This story from the Fang people is about the creation of the first human Fam who was given absolute power. This power went to his head as he destroyed the earth and disrespected the other animals that have been created.
In the beginning Membere (who is 3 gods in one) creates elephant, leopard and monkey and then decides to create man to rule over them, the first man is called Fam and he is given ultimate power over the animals as well as being immortal. He starts building, burning and destroying the earth and treating the animals badly. He refuses to worship Member when he is invited by the animals and just caries on building dams, developments and tearing up the place. The animals are in despair. Membere decides to flood the earth and Fam is made to wander alone forever.
This story reflects the importance of looking after our environment, especially the equatorial rainforests where the Fang live that are abundant in natural resources such as timber, diamonds, oil and calton (used in phones) as well as palm oil plantations which are also a growing threat.
The Fang people were victims of the large transatlantic and trans-Saharan slave trade between the 16th and 19th century. They were stereotyped as cannibals by slave traders and missionaries possibly because of the human skulls and bones kept in open or in wooden boxes near their villages. Later, anthropologists discovered that the Fang people were not cannibalistic, the human bones in open and wooden boxes were of their ancestors, and were a method of routine remembrance and religious reverence for their dead loved ones.
The Fang people also known as Fãn or Pahouin are a Bantu ethnic group found in Equatorial Guinea, Norther Gabon and Southern Cameroon in West Central Africa. They speak a Bantu language known as Fang.
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