(Also Khu, Kho, Thora, I Kaggen and Cagn)

"Praying mantis"

Kaang is a creator god of the people of the Kalahari in Africa and in particular Botswana. He is credited with having made all things (he made the moon from an old shoe), and is the god of natural phenomena. Omnipresent, he manifests himself in everything in the world, but especially in the mantis and caterpillar, which seem to be his favored animals. He has one wife, Coti, and, with her, two sons, Cogaz and Gewi. At one time, he lived on earth but he later moved his dwelling to the top of the sky.

There are many myths associated with Kaang, one of the main ones being concerned with the time just after the creation of the world and the deity’s moving of his dwelling:

In the beginning, Kaang created in the world and all things in it. He and his wife lived in harmony with human beings, even allowing their two sons to marry mortal women and one of their daughters to wed a human chief. Kaang spent most of his time fighting with Gauna, the lord of death, so that the humans he had created would not die. He himself died and was resurrected after being killed by poisonous thorns (creatures of Gauna), when, after the ants had eaten his flesh and picked his bones clean, he reassembled his own skeleton and was once again alive. But after a time, humans forgot his importance and began disobeying the god. He punished them by raining fire upon the earth and causing great destruction. Finally, Kaang abandoned humanity to Gauna (death) and went to live in the sky as a spirit, taking the secret of immortality with him.

Another myth describes the creation of the world’s surface and man’s discovery of fire:

Before humans and animals lived on the surface of the earth, they lived together under the surface with the great master of all life, Kaang. Between humans and animals there was peace and understanding. It was an easy existence, with no man or animal ever wanting for anything, and it was always light. It was during this time that Kaang began to plan the 'worldabove', where all things were destined to live. He first made a huge tree, with branches that stretched over an entire country. At the base of the tree, he dug a hole that extended all the way into the 'worldbelow' and then he brought the first man onto the surface. He sat the man down on the edge of the world and they waited until the first woman wandered out of the hole. After her, all of the other people and the animals came streaming onto the surface until there were none left underground.

Kaang brought all the people together under the tree. He told them to live together in peace and above all to not build any fires or a great evil would befall them. They promised that they would not do so, and the god left them to observe them from a secret place. On the first night, as the sun set beneath the horizon, fear entered the hearts of the people. They could not see one another because they lacked the keen eyes possessed by the animals. They felt the cold because they had no fur. In their distress, they forgot their promise and built a fire. Soon they could once again see each other and were warm, but the fire frightened the animals so much that they ran from the presence of the humans and did not return. Since that time, people and animals have not been able to communicate and fear has replaced the friendship that once existed between the two.

As Khu:
It is as Khu that Kaang divided his people. But first he created the first man, whom he called Kxau, and his wife, called Zan. Evil came to the world and Khu promised Kxau that he would always be there to care for humanity. He taught them to hunt, to make poisoned arrows and to dig up edible roots. He also taught them to locate water below the ground. For a time, all people were one. One day, Khu came down to earth with a rope made of ox hide and grass and told the people to pull on the rope. The Bantu yanked out the part made of ox hide and the Bushmen maintained hold on the part of the rope made from grass. It is because of this that Bushmen have the grasses and Bantu tend the cattle.

As Cagn:
Cagn is worshipped as a god-chief. He is killed in treachery, but is resurrected. His daughter, the soul, married a serpent (Kundalini) and became a mortal woman. This is considered the death of the soul.


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