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Kejok, Born Mysteriously, Restores Life


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(Dinka/Sudan)

Kejok was a mythic hero.

About the year 1700, a woman called Quay, the wife of Cheng, an Iyat Agar of the Akorbil clan, visited a pool at Korather close to Shambe which is believed to have been the home of Desheik, the ancestor of the Dinka. Quay mysteriously became pregnant without any human agency, and after a few days' pregnancy gave birth to a boy called Kejok who grew to manhood in a few months, and performed miracles. He had a brother called Menyang whose son, Lual, lost the sight of one eye; Kejok extracted the eye of a hartebeest and restored his sight. Later, a cow called Iyar, the property of Menyang, died and the carcass was cut up and divided among the people, but Kejok reassembled the skin and flesh, and brought the cow to life again. He had the power of producing water from the ground by tapping it with his hand. Menyang, filled with jealousy at the powers possessed by his younger brother, accused him of witchcraft, a quarrel ensued, and Kejok left his people, declaring that he would return to God his father, but that he would again appear at some future time. He was never seen again, but his memory is held sacred among the people.

In March 1921, a pool appeared near Khor Lait in the country of the Itay Agar Dinka in the eastern district of Bahr El Ghazal Province. It was believed to be inhabited by Kejok, and the messianic expectation arose that he was about to manifest himself again to his people and to bring them untold wealth and happiness. The incident was invested with religious significance and caused great excitement, which rapidly spread to other Dinka communities. Pilgrims flocked to the spot, sacrifices were offered, and there was much talk of signs and wonders and a general feeling that the miracle boded well for the Dinka and ill for the foreigners.

Subjects: Religion.


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