Iraqw Religion ["between Lakes Manyara and Eyasi ... in the Mbulu District" (p. 7) of Tanganyika]

pp. 7-8 ethnicity

p. 7

"The Iraqw people form an ethnic group of their own including the neighboring tribe of Gorowa".

p. 8

"According to their own (Iraqw) traditional legends ... as much as two thousand years ago, the Iraqw set off on their extensive wanderings ... through Ethiopia and Kenya, until they finally settled in the heart of" Tanganyika.

pp. 11, 15-16 the two major deities

p. 11

"The Iraqw believe in a higher being, who they call Loa, ... a female deity, identical with the sun. ... Loa is a sun goddess who not only looks like the sun, but is the sun itself. ... Loa created everything ... . ... Loa (... the sun) has existed for all time and will continue to exist, whereas everything else will perish." {Among the Mambila (in British Cameroon on the plateau west of Banyo), as word respectively "for Sun and ... for God, ... the Southern group uses Lo and Chang ." (MN)} {Among the Mambila, "sun rites are observed every day at sunset when the Elders pray each man holding the sacred grass in his hand. Their word for Sun is "Lo" and for moon "Wil"." (MT)}

p. 15

"The male counterpart to Loa is Netlangw, who ... always appears as a solitary being. ... One day, however, after constant quarrelling and bickering with Netlangw, Loa left the earth, and ascended to the sky, where she has resided ever since.

p. 16

Netlangw is an evil creature, inflicting people and animals with disease, misfortune, etc."

MN =

MT =

pp. 17-18 ghosts of the dead

p. 17

"the gii ... are the spirits of the dead ancestors. Whenever a child dies, its body is carried out into the bush for wild animals to devour. The body of an adult ... is buried ... under the manure heap. ... The ancestral spirits ... take an active part in the day life of their descendants. They cooperate invisibly in the daily work in the fields and in the care of the family’s household and animals. ... in order to assure the support and assistance of dead relatives,

p. 18

sacrifices must be made to them. ... Sacrificial ceremonies of this kind are directed and carried out by authorised medicine men, who possess the necessary power (magic ...) ... for ceremonies of this kind."

pp. 18-20 medicine-people

p. 18

"Should a family be a victim of continual misfortune, illness, poverty, etc., a medicine man will be sent for. He will immediately come and investigate the matter ... . ...

p. 19

Misfortune, illness, poverty, etc., ... may stem from ... Netlangw ... . ... In such cases, too, recourse is had to the assistance of a good medicine man called qwaslaramno, whose task it will be to discover the cause and give the remedy."

p. 107

"Yoneyama ... calls a good medicine man quasalmo corresponding to qwaslaramo".

p. 20

"A good medicine man must also be possessed of a special magic power ... . [usmo ‘magic power’ (p. 107)] This innate supernatural power ensures that his words and acts are ... effective".

Yoneyama, T. : "Hyena and Rabbit in four Iraqw Folktales". JAPANESE JOURNAL OF ETHNOLOGY, vol. 33 (1968), pp. 140-7.

pp. 26-28 – Myth # 1 "The Lion Girls"



p. 26 six young women at night changed themselves into lionesses

cf. six kr.ttika goddesses [Pleiadeans]

p. 27 six boy-brethrens : "the mortar rose into the air, and bore the boys away, while the youngest brother continued all the time singing his song in which he asked the mortar to take them home."

Song of the Stars (by Mutwa) is a description of abduction by goggled UFO space-aliens. (HA, pp. 155sq)

p. 28 The mortar transported the youngest brother through the air to hut of their father Olongo

cf. Pleiadeans in flying-saucer navigators’ lore

HA = Bill Chalker : Hair of the Alien. Simon & Schuster, 2005.

pp. 29-31 – Myth # 2 "Agmo, who Eloped with the Chief’s Daughter"

p. 29 "a great monster or agmo ... breathed fire and smoke".

p. 30 "When the darkness of the night descended, the agmo took out his knife, which he swung to and fro three times, and the last time a bright light appeared in the sky."

p. 31 One of the agmo’s servant-women was a "a very old woman, ...a daalusmo, or powerful medicine woman. ... This monster had taught her all the secrets of magic (daari). ... By means of her magic powers the old woman managed to lure the monster into a boiling lake, where he dissolved".

pp. 32-36 – Myth # 3 "Two Brothers"; pp. 50-53 – Myth # 9 "Wicked Stepmother"


tribes in Kenya

<ibri^; Hellenic

p. 32 "a man ... had two wives, both of whom gave birth ... to a boy, and each of the two boys was given the same name ... Kikoni." [p. 50 "a man ... had two wives. Both gave birth at a boy ... . One was given the name Awawak, which in Iraqw means white. The other boy was called Boboa, which means black."]

One of the wives the died.


pp. 33, 51 The step-mother kept her stepson in a subterranean prison, until he was surreptitiously released by his half-brother.

p. 54 Kamba : boy is "trapped in a pit that his stepmother has dug in the floor."

Yo^sep was confined to a underground prison by his brethren; but his brother Zbulun pitied him (LB, p. 200).

p. 34 The half-brother who had the living mother thereupon slew her.


Orestes slew his own mother (GM 113.j).

p. 35 The re-growing head of a serpent was beheaded repeatedly by the matricidal half-brother.


The re-growing head of the serpent at Lerne was beheaded repeatedly by Heraklees (GM 124.d).

p. 36 The knife belonging to the matricidal half-brother, which he had left behind at home as life-token, began rusting to disclose to the homey half-brother his having been captured and being held prisoner.


The rusting of a knife (of Phulakos) stuck into a pear-tree produced the cure for fright (GM 72.e); as revealed to a prisoner (Melampous).

p. 53 Old father of Awawak and Boboa, on his protracted wanderings, reached their abode, where he was not recognized until he sang a song, describing his life, to the wives of his two sons.

p. 55 Kikuyu : old father, "on his protracted wanderings, finally reaches the home where his daughter lives. He is not recognized until he sings a song, describing his life".

When Yo^sep’s brethren reached his abode in Mis.rayim, they did not recognize him. A maiden, daughter of >as^er, "sang" to inform Ya<qob of his son Yo^sep’s survival (LB, p. 254).

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

LB = Louis Ginzberg : Legends of the Bible. Konecky & Konecky.

pp. 38-40 – Myth # 4 "The Girl Who Escaped from Ama-irmi"; pp. 64-65 –Myth # 13 "Escaping from Ama-irmi"; pp. 67-68 – Myth # 14 "Girl Who Was to Be Sacrificed"


Astika; S^into; Hellenic

<arabi^ etc.

p. 64 The finger (digits) of the man Gwande’e were eaten, one each day, by

During the moon’s waning, one digit of the moon is eaten each day.

<aRiMa ‘dike’ (A-ED) {Dutch tale of finger inserted into small leak in dike}

Ama-iRMi [/ama/ "old and respected woman" (p. 106)], who pursued [p. 65] a boy; he escaped her by causing magical growth of hedge of thorn-bush.

The dead woman Izana-mi pursued her living erstwhile husband Izana-gi; he escaped by magically producing obstacles.

The lost city of <iRaM was re-discovered by (CM-C) the son of >abi KiLaBah {cf. name of /CoLomBia/, couuntry wherein there is an IZANA river}

This boy was named QwalaRMO.


{cf. name of town /IRMO/ nigh CoLumBia, South Carolina}

p. 40 A billy-goat [p. 68 : ram] was

{The name /IZana/ may derive from /<EZ/ ‘goat’ (Strong’s 5795) :}


hurled into the mouth of Ama-irmi by the brother-in-law of the girl Saidi [p. 68 : the girl Karari], causing Ama-irmi to perish.

cf. the Khimaira (‘Nanny-goat’) who perished by swallowing what Bellerophon dropped into her mouth (GM 75.c).


Bellerophon bridled Pegasos (GM 75.c).

Founder of <iram was (S-TT, p. 211) S`addad (= /s`adad/ ‘saddle’ – A-ED), who, together with his brother S`addid, was son of <ad.

A-ED = Cowan : Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic.

Strong’s = Hebrew/Aramaic Dictionary.

CM-C = "City of Many-Columned ..." in 1001 Nights

S-TT = David Pinault : Story-Telling Techniques in the Arabian Nights. Brill, 1992.

pp. 41-42 – Myth # 5 "Loa and Netlangw"

p. 41 "Loa and Netlangw lived together ... . Whenever Loa created something, an animal, etc., Netlangw would always come and destroy ... these things. He would

p. 42 either break one of the animal’s legs or spoil the landscape ... . ... Loa said to him : "Go and fill this calabash with water ... ." ... the calabash was full of holes."" It leaked out all the water, repeatedly.

pp. 46-49 – Myth # 8 "Man-Eating Bull"; pp. 83-86 – Myth # 21 "Children Who Escaped"



p. 46 "there was a white bull of prodigious size and powers, which used to eat people."

Mino-tauros, who used to "devour" people, "was the bull-headed monster which Pasiphae: had borne to the white bull." (GM 98.c)

p. 84 "When they reached a parting of the paths," a girl and a boy decided to take the same path (the fork in the path toward the right) : thereby they encountered a human-eating monster.

Theseus "and his companions danced ... labyrinthine evolutions, trod with measured steps" : when Theseus and his companions danced this dance at Knossos, "this was the first occasion when men and women danced together." (GM 98.u)

p. 85 The girl and the boy together killed the monster within a hollow tiita {baobab?} tree by means of dropping the monster from a rope.

As advised by Ariadne, Theseus was to kill the Mino-tauros in the Labyrinth by means of a thread (GM 98.k).

p. 47 Two identical-twin brethren boys, after hunting and killing, successively, a bird, a hare, a lion, and an elephant,

Partridge (GM 92.c, f). Minos’s son Glaukos was revived by a hare (GM 90.j).

p. 48 amputated the "little finger" of the white bull : "Then a great number of animals and men and women came out alive." [p. 86 amputated all the monster’s fingers : thereupon "all the people and animals that the monster had eaten in his life came out alive."]

Finger-ring of (GM 98.i) Minos, incarcerater of the Mino-tauros.

Magical white blood thereupon oozed from that little finger.

ichor {cf. plant-sap as blood of r.s.i-s}

pp. 55-57 – Myth # 10 "Pumpkin That Could Talk"



p. 56 Girl named Rimbit departed on account of her own pumpkin.

Cindarella departed in her pumpkin-carriage.

pp. 58-61 – Myth # 11 "Boy and His Friend the Elephant"



p. 58 The boy Simboya released an elephant which had fallen into a pit.

p. 62 Various tribes (Kaguru, Nyaturum Sukuma, and Pare) in Tanganyika tell a tale about an animal released from a pit-trap.

p. 59 "The boy cut stout pegs of wood, which he drove into the treetrunk, to make it easier for him to climb".

Quetzalcoatl embedded stones into the trunk of a tree at Quauhtitlan (AH-M).

p. 60 SIMBoYa tried, as his successive messengers to his father, three birds : hawk, crow, and "a tiny little bird."

SIMBI "carries messages to and from Legba" (SV).

AH-M = Daniel Brinton : American Hero-Myths. 1882.

SV = Rigaud : Secrets of Voodoo.

pp. 62-63 – Myth # 12 "The Most Beautiful Girl"



p. 63 The girl Ari was brought back alive "from the bottom of the pool" by her father.

According to Pausanias (Guide to Hellas 2.37.6), the heroine Semele was brought back alive from beneath the Alkuonian lake at Nemea (SD2) by her son.

SD2 =

pp. 88-89 – Myth # 23 "The Tortoise and the Crow"



p. 88 "the tortoise decided to seek the assistance of his wife. ... First of all she was to wrap the tortoise in a banana leaf, ... when the crow came to visit the home of the tortoise, ... to fly off with it".

(IC) Tortoise and the Birds :

"Tell my wife…to bring out all the soft things in my house and cover the compound with them so that I can jump down from the sky without very danger." (Achebe, 84)

p. 89 "The impact was to violent that it produced a mass of criss-cross cracks in the tortoise’s shell, and this is the reason why all tortoises today have a fine pattern of crack markings on their shells."

(AS) "Tortoise falls from the sky and "’His shell broke into pieces.’" ...

"'a great medicine-man in the neighbourhood'" patches Tortoise’s shell together again."

IC =

AS =

Chinwa Achebe : Things Fall Apart. Evanston, 1959.

pp. 89-90 – Myth # 24 "How the Sky Was Separated from the Earth"



p. 89 "A long time ago the sky was very close to the surface of the earth. The distance between them ... was so small that every time a woman wanted to pound corn she had to pray : "Dear sky, raise yourself up for a while so that I can use my mortar to pound my corn". When she had finished her work, the sky would sink down again."

Manobo & Bagobo : "After Tuglibong or Mona raises the sky by striking it with her pestle, a golden age ensues, people begin to multiply and crops are planted.

p. 90 "tall grass of a particular kind grew on their mother’s grave. One day their stepmother ... took a great knife (panga) and cut down all the strange, tall grass on the grave. As soon as she had done this a stream of blood shot up to the sky with great force. So powerful was it that it pushed the sky high away from the earth. Ever since that day the sky and the earth have been separated."

Either Tuglibong or her daughter Mebuyan creates a great hole into the Underworld when her spinning rice mortar drills into the Earth. ... The opening created by Tuglibong or Mebuyan leads to the Black River of the Underworld when her spinning rice mortar drills into the Earth. ... The Earth opening created by the mortar, the world spring created by the Ifugao ... all appear related." (GS3)

GS3 =

Hans-Egil Hauge : Iraqw Religion and Folklore. World Folklore Society, Norway, 1981.