Thursday, August 8, 2013

Afrikan Creation Story of Equality

"From the multiplicity of Afrikan creation stories, there is the tale of Ssewamala, the Son of God, and Namala, his wife. According to this story, the Creator, Kyetonda Tonda Namugereka, is Pure Living Spirit, with two essential attributes, male and female. Indeed, the Creator's full names attest to this duality: Kyetonda Tonda is the male, and Namugereka, the female. In the same duality, the Creator sent to Earth his son Ssewamala and his wife Namala; they comprised the first Holy Matrimony and begot and delivered the first twins, Musoke, a boy and Namusoke, a girl. Thus, the Creator set in motion and gave an order to all living things to reproduce themselves into pairs and sets of male and female, in perpetuity. Morever, the Creator gave instructions for life everlasting. 

This story is of tremendous importance to relationships of honour: self with self, self with and among others, people with nature, and people with their Creator. With this story, Afrikans see themselves to be the direct offspring of their Creator, as Pur Living Spirit. In this sense, we are made in our Creator's image. We are born good and great, but infinitely greater is the Creator whom we worship. We are like him/her, but s(he) is infinitely greater. Further Kyetonda Tonda Namugereka simultaneously created female and male aspects, and created them equal. Female did not come out of male, nor did male come out of female.

In Afrikan spirituality, therefore, this is the divine basis of the equality between female and male, woman and man, boy-child and girl-child. The Creator is male-female; and so on Earth, we have woman and man, boy and girl. On Earth, Kyetonda is like Ssalongo (father of twins), while Nnamugereka becomes Nnalongo (mother of twins),  Indeed, every now and then humans show their Creator-likeness when they too have twins.

When the Creator ordered all living things to reproduce themselves in pairs and sets of male and female, this became possible because the Creator allocated part of his/her pure living spirit to each of the species and individual plants and animals. In that sense, all living and nonliving things are also made in the image of their Creator. In Afrikan spirituality this explains why men, women and children are raised to respect and honour the whole of nature. In this order of things, men, women, and their children are not apart from or above nature; they are an integral part of it.

Because the living and nonliving everywhere have part of the Pure Living Spirit of the Creator as originally inherited, everything is sacred. Indeed, it is on this basis that in Afrikan spirituality we know that Kyetonda Tonda Namugereka (God) is everywhere. Thus, everything has a divine spirit force on the basis of equality. The whole of Earth is alive and sacred."

~Paulo Wangoola, "The Indigenous Child: The Afrikan Philosophical and Spiritual Basis of Honouring Children", Child Honouring: How to Turn This World Around, edited by Raffi Cavoukian & Sharna Olfman

Painting by Elisabeth Slettnes

No comments:

Post a Comment