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Map showing the location of Benin.
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Mawu

Mawu is the supreme creator god according to the Fon people of Abomey (Republic of Benin). Mawu represented the Moon that brings the night and cooler temperature in the African world. Mawu is depicted as an old mother who dwells in the West. Coolness is an expression of wisdom and age for the Fon people.

Mawu has a partner called Liza that is associated with the Sun. Mawu and Liza are regarded as an unseparable unity at the basis of the universal order. Together they created the universe. They used their son Gu, the divine tool, to shape the world. They were also aided by the cosmic serpent, Da. Mawu and Liza were twins.

When there is an eclipse of the Sun or the Moon, the Fon people think that Mawu and Liza are making love. Mawu and Liza are the parents of seven pairs of twins. These twins are gods with different domains. Mawu is the goddess of fertility, joy and rest. Liza is the god of day, heat and strength.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF