Orixás: Nanã Helps Create Humankind

Reginaldo Prandi, a sociologist from the University of São Paulo, is the author of the book Mitologia dos Orixás (Myths of the Orixás).

This is a really interesting book, and is great for those learning Portuguese because the writing is simple. In the book he presents 301 different myths relating the orixás. including this one about the creation of humankind:
Nanã supplies the mud to model humankind

They say that when Olorum charged Oxalá
With creating the world and modeling humankind,
The orixá tried various methods,
He tried to make man from air, like himself
It did not work because man faded away.
He tried to make man out of wood, but the creature was too hard
From rock, it was even worse.
He made man from fire and man burned up.
He tried oil, water, and even palm wine, but nothing worked.
It was then that Nanã Buruku came to help him.
She pointed to the bottom of the lake with her ibiri, her scepter and weapon.
And, from there she pulled a bit of mud for Oxalá
The mud at the bottom of the lake where she lived,
The mud beneath the waters that is Nanã.
Oxalá created man, modeled from mud.
With a blow of air Olorum he walked.
With the help of the orixás he populated the earth.
But there comes a day when man dies
And his body must return to the earth,
To return to nature, to Nanã Buruku.
Nanã gave the material in the beginning,
But in the end, she wants back all that belongs to her.
We will be presenting more myths from the book over the next couple of months, but if you want to look at the book yourself it is available in our archives for you enjoyment.

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