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Wele Supports Heaven with Pillars


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(Vugusu/Kenya)

The world was created by Wele Xakaba, the high god, the creator, giver of all things.

Before he created the whole world with everything in it, he made his own abode, heaven. To prevent heaven from falling in, he supported it all around by pillars, just as the roof of a round house is propped up by pillars. Wele Xakaba created heaven alone, without the assistance of anyone else. In a miraculous way, he then created his two assistants, Wele Muxove and Wele Murumwa (or Wele Mu Oma).

After God had created heaven, he made the moon, then the sun. In the beginning, the moon was larger and more luminous than the sun, who is his younger brother. But they fought with each other, and God had to separate them, saying that from that day the sun was to be brighter than the moon; this would be day. The moon was to shine only at night.

God made clouds and put them into the sky. He created a big rooster from which lightning originates. This rooster lives among the clouds. Whenever it shakes its wings there is lightning, and whenever it crows there is thunder.

God created stars to assist the sun and the moon. He created rain and put it into the clouds. To stop the rain from falling when it was not needed, he made two rainbows, a male one, which is narrow, and a female one, which is wider. The male rainbow alone cannot prevent the rain from falling, but the male and the female rainbows together can do so. To stop the rain, the male rainbow appears first and the female rainbow follows.

It took God two days to create heaven and all the things in it. After he had created heaven and everything in it, he wondered where his two assistants and all the other things he had made could do their work. He therefore decided to create the earth. He did so in a mysterious way, providing the earth with mountains, valleys, and larger depressions.

Having created the sun and given it the power of resplendence, he asked himself, “For whom will the sun shine?” This led to his decision to create the first man. The first man was called Mwambu. Because God had created him so that he could talk and see, he needed someone to whom he could talk. He therefore created the first woman, called Sela, to be Mwambu's partner. After God had provided the surface of the earth with water, he created all plants, animals, birds, and other creatures. The first human couple, Mwambu and Sela, lived at a place called Embayi. Their house did not stand on the earth but in the air, supported by poles. So whenever Mwambu and Sela wanted to walk on the earth, they had to descend from their house by means of a ladder. When back in their house, they pulled the ladder up so that no one could climb into their house. This was because there were monsters on earth who might have come to attack them. See also: Wele (Luyia).

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Subjects: Religion.


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