Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/201

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kulunkulu, "the old, old one," who was the first man, "and broke off in the beginning." Like Manabozho among the Indians of North America, and like Wainamoinen emong the Finns, Unkulunkulu imparted to men a knowledge of the arts, of marriage and so forth. His exploits in this direction, however, must be considered in another part of this work. Men in general "came out of a bed of reeds."[1] But there is much confusion about this bed of reeds, named "Uthlanga." The younger people ask where the bed of reeds was; the old men do not know, and neither did their fathers know. But they stick to it that "that bed of reeds still exists." Educated Zulus appear somewhat inclined to take the expression in an allegorical sense, and to understand the reeds either as a kind of protoplasm or as a creator who was mortal. "He exists no longer. As my grandfather no longer exists, he too no longer exists; he died.” Chiefs who wish to claim high descent trace their pedigree to Uthlanga, as the Homeric kings traced theirs to Zeus. The Zulus deny the theory broached by the missionaries that Unkulunkulu is the new "king who is in heaven." "We said, he came to be, and died; that is all we said."

In addition to the legend thet men came out of a bed of reeds, other and perhaps even more puerile stories are current. "Some men say that they were belched up by a cow;" others "that Unkulunkulu split them out of a stone,"[2] which recalls the legend

  1. Callaway, p. 9.
  2. Without anticipating a later chapter, the resemblances of these to Greek myths, as arrayed by M. Bouché Leclercq (De Origine Generis Humani), is very striking.