Various Bantu-speaking peoples of central and southern Africa believe in a supreme deity called Leza. A sky god and creator spirit, Leza is the subject of several myths. According to a story told by the Basubiya people, Leza taught humans different arts as well as the proper way to worship him. When he finished, Leza returned to his home in the sky on a spiderweb. The people tried to follow him, but the spiderweb broke and they fell to earth.
In a legend told by the Ila people, a woman who had lost all the members of her family decided to find Leza to ask him why he made her experience such sorrow. She built a ladder to the sky, but it crashed to earth. While searching for a road to the sky, she told the sad story to people she met. They explained that all people were meant to suffer and that she was not alone in her sorrow. The woman never found Leza, and she, too, eventually died.
deity god or goddess
In yet another story, told by the Kaonde people, Leza once gave three gourds to a honeybird and instructed it to take them to humans. He told the bird that two of the gourds contained seeds and that humans could open these. The third gourd, however, should remain closed until Leza came to earth. While carrying the gourds, the bird became curious and opened all of them. Two held seeds, but the third contained death, sickness, and dangerous animals. Leza could not capture these unpleasant things, so humans were forced to build shelters to protect themselves.
See also African Mythology .