THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD

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Haiti

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Incarnation of the Serpent (page 7)

Serpent is a word of Latin origin (from serpens, serpentis "something that creeps, snake") that is commonly used in a specifically mythic or religious context, signifying a snake that is to be regarded not as a mundane natural phenomenon nor as an object of scientific zoology, but as the bearer of some potent symbolic value.

The incarnation of the serpent is found in many parts of the world, however it is well known in African culture. The center of serpent worship was Dahomey, which was also one of the major slave-selling African states. In many parts of the continent the serpent is looked upon as the incarnation of deceased relatives. Among the Amazulu, as among the Betsileo of Madagascar, certain species are assigned as the abode of certain classes. The Maasai, on the other hand, regard each species as the habitat of a particular family of the tribe.

The worship of the serpent has also been found in many parts of the Old World, and the Americas. Hindus believe Patanjali is the incarnation of the serpent Ananta. He fell from Heaven in the form of a snake to share his teachings and end the suffering of all humankind. The Aztecs worshipped Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, as the creator, protector, and helper of people. Aboriginal people of Australia worship worship the Rainbow Serpent as the creator of human beings.

In Africa, the incarnation of the serpent was an important, well known tale. It was said that if anyone were to kill a serpent in the “serpent temple” they would be immediately killed. The rainbow-god of the Ashanti, which is mentioned in the text after the incarnation of the serpent, died and was said to have married the Queen of Rainbow. Africa has linked snakes with rainbows, which in turn are often related to rain and fertility.

Incarnation of the Serpent

The story of the incarnation of the serpent is an significant part of The Kingdom of this World because it is when Macandal tells Ti Noel important historical tales about his people. "Although Ti Noel had little learning, he had been instructed in these truths by the deep wisdom of Macandal. In Africa the king was warrior, hunger, judge, and priest; his precious seed distended hundreds of bellies with a mighty strain of heroes" (page 14). The teachings from Macandal helped Ti Noel to understand his culture while being controlled by the French, who tried to undermine African beliefs and abusing the slaves. Reminding Ti Noel of his roots helped him and the other enslaved people fight, rise up, and declare freedom together.

For further information, go to:

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_brotherhoodsnake08.htm

http://www.lizaphoenix.com/encyclopedia/serpent.shtml

http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Sa-Sp/Serpents-and-Snakes.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_worship


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