In the beginning, there was Mbombo, the creator, along with water and darkness. Mbombo, or Bumba as he is called in the Boshongo tradition, is said to be a giant white-coloured figure who had been ill for millions of years due to loneliness. This traditional creation story comes from the Kuba people of Central Africa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The story of Mbombo’s creation tells that in the beginning, Mbombo was alone, darkness and primordial water covered all the earth. It would happen that Mbombo came to feel an intense pain in his stomach, and then Mbombo vomited the sun, the moon, and stars. The heat and light from the sun evaporated the water covering the earth, creating clouds, and after time, the dry hills emerged from the water.
Another vomit from Mbombo brought forth nine animals: the leopard, called Koy Bumba; the eagle, Ponga Bumba; the crocodile, Ganda Bumba; the fish, Yo Bumba; the tortoise, Kono Bumba; a black leopard-like animal, Tsetse Bumba; a white heron, Nyanyi Bumba; a scarab; and a goat named Budi. These nine animals went on to create all the world’s creatures.
The first heron created more birds, the crocodile created more reptiles and serpents, and the goat made horned beasts. The fish created other fishes and the beetle created all manner of insects. An iguana, produced by the crocodile, made creatures without horns. Mbombo also vomited many men; one of them was called Loko Yima and was white like Bumba.
Mbombo three sons also assisted him in completing his creation. The first to try, Nyonye Ngana, vomited white ants, but died right after. To honor him, the ants burrowed deep into the ground looking for dark soil to bury him in. They found it and brought the soil to the surface to transform the barren deserts into what is now the earth’s surface. The second, Chonganda, created the first plant, which in turn gave rise to all trees, grasses and flowers. And Chedi Bumba, the third son, made the last bird, the kite.
Once the creation was complete and peaceful, Mbombo delivered it to mankind and retreated into the heavens, leaving Loko Yima his first son to serve as “god upon the earth”.