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Extra resources for African Mythology A to Z,Second Edition
The buffalo cow is closely associated with female deities in various African traditions. The shape of the buffalo’s horns resembles a crescent moon—a symbol of the goddess as an archetype. Buffalo cows are a symbol of female reproduction and of the goddess’s regenerative powers—her ability to renew and restore life. This power is seen in the continuing renewal of the supply of game. The goddess associated with game animals offers them as food for humans and then brings forth more animals. The need of hunters to join with the goddess’s power is reflected in a Yoruba myth in which the goddess Oya—in her aspect of Red Buffalo Woman—was pursued by the god Ogun, Chief of Hunters, until he made her his wife.
Amulets are magical charms used for protection and to ward off evil. Some amulets were believed to have broad powers, providing general protection. Others were amadlozi Zulu (South Africa) The spirits of the ancestors of the Zulu people. Humans could invoke the help of the spirit world by calling on the amadlozi. Amma Dogon (Burkina Faso, Mali) The Creator, a deity who in some versions of the Dogon creation account was male and in others was female. Amma created the universe and everything in it.
Bayajida (Abu Yazid, Abuyazidu) Hausa (Niger, Nigeria) The legendary hero of the Hausa, who was said in some accounts to be the son of the king of Baghdad; his Arabic name was Abuyazidu. ) The Hausa claim to be originally of Arab descent through Bayajida. According to tradition, Abuyazidu commanded a large army. After fighting a war against enemies that had attacked Baghdad, Abuyazidu wandered about with his army until they reached Bornu in the northern part of Nigeria. He allied himself with the sultan of Bornu and helped the ruler defend his territory in several wars.