By Patricia Ann Lynch, Jeremy Roberts
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Additional resources for African Mythology A to Z, 2nd Edition
It still wasn’t ready to eat. Next he showed them how to start a fire with stones, dried grass and wood, and a flint stone. He explained how to clear the ashes away, lay the flat cakes of kneaded dough on the hottest spot, and then cover them up again with the hot ashes. All the while, the man and woman wondered why so much work was needed to cook the grain, when it was easier to eat leaves and berries. But when the ashes were cleared away and the hot cakes of bread had cooled, the man and the woman each broke off a piece and chewed it slowly.
When they came to the spring, the man and woman knelt down and tasted the water. They smiled, because it tasted so good. They sprinkled some grains in the water and then tasted the grains. They made faces. The ant laughed, explaining that it wasn’t ready to eat. He led them to two flat stones and gave them directions for grinding the grain into flour. The woman and man tasted the flour and grimaced again. The ant laughed, explaining that it still wasn’t ready to eat. Next he showed them an empty gourd and gave directions for mixing the flour with water in the gourd to make dough and then kneading it until it was smooth and elastic.
Death killed the couple and caused discord among their children. Atunda (That Which Destroys and Creates Again) Yoruba (Nigeria) A being who was the slave of the Creator, Orisa-nla. In the beginning, there was just formless space in which Orisa-nla and Atunda lived. One day, while Orisa-nla was working in a hillside garden, Atunda rebelled against the Creator. He rolled a huge boulder down the slope. When the boulder struck Orisa-nla, he shattered into hundreds of fragments. Each fragment became an orisa, part of the Yoruba pantheon of gods and goddesses.