Te Bo ma Te Maki

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Literally, ‘the darkness and the cleaving together’. The primordial substance in Gilbertese mythology. Over this ‘heaven and earth’, dark and compact at the beginning of things, walked Nareau, the spider creator.

A variant creation myth has heaven and earth move, like the two hands of a man being rubbed together, so that Tabakea, ‘first of all’, and Na-Kaa, his brother, appear. In the darkness, called Te-bongi-ro, these gods put the universal process in motion.

Subjects: Religion.

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