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Epilipili Is Born of Lightning


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(Efe/DRCongo)

Epilipili was the first; he has always been in existence and will never die. He created all things. The lord of all men, he sees their doings by day and night, even in the darkest forest, and he punishes crime. The rainbow, the terror of all Efe, which has its place in the heavens together with the lightning, is dependent on Epilipili: it may show itself only if he permits. Epilipili dwells above, and the kingdom of the dead is subject to him. He sends all sicknesses. He is also the lord of magic power. He refuses to grant success in hunting to the people until they call upon him for help.

Lightning and Otu lived together as brother and sister. On one occasion, Moon visited the newly married pair and expressed his astonishment at their attitude toward each other. He scolded Lightning as a dolt who did not know what the woman was there for. Lightning did not learn his lesson until Moon, sensing the desire of the woman, gave her a husband, Mupe. When Otu gave birth to a male child, Lightning sired many children by her, with whom he went to heaven after Otu's death. One, Aporofandza, is the first ancestor and hero of the culture; another, Epilipili, the creator god, has many of the characteristics of Aporofandza. The creator god appears to be a fusion of the two. See also: Arebati, Baatsi, Masupa, Tore.

Subjects: Religion.


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