Origin: Dinka

The Dinka are pastoralists from Southern Sudan. Their indigenous religion is monotheistic: a single Creator formed Earth and all its inhabitants, including spirits who communicate via voluntary possession. Abuk is the first woman, created alongside her male counterpart, Garang. She is simultaneously an Eve-like figure, the primordial ancestress and a goddess with dominion over the yin aspects of life: water and its distribution, women and anything to do with them, fertility and what grows, whether these are babies in the womb or fruits of the garden.

Abuk presides over what are traditional Dinka women’s activities: growing millet and brewing millet beer. Her son Deng is a sky deity with dominion over rain, storms, and fertility, similar in scope to Baal, Zeus, or Shango. Abuk remains the most popular name given to Dinka girls.

Petition: For success in your endeavors, abundance, safety, and good health

Animal: Snake, especially small grey snakes. (She may manifest in this form; it may be used to represent her on an altar or in ritual.)

Plants: Millet, sesame

Offerings: Beer, ideally home-brewed; millet; fruits, vegetables, and herbs from your garden

See also: Ba’al; Shango; Zeus; and the Glossary entry for Possession