The Story of Manu and Yemo

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 10.32.13 AMOver 130,000 years ago, the human population may have dwindled as low as 10,000 before the great migration out of Africa began thanks to global warming. The origin of all people and all languages (except Neanderthals) resides in Africa, and so does the origin of religion.

Religion’s primary function has never changed. It’s primary purpose was to anoint the local king and priest with a divine right to authority, although it probably helped if the message was crafted in an entertaining fashion, so for countless millennia, religion was transmitted primarily through song, dance and poetry. When Sumer emerged as a civilization, there were already bigger civilizations happening in Romania, where the Danube meets the Black Sea, and central Turkey, although few celebrate those cultures today.

The Black Sea civilization, composed of small farms and sprawling villages, suddenly disappeared after invasions by the nomadic people of the steppes to their east, who stole their cattle and kidnapped their people to be sold as slaves. These invaders rode horses and possessed metal alloy weapons far superior to copper or stone. These weapons may have come from Sumer and/or Egyptian sources, the result of trading with those cultures. But the people of the steppes also possessed something all their own, the world’s best cannabis, which became a valued commodity. They invaded the cities south of the Black Sea and established themselves as the ruling oligarchy.

The Yamna of the steppes spread a creation myth heard round the world, the story of Manu and Yemo, which has many versions depending on time and place, but all the versions contain the basics of the story.

Deus Pater (father sky) Prithvi Mater (mother earth) give birth to twin brothers, Manu and Yemo. One day Manu kills Yemo and cuts him up to create the plants, animals and human beings. Trito, the third man, is born and given dominion over cattle, whose milk sustains the people. But one night all the cattle are stolen by a three-headed dragon. Trito asks the Sun God for help getting the cattle back. With the help of the Sun, Trito travels to the mountain where the dragon sleeps in a cave. He slays the dragon and leads the cattle home, saving his tribe from starvation.

Wherever you find an Indo-European language spoken, you’ll find some version of this myth.

See also: Anu or Marduk vs. Tiamat in Mesopotamian mythology; Ra vs. Apep in Egyptian mythology; Baal or El vs. Lotan or Yam-Nahar in Levantine mythology; Yahweh or Gabriel vs. Leviathan or Rahab or Tannin in Jewish mythology; Michael the Archangel and, Christ vs. Satan (in the form of a seven-headed dragon), Virgin Mary crushing a serpent in Roman Catholic iconography (see Book of Revelation 12), Saint George and the Dragon in Christian mythology. The Norse Ragnarök, as well as Poseidon, Oceanus, Triton, Ophion, and also the Slavic Veles. Possibly called *kʷr̥mis, or some name cognate with *Velnos/Werunos or the root *Wel/Vel– (VS Varuna, who is associated with the serpentine naga, Vala and Vṛtra, Slavic Veles, Baltic velnias), or “serpent” (Hittite Illuyanka, VS Ahis, Iranian azhi, Greek ophis and Ophion, and Latin anguis), or the root *dheubh– (Greek Typhon and Python).

The Story of Creation

Six thousand years ago, when horses were first being domesticated in the Ukraine, the first written language appeared in Sumeria, 550 miles from where Jerusalem would be founded one thousand years later. The Sumerians had a Bible that anointed their rulers with a divine right to rule, one with a creation myth that contained a flood story mirroring the story of Jonah that would appear much later in the Old Testament.
“For the sake of Mother Goddess, I will stop the annihilation of my creatures, and return the people from their dwelling grounds. Let them build many cities so that I can refresh myself in their shade. Let them lay the bricks of many cities in pure places, let them establish places of divination in pure places, and when the divine rites and exalted powers are perfected, and the earth is irrigated, I will establish well-being there.”

After Father Sky, Wind, Water and Goddess of Fertility fashioned the humans, they made animals multiply everywhere, and made herds of four-legged animals exist on the plains, as was befitting. The builder of the universe started with a solid foundation. The right of Kings to rule descended from heaven, and after the exalted crown and throne of kingship descended from heaven, the divine rites, and exalted powers were perfected, and bricks of the cities laid in holy places, and their names announced and proper notifications distributed.

The first city was Eridug, given to Nudimmud the leader. The second, Bad-tibira, was given to the Mistress.The third, Larag, was given to Pabilsaĝ. The fourth, Zimbir, was given to the hero Utu. The fifth, Šuruppag, was given to Sud.
Something that was not a dream appeared, and it told Zi-ud-sura to build a huge boat and fill it with all the seeds of the earth and the animals.

And the Gods of Sky, Wind and Water said, “Heed our words, pay attention to our instructions. A flood will sweep over the world. A decision has been made that the seed of mankind must be destroyed. The verdict, the word of the divine assembly, cannot be revoked. The order announced by Father Sky and Mother Goddess cannot be overturned.”

All the windstorms and gales arose together, and the flood swept over the world. After the water swept over the land, and waves and windstorms rocked the huge boat for seven days and seven nights, the Sun God came out, illuminating heaven and earth. Zi-ud-sura drilled an opening in roof of the huge boat and the Sun God entered the huge boat with his rays. Zi-ud-sura the King prostrated himself before the Sun God. The King sacrificed oxen and offered innumerable sheep. More and more animals disembarked. Zi-ud-sura the King prostrated himself before Father Sky and Mother Goddess and they treated him kindly and granted him eternal life. At that time, because of preserving the animals and the seeds of mankind, they settled Zi-ud-sura the King in an overseas country, to the east, in the land Dilmun.