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Angola's Creation Myth (The Ovimbundu legend)
by Alexandra Pereira
2008-05-23 08:36:42
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The ethnic group of the Ovimbundus explains the origin of Angola as a nation and of several ethnic groups as descending from the Ovimbundus themselves. The designation of Angola derives from the name of the Ngola kings, and some defend that these were descendants of Féti, the primary male character of this myth.

“One day a man fell down from the sky and he was given the name of Féti, which means «the beginning». The good man begun to perambulate the earth and he eventually found out that, although there were many animals, there was on the land one man alone – himself. What a boring situation and tedium, having to feel so lonely in the middle of all that was created!

To see if he could get some distraction, he remembered to go to Cunene [region of Angola] to hunt for a while. Thus he grabs his weapons and goes in search of a hippopotamus which he can use to supply himself with some meat and fat. For long hours, Féti was waiting for a hunt when, instead of the animal he was eager for, he sees arising from the waters a human shape, very similar to himself: she was the first woman, whom he called Tchoya, a name that, deriving from the verb okuoya, means garniture, ornament, perfection.

And so beautiful, so elegant Féti found her that he fell in love with her and founded with her the first family ever illuminated by the sunlight. Days passed, months passed, and a wonderful morning the echos of the woods were awaken by the cry of a new being, who had come to join them in the house of the fortunate Féti.

There was not a single bird in the sky nor animal in the forest which did not come to congratulate the parents for such a good happening. Enchanted, the progenitors gave the newborn the name of Ngalangi. Some time passed, and in that house a new little baby showed up, this time a girl, whom they called Viyé.

Viyé comes from the verb okuiya, which translated to English means to come. The parents meant that the daughter would attract to herself the populations and be the trunk of a big family. And Viyé came to be the mother of all the races of the north, that is, of the lands of Bié [region of Angola], as Ngalangi was the father of the people of the south.”

This is how the Ngalangis tell the story themselves, and they end up affirming that all the inhabitants of Bié, Huambo, Sambo, Cuíma and Caconda [regions of Angola] descend from themselves. This legend tries to explain the origin of all the sub-groups of the Ovimbundu ethnicity, and other groups as well, besides the formation of the different kingdoms.

We see here posed all the questions about loneliness as pernicious, the Man as a social being, the first forms of social organization and even gender roles. The man came from the sky and the woman from the mud/waters. This is an endogenous type of explanation, stating that the Ovimbundus originated near the Cunene River and from there they expanded to occupy other areas and regions. The sub-group Hanya also mentions a Féti and a Tchoya in their explanations about the origin of Angola/founding myths.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-05-23 09:10:42
Indeed,it is very hard to find a myth, where the world is created out of nothing. It's vaguely hinted in the Zoroastrian text Avesta and in the Koran, among the few. In almost all cases, even when nothingness is implied, there is really in the beginning: something. The problem of imagining something out of nothing is obvious to everyone who ever tried it, also to modern scientists. They find it just as hard to settle with the theory of the Big Bang. That too may eventually turn out to be a myth.

Emanuel Paparella2008-05-23 18:13:12

The above link will take the interested reader to an in depth scholarly survey of the concept of "creatio ex nihilo."

Nação Ovimbundu2008-10-28 22:31:15
If i'm not wrong, and i'm sorry if I am, this seems to be a translation from our website..and our logo there. It would be good to see some quote or link to our site.

Gerhard Ngalangi2009-08-11 18:56:21
I think it is essential to recognize myths as part of the legend that attempt to clarify the origins of something, especially when there was nothing to refer to, or worse a religion to rely to. It is evident in most societies of the world that this myth has relevance in the way clans, tribes, societies, etc. are closely related ( or even interwoven)

angola2011-02-27 05:23:00
lol mind if i use this

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