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Sheuta and the Man-killing Woman


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(Bondei, Shambaa, Zigula/Tanzania)

Sheuta was the primeval ancestor.

A hunter who lived in a cave in the wilderness was befriended by a lion that shared its meat with him. Sheuta went hunting with his dogs and met an elephant that grabbed hold of Sheuta's penis and stretched it until it was long enough for Sheuta to sleep with the elephant. It then gave Sheuta a magical charm for making his penis longer or shorter at will. At this time, there was a woman named Bangwe who killed men once they had slept with her. Men from all over Shambaai were dying until Sheuta came and murdered Bangwe by lengthening his penis as he was having intercourse with her. The Shambaa were so happy at having rid the land of its scourge that they made Sheuta chief. He came through the wilderness from the south to an island in the middle of the river, in the land of women in which a woman was chief. Sheuta, naked, hid himself. He had with him his bow and arrows, roasted meat, and honey. When the women discovered him, Sheuta gave each one a taste of honey from his finger, which he dipped and then offered. At night, Sheuta slept in one part of the great house with the chief of the women, while those who served her slept in another part. The chieftainess became familiar with the masculine body, and with the functions of the various organs. The next morning, when she explained to the women what she had seen, heard, and felt, the women demanded that they be given men of their own. When their leader refused, the women decided to make Sheuta their chief, and their former leader became his wife. See also: Mbegha.

Subjects: Religion.


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