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Kudukese Dies Three Times


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(Hamba/DRCongo)

Kudukese was a mythic epic hero.

Hunters move through a fantasy forest and come upon a tree containing many women. They attempt to get to the women but cannot. Then Kudukese appears. He uses magic to get to the women, and takes one of the women for himself, then distributes the others among the animals. He struggles against enemies who attempt to take his wife. He dies and is revived twice. When he dies a third time, killed by a sorcerer, he does not revive, and his wife, pregnant, is taken by his killer, who is also destroyed. Kudukese's wife gives birth to rivers, a great spider, and to Okangate, destined to become a hero: he speaks before birth, is born fully grown. His mother dies when he is born, and Okangate, smarting when he is teased because he has no mother, brings her to life. He embarks on a quest to determine the fate of his father, bringing home to his mother after each expedition animals, blacksmiths, the sun, and the moon. He has assistance from the spider. In the end, all—Okangate, his mother, the spider—die of hunger. See also: Lofokefoke.

Subjects: Religion.


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