Zulu Version of the Legend of the "Origin of Death"
A Zulu Version of the Legend of the "Origin of Death"
GOD [Unknlunkulu] arose from beneath [the seat of the spiritual world, according to the Zulu idea], and created in the beginning men, animals, and all things. He then sent for the Chameleon, and said, "Go, Chameleon, and tell Men that they shall not die." The Chameleon went, but it walked slowly, and loitered on the way, eating of a shrub called Bukwebezane.
When it had been away some time, God sent the Salamander after it, ordering him to make haste and tell Men that they should die. The Salamander went on his way with this message, outran the Chameleon, and, arriving first where the Men were, told them that they must die.
The text came from:
Honey, James A. South African Folk-tales. New York: Baker & Taylor Company, 1910.