Wednesday, April 07, 2010
The World According to the Jokwe of Angola
Once upon a time the Sun went to pay his respects to God. He walked for many days until he found the path that led to God. Upon presenting himself to God, he was given a cock and instructed to return the next morning before he set off on his long journey back. sun slept soundly all night and was awakened by the cock, which crowed loudly. He then went to see God, who said, "I heard the cock crow, the one I gave you for supper. You may keep him, but you must return every morning." This is why the sun encircles the earth and appears every morning.
The Moon also went to visit God and was given a cock - who also woke him up in the morning. God said to him, "I see that you also did not eat the cock I gave you for supper. Well done, but come back and see me every twenty-eight days."
Man went to see God too and was also given a cock. Tired and hungry after his long trip, he ate half the cock and left the rest for his return trip. When he finally woke up, the sun was already high in the sky. He quickly ate the remainder of the cock and hurried to see God. God smiled at him and said, "What about the cock I gave you yesterday? I did not hear him crow this morning."
The man got scared and stammered, "I was hungry. . .and ate him." "It's all right," said God, "but listen: you know that Sun and Moon have been here, but neither of them killed the cock I gave them. That is why they will never die. You killed yours and so you must die as he did, but at your death you must return here." And so it is.
The top figure is God, the bottom is Man, on the left is the Sun and on the right is the Moon. The labyrinth-like path starts from and leads to God