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THE LIFE OF THE HERO

 

by: drs. Marinus Anthony van der Sluijs

 

part 6:

the flood cycle (M6)

 

 

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING TEXT IS AN OLDER VERSION, AS THE ESSAY IS STILL UNDER PREPARATION.

 

 

M6a: the Hero and the flood

 

Flood stories have traditionally drawn almost the most attention of all sorts of myths, both because of their immense sensational attraction and because of their clear link with the Biblical flood. They are a universal phenomenon. Statements that the flood is absent in Africa or North-Asia are simply unjustified[1]. It is true that some areas are less well researched than others or yield less information once they are researched. Apart from that it has often been overlooked that ‘the flood’ is a very tangible concept, that includes a broader range of motifs than the exact Noah-and-the-ark-sequence: traditions of floating islands, sunken islands, seas of blood, and shipwrecked Heroes also belong here, to mention but a few.

 

The interpretation of the observation of the universality of flood stories has traditionally been a matter of debate. Frazer represents a group who believe that flood stories have independently arisen in response to local flooding events. Andree reasons in a similar fashion. According to him, many flood legends are directly influenced by the missionaries, ruling out the power of too obvious parallels. Common parallels such as the mountain, the raft and the birds are explained away as ‘self-evident common’ phenomena, not in the least requiring common inheritance. Finally it is shown that the flood myth cannot have been transmitted by the Hebrews in ancient times, as it is unknown in Iran and among the Arabs. The flood stories would have arisen independently, commemorating local floods of a limited scale. [Andree 127-136]. This may be true in the sense that some flood stories are influenced by actual historical floodings or by borrowed tales, but is definitely unjustified as a general theory. As will be shown here, there is an amazing degree of correspondence in the symbolism and the structure of the narrative motifs involved in the flood myth, which strongly testifies to the original existence of a universal and unified coherent flood story. The flood Heroes often coincide with the legendary tribal ancestors and gods and the flood stories themselves appear to be specialised versions of a much broader myth, including the creation and the dragon combat myths. Christians have traditionally believed that the flood stories trace back to one event, but they ignored the comparative method and raised the Biblical account to a level of absolute authority, rather than to study the myths from an egalitarian point of view. The latter approach is the one we take in this study.

 

As an introduction, we start with some general streams of tradition that discuss the role of the Hero in the flood narrative. In a number of stories no Hero is mentioned at all and the flood is described as a mere natural event:

 

               A flood occurred, but no details are given.

 

                               A flood is mentioned (Poem of Erra). [Cochrane 1988f: 67; 1997a: 20]

               A flood rose and submerged the ancient city of Pheneus at the northern end of the lake Copais (Pausanias). [Frazer 1975: 73]

               in remote antiquity the waters of the deluge flooded the district, and when they retired, the places where they had been made their appearance covered with sand (Mongols). [Frazer 1975: 84]

               Once the Yellow River flooded. [Velikovsky 1950: 101]

               A flood tradition similar to that of the Bible was found (Changrai, in Kambodia). [Andree 1891: 28]

               Where is land now used to be water (Samoa). [Andree 1891: 66]

               Kai-a-Kahinelii was the big flood (Sandwich Islands). [Andree 1891: 66]

               There once was a great flood (Marquesas Islands). [Andree 1891: 66]

               A great cloud rose and the flood followed (Samoa). [Velikovsky 1950: 130]

               There was a great flood long ago (Aneytum in the New Hebrides). [Andree 1891: 57]

               Minahassa Peninsula came into existence after a flood (Minahassa). [Andree 1891: 32f.]

               A great deluge once overspread the whole earth (Northern Guinea). [Frazer 1975: 129]

               Once a great flood covered the whole earth (Gold Coast). [Andree 1891: 51]

               Once a great flood destroyed almost all people (Bapedi). [Andree 1891: 52]. A great flood destroyed nearly all mankind (Bapedi, a Basuto tribe). [Frazer 1975: 129]

               The people had once perished in a flood (Nicaragua). [Andree 1891: 111-112]

               A flood story occurs in the story of the creation of the earth (Pima). [Lang I]

               When the first people were created, the world was wet (Zuñi). [Lang II]

               There once was a great flood (Botocudo, Carajá, Mesaya). [Andree 1891: 123]

 

In the majority of traditions, the Hero is prominent. In some general traditions the Hero lived or ruled as a king at the time of the flood. It has often been noted that Noah lived in the tenth generation after Adam, whilst Xisuthrus also was the tenth in a lineage of Antediluvian kings. The difference between Heroes who were kings and Heroes who weren’t is in fact non-existent. The Hero of myth in his full archetypal origin unified the notions of ancestor, king, and priest in one person. And he was the only person who survived the flood.

 

               The Hero lived or ruled during the flood.

 

                               The first king of Egypt was Menes. His reign is associated with a cataclysmic deluge (Diodorus). [Cochrane 1986a: 8, 10]

               Osiris’ reign was associated with a cataclysmic deluge (Diodorus). [Cochrane 1986a: 10]

               Alaparos was an antediluvian king (Babylonia). [Talbott 1980: 267]

               From a Sumerian text we learn that Ziugiddu, or rather Ziudsuddu, was at once a king and a priest of the god Enki, … [Frazer 1975: 55f.]

               The great flood took place in the reign of Xisuthrus, the tenth king of Babylon. Now the god Cronus appeared to him in a dream and warned him that all men would be destroyed by a flood on the fifteenth day of the month Daesius, which was the eighth month of the Macedonian calendar (Berosus, in Alexander Polyhistor). [Frazer 1975: 48f.; Andree 1891: 3-9]

               A powerful and benevolent figure named Oannes, who ruled before the Deluge, instructed mankind in writing and various arts, the formation of cities, and the founding of temples. He also taught them the use of laws, of bounds and of divisions, also the harvesting of grains and fruits, and in short all that pertains to the mollifying of life he delivered to men; and since that time nothing more has been invented by anybody (Berossus, in Eusebius). [Talbott 1980: 16]

               Yima’s reign is associated with a cataclysmic deluge. [Cochrane 1986a: 10]

               The Deluge took place during the Satya yuga, in the reign of Satyavrata, who is usually identified as Saturn. [Velikovsky 1979]

               A great flood associated with the reign of Kekrops destroyed Athenae. [Cochrane 1986a: 9]

               … Dardanus at first reigned as a king in Arcadia, but was driven out of the country by a great flood, which submerged the lowlands and rendered them for a long time unfit for cultivation. [Frazer 1975: 72f.; Andree 1891: 42]

               The Athenians said that when the clouds gathered dark on Parnassus and the rain came down in torrents on Lycorea, where Deucalion reigned as king, he fled for safety to Athens, and on his arrival founded a sanctuary of Rainy Zeus, and offered thanks-offerings for his escape. [Frazer 1975: 68]. Deucalion was the son of Prometheus. He reigned as king in the country about Phthia and married Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora, the first woman fashioned by the gods (Apollodorus, 2nd century B.C.). [Frazer 1975: 67] … the ravages of the deluge in Deucalion’s time were felt most sensibly ‘in ancient Hellas, which is the country about Dodona and the river Achelous, for that river has changed its bed in many places (Aristotle). [Frazer 1975: 67]. A flood took place in the time of Deucalion and Pyrrha (Plato). [Frazer 1975: 67]. Deucalion was associated with a flood. [Velikovsky 1950: 147]. Deucalion was the hero of the flood. [Lang II]

               Ogyges founded and reigned over Thebes in Boeotia, which, according to the learned Varro, was the oldest city in Greece, having been built in antediluvian times before the earliest of all the floods. [Frazer 1975: 70]. A flood occurred in the time of Ogyges (Varro, Eusebius, Julius Africanus, Isidorus). [Frazer 1975: 71]. Ogygos was associated with a big flood. [Cochrane 1986a: 11]. Ogyges was associated with a flood. [Velikovsky 1950: 147]

               Prometheus was the Primordial Man who lived before the Deluge. [Talbott 1980: 28]

               Tantalus’ reign was brought to a sudden end amidst an immense cataclysm during which an extreme earthquake overturned Mount Sipylos, flooding much of Asia Minor (Strabo). [Cochrane 1986a: 9]

               Mars’ name may be related to Akkadian mer, ‘hurricane’, amaru, ‘flood-storm’, which are associated with Nergal. [Cochrane 1991a: 72]

               Menwyd was the hero of the deluge (Druidic). [Cochrane 1984]

               Fo-Hi’s kingship is associated with a cataclysmic deluge. [Cochrane 1986a: 10]

               Under the rule of emperor Yâo a great flood covered China (Shu-King, 3rd century BCE). [Andree 1891: 38]. Yâo’s rule would have started in 2357 BCE. Yu finally controlled the waters. [Andree 1891: 38]. For ten days the sun did not set, after a great catastrophe during the reign of Emperor Yahou. [Velikovsky 1950: 62, 71, 101]. The world was in flames and the waters almost flooded the earth during Emperor Yahou’s reign. [Velikovsky 1950: 71]. At the time of the flood, the Emperor of China was named Yau. [Velikovsky 1950: 99]. Yu became Emperor of China after he had drained the land. [Velikovsky 1950: 101]. Yu was the engineer employed by the Emperor Shun to drain the land from the flood caused in the time of Yao. [Cardona 1975: 37]. Yu was the hero of the flood. [MacKenzie b]

               There is evidence that Quetzalcoatl was the hero of the flood myth. [Cochrane 1989a: 67]

               Montezuma was the hero of the flood. [Lang I]

 

               The Hero survived the flood in an unspecified way.

 

                               Xisuthros was the flood hero (Berosus). [Cochrane 1986a: 10]

               A city connected with the flood was Apamea Cibotos in Phrygia. The surname of Cibotos, which the city assumed, is the Greek word for chest or ark; and on coins of the city, minted in the reigns of Severus, Macrinus, and Philip the Elder, we see the ark floating on water with two passengers in it, whose figures appear from the waist upwards; beside the ark two other human figures, one male and the other female, are represented standing; and lastly, on the top of the chest are perched two birds, one of them said to be a raven and the other a dove carrying an olive-branch. As if to remove all doubt as to the identification of the legend, the name Noe, the Greek equivalent of Noah, is inscribed on the ark. No doubt, the two human figures represent Noah and his wife twice over, first in the ark, and afterwards outside of it (third century).  [Frazer 1975: 70; Andree 1891: 42]

               Noah was the survivor of the deluge. [Cochrane 1986a: 10]. Noah was the hero of the flood. [MacKenzie a]

               Manu was the sole survivor of a universal deluge. [Cochrane 1986a: 10]

 

The question who survived the flood is variously answered in the myths. In many traditions it is the Hero only. In others it is the Hero and his wife or his sister. In others, it is the Hero and his brother; in others the Hero and his family; the Hero and his crew; or the Hero and some people. All these characters are archetypal and recur in other myth cycles. The Hero’s wife is the Goddess. The Hero’s brother is his male antagonist, the Father-King. The Hero’s consorts are the anonymous assembly, usually a group of seven or nine.

 

               The Hero and his brother were the survivors of the flood.

 

                               When the world was covered with water, two brothers saved themselves upon a raft (Karen in Birma). [Andree 1891: 28]. … the earth was of old deluged with water, and two brothers saved themselves from the flood on a raft (Karen, Burma). [Frazer 1975: 81]

               Two brothers escaped the flood by fleeing to a mountain which floated on the waves. Two parrots prepared a meal for them and one of the brothers married one of them, becoming the ancestor of the Cañaris (Peru). [Andree 1891: 116f.]. Two brothers escaped from a great flood on a very high mountain called Huaca-yñan. As the waters rose, the hill rose with them, so that the flood never reached the two brothers on the summit. Two birds brought food to them repeatedly. The brothers caught the smaller bird and took her to wife and in this way they became the ancestors (Cañaris, in Ecuador). [Frazer 1975: 104f.]

 

M6b: before the flood

 

As the flood brought a period of disturbance and darkness, the period preceding the flood is described in terms of quietude and brightness. It was an uneventful epoch, which translated naturally into peace. The situation is described in four different motifs: it was the Golden Age, the paradisaical age, in which there was plenteous food, gaiety, and harmony; it was a feast; it was a long-lasting famine to which the flood brought an end; and it was a prolonged day. The four belong together as they all point to a similar situation, marked by non-activity and brightness. This is interpreted positively as peace and merry sunshine, and negatively as an overdosis of sunshine, that is, as a famine. As I have shown in my papers on the methodology of myth, such polarised ethical or psychological interpretations are always secondary in nature, whereas the concrete pictures they presuppose are old and archetypal. That is why the famine and paradise belong together: both preceded the flood and contrast with the flood in respect of non-activity versus violence and in respect of brightness versus darkness.

 

The king who ruled in this Golden Age was either the Hero’s father and the creator, or the Hero himself as a demiurge. These two traditions are different interpretations of a common archetype.

 

               The Golden Age disappeared with the flood.

 

                               The Sumerian king Dungi was supposed to restore the Paradise which existed before the Flood. [Talbott 1980: 21]

               Among these tawdry or grotesque additions to the ancient legend we read how men lived at ease in the days before the flood, for by a single sowing they reaped a harvest sufficient for the needs of forty years, and by their magic arts they could compel the sun and moon to do them service. Instead of nine months children were in their mothers’ wombs only a few days, and immediately on their birth could walk and talk and set even the demons at defiance. It was this easy luxurious life that led men astray and lured them into the commission of those sins, especially the sins of wantonness and rapacity, which excited the wrath of God and determined him to destroy the sinners by a great flood. [Frazer 1975: 64]

               There was a time when all people lived eternally and everything was perfect. There were no diseases and food was in abundance. Milk and wine were in the rivers. Once an unknown visitor stayed overnight with a man and gave him a little fish in return, which he had to keep for nine days. His wife cooked the fish on the third day, however, and hardly had she done so, da fuhr der erste Blitz auf die Erde und erschlug die Frau. A flood covered all the land. When the old man returned on the ninth day, he rewarded the man and told him to take a wife and to build a ship. The man built a ship, entered it with his wife and family, and brought seeds and animals aboard. It rained for an entire year. Then they could leave the vessel and had to start a new life. Paradise was gone (Gypsies of Transsylvania). [Andree 1891: 21-23]

               Those first days of the world were happy and peaceful. The sun was then nearer the earth than he is now: his raps made all the seasons equable and clothing superfluous. Men and animals talked together … But a terrible catastrophe put an end to those golden days. A great flood destroyed all flesh wherein was the breath of life: Montezuma and his friend the coyote alone escaped (Papagos, Arizona). [Frazer 1975: 110]

 

               The Hero organised a feast before the flood.

 

                               Ut-Napishtim tells Gilgamesh: So Ut-Napishtim obeyed the god Ea … He caused oil to be brought, and he slaughtered oxen and lambs. He filled jars with sesame-wine and oil and grape-wine; he gave the people to drink like a river and he made a feast like to the feast of the New Year. (Gilgamesh Epic). [Frazer 1975: 51-53]

 

               The flood followed on a famine.

 

                               After seven years of famine it started to rain and a giantess and giant prepared a boat. The flood came and lasted seven days. After the flood the god Numitarom created new fish, animals and plants (Vogul). [Andree 1891: 45f.]

 

               A sevenfold day of light preceded the flood.

 

                               And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the Flood were upon the earth (Genesis 7:10). Compare: ... when the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of the seven days (Isaiah 30:36). [Velikovsky 1979]. Seven days before the Deluge, the Holy One changed the primeval order and the sun rose in the west and set in the east (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin, 108b). [Cardona 1981b]. Seven days of light preceded the deluge. [Greenberg 1993b: 14]

 

M6c: purpose of the flood

 

As said earlier, the psychological aspects of myth are usually not old and are highly susceptible to change, whereas the actual concrete and uninterpreted state of things they describe tends to be much older. This is clearly illustrated in the motifs dealing with the purpose of the flood. When it comes to a reconstruction of the mythical archetype, these motifs only indicate who the actors are in the flood myth, hardly being of any further interest.

 

A large majority of popular explanations of the flood are ethical in nature. Within these ethical interpretations, two directions can be discerned, one favouring the Hero, the other disfavouring the Hero. In the former category belong the following motifs: the people on earth, who were often recalled as giants, were bad and evil, or they were unsatisfactory to their creator[2]. Hence the creator sent the flood to destroy them, but only the Hero was saved because of his piety. In New Zealand the Hero even goes so far as to beg for the flood himself. This favoured Hero is therefore warned for the flood in advance. The god who warns him often takes the form of an animal, such as the dog or the coyote in North-America or the fish in India. It is a form of the creator himself. The book in which the Hero reads the prophecy of the flood or the dream in which he is warned are other forms of the creator. Recall that the virgin is impregnated by the god when he comes to her in a dream - originally the dream itself is the divine impregnator. Perhaps the dream is originally thought of as wind or as a cloud. This god in any case informs the Hero as to what he should do to save his life.

 

               The flood was sent to destroy the evil beings on earth.

 

                               In the first ages of the world, during the battle with Ahriman, the star Tistar appeared in threefold form: as a human body, as a horse, and as a bull, to send the rain into the world. The earth was filled with dangerous creatures at the time, which had been created by the evil principle. Tistar then rained with each of his bodies 10 days, 30 days altogether. After the first rain all dangerous creatures had been killed and a celestial wind had swept the waters away. The seeds of the creatures had remained, however, and caused poison and evil. Then Tistar descended in the form of a white horse and started to rain. As such he encountered the demon Apaosha in the form of a black horse and they battled. Ormazd helped Tistar to win: he slew Apaosha with a lightning stroke, which he used as his weapon, and he also conquered the demon Çpendschaghra, who accompanied Apaosha. The fearful screaming of the vanquishing demon is still heard in the thunder. Tistar rained once more on the earth and once more a wind swept the waters away. In this way 3 great and 23 small lakes came into existence (Bundehesh, VII). [Andree 1891: 13-15]

               As for the folk before the flood, it is said that they were exceedingly wicked and lawless; for they neither kept their oaths, nor gave hospitality to strangers, nor respected suppliants, wherefore the great calamity befell them … (Lucian). [Frazer 1975: 69; Andree 1891: 41]

               When Pramñimas, the supreme god, looked forth from his celestial window he noticed how evil the people were. He sent two giants, Wandu and Wejas, who destroyed everything during twenty days and nights. Then he threw down a plate on the ridge of a mountain, where animals and some people had gathered. These could save themselves with this plate from the coming flood. One of the couples of people became the later ancestors of the Lithuanians. Pramñimas sent them the rainbow, which advised the old couple to leap over the earth. They leaped nine times and nine couples came into existence (Lithuania). [Andree 1891: 44f.]

               An ancestor, Tse-gu-dzih, caused the deluge … Men were wicked … (Lolos, South-West-China). [Frazer 1975: 84]

               When Tomo’s descendants on earth turned bad, Pulugu sent a large flood without warning to punish them (Andaman). [Andree 1891: 27]. Mankind multiplied and had to disperse, and after the death of Tomo grew ever more forgetful of its creator. One day Puluga got angry and a flood covered the whole world and destroyed mankind. [Eliade 1958: 43f.]. Some time after the first people had been created, men grew disobedient and regardless of the commands which the Creator had given them at their creation. So in anger he sent a great flood which covered the whole land, except perhaps Saddle Peak where the Creator himself resided (Andaman Islands). [Frazer 1975: 87f.]

               Singbonga, the supreme being, created mankind on the earth. The people turned bad, however: instead of washing and working they danced and drank. He sent a flood to punish them (Mundari). [Andree 1891: 26f.]

                               When men multiplied on the earth, evil prevailed everywhere. Two teachers of the true religion of Tane, Para-whenua-mea and Tupu-nui-a-uta, were rejected by the people and made a raft with a house on top of it and loaded it with food and dogs. Then they invoked a heavy rain. They embarked with two men called Tiu and Reti and a woman named Wai-puna-hau. So it rained in torrents for four or five days, and then the priest repeated incantations to make the rain cease, and it ceased. But still the flood rose; … (M~ori, New Zealand). [Frazer 1975: 94ff.]

               Once the earth was covered by flood and nothing but a few mountaintops were left. This flood was caused by Lohero, who was angry about the people (southeastern district of New-Guinea). [Andree 1891: 57]. Lohero and his younger brother were angry about the other people and caused the great waters to come forth, forming a sea, flooding all the low land, and driving the people back to the mountains (Kabadi district, New Guinea). [Frazer 1975: 89]

                •?             When the earth grew old and dirty, Debata, the creator, sent a great flood to destroy every living thing (Batak, Sumatra). [Frazer 1975: 84]

               Tumbainot and his wife Naipande had three sons, Oshomo, Bartimaro and Barmao. In those days the world was thickly peopled, but men were not good … But at last, one unlucky day, a certain man named Nambija knocked another man named Suage on the head. Then God commanded Tumbainot to build an ark of wood with his family and some animals. When they were all safely aboard, …, God caused it to rain so heavily and so long that a great flood took place, and all men and beasts were drowned, except those which were in the ark; for the ark floated on the face of the waters (Masai). [Frazer 1975: 130f.]

               A long time ago the powerful serpent Maskanako, noting war and confusion among the people, decided to destroy them and sent a huge flood (Walam Olum or pictorial writing of the Delaware Algonquin Indians). [Andree 1891: 71-75]

               Huge showers of rain covered the earth with flood and all bad people drowned. Some people saved themselves in their canoes on the highest mountains. A dove flew out to watch the dead (Twana Indians, on Puget Sound). [Andree 1891: 89f.]. Once on a time the people were wicked, and to punish them a great flood came, which overflowed all the land except one mountain. The people fled in their canoes to the highest mountain in their country … and as the water rose above it they tied their canoes with long ropes to the highest tree, but still the waters rose above it … They also speak of a pigeon which went out to view the dead (Twanas, on Puget Sound). [Frazer 1975: 126]

               The great spirit sent a great flood in which most bad people drowned. The survivors had to build a temple on top of which a perpetual fire had to be tended. This temple had to serve as a refuge for if a similar disaster would befall the people. Then an earthquake followed and the flames reached heaven, whereas the stars melted. The people who hid in the temple were thrown into a large hole like pebbles (Washo Indians, California). [Andree 1891: 93]

               Aiomun Kondi, because of the wickedness of mankind, had twice destroyed the world, once by fire and once by flood. The pious chief Marerewana was informed of the coming flood beforehand and saved himself and his family in a large canoe. With a long cable of bush-rope he tied his bark to the trunk of a great tree (Arawaks of British Guiana). [Frazer 1975: 103]

                               Tupe, the supreme god, commanded the wise man Tamanduare to climb in palm trees in order to escape the flood which was about to destroy mankind. They did so and repeopled the earth after the flood (Tupi). [Andree 1891: 123]. The god Tupi revealed the coming of a flood to Tamanduare. He was told to take refuge in a particular palm-tree on a mountain-top. When he and his family were safe there, it began to rain, and it rained and rained till all the earth was covered. After the flood they repeopled the world (Cape Frio Indians). [Frazer 1975: 98]

               When the giants made of stone did no longer please him, he destroyed them in a flood, afterwhich Viracocha created sun and moon over Lake Titicaca and fashioned men and animal from clay. [Lang I; MacKenzie a]

                               The gods created people from clay, but as these were unsatisfactory destroyed them in a flood (Popol Vuh of the Quiché). [Andree 1891: 109-111]

 

               The Hero survives the flood because of his piety.

 

                               From a Sumerian text we learn that Ziugiddu, or rather Ziudsuddu, was at once a king and a priest of the god Enki, … To reward him for his piety Enki informs him that at the request of Enlil it has been resolved in the council of the gods to destroy the seed of mankind by a rain-storm. Before the holy man receives this timely warning, his divine friend bids him take his stand beside a wall, saying, ‘Stand by the wall on my left side, and at the wall I will speak a word with thee.’ … [Frazer 1975: 55f.]

               But Xisuthrus himself was nowhere to be seen. Yet a voice from the air bade them fear the gods, for that he himself for his piety was gone to dwell with the gods, and that his wife, and his daughter, and the helmsman partook of the same honour (Berosus, in Alexander Polyhistor). [Frazer 1975: 48f.; Andree 1891: 3-9]

               Noah was the justest man of his age. [Cochrane 1986a: 10]

               The pious sage Manu was asked by a little fish for help and Manu placed it in a pond. The fish swelled up enormously and was placed in bigger waters a few times. The fish was actually Brahma. He told Manu to build a ship because the flood was to come. [Frobenius 1904: 172-175]

               But Deucalion was the only man who, by reason of his prudence and piety, survived and formed the link between the first and the second race of men; and the way in which he was saved was this … (Lucian). [Frazer 1975: 69; Andree 1891: 41]

               But Du-mu, who complied with the divine injunction, was saved, together with his four sons, in a log hollowed out of a Pieris-tree; … (Lolos, South-West-China). [Frazer 1975: 84]

               Aiomun Kondi, because of the wickedness of mankind, had twice destroyed the world, once by fire and once by flood. The pious chief Marerewana was informed of the coming flood beforehand and saved himself and his family in a large canoe. With a long cable of bush-rope he tied his bark to the trunk of a great tree (Arawaks of British Guiana). [Frazer 1975: 103]

 

               The Hero asked for the flood to come.

 

                               Tupu-tupu-nui-a-uta was the cause of the flood: he asked for it, he was the only one who survived. [MacKenzie c: 189]. When men multiplied on the earth, evil prevailed everywhere. Two teachers of the true religion of Tane, Para-whenua-mea and Tupu-nui-a-uta, were rejected by the people and made a raft with a house on top of it and loaded it with food and dogs. Then they invoked a heavy rain (M~ori, New Zealand). [Frazer 1975: 94ff.]

 

               The Hero was warned that the flood would come and advised what to do.

 

                               The great flood took place in the reign of Xisuthrus, the tenth king of Babylon. Now the god Cronus appeared to him in a dream and warned him that all men would be destroyed by a flood on the fifteenth day of the month Daesius, which was the eighth month of the Macedonian calendar (Berosus, in Alexander Polyhistor). [Frazer 1975: 48f.; Andree 1891: 3-9]

               Kronos revealed to king Xisuthros that the people would be drowned in a great flood on the 15th of the month Daesius. [Andree 1891: ad loc]

               From a Sumerian text we learn that Ziugiddu, or rather Ziudsuddu, was at once a king and a priest of the god Enki, … To reward him for his piety Enki informs him that at the request of Enlil it has been resolved in the council of the gods to destroy the seed of mankind by a rain-storm. Before the holy man receives this timely warning, his divine friend bids him take his stand beside a wall, saying, ‘Stand by the wall on my left side, and at the wall I will speak a word with thee.’ … [Frazer 1975: 55f.]

               In another fragment found at Nippur and dated not later than 2100 B. C. a god appears to announce that he will cause a deluge which will sweep away all mankind at once; and he warns the person whom he addressed to build a great ship, with a strong roof, in which he is to save his life, and also to bring into it the beasts of the field and the birds of heaven. [Frazer 1975: 54]

               Ut-Napishtim tells Gilgamesh: Shurippak … the gods within it, their heart prompted the great gods to send a flood … The lord of Wisdom, Ea, sat also with them, he repeated their word to the hut of reeds, saying, ‘O reed hut, reed hut, O wall, wall, O reed hut hearken, O wall attend. O man of Shurippak, son of Ubara-Tutu, pull down thy house, build a ship, forsake thy possessions, take heed for thy life! Thy gods abandon, save thy life, bring living seed of every kind into the ship. As for the ship which thou shalt build, well planned must be its dimensions, its breadth and its length shall bear proportions each to each, and thou shalt launch it in the ocean.’ … ‘Thus shalt thou answer and say unto them: Because Enlil hates me, no longer may I abide in your city nor lay my head on Enlil’s earth. Down into the deep sea must I go with Ea, my lord, to dwell.’‘ So Ut-Napishtim obeyed the god Ea … After the flood, Ea defends himself to Enlil and says I caused Atrakhasis to see a dream, and thus be heard the purpose of the gods.’ (Gilgamesh Epic). [Frazer 1975: 51-53]

               Noah received a book from Raphael with the instructions how to build an ark. The book, which was made of sapphires, he took with him into the ark, having first enclosed it in a golden casket. All the time he spent in the ark it served him as a time-piece, to distinguish night from day. [L. Ginzberg, The legends of the Jews, I-VII, 1913: I 157]

               The pious sage Manu was asked by a little fish for help and Manu placed it in a pond. The fish swelled up enormously and was placed in bigger waters a few times. The fish was actually Brahma. He told Manu to build a ship because the flood was to come. [Frobenius 1904: 172-175]. When Manu was washing himself, a fish came into his hands and begged to be reared by Manu, warning him for the flood. Manu first kept him in a jar, then kept him in a pit and when he had become a ghasha, a large fish, he took him down to the sea. It said: In such and such a year that flood will come. Thou shalt then attend to me by preparing a ship; and when the flood has risen thou shalt enter into the ship, and I will save thee from it.’ (Satapatha Brahmana). [Frazer 1975: 78f.]. Manu, the first man, earns the gratitude of a little fish which he saves from being eaten by larger ones. Later, the fish, which has grown to enormous size, warns Manu of a coming cosmic deluge and instructs him on how to build a ship and stock it with “the seed of all things”. The gigantic fish then tows the laden vessel to safety. [Willis: 26]

               Once a pious man, who used to wash his clothes in a river, was warned by a fish whom he had always fed of the approach of a great deluge, advising him to prepare a large box in which he might escape (Bhils, India). [Frazer 1975: 79f.]

               There was a time when all people lived eternally and everything was perfect. There were no diseases and food was in abundance. Milk and wine were in the rivers. Once an unknown visitor stayed overnight with a man and gave him a little fish in return, which he had to keep for nine days. His wife cooked the fish on the third day, however, and hardly had she done so, da fuhr der erste Blitz auf die Erde und erschlug die Frau. A flood covered all the land. When the old man returned on the ninth day, he rewarded the man and told him to take a wife and to build a ship. The man built a ship, entered it with his wife and family, and brought seeds and animals aboard. It rained for an entire year. Then they could leave the vessel and had to start a new life. Paradise was gone (Gypsies of Transsylvania). [Andree 1891: 21-23]

               But when Zeus wished to destroy the men of the Bronze Age, Deucalion by the advice of Prometheus constructed a chest or ark, and having stored in it what was needful he entered into it with his wife (Apollodorus, 2nd century B.C.). [Frazer 1975: 67]

               Ruahatu, the sea-god, was at rest at the bottom of the ocean when he was disturbed by an ignorant fisherman. Da verfing sich der Haken im Haare des unten schlafenden Gottes. Ruahatu warned the man to flee to the island Toa-marama with his wife, a friend and a cow to escape the coming flood. All people drowned and the man became the ancestor (Leeward Islands, in the Society Islands). [Andree 1891: 64f.]. A fisherman’s hooks became entangled in the locks of Ruahatu the sea-god, who told him to go to the island Toamarama with his wife and child in order to escape his wrath (Raiatea). [Frazer 1975: 93f.]

               Then God commanded Tumbainot to build an ark of wood with his family and some animals. When they were all safely aboard, …, God caused it to rain so heavily and so long that a great flood took place, and all men and beasts were drowned, except those which were in the ark; for the ark floated on the face of the waters (Masai). [Frazer 1975: 130f.]

               Der Himmel näherte sich dem Wasser and in a single day everything perished. A certain Nata and his wife Nena had been warned, however, and advised to build a ship from a cypress tree (Codex Chimalpopoca). [Andree 1891: 106-108]. A god warned Nata and his wife Nena for the flood, instructing to make a boat; in this boat they lit a fire: the smoke rose up to heaven (Nahuatl). [MacKenzie c: 199]

               The earth goddess Nakawee warned a man of the coming flood and advised him to make a box from the salate (fig) tree, as long as your body, and fit it with a good cover, and to take grains and beans on board, as well as the fire and a black bitch (Huichol Indians, Mexico). [Frazer 1975: 108f.]

               Chiowotmahke, ‘Earth-Prophet’, made earth and mankind. He had a son Szeukha, who lived in the Gila valley. There also lived a nameless prophet, who was in one night awakened by a great eagle, which warned him for the coming flood. In spite of three warnings the prophet did not listen. That same night came the flood, and next morning there was nothing alive to be seen but one man … it was Szeukha, the son of the Creator, who had saved himself by floating on a ball of gum or resin. Szeukha was angry with the eagle and killed him. The dead people were raised to life by Szeukha (Pimas). [Frazer 1975: 111]

               A great flood destroyed all flesh wherein was the breath of life: Montezuma and his friend the coyote alone escaped. The coyote warned Montezuma in advance, who hollowed out a boat for himself, and kept it ready on the top of Santa Rosa (Papagos, Arizona). [Frazer 1975: 110]

               In the flood myth Coyote played the role of the fish like in the Indian myth of Manu. [Lang I]

               God commanded a man to build a large canoe (Montagnais Indians). [Frazer 1975: 116]

               The White People were going to send a flood over the world in their anger on Numank-Machana, the first man, and the first man told the ancestors to build a high tower or fort from wood. In this way they survived the flood (Mandan). [Andree 1891: 86]

               All people once drowned in a flood. A dog had warned his master beforehand, however, and advised him to build a ship. This happened and all people derive from this one man (Cherokee). [Andree 1891: 85]

               The water once prevailed over the land until all mankind were drowned except a single family. The flood had been forewarned by a dog to his master, who told him to build a boat. The man was saved and became the ancestor of all people (Cherokee Indians). [Frazer 1975: 114f.]

               Aiomun Kondi, because of the wickedness of mankind, had twice destroyed the world, once by fire and once by flood. The pious chief Marerewana was informed of the coming flood beforehand and saved himself and his family in a large canoe. With a long cable of bush-rope he tied his bark to the trunk of a great tree (Arawaks of British Guiana). [Frazer 1975: 103]

                               Tupe, the supreme god, commanded the wise man Tamanduare to climb in palm trees in order to escape the flood which was about to destroy mankind. They did so and repeopled the earth after the flood (Tupi). [Andree 1891: 123]. The god Tupi revealed the coming of a flood to Tamanduare. He was told to take refuge in a particular palm-tree on a mountain-top. When he and his family were safe there, it began to rain, and it rained and rained till all the earth was covered. After the flood they repeopled the world (Cape Frio Indians). [Frazer 1975: 98]

               The entire earth was covered by water during a solar eclipse of five days. All creatures perished, except for a shepherd with his family and herd, who had on the advice of his sheep sought refuge on the mountain Ancasmarca. When the waters rose, da stieg der Berg mit ihnen und schwamm gleich einem Schiff auf den Wogen for five days. The shepherd became the ancestor of the new people after the flood (Inca). [Andree 1891: 115f.]

               A llama warned his driver for a coming flood and bade him follow him to the top of a high mountain called Villa-coto … (Indians of Huraochiri, Peru). [Frazer 1975: 105]

 

In a second group of ethical explanations of the flood, the flood was sent to destroy a certain being. This being can in several cases be identified as the Hero himself. The flood is then seen as an attempt to destroy the Hero, which, in spite of this, is overcome by him. It can easily be seen that the flood story is then automatically turned into a subversion of the Hero’s conflict with a higher being, often described as his father, the king or a dragon. In fact, as will be shown over and over again in this essay, the dragon combat and the flood are two different perspectives on the same archetypal story. They were actually closely interlinked. The one who sent the flood was the Hero’s antagonist, the dragon.

 

               The flood was sent in order to destroy the Hero.

 

                               God sent a deluge over the world in order to drown a jackal which had angered him (Kamars, Dravidian). [Frazer 1975: 80]

               When Ndengei’s evil grandsons stole his favourite bird Turukawa from him, the god sent a huge flood (Fiji). [Andree 1891: 58f.]. The flood is called Walavu-levu. Ndengei had a monstrous bird called Turukawa, which was accidentally killed by his two grandsons (Fiji). [Frazer 1975: 90f.]

                               Kunyon, ‘the Wise’, survived the flood by building a large raft, on which he saved a lot of animals as well. The raven had caused the flood because Kunyon had thrown him into the fire for his malice (Hare Skin Indians). [Andree 1891: 83f.]

               The White People were going to send a flood over the world in their anger on Numank-Machana, the first man, and the first man told the ancestors to build a high tower or fort from wood. In this way they survived the flood (Mandan). [Andree 1891: 86]

               A sea-monster wished to destroy the magician Wissaketchak. So when the magician was paddling in his canoe, the monster lashed the sea with his tail till the waves rose and engulfed the land (Cree Indians). [Frazer 1975: 121]

               Then Makunaima sent a flood to destroy the evil spirit Epel and only one man escaped in a canoe, from which he sent rats to enquire whether the waters had already retreated. This sole survivor created new people by throwing stones over his back (Makusi Indians). [Andree 1891: 121]. Later Makunaima sent a great flood on earth. Only one man escaped in a canoe; he sent out a rat to see whether the water had abated, and the rat returned with a cob of maize. After the flood, the man repeopled the earth by throwing stones behind him (Macusis of British Guiana). [Frazer 1975: 103]

 

               The flood was sent by the Hero’s father or uncle[3].

 

                               So when his uncle tried to saw off his head in the usual way, the knife made no impression at all on Yehl. Not discouraged by this failure, the old villain attempted the life of his virtuous nephew in other ways. In his fury he said, ‘Let there be a flood,’ and a flood there was which covered all the mountains. But Yehl assumed his wings and feathers, which he could put off and on at pleasure, and spreading his pinions he flew up to the sky, and there remained hanging by his beak for ten days, while the water of the flood rose so high that it lapped his wings. When the water sank, he let go and dropped like an arrow into the sea (Tlingit). [Frazer 1975: 123f.]

 

A separate class of flood etiologies is formed by the non-ethical explanations. This category merges in fact with the group of motifs that describe how the flood physically came about. The association of the waters of the flood with tears of a deity is not limited to the flood cycle: elsewhere we have occasion to note that the world was also created by the tears of a weeping deity. This is because the creation cycle and the flood cycle are mirror aspects of one and the same story.

 

               The flood was the result of an extensive crying.

 

                               The Great Hare noosed the sun, when he found his back scorched by it. As a result of the battle the sun fell down on the earth and set everything on fire. In the fire the Hare became reduced to nothing but a head which rolled over the world from east to west. His eyes struck against a rock, and such a flood of tears gushed out of them that a universal deluge resulted which extinguished the conflagration (Omaha Indians). [Briffault 1927: II 735]

               A woman ignored her marriage with a beaver and married a panther. Thus deserted by the wife of his bosom, the beaver wept for five days, till all the land was flooded with his tears. The houses were overwhelmed, and the animals took to their canoes. All the animals tried to dive, but in vain. The musk-rat jumped last and stayed a long time under water. Then it became summer, the flood sank, and the canoes with it, till they landed on dry ground. The beaver is described as a man with a big belly (Kathlamet Chinook Indians). [Frazer 1975: 127]

 

M6d: origin of the flood waters

 

Strange as it may seem, the hundreds of books that have been written about the deluge rarely pay any attention to the question of the origin of the waters of the flood against a purely mythical background. In reality, this question is not only very complicated, but also offers an important key as to a real understanding of the flood myth.

 

In a first group of motifs, it is thought that the waters rushed forth from a pillar-like source. This water-pillar is expressed with the metaphors of a rope connecting heaven and earth; a pillar; a mountain; and a tree. In case of the rope, we hear that the rope was too long, so that the earth sank down into the waters. In case of the tree, the waters sprang from the root of the tree, when the Hero attempted to fell it. In case of the mountain, the waters gushed forth from a cleft in the mountain.

 

               The flood was caused because the rope between heaven and earth was too short.

 

                               Raven brought the sun back to the people, which had been hidden from them by the chief Masmasalanich, the supreme being. Als die Sonne am Himmel entstanden war, verband er sie mit der Erde durch ein langes Tau, welches beide in angemessener Entfernung voneinander hielt und verhinderte, daß die Erde im Ozean versank. On one occasion, however, Masmasalanich stretched the rope, so that the earth sank into the waters; on this occasion a tempest ravaged the earth as well. On this occasion the different languages arose. Then the rope was shortened again (Bella Coola). Bemerkenswert ist die Auffassung, daß die Erde im Ozean durch ein Tau schwebend erhalten wird. [Andree 1891: 100f.]

 

               The waters of the flood issued from a pillar.

 

                               Nu Kwa battled with the giants and demons who had caused the flood, the demons of water and fire. Then a gigantic warrior upset one of the heavenly pillars which caused the flood. Nu Kwa restored the pillar and placed a turtle under it and created the four guardians of the world: Black Turtle in the North, Blue Dragon in the East, White Tiger in the West and Red Bird in the South, as well as Golden Dragon in the centre. [MacKenzie a; b: 151, 220]. The monstrous Kung-Kung ruled the earth. Chuan Hsü defeated Kung Kung, who fled. In his flight, the monster broke the northwest column of heaven with his horns, displacing sun, moon, and stars and causing a flood on earth. [Fontenrose 1980: 493f.]. Kung Kung was a horned monster, which lost a battle for power with one of the five ancient kings. Because of this, he flew into a rage and flung himself at Mount Pu Chou. Then the column of the sky was broken, the link with earth was cut. In the north-west the sky collapsed. Hence the sun, moon and stars slipped toward the north-west and the earth tilted to the south-east. Thereupon the waters spread and flowed to the south-east. [Cardona 1975: 36]

 

               The flood originated on a mountain.

 

                               Nergal is invoked as follows: You are horrifying like a flood, rising on the mountain where the sun rises (kur-u-e). [Cochrane 1996b: 70, 77]

 

               The water of the flood issued from beneath a tree.

 

                               The big invisible spirit Makonaima created a huge tree, on the manifold fruits of which all creatures lived. His son Sigu decided to fell this tree, but from the trunk rose the waters of the abyss and swelled. He covered it with a mat, but the monkey Iwarrika removed it. A huge flood was the result ÿ (British Guyana). [Andree 1891: 118-120]. Makonaima created the animals and set his son Sigu to rule over them. A huge wonderful tree sprang from the earth. Sigu tried to fell the tree and discovered that the stump was hollow and full of water in which the fry of every sort of fresh-water fish was swimming about. Then the water in the cavity, being connected with the great reservoir somewhere in the bowels of the earth, began to overflow and Sigu covered it with a basket. The brown monkey removed the basket and out poured the flood, sweeping the monkey himself away and inundating the whole land (Ackawois of British Guiana). [Frazer 1975: 101ff.]. The great flood was caused by Makunaima, ‘he who wanders in the night’ (Macusi of British Guyana). [Briffault 1927: II 573 note 6]

 

               The flood was caused by a cleft in the mountains.

 

                               Deucalion’s flood: But Zeus poured a great rain from the sky upon the earth and washed down the greater part of Greece, so that all men perished except a few, who flocked to the high mountains near. Then the mountains in Thessaly were parted, and all the world beyond the Isthmus and Peloponnese was overwhelmed (Apollodorus, 2nd century B.C.). [Frazer 1975: 67]

               In ancient times Thessaly had been a great inland sea, surrounded by mountains. Poseidon, who causes earthquakes, made an outlet for the lake through the mountains, by cleaving the narrow gorge of Tempe, through which the river Peneus has ever since drained the Thessalian plain (Herodotus). One author attributed the creation of the gorge and the drainage of the lake to Hercules. [Frazer 1975: 76]

               In Thessaly it was said that his (Poseidon’s) trident had cut out the Tempe valley between Olympia and Ossa so that the lake which covered Thessaly could flow away. [Burkert 1985: 137]

 

In other myths we encounter the opposition of waters from the sky and waters from the earth. The waters from above are usually the rain and are seen as masculine, impregnating the earth by their descent. The waters from below come forth from a hole in the earth, who is typically a female being. Interestingly, this contradiction is no more than a different direction ascribed to the waters; the course they follow is in both instances the same, to wit, the space between heaven and earth. Perhaps the outburst of the waters of the flood should be compared to the myth of the separation of heaven and earth, according to which heaven and earth were originally united in close embrace, but came to be separated from each other in a creative event, during which a pillar was established to keep them apart. We might tentatively suggest that the rise of the flood waters is identical with the separation of the heaven and earth: the outburst of water forced the heaven and the earth to separate[4].

 

               The flood is caused by wind and rain (the male waters from the sky).

 

                               The part of the tablet which probably described the building of the ship and Ziudsuddu’s embarkation is lost, and in the remaining we are plunged into the midst of the deluge. The storms of wind and rain are described as raging together. Then the text continues: ‘When for seven days, for seven nights, the rain-storm had raged in the land, when the great boat had been carried away by the wind-storms on the mighty waters, the Sun-god came forth, shedding light over heaven and earth.’ When the light shines into the boat, Ziudsuddu prostrates himself before the Sun-god and sacrifices an ox and a sheep … Ziudsuddu receives the boon of immortality and the gods cause him to dwell on a mountain, perhaps the mountain of Dilmun, though the reading of the name is uncertain. [Frazer 1975: 55f.]

               Ut-Napishtim tells Gilgamesh: A fixed time the sun-god Shamash had appointed, saying, ‘At eventide the lord of darkness will send a heavy rain. Then enter thou into the ship and shut thy door.’ The time appointed drew near, and at eventide the lord of darkness sent a heavy rain. Of the storm, I saw the beginning, to look upon the storm I was afraid. I entered into the ship and shut the door. To the pilot of the ship, even to Puzur-Amurri, the sailor, I committed the (floating) palace and all that therein was. When the early dawn appeared there came up from the horizon a black cloud. Ramman thundered in the midst thereof, the gods Mujati and Lugal went before. Like messengers they passed over mountain and land; Irragal tore away the ship’s post. There went Ninib and he made the storm to burst. The Anunnaki lifted up flaming torches, with the brightness thereof they lit up the earth. The whirlwind of Ramman mounted up into the heavens, and all light was turned into darkness.’ A whole day the tempest raged, and the waters rose on the mountains. ‘No man beheld his fellow, no more could men know each other (Gilgamesh Epic). [Frazer 1975: 51-53]

               Now the deluge was caused by the male waters from the sky meeting the female waters which issued forth from the ground. The holes in the sky by which the upper waters escaped were made by God when he removed two stars out of the constellation of the Pleiades; and in order to stop this torrent of rain God had afterwards to bung up the two holes with a couple of stars borrowed from the constellation of the Bear. That is why the Bear runs after the Pleiades to this day: she wants her children back, but she will never get them till after the Last Day. [Frazer 1975: 64f.]. … for whereas the Jehovistic writer puts it down to rain only, the Priestly writer speaks of subterranean waters bursting forth as well as of sheets of water descending from heaven. [Frazer 1975: 61]. The flood was produced by a union of the male waters, which are above the firmament, and the female waters issuing from the earth. The upper waters rushed through the space left when God removed two stars out of the constellation Pleiades. Afterward, to put a stop to the flood, God had to transfer two stars from the constellation of the Bear to the constellation of the Pleiades. That is why the Bear runs after the Pleiades. [L. Ginzberg, The legends of the Jews, I-VII, 1913: I 162]

               In the first ages of the world, during the battle with Ahriman, the star Tistar appeared in threefold form: as a human body, as a horse, and as a bull, to send the rain into the world. The earth was filled with dangerous creatures at the time, which had been created by the evil principle. Tistar then rained with each of his bodies 10 days, 30 days altogether. After the first rain all dangerous creatures had been killed and a celestial wind had swept the waters away. The seeds of the creatures had remained, however, and caused poison and evil. Then Tistar descended in the form of a white horse and started to rain. As such he encountered the demon Apaosha in the form of a black horse and they battled. Ormazd helped Tistar to win: he slew Apaosha with a lightning stroke, which he used as his weapon, and he also conquered the demon Çpendschaghra, who accompanied Apaosha. The fearful screaming of the vanquishing demon is still heard in the thunder. Tistar rained once more on the earth and once more a wind swept the waters away. In this way 3 great and 23 small lakes came into existence (Bundehesh, VII). [Andree 1891: 13-15]

               So the fountains of the deep were opened, and the rain descended in torrents, the rivers swelled, and the sea spread far over the land, till there was nothing but water, water everywhere, and all men perished (Lucian). [Frazer 1975: 69; Andree 1891: 41]

               The Athenians said that when the clouds gathered dark on Parnassus and the rain came down in torrents on Lycorea, where Deucalion reigned as king, he fled for safety to Athens, and on his arrival founded a sanctuary of Rainy Zeus, and offered thanks-offerings for his escape. [Frazer 1975: 68]

               Deucalion’s flood: But Zeus poured a great rain from the sky upon the earth and washed down the greater part of Greece, so that all men perished except a few, who flocked to the high mountains near. Then the mountains in Thessaly were parted, and all the world beyond the Isthmus and Peloponnese was overwhelmed (Apollodorus, 2nd century B.C.). [Frazer 1975: 67]

               After seven years of famine it started to rain and a giantess and giant prepared a boat. The flood came and lasted seven days. After the flood the god Numitarom created new fish, animals and plants (Vogul). [Andree 1891: 45f.]

               Singbonga sent a flood to punish the people. Sengle-Daa, d. h. Feuerwasser, ließ er vom Himmel strömen, daß alle Menschen starben (Mundari). [Andree 1891: 26f.]

                               When Ndengei’s evil grandsons stole his favourite bird Turukawa from him, the god sent a huge flood. Auf seinem Befehl sammelten sich am Himmel dunkle Wolken, aus deinen ein unaufhörlicher Regen auf die Erde herabströmte (Fiji). [Andree 1891: 58f.]. The flood is called Walavu-levu. Ndengei had a monstrous bird called Turukawa, which was accidentally killed by his two grandsons. Then at the god’s command the dark clouds gathered and burst, pouring torrents of rain on the doomed earth (Fiji). [Frazer 1975: 90f.]

                               When men multiplied on the earth, evil prevailed everywhere. Two teachers of the true religion of Tane, Para-whenua-mea and Tupu-nui-a-uta, were rejected by the people and made a raft with a house on top of it and loaded it with food and dogs. Then they invoked a heavy rain … So it rained in torrents for four or five days, and then the priest repeated incantations to make the rain cease, and it ceased. But still the flood rose; … (M~ori, New Zealand). [Frazer 1975: 94ff.]

               Now with the full moon came a dreadful storm and rain, and the sea rose higher and higher, and flooded the islands, rent the mountains, and destroyed the abodes of men; all people perished except for the woman (Pelew Islanders). [Frazer 1975: 96f.]

               A bleeding tree which the women were cutting turned out to be a boa constrictor. While the men dismembered it and roasted the pieces, a torrential rain began to fall and never ceased falling till all the hills, except the highest were submerged and the world was drowned, all because these wicked men had killed and fried the serpent (Iban, Sarawak: Borneo). [Frazer 1975: 85f.; compare Andree 1891: 32f.]

               Then God commanded Tumbainot to build an ark of wood with his family and some animals. When they were all safely aboard, …, God caused it to rain so heavily and so long that a great flood took place, and all men and beasts were drowned, except those which were in the ark; for the ark floated on the face of the waters (Masai). [Frazer 1975: 130f.]

               During a catastrophe the ocean fell on the land and a hurricane swept the earth (Manuscript Troano, Mayas). [Velikovsky 1950: 67]

               Menaboschu, a demi-god, warned his lupine friend not to walk over the ice on a lake where the serpent king lived. The wolf did so, however, and was killed by the horned serpent. Menaboschu then changed himself into a tree stump. One of the snakes surrounded the stump, which did not give way. Then Menaboschu killed the snake king and three of his sons and then the water began to rise and it started to rain as well (Ojibwa). [Andree 1891: 75-80]

               Huge showers of rain covered the earth with flood and all bad people drowned. Some people saved themselves in their canoes on the highest mountains. A dove flew out to watch the dead (Twana Indians, on Puget Sound). [Andree 1891: 89f.]

               Only one couple survived a large flood caused by unending rains by climbing a mountain top. They fed on fish which they cooked in their armpits, as they had no fire. This couple became the ancestors of all people (Tolowa in California). [Andree 1891: 94]

               At one time there came a great rain. It lasted a long time and the water kept rising till all the valleys were submerged, and the Indians retired to the high land. At last they were all swept away and drowned except one pair, who escaped to the highest peak and were saved … They had no fire. They became the ancestors. As the Indians died, their spirits took the forms of deer, elks, bears, snakes, insects, and so forth, and in this way the earth was repeopled by the various kinds of animals as well as men (Smith River tribe, California). [Frazer 1975: 112]

               Elsewhere they said that a great rain fell on the earth so abundantly and during such a long time that it was completely covered except a very high mountain where some men save themselves. A little red bird named Coüy-oüy brought the fire from heaven (Natchez, Mississippi). [Frazer 1975: 112]

               Aguara-Tunpa declared war against Tunpaete, the creator, and set fire to all the prairies. When he saw that the people survived by eating fish from the water, he caused torrential rain to fall … On advise of Tunpaete the people placed a little boy and a girl on a large leaf and allowed it to float on the water. Still the rain continued to descend in torrents; the floods rose and spread over the face of the earth to a great depth, and all the Chiriguanos were drowned; only the two babes on the leaf of mate were saved (Chiriguanos, Bolivia). [Frazer 1975: 106f.]

               The god Tupi revealed the coming of a flood to Tamanduare. He was told to take refuge in a particular palm-tree on a mountain-top. When he and his family were safe there, it began to rain, and it rained and rained till all the earth was covered. After the flood they repeopled the world (Cape Frio Indians). [Frazer 1975: 98]

               … once on a time people heard a rumbling above and below the ground. The sun and moon, also, turned red, blue, and yellow, and the wild beasts mingled fearlessly with men. A month later they heard a roar and saw darkness ascending from the earth to the sky, accompanied by thunder and heavy rain, which blotted out the day and the earth … The water rose very high, till the earth was sunk beneath the water and only the branches of the highest trees still stood out above the flood. Thither the people had fled for refuge … Then only Uassu and his wife were saved. They became the ancestors (Pamarys, Abederys and Kataushys, on the river Purus). [Frazer 1975: 100]

               When two tribes lived on opposite sides of a river, the one white, the other black, it started to rain for months and the flood forced the black people to retreat and formed a lake, in which the white people drowned (Western Australia). [Andree 1891: 55f.]

               The moon asked man one day for some opossum skins to protect him from the cold and, upon refusal, caused torrents of rain to fall and flood the whole area (Australia). [Eliade 1958: 161]

               In the beginning everything was dark and there was nothing. It rained continuously on earth. When the rain stopped, Mawese regulated the waters in rivers and created the first people and everything else. He also instructed the people in the heart of agriculture and he created the snakes. Then Mawese married Muvadila and became the ancestor of all peoples. Finally he returned to the sky, whence he later issued a human couple with the first fire (Pende, South-Congo).  [E. von Däniken, Bewijzen over de buitenaardse oorsprong van het leven op aarde, 1978: 98]

 

               The water of the flood issued from a hole in the earth (the female waters of the earth).

 

                               Now the deluge was caused by the male waters from the sky meeting the female waters which issued forth from the ground. The holes in the sky by which the upper waters escaped were made by God when he removed two stars out of the constellation of the Pleiades; and in order to stop this torrent of rain God had afterwards to bung up the two holes with a couple of stars borrowed from the constellation of the Bear. That is why the Bear runs after the Pleiades to this day: she wants her children back, but she will never get them till after the Last Day. [Frazer 1975: 64f.]. … for whereas the Jehovistic writer puts it down to rain only, the Priestly writer speaks of subterranean waters bursting forth as well as of sheets of water descending from heaven. [Frazer 1975: 61]. The flood was produced by a union of the male waters, which are above the firmament, and the female waters issuing from the earth. The upper waters rushed through the space left when God removed two stars out of the constellation Pleiades. Afterward, to put a stop to the flood, God had to transfer two stars from the constellation of the Bear to the constellation of the Pleiades. That is why the Bear runs after the Pleiades. [L. Ginzberg, The legends of the Jews, I-VII, 1913: I 162]

               So the fountains of the deep were opened, and the rain descended in torrents, the rivers swelled, and the sea spread far over the land, till there was nothing but water, water everywhere, and all men perished (Lucian). [Frazer 1975: 69; Andree 1891: 41]

               An old woman guarded a pool which had to be covered every day with a stone slab: once this was forgotten and the water streamed forth, forming a loch; the old woman changed into a stone (Scotland). [MacKenzie c: 303]

•?             An ancestor, Tse-gu-dzih, caused the deluge … Men were wicked … So Tse-gu-dzih in wrath locked the rain-gates, and the water mounted to the sky (Lolos, South-West-China). [Frazer 1975: 84]

               The earth is only covered with a thin skin. In ancient days god damaged this cover and a flood was the result (Binnas in the inner Malay Peninsula). [Andree 1891: 29f.]. … the ground on which we stand is not solid, but is merely a skin covering an abyss of water. In ancient times, Pirman, that is the deity, broke up this skin, so that the world was drowned and destroyed by a great flood (Benua-Jakun, Malay Peninsula). [Frazer 1975: 83]

               Ariconte quarrelled with his brother Tamendonare. At the same moment the village in which they dwelt was transported to the sky, but the two brothers remained on earth. Tamendonare stamped on the ground so forcibly that a great fountain of water sprang from it and rose so high that it out-topped the hills and seemed to mount above the clouds. They hid in two trees. By the throwing of a fruit Tamendonare found out that the water was still high. All people died except for them (Cape Frio Indians: Tupinambo). [Frazer 1975: 97f.]

 

The source of the flood waters is also described in terms of a circular enclosure, such as a walled pool or well and a jar. The moon also is frequently connected with the waters of the flood. All of these symbols trace to the Goddess and identify the source of the waters as the Goddess. The underworld too, which is often thought of as a lake or river, is an image of the Goddess.

 

               The water of the flood issued from a pool or well.

 

                               Tagaro made the sea, but it was quite small. Fish was inside. Then he built a stone wall round the pool. Once the water poured forth in great volume, because a stone was thrown in it: the old woman had turned into a stone (Aurora Island). [MacKenzie c: 302f.]

               A well was connected with the woman who caused the flood (New-Britain). [MacKenzie b: 68]

 

               The water of the flood issued from a jar.

 

                               Jaia, a mighty man, put the bones of his son, whom he had slain, in a jar, where they turned into fish, for he had hidden all waters in this jar. When his brother opened this jar a huge flood was the result (Haiti). [Andree 1891: 118]

               Der große Krig, in welchem das Weltmeer verschlossen ist, welches durch eine neugierige Handlung daraus befreit wird und nun die Flut anrichtet, ist ein echt indianisch-karibischer Zug in den Legenden, … [Andree 1891: 118]

 

               The waters of the flood are associated with the underworld.

 

                               It was believed that the Nile-flood came from the Dwf.t. [Cochrane 1994a: 92]

               Ut-Napishtim tells Gilgamesh: Ea spoke to Ut-Napishtim: ‘Thus shalt thou answer and say unto them: Because Enlil hates me, no longer may I abide in your city nor lay my head on Enlil’s earth. Down into the deep sea must I go with Ea, my lord, to dwell.’‘ (Gilgamesh Epic). [Frazer 1975: 51-53]

 

               The moon is associated with the water of the flood.

 

                               The moon is referred to as the moist star and the governess of floods (Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). [Briffault 1927: II 637]

               The moon swallows up the sea. Not until a skipper complained to her that he was thrown out of employment owing the disappearance of the ocean did she disgorge it (Brittany). [Briffault 1927: II 636]

               Um die Zeit des Vollmondes trat eine ungeheure Flut ein, which covered everything. Unfortunately Milatk drowned in the flood, as the rope had been too short (Peleu). [Andree 1891: 60-62]. Now with the full moon came a dreadful storm and rain, and the sea rose higher and higher, and flooded the islands, rent the mountains, and destroyed the abodes of men; all people perished except for the woman (Pelew Islanders). [Frazer 1975: 96f.]. The great flood was produced by the full moon (Pelew Islands). [Briffault 1927: II 573 note 6]

               The tribe sprang from a mystical moon animal which had escaped a watery disaster (Pacific). [Eliade 1958: 211]

               The sun and moon once met together, they say, and the sun plastered some mud over a part of the moon, and thus covered up some of the light, and that is why a portion of the moon is often in shadow. When this meeting took place there was a flood, and the ancient people put their porridge (luku) sticks to their backs and turned into monkeys. The present race of people is a new creation (Lower Congo). [Frazer 1975: 129]. When the flood came the men turned into monkeys and the women into lizards: and the monkey’s tail is the man’s gun (Lower Congo). [Frazer 1975: 129]. At the time of the great flood all human beings resumed their original shape; the men turned into monkeys and the women into lizards (Congo). [Briffault 1927: II 662]

               The moon caused the flood, under the guise of a young and beautiful woman (Mexico). [Eliade 1958: 161]

[•             Indo-European or even Nostratic names for some flood-Heroes seem to be related to the moon: Manu]

               When the moon did not yet exist, a bearded old man named Botschika, Nemquetheba, or Zuhé taught the arts of agriculture, clothing, worship and politics to the people. His beautiful but malevolent wife was Huythaca, Chia or Yubecayguya. She caused a flood in which most people perished. Botschika then turned her into the moon. He removed the waters by splitting a rock (Chibcha). [Andree 1891: 114-115]. Chia, the moon, was the goddess of waters and flooded the earth (Moscos). [Briffault 1927: II 633]. Zuhe instructed the first people and dwelled amongst them. Then came Chia, a beautiful woman, who taught the exact opposite and caused a flood, which almost destroyed the human race. Zuhe exiled her to heaven and changed her into the moon (New Granada). [Briffault 1927: II 573]

               All baneful influences, thunder and floods, proceed from the moon (Tupi tribes, Botocudos). [Briffault 1927: II 576]

               The moon asked man one day for some opossum skins to protect him from the cold and, upon refusal, caused torrents of rain to fall and flood the whole area (Australia). [Eliade 1958: 161]

 

The idea that the flood waters were actually a pillar connecting heaven and earth also follows from a number of motifs that describe the extent of the waters of the flood. When we hear that the waters rose until heaven or that heaven approached the waters it is the same as to say that the flood served as a connection between heaven and earth. The water-pillar was the famed heaven-sustaining pillar of the cosmos.

 

               The waters of the flood rose higher than the mountains.

 

                               Ut-Napishtim tells Gilgamesh: A whole day the tempest raged, and the waters rose on the mountains (Gilgamesh Epic). [Frazer 1975: 51-53]

               Once the midmost of the earth trembled with terror and Jubmel came down. His terrible anger flashed like red, blue and green fire-serpents. After his descent, he caused the sea to gather itself up into a huge towering wall. Now the mountains could no more be seen by Beijke. [Velikovsky 1950: 73f.]

               Long ago the ocean suddenly began to rise and continued rising until it had inundated the whole land. The water even covered the tops of the mountains, and the ice drifted over them …  (Central Eskimo). [Frazer 1975: 128]

               A river rose up to a great flood and overwhelmed Mount Vanessa. Only one man and his wife escaped, together with a pig, a cassowary, a kangaroo, and a pigeon, who became the ancestors (Mamberano River, Dutch New Guinea). [Frazer 1975: 90]

               A sea-monster wished to destroy the magician Wissaketchak. So when the magician was paddling in his canoe, the monster lashed the sea with his tail till the waves rose and engulfed the land. But Wissaketchak built a great raft and gathered upon it pairs of all animals and all birds, and in that way he saved his own life and the lives of the other creatures. Nevertheless, the great fish continued to lash his tail and the water continued to rise, till it had covered not only the earth but the highest mountains, and not a scrap of dry land was to be seen (Cree Indians). [Frazer 1975: 121]

               A great flood covered all the high mountains and drowned most of the people. But a few were saved, who took refuge on a little knoll near Bonsall … Only the knoll remained above water when all the rest of the country was inundated. A Song of the Flood is still sung (Luiseño Indians, California). [Frazer 1975: 111f.]

               The water rose above the highest mountains in the world, so that all people and all created things perished. No living thing escaped except a man and a woman, who floated in a box on the face of the waters and so were saved (Incas of Peru). According to some the survivors had hidden in mountain caves. Others said that only six persons were saved on a float . [Frazer 1975: 105f.]

 

               The water of the flood reached until heaven.

 

                               When the world was covered with water, two brothers saved themselves upon a raft. Das Wasser stieg und stieg, bis es endlich an den Himmel reichte (Karen in Birma). [Andree 1891: 28]. … the earth was of old deluged with water, and two brothers saved themselves from the flood on a raft. The waters rose till they reached to heaven, when the younger brother saw a mango-tree hanging down from the celestial vault (Karen, Burma). [Frazer 1975: 81]

               once on a time the kite quarrelled with the crab, and pecked the crab’s skull so hard that he made a hole in it, which may be seen down to this very day. To avenge this injury to his skull, the crab caused the sea and the rivers to swell till the waters reached the sky, and all living beings perished except two, a brother and a sister, who were saved in a huge chest (Bahnars, Cochin China). [Frazer 1975: 82]