the shape given to the universe by the creators.

He is mythically viewed as a serpent that carried Mawu-Lisa in its mouth as the creator passed through the universe. When the world had been created, Aido-Hwedo coiled himself around and beneath it; he continues to hold everything in its place, assuring regularity. He revolves around the earth, causing the movement of the heavenly bodies. Aido-Hwedo, found both in the heavens and under the earth, is perceived as the rainbow, as light reflected in water. See also: Hevioso, Mawu, Mawu-Lisa.

Subjects: Religion.


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