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Liza, West African Sun God - Windows to the Universe

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Liza

Liza is a deity of the Fon people who live in West Africa. Liza is associated with the Sun, which is regarded by African people as fierce and harsh. Liza is depicted as male and inseparable from his partner, Mawu, who is associated with the Moon. Mawu and Liza were also regarded as twins. Their unity represented the order of the universe. Liza is said to dwell in the East, and Mawu in the West. Mawu and Liza were born from Nana Buluku, who created the world.

In a different legend, Mawu and Liza were the creators. They used their son, Gu, to shape the world. Gu, the divine tool, was in the shape of an iron sword. He taught the people the art of ironworking, so they could make their own tools and shelter. Unfortunately, Gu did not know humans would use their knowledge to make weapons. With the help of the cosmic serpent, Da, their ideas came to life.

Liza was also the god of day, heat, work and strength. Mawu was the goddess of night, fertility, rest and motherhood. When there is an eclipse, it is said that Mawu and Liza were making love.

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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