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Sudika-Mbambi Descends to Earth


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God's Continued Presence on Earth Is Revealed in Human Rituals.

When the mythic hero, godlike and heroic, undertakes to move through the stages of a ritual, he establishes a model for all humankind. In this story, his mortal brother becomes the stand-in for humanity, following in the hero's footsteps, repeating the stages of the ritual as laid down by this godly forebear. In the end, when God returns to heaven, becoming a part of the firmament, his brother and the rest of humans continue to echo the experience of that ideal person.

(Kimbundu/Angola) Before Sudika-mbambi is born, his home is destroyed by many-headed ogres. He and his brother, Kabundungulu, are born miraculously: they speak in the womb, when they are born they wondrously erect homes. Sudikambambi goes to avenge his people, and along the way meets Kipalende, supernatural helpers, who turn against him, envious of his great powers. In a contest with the Kipalende, Sudika-mbambi wins a bride from an old destructive woman. The Kipalende throw him into a hole, and he moves to the bowels of the earth to the home of Kalunga-ngombe, god of the underworld. To marry Kalunga-ngombe's daughter, Sudika-mbambi undertakes tasks set by the reluctant father-in-law. He overcomes the many-headed Kinioka kia Tumba, then moves to Kimbiji, a crocodile, which swallows him. Sudika-mbambi's brother, Kabundungulu, sets out to rescue his brother from the belly of the swallower, and then the brothers fight over Sudika-mbambi's brides. They tire of fighting, and Sudika-mbambi moves to the heavens, where he becomes the thunder, with Kabundungulu, also in the sky, echoing that thunder.

Subjects: Religion.


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