Dragons of Africa: Aido-Hwedo, Rainbow Dragon

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African dragons are more serpents or giant snakes but they inhabit the myths of the African tribes.The most accessible of these is Aido-Hwedo of Dahomey in West Africa.

Aido-Hwedo, a rainbow-colored Dragon that is both male and female, was brought into being by the Creator god Nana-Buluku to serve as his companion and instrument in his Creation of the World. The Rainbow Dragon was the only being capable of travelling between Heaven and Earth and it carried the Creator God in its mouth as it passed between the two realms. It represents the link between the Sacred and the Secular.

While it was in the Heavens it bent across the sky as a rainbow arch and its droppings became mountains and fertile soil and its writhing passage formed the rivers and valleys.

Aido-Hwedo was so large it could hold up the entire world, but once the multitude of creation was completed, Nana-Buluku asked Aido-Hwedo to coil up beneath the land to cushion it. Aido-Hwedo could not stand heat so the Creator made the ocean for the Dragon to live in. Inhabiting the undersea with the Rainbow Dragon is a troop of red monkeys who forge the iron bars that are Aido-Hwedo’s food.

When the iron runs out and Aido-Hwedo grows hungry it will start to chew on its own tail,the earth above will become unbalanced, be struck by repeated earthquakes and eventually slide off the Dragon’s back into the sea.

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