Sunday, 9 October 2016

BRIEF MYTH STORY OF CREATION OF THE EARTH BASED ON THE ISOKO TRADITION OF NIGERIA.

A BRIEF MYTH OF CREATION OF THE EARTH BASED ON THE ISOKO TRADITION OF NIGERIA.




There are two myths which surround the creation of the earth based on the Isoko tradition. The myths will I discuss below: 
First of all , the Isoko people are found in Delta State of Nigeria, and it was believed that the Isoko people originated from Benin kingdom and that the Benin kingdom also originated from the Yoruba Empires thus, making the Isoko people have the same creation story as the Yorubas. It was believed that God sent out from heaven a party of seventeen immortals with Obatala as the leader and sixteen others, including Oduduwa to go down and create the earth out of the existing mass of water. To accomplish this task, they were given a chicken, five pieces of iron and a lump of earth tied in a white piece of cloth. On the way, Obatala was unable to lead the party again, because he had become drunk with palm wine. So, Oduduwa took over the lead until they reached Ile Ife. Here the five pieces of iron were carefully set, the lump of earth were placed on them and the chicken was made to scatter the earth with its toes. As a result, the world emerged out of the mass of water and the seventeen then dispersed and the Isoko people were believed to be part of the people that dispersed and this explain the first myth of creation of the Isoko people.

Secondly, in Isoko tribe, it was also believed that the Supreme Being referred to as “Oghene” created the earth and the Isoko people themselves. It was believed that the Supreme being “Oghene” sent his messenger known as “Oyise”, divinities and other intermediaries to dominate the earth and give rise to new beings called MEN. Initially, God’s intention was that man will live forever, but as time went on the became overpopulated with animals (which were assumed to have been created by “Oghene”) and men. So there became a controversy among the animals and men, they all assembled to make suggestions, the animal called toad suggested that man should continue living while they evacuate the earth but the animal called Dog contradicted this suggestion, so they all agreed that who so ever gets to Oghene first in a race to report this suggestion will win. So the race was up and the toad was far back while the dog was ahead, the dog on seeing the Toad far back , he decided to take a short rest which he did and eventually slept off . The toad who was far back passed by the sleeping dog to Heaven to meet Oghene and made the suggestion to him, but Oghene in reply told the toad that he will not evacuate them from the earth but will make man to be in control of them and that was how man dominated over all things which Oghene had made including the animals. Thus giving the Isoko people a second creation story.

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