The Tree Of Life in African Mythology

African Mythology Tree Of Life Cred Mutwa Indaba My Children

After the Creator Goddess Ma had formed the Universe according to the will of the Great Spirit Nkulunkulu, she felt alone in the vastness of her creation.

The Great Spirit heard her sigh of loneliness, and so Nkulunkulu revealed to her that she would now have a companion who would be called Male, while she would be called Female.

At dawn, Ma awoke to the sound of a hoarse voice calling out to her.

She rejoiced and ran across the hills towards the voice with an open embrace which was met by the strange embrace of her new Mate, the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life’s arms were made of strange creeping vines, and its bark was studded with jagged pieces of granite, diamonds and Iron Ore. 

It also bulged with dozens of passionate bloodshot eyes, a mouth with a Thousand Pointed Fangs and a long green tongue with the hide of a crocodile. 

From the Tree’s branches bulged Great Udders filled with a honey-like fluid.

The Tree of Life held Ma in a tight unrelenting embrace from which the Mother Goddess tried to escape by fleeing towards the stars until a rock missile hurled at her by the Tree Of Life brought her back down to Earth and into his arms.

This Missile has remained in the Heavens as the Moon which is revered today because it helped to restore the first marriage.

With his mate returned to her, The Tree of Life held on even tighter until perplexing painful movements began within the Goddess, and after 1000 Years, the Mother Goddess felt a sudden tearing pain that made her free herself from the Tree of Life’s tight embrace as she writhed in agony.

The Tree of Life watched helpless until at long last, the Great Mother Goddess was relieved from her immeasurable Pain as the first nation of flesh and blood human beings was born to spread out over the barren Earth.

At the same time, the Tree Of Life was transformed as shoots of green buds burst from its writhing limbs as seeds emerged and fell onto the rocky Earth where they shot out roots.

Shortly thereafter all types of Plants grew forth until mighty forests covered the Earth.

Soon after, the Tree of Life also bore living animal fruit from its branches which fell onto the fertile Earth below, and the living animal fruit ran off into the Forests in their countless millions.

Thus the Earth and the Sky which had been lifeless until the first marriage of the First Gods was consumated came alive with the sounds of animals and birds in the forests, valleys and skies as Reptiles were lastly formed from the Roots of the Tree of Life.

Thus it came to be that the Song Of Life began on Earth.


In this story we have the introduction of the concept of duality.

The concept of Male and Female as Polar Opposites that are necessary and complimentary to the process of creation.

The Female Goddess Ma, is given credit for giving birth to Mankind, the highest aspect of Life, whilst the the Male Principle, The Tree of Life is responsible for all other aspects of the Life Force Energy.

It remains a confounding mystery as to why the Great Spirit willed the Universe into existence in the first place using the First Goddess as an instrument.

In response to her request for a companion, The First Goddess was gifted with the Tree of Life which is one of Africa’s most revered dieties from Southern Africa to the Congo. 

Today, the Tree of Life is depicted in a variety of symbolic designs engraved on ornamental carvings made of Ebony, Ivory and Mahogany.

Interestingly, the Tree of Life symbol can also be traced back to Religions of the Ancient world dating all the way back to Sumeria which was replete with numerous large stone carvings and engravings depicting Winged Gods eating from the Tree of Life.

Credit: Credo Mutwa: Indaba My Children