Nzambi and the Great Flood

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Nzambi (Zambi, Nzambiampungu, Nyambi, Nzambe, Yambe), the supreme being, is the principal creator of the world and all living creatures. After his work of creation he withdrew himself, and, since then, he has taken little if any further interest in the world and its inhabitants. He is strong, rich, and good, so good that he will not hurt humans.

The sky is like the ceiling of a house, and far away there are posts supporting this ceiling. Above the sky, or this ceiling, is a river that frequently wears away its bed and comes through in the form of rain. The thunder is the voice of a spirit called Nzaji, and the lightning is Nzaji himself. The sun sets every evening in the sea, but during the night, while people are sleeping, it steals back to the east ready to rise in the morning.

The sun and moon once met, and the sun plastered some mud over a part of the moon, thereby covering up some of the light, which is why a portion of the moon is often in shadow. When this meeting took place, there was a flood, and the ancient people put their porridge sticks to their backs and turned into monkeys. The present race of people is a new creation. When the flood came, the men turned into monkeys and the women into lizards.

Subjects: Religion.

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