West African Folktales
Stories, folk tale collectionsGlossary of West African termsLinks to useful African folktale resources Contact UsAbout allFolkTales.com

The creation of the world: A Yoruba myth

This is the story of how the world was created according to the Yorubas of West Africa.

The entire world was filled with water when God decided to create the world. God sent his messenger Obatala to perform the task of creating the world. Obatala brought along his helper, a man named Oduduwa as well as a calabash full of earth and a chicken. Then they began their descent to earth from a rope.

Along the way, they stopped over at a feast where Obatala got drunk from drinking too much palm wine. Oduduwa, finding his master drunk, picked up the calabash and the chicken and continued on the journey.

When Oduduwa reached the earth, he sprinkled earth from the calabash over the water and he dropped the chicken on the earth. The chicken then ran around spreading the earth in every direction he moved until there was land. Oduduwa had now created earth from what used to be water.

Later when Obatala got out of his drunken haze, he discovered that Oduduwa had already performed his task and he was very upset. God however gave him another task to perform ? to create the people that would populate the earth.

And that was how the world was created in a place now called Ile-Ife.



allFolkTales.com 2006 - 2009
About | Stories | Reviews | Glossary | Links | Contact Us