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Ama, the Potter, Creates the Human Body


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(Jukun/Nigeria)

Ama, the creator, a high god, may be a fusion of two or more gods, being sometimes regarded as a male being, at others as a female, sometimes as the creator, other times as the earth goddess or world mother. Ama, creator of all living things, patron of childbirth, nourisher of crops, identified with the earth, queen of the underworld, sits before Chido, who is always present on earth, creating men and things.

Ama created the world at early dawn. She (or he) made the firmament and holds it up. Ama is the earth: when a man dies he goes to Ama, for every living thing that dies, whether human, beast, or bird, returns to earth. She reigns in Kindo, the underworld, from which humans came, to which they all return, and from which they may return to earth a second time.

She fashions the human body, bone by bone, as a potter, builds up her pot strip by strip. When Ama has finished fashioning a man, Chido breathes life into his body, and for this purpose Chido descends to the earth. Similarly, Chido is the giver of grain to men, but it is Ama who fashions it. She is the earth, which is fertilized by Chido in the form of rain. See also: Chido, Fi.

Subjects: Religion.


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