The River God

Main Piece: “My grandparents always use to tell me a story about Nyami a River God in Africa. Nyami was a God who usually was depicted as a snake like creature thing but no one actually knew his length.Legends has it that the water stains red when he swims past and that he can smell blood. A well known African chief saw him once but the river god has been in hiding since the white people arrived in the country. According to my grandparents he lived under a large rock close to the present day Kariba dam wall. No one would go near it because those who would were sucked down with their canoes in the whirlpools and never seen again. The lake that he lives in is said to be to separate him and his wife. However, my grandparents say that this has threatened the peace of the valley and this angers him.”

Background Information: The informant learned this story from his grandparents who are from Zimbabwe, Africa. The informant says this story affected the way his grandparents relatives lived in Zimbabwe, and this story has an effect on the way he sees nature. Because of this story, the informant says he has a deep appreciation for nature because everything has a spirit.

Context: In the informat’s house

Thoughts: This story displays the importance of nature and earth in the African culture, and this story seems to be a warning sign to those who try to cross the river. It is interesting to see how this story has affected those across generations like Justin’s grandparents and now him. It is also interesting that Nyami is feared rather than loved, and that people still respect him as a God even though he killed people who tried to find him which makes Nyami more of a powerful figure in African mythology and life.