Faro, according to the Mande people of ancient Mali, is commonly referenced as the god of restoration and fertility. In this respect, he is similar to the deity Ausar in ancient Kernet, who was also called the god of restoration, resurrection, and fertility. The Bamana, also called Bambara, like other Mande communities, honor Faro as the great light and creator god. In the Mande creation story, he symbolizes the restoring organizer of the universe. The role that Faro plays in the Mande creation story is widely shared among Mande-speaking communities (e.g., the Bozo, Bambara, Kurumba, Samogo, and Dogon), thus solidifying his significance in many Mande communities. The importance of Faro is illustrated in the Mande creation story.
According to the Mande creation story, God successfully created twin varieties of the eleusine seed, known as the egg of the world. God proceeded to created six more seeds and combined with this group of eight seeds the four elements and the cardinal points to mark out the organization of the world and its expansion. In accordance with the narrative, each egg contained one male and one female. These were to be the prototype of the future human. One of the males, Pemba, seeking to dominate creation emerged prematurely before full development was complete, tearing a piece of his placenta in the process. He descended through empty space, and the piece of his placenta became the Earth. However, it was dry, barren, and infertile.
After realizing this, Pemba returned to the heavens and attempted to return to his place in the placenta. However, God had restructured the remaining part of his placenta into the sun. Pemba stole eight male seeds from God's clavicle and returned to Earth sowing them in the piece of placenta that had become Earth. In the field, only one of the eleusine seeds grew, whereas the others died from water deprivation. Due to Pemba's theft and his incestuous act, the Earth became impure and the eleusine seed turned red, the color it bears today.
To restore harmony in the universe and purify the Earth, Faro was sacrificed in heaven; his body was cut into 60 pieces that were scattered throughout space. The fragments of his body descended onto Earth-producing trees, a symbolic representation of vegetal restoration. The Almighty God brought Faro back to life in heaven and gave him human shape and sent him down to Earth on an ark made of his celestial placenta. Faro's ark rested on the mountain called Kouroula, which lies between Kri and Kri Koro. This area was then given the name of Mande, which the inhabitants translate as “son of the person” (ma) or, more explicitly, “son of the mannogo,” the person being Faro whose first bodily form was that of a Silurian fish.
It is commonly believed among Mande people that Faro serves as a redeemer and organizer of the universe who is enthroned in the seventh heaven and sends rain that brings fertility. In addition, Faro symbolizes revitalization and replenishment of the universe. Consistent with the oral tradition, Faro bestowed on humans their conscience, order, purity, and sense of responsibility.