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Kanu, Annoyed, Moves from Earth


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(Limba/Sierra Leone)

There is a single high god, Kanu, called Kanu among the Safroko Limba, also called Masala (Sela Limba) and Masaranka (Tonko Limba). But little is known about him. Kanu is the supreme being, originator of all things.

He lives in the distant sky. In the beginning, humans dwelled with Kanu; all were together here below. A deer and python were seeking food, and the python chased the deer, wishing to eat it. Kanu called the deer and python to him, but the python seized and ate the deer. The python, moving on, came to ants that wished to eat the python. Kanu called the ants and the python to him, warning them that their actions would cause him to disappear. But the ants seized the python and ate it. The ants were pursued by fire; again Kanu confronted them, and the fire consumed the ants. The fire was met by water; again there was the meeting with Kanu, and the fire was eaten up by the water. So it was that Kanu left the earth and went to the sky. It was because of the obstinacy of the python.

Kanu made medicine that would assure humans of eternal life. He instructed the snake to carry the medicine to the Limba. But the toad took it instead, and when he jumped he spilled it. Kanu said that because of what the toad had done he would give no more of the medicine. That is why the Limba die.

Subjects: Religion.


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