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Tilo and the Cock of Heaven


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(Shangana, Tonga/Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe)

The word Tilo designates the blue sky, the heaven, from which come not only the terrific thunder and lightning but the life-giving rain and the health-giving sun. Tilo is a place and a power that manifests itself variously, regulating cosmic phenomena. Tilo gives and takes life.

Some think that thunder and lightning are caused by a bird, nkuku wa tilo, the cock of heaven, or psele tja tilo, the hen of heaven.

The first human beings came out from Lihlangu, a reed, or from Nhlanga, a marsh of reeds. One man and one woman suddenly emerged from one reed; it exploded, and there they were. Men of various groups emerged from a reed marsh, each group having its unique customs.

Subjects: Religion.


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