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Shala of Sumer Bastet of Egypt
Adroa of Africa - Strange Deities
1231    Dibyendu Banerjee    30/08/2020   

Adroa is the supreme god of the Lugbara community of Central Africa, whose tribal territories stretch across Congo, Uganda, Zaire and Sudan. He is the creator of the heaven and the earth and also created the twines, Gborogboro and Meme, who were the first men and women, considered the ancestors of the Lugbara. At first, in due course Meme gave birth to all the animals of the world and after that to another pair of male-female twins.

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The process of the birth of the miraculous male-female twins continued for several generations, after which the hero-ancestors Jaki and Dribidu were born, whose sons were believed to be the founders of the present-day Lugbara clans.

adroa of africa

According to the local legends, as the supreme god and creator, Adroa is also the fountainhead of all power and authority and is credited with the establishment of social order for the tribal ancestors of the Lugbara. Like many other African gods, he had two aspects, Adroa the good and Adro the bad. He was, therefore, in effect, two gods. It is believed that while creating himself, he divided his body down the middle, leaving the good and lighted side of him in the sky and the evil and dark side of him on earth. One of the parts is tall and white, signifying onyiru or goodness, while the other is short and black, symbolizing onzi or evil.

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Adroa possessed the good side and Adro the bad. Adroa is transcendent, the god in the sky and far away from the living, while Adro is the god on earth, close to mankind and was onzi or bad. Each of them has half of the body with one of each body part including the eyes, legs, ears, etc. However, both Adroa and Adro are part of a Lugbara man, as a sign of divine creation. In this aspect, Adroa is also known as Tali. Women are thought to have no Tali. Upon a man's death, the Adro aspect was thought to leave his body, rejoining with Adro in the rivers and becoming Adroanzi, while Tali rejoins Adroa in the sky. As Adroa was living in heaven, he was out of human reach and was regarded as perfection itself. He appears to people in whatever form best fits a situation and believed to appear to individuals just before their death. As a deity of death, he is the taker away of men.

adroa of africa

On the other hand, Adro takes care of matters on Earth and was the one who could come in contact with humans. However, he is not visible to the people and when he does make an appearance, it is in the form of a snake. Occasionally, he has also made appearances as a whirlwind. He possesses young women, causes sickness and death and abducts people to eat them. His children, the Adroanzi, resembling serpents, are the guardian spirits of the dead.

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Usually, they live in the trees, rivers, streams and rocks and sometimes follow people at night and protect them on their journey through the darkness, provided they do not look back. However, if they look back, they are killed by the Adroanzi. To please Adro and gain his favour, people used to sacrifice their children to him. However, that inhuman tradition was banned in 1930 and rams have been substituted as victims.

adroa of africa
Adroanzi
Shala of Sumer Bastet of Egypt
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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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