By Patricia Ann Lynch, Jeremy Roberts
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Additional info for African Mythology A to Z, 2nd Edition
But it was the dry season, and the hot sun scorched the seeds. No green shoots sprouted. No barley and wheat grew. The man went to the ant and explained what had happened. The ant explained that it was the wrong season for growing. He gave them directions for saving the seeds in a dry place until the rainy season, when seeds sprout. The man and woman followed the ant’s advice and soon harvested an entire field of wheat and barley. Antar (Antara, Antarah) (ca. 525–615) Bed- ouin (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara) A warrior and poet celebrated as a hero who rose from slave birth to the status of a tribal chief.
Animals are also ritual guardians of sacred places. They are often seen as signs of communication from the spirit world, and their appearance in a place may mark it as sacred. snakes, particularly the python, play prominent roles in African mythology. A serpent named AidoHwedo carried the Fon Creator, Mawu-Lisa, in his mouth as she created the world. Chinawezi, the cosmic serpent of the Lunda people, governed the Earth and its waters. Snakes were commonly associated with rain and the rainbow. ) Where hunting was the way of life, the master animal—the primary source of food for a people— was revered.
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.
African Mythology A to Z, 2nd Edition by Patricia Ann Lynch, Jeremy Roberts