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Baluba mythology

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The Baluba are one of the Bantu peoples of Central Africa. Their creation deity's name is Kabezya-Mpungu.

Creation myth of Kabezya-Mpungu

The Baluba creation story makes a connection between God's invisibility or unavailability, and the endowment of humans with a soul or divine component longing for God.

In the creation story, Kabezya-Mpungu decides to become invisible after creating the world and the first humans who did not yet have a heart. After balancing the rain, sun, moon, and darkness, he leaves. To replace the visible god, he sends the people Mutshima ("heart"), the life-giving or divine part of humans.

..I don't want humans to see me any more. I return into myself and send Mutima...Then Kabeza-Mpungu disappeared. Thereafter, the heart appeared, in a small, hand-sized vessel. The heart cried and turned towards Sun, Moon, Darkness and Rain: "Kabezya-Mpungu, our father, where is he!" "Father is gone, we don't know the way he went". "Oh how much I am longing to see him" the heart replied, "to talk to him. Since I cannot find him, I will enter into this man. So I will wander from generation to generation".[1]

Since then all humans have been endowed with Mutshima, the heart.


  1. Cited according to the German version of the text from Carl Einstein's book. The German text reads: Ich will nicht, daß Menschen mich länger sehen. Ich kehre in mich zurück und sende Mutima...Darauf verschwand Kabezya-Mpungu. Es erschien darauf das Herz, in einem kleinen, handgroßen Gefäß. Das Herz schrie und wandte sich gen Sonne, Mond, Finsternis und Regen: "Kabezay-Mpungu, unser Vater, wo ist er!" "Vater ist fort, und wir kennen nicht den Weg, den er ging." "Gewaltig sehnte ich mich" erwiederte das Herz, "mit ihm zu sprechen. Da ich ihn nicht finden kann, trete ich in diesen Mann. So wandere ich von Geschlecht zu Geschlecht.. For the English version of Charlotte and Wolf Leslau see external links.


  • Carl Einstein (Ed.) 1925: Afrikanische Märchen und Legenden; Rowohlt, 1925. Neuausgabe (1980) MEDUSA Verlag Wölk + Schmid, Berlin. (in German)
  • Charlotte Leslau, Wolf Leslau (Ed.): African Folk Tales; Mount Vernon, 1963, N.Y. : Peter Pauper Press

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Baluba mythology. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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