In The Beginning

Fun Kids

Creation stories from around the world, dramatised for radio. An immersive audio adventure back to the beginning time…

Why are we here, how did we get here and who are we anyway? These profound questions have given rise to creation stories, shared across cultures and societies to help us humans make sense of the world and there are many commonalities between these stories. In the Beginning brings ten of these ancestral tales to life.

These stories transport us through the cosmos, into dreamtime, down a golden chain and through nature’s arc where we meet animals, gods and spirits -  the makers, shapers and creators

There’s a summer storm and it’s been raining all day, on and off, then on again. The children are inside with Hawa, our storyteller. She has been gathering creation stories since the beginning of time, from every corner of the earth. Where will she take us today?

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Researched, written and directed by Lucia Scazzocchio & Hawa Kahn

Presented by Chizzy Akudolu, narrated by Nicole Davis

Cast: Chizzy Akudolu, Rosie-Marie Christian, Darren Hart, Arnie Hewitt, Hawa Khan, Paul Marlon, Katherine Mosely, James Price, Narinder Samra.

Children: Quinceo Parkes, Omara Parkes, Della Parkes, Sierra Kaitell, Gabriel Kaitell

Casting Director: Hawa Khan

Audio production and sound design: Lucia Scazzocchio

Additional research: Leona Fensome

Original music: Gail Tasker

Cover Art: Delphine

A Sonomatopoeia / Social Broadcasts production. Created for Fun Kids and Supported by the Audio Content Fund.

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Kids & FamilyKids & Family
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality


Pangu Creates the Earth and Nuwa Creates Humans
Pangu Creates the Earth and Nuwa Creates Humans
These are two stories form ancient China describing how the world was created and how humans were made. In the beginning there is nothing but a cosmic egg.  Pangu emerges from this egg and the upper part becomes Yin the sky and lower part becomes Yang the earth. He begins to form the earth with the help of Phoenix, Dragon and Tortoise but becomes exhausted and his body becomes the earth itself. Later, Nuwa a goddess with a fish tail comes down to earth but is lonely as she has no one to talk to. She decides to make humans out of mud and clay. She finds it too tiring to fashion them one at time so she finds a better way by splattering mud with a stick. This is how she populates the earth.  The earliest human settlements in what is today called China date back 7000 years. China was ruled by a number of different dynasties and has a very old and rich tradition of legends and mythology. The main characters of these stories are gods, goddesses, ghosts and demons. The main themes reflect various aspects of human nature, human relations and social life. Pangu is accompanied by three animals that feature in many ancient Chinese stories; Dragon who represents wisdom and power, Tortoise a symbol of strength and immortality and there are stories where the history of the world is written on its shell, and Phoenix, a symbol of rebirth.  In the second part of the story we hear about how humans were created by Nuwa also known as Nu-Kua, Nu-Kwa, Nü-Wa a Chinese Creator Goddess and mother of all humans.See for privacy information.
The Cosmic Hug
The Cosmic Hug
This story is from the Māori people explaining how the earth and the sky were separated so that light could enable forests and plants to grow, followed by animals and humans.  In the beginning there is nothing but the cosmos. Rangi (Ranginui) the sky father and Papatua (Papatūānuku) the earth mother hold each other in a tight embrace. Papatua gives birth to 70 sons who are caught between their mother and father with very little space and no light. They have to find a way out. Eventually, led by Tāne , (who becomes god of the forests) they manage to prize their parents apart. (Tāwhiri) Tāwhirimātea the god of the weather or wind doesn't agree with his brothers separating their mother and father. The other brothers featured are Tu (Tūmātauenga  - angry face) God of war, Whiro, god of darkness and Uru, the first born and god of light. As they prize their parents apart light shines through and the forests begins to grow and the earth becomes populated by plants and animals.  The ancestors of the Māori people arrived in Aotearoa (translated as land of the thick white cloud) from the Polynesian Islands by boat over 1000 years ago and settled in this new land. They first encountered Europeans in the 1600’s when the Dutch landed onshore and called this island Nieuw Zeeland after the Dutch province Zeeland. The next Europeans to arrive where the British in 1769 led by Captain Cook and the colonisation by the British began.In Māori society there is a long tradition of singing and storytelling. History is passed on through the many stories shared from generation to generation through song, dance and chants. See for privacy information.
The Council of the Orishas
The Council of the Orishas
These two stories from the Yoruba people describe how humans were created, the coming of a great flood and how Oshun, the goddess of fertility made sure women have a voice. The Orishas are the gods who live in the sky. Obatala (creator of mankind) decides to go down to create the earth - he is given a gold chain, a shell, a hen and a black cat. He then attempts to makes humans but gets drunk on palm wine and makes them all wonky. He has to start again.  Once the earth is populated, Olukun, god of the seas is annoyed that the other gods didn’t consult him, so he creates a flood and drowns the earth. A few people survive. Oshun, the goddess of fertility is annoyed because the other gods keep ignoring her and she isn't heard. She persuades all the women to go on strike. Things become unbearable for the men and no babies are born, so women are promptly given a seat at the table both in the skies and on earth.  The Yoruba are an ancient people with roots that date back over 2000 years and were the rulers of the Oyo Kingdom, a West African Empire covering what is now West Nigeria to Zaire and Sudan. The main city of Ile-Ife cultivated a great cultural tradition. Traditional Yoruba religion has a pantheon of deities (gods) called the Orisha with hundreds of different gods representing natural elements and human emotions and worshipped for many different purposes. Ife is the Yoruba word for Earth and was named by the creator Obatala who also created mankind.See for privacy information.
The Corn People
The Corn People
This story from the Maya people explains how humans were created out of corn after several attempts using different materials and how the creator gods Tepeu and Gucumatz made sure that humans did not have the constant access to supernatural vision. Gucamatz (The Maker and Tapeau (The Feathered spirt) imagine the world, plants and animas into being. As supreme beings they need to be worshiped so they try to get the animals to praise them but that doesn’t work. They then create clay people but they just crack and break. They make wooden people but when they are asked to worship it’s wooden and without feeling so they throw them in the river and they turn into monkeys. Then the animals bring them corn to make people out of. This works! These people praise them but they also have extra vision and can see and know as much as the gods which is problematic as this should be reserved for supreme beings. They swiftly have their third eye removed so they can praise the gods appropriately.  Ancient Maya culture once stretched from central Mexico to Honduras and included parts of what is now Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador. More than 40 cities were founded on the Yucátan Peninsula in Mexico and in this area where they have now become tourist attractions.  Most of what we know about Maya religion, myth and history comes from a sacred book called The Popol Vuh (Book of Community) which is the most important book of the K’iche Maya of the Guatemalan highlands. It is presented in three parts. The first talks about the creation of the world and its first inhabitants, the second narrates the story of the Hero Twins, a couple of semi-gods; and the third part is the story of the Quiché noble family dynasties. In Maya mythology, Tepeu (The Maker)  and Gucumatz (The Feathered Spirit also known as Kukulkan, and as the Aztec's Quetzalcoatl) are referred to as the Creators, the Makers, and the Forefathers. They were two of the first beings to exist although there were around 150 other gods.See for privacy information.
Arrogance of Fam
Arrogance of Fam
This story from the Fang people is about the creation of the first human Fam who was given absolute power. This power went to his head as he destroyed the earth and disrespected the other animals that have been created. In the beginning Membere (who is 3 gods in one) creates elephant, leopard and monkey and then decides to create man to rule over them, the first man is called Fam and he is given ultimate power over the animals as well as being immortal. He starts building, burning and destroying the earth and treating the animals badly. He refuses to worship Member when he is invited by the animals and just caries on building dams, developments and tearing up the place. The animals are in despair. Membere decides to flood the earth and Fam is made to wander alone forever.  This story reflects the importance of looking after our environment, especially the equatorial rainforests where the Fang live that are abundant in natural resources such as timber, diamonds, oil and calton (used in phones) as well as palm oil plantations which are also a growing threat.   The Fang people were victims of the large transatlantic and trans-Saharan slave trade between the 16th and 19th century. They were stereotyped as cannibals by slave traders and missionaries possibly because of the human skulls and bones kept in open or in wooden boxes near their villages. Later, anthropologists discovered that the Fang people were not cannibalistic, the human bones in open and wooden boxes were of their ancestors, and were a method of routine remembrance and religious reverence for their dead loved ones. The Fang people also known as Fãn or Pahouin are a Bantu ethnic group found in Equatorial Guinea, Norther Gabon and Southern Cameroon in West Central Africa. They speak a Bantu language known as Fang. See for privacy information.