The spider. A trickster. A creator god. Something of a scoundrel, but quite well liked. Many amusing and fanciful stories are told of him.
The Great Serpent who comes out to graze after the rain. The rainbow is his reflection. BUKU (Various West African peoples) A sky god sometimes worshipped as a goddess. Buku created everything, even the other gods.
DANH also DAN AYIDO HWEDO
Snake god. The Haitians know him as Dan Petro. The Rainbow Snake who encircles the world, Danh is often portrayed with his tail in his mouth as a symbol of unity and wholeness.
(Bushman; to the Hottentots, TSUI; to the Xhosa and Ponda, THIXO)
A creator god. In the beginning, Dxui took the form of a different flower or plant every day, becoming himself at night, until he had created all the plants and flowers that exist.
A trickster. A shape-shifter, Eshu can change his form at will, and can even seem to be both huge and small at the same time. Eshu confuses men and drives them to madness. But Eshu also knows all human tongues and acts as a go-between for mortals and the gods.
The enemy of Tsui-Goab, Gunab lived under a pile of stones. Gunab kept overpowering Tsui-Goab, but the god grew stronger after each battle. Because he killed so many, Gunab is sometimes identified with death. Creator of the rainbow.
(Ga tribe of West Africa)
God of thunder, blacksmiths and farmers. Gua’s temples are often found at blacksmith’s forges.
A war god sent to save the Baganda people. The king of the Baganda asked heaven for assistance in war, and Kibuka was sent to aid them. Warned not to have anything to do with the enemy’s women, Kibuka nevertheless made love to a woman prisoner. Unwisely, Kibuka confided in her, and after escaping she told the enemy how Kibuka could be killed, by firing arrows into the cloud where he was hiding. Kibuka flew off to a tall tree to die, and a temple was built at the place where his body was found.
“The One Who Besets.”
Known to a number of peoples, Leza is the Supreme God who rules the sky and send wind and rain. Leza sits on the backs of all people, and no one ever breaks free of him. Leza is said to be growing old and so does not hear prayers as well as he once did. MAWU-LISA (Ewe) The great god and goddess of the sun and moon. Lisa is the sun and Mawu is the moon.
God, the Supreme Being. The concept of a supreme being and creator is nearly universal in Africa, although there are few temples to him. The titles which Africans have given God are wondrous in their variety. A few of these are: Creator, Moulder, Giver of Rain and Sunshine, he Who Brings the Seasons, He Who Thunders, Ancient of Days, the First, the Limitless, the One Who Bends Even Kings, the One You Meet Everywhere, the Firelighter, Great Mother, Greatest of Friends, the Kindly One, the Providence Who Watches All Like the Sun, the Great Pool Contemporary of Everything, the Great Spider, the One Beyond All Thanks, the Bow in the Sky, the Angry One, the Inexplicable.
The original god of the Ewe tribe, both male and female, Nanan-Bouclou is much too remote for worship. In Haiti Nanan-Bouclou is remembered as the god of herbs and medicines. ‘NGAI (Masai) Creator god. At birth, ‘Ngai gives each man a guardian spirit to ward off danger and carry him away at the moment of death. The evil are carried off to a desert, while the good go to a land of rich pastures and many cattle.
Supreme God of Heaven, both the sun god and the moon goddess. Nyame created the three realms, the sky, the earth and the underworld. Before being born, souls are taken to Nyame and washed in a golden bath, Nyame gives the soul its destiny and places some of the water of life in the soul’s mouth. The soul is then fit to be born.
Chief god of the Maragoli. Spirits aid Maragoli’s work, and they are represented by round stones circling a pole which represents the god.
(Fan people of the Congo)
A vague and shadowy god whose likeness can’t be captured in wood, stone or metal. Nzame lived on earth with his three sons, Whiteman, Blackman and Gorilla. Blackman, Gorilla and all their kinfolk sinned against Nzame, and so Nzame took all his wealth and went to live with his son Whiteman in the west. Gorilla and his kin went to live in the jungle. Without he wealth, power and knowledge of Nzame, Blackman and his kin live a hard life of poverty and ignorance, ever dreaming of the western land where dwells Nzame and his favoured son, Whiteman.
(Dahomey; to the Yoruba, SHAGPONA)
God of smallpox. Sagbata’s shrines were painted with a design of small spots. Sagbata’s priests fought small pox with both prayers and medical knowledge, and wielded great power over the people because they had learned how to use dried scabs both to immunize themselves against the disease and to spread it. Smallpox was considered a great disgrace and its victims were ostracized.
The second oldest son of God, and god of the river of the same name. The gods of the other rivers and families in the same region are all his family. Long ago Tano lost a singing match with Death. Tano and Death sang defiance to each other for over a month, but neither could win so they had to compromise. When someone is injured or falls ill, whichever god arrives first will claim him. If Tano arrives first, the person will live, but if Death arrives first the patient is lost. TSUI’ GOAB (Hottentots) “Wounded Knee,” “Father of Our Fathers.” A rain god who lives in the clouds, a great chief and magician. Tsui’ Goab made the first man and woman from rocks. Several times Tsui’ Goab died and rose again, to great joy and feasting. Men invoke Tsui’ Goab with the first rays of dawn and give oaths in his name.
“Old, Old One.” Unkulunkulu was both the first man and the creator, a god of the earth who had no traffic with the heavens. Unkulunkulu showed men how to live together and gave them knowledge of the world in which they lived.
A trickster, neither god nor human. Yo’s greed constantly gets him in trouble. Mawu created him for no good reason. Yo is everywhere. You can’t kill him, you can’t eat him, you can’t get rid of him at all. Yo is the only one of his kind. One is enough.