Nana-Buluku Creates the Universe

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(Fon/Benin, Togo)

Nana-Buluku is the supreme god. The divine couple, Mawu and Lisa, owes its existence to this archaic androgyne. It was she who prefabricated the universe, leaving to her two successors the task of its completion.

To Mawu, the woman, was given command of the night; to Lisa, the man, command of the day. Mawu, therefore, is the moon and inhabits the west, while Lisa, who is the sun, inhabits the east. At the time their respective domains were assigned to them, no children had as yet been born to this pair, though at night the man was in the habit of having a rendezvous with the woman, and eventually she bore him offspring. This is why, when there is an eclipse of the moon, it is said the celestial couple are engaged in lovemaking; when there is an eclipse of the sun, Mawu is believed to be having intercourse with Lisa. See also: Lisa, Mawu, Mawu-Lisa.

Subjects: Religion.

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