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Itherther

by Micha F. Lindemans

In the mythology of the Kabyles of Algeria, Itherther, a buffalo, and Thamuatz, a buffalo cow, were the first living beings on earth. They emerged from Tlam, a dark place under earth. They did not wish to return there and so roamed the earth. Thamuatz gave birth to a young buffalo which they named Achimi.

When Achimi later expelled him, Itherther wandered through the lonely mountains, unable to forget his beloved Thamuatz. Each time that he thought of her, he stopped and his semen would flow. The sun would warm the semen and from it sprang forth various other animals, and Itherther took them under his care.

The Kabyles believed that all the animals were engendered in this fashion, except for the lions, which are the offspring of a human cannibal.


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