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In The Beginning
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In The Beginning

Author: Fun Kids

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Description

Creation stories from around the world, dramatised for radio. An immersive audio adventure back to the beginning time…

Why are we here, how did we get here and who are we anyway? These profound questions have given rise to creation stories, shared across cultures and societies to help us humans make sense of the world and there are many commonalities between these stories. In the Beginning brings ten of these ancestral tales to life. 

These stories transport us through the cosmos, into dreamtime, down a golden chain and through nature’s arc where we meet animals, gods and spirits -  the makers, shapers and creators

There’s a summer storm and it’s been raining all day, on and off, then on again. The children are inside with Hawa, our storyteller. She has been gathering creation stories since the beginning of time, from every corner of the earth. Where will she take us today? 

For more information visit  http://www.inthebeginning.world

Credits

Researched, written and directed by Lucia Scazzocchio & Hawa Kahn 

Presented by Chizzy Akudolu, narrated by Nicole Davis

Cast: Chizzy Akudolu, Rosie-Marie Christian, Darren Hart, Arnie Hewitt, Hawa Khan, Paul Marlon, Katherine Mosely, James Price, Narinder Samra. 

Children: Quinceo Parkes, Omara Parkes, Della Parkes, Sierra Kaitell, Gabriel Kaitell

Casting Director: Hawa Khan 

Audio production and sound design: Lucia Scazzocchio

Additional research: Leona Fensome

Original music: Gail Tasker

Cover Art: Delphine

A Sonomatopoeia / Social Broadcasts production. Created for Fun Kids and Supported by the Audio Content Fund.
11 Episodes
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Why are we here, how did we get here and who are we anyway? These profound questions have given rise to creation stories, shared across cultures and societies to help us humans make sense of the world and there are many commonalities between these stories. In the Beginning brings ten of these ancestral tales to life.  These stories transport us through the cosmos, into dreamtime, down a golden chain and through nature’s arc where we meet animals, gods and spirits -  the makers, shapers and creators.  There’s a summer storm and it’s been raining all day, on and off, then on again. The children are inside with Hawa, our storyteller. She has been gathering creation stories since the beginning of time, from every corner of the earth. Where will she take us today?  Introduced by Chizzy Akudolu and narrated by Nicole Davis Written and produced by Hawa Khan and Lucia Scazzocchio. A Sonomatopoeia / Social Broadcasts production for Fun Kids, supported by The Audio Content Fund.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Great Drought

The Great Drought

2022-07-1313:48

This story tells how there was a terrible drought followed by a lethal flood. There's a terrible drought and all the animals get together and realise that all water is being held inside a giant frog called Tidilick, the only way to get the water out is to make the frog laugh. They decide to hold a talent contest 'Get Out of Drought'. The Kookaburra tries and fails, the Frill Lizard tries and fails, the Crane tries and fails and finally the Short Finned Eel succeeds and Tidilick the frog laughs so much that the earth is flooded. This story is from Australia where the First Nations (Aboriginal) people have lived for over 65 thousand years. This dreaming story from the Gurnaikurnai people, 'Tidilick The Frog' that tells of the natural history of the area and the flood records the period of natural change. The Lurtbit Yauung Brataualung clan group recorded this story which depicts the natural history of the country going through a turbulent time of great natural change, which shaped the landscape as we know it today.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this story we hear where root vegetables (tubars) and root spices came from and how people with good and evil hearts are separated. The god Ameta finds a coconut one day, he plants it and a lovely girl Hainuwele (coconut girl) grows from the ground. She has the amazing gift of being able to poo precious items. This instills jealousy amongst the villagers who decide to get rid of Hainuwele. She becomes the root of all root plants and spices and her leaves are made into a guilt gate and with the help of the goddess Satene anyone with a dark heart is turned into an animal and if they are particularly evil they are turned into goblins. This story is from the Alifuru, Wemale and Alune people on the island of Ceram, located in the centre of the Muluka islands that are now part of Indonesia. They worship many gods, spirits and divine creatures. Ameta who appears in this story, is the god who fathered Hainuwele (which means coconut girl) goddess of fertility. The other goddess who appears in this story is Satene - a goddess who became queen of the dead on the mountain of Salahua where people's souls went once they died.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Coyote and Silver Fox

Coyote and Silver Fox

2022-07-2713:43

In this story we learn how the earth is created and how domestic relationships sometimes have to be managed. In the beginning there is nothing but water. Silver Fox is lonely and thinks Coyote into being. Together they sing the world into existence and go down to live on it. They live in harmony together except for the fact that Coyote is always hungry and Silver Fox keeps going out to get things to eat but he gobbles everything up and never shares or saves food. She eventually gets fed up of his antics and sets a trap. She's a crafty fox and teaches Coyote her worth and they live in harmony after that. This story is from the Miwok tribe of indigenous people (also known as Native Americans or American Indians) who have lived  in North America (Turtle Island) for at least 15,000 years. Coyote and Silver Fox represent the first people and even though they are animals they behave just the way people would. Coyote, who features in many stories, is often represented as a trickster and makes frivolous decisions and as you can hear in this story he is always hungry. Silver Fox is more serious and wise.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
These are two stories form ancient China describing how the world was created and how humans were made. In the beginning there is nothing but a cosmic egg.  Pangu emerges from this egg and the upper part becomes Yin the sky and lower part becomes Yang the earth. He begins to form the earth with the help of Phoenix, Dragon and Tortoise but becomes exhausted and his body becomes the earth itself. Later, Nuwa a goddess with a fish tail comes down to earth but is lonely as she has no one to talk to. She decides to make humans out of mud and clay. She finds it too tiring to fashion them one at time so she finds a better way by splattering mud with a stick. This is how she populates the earth.  The earliest human settlements in what is today called China date back 7000 years. China was ruled by a number of different dynasties and has a very old and rich tradition of legends and mythology. The main characters of these stories are gods, goddesses, ghosts and demons. The main themes reflect various aspects of human nature, human relations and social life. Pangu is accompanied by three animals that feature in many ancient Chinese stories; Dragon who represents wisdom and power, Tortoise a symbol of strength and immortality and there are stories where the history of the world is written on its shell, and Phoenix, a symbol of rebirth.  In the second part of the story we hear about how humans were created by Nuwa also known as Nu-Kua, Nu-Kwa, Nü-Wa a Chinese Creator Goddess and mother of all humans.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Cosmic Hug

The Cosmic Hug

2022-08-1014:03

This story is from the Māori people explaining how the earth and the sky were separated so that light could enable forests and plants to grow, followed by animals and humans.  In the beginning there is nothing but the cosmos. Rangi (Ranginui) the sky father and Papatua (Papatūānuku) the earth mother hold each other in a tight embrace. Papatua gives birth to 70 sons who are caught between their mother and father with very little space and no light. They have to find a way out. Eventually, led by Tāne , (who becomes god of the forests) they manage to prize their parents apart. (Tāwhiri) Tāwhirimātea the god of the weather or wind doesn't agree with his brothers separating their mother and father. The other brothers featured are Tu (Tūmātauenga  - angry face) God of war, Whiro, god of darkness and Uru, the first born and god of light. As they prize their parents apart light shines through and the forests begins to grow and the earth becomes populated by plants and animals.  The ancestors of the Māori people arrived in Aotearoa (translated as land of the thick white cloud) from the Polynesian Islands by boat over 1000 years ago and settled in this new land. They first encountered Europeans in the 1600’s when the Dutch landed onshore and called this island Nieuw Zeeland after the Dutch province Zeeland. The next Europeans to arrive where the British in 1769 led by Captain Cook and the colonisation by the British began.In Māori society there is a long tradition of singing and storytelling. History is passed on through the many stories shared from generation to generation through song, dance and chants. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Legend of the Milkyway

Legend of the Milkyway

2022-08-1714:03

This story from Estonia describes how the amazing milky white group of stars we call the Milky Way (or bird path in Estonian) came from the adventurous goddess Lindu's wedding veil, carried by birds The goddess Lindu lives in the sky with her father Uru. She loves adventure and can't stay still for long. Uru sends her down to earth to look after the birds. The North Star, Moon and Sun propose to her but she thinks they’re all too boring as they stay in one place and she needs more. Northern Lights feels like a more exciting prospect. He also proposes but then stands her up and she is left with her shimmering bridal veil but no marriage. She goes back up to live in the sky with her father and her bridal veil becomes the Milky way.  Estonia is in Northern Europe and is bordered to the North with Finland and to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden to the South by Latvia and to the East is Russia. Many of these legends have been passed down through songs featuring tales of creation of course, but also tales of battles, journeys and magic. The most striking example of the culture of ancient Estonians is the rhythmic verse, as well as the aural tradition of folk song where each line is repeated several times with thematic variations. Estonians have one of the biggest collections of folk songs in the world, with written records of about 133,000 folk songs.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
These two stories from the Yoruba people describe how humans were created, the coming of a great flood and how Oshun, the goddess of fertility made sure women have a voice. The Orishas are the gods who live in the sky. Obatala (creator of mankind) decides to go down to create the earth - he is given a gold chain, a shell, a hen and a black cat. He then attempts to makes humans but gets drunk on palm wine and makes them all wonky. He has to start again.  Once the earth is populated, Olukun, god of the seas is annoyed that the other gods didn’t consult him, so he creates a flood and drowns the earth. A few people survive. Oshun, the goddess of fertility is annoyed because the other gods keep ignoring her and she isn't heard. She persuades all the women to go on strike. Things become unbearable for the men and no babies are born, so women are promptly given a seat at the table both in the skies and on earth.  The Yoruba are an ancient people with roots that date back over 2000 years and were the rulers of the Oyo Kingdom, a West African Empire covering what is now West Nigeria to Zaire and Sudan. The main city of Ile-Ife cultivated a great cultural tradition. Traditional Yoruba religion has a pantheon of deities (gods) called the Orisha with hundreds of different gods representing natural elements and human emotions and worshipped for many different purposes. Ife is the Yoruba word for Earth and was named by the creator Obatala who also created mankind.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This story from the Taíno people begins with a great flood forcing everyone to hide in caves, even the Sun and the Moon. This story explains why the Sun and the Moon rise and set at different times. In the beginning there is a great flood. Many people hide in caves to escape the flood and so do the Sun and the Moon. The Sun kicks the Moon out as there isn’t enough space in the cave they are sharing. The moon goes up to the sky and find that it's much more spacious. The Sun misses the moon so goes up to the sky to find her and realises that’s it’s much better than his cave. He tries to reconnect with the moon but she is not willing to reconcile, so they are always set to be apart forever.  The Taíno are an Arawak people who were the indigenous people of the Caribbean and Florida. At the time of European contact in the late 15th century, they were the principal inhabitants of most of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), and Puerto Rico. Once thought to have completely disappeared there is now "Taíno restoration", a revival movement for Taíno culture that seeks official recognition of the survival of the Taíno people. In Puerto Rico, the history of the Taíno is being taught in schools and children are encouraged to celebrate the culture and identity of Taíno through dance, costumes and crafts.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Corn People

The Corn People

2022-09-0714:04

This story from the Maya people explains how humans were created out of corn after several attempts using different materials and how the creator gods Tepeu and Gucumatz made sure that humans did not have the constant access to supernatural vision. Gucamatz (The Maker and Tapeau (The Feathered spirt) imagine the world, plants and animas into being. As supreme beings they need to be worshiped so they try to get the animals to praise them but that doesn’t work. They then create clay people but they just crack and break. They make wooden people but when they are asked to worship it’s wooden and without feeling so they throw them in the river and they turn into monkeys. Then the animals bring them corn to make people out of. This works! These people praise them but they also have extra vision and can see and know as much as the gods which is problematic as this should be reserved for supreme beings. They swiftly have their third eye removed so they can praise the gods appropriately.  Ancient Maya culture once stretched from central Mexico to Honduras and included parts of what is now Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador. More than 40 cities were founded on the Yucátan Peninsula in Mexico and in this area where they have now become tourist attractions.  Most of what we know about Maya religion, myth and history comes from a sacred book called The Popol Vuh (Book of Community) which is the most important book of the K’iche Maya of the Guatemalan highlands. It is presented in three parts. The first talks about the creation of the world and its first inhabitants, the second narrates the story of the Hero Twins, a couple of semi-gods; and the third part is the story of the Quiché noble family dynasties. In Maya mythology, Tepeu (The Maker)  and Gucumatz (The Feathered Spirit also known as Kukulkan, and as the Aztec's Quetzalcoatl) are referred to as the Creators, the Makers, and the Forefathers. They were two of the first beings to exist although there were around 150 other gods.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Arrogance of Fam

Arrogance of Fam

2022-09-2115:16

This story from the Fang people is about the creation of the first human Fam who was given absolute power. This power went to his head as he destroyed the earth and disrespected the other animals that have been created. In the beginning Membere (who is 3 gods in one) creates elephant, leopard and monkey and then decides to create man to rule over them, the first man is called Fam and he is given ultimate power over the animals as well as being immortal. He starts building, burning and destroying the earth and treating the animals badly. He refuses to worship Member when he is invited by the animals and just caries on building dams, developments and tearing up the place. The animals are in despair. Membere decides to flood the earth and Fam is made to wander alone forever.  This story reflects the importance of looking after our environment, especially the equatorial rainforests where the Fang live that are abundant in natural resources such as timber, diamonds, oil and calton (used in phones) as well as palm oil plantations which are also a growing threat.   The Fang people were victims of the large transatlantic and trans-Saharan slave trade between the 16th and 19th century. They were stereotyped as cannibals by slave traders and missionaries possibly because of the human skulls and bones kept in open or in wooden boxes near their villages. Later, anthropologists discovered that the Fang people were not cannibalistic, the human bones in open and wooden boxes were of their ancestors, and were a method of routine remembrance and religious reverence for their dead loved ones. The Fang people also known as Fãn or Pahouin are a Bantu ethnic group found in Equatorial Guinea, Norther Gabon and Southern Cameroon in West Central Africa. They speak a Bantu language known as Fang. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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