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According to Dogon tradition, Lebe was the first ancestor to die. They have, in fact, two categories of ancestors: those who lived before death had made its entry into the world of men, and who, therefore, were and are immortal, and those who lived after the entrance of death, and were, therefore, mortal. Lebe was a very, very old man, who called upon Amma, the supreme deity, for release from his worn-out body. He died but his relatives, thinking he was sleeping, tried to wake him up. When the body began to decompose, they placed it in a hole they had dug in the ground. Years later the Dogon resolved to move to another land and it was decided to take Lebe's bones with them. When they opened the grave, they found a serpent instead of his remains. Since the serpent followed them on their journey, they were sure that it was Lebe, the first of the living dead.

Subjects: Religion.

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