Instructions for submission 1. Choose a topic that interests you and is related to your area of study or professional field. 2. Explain why this topic interests you and is related to your area of study or professional field. 3. Research this topic and write an essay that incorporates information from 3 different sources. 4. Cite your sources using APA standards learned in this unit. The paper should be at least 300-400 words in length, doublespaced, and in Times New Roman font. You should also include a word count. 1 Discussion
As discussed in my 2013 work Aaluja: Rescue, Reinterpretation and Restoration of Major Ancient Egyptian Themes, Vol. 1,2 in the ancient world the concept of life was poetically considered to be the derivative of the union of a “sky-father” and “earthmother” (with the exception of ancient Kemet [ancient Egypt], which reversed the gender roles of these deities). 3 A case in point is the Yoruba deity Obatala “the exalted king” or “The father on high,” who is a “sky” deity, and the “earth” goddess by the name of Oduduwa, from Odu-o da uwa “Oracular utterances created existence” (Oduyoye, 1996: 40). Among the
Fon, Ewe and Egun ethnic groups, the “sky” deity is Segbo (cf. Hebrew sagab “be inaccessibly high”; Yoruba o? ugbo “exalted elders”) and the earth goddess is Sakpata (cf. Ga sikpon “earth”) (see Adegbola, 1983: 382). The Bible follows this same tradition. However, in trying to appear ‘monotheistic’,4 the Old Testament writers ‘demoted the gods and tried to make them appear human. The story of Adam and Eve is really a tale of how the sky-god and the earth-mother gave birth to life as we know it. However, this life, which once included all things, is now relegated to human beings only in the Biblical myth.
The name Adam (Hebrew ‘adam, ha-‘adam “ancestral man”) is from the same root as Egyptian jtm5 “Atum,” who was Egypt’s “sky-god” par excellence. Natively among the Yoruba, this spirit is known as Adamu. In Shona-Bantu, God is known as MuDzimu. In Hebrew, the earth goddess is known as Hawwah “Eve. ” Her name is cognate with Yoruba uwaluwa (cf. Yoruba aye “earth, world, life, state of being”) “existence, life, destiny,” “character (mode of life)”; Igbo uwa (cf. Yoruba, Nembe aye) “earth, life, world”; Hausa uwa (cf. Bini iye, Yoruba iye/iya “mother”) “mother”; Urhobo ohwo (Yoruba eyo/? je) “human being, existence.
It should be noted that among the Yoruba, uwa (the personification of lwa) is the wife of Orunmila, another representation of the sky. The Hebrews, in many respects, took two Egyptian nTrw (netcheru, deities) and demoted them in Genesis. We’ve already noted Atum = Adam, but we did not address Hawwah “Eve. ” Hawwah is a by-form of the Egyptian deity Gb “the god Geb,” which derives from Egyptian gbb “earth” (possibly a geminate or partial reduplication on the /b/phoneme). In Egypt the earth is personified as a masculine deity (cf. Nembe lj? kiri “earth,” Amakiri “the Earth god”; Egyptian Aqr “earth, Earth God”; both male).
In Aaluja Vol. II (forthcoming), I will provide the linguistic proofs for Semitic /h/ corresponding to Kongo-Saharan /k/ or /g/ sounds (a common sound shift: i. e. , k>h), and /w/ deriving from / b/. Hebrew Hawwah is Epie agba “farm”; Engenni agba “farm”; Ewe/Aja/Ge agbe “life”; Fon gbe “world, life (of plants, of men)”; Yoruba gbe “live, dwell,” igbe “bush” (Hebrew yegeb), agbe “farmer” (Hebrew yagab “till the earth”); Ewe gbee “bush,” gbe “be alive,” Hogbe “the people of the land”; Urhobo akpo “world of the living, life, society. ” It should be noted as well than in Yoruba, the word igbo means “forest” (Williamson 1972).
This brief examination—by way of comparative linguistics, shows an emerging theme in ancient African conceptions of life. The fructifying rain impregnates the fertile earth and gives birth to all types of life. The Hebrew authors did not want to attribute this process to many “deities,” and they did not feel comfortable with the idea of creation coming by way of sexual activity; therefore, the gods Atum and Geb were demoted to “human beings” and all ‘glory’ was given to El “God. ” Linguistics and comparative cultural anthropology and religion help us to recover the underlying theme in the text.
The story of Adam and Eve is not a historical fact as many believers proselytize in their respective institutions. These are two African deities whose stories and characteristics were adapted to fit the social-political and theological framework of the Hebrews in that age and time. By knowing the meaning of words, we can move past the dogma and realize the underlying themes the mythologies are trying to convey to us. Adam and Eve (Atum/Adamu/Mudzimu & Geb/ Hawwah) is simply a story of how spirit (rain) and matter (earth) gives birth to life as we know it. The demoting of Atum and Geb was a political jab at the African traditions.