In classical, pre-colonial Zulu myth, Unkulunkulu brought human beings and cattle from an area of reeds. He created everything, from land and water to man and the animals. He is considered the first man as well as the parent of all Zulu. He taught the Zulu how to hunt, how to make fire, and how to grow food.
With the arrival of Christian missionaries, Unkulunkulu became the name for the Christian supreme being. For Christian people, the name simply means "God". Other names include uMdali "Creator", uMvelinqandi "Before everything", analogous to Umvelinqangi in the isiXhosa language.
- Leeming, David Adams; Leeming, Margaret Adams (2009). A Dictionary of Creation Myths (Oxford Reference Online ed.). Oxford University Press.
- Rev. Canon Callaway, Unkulunkulu: The tradition of creation as existing among the Amazulu and other tribes of South Africa, 1868
- Andrew Severance Burgess, Unkulunkulu in Zululand, 1934