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Areop-Enap

by Micha F. Lindemans
The Ancient Spider in the mythology of Nauru (Micronesia). In the beginning only Areop-Enap and the sea existed. Then one day he discovered a mussel shell. After much trouble he managed to open it and crept inside. It was so dark inside the sell that he could see nothing so he passed some of his power on to the small snail and made it the moon. By the faint light of the moon he spied a worm, which he set to work separating the upper and lower parts of the shell. These became the sky and the earth. When the worm was finished it died of exhaustion, and became the sun. The sweat of the worm, running into the lower shell, became the sea.

From stones Areop-Enap made man to support the sky, and then traveled to the newly created world. There he discovered other beings and learned there names by creating a winged creature from the dirt under his nails. This flying "bird" annoyed to people and they called to each other to kill it. Thus the Spider knew what they were called.


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