Wan Dyor and the Stone That Became Human

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The Wan Dyor were blessed men.

At Bor dwelled a very old woman who lived on fish that she fetched from the river. One day, she was splashed by a merman and became pregnant; after eight years, she gave birth to a son, whom she called Aiwel. But her daughter, also very old, would not accept Aiwel as a real brother, saying that her mother had long since passed the age of childbearing. So Aiwel lived as a poor man among the people and was badly treated by them. The headman of the village, Fadol, kept him as a herdboy and gave him a cow to share with his own son. When this cow was milked, the milk used to stream abundantly toward Aiwel's side, which was noticed by Fadol; he eventually gave the cow to Aiwel. The cow yielded milk continuously until it gave birth to a calf of yellow color, which grew until it became a spotted bull, and the people were amazed; Aiwel henceforward was known as Aiwel Longar in remembrance of this miracle.

During a period of barren grazing because of a lack of rain, Fadol's cattle were in charge of Aiwel Longar, and they never lacked grazing or water, for Aiwel would beat the ground and grass and water sprang up, while other people's cattle could find none. One day, Fadol followed Aiwel as he drove off the cattle as usual, but soon Aiwel caught sight of him, and Fadol at once fell dead. Thereupon, Aiwel went to Fadol's son and asked him to avenge his father's death, but Fadol's son said, “No, you are keeping Fadol's cattle alive, so have been giving life to Fadol.” Aiwel then went and touched Fadol, restoring him to life. Then they returned to the village and Fadol collected all the herds, and gave to Aiwel a present of two beautiful women and cattle, and relinquished the leadership of the people to him.

Once, when out grazing their goats, Aiwel's sons found another herdsman pasturing his cattle in the mountains. They took the news to their father and were told to bring him in. They returned to do so, but the strange herdsman turned himself into a flame of fire. Aiwel's sons retaliated by becoming a sheet of water, which overcame the fire and resolved it into a stone, and then they regained their natural shape. They brought in this stone to their father, who put it in a house by itself, allowing only girls to enter, telling them to lie down by the stone, and should the stone again become human, the girls were to do whatever it wished. Eventually, a beautiful woman entered the house and the desired metamorphosis occurred. She became the herdsman's wife; the pair withdrew to the mountain and the herdsman was given the name of Koor, stone. Aiwel Longar and Koor were both known to all Dinka as Wan Dyor, blessed men, and their descendants as Man Dyor, sons of blessed men. See also: Aiwel, Deng, Longar.


Subjects: Religion.

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