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In Papuan mythology, the leg child who became the sun. One day a woman who was in a garden near the ocean, seeing a great fish sporting in the surf, walked out into the water and played with it. Some time later the woman's leg, against which the fish had rubbed, began to swell and become painful until at last she got her father to make a cut in the swelling, when out popped a baby.

Dudugera, as his mother called the child, grew up in the village but his aggressiveness made him unpopular with the other boys. Fearing lest he might come to harm, Dudugera's mother determined to send him to his father. They went down to the beach, whereupon the great fish came, seized him in his mouth, and carried him far away to the east. Before this happened, Dudugera warned his mother and her relatives to take refuge under a great rock, for he was about to become the sun, the terrible affliction of the world. So they did as Dudugera suggested, and from the shade of their sanctuary, they watched the heat of the sun wither people, plants, and animals. To prevent the total annihilation of life his mother tossed lime into the face of the sun as it rose one morning, which placed clouds between the earth and the merciless sun rays.

The Papuans account for the comparative dullness of the moon by a myth of premature birth. Once a man digging a well found deep in the earth a small bright disc. This was the moon which, escaping from his hands, rose into the sky. Had it remained in the ground until the period of gestation was over, the moon would have acquired greater light. A variant has the moon escape from a water jar.

Subjects: Religion.

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