We have always wondered how life on earth was started, there may now be some evidence that we have all derived from clay. Scientists have theorised that clay hydrogels provided the perfect platform for chemicals to form complex biomolecules. Hydrogels can soak up huge qauntities of water and over billions of years, the trapped chemicals which were protected by the gels were able to create biomolecules such as DNA.
In many creation stories from all around the world, clay also plays a roll…The Babylonian account has a man molded from earth mixed with the blood of the god . Prometheus of Greek legend molded a man out of clay at Panopeus in Phocis. Khnoumou, the father of the gods in Egyptian mythology, molded men out of clay on a potter’s wheel. The Dyaks of Sakarran, Borneo, have the first man molded from damp earth by their god Salampandai. The Cheremiss of Russia, a Finnish people, believe the Creator molded a man out of clay. The god Juok of the Shilluks of the White Nile molded a man from different colored clays, thus ingeniously explaining the origin of white, red and black races. The Ewe-speaking tribes of Togoland, in West Africa think that God still makes men out of clay, using good clay and bad clay for good and bad people respectively. The Peruvian Indians of Tiahuanaco believe that the Creator restored men after the great Flood by molding them from clay.
The Australian aborigines near Melbourne claim that the Creator, Pund-jel, took two large pieces of bark, laid clay upon them and worked it into two men. He then blew hard into their mouths, noses and navels, and they became living men. The Maoris of New Zealand say that their god, named Tu, Tiki, or Tane, took red clay, kneaded it with his own blood into a likeness of himself, then animated it by blowing into its mouth and nostrils. In Tahiti they believe that the god Toara molded a man from red earth, then later took a bone out of the man and made a woman named “Ivi,” which means “bone”. A related tribe of Bowditch Island is more specific, saying it was a rib bone, that the woman’s name was “Eevee” (meaning “rib”) and that the whole human race sprang from this pair. The Karens of Burma also say that the man was created from clay, that he was brought to life by breath in his nostrils, and that the woman was taken from the man’s rib. The Bedel Tartars of Siberia have a similar account where God made the first man from clay, but then add that the Devil took the rib bone out and made the first woman! The Eskimo of Point Barrow, in Alaska, claim a spirit named a-se-lu made the man of clay and breathed life into him, while nearby tribes claim that it was the raven who made the first woman out of clay to be a companion to the man. The Diegueno Indians called Kawakipais of California say that their god, Tcaipakomat, took clay, made a man, then took one of the man’s ribs and made a woman.
Clay theory is of a huge interest to me, I feel that through creating figures out of clay, I am doing something instinctual and linking with ancient origins and traditions.