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Mumbi Mukasa, the Queen with Ears Like an Elephant


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(Bemba/Zambia)

In the land of the Luba was a king, Mukulumpe, the son of Kapopo Lapwa, Mukali wapwa bantu. He ruled his people well, and built a capital called Kalilunga.

A man brought a message to the king, about a woman with ears like an elephant. When she was asked where she came from, she pointed to heaven. The king ordered that she be brought to him. When the strange woman was brought before King Mukulumpe, he asked where she came from. When she pointed up, the people thought she meant that she had come from heaven. But that is not what she meant. She said that her name was Liulu, Heaven, that she had many brothers and sisters, all of whom despised her because they considered her ugly. Once when her family was journeying, she became lost and went to a village the inhabitants of which brought her here. She said she was Mumbi Mukasa, and she was a queen. Though she had large ears like an elephant, she was a beautiful woman, so the king decided to marry her. From that time until now, all Bemba people have believed that Mumbi Mukasa, daughter of Liulu, came from heaven and had ears like an elephant.

Subjects: Religion.


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