Paul Malone : Movies : A Mythology of Mud

'A Mythology of Mud'. Still from movie. 2017

Using an ancient Creation text from the Nivaklé tribe (Paraguay and northwest Argentina) the movie investigates a distressed football floating on the waters. We are transported to the surface of the sphere where we traverse its mudscapes. Mirroring the creation of humankind from mud in the Creation myths; we follow this world as it enacts morphological transformations and implications. By these processes it begins to institute the synthesis of life. Thus generated, two fish pass by.

 

Stills below : click 'Play Movie' to view

 

Full Creation text from which the voices are derived.
from: 'Moons, Myths and Man' by H.S.Bellamy

The Barkindji (western New South Wales, Australia) preserved the belief that 'The rocks used tp be soft'. The Kogi (Colombia) stated: 'At dawn the universe was still "soft", "wet like clay"

…And the Nivaklé (Paraguay and northwest Argentina) related that the earth at first 'was still soft, like wax, sticky … the earth was still soft; the water had just dried up, and the sun still had not come out. … After two days the sun came out. … The earth was getting harder and harder, because the sun had come out. The first day the sun came out it began to dry out little by little, but as the sun shone more and more, the earth got a bit harder every day. … When the earth was changed, the sun came out after two days and began to dry the earth'.

According to the Quiché Maya, the surface of the earth did not dry until the rising of the first sun, which was fiercely hot: 'And then the face of the earth was dried out by the sun. The sun was like a person when he revealed himself. His face was hot, so he dried out the face of the earth. Before the sun came up it was soggy, and the face of the earth was muddy before the sun came up.'

The Diné (Four Corners region) concurred: 'At first the land was covered with water, a wet and disagreeable place …'

'… in the beginning the world was all marshy and watery, a waste place. Above it was the sky where Ol-orun, the Owner of the Sky, lived with other divinities. The gods came down sometimes to play in the marshy waste … But there were no men yet, for there was no solid ground.'

Enki and the Making of Man
Oh my mother, the creature whose name thou has uttered, it exists,
Bind upon it the (will?) of the Gods;
Mix the heart of clay that is over the Abyss,
The good and princely fashioners will thicken the clay
Thou, do thou bring the limbs into existence