Real Name: Nyambe
Occupation: Chieftain of the African Gods, god of sky, weather and rain, patron god of the Yoruba
Legal Status: Citizen of Afe
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Nyambe except as a mythological deity. He is well-known among his worshippers in Africa.
Other Aliases: Nyame (Dahoman name), Nyankopong (Ashanti name), Nyambia (Ewe name), Nzame Mpungu (Bantu name), Nzambi (Bakongo name), Nyasaye (Maragali name), Ndjambi (Herero name), Ndriananahary (Razene name), et al.
Place of Birth: Unrevealed, possibly somewhere in the Yoruba Nation (now part of modern Niger, Nigeria, Dahomey, Ghana, Congo Mali and the Ivory Coast)
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Obatala (father), Odudua (mother), Asase Ya (sister/wife), Orishako, Lusa (brothers), Mawu (sister), Orunjan (uncles), Mmoboro, Onini, Osebo (sons), Mmoatia, Anaya (alias Mama Brigitte) (daughters), Anansi (son by Mboya), Faro, Teliko, Opo (sons by Mawu), Sagbata (son-in-law, alias Baron Samedi), Mukasa, Kibuka, Tilu, Orunmila, Akom (grandsons), Akonadi (grand-daughter, alias Ayida Wede), Damballah (nephew/grandson-in-law), Shango, Eschu, Legba, Ogun (nephews), Erzulie, Avlekete (nieces), Buluku (grandfather, alias Bouclu), Gaea (grandmother, alias Nana),
Group Affiliations: The Vodu (The Gods of Africa), The Council Elite, ally of the Loa
Base of Operations: Afe
First Appearance: Thor #300
History: Nyambe is the chieftain of an extra-dimensional race of beings known as the Orishas who were worshipped as gods by the ancient aborigine tribes of Africa. The Orishas once lived on Earth as the rulers of the ancient tribes of Africa following the end of the Hyborian Age, an undefined period of time which occurred between the last Ice Age and the beginning of written records. Their mortal descendants later intermingling and siring the modern tribes of Africa existing today. Known by several variant names, Nyambe's descendants became the modern Yoruba, Dahoman, Ashanti, Fon and Ewe tribes. According to a later legend, mortal man became so loud that Nyambe decided to depart Earth, and he retreated to the heavens, creating the other-dimensional realm of Afe, to live in relative peace. One old woman living on Earth made too much noise pounding yams with a mortar, and she tried to reach the heavens by stacking mortars one atop each other to reach the heavens, but she was one short. Her son removed the bottom mortar to reach the heavens, but the stack collapsed, killing them both.
Nyambe eventually became ruler of the African gods when Buluku, his predecessor decided to depart Earth. Nyambe took Asase-Ya, the goddess of fertility, as his wife and they had a number of sons. Nyambe divided rule of the tribes of Africa amongst his sons, but his mortal son, Ananse, chieftain of the Ashanti, desired to join his father in the heavens. Wishing to prove he had climbed so far, Ananse asked for proof to share with mortals that he had climbed so far and asked Nyambe for permission to return with the knowledge of heaven to share with mortals. Nyambe consented and Ananse pledged to serve him for ever after. Ananse returned to Earth and shared everything he had been shared. Upon returning to the heavens, Anansi took his place by his father's side as his adviser.
Nyambe was known by multiple names throughout Africa, most of these names were variants of his names by the neighboring tribes of the Yoruba. In Madagascar, he was known as Ndriananahary, the father of Ataokoloinona and Rabefihaza, who may have been sons of Asase-Ya (known as Unkulunka in Madagascar) or like Anansi, children by a mortal wife. His Razene worshippers on Earth credited him with creating the Earth, but in their myths, they claimed he forgot to create a sun to light it. His son, Ataokoloinona, departed Afe to explore Ile (the Yoruba name of Earth), and became the first king of the Razene tribes. When he vanished, Nyambe created a great light to look for his son on Earth, but it terrified mortal man who had never seen it before. In return for the light, the Razenes promised to look for Ataokoloinona on Earth. As mortal men died, their spirits returned to Afe to let Nyambe know about the results in the search for Ataokoloinona. Much of this tale may be apocryphal and may actually describe the departure of the Razene ancestors from Afe to Earth. (Ile is not to be confused with Iku, the land of the dead dominated by Damballah, the god of the dead.)
Eventually, the spirits departing Earth began to complain to Nyambe about how the light he had created never went out and how they were suffering from the heat. Looking down on earth, Nyambe sent rain to cool the Earth, but as spirits crossing over started mentioning how wet the Earth was becoming, Nyambe invented a calendar of days and seasons in order that the Earth could experience regular intervals of sun, rain and night.
Around 1000 AD, Nyambe was approached by Odin, chieftain of the Asgardian gods to discuss the threat of the Third Host of Celestials. The Celestials were a race of powerful cosmic beings who had guided the development of mankind and had asked the gods of Earth to stop trafficking with mortals. Nyambe met with the godheads of the other pantheons of gods once worshipped on Earth and confronted the Third Host, who threatened to seal off the inter-dimensional passages between the god realms and Earth unless the gods promised to stop trafficking with mortals. Nyambe pledged to this oath, but as part of this vow, he also promised to donate the required life energies needed to restore the Asgardian gods slain during the Fourth Host of the Celestials. Odin meanwhile had been making plans for the Fourth Host of Celestials and had construction of a huge suit of armor called the Destroyer to face the Celestials on their return. After the Destroyer was annihilated by the Celestials, Thor came to Afe to collect the required energies, and Nyambe saw that a debt had been paid and donated the energies to revive the slain Asgardian gods.
In the Fifteenth Century, a group of the Orishas separated to become known as the Loa, a second generation of African gods. Sagbata, the god of death, who was married to Anaya, the daughter of Nyambe, had made a pact with the Elder God Chthon to create a spell of dark magic enabling mortal mystics to reanimate the dead as zombies. This spell became part of the native African pagan rites mixed with Roman Catholicism to become the religion known as Voodoo. Nyambe was unable to counter the affects of such a powerful spell, possibly due to his vow to the Celestials, and Legba, one of the Loa, a brother of Sagbata, turned to Gaea, the primeval earth-goddess, to create a counter-force for good, namely an enchantment that bestowed a free man named Alexandre the power to become Brother Voodoo. The Loa became the chief deities in the Voodoo religion, often adopting new names to conceal their true African identities.
Over the years, continuing friction between the Loa and the Orishas has lead to some antagonism between the Orishas, the ancestral gods of Africa, and the Loa, their descendants. Nyambe considered the Loa subservient to the Orishas, but Legba, the leader of the Loa, believed that the Loa had outgrown their old African rites, preferring to embrace a chance for more worshippers. Nyambe settled the matter by turning toward Buluku, their ancient ancestor, to resume his role as leader of the African gods and engage some stability in the pantheon. Under his rule, Nyambe retained leadership of the Orishas and Legba his leadership over the Loa with Buluku maintaining control over the pantheon.
In recent years, Nyambe met with the other god-kings of Earth when the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaton, returned from outer space with the power to conquer Earth. During his absence from Earth, the once beneficent king had gained cosmic power and returned to Earth to convert it into a paradise under his Egyptian ideals. To deal with his threat, Nyambe once again met with the god kings of Earth, but for undisclosed reasons, he did so as Ndriananahary. Akhenaton discovered their plot and destroyed all the gods present, except for Zeus and Thor who just barely escaped. Akhenaton was eventually defeated by the combined might of Earth's heroes and gods with the universe restored to order by Thanos of the Eternals. By defeating Akhenaton, Thanos restored the universe as it had been before, and Nyambe was restored to life in the recreated timeline. As a result, only a few individuals are aware of Akhenaton's attack on Earth in the altered timeline.
Nyambe has since returned to Afe, the home of
the African gods. He also met with the god kings of Earth as
the Japanese god of evil, laid siege through the realms of Earth's pantheons of
gods, in order to cause chaos, but Mikaboshi was afterward defeated by the
combined forces of
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 545 lbs.
Strength Level: Nyambe possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) almost 85 tons under optimal conditions.
Known Superhuman Powers: Nyambe possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Orishas or Gods of Africa. Like all of the Orishas, he is extremely long lived, but he is not immortal like the Olympian gods; he has aged at an extremely slow rate since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Obatala, Orishako or Buluku or for a number of African gods of equal power working together to revive him. Nyambe also possesses superhuman strength and his Orishas metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Orisha flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the Orishas' superhuman strength and weight.)
Nyambe possesses great mystical powers on the order of Zeus and Odin. He can mystically control the weather, allowing him to summon and conjure thunder storms and rain showers of various size. He can dispel lightning bolts, control the clouds to descend and ascend from Earth and command hurricane-force winds. He also has mystical abilities to cast spells, allowing him to move matter, mystically alter his size and appearance, augment the physical properties of known objects, materialize and teleport objects and cast spells and hexes with psychokinetic effects. His full range of powers are unrevealed.
Weapons: Nyambe carries a large axe used to conjure thunderstorms and to expel lightning bolts.
Base of Operations: Nyambe rules over the other-dimensional realm of Ale (also known as Afe), which resembles a large asteroid-like landmass floating in inter-dimensional space, but with regular seasonal intervals of light and day. Dotted with numerous villages of various size, Ale resembles Africa in several aspects with jungles, rivers, savannahs, deserts and oasis with a variety of animals, lions, antelopes, hippos, crocodiles and monkeys, possibly adopted from earth, although some of these have turned out to be gods in disguise, such as Osebo, the leopard-god. Ale is native to a number of other races such as the Ngunuwo (fairies), Haruna (spirits), Aigamuxa (dragons) and Obayifo (demons), ruled over by Kodumolomo, who may be a demon or alias of Damballah. Ale is connected to Earth by way of an interdimensional access point near Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya, a known mystical site, close to an isolated valley of dinosaurs, first documented by Sir Alfred Conan Doyle in his novel, "The Lost World," believed to be an act of fiction.
Comments: This bio pertains to Nyambe as he has appeared in the Marvel Universe; it is not known if he has appeared in DC Comics.
In Marvel Comics, Buluku has incorrectly been identified as chieftain of the African gods. Some references even identify him as the father instead of the grandfather of Nyambe.
In African Myth, Afe (Ale, Afe, Ife, Ile, Ila...) are names of the ancestral land of the Yoruba-Dahomey people. Here, the names are used to identify the home of the African gods and the home of their worshippers.
Clarifications: Nyambe is not to be confused with:
Last updated: 07/30/13
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