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Mawu-Lisa

Subject: Religion

Africa God of the Fon, a warlike people of Dahomey. The turbulent history of the Fon kingdom, its defeats and its victories, is reflected in the composite character of the Fon ...

Mawu-Lisa

Mawu-Lisa (Africa)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of World Mythology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003

...-Lisa Africa God of the Fon, a warlike people of Dahomey. The turbulent history of the Fon kingdom, its defeats and its victories, is reflected in the composite character of the Fon pantheon. Gods were imported from conquered tribes, in order to secure their benevolence, and on occasions the usurpation of a foreign dynasty also led to important changes in worship. The dual deity Mawu-Lisa, for example, came from Aja, to the west of Dahomey. Although Mawu-Lisa is thought of as a creator deity, the Fon sometimes say that there existed a god prior to Mawu-Lisa...

Mawu-Lisa and the Shape of the Universe

Mawu-Lisa and the Shape of the Universe (Fon/Benin)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of African Mythology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

...-Lisa and the Shape of the Universe (Fon/Benin) In the sky pantheon, Mawu, the female, is the moon; Lisa, the male, is the sun. Mawu is a dualistic figure, one side of its body being female, with eyes forming the moon, and bearing the name of Mawu, “body divided.” The other portion is male: the eyes are the sun, the name is Lisa. The part of the androgynous figure that is Mawu directs the night, the portion named Lisa has charge of the day. The universe is a sphere divided in two, one half fitting on top of the other. They join at the horizon. The earth is...

Mawu-Lisa

Mawu-Lisa  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
AfricaGod of the Fon, a warlike people of Dahomey. The turbulent history of the Fon kingdom, its defeats and its victories, is reflected in the composite character of the Fon pantheon. Gods were ...
Mawu-Lisa and the Shape of the Universe

Mawu-Lisa and the Shape of the Universe  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Fon/Benin)In the sky pantheon, Mawu, the female, is the moon; Lisa, the male, is the sun. Mawu is a dualistic figure, one side of its body being female, with eyes forming the moon, and bearing the ...
Lisa, God's Son, Goes to Earth

Lisa, God's Son, Goes to Earth  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Fon/Benin)Lisa is a creator. Mawu is one of twin creator deities; the other is Lisa.Mawu created the earth, and after the creation retired to live in the sky from which he (Mawu is sometimes ...
Aido-Hwedo, the Cosmic Serpent

Aido-Hwedo, the Cosmic Serpent  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Fon/Benin)Aido-Hwedo dramatizes a creative force that is primal, existing before Mawu-Lisa, the power that enabled that creator god to shape the universe. He remains the servant of Mawu-Lisa, this ...
Nana-Buluku Creates the Universe

Nana-Buluku Creates the Universe  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Fon/Benin, Togo)Nana-Buluku is the supreme god. The divine couple, Mawu and Lisa, owes its existence to this archaic androgyne. It was she who prefabricated the universe, leaving to her two ...
Sagbata and the Bird That Reconciled

Sagbata and the Bird That Reconciled  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Fon/Benin)In the earth pantheon, Sagbata (Azo) is the god of smallpox. Sagbata comes from Mawu and Lisa. Mawu is one person with two faces, that of a woman, Mawu, the eyes of whom are the moon, and ...
Mawu and the Earth That Became Unwieldy

Mawu and the Earth That Became Unwieldy  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Fon/Benin)Each of the three main pantheons, sky (Mawu-Lisa), earth-smallpox (Shapata), and water-thunder (Sogbo), has certain common characteristics. Each one is headed by deities who are ...
Gu Makes the World Habitable

Gu Makes the World Habitable  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Fon/Benin)After Mawu and Lisa, the ranking deity in the sky pantheon is Gu, god of metal and god of war, representing one of the principal forces in the world that is helpful to humans. He is not ...
Segbo and the Children with Wands

Segbo and the Children with Wands  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Fon/Benin) Segbo (Dada Segbo, Da Segbo)was king of the gods, early ruler of the world of men, the supreme soul.In ancient times, a man and a woman came down from the sky in the rain, the first ...
Sogbo, with Lightning from His Mouth

Sogbo, with Lightning from His Mouth  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Ewe, Fon/Benin)So, the offspring of Mawu-Lisa, was like them, androgynous. So gave birth to the gods of the thunder pantheon. The thunder god is So (Sogbo, Hevioso), sometimes represented as a ram ...
Gu

Gu  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
The smith god of the Fon people of Africa, Gu is the son of the divine twin creators Lisa and Mawu. He was sent to earth by the twins to become the instructive culture hero to the people.[...]
Tohwiyo

Tohwiyo  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
AfricaLiterally, ‘founders’. The divine founding ancestors of Fon clans. When the earth was still sparsely populated the sons of Fa, ‘the word of Mawu-Lisa’, came from the sky to preach ‘the doctrine ...
Hevioso and Atmospheric Phenomena

Hevioso and Atmospheric Phenomena  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Religion
(Fon/Benin)The group of deities known as the thunder pantheon constitutes a duality of which the thunder gods are one term. The general term for this group of gods is So, and the head of it is called ...
Nana-Buluku Creates the Universe

Nana-Buluku Creates the Universe (Fon/Benin, Togo)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of African Mythology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

...Creates the Universe (Fon/Benin, Togo) Nana-Buluku is the supreme god. The divine couple, Mawu and Lisa, owes its existence to this archaic androgyne. It was she who prefabricated the universe, leaving to her two successors the task of its completion. To Mawu, the woman, was given command of the night; to Lisa, the man, command of the day. Mawu, therefore, is the moon and inhabits the west, while Lisa, who is the sun, inhabits the east. At the time their respective domains were assigned to them, no children had as yet been born to this pair, though...

Sagbata and the Bird That Reconciled

Sagbata and the Bird That Reconciled (Fon/Benin)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of African Mythology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

... (Fon/Benin) In the earth pantheon, Sagbata (Azo) is the god of smallpox. Sagbata comes from Mawu and Lisa. Mawu is one person with two faces, that of a woman, Mawu, the eyes of whom are the moon, and that of a man, Lisa, the eyes of whom are the sun. Mawu directs the night; Lisa, the day. Mawu-Lisa gave birth first to twins called Dada Zodji (male) and Nyohwe Ananu (female). These twins mated and produced several children, who are the Sagbata gods. Mawu-Lisa divided the realms of the universe among their offspring. A quarrel between two of the children,...

Aido-Hwedo, the Cosmic Serpent

Aido-Hwedo, the Cosmic Serpent (Fon/Benin)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of African Mythology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

...the Cosmic Serpent (Fon/Benin) Aido-Hwedo dramatizes a creative force that is primal, existing before Mawu-Lisa, the power that enabled that creator god to shape the universe. He remains the servant of Mawu-Lisa, this creative force continuing today, sustaining the shape given to the universe by the creators. He is mythically viewed as a serpent that carried Mawu-Lisa in its mouth as the creator passed through the universe. When the world had been created, Aido-Hwedo coiled himself around and beneath it; he continues to hold everything in its place,...

Gu Makes the World Habitable

Gu Makes the World Habitable (Fon/Benin)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of African Mythology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

...of Lisa and Gu and the journey to the earth, see: Lisa .) Some think that Gu existed even before Lisa, that his trip to the earth with Lisa was not his first, that he was with Mawu when Mawu created the world at the beginning. It was later when the creator, in his character as Lisa, was again accompanied by his helper or instrument, Gu, who traveled over the earth. He gave man tools and taught him the art of the smith. Lisa helped humans to surmount any obstacle they encountered, then re-ascended to the sky and returned the wand to his father. Mawu said...

Lisa, God's Son, Goes to Earth

Lisa, God's Son, Goes to Earth (Fon/Benin)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of African Mythology

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

..., God's Son, Goes to Earth (Fon/Benin) Lisa is a creator. Mawu is one of twin creator deities; the other is Lisa. Mawu created the earth, and after the creation retired to live in the sky from which he (Mawu is sometimes considered female) never desired to descend and return to earth. From his place on high, he saw that nothing went well on earth, and that men showed no interest or intelligence in putting to use the things on earth. They had no way of cultivating the earth, or of making cloth, or of building a shelter; they seemed to be unable to cope with...

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