Why Do People Die According To Nuer Mythology?

Where the Nuer people live, a rope once dropped out of heaven and reached the earth.

Any old person could climb up the rope into heaven and return to earth as a young person.

In those times, people lived forever. But one day, a hyena climbed the rope.

The High God in heaven ordered the hyena to remain in heaven, because he would certainly cause trouble on earth.

After dark, however, the hyena slipped out of heaven and climbed back down the rope.

When he neared the ground, the hyena cut the rope.

The rope above the cut was drawn back into heaven, severing the connection between heaven and earth.

Thus, people can no longer visit heaven to replenish their youth.

Instead, they die.

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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