The Origin Story of the Bukusu People of East Africa

A creation myth is an account of how the world got started and how humans initially inhabited it. They are present in almost all known religious systems on earth and are frequently regarded as sacred stories..

The Origin Story of the Bukusu People of East Africa
A Bukusu teenager undergoing a naked ritual

Creation myths, which are widespread in human culture and often have multiple versions due to being passed down orally, are the most common type of myth. Consequently, there are nearly as many different cosmogonic myths as there are human cultures.

The Bukusu are one of the seventeen Kenyan tribes of the Luhya Bantu people of East Africa. Calling themselves BaBukusu, they are the largest tribe of the Luhya nation, making up about 34% of the Luhya population. They primarily rely on agriculture and pastoralism as their main source of livelihood, and they practice subsistence agriculture, growing crops such as maize, beans, and potatoes. They also rear livestock such as cattle, goats, and sheep for both milk and meat.

The Bukusu people of East Africa, like every other culture on the planet, have a origin story that describes the origin of the world and the creation of the first human beings. According to the Bukusu origin myth, the first human, Mwambu, was formed from mud by the supreme deity, Were, at a location known as Mumbo. Afterwards, Were made Sela, a female, to be Mwambu’s companion.

Years went by, and Mwambu and Sela had many children. They grew in number and started to explore the world beyond Mumbo. They eventually settled on the foothills of Mount Elgon and their descendants continued to thrive and multiply. Over time, these descendants grew to form the current Bukusu population.

In Bukusu mythology the universe and the animals are eternal, so that there are no creation myths about their origin.

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


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