Garang and Abuk are the first man and women in the mythology of the Dinka peoples of the southern part of the Sudan in east Africa.
They were created by Divinity (the creator god). He molded them out of clay and put them in a pot. Later, when he opened the pot, the pair came out fully formed, although Abuk was very small. To rectify this, the god put the little woman in a container of water, and she swelled up like a sponge to normal human size. At first the stingy god only gave the humans one grain per day to eat, but the resourceful Abuk made the grain into a paste to make it last. Then she took the next grain and planted it, which was the source of all grain.
Rather than just being historical myths, the two play a role in the present Dinka mythology. Abuk is represented by a snake symbol, and she looks after all women, and growing things (such as trees and crops). She also has the added responsibility of maintaining the water supply. Garang watches over everything else.
As in many creation myths, here, too, the first woman was the downfall of humanity:
Garang and Abuk, living on earth, had to be careful not to dig too deeply or strike too roughly when planting crops, because Divinity (living in the heavens) might be disturbed. One day, Abuk, who was greedy, decided she wanted to plant or pound more than the allotted amount of grain. She took a long-handled hoe (which the Dinka use today) and when she raised it up, she accidentally hit Divinity. The god withdrew from earth, offended, into the sky, and sent a small blue bird (atoc) to sever the rope which men could previously climb to reach the heavens.
After Divinity left the earth because of Abuk’s actions, the world has been spoiled. Humans have to labor for food and often go hungry. They can no longer reach the heavens, and they suffer from illnesses and die as a direct result of the abrupt separation from Divinity.