African Mythology A to Z, 2nd Edition by Patricia Ann Lynch, Jeremy Roberts

By Patricia Ann Lynch, Jeremy Roberts

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He controlled the rain, the Sun’s light, and the growth of plants. If humans failed to perform rites properly or violated his commandments, he punished them by withholding the things necessary for life or by causing catastrophic natural events such as earthquakes. Atai Efik (Nigeria) The wife of Abassi, the Supreme God and Creator. After Abassi created the first man and woman, Atai convinced him to allow the couple to live on the Earth. Abassi set two conditions on the humans: They could neither grow their own food nor have children.

Malik and Shaddad plotted to kill Antar. However, when they saw Antar kill a lion with his bare hands, they did not go through with their plan. Antar later discovered that Shaddad was his father. He demanded that Shaddad acknowledge this, but Shaddad only beat him and drove him off. Antar then set off on the quest typically undertaken by epic heroes. According to the legend, he conquered Algeria and Morocco and fought with the king of Ethiopia. He also struggled against spirits and other supernatural forces.

Mbombo taught the man and woman to make fire by rubbing branches together to spark a flame. The woman and man had a son and daughter named Woto and Labama, who married each other. Woto was a curious man and wanted to see what else was in the world. He and Labama traveled west, past forests and rivers, until they came to a desert. Labama was unhappy about living in such a barren place, so Woto blew his horn again and again. The sound coaxed trees to rise out of the desert land, forming an entire forest where the couple built a house and brought up their own children.

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