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Aiwel and the Stone that Fell from the Sky


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(Bor, Dinka/Sudan)

The ancestor of the Bor was a youth who came out of a stone.

Long ago, in the time of the mythic hero, Aiwel, the youth took the sheep to pasture, but when they brought them back to be milked their udders were dry. This continued for several days, the boys being thrashed by the elders, who thought they were drinking the milk. At last, one wise old man followed the boys to the grazing ground, and, hiding himself during their noontide rest, he saw a youth milk. Only the old man saw the thief, who ran away and entered a rock. The old man told Aiwel of the incident, who then sent all the cattle and sheep out grazing, keeping the herds separate. Aiwel followed the beasts until he saw a young man come out of the rock and begin to milk the sheep. He stalked and caught him, and, in spite of his turning successively into a hippopotamus, a bird, and a gazelle, held him, though his hand was badly burned. Cattle were sacrificed, and during the ceremony the stone from which the youth had emerged split with a terrifying noise, and, though it was the middle of the dry season, rain fell in torrents. Another sacrifice was made; this time a live cow was pushed into the fissure of the rock, whereupon the rock masses came together. The youth, Fakur, was taken to the village, where he took a little fat from one of the slain bullocks and rubbed it on his captor's palms, which were immediately healed. The stone from which he emerged fell from the firmament, whence came the rain. In the old days, many stones sometimes fell from the sky. See also: Deng, Longar, Wan Dyor.

Subjects: religion.


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