first humans

General - Most cultures have stories of the first human beings and how they came into existence.
  • The Abaluyia say the first couple were Mwambu and Sela who lived in a house on stilts.
  • In Angola they say that the first man was Nambalisita, created by the god Kalunga.
  • The Bakongo say that the first man, made by Nzambi, was Ndosimau who married the woman Breaker of Prohibitions or, in another version, the androgynous Mahunga was split by the tree, Muti Mpurgu, into a man, Lumbu, and a woman, Musita. Another version says that Nzambi created a being called Muntu Walunga, with male and female faces, in the form of a palm tree.
  • The Bakuba say Kihanga was created by Imana and descended from heaven. His skin was black and white. The first woman, Nchienge, produced a son, Woto, and a daughter, Labama, who married.
  • The Bambara say that Pemba the wood-spirit created a woman, Musso-koroni, who produced animals and humans.
  • The Banyarwanda say the first man was Kazikamunti.
  • In Botswana the first man is known as Tauetona.
  • The Buganda say that the first man was Kintu, forerunner of the Dinka.
  • The first man in the lore of the Burundi was Kihanga, made by Imana.
  • The Bushongo say the first man was called Woto.
  • The first man of the Dinka was Garang and the first woman was Abuk above
  • The Dogon say the first human, made by Amma, was Amma-Serou.
  • The Efe say that Baatsi was made from the earth by god who also made a woman. She developed a pre-natal craving for the forbidden fruit nahu, and Baatsi picked it for her. As punishment, god took away their immortality.
  • In Liberia they regard Gonzuole as the first woman.
  • In Madagascar they claim the first man was Andrianbah-omanana and the first woman was Andriamahilala.
  • For the Makoni, the first man was Mwuetsi for whom was made a girl, Massassi. who bore the grass, trees, etc. and a woman, Morango, who bore animals, birds and human children.
  • The Mande say that Faro and Pemba were twins generated from seeds planted by the gods at the four corners of the earth. Faro's body was cut up and the pieces scattered to become trees.
  • The Masai say the first human was a pygmy named Dorobo.
  • The Orandonga called the first man Amangundu.
  • In Potomo lore the first man was Mitsotsozini or Vere.
  • The Shilluk say that the first man was Omara.
  • In Uganda they say that the first woman was Nambi.
  • The Yoruba say that Oreluere was the first of sixteen men made by Olodumare.
  • In Zaire they say the first man was Mokele.


  • The first men of the Aborigines were the rangga.
  • The Dieri tribe say that the creator-god known as First Ancestor created tiny black lizards and, when he found that they could not stand properly, he cut off their tails and they became the first humans.


In Slovenia it is said that, when god was making the world from a grain of sand, a drop of his sweat fell on to the sand and from this mixture human beings were created.


  • The first man, Thanoi, and the first woman, E-u, were created by the supreme god Ea-pe.
  • The creator-spirit, Hkun Hsang Long, created the first couple, Tahsek- khi and Ya-hsek-khi, who were born in the form of tadpoles living in the lake Nawng Hkeo. After eating the gourd, they mated and the creator renamed them as Ta-hsang-kahsi (Yatawn).
  • Some believe that men were descended from tadpoles.

Central American

  • The Aztecs say that Cipactonal and Oxomoco were the first couple, created by Pilzintecuhtli. Other accounts say that Xolatl retrieved bones from the underworld and produced the first man and woman from ground-up bones mixed with the blood of the gods.
  • The Mayas say the gods created four brothers, Balam Agab, Balam Quitzé, Iqi Balam and Mahucutah, from whom the human race descended.


The first man was Pan-ku; or he modelled mankind from clay; or they developed from fleas on Panku's body; or they were the children of Fu-hsi and his wife Nü-kua; or Nü-kua made men from clay.

East Indian

  • In the Admiralty Islands, the primordial being known as Hi-asa cut her finger and collected the blood in a shell. Two eggs formed from the blood and the first man and woman emerged from the eggs.
  • In Borneo the first man was Bujang.
  • The Dayaks say that the first two beings were Amei Awi and Buning Une, gods of agriculture, who had twelve children, eight of whom became the ancestors of the tribes while the other four became the phases of the moon. An alternative version says that the first man was Tunggal Garing and the first woman was Puteri Bualu.
  • In the Moluccas the first two men were known as Maapita and Masora. In another story the first human was Patinaya Nei who took the form of banana-tree, the fruit of which produced further humans.
  • In New Guinea the first woman was Namora. She swallowed a fish and produced a son, Maruka Akore. These two mated to produce the tribes.
  • In the New Hebrides they say that the first woman was Jujumishanta and that the first man was Morfonu who was made from her body.
  • On Nias the first man was called Sihai.
  • Some Papuans say that the maggots that bred in the body of a dead female wallaby became the first humans. Another Papuan story says that a huge turtle swimming in the primordial waters laid eggs from which emerged the first man, Kerema Apo, and the first woman, Ivi Apo. Next came Avo Akore and Ohare Akore who became coconut trees.
  • In Sulawesi, the first two beings were the brothers Sangkuruwira and Guru ri Seleng. Their children, Batara Guru and Nyilitimo, came to earth to produce ancestors of the people. Another story says that the sungod, Ilai, and the earth-goddess, Indara, made humans by breathing life into stones. Yet another version says that the first human being was the woman, Lumimu'ut, born from a stone. Her son, Toar, produced when she was made pregnant by the wind, mated with her to produce the people and their gods.
  • It is said that the first man stole the feathers of one of a flight of cassowaries which had taken off their feathers to bathe when they appeared as women. He kept the woman and mated with her to produce the forerunners of the human race.
  • The creator-god, Mahatala, carved a stick into the shape of male and female human figures. When he threw it down, it broke into male and female halves. He was Tunggal Garing and she was Puteri Bualu. Her menstrual blood produced all the demons in the world but, following instructions from Mahatala, they were able to procreate properly and produced many children, ancestors of the tribes.
  • Some tribes believe that the first humans emerged from trees or came from the fruit of a tree which became the god Lowalangi.
  • Other tribes say that the first man was Turer who now acts as the guide for souls on their journey from Beg to Boigu.
  • Still other tribes say that man came from larvae and worms living in the soil.


The first men were formed from the tears of the god Ra-Atum. Some say that all men (except black people) were born from the eyes of Horus.


  • The Argive story says that Phoroneus was the first man and his daughter Niobe was the first woman.
  • The first man was Pelasgus. The first woman was Pandora, created by Zeus as a gift for Prometheus, or in some stories for Epimetheus, who rejected her.
  • Men were created by the gods, first the golden race like gods whose spirits lived on; then the silver race, less intelligent, whose spirits did not live on; then the brass race who were very violent and killed themselves; then the heroes who had great adventures and departed to the Islands of the Blessed and finally the iron race, the present race, who will get steadily worse until the gods destroy them.
  • The first man, created by Prometheus, was Phaenon who became the planet Jupiter. The other humans created by Prometheus grew so wicked that Zeus destroyed them in a flood. Only Deucalion, son of Prometheus, and his wife Pyrrha escaped, warned of the coming disaster by his father. They were told to throw the bones of their mother behind them. They interpreted this to mean stones and did what they were told. From the stones came the Stone People from whom the present races are descended.


In the early Vedic scheme of things, the first male being was Purusha from whose body the world was made; the first couple were Manu and Parsu. In the later Hindu version, the first man was Yama and the first woman was Yami, born of Vivasvat, the rising sun. Others say the first man was Nara who acted as Vishnu's bowcarrier.


In the Andaman Islands they say that the first man, Juptu, was born inside a bamboo cane and that he made himself a wife from clay.


  • The Akkadians regard Adapa as the first man. He was made from clay by the god Ea and was consequently half-human, half-divine.
  • The Babylonians said that the first humans were made from the blood of Kingu.
  • The Sumerian version has it that the first man was made from clay by Ninmah.


The first man in Altaic lore was Torongai and his mate was Edji.

New Zealand

  • The god Tane made Hine-ahuone from sand and fathered Tiki, the first man, and the Dawn Maiden.
  • The first woman was Papahanau- moku and the first man was Wakea.
  • Another Maori story has Marikoriko as the first woman, created by Arohirohi.


The first man was Ask, made from an ash tree; the first woman was Embla, made from an elm tree.

North American

  • The Acoma say that the first man was Tiamuni.
  • Some Californian tribes say that Ejoni and Ae, created from the soil by Nocuma, were the first couple. Others say that the first man was Uoiot. In some accounts, humans were made from flakes of the creator's skin.
  • The Cherokee say that the first man was Kanati and his wife was Selu.
  • The Chinook tell a story in which Too-hux cut open a whale and out flew the raven, Hahness. The giantess Quoots-hooi ate the raven's eggs from which the first humans appeared.
  • The Fox say that the first man was Mama'sa'a.
  • The Hopi say that Sky Father and Earth Mother produced One Alone, the progenitor of mankind. Another story says that the god Kloskurbeh created two beings, one from his breath and the other from one of his tears. These two mated to produce the first humans.
  • The Huchnom say that the first humans were made from sticks of wood.
  • The Kato say that the first man was Nagaitco.
  • The Keres say the first man was Pashayani.
  • The Maidu say that the first man was Kuksu and the first woman, Laidamlulum-Kule. They were given the power to rejuvenate themselves by immersion in water.
  • The Mandan say that the first man was Numokh Mukana.
  • The Navaho say that First Man and First Woman produced a daughter, Estanatlehi, who created the progenitors of the tribes from maize-flour or ears of corn. In another version, she produced humans from pieces of her own skin. Another version says that the first man, Aste Hastin, mated with the first woman, Aste Estsan, who produced five sets of twins who became the ancestors of the Navaho.
  • The Papago say that the first man was Montezuma who later proclaimed himself all-powerful.
  • The Pawnee say that Bright Star mated with Great Star to produce the first woman while Sakuru and Pah produced the first male, Closed Man. The man and woman mated to populate the earth.
  • The Pueblo Indians call the first men the Koshare, made from the skin of a goddess. The first man was Poseyemu.
  • The Shawnee version has it that men were created from ashes, clay and beads.
  • Sia lore says that two sisters, created by Sussistinnako, were the first humans and the ancest-resses of the Indian tribes. Nowutset was the progenitor of the other human races. The Tagua of New Mexico call the first man Puspiyama.
  • The Sioux say that the first man was We-Ota-Wichusa (Rabbit Boy) who was born from a tear shed by the sun. He mated with First Woman, created by the Great Spirit, to produce the forerunners of the tribes.
  • The Zuni Indians envisage a dual-sex deity, Awonawilona, who formed the sun which mated with the sea which consolidated and split into earth and sky, Awitelin Tsta and Apoyan Tachi. These produced the first humans, the first man being Poshaiyangkyo. These first beings were said to have several animal features, including webbed feet.

Pacific Islands

  • On Fiji, the hawk Turukawa laid two eggs which were incubated by the primaeval serpent, Degei, and hatched a human boy and girl who started the human race. The first woman was called Vitu.
  • In the Gilbert Islands the creator-god, Nareau, made the first couple, Debabou and De-ai.
  • In Hawaii the first man was Kumu-honua, made from mud by Kane, and the first woman was Lalo-honua. Another version says Wakea was the first man and his wife was Papahanau- moku while yet another says that Tiki was the first man and Iowahine the first woman, both created by Tane.
  • In the Marshall Islands they say that the first man, Wulleb, and his female consort, Limdunanji, were born from the leg of the god Loa. Another story says that Wulleb and Lejman, two worms, in a shell, became the first couple.
  • In Melanesia, the god Hasibwari came down to earth and made the first woman from clay and the first man from one of her ribs.
  • In Micronesian lore the first woman was La'i-La'i.
  • In New Britain, the first man was To-Kabinana who was formed from the earth and the blood of the creator-god. His brother, To-Karvuvu, was formed next. To-Kabinana found a mate when a woman emerged from a tree which he had felled.
  • In the Philippines, the Tagalog account says that men emerged when bamboo canes cast ashore from the sea were split open by birds.
  • The Polynesians have a story that Matuenga or, some say, Tane, created Tiki, the first man, who mated with Hina.
  • Samoans say that the first man was Atu and the first woman was Ele'ele, the consort of the god Fetu. Another account says that the first man was Tele or Tutu and the first woman was Ila, Tonga or Upolu, while others say that the first couple grew from a pair of grubs.
  • In Tahiti they say that the god Ta-aroa made a man from red clay and later put him to sleep, took a bone from the man's body and, with it, made a woman.
  • In Tonga, the first man was Kohai. (see also Tiki[sup]1[/sup])


  • The primaeval man, Gayomart or Gaya Martan, was poisoned by Ahriman. From his seed came Mashye and Mashyane, the first couple, who were in the form of plants with fifteen leaves from which came ten races. They ate their own offspring until Ormadz made them unpalatable.
  • Another version has Yima and Yimeh as the first mortals. Some say that men were made from the body of the cow, Ur-Kuh, killed by Yima.
  • Another story says that the first mortal couple were Tazh and Tazhak.


  • The Buriats say that the first man was Erlik, created by Ulgan.
  • The Chukchee people say that the first human was Ku'urkil.
  • The Koryak say that the first man was Quikinna'qu.
  • The first couple of the Tungus were Khadau and Mamaldi.

South American

  • The first men were killed in a flood after the animals and their tools revolted. The sun re-emerged after five days and hatched five eggs from which emerged five falcons who became men.
  • Another story says that an early race was made by Con, the boneless man, but they were turned into monkeys by Pachacamac who made a new race.
  • The Arawak say that the first woman was the stone-woman, Maiso.
  • The Castunawa say that, when the giants who inhabited the earth were killed in the flood, their bodies rotted in the sun and men emerged from the maggots that appeared on the corpses. Another story says that men grew from seeds planted in the earth.
  • The Chaco say that the first men were made of stone, the second race of wood and the final race from clay.
  • The Chamacoco say that men come out of trees when they are split open.
  • The Incas were said to have issued forth from a cave, Pacari, which had three exits. Eight ancestors of the royal family, four male, four female, emerged from the central exit, the common people from the other two. Another story says that the god Inti sent his son and daughter, Manco Capac and Mama Occlo, down to earth to teach mankind. Another version says that Viracocha made the first men but they were unsatisfactory so he turned them all into stone and made a new race. Pachacamac, the Inca creatorgod made the first man and woman but he overlooked the fact that they would need food. The man died but the woman bore a son to the sungod. Pacahacamac then produced fruit and vegetables from the body of this boy whom he killed. Another Peruvian story says that men emerged from eggs produced by the sun-god. The status of the person was determined by the type of egg (gold, silver or copper) he came from other accounts say that the eggs were produced by a huge bird. Yet another version says that the first man was Guamansuri, father of the twins Apocatequil and Piguerao.
  • The Mbaya say that men were dug up from the earth by a dog which had picked up their scent or, in another version, hatched from eggs laid on top of a mountain by a huge bird.
  • In the lore of the Paressi tribe, the first man was Uazale, son of the stone-woman, Maiso.
  • The Quiche Indians say that the first men, made from mud, were too weak to stand and had no mind; a second race, made of wood, were totally self-centred and were destroyed by the animals and tools; the third and final race was made from clay. Another story says that the first man was Hurakan, created by Gucamatz and Qubanil.
  • The Taulipang say that the first men were made from wax but they melted in the heat of the sun so the culture-hero who made them tried again and made men from clay.
  • The Terero say that the first men emerged from a hole in the earth.
  • In Tierra del Fuego some say that the first man was Keros who made sexual organs from peat. These mated to produce the forerunners of the people.
  • In the lore of the Tupari of the Amazon region, the first man was Valedjad, a giant born from a rock.
  • The Warrau say the first humans descended from the sky.
  • The Yaruro (and others) say that the first humans came up from an underground world.


The early Formosans said that men emerged from a rock when it split open.

West Indian

The first man was Louquo who came down from the sky. On occassion, known as first humans, humans, humans, (7, (7, also (12 or also (12.

Nearby Myths