Obatala And Yoruba Myths Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Subject: Mythology Type: Term Paper Paper: #2718578 Related Topics: Snakes, Mythology, Earth Science, Land
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Creation Myths

The Arapaho story of creation is definitely a myth that would fall under the category of the earth diver myth. In the myth, the man is focused on protecting the "Flat Pipe." He wants to find land for the Pipe to rest on. In order to achieve his goal of creating the Earth, he tries a variety of different approaches. He first calls on the "four" directions and then the forth seven cottonwood trees with no luck. Later he called the forth creatures of the air and of the sea and has seven total creatures dive for the sod at the bottom of the ocean before the Turtle finally accomplishes the quest.

In the Yoruba creation myth in the beginning there was also only water before there was land. This story is far more complex than the Arapaho creation story, however it begins with essentially the same premise. There is a god of air and water but no land in the beginning. Obatala is the god that wishes to create land. To do so he is instructed by the other gods to collect some possessions including a gold chain, a white hen, a snail's shell filed with sand, a black cat, and a palm nut. Then he climbed down from the sky using the chain and poured the sand which is subsequently scattered by the white hen and thus when the hen scatters...


The palm nut creates vegetation on the land and the cat is used for Obatala's company on the land.

Interstingly, Obatala makes wine out of the vegetation and creates humans after becoming drunk which is meant to explain humanity's imperfections. After Obatala creates land and human kind, he returns to the sky to visit other gods. One of the god's was upset with Obatala and the other god creates a flood. In creation myths the flood story is a common theme and after the god is appeased, spells are cast, and the flood resides.

The stories have many commonalities that appear in them. For example, the creation of Earth out of water is a theme that both stories share. Before there is land that can support human kind, there is only water and air. Although each stories uses slightly different methods of creating land, the land emerges from the water. Interestingly, in the Arapaho story land is created from the water from below by diving for sod. By contrast, Obatala creates land from the skies by using a shell with sand as the basis for land creation. Therefore, each story creates land in a similar way albeit from different directions.

Another theme that these stories share is the gods…

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