Yoruba Creation Myth
The Yoruba of Nigeria believed that in the beginning, there was nothing but a great, silent ocean that reached the heavens. Above the ocean, the Great God, Chief of Heaven, sat and thought. Finally, the Great God reached into himself and brought out a son named Odudua.
He ordered his son to go down to the ocean and place a world upon it. Odudua fastened a chain to heaven and let it hang down so that the tip touched the seas. Carrying a bow of sand and a chicken, Odudua climbed down the chain. He poured the sand out of the bowl and into the water.
Miraculously, it did not sink but instead made a pile upon the water. Odudua then placed the chicken on the pile of sand. It began to scratch the sand with its feet, spreading the sand out of the water. Odudua then covered the sand with trees and grass, creating the world.
Odudua then brought down the Yoruba people from heaven and built the city of Ife for them to live in. He ruled over them as their king. In time, his children became the kings and queens of all the towns and villages of Yorubaland.
The Dawn and Dusk of Man is a Thinkquest Mythology Project by Sheila, Min, Ana and Tencia of Montgomery Blair High School.