Zulu Creation story


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  • Long ago, before man or any animals roamed the earth, there was just darkness and one very large seed. 
  • The seed sank into the earth and from it, long reeds began to grow. They were called “Uthlanga”, which means the source of all things. Slowly, one reed grew into a man. It was Unkulunkulu, First Man, and the creator of all things. The larger he grew the heavier he became. Finally, when he was fully-grown, he broke off from the reed and fell to earth. 
  • As he strolled up and down the earth, he saw other growing reeds forming into men and women. Unkulunkulu broke off the first men and women; medicine men and their dreams. He pulled off cattle and fish and birds and fierce creatures.
  • He created streams and mountains, lakes and valleys, wind and rain and the sun and the moon.
  • He taught the first men and women how to hunt and make fire, how to make clothes and prepare corn. He gave all of the animals their names. When all of this was done, Unkulunkulu sent the languid chameleon out into the world with the message that his people will never die.
  • The chameleon plodded on his mission slowly, slowly, slowly. After several days, Unkulunkulu became impatient and sent a speedy lizard out into the world with the message that Death was on its way. The swift lizard quickly overtook the chameleon and arrived at the village first. Once the lizard brought its message to the first people, Death arrived shortly thereafter. It has never left mankind since.
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