Congolese myth of the creation of man and woman
At that time there lived in the universe a single being who was called Mahungu,
that is the Being complete in himself,
In fact, Mahungu was the summit of perfection.
He lived in perfect harmony with all created things,
knowing only perfect joy and happiness and knowing nothing even of the existence of suffering or pain.
Mahungu possessed all powers,
all opposing forces:
he could provoke the tempest and the hurricane with a violent breath.
The Being of perfect synthesis,
he could create or destroy,
give life or take it away.
But in his quality of complete Being,
he contained both Man and Woman.
He must have been hermaphroditic.
One day, not far from where he lived, Mahungu saw a tree germinate.
This tree was known as the Devine Tree or the Tree of God.
It was what today we call the ‘Palm Tree’.
The supreme being forbade Mahungu to approach the tree and
Mahungu obeyed for sometime,
but one day, unable any longer to resist his curiosity,
he approached the tree and walked round it.
At once the Complete Being was divided into two and became two distinct entities’
Lumbu, the Man, and Muzita, the Woman.
At the same time, the knowledge of suffering and the sense of not being
complete was instilled in the man and woman.
The man wanted to recover his feminine attributes which had left him
and the woman wanted to recover her masculine attributes which had left her.
They said to themselves: Let us walk back round the tree in the other direction;
So they retraced their steps.
But when they reached the starting point,
they found that they were still two
and had not succeeded in forming once more a ‘single Being’.
as well as nostalgia for their lost unity.
They felt strongly the need for each other and the closer they got to each other,
the more the feeling of incompleteness was softened.
But this need to be close to each other also grew
until the day when the different part’s of their bodies fitted together,
harmonized and brought them back for an instant to the primordial state of Mahungu.
They repeated this closeness several times
without ever managing to maintain this moment of perfect unity or to make it last.
But from this union was born another being like them who,
without being the Complete Being perfect in himself,
remains the symbol of the efforts
of the man and woman to find their initial