The Shilluks of the White Nile, an ethnic group living in the region of South Sudan, have a captivating creation story that sheds light on the origins of the diverse races on Earth. According to their legend, the creator Juok played a central role in fashioning humanity from clay, assigning different complexions to the various races based on the colors of the clay he used.
As the story goes, Juok embarked on the task of creating mankind, shaping each individual with great care and intention. During his journey across the world, he stumbled upon different types of clay, each with its unique hue. In the land of the whites, he discovered pure white earth or sand and proceeded to mold white men out of it. Moving onward to the land of Egypt, Juok found the mud of the Nile, which he used to create brown men. Finally, he arrived in the land of the Shilluks, where he encountered black earth and fashioned black men out of it.
Juok’s method of sculpting humanity was a thoughtful process. To ensure that his creation could navigate the world, he gave them two long legs, similar to those of a flamingo. Recognizing the need for agriculture, he bestowed upon them two arms, one to hold a hoe for cultivation and the other to uproot weeds. To facilitate their ability to observe their surroundings, Juok provided two eyes so that his creations could see their crops and the world around them.
Understanding the importance of sustenance, Juok granted mankind a mouth, allowing them to eat their staple food, millet. Moreover, he recognized the significance of communication and expression in human interactions. Therefore, he endowed them with a tongue, enabling them to speak, sing, shout, and participate in the joy of dance. To complete their sensory experience, he equipped them with two ears, allowing them to hear the melodies of music and the voices of others.
After carefully crafting every aspect of his creation, Juok released mankind into the world, each individual perfectly formed and uniquely adapted to their environment. The story of the Shilluks’ creation narrative not only explains the origins of the different races on Earth but also highlights the interplay between human characteristics and the diverse environments in which they originated.