Dahomey mythology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Dahomey (or Fon) are a nation located in Benin, Africa. The mythology of the Dahomey includes an entire pantheon of thunder gods; for example, Xevioso (also Xewioso) is the god of thunder in the So region. The head of the thunder pantheon is named Sogbo, which is also used to describe devotees of the thunder gods. It is also in Dahomey where the Mami Wata tradition is widely established.

Lisa (male) and Mawu (female), married twin siblings, sons of Nana Buluku, are the creator deities, occasionally combined as Mawu-Lisa, an androgynous deity. Lisa (or Mawu-Lisa) is the father of Dan. Mawu-Lisa (or either separately), created the world and made it orderly, then made plants, animals and humans. The entire process is (similar to Abrahamic religions) finished in a (four day) week's time. The first day, Mawu-Lisa created the universe and humanity. The second day the earth was made suitable for human life. On the third day, humans were given intellect, language and the senses. Finally, on the fourth day, mankind received the gift of technology.

The other gods were formed from the divine feces of Lisa-Mawu (or both separately). Gbadu is a daughter of the pair, and Da and Gu are sons. Dan is a snake who assisted in the creation of the universe and currently supports it, with 3500 coils of himself above, and 3500 below, the universe. When the myths were transferred to the Haiti, due to the African Diaspora, Dan became Damballah. Lots of Dahomean and other Western African culture art have a vertical snake motif; this is thought to represent the power of "God" (Mawu-Lisa or some other) being transferred to humanity.

[edit] Other gods

  • Ayaba and Loko - sister goddesses
  • Sakpata - god of smallpox
  • Gleti - moon goddess
  • Zinsu and Zinsi - powerful twin magicians (not sure of gender, or status of divinity or mortality)
  • Gu - son of Mawu and Lisa, Gu is the god of war and patron deity of smiths and craftsmen. He was sent to earth to make it a nice place for people to live, and he has not yet finished this task
  • Agé - patron god of hunters, and the wilderness (plus the animals within it)
  • Avrikiti - god of fishermen

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

In other languages