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Myths of the Creation of Man and the Origin of Death in Africa

A study in Igbo Traditional Culture and other African Cultures


Obiakoizu A. Iloanusi

The study of the myths of preliterate society is at times a painstaking venture because of the often rather unfortunate misinterpretation of these myths as false stories based on imagination. But myth, as a lived religious experience of a particular cultural society asserts the necessity for expression of transcendent realities which in turn are expressed in symbolic forms. It governs the faith and controls the conduct of the people who live the myths in their ritual ceremonies. As a narrative resurrection of primordial reality with normative influence myth satisfies deep religious needs, fixes customs, sanctions and modes of behaviour. This work undertakes to show that religious myths of the preliterate society - especially the myths of creation of man and the origin of death - are not illusive stories concocted to deceive common mind but rather mental deductions of the preliterate mind of the history of his religion, the knowledge of his origin, death and the hereafter.
Contents: Myth in general - Myth as medium of understanding for the religious beliefs and practices of the people - Myth and History - Myth and Culture - Creation myths - Myths of the origin of Death - The lost Paradise Nostalgia for Paradise - Theological Evaluation and Levels of Meaning etc.