The stories differ from the very beginning. In the Inca creation myth, the god of the sun orchestrates the creation of the earth and all that is in it. Pachacamac, the sun needed to create everything in the celestial sphere as well as the terrestrial world. The moon, Pachacmama, became Pachacamac’s wife and they ruled over the world that had been created (Inca…). In contrast, the Zulu creation myth features no celestial beings as the crafters of the world. The beginning is an empty earth and one enormous seed. The seed sinks into the earth and produces reeds. These reeds form in to the first man, Unkulunkulu. All of the other men, women and animals that inhabit the earth grew out of these reeds as well. He then made everything else in the world that we see. Though they differ, they both show that elements such as soil, water, sky and sun are essential for creation and sustenance of life.
Another interesting difference between these two cultures and creation myths concerns the genders of the creators. It is true that in both instances, males played a primary role in the creative process initially. But as creation progresses for the Inca, women come to take on a role that is equal to that of men. The sun and moon deities ruled over creation as partners. But their children take the egalitarian notions of their parents to a new level. Working in tandem, they teach the people of the earth that have been carved from stone how to take care of themselves. They are in this sense, the first parents. They taught them to grow food, write, weave and cook. They then went their separate ways to establish equally important cities, one in the north and one in the south. The contributions of both man and woman are recognized by dividing all of their cities into northern and southern sections in recognition of the important roles men and women play in the family and society.