Baatsi Takes the First Man to Heaven

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Baatsi, the creator, made the first human being out of clay, skin, and blood.

He told man that he could eat the fruit of any but the tahu tree. After Baatsi became old and went to heaven, his children continued to obey his rule. Then, when they grew old, they followed the pattern of Baatsi and went to heaven. But there was a pregnant woman who very much wanted to eat the fruit of the tahu tree. When she asked her husband to get some of the fruit for her, he refused. But she insisted, and in the end her husband went to the forest at night and picked the forbidden fruit. He hid the peelings of the fruit in the forest, but the moon, seeing all, informed Baatsi. This made God so angry that, as a punishment, he sent death to mankind.

In another myth, Baatsi remembered the first man, an Efe, whom he had placed on earth, and he dropped a long creeping plant to the earth, then drew that man to heaven. The hunter astonished those who lived in heaven, and Baatsi commanded him to go and hunt. The Efe hunter killed three elephants, and was praised by the people of heaven. Then Lightning attempted to kill the hunter by striking him, but each time he did so the hunter was whole again. After a time, Baatsi sent the hunter back to earth, decorated with iron rings and carrying the spears that he had given him. The members of the hunter's family did not recognize him at first, but when they did there was a happy reunion. “Is our father who created all the Efe still alive?” asked his daughter. He assured her that he was indeed alive. See also: Arebati, Epilipili, Masupa, Tore.

Subjects: Religion.

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