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Kaidara, with Seven Heads, Twelve Arms, and Thirty Feet


'Kaidara, with Seven Heads, Twelve Arms, and Thirty Feet' can also refer to...

 

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(Fulani/Senegal)

Kaidara, god of gold and of wisdom, is a beam that comes from Gueno. When he makes himself visible, he does so in the guise of deformed old men or beggars, to confuse opportunists. As god of gold, Kaidara resides, with gold, in the ground. To get to the supernatural spirit and, thereby, the gold, travelers must cross eleven strata and trials. Gold and knowledge are united in Kaidara, an extraordinary being with seven heads, twelve arms, thirty feet, perched on a four-footed throne that rotates constantly, the structure of the world and of time.

The journey to the underground, the move to Kaidara, is a movement into an esoteric realm. The first phase ends with the encounter with Kaidara, an effort rewarded by the gift of nine oxen laden with gold. Kaidara gives gold at this initial phase, not knowledge. The second phase describes the return of the voyagers to the earth's surface; during this phase of trials, their conduct will determine their outcome, for gold is ambiguous: it may help in the acquisition of wealth, power, or wisdom. Gold is the foundation of knowledge; it must be used to acquire wisdom. See also: Gueno.

Subjects: Religion.


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