The Creation of the World – Zulu

(This is a summary of a much longer story from the
Southeastern Africa People, the Zulu* kaNtombela.)

Long ago, before man or any animals roamed the earth, there was just darkness and one very large seed. The seed sank into the earth and from it, long reeds began to grow. They were called “Uthlanga,” which means the source of all things.

Slowly, one reed grew into a man. It was Unkulunkulu, First Man, and the creator of all things. The larger he grew the heavier he became. Finally, when he was fully-grown, he broke off from the reed and fell to earth.

As he strolled up and down the earth, he saw other growing reeds forming into men and women. Unkulunkulu broke off the first men and women; medicine men and their dreams. He pulled off cattle and fish and birds and fierce creatures.

He created streams and mountains, lakes and valleys, wind and rain and the sun and the moon. Unkulunkulu created everything we see around us today.

He taught the first men and women how to hunt and make fire, how to make clothes and prepare corn. He gave all of the animals their names.

When all of this was done, Unkulunkulu sent the languid chameleon out into the world with the message that his people will never die. The chameleon plodded on his mission slowly, slowly, slowly.

After several days, Unkulunkulu became impatient and sent a speedy lizard out into the world with the message that Death was on its way. The swift lizard quickly overtook the chameleon and arrived at the village first.

Once the lizard brought its message to the first people, Death arrived shortly thereafter. It has never left mankind since.

This is the end of this story.

To view our source, please click here.

*iZulu/iliZulu/liTulu means heaven or sky

WeWán Comments:

Here we find a common concept with the seed of life being the origin of all things living. We also find that the human is again responsible for tending a“living garden.”

Then in a bizarre twist, man sends out a slow lizard with the good message about life, that all these creations would never die.

Becoming impatient, he sent a swift lizard that overtook the chameleon with a message that death was on his way? What peculiar turn of events.

More importantly, the prophecy became reality… And has remained a constant to this day.

It is interesting that in the story of creation, as told by us (humans), we place ourselves as the chosen one to continue to creation work from the beginning.

Is this egotistical or by design?

Today humankind continues to grow by learning the wonderments of the great gifts of Creation itself. From this we can deduce that as humans we have assumed the responsibility for the care and growth of the creative process begun so long ago.

Wisdom learned from the Storytellers:

  • To everything there is a balance, designed by Creator.
  • Quick, slow, life, death… Heed the balance, for there is always another side of what we observe.
  • Africa is a very large continent and there are many diverse cultures and people who live upon this cradle of humanity. Therefore the Institute brings you more than one story to establish balance, and respect the vastness of this most special place!

Read the Creation myth of the Yoruba here.


Call for Wisdom Keepers: We would be honored to speak with those wisdom keepers in your circle. If you know of a wisdom keeper, an elder… Please help us make the connection.

Learn about Teaching Stories here….



WeWán… Ganawenindán atn Nibwákáwin

Together… Keepers of the Wisdom

Doyens of the Powaka Experience!

Jim Great Elk (kiji) and Kelly Talking Heron (A’sha) are Shawano Wisdom Keepers, who believe everyone walks their own path on the Circle of Life.

Through the Powaka Experience, you master four basic Stepping Stones to your center… where you learn to Walk in Balance and discover Your Destiny.

Elder, Shawano Mide’ Pa-we’wa Jim Great Elk Waters, brings a most unique presence. For over 800 moons as a traveler in this Place and Time, Great Elk has been imbued with a priceless collection of wisdom and knowledge.

Shawano Woman of the Seventh Generation, Kelly Talking Heron Pavlovic, is a practicing Mide’ whose energy brings an inherent balance to this most unusual and exciting wewàn.

kiji and A’sha humbly offer a living repository of Traditional Wisdom and Cultures of their collective tribes – Shawano, Celt, Pict, Gaelic, Caucasus, African, Hebrew… The Ancestors.

Together, in their unforgettable style, they share the Wisdom of their Ancestors and forever transform audiences around the world.