Deng's Tears Are Blood

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Deng, the son of God, is the intermediary between man and the universal spirit. The ultimate spirit who comprises all things is beyond the knowledge of man, but he is revealed to man through his son, Deng. He is sometimes identified with Nhialic, the supreme being. The word, Deng, suggests the firmament, the stars, the rain, the world in general. Deng was married to Aciek (“woman”), who represents the universal mother and existed prior to Deng. Deng fathered sons who became minor spirits.

The first ancestor of the Adero clan of the Niel Dinka appeared from the sky as a young woman pregnant with her first child. The people reverently formed a circle around her, killed bullocks, and then rubbed her from head to foot with the fat of the animals. Then they built a house for her, but, fearful, they made it unlike other houses so that she could not leave it. After a month, her child was born, but no one came to help her. She called to the people, and they brought her a white cow, a spotted cow, and a bullock. She told them to sacrifice them, then to return to her. They found her nursing a wonderful child whose teeth were adult and whose tears were blood. The mother told them that this was their leader, that they should look after him because she could no longer remain with them. As she spoke, the rain came down. in torrents; the boy was therefore called Deng (Rain), or Dengdit (Great Rain). He ruled over them for a long time, and when he was very old he disappeared in a great storm. See also: Abuk, Aiwel, Nhialic, Wan Dyor.

Subjects: Religion.

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