How Were People Created According To Yoruba Mythology?

Now that there was land, Obatala planted a palm nut that grew into the first tree.

This tree scattered its nuts, and soon the ground sprouted many kinds of plants.

From high above in the sky, Olorun watched Obatala with great interest.

He sent down a chameleon to ask Obatala if he needed anything.

Obatala replied that everything was going well, except that it was too dark. Olorun fashioned the sun and set it in the dome of the sky.

Despite feeling satisfaction with his world, Obatala grew lonely.

He decided to make people. Scraping mud and clay from the ground, Obatala molded the first figures.

The work was hard and difficult, and Obatala grew thirsty. To refresh himself, he drank wine, too much wine.

When he went back to his work, Obatala was drunk. Clumsily, he molded some figures with crooked backs and arms and legs that were too short.

Some did not have enough fingers and toes.

Others were bent over instead of standing straight. When Obatala had made enough figures, Olorun gave them life.

When the new people began moving, Obatala observed with horror that many of them were crippled.

He swore never to drink wine again, and he vowed to protect all people who suffer from deformities.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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