it’s too early to comment on this

but i think this will be interesting. When I read it, I was reminded of my other readings into the works of the anthropologists who came to Africa with Christian missionaries in tow to find out whether my ancestors believed in a creator, monotheist god and then interpreted the names the Africans based on their biases to mean what they wanted. For example, while being taught catechism as a child, we would be asked ngano mano chweyo piny gi polo? This is translated as who created the earth and the heavens?. But this translation is misleading. There is no concept of ex nihilo creation in Dholuo. And the right meaning would be who moulded the heavens and the earth. In this second interpretation, the subject is working with available material to mould a world out of it. A creation out of nothing wouldn’t make sense to my ancestors. It doesn’t make sense to me either. That looks like the same thing with the Egyptian mummies. But as a good student, I suggest we wait for more researches into this matter. Unfortunately, we will have to rely on conjecture and speculation and we will take the solution that makes the least assumptions and marries well with the data we got until we are lucky one day to resurrect one of the dead Egyptian embalmers.

Did I miss something? What do you think of the article? But you can also talk about anything your fancy drives you to. We can call this a new year open comment post. You can also suggest what you would like your host to write about this year. I promise to take these suggestions seriously.


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

20 thoughts on “it’s too early to comment on this

  1. Happy New Year!

    No idea on the article’s assertions, but it wouldn’t shock me if western anthropologists got it wrong.

    One thing I do wonder about. Egyptians are usually cited as an early culture with an afterlife mythology. Was the mummy evidence interpreted to fit that mythology, the mythology interpreted to fit the mummy evidence, or were both just shoehorned into an European worldview?


  2. rautakyy says:

    Yes, it may be a bit early, but on the other hand, this may be long overdue. A lot of historical research has been made and repeated on the base assumptions of the culture, ideology and religious affiliation of the researcher. Poor methodology. Ancient Egyptians did not live in an unchanging world, but their new generations introduced new ideas, beliefs, values and ideals. Thousands of years of civilization and it is still approached as a monolith. Many of the poor got mummified too in desert caves. Infact so many, that the colonial railway companies used them as a macabre fuel for their steamengines.

    Even modern day Christianity seems to be unable to determine what the Christians expect in the afterlife. These NDE:s appear very popular among self describing fundamentalists just as the “rapture” events, when Roman Catholics have come up with the Purgatory and indeed the main sourcebook says “the dead know nothing”, while a lot of theology goes for the awakening of the dead on Judgement Day and so on. It is weird to think all the ancient Egyptians had one fixed idea all the time about such an elusive subject.

    Our ancestral ancient Finnish poetry describes the creation of the world to have happened by accident in an eternal ocean, when the lady of the air Ilmatar turned in her sleep and an egg of a bird nesting on her knee broke and formed both heaven and earth. The event did not need agency or purpose. It just happened. The need to think everything has to have a purpose and a benevolent powerfull entity behind it seems to stem from an emotional insecurity, methinks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nan says:

      TOTALLY agree with your last sentence, rautakyy!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • rautakyy says:

        It is curious though. We have more than one way of looking at the origins of things, time, the world and life, but the language we use may dictate our expectations on the issue. If we talk about those various things as “the creation”, we have allready predetermined them into a singular event and pretty much preassumed a creator behind the event. To the extent where intelligent and educated individuals with relatively scientific minds relate a philosophical argument of an original cause to a prime mover as a self aware agent and all the way to the particular mythology of their own cultural heritage, that has no better logic to set it on such a pedestal, than their own emotional ties to it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      You always bring interesting insights. I like the story of how the world came to be, especially the accidents nature of it. Getting to adjust ourselves to such a thought process would help us deal with uncertainty.


  3. Nan says:

    I say, write whatever you feel like/want. mak. From past posts, it seems your topics nearly always trigger feedback so you must be doing something right! 👍

    BTW, enjoyed the article. And isn’t it interesting that the Christians are unable to see/accept that their version is essentially just one of many?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. john zande says:

    This certainly makes more sense. Removing all the organs never made any sense to me.


  5. I remember, you had previously posted a similar-sounding article about the Christian infestation of the African continent, not that I think any other religions are less poisoned to the mind.
    As no one knows how it all started, despite the theories that abound, such discussions are futile.
    In that case, I hold it with a quote from the Tao:
    Unceasing, continuous,
    It cannot be defined,
    and reverts again to the realm of nothingness.


    • makagutu says:

      Christian and Islamic infestation of Africa. Sometimes I am with a group of friends and someone says our religion says such and such, and I ponder is there any reflection on their part on how it came to be their religion?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ron says:

    I’m begining to think the ancient Egyptians’ sole intent was to provide future generations with “great mysteries” to ponder over for their leisure

    Liked by 1 person

  7. renudepride says:

    A very thoughtful innovation to allow everyone an opportunity to express themselves as freely as they desire. Good move, my Kenyan brother. All the best to you for 2023! Keep up the great work. Pedal away! 😉 Naked hugs!


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