Sunday, 18 March 2012
Chewa story of creation
The first time hearing this story was at the Kungoni centre. It’s been months since I heard this story, so if I forget some detail please forgive my memory. But what made it easier to visualize was the vivid wall paintings. With some additional descriptive language to the original version, the story goes more or less like this….
In the Beginning there was God, known as Chauta in Chichewa. He lived in the cerulean sky, and below it was the rugged and bare earth. The earth was parched and completely void of life. Then one day, clouds started to gather until they obliterated the heavens. The sky was dark and murky, an abyss, a portal into the divine realm. Then suddenly lightning sparked and blazed across the dark sky, illuminating it for moments at a time. Thunder roared and rumbled like a multitude of hungry lions. Then the sky ripped open, a torrential rain surged out and behold was Chauta in form of a spider.
He descended on top of Kaphiri Ntiwa mountain, on a silk thread together with the first human pair and all the animals ever created. Trees and plants flourished, providing food. And Man and animals lived in peace.
But Chauta had told man never to play with sticks for they might create fire, and on one fateful day man disobeyed God. By playing with two sticks man had set the grass ablaze. The insignificant fire soon became a searing inferno. There was complete and utter chaos. Only the domestic animal that we know today fled to man for safety. But the wild animals, in their fury and rage fled from man. God retuned to the sky by woven silk thread, driven from the world by man’s disobedience and recklessness.
As he ascended he said from then on man must die and return to the sky. And so His words have come to pass, and it still is as He said it would be.