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Perhaps Hesiod and Ovid are not the only ones with this idea of a utopian “golden age”. In the african myth Origins of Death we are introduced to a world similar to greco-roman mythology. A world where there was “no such thing as death. No crying, there was no disease, everybody was well and happy”(pg. 114). Just like the greco-roman myths, We begin with a world that is entirely naive to the possibilities of death and misfortune. I wonder if we could also compare their decline with the other myths we’ve read?

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2 thoughts on “African myth: a golden age?

  1. I agree it does seem similar to the golden age. When comparing the African myths with those of Hesiod and Ovid, I’d like to add that the story of Kintu returning to get what he’d forgotten after he’d been told not to, reminds me of the story of Pandora. They both do something they shouldn’t and bring about evil (in the case of Kintu, it is explicitly death). The story of Kintu also brings to mind Orpheus, turning around to look at his wife, when he was told not to. I wonder how much geographical proximity has to do with these similarities.

  2. The Origin of Death in the African story actually reminds me a lot of the Bible creation story, Genesis. In Genesis, it was a serpent who talked Eve into eating one of the apples from the sacred tree. In the African story, it is a lizard, (another cold blooded creature), that deceives humans into barrying their dead. Also, as you mentioned, it does have a very similar sense of Hesiod and Ovid’s Golden Age to the Iron Age. In the Golden Age and Race, their was no disease, no death, nothing of the sort. In the Iron Race and Age, death, disease, war, was everywhere. Looks like the beginning of the end to me.

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