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Shida Matunda and the Blood of a Dead Woman


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(Nyamwezi/Tanzania)

Shida Matunda was the creator.

He made the earth and everything in it, then created two women and took them as his wives. When his favorite wife died, Shida Matunda buried her in her house, watering her grave each day. After a time, a plant grew from the grave, and Shida Matunda knew that the dead woman would rise again. The other wife was not allowed to come near the grave, but one day, curious, she went to the grave, saw the plant, and jealously cut it. The blood of the dead woman gushed out, filling the house. Shida Matunda saw the blood and was afraid. Because she had killed her cowife, all men, animals, and plants would die. From that co-wife, all other humans descended.

Subjects: Religion.


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