"The Creation of the Universe and Ife" - an African Creation Myth
Re-telling by 6th Grade students
Table of Contents:
The God Key
Olorun - The ruler of the sky
Orunmila - He sees the future
Obatala - Creator of humans & humans
Olokun - The ruler of the sea
Eshu - The messenger god
In the beginning there were 5 gods. Olorun, Orunmila, Obatala, Olokun, and Eshu. Olorun was the ruler of the sky. Orunmila was Olorun's son. He could see the future. Obatala hadn't done anything yet. Olokun was the ruler of the sea. Eshu is the messenger god.
Obatala wanted to be the ruler of something, so he asked Olorun of he could be the ruler of land. Olorun said he should make a chain down to that water. He said take a bag with sand, a white hen, and a black cat. So he made the chain and he climbed down with the bag. It wasn't long enough. He climbed down as far as he could. Then Olorun shouted down to him and told him to drop the sand. So he dropped it and when it hit the water it turned to land. Then Olorun told him to drop the hen. He dropped it and it scattered the land around by scratching with it's claws and throwing it everywhere. Then he dropped down off the rope and made a hut. He called the place Ife.
After a while he got lonely for someone besides his cat. So he made people out of clay. He was celebrating by having some wine. He got drunk and some people weren't made right. When Obat àala was done Olokun got mad at Obatala because he put land over her water. Olokun made a flood.
All the people went to the mountains, and asked Eshu to send a message to Orunmila. The had to give a sacrifice to him so they gave him a lamb. Orunmila stopped the flood.
Olokun wanted to know who was the greatest god so she challenged Olorun to a weaving contest. Olorun knew Olokun was a better weaver so he sent Eshu to her.
When Eshu arrived he said Olorun sent him so he could know how good she was at weaving and how bright were her colors. She got out a dress and Eshu, who was a chameleon, changed to that color. Olokun got another out, and another until she ran out. Each time Eshu turned the same color. Olokun got frustrated because she thought her colors weren't good enough because the chameleon was just as nice of a color. So she canceled the contest and the gods were at peace.
The Creation of the Universe and Ife
The main characters in the story are Olorun (the sky god), Orunmila (can see the future), Obatala (creator of land and humans), Olokun (sea god), and Eshu (the messenger god.)
In the beginning, when all that was created was the sky and the sea, Obatala was in the sky thinking. He thought, " This earth is boring. There is only water and the sky. I will create land and human. "
So, what Obatala needed was a snails shell filled with sand, a white hen, a black cat, and a palm nut lowered in a bag by a gold chain.
So Obatala had the goldsmith make him a gold chain. Then he lowered the bag using the gold chain. The sand forms land. The white hen and black cat live on the land. A tree grew from the palm nut. Obatala named the land Ife.
Obatala then makes a clay figure. Then he gets drunk from drinking. He makes more clay figures. But, since he's drunk some of them have different lengths of arms or legs. Then Olorun breathes life into the clay figures and they become living human beings.
Since Olukon didn't give permission for Obatala to make land in her sea, she gets mad and sends a flood. Eshu tells the humans to make a sacrifice. So they sacrifice a goat and the flood ends.
After the flood, the humans make a village. The village turns into a city. Then the humans build tools to use.
Then Orunmila comes down to Ife and teaches the humans how to control nature.
An African Creation Myth
re-written by Lauren
In the begining there was only the water and the sky. Olorun ruled the sky and Olokun ruled the water.
One day Olorun decided he wanted something more then water and sky. Obatala another god offered to make the dry land.
Obatala went to Orunmila, the phrophet to ask how to make dry land. Orunmila said, " Make a chain of gold that goes from the sky to the water, a snails shell full of sand, a white hen,a black cat and a palm nut and put them in a bag."
So Obatala got a golden chain and hung it in the sky by a hook. Then he climbed down the chain. When he was half way down the chain ended. He took out the snails shell and poured the sand on a patch of water. Then he dropped the hen on to the sand, where it started scratching; where ever the sand fell dry land appeared.
So on the dry land Obatala planted the palm nut and immediatly it grew into a tree. The nuts on the tree fell and grew into more trees. Obatala made a house out of tree branches.
After several weeks he wanted some company other than his cat so he dug into the ground and found some clay. He began making figuresout of it . He kept making more and more. He mode so many and was having so much fun that he didn't realize he was thirsty.
When he stopped he said to himself "I'm thirsty.I'll make some palm wine and then I'll make more figures."
Obatala made Palm wine and drank it all, not noticing he was drunk. Then he made more figures, but they weren't very good. Then he called to Olorun to breath life into the figures. Olorun did so and his figures became alive. They noticed Obatala's house and started making houses of their own.
Obatala looked at the people and saw the deformed ones. He promised to take care of them.
Many of the gods came to live on Ife.
Now Obatala spent haf his time on Ife and half his time in the sky. One day while he was in the sky Olokun sint a flood to Ife. It killed many of the people, but some escaped to the hills. They begged Eshu the messanger god to go tell Obatala. But Eshu said he wanted a sacrifice, so they killed a goat and Eshu climbed the chain to the sky.
When he told Obatala,Orinmila was with him. Orinmila said he would take care of it. He climbed down the chain and stopped the flood.
Olokun was angry at Orinmila for stopping her flood. She Challenged
Olorun to a weaving contest. Because she knew she was very good.
Olorun sent his camileon messanger to see Olokun's work. If she was as good as she said she was, he would exept her chalenge. But every time she put on a skirt Olokun had made Olorun's messanger turned the same color. Finnaly she gave up. If Olorun's messanger could change into the colors she must not be very good
Re-telling of the African myth
The Creation of the Universe and Ife
Characters: Olorun: ruler of the sky male
Orunmila: Oldest son Prophet
Obatala: Creator of land and humans
Olokun: ruler of the sea female
Eshu: messenger and Chameleon
In the beginning Obatala thought why is there just water no land or living things among the water. He went to Olorun the most powerful god of all and asked him the same question. Olorun said, " Why don't you make some. Go to my son Orunmila he will tell you how."
Later that day Obatala asked him. Orunmila said,"Okay, you need to fill a snail shell with sand. You also need a white hen,a black cat,and a palm nut. You need to stick them all in a bag. "Okay," said Obatala.
The next day he gathered all the stuff and went to Orunmila's house and asked him," What do I do with it now." You need to make a golden chain with a hook at the top of the chain that reaches from the sky to the water,"Orun mila explained.
"Okay, thanks bye."
Obatala went to all the gods in the sky and asked for all the gold they had. Then he told them why. They gave all their gold rings, necklaces, and gold money.
He went to the blacksmith and said make me a chain with all this gold with a hook at one end. When the chain was done he went to Orunmila. "What do I do now." "I will help you," said Orunmila.
They put the hook in the sky and Obatala climbed down the chain with his sack. He could jump but he might drown. Orunmila said," Dump the sand into the ocean." He did. Then drop the white hen in the ocean and the will walk around and scratch the sand around. It will make land.
He hopped down on the ground and planted the palm nut. It made a palm tree, whi •ch from it's wood he made a house. The black cat was for company.
The cat wasn't much company so he made clay figures of people. Then he became thirsty and made palm wine. He drank so much he became drunk. Some of the figures were not perfect but they were deformed.
He went back up to the sky to ask Olorun if he could breath life into the people. "Okay," he said. He had people now. Then Olokun flooded the land and killed most of the people. Then the people who survived asked if he could make the land come back and he did. Obatala said," He would be the pretector of the deformed because he got drunk.
Olokun got really angry at this time. She challenged him to a weaving contest. Olorun excepted but he had a trick in mind. He sent Eshu the chameleon to give her the message that he wants to see all of her finest cloth she has made. She did, and every color she showed Eshududecoolman he changed into that color.
She finally told Olorun that," He was the greatest."
THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE AND IFE
BY : Britton N.
In the beginning there was just water and sky. "Water water water I am so board with water". "All day long its just water water water" said Obatala. "I'm going to ask Olorun if I can create land". "After all he treats me like a son". "So he went to ask the god of the sky if he could create land. He said "sure go ahead". So Obatala went to ask Orunmila who tells the future and asked him for help and this is what he said, "You'll need a gold chain big enough to reach the ocean then you'll need these four things: a snails shell full of sand, then you'll need a black cat to keep you company, and a white hen, and a palm nut and that's all you'll need".
So Obatala went to a black smith and said "can you make me a golden chain". The black smith said "yes" "but you halved to supply the gold". So Obatala went around to all the gods and ask them for all there gold. Then he went back to the black smith and then gave him the gold. the black smith gave him the gold chain and and then Obatala lowered it to the ocean. Then he climbed down. He heard Orunmila yell "dump out the sand" so Obatala dumped out the sand. Then he took out the chicken and dropped it and then it started kicking and making hills and mountains then Obatala jumped on to the new world.
Obatala got out his palm nut then put it on the ground and soon palm nut trees started growing every were but Obatala missed the light of the sky so he asked Olorun if he will create a sun. So Obatala asked s him if he would create a sun. So he did and there was light. Now Obatala was happy and then he built a house then he was digging and he made little clay figures but then one day he got drunk and some figures had short legs and long arms and then asked Olorun if he would breath life into them. So he did, Olokun goddess of the sea so she sent big waves and wiped out the land, but the remaining people asked Eshu if he would send a messenger to the gods it said "HELP" so he did. Then Olokun said "if the chameleon can change every color se changed he changed. Chameleon won the world was saved.
The Creation of the Universe and Ife
In the beginning, nothing of the world existed, except for all the water, which was ruled by Olokun, the goddess of the water. There were more gods than just Olokun.
There was Olorun, ruler of the sky.
Orunmila, who could see the future.
Obatala, who was the creator of land and people.
And Eshu, the messenger.
Now, one day, Obatala had an idea. He thought,
" what would it be like if instead of all that water there was land". So he asked Olorun permission. He also talked with Orunmilato see what supplies he needed to make land.
Orunmila gave Obatala the supplies, but said he must make a gold chain to get him from the sky to the ground. So Obatala collected all the gold he could find and gave it to the blacksmith to make the chain.
After the chain was made Obatala climbed down and used the supplies to make the first land. After that he planted a palm nut. It grew into a palm tree. He drank the juice and used the tree to make a house.
He also found clay and made people to keep him company, but he drank too much juice which made him drunk. He made a lot of them deformed, and when Olorun gave them life he was very disappointed . So he spent half his time on Ife/ land, and half his time in the sky.
Once when Olokun was out in her water she saw the land and got very angry. So she summoned up her water and made it flood. It destroyed most of the land. The people cried out for help. They asked Eshu to carry a message to Orunmila for help.
When Orunmila came he sent the water away and Ife was saved.
After that Olokun wanted to challenge Olorun to a weaving contest. Olorun knew he could never beat her so he got an idea. He sends Eshu down to see what colors she weaves. Whenever she weaved a color Eshu ( the chameleon ) would change that color. So she thought if a chameleon could do her colors she could never beat Olorun. She gives up. And that is The Creation of the Universe and Ife.
by Alicia S.
A while back I was told a story, about gods named Olorun who was ruler of the sky, Orunmila, the fortune teller, Olokun, ruler of the sea, Eshu, the messenger, and Obatala, who created land and humans.
One day Obatala asked Olorun if he could go to earth and make trees, plants, and other things. Olorun said he could go. So Obatala a headed to earth. Obatala gave lots of gold things to Orunmila and he made Obatala a golden chain to get down to earth. There was only water below him. With him Obatala took a black cat, white hen, a snail's shell with sand in it, and a palm nut.
He started climbing down the gold chain. When he got half way down he saw the water below him. Obatala also saw that he had no more gold chain. He said to the gods above, "I have no more chain, I will die if I drop." So the gods said, "Take the snail and dump out the sand." So Obatala took the snail and dumped out the sand. The sand was like an island, it was a pile of sand with water around it. Then the gods said, "throw the hen down," so Obatala did. The hen landed on the sand and started to dig and scatter around the sand. Where ever the sand went a piece of land was made. Then Obatala jumped down and landed safely on the sand. He planted the palm nut, and a palm tree was made. He used the palm tree to eat and to build his house.
Days later Obatala was getting lonely. So he made people like him out of clay. He did that for a long time and started to get thirsty. So he went and had some wine from the palm tree. The wine made him so drunk that he started to make people with shorter arms and legs and bent backs and lots more. When Obatala was done he went and took a nap. When he was as tleep Olorun (ruler of the sky) changed the clay figures into live people. When Obatala woke up he was amazed at what he saw, yet he was sad to because he had made them so strange.
Back up in the sky Olokun (ruler of the sea) asked Olorun if she could go to earth. Olorun said,"no," she was so mad she sent a flood down to earth. Mostly everyone died except for a few people that were on the mountain.
Olokun challenged Olorun to a weaving contest. Olorun, knowing that Olokun was a better weaver, took the challenge. He knew he had to get out of the contest somehow. So he had Eshu the messenger go down to tell Olokun that if her weaving was as good as she says, Olorun would take the challenge. So Olokun did. She showed Eshu all of her skirts that she had weaved and at the end she finally gave up.
And that was what I was told and now you can tell someone else.
Re - telling of the African myth The Creation of the Universe and Ife
In the beginning there was only sky and water. Olorun was the god of the sky. Olokun was the goddess of water. Olorun thought that there should be more than just sky and water so he thought for a while. Then all of a sudden Obatala the maker of land and humans said to olorun 'I can make the land you desire. ' Olorun was very happy.
So Obatala went to see Orunimila the god who can see the future and said 'Can you help me? Do you know how I can start building the land.
So Orunimila told Obatala to get a bag and put a snail shell full of sand, a his black cat. Obatala began to get lonely. So Obatala started making clay figures. After Obatala was satisfied he noticed that all of the figures were not alike.
Then Obatala called to Olurun and said ' Will you breathe life into my clay figures so I may have some companions?'
Olukun became very angry because some of her sea had been taken over by land. So Olukun sent waves crashing over all the island. Almost everyone died, except the people who went to the mountains and called for Eshu the messenger. Eshu said you must sacrifice something to Obatala and me. So they gave a goat. Obatala was not sure what to do . So ornimila climbed down the gold chain and dried up all the water on the island. After that Ornimila lived on Ife and protected the people on Ife.
The Creation of the Universe and Ife.
by Anna V.
In the beginning, there was only sky and water. Olorun was the ruler of the sky. Olokun was the ruler of the water.
Olokun was happy the way it was, but Obatala wanted something more than just the endless water and marshland. He went to Olorun for permission to make solid land with plants and living creatures. Olorun told him that he needed to see Orunmila for directions in creating life.
Orunmila said to Obatala,"Get a gold chain, then get a large snail shell full of sand, a white hen, a black cat, and a palm nut, and put them in a bag."
Obatala gathered these items. Then he attached to gold chain to the edge of the sky, and climbed down it. When he got to the end he emptied the sand out of the snail shell, and dropped the hen down. The hen scratched and spread the sand around. Everywhere there was sand, there was solid land.
Obatala dropped down of the chain and landed on the sand. He decided to name this place "Ife".
As soon as Obatala had landed on ground he planted the palm nut, which grew into a large palm tree. That tree dropped its own nuts that also grew into large palm trees. Pretty soon there was a huge forest of trees.
Obatala used palm wood to build himself a hut. He used the leaves to build a roof. Then he got the cat out of the bag. He let the cat live in his hut. It would keep him company. Also, Obatala used the hen's eggs for food.
Even though Obatala enjoyed living here, he wished there was light. He said to Olorun, "Olorun, you have been a great deal of help to me, and I am thankful. But I do not like this endless darkness. Could you bring light down here?" Olorun heard this and made the sun.
Obatala wanted more company than just his cat, so he made clay figures of human beings, and animals to farm.
After Obatala had made a lot of clay figures, he went and drank some palm wine. He drank so much that he became drunk. Obatala didn't realize that his fingers were clumsy, so he went bac k to work.
Some of the people that Obatala made had problems. Some had hunched backs, others had short stubby arms and legs, and a few were the wrong size.
Obatala looked up and said out loud, "Olorun, you have been like a father to me, and I am grateful. But only you can bring life to these people. Could you breath life into them?" Olorun heard this, and so he breathed life into the clay figures.
Then Obatala recovered from all of the palm wine, and saw his mistake. He swore never to drink palm wine again.
The people saw Obatala's hut, and built huts of their own, making a small village. They built fences to keep their animals in, and kept cats for company.
Obatala stayed down on Ife to protect the people with bad problems. Then he decided to teach them different things. He taught them how to grow corn and make tools. With all of this knowledge the small village had grown to a large city.
Olokun did not like what Obatala had done with her ocean, and how he went ahead and did it without permission. She sent huge waves to create floods, drowning people and their animals.
Some of the surviving people ran up into the high part of the land. They sacrificed a goat to Eshu, for him to deliver a message to Olorun, and a goat to Olorun to stop the flooding waters.
Olorun received the goat and message, so he stopped the flood. The waves settled back into the sea, and the skies cleared. People moved back to the low lands.
Obatala wanted to teach to humans more. He taught them how to tell when floods were coming in the rainy season. Also, he taught them how to read and write.
That is how the first civilization came to be.
Re-telling of the African myth
The Creation of the Universe and Ife
Olorun is the God that rules the sky. Orunmila is the God that tells the future. Obatala is the God that creates all the people normal and deformed. Olokun is the only female God, she is the ruler of the sea. Eshu is the messenger, he is a chameleon.
Obatala want's to go down to the water. He has to make a chain from gold. Then he has to get a snail shell fill it with sand, a white hen, a black cat, a palm nut and put it in a bag. Then he has to climb to the bottom, it didn't reach so he pours the sand out of the shell and makes land. Then he lets the hen out. I ët scratched the sand and made hills and valleys. He named the place Ife.
The palm nut turned into palm trees. He built a house and had the black cat for company. He takes clay and makes it into people shapes. He got drunk on palm wine while making them, so some of them are deformed. Olorun breaths life into them and they became alive. They build houses and (villages). Obataala is the protector of the deformed.
The Gods come to live with the humans. Olukun got angry and sends a flood. People head for the mountains. They ask for help; they sacrifice a goat. Oranmila helps them. He sends dry land and teaches the humans to control nature. Olokun has a weaving contest against Olorun. Olokun calls for the chameleon (it changes to every color). The chameleon goes and changes to every color of Oloruns weaving. Olokun was amazed and gives up. She says," Olorun, you're the best!"
The Retelling of the Universe and Ife
In the begining, there were no trees, no land, no plants. Just water and sky, in fact, the only living things were gods.
One day, a god named Obatala, called a surprise meeting, with three other gods. Olorun was the leader of the gods and the creater of the skies. Orunmila was a profet (someone who sees the future,) and the son of Olorun. Olokun was the goddess and ruler of the seas.
The meeting was called because Obatala thought that the waters and skies wern't enough. The water needed land and humans and other living creatures, whicw he could create with help.
"Olorun, if I made h umans and land, would you breathe life into them? Orunmila, would you tell me how to create it? And Olokun, can I on your chameleon Eshu to bring me the news?"
The three gods huddled, then Olorun replied, "Obatala , as leader of gods I say yes."
"There is a certian way to make this land and these humans. First you must collect enough gold to make a chain, that will reach down to the waters below...."
"Orunmila, how will I ever find enough gold for this ...chain, that is to reach down to the waters below?"
"Obatala, you must do everything you can, try asking every god in the sky, for every piece of gold they own. Now after you collect all the gold, for your golden chain, you must fill a snails shell with sand, find a white hen, a black cat and a palm nut. after you gather those items, climb down the chain. At the bottom of the chain, yell up to me and I'll tell you what to do."
Obatala listened to Orunmila's words, for he was a prophit.
So with Orunmila's words, Obatal got the chain, from the great blacksmith of the sky, and he began on his quest down the chain.
At the bottom, Obatala yelled to Orunmila, "Orunmila I am at the bottom. What shall I do know?"
"Obatala, now, dump the sand from the snails shell. Then drop the hen."
Obatala dumped the sand and the hen. The hen began scratching at the sand and magicly, land apeared. It grew till all you could see was land. The cat then hopped out of the bag
and named the land he stepped on "Ife." Then the palm nut fell out of the bag and made a palm tree. Then, the nuts from thse tree fell and thousands of trees, covered the land.
Obatala lived on "Ife" with his pet cat, and made palm wine from the leaves of the trees. Obatala, whoo had never had palm wine, got drunk.
Then Obatala began making the humans out of clay. But, Obatala was still to drunk to know, thet his clay figures, he was creating, were no longer as perfect as he wanted them to be. Still drunk, Obatala called to Olorun," Olorun, I have created the humans. Now will you breathe a breathe of life, down to them?"
Olorun took a deep breathe, and began to blow. As he blew, the humans came to life. The humans created were way off from what Obatala wanted. Some too big or tall or fat or small.
Obatala slept and when he woke up, he found his unperfect humans. Obatala was sorry for the trouble he caused to his figures, so he lived on "Ife" and he visited the gods every chance he got.
One day he got drunk again, as Eshu came down to send a message to him. Obatala forgot about Eshu, and saw him as food. He saw Eshu and killed him. Then him and his humans had a feast.
Olokun who seen her pet killed and eaten, sent a flood, just as Obatala was climbing up the chain.
"Obatala, help!"the people called, but Obatala was too far up the chain to hear them.
At the top, Orunmila met Obatala."Obatala,your world is being destroyed because you got drunk. You're far too drunk to save them. As your friend, I will save them."
Orunmila hurried down the chain, said some magic words, and the land began rising from beneath the waters. After the land raised, the little bits made streams and lakes.
Obatala waited for Orumila to return, and when he did, he had a surprise.
"Obatala, not only are "Ife" and all the humans ok., they now know how to control nature, get food, and survive!
"Oh thank you, Orunmila, but how can we make sure it won't happen again?"
Just then, Olokun ran up and replied ,"I challenge your father, or the ruler of the skies, to a weaving battle, for ruler of "Ife", andyour humans."
On the day of the battle, Olorun won, and he and Obatala became rulers of "Ife".
In the beginning Obatala wanted to go down into the marsh land and build land, because it was all water and marsh. Obatala went and asked Olorun ruler of sky if he could go down to the earth and create land. Olorun told Obatala to go and talk to Orunmilla who tells the future.
So Obatala went and talked to Orunmilla. Orunmilla said you may go down but you have to bring a bag of things with you. In this bag you must have the following things: 1 snail shell filled with sand, 1 white hen, 1 black cat, and 1 palm nut. So Obatala went and got each of these things and put them in the bag.
After he had done that he went back to Orunmilla to see if he had to do any thing else for him. Orunmilla told Obatalla that he needed to make a long gold chain to hook on the sky to climb down to the marsh land. So Obatala went and asked every god for all of their gold whether it was jewelry or coins. All of the gods gave Obatala most of their gold. When Obatala received all the gold that the gods had given him he was not happy. He went to talk to the gods, and he told them that he needed more gold. So all the gods gave him every ounce of gold they had.
Obatala made the chain and hooked it to the sky. He climbed down until there wasn't any chain left and called to Orunmilla, "Orunmilla, what do I do now?" Orunmilla said to take the shell and pour the sand out. So Obatala did. When Obatala poured out the sand it fell out into one big pile. Orunmilla then said, "Now take your white hen and drop it on the island." When Obatala did, the hen started to peck and scratch at the ground until it was all spread out. Then Orunmilla said, "Now go down to your island and plant the palm nut." Obatala did and all of a sudden there was a huge palm tree. Orunmilla said, "You have now made an island. You have to give it a name." So he called it Ife.
Then he built a house out of twigs and palm tree leaves for him to live in. He remembered his black cat which accompanied him. After a while Obatala grew very lonely. So he decided to make little figures out of clay. After he had done about 12 dozen he was thirsty, so he went and made coconut wine and drank bowl after bowl.
By the time he was finished he was drunk, and he made the clay figures disabled with knowing it. After he was done he asked Olorun to breathe life into them. He did. Then he wasn't drunk and he saw his people and most were disabled. He swore he would never drink again, and he would watch over them for ever. After that day the village grew larger and larger by the day.
The next day the goddess of the sea Olokun saw what Obatala did to her waters and she was not happy. So she sent a terrible storm and sidtorted every thing. Most of the people died, but the ones that lived started over and lived happy and nothing bad ever happened again.