October 13th, 2009 by sabrina

star-of-heavenAtai is the Efik Goddess of creation and death. The Efik of Nigeria say that Atai and her husband Abassi, God of creation and the sky, created the first man and woman. Abassi wanted to keep them in the sky with him so that he could better control them, fearing that they would become stronger or wiser than him. Atai convinced him to let them settle on the earth, under the conditions that they would not work or mate. Abassi agreed, and the man and woman went to live on the earth. Each day, they returned to the heavens to eat with Abassi so he could check up on them.

Eventually, the woman discovered that she could grow food for her and the man by herself, and began to work in the fields. After the man had joined her in the field, they also discovered sex and began to have children. When Abassi called them to come and eat, they would not come and Abassi turned on Atai and blamed her for convincing him to let them go. Atai told Abassi that she would resolve the situation, and she sent death and discord to the earth. The first man and woman died immediately, and their children were doomed to have discord walk among them for all their days, until they too died.

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