Creation & the Universe

Myths of Creation & the Universe

The Creation of the Universe and Ife


A Myth Representing the Culture from Which It Sprung.


Source:  Rosenberg, Donna. World Mythology: An Anthology of the Great Myths and Epics. Lincolnwood, Ill: NTC Pub. Group, 1999. Internet resource. 

Rationale:  Unlike many myths, this tale represents its earliest record and close translation.  It is appropriate for all audiences and demonstrates the kinder side of humanity as it reflects the culture that created it.

Audience:  Elementary and Up

Possible Themes: Myth, Africa, Community, Gender


Summary of tale:


Obatala, a young sky god, entreats Olorun, ruler of the sky and god with the greatest power, to grant him permission to create dry land on the waters and wild marshlands below so that vegetation, animals, and people might live there.  His request is granted, and the process of the creation unfolds.

Olokun, goddess and ruler of  the waters and wild marshlands, is not consulted and manifests her wrath in a great flood, leading to the challenge for position of supreme ruler between god and goddess.


Running time: 45 minutes

Q & A readily available

Extension activities

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