Mdali and the Chameleon's Message

'Mdali and the Chameleon's Message' can also refer to...


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Religion


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

(Xhosa/South Africa)

Mdali is the supreme being of the Xhosa people, the creator, the molder. Some said that God emerged from a cave in the east, a cave called Daliwe, meaning “creator,” from whence originated his name. Mdali was the original name of the creator god, governor of all; as time went on, he became known by other names, Qamatha and Thixo, and the name Mdali has consequently been used less frequently. It is said that Untu was the first man from whom all others are descended. He is thought to be the father of Xhosa and Zulu, and he carried with him the laws of the people.

God created the first human being by splitting a reed, from which came a man and two women, who were the progenitors of the human race.

The great being, after creating man, sent Nwabi, the chameleon, to him, to tell him he would live forever. After Nwabi's departure, however, God repented and sent after him Ntulo, the quick-running salamander, to tell man he must die. Ntulo, being swifter, outran Nwabi, and, coming to man, delivered his message. Nwabi then came up and delivered his message, but man answered him, “Go, we have already accepted the message which Ntulo has brought us.” And so it is that men die. See also: Qamatha, Thixo.

Subjects: Religion.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.