Ubu Creation Myth

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This myth is well-attested among Ubu sources. This selection opens the AD 1121 Paulus Kurgex version of The Secret History of the Ubiaks, which is widely taken as the authoritative edition.

The state of the world before Num's act of creation is unclear; apparently the four first divinites simply were sitting in a boring room. Interestingly, speech and even writing are taken as a given.

The Creation

"Num and Kahat were sitting in the room. Num was in a somewhat foul mood because he a painful hangnail on his index finger.

And Kahat, being restless and unamused by her dull surroundings, said unto him: "Write me a story."

And he wrote. The story was eight tablets long and was about Kahat being pursued by a huge hangnail. Num wanted to banish the monotony of the room and so he made such inventions as men and trees and fish and villages and mountains. Kahat had never thought of such things and called them strange, but she did not lay down her head in boredom, and so Num was encouraged and began to write eight tablets more.

Guma and Sêsap, who were also in the room, decided that they should read the tablets. They were highly interested and began to mold such things as they read out of the dust that filled the room. And so the first men and animals and trees and land took shape.

Reading Num's second set of tablets, they learned of such things as the sun, and the sky, and its clouds, and its winds, and its stars. And they learned of a hundred-odd gods besides themselves, who managed the affairs of the sky and earth. And out of the air the molded they sun, and the sky, and its clouds, and its winds, and its stars, and out of flakes of their skin they molded the lower gods.

Num was pleased at the realization of his writings, and he took the created things and set them in a place outside of the room, in a configuration of his choice. And he gave his hangnail a final twist and pulled it off his finger. He smeared off the resulting drop of blood onto the dust world, and the world filled with blood.

The hangnail he called the moon, and the blood he called the seas.

And Kahat noticed that one of her eyelashes had fallen out, and she flicked it into the world. It gently landed on the highest mountain."