African Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of Africa

OMUMBOROMBONGA

Damara and Herero legendary place

Also known as Omumborombanga

Picture of the African legendary place Omumborombonga from our African mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

The Primordial Tree of Life

This is the famous tree which gave birth to Mukuru, the first man, and his wife.

No, they weren’t growing from the branches like strange fruit. That would be ridiculous. They actually emerged from root holes underneath. We’re not sure how they got there, but Creator God Njambi probably put them there for safekeeping.

The first herd of cattle also came from the tree’s root holes, but according to Herero legend, the lesser animals — and all the other tribes — had to be content with ordinary holes in the ground to crawl out of.

Omumborombonga trees are now quite common in Namibia. They are better known in English as Leadwood trees — because their wood is incredibly heavy. The Herero people still venerate them today.

So what happened to the original Omumborombonga, the tree that gave birth to humankind? You need to go to the veldt Windhoek, north of the river Ugab. It was said to be still there in 1933, but firewood is scarce in these parts, so we can guarantee nothing.

Omumborombonga Facts and Figures

Name: Omumborombonga
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Omumborombanga

Gender: Sorry, we don't know
Type: legendary place
Area or people: Damara and Herero people of Namibia
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

Role: Unknown at present

Good/Evil Rating: OKAY, not bad
Popularity index: 1677

Cite this article

Here's the info you need to cite this page. Just copy the text in the box below.

Article last revised on November 02, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

Permissions page