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Pemba Moves to Earth on an Umbilical Cord


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(Bambara/Mali)

In the heavens, God created two sets of twins, one a primordial pair, Musokoroni, a woman, and Pemba, her brother; the other, a contrasting pair, Faro and her brother. In the interaction of these pairs of twins the world was brought into being. Musokoroni revealed her rebelliousness from the outset; because of her confrontation with God, she and her brother journeyed to the earth by means of an umbilical cord that, when it was severed, broke their ties with the heavens. When they arrived on the earth, the twins indulged in reckless sexual activities. God, seeing this, angrily threw down the tree of the twins: from this action was born a society of giants who were then, in a sacrifice, destroyed by God. Only some dwarfs survived the cataclysm. But God's actions did not deter the twins, who continued their licentious ways, Musokoroni having sexual relations not only with her brother but with the earth itself, with the trees, the wind, the rays of the sun. The orgiastic activity became so devastating that brother and sister finally separated from each other, and continued their wild behavior. God, watching from the heavens, resolved to cleanse the cosmos. He created a ram, then destroyed it with lightning—it was a sacrifice. God created the second pair of twins, a boy and his sister, Faro. Now the sets of twins would be joined, as God sent this set from heaven in a golden canoe in which was contained the possibilities for the creation of the humans and the animals that would one day populate the earth. Musokoroni continued to defy, preparing the dwarfs to rebel, teaching them, instructing them. As she did this, her own body began to transform: she became uglier, her body bent. This made Musokoroni jealous, and she sought to turn men against Faro, in the meantime sending emissaries to the heavens to find an elixir of youth. But these emissaries were destroyed by God. Musokoroni continued her struggle with Faro, luring men from her, having sexual relations with them, then destroying them. Again, God determined to purify the earth. He sent waters from the heavens, causing floods that drowned the people on the earth. Musokoroni was herself destroyed in the flood—another sacrifice. Faro took the golden canoe and rescued animals and humans, as the era of Musokoroni came to an end and that of Faro began. The ram that had been sacrificed in heaven was sent to the earth where it was, once more, sacrificed by Faro. See also: Faro, Mangala, Yo.

Subjects: Religion.


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