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Nyambi Flees from Assertive Men


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(Rotse/Zimbabwe)

Nyambi (Nyambe) is the creator, the supreme being.

He is symbolized by the sun, the moon symbolizing his wife. This woman became the mistress of the deity in the legendary night. She gave birth to the animals, then to men. There was a conflict between Nyambi and men. Nyambi manifested his power in resuscitating the animals man killed. But man was so cunning that Nyambi became afraid, and went up to heaven by means of a spider's web, and has been invisible ever since.

In the beginning, Nyambi, having created all things, lived on the earth with his wife, Nasilele. One of Nyambi's creations was Kamonu, a man who imitated whatever Nyambi did. Nyambi was afraid of Kamonu, and was incensed when he killed animals. Animals are not meant to be killed, he told him. He drove Kamonu away, but Kamonu returned and Nyambi gave him a garden. Then, when animals came into his garden, Kamonu killed them. As he killed the animals, something began to happen to his own household—his dog died, his pot shattered, his child died. When Kamonu went to Nyambi and asked for help, Nyambi refused. And, to avoid Kamonu, to keep him from coming to him, God moved away, across a river. But Kamonu made a boat. When Nyambi created a mountain and went to the top, Kamonu climbed. Humans were plentiful now, and Nyambi could not find a place on the earth where he might be secure. So he went to a spider, who found a place for Nyambi in the sky. The spider spun a thread, and Nyambi climbed it, moving into the sky, putting the spider's eyes out so that he would not be able to find his way to heaven again. So it is that Nyambi moved deep into the sky. Now Kamonu and others constructed a tower to get to Nyambi's place in the heavens, but it collapsed, and Kamonu was never to find Nyambi.

Subjects: Religion.


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