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Mbokomu, a Nuisance, Is Lowered to the Earth

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Akongo, the supreme being, is above men and above all spirits. He is associated in a special way with the ancestors, who are powerful and have an interest in the life of the people; they still form an integral part of the community. Akongo is associated with each individual in a particular way, almost in the sense of a guardian angel. He is a spirit with the qualities and characteristics of a human. The approach to him is easy and natural; no intermediary is needed.

People lived in the sky with Akongo and they were happy. But a woman, Mbokomu, became a nuisance. Akongo put her in a basket with her son and her daughter, some cassava, maize, and sugarcane, and lowered them to earth where the family planted a garden.

The mother told her son that when they died there would be no one to tend the garden. He must therefore have children by his sister. The son balked at the idea, but she insisted, and he finally went to his sister, who became pregnant. She met a creature who looked like a man except that he was completely covered by hair. She was afraid, but the creature spoke kindly to her and they became friends. She took her husband's razor and shaved him so that he looked like a man. His name was Ebangala, the beginner. But Ebangala was the evil power of the earth world; he bewitched the woman, so that when her child was born, it grew up under the tutelage of Ebangala, and brought evil and sorrow to men. Over time, the brother and sister had other children. So the earth was peopled. But evil persisted. See also: Akongo, Libaka.

Subjects: Religion

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