Asis and the Girl Who Loved Boys Too Much

Quick Reference


Asis, the supreme being, working through the sun, which personified him, created the world's creatures with air, earth, and water. Most living beings came from water. But the creation of man was different, more mysterious: Asis formed earth and water, and from that emerged man. Spirits of the dead mediate between man and God.

The moon, having lesser power, was wrestled by the sun to the ground on the dark side. Because the sun was too hot, the moon melted and drifted away to the dark side to cool off, and since then it has never dared call for a rematch.

In the earliest time, people, living near the great lakes surrounded by the smoking mountains, ignored tradition and so annoyed Asis. They were warned by thunder and lightning that they would be punished by God. But the people continued to ignore the warnings of the elders. Then, for six months, there was no rain. Hundreds of animals died, rivers dried up. The elders wondered how they could placate Asis, god of rain, thunder, and lightning. They informed the people that Asis, the great light, had to be appeased: a girl must be sacrificed. They decided on Cherop, a girl who, it was thought, loved boys too much. When she learned of this plan, she set out with a friend and went to the house of her lover, Sigilai. Along the way, they encountered ogres and lions, and there were struggles. Sigilai's house had been torn apart, and the girls walked on. Finally, they heard the bells attached to the cattle of Sigilai, and heard him singing a love song he had composed for Cherop. They were reunited. Sigilai was understandably not in favor of the intended sacrifice of Cherop. He killed an elephant and a lion to show that he could fight the bird from above who would descend and claim the sacrifice. But he feared that Cherop would have to die. He fought a leopard, and, wounded, was limping. The people came to get Cherop, now known as Nagoro, the sacrificed one, for the ceremony. As she was led to her doom, people wept, clouds gathered, the ground quaked, trees shook, mountains exploded, and a sword was seen glittering and then covered by thick mist. When the mist cleared, a warrior was seen moving around Nagoro. Some thought the man was limping—it must be Sigilai. He struck the big bird with his sword, wounding it. The clouds then opened, and birds and flamingos came from it, and a heavy rain followed. Sigilai married Cherop, and they were happy. See also: Wanjiru.

Subjects: Religion.

Reference entries