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Aberewa's Pestle Bumps God

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(Akan, Asante/Ghana)

Aberewa, the primordial woman, is a name given to the earth spirit, Asase Yaa.

She pounds her mortar with a pestle as she prepares food for her children, and the pestle routinely bumps against the sky. Annoyed, God, Nyame (the name means both God and Sky), goes away. Now Aberewa attempts to reestablish her relationship with him. To do that, she gets many mortars, piling them one on top of the other. In the process, she moves closer and closer to the sky. Now, to touch Nyame, she needs just one more mortar. She asks a child to get one for her, but he can find none. In desperation, she tells him to take one of the mortars from the bottom of the pile. He does so, and, when the mortar is removed, the entire tower collapses.

In another myth, a love story, Aberewa, the earth spirit, is adored by Twe, a spirit from the water. So profound is his love for her that Twe vows to give fish to her at any time. All she has to do is touch the water. See also: Nyame.

Subjects: Religion

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