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Additional info for African Mythology A to Z, 2nd Edition
Ama was sometimes regarded as male and at other times as female. In her female aspect, Ama was an earth goddess and world mother—the female counterpart of Chido, the sky god. Chido was the god above, and Ama was the goddess below. Ama created Earth, the heavens, and everything that lives and grows. As the personification of the Earth, Ama ruled Kindo, the underworld, from which all living things came and to which they returned after death. Ama was compared to a potter. Much as a potter builds up a pot with strips of clay, Ama created the human body by building it up bone by bone.
The heat from the Sun made the water evaporate, creating clouds above and drying the land below it. Mbombo vomited up trees and plants for the land and lightning to create fire. Then he vomited up fish, insects, and animals, including the leopard, eagle, and monkey. Then he vomited up the first woman and the first man. For a while, lightning produced fire to keep the two humans warm. But when lightning began to strike trees and 14 bat 15 planted him in the ground. She then left and wandered the world, creating disorder and unhappiness and bringing illness and death to humanity.
The Maasai of Kenya, for example, were given cattle by the culture hero Naiteru-kop (or in some versions, the Supreme God En-kai), who lowered them down from the sky. In another Maasai myth, livestock emerged from a termite hole in the ground. For other myths involving animals, see bat, crocodile, leopard, and lion. ants The common ant, a tiny insect that lives in underground colonies and gathers food, is credited in North African myths with teaching the first humans about the uses of plants and grains, among other things.