Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sankara and the murdered revolution

Although murdered by retrogressive forces opposed toBurkina Faso’s true liberation and that of AfricaThomas Sankara’s revolutionary ideas and initiatives remain a powerful inspiration to those individuals and movements that are dedicated to struggles for social justice everywhere
When you are fifty today in Africa, which coincides with fifty years of formal independence of the continent, the Pan-Africanist ideals you can feel inside, the thirst for sovereignty that is irrepressible in your heart, rebellion that nurtures within in order to break the chains of mental slavery, the motivation to fight in order to lead the continent towards a dynamic of emancipation and social construction, are not an elusive reality. These are ‘dreams’ that are still inspired by the first heroes and heroines who fought for the destiny of Africa.
When you are fifty what you learn from the struggles of leaders like Nkrumah, Lumumba, etc., only comes from readings and evocations, yet you have also lived through the era of Thomas Sankara. You have experienced the reality of resistance and realized that it is possible for Africans to take their destiny, assume it, build it and see ‘the people write their happiness.’
‘Seeing the people write their happiness’ is a formula of Thomas Sankara. This was the meaning of his political action. President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987, he led his country on the path of a cultural and economic revolution in accordance with popular aspirations, with tangible and effective results. Murdering Thomas Sankara on 15 October 1987, twenty-six years ago, was like assassinating a bold, proactive and emancipatory political project for Africa.
Sankara is seen as a visionary. He was.  A number of axis of resistance have developed in Africa today, in order to fight against the systems of domination that organize the looting of the continent and arrest its development. The systemic rupture needed for a social justice based governance and a democratic system that is not falsely representative are illustrated in the words and deeds of Thomas Sankara.
For four years Burkina lived under his direction of popular power with human  challenges, because his political will was beyond the feudal and social inertia factors. Sankara pushed land reform and redistributed land from feudal landlords to peasants. He suspended rural poll taxes and domestic rents. Commited to women’s rights, he banned female genital mutilation, fought against forced marriages and polygamy. In his government, women were appointed in very important positions such as Minister of the Budget. They were encouraged to join the revolutionary commitees instead of only managing domestic work.
Was Sankara going too fast? Were the reforms too bold? Not at all, since he achieved significant results. In a continent coerced to adoptWorld Bank and IMF programs, limiting public investments with its social impact, Sankara promoted a national agenda focusing on agrarian self-sufficiency and land reform, education, public health and infrastructure. Burkina Faso, under Sankara, doubled the rate of tuition in 2-3 years through a nation-wide campaign literacy campaign. It was a performance hailed by UNESCO. Also, in four years, 32 dams were built, against 20 in the 24 previous years  – that is, since the independence of the country. These achievements of the Sankara regime where made on the basis of a popular mobilization, using local human and financial resources, involving grassroots communities and using their own labour. Indeed, Sankara was in line with the people’s aspirations.
In fact, Sankara was murdered by predatory cliques for whom organizing the systematic looting of Africa has been the guiding principle since the colonial era. The fatal conspiracy was fed by internal betrayal. It was facilitated by the complicity of groups hostile to reforms and upheavals that challenged their vested interests.
Africa has not forgotten Sankara. For the twenty-sixth anniversary of his assassination on 15 October 2013, several events took place on the continent and also in the world. In Dakar, Abidjan, Montreal (Canada), etc., conferences and debates were organized on the theme of Sankara’s legacy and the importance of his struggle. InOuagadougou, the citizen movement ‘Balai citoyen’, led by young hip hop artists, called for traditional flowers  to be laid on Sankara’s grave which was attended by a huge number of people. It is the force of Sankara’s example that motivates, but the driven force is the actuality of his struggle.
It is in this context that Pambazuka News has decided to devote a special edition to Thomas Sankara, published in three languages: French, English and Portuguese. Some articles that are not in the English edition of this week will be published next week, along with the Portuguese edition.
Contributions are from activists committed to Sankara’s cause and ideology. Through their analyses and testimonies, they:
- recall the story of a leader engaged in a genuine revolutionary process that remains “the last African revolution interrupted, as she began to garner promising results”, (Justice for Sankara International Campaign statement)
- magnified the essence of the political ideology of Thomas Sankara, through the “warmth and compassion (he had) in respect of other human beings”, (Amber Murrey)
- highlighted the strong will of Sankara for a “mental liberation of Africans, (after) colonization has led to states of mind that sometimes bordered on self-hatred”, that made him the first apostles of the African Renaissance. (Sakosablig Agun Mod)
- showed what kind of leader Sankara would be today, engaging in fights against the “new enemies of the people in the African governments that engage in land rental” and “neoliberal policies that are anathema to those who have the best interests of the African people at heart” (Ama Biney)
- signified the importance of breaks engaged by Sankara in order to transform the administration, promote the redistribution of wealth, fight against corruption, favour the liberation of women, empower youth, etc.
Pambazuka News also offers some videos whose links can guide you in the course of Sankara’s political struggles, see his revolutionary enthusiasm and the strength of his determination, but also his awareness of the danger he was to face while fighting against the supreme enemy: imperialism.
The monster finally got him. But this special edition of Pambazuka News, like other initiatives, shows that his fight was one of those that remain eternal.
* Tidiane Kasse is the editor of the French edition of Pambazuka News
* BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

Saturday, October 26, 2013

CHAINS By Herman Bell

Wrist-chains, waiste-chains, ankle-chains, shackles;
Chain-gangs: wooly-haired, black-faced bumblebees shuffling in chains, grading dirt roads, hacking weeds in ditches as pale-face men, tall sticks in hand, sit on horseback looking on.
Chains - the sound of chains; never-forgotten-chains. Perhaps they harken back to the day on the Goodship Jeasus, wherein the dark of night Capt. John Hawkins, slave-ship runner, piloted stolen bodies across the dreaded Middle-Passage, on back to tobacco fields in Virginia before Kunta Kunte morphed into Toby.
Bondage is a terrible thing to behold -
Cellgates open; flashes of the past chained to measured steps of the present; walking eyes take in men paired-off in cell tanks, standing for inspection: contraband, insolence, rabbit in their feet; for evidence of willing compliance. Tank-after-tank all to see. Can the men see looking out at what is seen looking in?
Control of another is a terrible thing to behold, mass control far worse. But the resilient spirit endures forever.
By HERMAN BELL...  Free political prisoners of War...

Cointelpro Then And Now By Herman Bell

As played out in the Black Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and 70s, the f.b.i.'s counter-intelligence program (Cointelpro) sought to repress black-america's long standing demand for social justice in U.S. society. In calling for an end to segregation, racial discrimination, mob violence, and police brutality, black-americans were defying the U.S. Jim Crow apartheid caste system. Their demand for fair wages, access to decent housing, health care, education for their children, just and fair treatment before the law served notice that they were no longer tolerant of their marginalized status in the land of their birth. It's not that blacks were violent in their demands, but that at every turn they made to improve their lives, they were met with violence. As regards to that, the f.b.i would investigate the boyscouts, if it had anything to do with black folk.
Cointelpro is a powerful, sophisticated, government instrument of repression and social control. It was designed to repress; traces of it can be found back in the most ancient of times where the drama is enacted of "haves" against "have-nots"; of weak against strong; of rich against poor; of who will be master, who will be slave; of who will be dominant, who will be subordinate.
It's fair to say that the Black Civil Rights Movement back then comprised a dangerous mix of disaffected social elements that posed a direct threat to both the hegemony of capital and its unfettered access to profits, and to the fiefdom of white supremacy and its historic cultural domination. Accordingly, the f.b.i. sought to crush this movement and the groups allied with it. Movement activists were covertly surveilled; their finances audited; backgrounds checked; employers and landlords interviewed. What indiscretions or infidelities that came to light were skillfully used against them. Groups were set against groups. The weak and faint-hearted were turned against their colleagues. Well placed news articles and not so subtle editorials cheered on this illegal f.b.i. activity. And much of the same activity goes on today.
In the wake of the 9/11 Twin Towers attack in New York City and the subsequent U.S.A. Patriot Act, cointelpro now finds itself with even more repressive powers. And the politicians, governors, policing agencies, and special interest groups that wish to fashion U.S. society (its institutions, behavior patterns, and beliefs) in their exclusive image, have taken to these new powers like pigs to slop. Consequently, the political climate today is such that an authority can casually construe the most harmless, inconsequential statement or act as a conspiracy or threat to national security. It's a climate where people feel reluctant even to donate charitable dollars to humanitarian organizations lest their name appear on a government "terrorist watch list." Surveillance cameras abound in public spaces, and cell-phones, CPS-systems, credit cards, personal computers, enable that a plethora of information on U.S. citizens be gathered and stored. Why collect all this information if not for manipulative or sinister purposes?!
Hence, on the ground and in cyberspace, our increasing reliance on electronics renders us even more vulnerable to cointelpro's pervasiveness. Vulnerable to its "watch list" and to what it has already done to our civil liberties and personal freedoms. The push of a button (as punishment for resistance to its authority) could make all our pertinent information -- our personal finances, records, credit cards, SS#s, licenses, our very names -- "disappeared" from the stream of U.S. electronic social interaction. Does that mean the sky will fall? No! But it could well mean strangers at your door in the middle of the night, electrodes at your genitals in a padded room, or worse.
Have we reached a point in our society where the rights we thought we once had no longer exist? And if so, why is that? Could it be complacency, insensitivity, preoccupation, be that we are too trusting of government, too accepting of what politicians tell us, that we failed to see them "bend the knee" before the banks and corporations on Wall Street? Failing to see that it is they who have let loose on us the Darthveda-like jackboots from walled citadels of no returns. Now don't that piss-you-off! Or does it?
HERMAN BELL

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Wonderful civilization of Twa's of Africa

Cheikh Anta Diop and other historian stated the first inhabitant of Africa south of the Sahara were the Twa and Khoisan, the later West African and Bantu come from the Sahara, the Nile Valley and West asia.
Powerful video by British historian Basil Davidson.Sahara wall images of the green Sahara Maa confederation show horse with saddle, cattle with plow, chariot and man with tunic.Mainstream historian never credited the Saharan for domesticating the horse and inventing the plow and chariot.Basil Davidson also show African migrating from the Sahara to west Africa and the Nile valley.
The Twa people of Africa were among the first African to peopled the world.They created the first advance civilization worldwide.
Many Chinese, Japanese and Mayan are the same 5’0″ size of the Twa because they are descendant of Twa people.If you look closely you can see their Twa phenotype.Its look like outside Africa the Twa and other African ethnic group mixed with other people and their descendant who are realy the same African people look different.
Globe Trotting Twas:
The Twa aka Anu lived from the Nile Valley to Mali(called Tellen).They lived in Portugal, Germany and England(called Picts and Lapps).They lived in Scandinavia were they are called Finns(Finland name after them).
The Twa lived in Groeland, Canada(called Skraelings), North America(called mounds builders).They lived in the tip of South America where they are called the Fuegians.
Moving West to Hawaii where the Twa were called Menehune.In the Phillipine Islands they were called Negritos by the Spanish.In Indonesia on the Island of Flores skeletons of Twa were called Hobbits.In India we find the Twa in a Islands in the bay of bengals where they are called Andaman Islanders.The Twa are found all over the world.
From the book The First American were African by David Imhotep.
First Civilizaton:
The first Paleolithic man was the Twa who was evolved in Central Africa at the source of the Nile Valley and from here all originated (civilization) and was carried throughout the world.The Twa created religion. They are the first human. Connection between Twa, Khoi, Masaba connected with Nilotic black created religion. The first Nilotic Egyptian Gods were Twa(Ptah, Bes) and the Goddess were Twa.
Pygmy/Twa have an Adam story, God, Garden of Paradise, sacred tree.A noble Pygmy man made of earth and a wicked Pygmy woman who led him to sin.God ban a single fruit,the woman asking the man to eat the fruit.God punnished Pygmy sinners.The Pygmy believed in a father God who was killed.A virgin mother who gave birth to a Savior son who avenged the death of his father.These become Osiris, Isis, Horus of Egypt.
The Pygmy had developed in the distant past a highly technical and advanced type of material culture and that they built boat traveling all over the world.But civilization brought them nothing but bad luck, so prefering happiness to misery, they finaly gave up this high material civilization.Pygmy fossils have been found in all parts of the world.
Christianity before Christ by John G Jackson.
Anthropological Studies:
Jean Pierre Hallet was a Belgian born anthropologist who lived with the Twas and studied their history and culture for more than 20 years. Hallet’s Pygmy friends told him that in the distant past they developed a highly technical and advanced type of material culture and that they built boats and traveled widely around the world, but that this technical excellence bought them nothing but bad luck, so, preferring happiness to misery, they finally gave up this high material civilisation. There may be a lot of truth in these traditions, for Pygmy fossils have been found in all parts of the world.”
-John G. Jackson ‘Christianity Before Christ

The Black Gods: Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization Part 4 – By John G. Jackson (1939

The Black Gods: Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization Part 4 – By John G. Jackson (1939)
So far we have given little or no attention to the evidence of comparative religion. The study of ancient religious history is important, for religion, like philosophy, changes but slowly. Institutional religion, being conservative and static in its outlook, has preserved much ancient lore that would have otherwise been lost to the modern student.

The Greek philosopher Xenophanes (572–480 B.C.), pointed out a profound truth when he observed that the gods men worship very closely resemble the worshippers. In the words of this ancient sage: “Each man represents the gods as he himself is. The Ethiopian as black and flat-nosed the Thracian as red-haired and blue-eyed; and if horses and oxen could paint, they would no doubt depict the gods as horses and oxen.” This being the case; when we find the great nations of the world, both past and present, worshipping black gods, then we logically conclude that these peoples are either members of the black race, or that they originally received their religion in toto or in part from black people. The proofs are abundant.

The ancient gods of India are shown with Ethiopian crowns on their heads. According to the Old Testament, Moses first met Jehovah during his sojourn among the Midianites, who were an Ethiopian tribe. We learn from Hellenic tradition that Zeus, king of the Grecian gods, so cherished the friendship of the Ethiopians that he traveled to their country twice a year to attend banquets. “All the gods and goddesses of Greece were black,” asserts Sir Godfrey Higgins, “at least this was the case with Jupiter, Baccus, Hercules, Apollo, Ammon. The goddesses Benum, Isis, Hecate, Diana, Juno, Metis, Ceres, Cybele were black.” (Anacalypsis, Vol. I, Book IV, Chap. I.)

Even the Romans, who received their religion mainly from the Greeks, admitted their debt to Egypt and Ethiopia. This may be well illustrated by the following passage from The Golden Ass or Metamorphosis, by Apuleius. The author, as an initiate of the Isis cult is represented as being addressed by that goddess: “I am present; I who am Nature, the parent of things, queen of all the elements … the primitive Phrygians called me Pressimunitica, the mother or the gods; the native Athenians, Ceropian Minerva; the floating Cyprians, Paphian Venus … the inhabitants of Eleusis, the ancient goddess Ceres. Some again have invoked me as Juno, others as Bellona, others as Hecate, and others Rhamnusia; and those who are enlightened by the emerging rays of the rising sun, the Ethiopians, Ariians and Egyptians, powerful in ancient learning, who reverence by divinity with ceremonies perfectly proper, call me by my true appellation, Queen Isis.” (Doane’s Bible Myths, Note, p. 478.)

A study of the images of ancient deities of both the Old and New Worlds reveal their Ethiopic origin. This is noted by Kenneth R. H. Mackezie in T. A. Buckley’s Cities of the Ancient World, p. 180: “From the wooly texture of the hair, I am inclined to assign to the Buddha of India, the Fuhi of China, the Sommonacom of the Siamese, the Zaha of the Japanese, and the Quetzalcoatl of the Mexicans, the same, and indeed an African, or rather Nubian, origin.” Most of these black gods were regarded as crucified saviors who died to save mankind by being nailed to a cross, or tied to a tree with arms outstretched as if on a cross, or slain violently in some other manner.

Of these crucified saviors, the most prominent were Osiris and Horus of Egypt, Krishna of India, Mithra of Persia, Quetazlcoatl of Mexico, Adonis of Babylonia and Attis of Phrygia. Nearly all of these slain savior-gods have the following stories related about them: They are born of a virgin, on or near Dec. 25th (Christmas); their births are heralded by a star; they are born either in a cave or stable; they are slain, commonly by crucifixion; they descend into hell, and rise from the dead at the beginning of Spring (Easter), and finally ascend into heaven. The parallels between the legendary lives of these pagan messiahs and the life of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible are so similar that progressive Bible scholars now admit that stories of these heathen Christs have been woven into the life-story of Jesus. (These remarkable parallels are discussed and interpreted in a pamphlet, Christianity Before Christ, by John G. Jackson, New York, 1938.)

The late Mr. Maynard Shipley, President of The Science League of America, made a very scholarly study of the various mythologies and religions of the world, and in the concluding passage of a brilliant essay, Christian Doctrines in Pre-Christian America, he offers a profoundly thought-provoking statement:

That the ancient pagan creeds, legends and myths—part of the universal mythos—should be found embodied in the religion of the ancient Mexicans, and that all these again are found to be but the original sources of the modern orthodox Christian religion, is by no means inexplicable, and need not be attribute to the subtlety of the Ubiquitous Devil. The explanation is that all religions and all languages of the civilized races of men had a common origin in an older seat of civilization.

Where that original center of culture was is another story.

The evidence seems to show that the “original center of culture,” referred to by Mr. Shipley, was that vast domain known to the classical geographers and historians as Ethiopia. A study of religious images throws much light on this early civilization. The tau (T-shaped) cross is thought by many Christians to be a unique emblem of their faith. The fact is that this cross is of ancient Ethiopian origin. In the words of an outstanding student of symbolism: “The Ethiopic form of the tau is an exact prototype of the conventional Christian cross; or, to state the fact in its chronological relation, the Christian cross is made in the exact image of the Ethiopian tau.” (Sex Symbolism. P. 9, by William J, Fielding, Little Blue Book No. 904.) The cross was known to all the great ancient nations, and was sometimes shown with the image of a man upon it. The Church Father, Minucius Felix, writing in the early part of the third century, severely rebukes the Pagans for their adoration of crosses: “I must tell you that we neither adore crosses nor desire them; you it is ye Pagans … for what else are your ensigns, flags and standards, but crosses gilt and beautiful. Your victorious trophies not only represent a cross, but a cross with a man upon it.” Commenting on the preceding extract, the American scholar, T. W. Doane, notes that:                           It is very evident that this celebrated Christian Father alludes to some Gentle mystery, of which the prudence of his successors has deprived us. When we compare this with the fact that for centuries after the time assigned for the birth of Jesus Christ, he was not represented as a man on a cross, and that the Christians did not have such a thing as a crucifix, we are inclined to think that the effigies of a black or dark-skinned crucified man, which were to be seen in many places in Italy even during the last century, may have had something to do with it. (Bible Myths, p. 197, 7th Edition.)

It is very evident that this celebrated Christian Father alludes to some Gentle mystery, of which the prudence of his successors has deprived us. When we compare this with the fact that for centuries after the time assigned for the birth of Jesus Christ, he was not represented as a man on a cross, and that the Christians did not have such a thing as a crucifix, we are inclined to think that the effigies of a black or dark-skinned crucified man, which were to be seen in many places in I

The same writer also refers to “the Mexican crucified god being sometimes represented as black,” and that “crosses were also found in Yucatan, as well as Mexico, with a man upon them.” (Ibid., p. 201.)  The numerous black madonnas and infants in European cathedrals are discussed in detail by Sir Godfrey Higgins in The Anacalypsis, Vol. I, Book IV, Chap. I, to which the interested student is referred. However, the remarks of Mr. Shipley on this point are worthy of our attention: Very suggestive is the fact that representations of the virgin mother and infant savior are often black. This is true in the case of the paintings and images of Isis and Horus, of Devaki and Krishna, and in many cases of Mary and Jesus. The most ancient pictures and statues in Italy and other parts of Europe, which are adored by the faithful as representations of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus, reveal the infant draped in white, but with face black and in the arms of a black mother. … How does it happen that the Virgin Mother of the Mexican Savior-God so closely resembled the Black Virgins of Egypt and Europe? Had they not all a common origin?” (Sex and The Garden of Eden Myth, pp. 50–51, by Maynard Shipley, Little Blue Book No.1188.)


Mr. A. H. Verrill, an American archaeologist, visited an Indian shrine in a small town in Guatemala a few years ago, and found that on a special festival day Indians traveled to this little church to bow down to the image of a Black Christ. From the attendant ceremonies, Verrill judged the rite to be of Mayan origin. (see Verrill’s Old Civilizations of the New World, New York, 1938.) The Mayas possessed knowledge of the arts and sciences equivalent to that of the ancients of the Old World, but upon that we cannot dwell, since limitations of space forbid it. The reader is referred to Professor Paul Radin’s fine book on the American Indians, where after surveying the marvelous scientific achievements of the Mayas of Yucatan and Central America , Dr. Radin admits that: “No excavations have ever revealed to us any civilization of a simpler nature from which this very elaborate culture could possibly have been developed.” (The Story of the American Indian, p. 77, Garden City, 1937.)
Egypt and Western Asia tell the same story. “In each case we have a standard or measuring-rod of authentic historical record,” declares Samuel Laing, “of certainly not less than 8,000 and more probably 9,000 or 10,000 years, from the present time; and in each case we find ourselves at this remote date, in the presence, not of rude beginnings, but of a civilization already ancient and far advanced. We have populous cities, celebrated temples, an organized priesthood, an advanced state of agriculture and of the industrial and fine arts; writing and books so long known that their origin is lost in myth; religions in which advanced philosophical and moral ideas are already developed; astronomical systems which imply a long course of accurate observations. How long this prehistoric age may have lasted, and how many centuries it may have taken to develop such a civilization, from the primitive beginnings of Neolithic and Paleolithic origins, is a matter of conjecture. All we can infer is, that it must have required an immense time, much longer than that embraced by the subsequent period of historical record.” (Human Origins, by Samuel Laing, p. 30, London, 1913.)
Much more could be said on this subject, but since this essay is addressed mainly to readers who have little time for the study of history, it must be made as concise as possible. The numerous citations from standard scientific and historical works, it is hoped, will be of some benefit to students who are out of reach of large public libraries, or who lack the leisure time necessary for reading and research along these lines. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kemet(Egypt) Creation Stories(Hermopolis,Heliopolis,Memphis,Thebes)

kemet Creation stories..   the ancient Egyptian accounts of the creation of the world. The Pyramid Texts, tomb wall decorations and writings, dating back to the Old Kingdom (2780 – 2250 B.C.E) have given us most of our information regarding early Egyptian creation myths.[1] These myths also form the earliest religious compilations in the world.[2] The ancient Egyptians had many creator gods and associated legends. Thus the world or more specifically Egypt was created in diverse ways according to different parts of the country.[3]
In all of these myths, the world was said to have emerged from an infinite, lifeless sea when the sun rose for the first time, in a distant period known as zp tpj(sometimes transcribed as Zep Tepi), "the first occasion".[4] Different myths attributed the creation to different gods: the set of eight primordial deities called theOgdoad, the self-engendered god Atum and his offspring, the contemplative deity Ptah, and the mysterious, transcendent god Amun. While these differing cosmogonies competed to some extent, in other ways they were complementary, as different aspects of the Egyptian understanding of creation

Hermopolis

The creation myth promulgated in the city of Hermopolis focused on the nature of the universe before the creation of the world. The inherent qualities of the primeval waters were represented by a set of eight gods, called the Ogdoad. The god Nu and his female counterpart Naunet represented the inert primeval water itself; Huh and his counterpart Hauhet represented the water's infinite extent; Kukand Kauket personified the darkness present within it; and Amun and Amaunet represented its hidden and unknowable nature, in contrast to the tangible world of the living. The primeval waters were themselves part of the creation process, therefore, the deities representing them could be seen as creator gods.[10] According to the myth, the eight gods were originally divided into male and female groups.[11] They were symbolically depicted as aquatic creatures because they dwelt within the water: the males were represented as frogs, and the females were represented as snakes.[12] These two groups eventually converged, resulting in a great upheaval, which produced the pyramidal mound. From it emerged the sun, which rose into the sky to light the world.[13

Heliopolis

In Heliopolis, the creation was attributed to Atum, a deity closely associated with Ra, who was said to have existed in the waters of Nu as an inert potential being. Atum was a self-engendered god, the source of all the elements and forces in the world, and the Heliopolitan myth described the process by which he "evolved" from a single being into this multiplicity of elements.[14][15] The process began when Atum appeared on the mound and gave rise the air god Shu and his sister Tefnut,[16] whose existence represented the emergence of an empty space amid the waters.[17] To explain how Atum did this, the myth uses the metaphor of masturbation, with the hand he used in this act representing the female principle inherent within him.[18] He is also said to have to have "sneezed" and"spat" to produce Shu and Tefnut, a metaphor that arose from puns on their names.[19] Next, Shu and Tefnut coupled to produce the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut, who defined the limits of the world.[20] Geb and Nut in turn gave rise to four children, who represented the forces of life: Osiris, god of fertility and regeneration; Isis, goddess of motherhood; Set, the god of male sexuality; andNephthys, the female complement of Set. The myth thus represented the process by which life was made possible. These nine gods were grouped together theologically as the Ennead, but the eight lesser gods, and all other things in the world, were ultimately seen as extensions of Atum.

Memphis

The Memphite version of creation centered on Ptah, who was the patron god of craftsmen. As such, he represented the craftsman's ability to envision a finished product, and shape raw materials to create that product. The Memphite theology said that Ptah created the world in a similar way.[23] This, unlike the other Egyptian creations, was not a physical but an intellectual creation by the Word and the Mind of God.[24] The ideas developed within Ptah's heart (regarded by the Egyptians as the seat of human thought) were given form when he named them with his tongue. By speaking these names, Ptah produced the gods and all other things.[25]
The Memphite creation myth coexisted with that of Heliopolis, as Ptah's creative thought and speech were believed to have caused the formation of Atum and the Ennead.[26] Ptah was also associated with Tatjenen, the god who personified the pyramidal mound.

Thebes

Theban theology claimed that Amun was not merely a member of the Ogdoad, but the hidden force behind all things. There is a conflation of all notions of creation into the personality of Amun, a synthesis which emphasizes how Amun transcends all other deities in his being “beyond the sky and deeper than the underworld”.[27] One Theban myth likened Amun's act of creation to the call of a goose, which broke the stillness of the primeval waters and caused the Ogdoad and Ennead to form.[28] Amun was separate from the world, his true nature was concealed even from the other gods. At the same time, however, because he was the ultimate source of creation, all the gods, including the other creators, were in fact merely aspects of Amun. Amun eventually became the supreme god of the Egyptian pantheon because of this belief.[29]
Amun is synonymous with the growth of Thebes as a major religious capital. But it is the columned halls, obelisks, colossal statues, wall-reliefs and hieroglyphic inscriptions of the Theban temples that we look to gain the true impression of Amun’s superiority. Thebes was thought of as the location of the emergence of the primeval mound at the beginning of time.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Yoruba Creation Story

In the beginning was only the sky above, water and marshland below.
The chief god Olorun ruled the sky, and the goddess Olokun ruled what was below. Obatala, another god, reflected upon this situation, then went to Olorun for permission to create dry land for all kinds of living creatures to inhabit.
From above he heard Orunmila instruct him to pour the sand from the snail's shell, and to immediately release the white hen. He did as he was told, whereupon the hen landing on the sand began scratching and scattering it about. Wherever the sand landed it formed dry land, the bigger piles becoming hills and the smaller piles valleys.
Obatala jumped to a hill and named the place Ife. The dry land now extended as far as he could see. He dug a hole, planted the palm nut, and saw it grow to maturity in a flash. The mature palm tree dropped more palm nuts on the ground, each of which grew immediately to maturity and repeated the process.
Many months passed, and he grew bored with his routine. He decided to create beings like himself to keep him company. He dug into the sand and soon found clay with which to mold figures like himself and started on his task, but he soon grew tired and decided to take a break.
He made wine from a nearby palm tree, and drank bowl after bowl. Not realizing he was drunk, Obatala returned to his task of fashioning the new beings; because of his condition he fashioned many imperfect figures. Without realizing this, he called out to Olorun to breathe life into his creatures.
Those that had fled to the highest land beseeched the god Eshu who had been visiting, to return to the sky and report what was happening to them.
Eshu demanded sacrifice be made to Obatala and himself before he would deliver the message. The people sacrificed some goats, and Eshu returned to the sky.
When Orunmila heard the news he climbed down the golden chain to the earth, and cast many spells which caused the flood waters to retreat and the dry land reappear. So ended the great flood..

Dogon Creation Story

The creation of the world was the deed of the god Amma, the one god and image of the father who existed before all things.  Following an unsuccessful initial attempt, from which he salvaged only the four elements (water, earth, fire, and air), Amma placed in the "egg of the world," or the original placenta, two pairs of androgynous twins in the form of fish . Their gestation inside the egg was interrupted by an act of rebellion: one of the male beings, Yurugu prematurely left the "mother" (the placenta), deserting both "her" and his  female counterpart, thus prefiguring the birth of single beings even though Amma had envisaged twin births. The solitary being descended into space and primordial darkness, taking with him a piece of the placenta that became Earth. Aware of his solitude, he traveled through space, attempted to reascend to heaven to join his  female twin again, and even sought her out in the bowels of Earth, an incestuous act that brought to a climax the disorder he had already introduced into the world by leaving the placenta. The piece of placenta rotted and thus death appeared on earth.

 Amma put an end to the male being's disorderly acts by transforming him into a jackal, an animal that occupies a very important position in Dogon ideology. This small, wild creature, which is known more properly as Vulpes pallida, goes about only at night and never drinks water from ponds near the village-which, for the Dogon, explains why the fox was chosen to symbolize this enemy of light, water, fertility, and civilization. [But this "pale fox" also learned the first power 'word' and ever since then can reveal the future and hidden truths to those who can read his tracks properly.]


 Unable to restore total order to his universe, Amma sought to mitigate the disorder let loose by the jackal; he sacrificed Nommo, the other male twin who had stayed in the egg. Nommo's dismembered body purified the four cardinal points of the universe, and the blood that flowed forth gave birth to various heavenly bodies, edible plants, and animals. 
 Amma then burst  a minuscule grain into which he had "rolled" all the elements of creation; these elements emptied into an ark of pure earth (the remains of the placenta). In that ark Amma also placed Nommo, whom he had already brought back to life, and his other "sons," the four pairs of heterosexual twins who are the ancestors of the human race. He lowered the ark from the heavens by means of a copper chain; the ark crashed onto Yurugu's earth at the time of the first rainfall, which formed the first pool of water. The sun also rose for the first time. Nommo went to live in the pool while the eight ancestors settled on the spot where they had landed. Using the pure earth from their ark, these ancestors created the first cultivated field, and cultivation then spread throughout Yurugu's impure earth (the bush)

The ancestors initially communicated by means of cries and grunts until one of the Nommo twins, the master of water, life, speech, and fertility, taught them language at the same time that he instructed them in the art of weaving. He then revealed to the ancestors such other fundamental techniques as agriculture, blacksmithing, dance, and music. The first human society was thus founded; marriage was introduced when the ancestors exchanged sisters.

The four male ancestors founded the four major religious cults, which are also the pillars of social organization; among the Dogon, social order cannot be dissociated from religion. The eldest of the ancestors, Amma Seru ("witness of Amma"), is associated with the creator god and with air (sky).The ancestor Binu Seru is associated with water, and his ritual is celebrated in sanctuaries whose facades are periodically redecorated with paintings done in thin millet paste . The ancestor Lebe Seru ("witness of Lebe") who, having died, was subsequently brought back to life in the form of a large snake; this ancestor is associated with Earth (the planet and soil, as well as the mythic archetype Earth), and with vegetation. The fourth ancestor, Dyongu Seru ("witness of healing")  was in effect the first human to die, following the breach of an interdiction. His cult is celebrated by the mask society (which exists only on the cliff and on the plateau) and is associated with fire, death, the wilderness (in his role as hunter and healer), and, consequently, disorder-connections that, in turn, link his cult with the mythical fox Yurugu who, on a more mundane level, is commemorated in divination rites.

Because of a dispute in their Mande homeland, four brothers of supernatural origin decided to leave Mande and found a new land where their descendants might live peacefully. Before leaving, they took a symbolic emblem of fertility and continuity. In different versions, this symbol takes the form of either a duge, an amulet left them by their supernatural ancestor, Lebe Serou, or a piece of the earth of Lebe Serou's tomb in which this ancestor had died and was reborn as a serpent. During their migration, Dyon, the eldest, rides on a horse carrying Arou, the youngest, on his shoulders. The two other brothers, Domno and Ono, accompany them. 
As the four brothers reach the cliffs, Arou shouts out a claim to all the land. Enraged by 
his youngest brother's boldness and disregard of the proper order of descent and 
inheritance, Dyon abandons Arou at the side of the road. Arou encounters an old woman 
at the side of the road who is pleased by his respectful manner and offers him gifts of 
supernatural value. These gifts will later serve the migrants with the tools of defense, 
domestication of animals, and rain-making. Arou receives these supernatural gifts and 
rejoins his brothers. Together the four brothers found the new land