The Boshongo are a Bantu
tribe of Central Africa. This is the creation story as told by the Boshongo
people. The Boshongo are not a nation-- but in the past they may have been an empire
of sorts. Now the story is only a myth
passed from generation
to genetration. This how the world began. (notice the similaries to Genesis
: ie. man is created last
Boshongo Creation Myth
In the beginning there was only darkness. There was nothing but water, and Bumba was alone. One day Bumba was in terrible pain. He stretched and strained and vomited up the sun.
After that, light spread over everything. The heat of the sun dried up the water until the black edges of the world began to show. Black sandbanks and reefs could be seen.
But there were no living things. Bumba vomited up the moon and then the stars, and after that the night had its light also.
Still Bumba was in pain. He strained again and nine living creatures came forth; the leopard named Koy Bumba, and Pongo Bumba the crested eagle, the crocodile, Ganda Bumba, and one little fish named Yo; next, old Kono Bumba, the tortoise, and Tsetse, the lightning, swift, deadly, beautiful like the leopard, then the white heron, Nyanyi Bumba, also one beetle, and the goat named Budi.
Last of all came forth men. There were many men, but only one was white like Bumba. His name was Loko Yima.
The creatures themselves then created all the creatures. The heron created all the birds of the air (except the kite.) He did not make the kite-- it was made by man. The crocodile made serpents and the iguana. The goat produced every beast with horns. Yo, the small fish, brought forth all the fish of all the seas and waters. The beetle created insects.
Then the serpents in their turn made grasshoppers, and the iguana made the creatures without horns.
Then the three sons of Bumba said they would finish the world. The first, Nyonye Ngana, made the white ants; but he was not equal to the task, and died of it. The ants, however, thankful for life and being, went searching for black earth in the depths of the world and covered the barren sands to bury and honour their creator.
Chonganda, the second son, brought forth a marvelous living plant from which all the trees and grasses and flowers and plants in the world have sprung. The third son, Chedi Bumba, wanted something different, but for all his trying made only the bird called the kite.
Of all the creatures, Tsetse, lightning, was the only trouble-maker. She stirred up so much trouble that Bumba chased her into the sky. Then mankind was without fire until Bumba showed the people how to draw fire out of trees. 'There is fire in every tree,' he told them, and showed them how to make the firedrill and liberate it. Sometimes today Tsetse still leaps down and strikes the earth and causes damage.
When at last the work of creation was finished, Bumba walked through the peaceful villages and said to the people, 'Behold these wonders. They belong to you.' Thus from Bumba, the Creator, the First Ancestor, came forth all the wonders that we see and hold and use, and all the brotherhood of beasts and man.