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Karunga, Emerging from the Earth, Has a Race


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(Herero/Namibia)

Karunga, the supreme being, the creator, the molder, sometimes characterized as Eyuru, heaven, is situated so high and is so superior to men that he takes little special notice of them. Karunga is a good being, the preserver of life. It is not he who kills people or brings trouble to them. The ancestors have the power to punish people for their offenses. He influences the powers of nature. The rain comes from him; he is in the rolling thunder, he hurls the lightning.

Karunga and his wife, Musisi, had two children: a girl, Tyinondyambi (Shinondyambi), and a boy, Tyarura (Shalula). Karunga, coming out of the earth, created three couples: from the first man and woman came the Ovambo; from the second couple, the San; and from the third, the Herero. He called the wife of the third couple Kamangundu.

In the beginning, Karunga instituted a race, the prizes offered being a field pickax, a pointed digging stick, and a bullock. The Ovambo seized the pickax, the San the digging stick, and the Herero the bullock. See also: Kamangundu.

Subjects: Religion.


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