Aborigines category includes all technologically primitive populations, such as the tribal societies of Africa, Amazon jungle, Australia and Oceania, as well as prehistoric ones. Based mainly on shamanism and animism, the religions of the aborigines claim the world is not inhabited only by humans and animals, but also by gods, spirits and demons who influence mortals. In most traditions, the most important spirits after the creator gods are those of nature and ancestors. Nature spirits live in trees, springs, mountains and rivers; sacrifices are often offered to counteract human intervention in nature. Ancestor spirits are invoked for protection, like the gods, and are consulted in daily problems such as planting and harvesting crops, conflicts or family problems.
In Africa, considered the cradle of humanity, the belief in a creator god or creative force, who often has a wife, is very widespread. In most African traditions, that god creates the Universe, mankind and the other gods. The idea of life emerging from a cosmic egg is also widespread, as is the case with the Dogon and Mande populations. An exception is the Bambara tribe of Mali, which considers life to have emerged from a root sound. An important role in African religions is played by civilizing heroes who bring people the tools and skills necessary to survive, develop and expand. For many tribes, the civilizing hero is an original ancestor, a king or a god. Their gifts often consist of knowledge related to agriculture, hunting or construction. The trickster, a character in which cunning and deceit mix with wisdom, is of great importance in African traditions. The trickster loves to cause conflicts and destroy order, often in a humorous way. Tricksters can also be cultural heroes, who give people fire, tools, agriculture and death. In most of world religions, the role of the trickster was played by Enki, the cunning god of wisdom who civilized mankind but also caused conflicts to destroy the natural order of things.
The creator gods of the Africans usually descended from heaven. For example, for the Zulus of South Africa, Umvelinqangi is the supreme deity who descended from heaven and created the reeds from which the creator of human beings, Unkulunkulu („The Old One”), grew. From the other reeds, Unkulunkulu made nature, humans and animals. He taught the Zulus how to hunt, make fire and grow plants. In the mythology of Yoruba people of Nigeria, the supreme deity, Oldumare, has both feminine and masculine aspects. Other gods, called Orisha, represent different aspects of Oldumare. The most important Orisha are the trickster Eshu and Shango, the thunder god, in whom we recognize the trickster Enki and Enlil, the god of storm, the main characters of the world’s myths. The Yoruba also say that while the primordial being Orisa Nla was in the garden, his servant, Atunda, rebelled and hit it with a massive boulder, breaking it into pieces that became hundreds of Orisha. The attack on the supreme deity myth also exists in other cultures. For example, for the Greeks, Uranus was attacked and castrated by Cronus, and Anu by Kumarbi for the Hittites.
The Fon culture is one of the cultures at the base of the Voodoo cult, which includes the worship of many gods and ancestors. According to the Fon mythology of Benin, Nana Buluku, the androgynous creator, gave birth to the twins Mawu and Lisa, who had opposing functions: Mawu is the feminine aspect that governs the Earth, the west, the Moon and the night, and Lisa is the masculine aspect that governs the sky, the east, the Sun and the day. The twins created humans and gave them technological knowledge. When they made the Earth, they were helped by their servant, the serpent Aido-Hwendo. Both the androgynous creator and the Divine Twins exist in many world religions. And these two first beings created by the ruler of the Universe, accompanied by a serpent, resemble the biblical pair of Adam and Eve. The same genesis story from the Old Testament can be found in the religion of the Mbuti people of Congo, where the supreme being created a paradise for humans, who were forbidden to eat the fruit of the Tahu tree; the rule was broken and humans became mortal.
For the Maasai people of East Africa, En-kai or Ngai is the creator of the world. When the Maasai stopped respecting him, the god decided to destroy them. However, he told a man named Tumbainot to build a wooden ark and to board it with several animals to save them from the flood he was going to send. When the rain stopped, Tumbainot released a dove which returned quickly because it could not find a dry place to rest. Then he released an eagle with an arrow tied to its tail. The eagle returned without the arrow, and Tumbainot understood that the waters were beginning to recede. It is not striking only the similarity of this myth with the biblical one of Deluge, but also the name En-kai with Enki of the Sumerians. Another phonetic similarity is found in the Ya-Lua tribe on the shores of Lake Victoria, who claim to have Apodho as their ancestor, a character who brought them grain and cattle from heaven. The name Apodho seams to be a derivative of Apollo, one of the most important Greco-Roman deities.
The Dogon tribe of Mali is probably the most controversial African tribe. They believe that the goddess Amma created an egg with four compartments containing earth, air, fire and water. When these elements mixed, seven explosions occurred, leading to the emergence of life. One of her twin sons rebelled and fled and Amma was forced to spread pieces of the second one, Nommo, around the world to restore order. Then the goddess put the pieces back together and resurrected Nommo, who created four spirits that would become the ancestors of the Dogons. These ancestors were also called Nommo and had half-human and half-fish bodies, were androgynous and came from Po Tolo, a star identified with Sirius B. One of these Nommos descended from the sky on a rainbow in a boat shaped like a barn, with seeds, a hammer and a chisel. He taught the Dogons how to forge tools and how to plant seeds to get crops. We can easily see that the Dogon myths are similar to those of the rest of the world. Furthermore, the name of the tribe comes from the Canaanite god Dagon, named Daganu in Ugarit and Dagana by Akkadians; his half-human and half-fish appearance is identical to that of the Nommo gods. The name of the goddess Amma and Nommo read backwards seem to be derivatives of the Egyptian god Amun, named Amon by the Greeks and transformed by the writers of the Bible into Ammon.
All the religions of the peoples in the islands of Oceania contain creator gods and demigods, such as Maui and Tiki. In many Polynesian societies, Tangaroa is the creator god and the ancestor of the tribal chiefs. Other island societies and the Maori of New Zealand worship a creator god named Io or Kiho. The Maori believe their gods emerged from the union of the two divine ancestors, Rangi and Papa, the father sky and the mother Earth. In Oceania, the most important gods are Tangaroa / Kanaloa (the god of the sea), Tane / Kane (the god of forests and birds, the creator of sunlight and life), Tu / Ku (the god of war), and Rongo / Lono (the god of peace, fertility and agriculture, who descended to Earth on a rainbow). Among goddesses there are Hina, the goddess of the Moon (often identified with the mother Earth), Laka, the goddess of beauty and dance, and Pele, the goddess of the volcanoes, worshiped in Hawaii. The smallest deities are the aitu, ancestral protective spirits. Just like in Africa, the ancestors play an important role in Oceania, also as protective spirits. They are constantly asked for advice and help and are worshiped in different ceremonies to appease them. In Australia it is believed that the ancestors (who were humans, animals or hybrid beings) passed on their spiritual powers, the maban, through objects called churunga, which are sacred stones, pieces of wood, paintings or even songs.
In Oceania tribes myths, Tangaroa, the god of the sea, was born from the egg of the world. The top of the shell became the sky and the bottom became the Earth. Tangaroa was expelled to the sea by his brother, Tawhirimatea, the god of storm, a story found in many world religions, where the god of storm exiled his brother. In another myth, Tu wanted to kill his parents, Rangi and Papa, to bring light and life to the world. However, his brother, Tane, banished their parents to protect them. Angry, Tu punished his brother and then attacked the other gods. Only Tawhirimatea, the god of storm, was able to withstand the rebel, resembling the same story of the Sumerians Enlil and Enki.
In Australia, supernatural beings from the Dreamtime created the world, then the natural landscapes, lakes, rivers, plants, people and animals. These beings, called Wandjina or Wondjina, were the ancestral creators, spirits of clouds and rain who came out of the sea and went into lakes and ponds. They are depicted in petroglyphs as people with large eyes and noses but without mouths, similar to today’s gray aliens. It is believed that they caused a huge flood by opening their mouths because they were angry with people. A legend says that Wandjina, half humans and half animals, painted their own faces on rocks. They traveled the Earth on some roads called „Dreamtime Paths„, which still exist today, and shaped it through fights, alliances and adventures. Wandjina left the world after creating it, leaving it in the care of humans. One of these beings is the rainbow serpent Yurlunggur or Wollunqua, called Akaru in South Australia, who controls water, considered a symbol of fertility, the only Dreamtime being that has not left the Earth. Yurlunggur can only be Enki, the water and fertility snake god who was exiled to Earth, as the myths say.
Prehistoric societies were similar to today’s aboriginal ones, as science has been able to discover. Unfortunately, we only know very few details about them and their religions, deducted from archaeological discoveries. It is believed that Stone Age people worshiped animals, natural phenomena and celestial bodies, but it seems that their religions were similar to those that followed. Prehistoric people worshiped a mother goddess, had funeral rituals, built astronomical observatories and some even performed human sacrifices. So we can guess that they were visited by the same gods encountered in all world religions.