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Showing 108 entries for category: oral

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Elisabeth Belomo

Abobo Ndene and Otene Nka'a

Long, long time ago, AboboNdene, the spider, and OteneNka’a, the monitor lizard, were close friends; so intimate that they shared everything: their happiness, worries and sorrows. They both believed in the same ideologies as they openly rebuked inhumane inclinations.One day, on their way back home from the farm, they engaged in a debate on the origins of good and evil. Before they realised it, they were on opposing sides: while Abobo held God responsible for good and evil, Otene attributed(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Peter Numfor Ambe

An Orphan Child and her Uncle's Wife

AN ORPHAN CHILD AND HER UNCLE’S WIFE:Long long time agoThere lived a manWho got married and hadJust one child.The gift that was given him duringHis wedding was his late sister’s daughter - A child who had been movingFrom one family member to another.The wife detested the gift butLater on accepted it.She accepted it becauseTheir only daughterWas feeling very lonely.She was still very young,And so needed company.The acceptance of this childInto the new home took place after a lot (...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joseph Ndipowah Teneng

An Orphan Girl and her Stepmother

Long time agoThere was a manWho was so handsome.He had two wives.The first was very, very beautiful,The second was not so beautiful.The first wife gave birth to a girl child,The man was happy.Because that was part of his wealth.He had a friend who startedBetrothing this little girl at birth,He would always bring him firewood,And roast meat.The man planted a kola nut tree for the daughterThe daughter had everything that one can imagine.Dresses, enough food, bracelets, necklaces, and others.One da(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Enoch Tanyi

Anansi

Anansi is a myth of the people of Asante on the coast of Ghana. This myth is centered on the character and ingenuity of Anansi, who succeeded through tricks to bring stories from the gods to his people and gave them wisdom. It is believed that Anansi is a mystical figure, who acts on behalf of Nyame, his father, and the Sky Father (God). He has the ability to bring rain and to stop wild fires. In some sectors of the Asante clan, Anansi is believed to be responsible for creating the sun, the star(...)

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COUNTRY: Ghana


Annick Ndo Medjoto

Angon Nana and Abomo Nguele

Long ago, in a certain corner of South Cameroon, was born a boy of extraordinary handsomeness, named Angon Nana. He was so handsome that upon seeing him people were cured of their psychological problems. Unfortunately, Nana’s parents died while he was still young and he became unbearably sad. He wept day and night for several years. One day, amid his tears, he felt a strange presence around him. As he turned around, a girl Abomo was looking down at him smiling. She dried his tears. As(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Cyprian Assam Egbe

Arrah and the Slave Girl

A long time ago, there lived a beautiful young eighteen-year old girl, Arrah, from a royal family. Her grace and charm left no young man indifferent both within and outside the village of Tinto. Her beauty was also complemented by good manners and diligent housekeeping which she learnt from her mother. As a result, a long line of suitors called on her every day to ask for her hand, but she and her parents found none worthy enough of her. Eventually, despite the fact that in those days people did(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Tidjani Yaya

Autan and the Monster

A long time ago, in the village of Galim-Tignere, there lived a woman called Iya and her husband with their two kids. This village was being terrorised by dodo - a wild monstrous animal. The presence of this animal made it impossible for the villagers to go out very early in the morning and late at night. If anyone did, they were either killed or seriously wounded by the animal. Iya soon became pregnant for her last child. During the months of pregnancy, she would sit in front of her hut to feel(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Pierre Keubou

Bamougong Creation Myth

In the beginning was Mbu’ Ngwòŋ or Ssé*. The world was the work of Mbu’ Ngwòŋ, that is, the earth or the ground. Mbu’ Ngwòŋ is a compound word, made up of “Mbu”, which means, to make or to create, and “Ngwòŋ”, which the world. The Earth created everything: animate and inanimate. In fact, everything came into existence thanks to the Earth. According to them, the world is found at Nzsyè**, which means, the beginnin(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mofor Nchinda

Extinction of the Life Giving Grass/Extinction of the Herb of Immortality

Long time ago,There lived a woman.This woman had many children.Fifteen.(Audience retorts) FIFTEEN?(Narrator continues)You think the olden daysWere like today.A man’s richesWere measured by the numberOf children and wives he had.(Narrator turns to the audience):Can I continue?(Audience answers in chorus)Yes.(He clears his voice without thunderous cough)One day,This woman,Took all her children to the farm.They worked, worked and workedUntil,Everybody was tired and thirsty.They retired to a s(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Desire Meha

Foose and Mbumbi

Long ago in the village of Bamendjinda, there existed only one God, Mbumbi. He looked after the village and everything the people undertook to do was successful. No one died before old age. Then came a time when children could no longer reach twenty before dying. These sudden deaths came as a result of drought, plagues, illness and wars that hit the land. The fertile soils suddenly became very arid, barren and unproductive, and famine hit the land as a result of that. Everyone became so worried,(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mathieu Djele

God and His People

Once upon a time, God used to live, chat, and eat with his people. He lived together with human beings. All things were decided by him [God] before they were done by them [the people]. One day God wanted to make a visit around the world. But before leaving his people he told them not to bury anyone who dies in his absence. They should not dare to perform any burial. God left for his tour in the planting season. Not long after, when all crops were planted, a man who had been sick for years, died.(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Elias Mbome

How Dogs came to Live as Domestic Animals

The original published version of this myth appears in the book: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 58-62) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the written authorization of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to summarize this particular myth because the original version is too long. We are therefor(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ndi-deng

How Jealousy Originated in Polygamous Homes

A long time ago,There lived a man,Who had a soft hide on his bed.When he was about to travel,He called his wives,Showed them the hide,And said,“LOOK,THIS HIDE IS VERYEXPENSIVE AND IS PART OF MY LIFE.TAKE CARELET NOBODY CLIMB ON IT.I AM SAYING SOBECAUSE THIS HIDEWAS GIVEN TO ME BY A WATER GOD.IF IT IS DIRTY,WE CAN ONLY WASH IT ATMINYENGE* RIVER.”(The audience is astonished)When the man gave his instructions, he leftAs he left,The first wife’s son climbed on the hide,And mistaken(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ba Venyuseh

How Jumneh Came Into Existence

In the beginning, a God called Mphih lived in the celestial realms with his three children – Yondoh, Tih and Jumneh. However, these children quarreled often and made his home too rancorous and tense for his liking. So as soon as Yondoh, Tih and Jumnehcame of age, he decided to separate them. He divided the world into three parts and asked each child to choose its part. Yondo chose the trees and Tih chose the streams. Jumneh also wanted the stream and would not settle for any other thing. I(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Gideon Ngafi

How Lunga Went to the Sky Alive

So many years ago, when the white man arrived the Mbum land, there lived a man called Lunga. He was one of the wisest judges and lawmakers in the kingdom. He was loved by everyone because he was a good counselor and had mythic power. One day, the king summoned all his councilors and advisers in the kingdom for a meeting. The agenda of this meeting was simply to devise means to combat the new religion from the West. The major problem was the fact that the God of this new religion was proclai(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joseph Ndipowah Teneng

How Sickness, Old Age and Death Began

This story uses the motif of race between a fast and a slow animal, well known from the Aesopian tradition (The Hare and the Tortoise). Yet, here the consequences of the slow animal’s victory go well beyond the moral of the myth and explain why human life is ephemeral.At the beginning of the world, there was nothing like sickness, old age, and death. People lived on and on forever. There was no pain, nor sorrow and everybody lived happily. But the world was becoming almost overpopulated or(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Nson Ngambi

How the Earth (Land) Came to Be

In the beginning, the earth was just a vast body of water. Three gods lived in the sky: Mabea the Noble, Mabea the Labourer and Mabea the Silent. As time went by, Mabea the Noble and Mabea the Laborer created an axe which was used to build canoes in which they could sail the waters, but they did not have wood with which to build the canoes. Since the three gods were curious to know if there existed a piece of land beyond the water, Mabea the Silent was asked by the other two to go to the earth a(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Egbe Ife

Iseregwe

This myth is found in: Marriage with Gods and Goddesses (in Classical and African Myths) by Egbe Ife, published in Ibadan by End-Time Publishing House in 1999 (pp.1-4), ISBN: 978-2163-01-5. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.The myth of Iseregwe is about a couple who lives in a distant village and has two beautiful daughters: Omokatifi and Iseregwe. The former, in spite of her pompous and unpleasant behavi(...)

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COUNTRY: Nigeria


Desire Guifo

Jengu

A Jengu is a water spirit which is believed to appear to people in different forms – sometimes as a beautiful black girl or a mermaid with long hair and a gap-toothed smile. The people who lived in the Southern costal parts of Cameroon (e.g. Douala, Batanga) have worshipped this spirit for centuries. Although Christianity and western culture have had a significant impact here, belief in Jengu has remained strong. Its worshippers believe that Jengu brings good fortune, healing to various ai(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Desire Guifo

Jengu

Cameroon

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Soliey Mbezenyuy

Kilankenyuy, the Giver of Children

Kilankenyuy in Lamnso literarily means “the stone of God.” It is also the name that the Nso people give to the God who gives children.Many years ago, the benevolence of the gods in giving humans wonderful, resourceful and creative children was already known by humans. So they were expected to regularly offer sacrifices to Kilankenyuy, the stone of God, for different reasons, especially for the gift of creative and successful children. The early fathers were quite conscious of this ve(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Clyde W. Ford

Kimanaueze

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 61-67), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.The hero, Kimanaueze tells his father he would marry no one else but the daughter of King Sun and Queen Moon. So, he writes a letter to King Sun and Queen Moon. He gives it(...)

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COUNTRY: Angola


Clyde W. Ford

Kintu

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, p. 60), ISBN 0-553-10544-2.  This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.Kintu, the super-hero arrives on earth with a cow as his only source of food. Later, Nmabi, daughter of the sky god Gulu visits the earth and immediately falls for Kintu.(...)

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COUNTRY: Uganda


Clyde W. Ford

Kintu

Uganda

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Egbe Ife

Kruku

The original version of this myth appears in Egbe Efie's Marriage with Gods and Goddesses: in Classical and African Myths published by End-time Publishing House Ltd, Ibadan, 1999: pp 30-34. This is a summary of the myth. The full text can be read in the book cited above.A long time ago, in the region of Aka, in the Delta State of Nigeria, a young man named Kruku embarked on a journey to the land of immortals or Erivwin after the sacrificial death of his parents. Overwhelmed by the poverty he(...)

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COUNTRY: Nigeria


Clyde W. Ford

Kwasi Benefo

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 21-27.), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.Kwasi Benefo, a young Asante man in Ghana, by dint of hard work has acquired a lot of wealth but is unable to find a wife and have children. Finally, after a long search a(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon Ghana


Clyde W. Ford

Kwasi Benefo

Cameroon Ghana

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Clyde W. Ford

Lituolone

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 36-37), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.A huge shapeless monster, called Kammapa has swallowed all the inhabitants of the land except one – a pregnant woman. She escapes into hiding and gives birth without (...)

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COUNTRY: Angola


Clyde W. Ford

Lituolone

Angola

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Musi Seth Pie

Mamagieh

In the days of the forefathers, the Bafanji people had too many problems. Besides tribal wars, they were also faced with the problem of famine and unjustifiable deaths. One day, a man left his family at home and went hunting into the forest but never came back. His wife waited for a week and didn’t see him. So she went into the forest in search of him. After searching for hours everywhere in vain, she sat on a stone crying, and soon fell asleep. When she got up, she noticed that she w(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Babila Mutia

Mami-Wata

The myth of Mami-Wata is very common in West, Central and Southern African countries. According to many accounts, Mami-Wata* is a water mermaid with special interest in human affairs. Her features may vary across different locations but generally she is depicted as a very attractive and sexually appealing lady, who is sometimes half-fish and half-human and half-snake. It is believed that she is often spotted on beaches or gliding on waterfalls. According to Babila Mutia (narrator cited above) ma(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Babila Mutia

Mami-Wata

Cameroon

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Peter Tamukong

Mijini

Once upon a time, The Akum people were living together with Mijini in Widikum.Mijini was the greatest deity and the sole protector of the Akum people.This did not, however, prevent friction with other groups in Widikum.The prevailing tension forced them to leave Widikum.But on leaving,They left behind their major deity.As they were approaching this land,Mijini suddenly joined them.The people started offering sacrifices to Mijini. (Narrator turns round to see whether everybody is attent(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Clyde W. Ford

Miseke and Thunder Man

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp.55-59), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.Among the Chaga people, a man called Kwisaba, goes to a distant war and leaves his pregnant wife alone at home. She falls so seriously ill that she cannot even make a fire t(...)

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COUNTRY: Tanzania


El Hadji-Awal

Mitidi – the Snake-man

A long time ago, in a distant dark kingdom in the depths of the earth, there lived a being who could transform into both man and snake. He reigned alone very far from the light of the sun and was considered as the master of the Underworld. Meanwhile, there lived and reigned a king on earth who was well-respected for his sense of responsibility, equity and justice. This earthly king was married to three wives and had a lone daughter, a girl who was quite remarkable for her matchless beauty. In th(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Andiensa Yuh

Mitofchuofoyn – Wiser than the King

The original published version of this myth appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 108-116) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the written authorization of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to summarize this particular myth because the original version is too long. We are therefore (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Andiensa Yuh

Mitofchuofoyn – Wiser than the King

Cameroon

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Pierre Ngijol

Myth of Creation of the Bassa'a

In the beginning, there was a round object and inside this object, were three other objects: a triangle, a stick and another stick with a round end. As a result of violent shocks, this big round object, which was suspended in space, fell and broke releasing its contents. The triangle opened and the stick with the round end, fertilised the triangle, giving birth to a little being.Diagram of the earth before it fell.(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Moussa Khalidou

Myth of Issah

A long time ago in the Fulani kingdom of Namtari, there lived a monster which terrorized the whole community. Every attempt to get rid of it was in vain since all those who tried to penetrate its territory never returned. Terror became omnipresent in Namtari as every night, the monster visited the village to catch and devour all those who loitered around. The king promised to offer a substantial reward to anyone who would liberate the nation from this terrifying monster. The news of this terror (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou

Myth of Ntiteuh (the Most Beautiful Woman on Earth) who Married the Sky King

There was a great family who lived among the Bamoumn people of Foumban. This family had nine siblings, all girls. The first was called Ntiteuh literally meaning Green, and she was the most beautiful. The second was known as Nkieng, literally meaning Black. Because of the popularity of this family and the extraordinary beauty of the girls they decided to live by themselves in the forest for fear of tempting anyone. As they grew up to maturity, many suitors came to ask their hands in marriage. The(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Hadjia Bitamzui

Myth of the Creation of the Giziga People of Muturwa

At the beginning of time haiggibuilmuluung (the house of the gods or the sky) and the earth were touching each other. Trees and all the vegetation were very tall and even touching haiggibuilmuluung. At this time no living thing existed. Bouilmulvung (the god) was very angry that his house was being invaded by trees. He was afraid that this encroachment by the vegetation may one day drive him out of his habitation. Then he, Bouilmulvung, told the Earth “your trees are usurping my habitat to(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


NzeUmeokwonna G.C. Ezechukwu

Myth of the Departed River

In the olden times, a river wanted to come and settle in Igbo-Ukwu. It came in the form of a young heavily-bearded man on a visit to the Nhi (Nri) priest who lived before the boundary between Igbo-Ukwu and her neighbor, Oraeri. The priest offered his visitor a seat and asked his first daughter, Ada-Nhi priest, to get them kola nut and some water for washing of hands. The daughter stepped out to do her father’s bidding but took her time in doing that. After waiting for some time, the young (...)

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COUNTRY: Nigeria


Gideon Mbangmoh

Myth of the Láng

Many years ago, after the great gods of the universe had finished the creation of the universe and assigned various magical responsibilities to different plants, Láng, one of the first native doctors in the Nkambe community, lived among the people. He, like others, explored the forests and realized that other strong native doctors had possessed the land and were controlling it through different grasses, trees and leafs, and that there were no plants under the sun which were not known by s(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


George Nebachi

Myth of the Nsaani Mubaburu

The Mbebili people had their market day that used to hold on their Sabbath day, njwigong*. Whenever they got to the marketplace every market day, they noticed that there were people already there. They neither knew who those people were, nor where they came from. At the close of the day, they were also the last people to leave but no one equally knew where they went to. One day, at the close of the market, one Mbebili man decided to spy on these strangers in order to find out where they would go(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Bernard Kos Mbulu

Myth of the Origin of Dja and Mpomo Rivers

A long time ago, far back into the beginning of life on earth, when men could barely distinguish between good and evil after they had been sent out of the celestial home to live on earth, God started feeling lonely without his children, the humans. Every morning, he peeped through his window to check their evolution and look after them. One day, Ziem, the God of the Land, was strolling around his terrace and admiring satisfactorily the progress of his children on earth. On that day, he had (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Soliey Mbezenyuy

Myth of the Origin of Lake Wasibe

A long time ago in the days of the forefathers, the chief priests from all the communities in Banso gathered at the king’s palace to offer their usual annual sacrifices to the gods. After some rituals and incarnations had been performed, the Gods revealed to them to perform subsequent rituals in the motionless waters in Wasibel. The chief priests and notables were confused, because there was no such water in Wasibel. They offered more sacrifices to the gods for them to reveal the exact loc(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ndjidda Yamboui

Myth of the Origin of Suffering in Mindif

A long time ago, Motoforno’s village was a blessed village, it was compared to paradise because of the abundance of food, and especially huge quantities of usehé (meat) piled up in the form of a mountain. Everybody could eat of that meat including those from the neighboring villages. Hitherto, the gods had dished out instructions that no one should prepare and consume the meat with Mandan (salt). This restriction bothered Motoforno’s wife who would always ask her husband quest(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Eleanor Zofoa

Myth of the Origin of the Babungo People

So many years ago, Babungo was only a dense forest with a lake in the middle, and no signs of human settlement. The lake, which was later named Lake Forghai, gurgled and roared for a few minutes and after roaring, people (two brothers, their uncle, their wives and grandfather), as well as a white goat, came out of it. The entire area was strange to them but, even so, they really needed a place to settle. Before they came out of the lake, the Gods of the lake told them to take the goat along, and(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Marthe Satou

Myth of the Origin of the Dii

The Dii people in general and the blacksmiths in particular are considered to have fallen from the sky. This is convincing given that these people do not share similar cultural attributes with other peoples around them. When the Dii people descended from the sky, they first lived on a mountain called guu gbang sii. There, the Dii people did not have any contact with other people as they did not even know if other people existed. They lived on wild foods particularly a variety of millet called &l(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Hector Nembo Fomba

Myth of the Origin of the Mbafung Chiefdom

The Mbafung community of the West Region of Cameroon was founded by hunters from the Adamawa Region. Their hunting expedition took them to an unknown place where they saw a very big hole in the ground. Suddenly, the hole started emitting fire. They tried to run away but a voice spoke to them, “Don’t run away! I am your ancestor; I want you to listen to me very carefully. When this fire stops, I will send my son who will become the head of this village. This village will be named LaaM(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Samuel Fah Lee

Myth of the Origin of the Mundang Chiefdom

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Ku Tchetche. She had never worked all her life. She lived with her parents. Each time her parents went to the farm, she stayed at home and a mystical animal called Pi Bwo would come and visit her. Whenever it came, it would sing:Ku Tchetche, where is your mother? She is in the farm.Ku Tchetche, where is your father? He is in the farm.Ku Tchetche the beautiful girl, beautiful, beautiful.Then it would tell her:“Go to the storehouse and bring some mill(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Diguimbele Bagamla

Myth of the Origin of the Tupiri Clan

In the beginning, there lived a man who was married to two wives. One was fertile and the other was barren. One day, the two went into the forest to fetch wood. While in the forest, the fertile woman, who was heavily pregnant started to have labor pains. Her co-spouse came to her aid and caused her to lie on a fallen tree trunk where she could give birth in the best conditions. After - being tormented by the pains of labor, she passed out. Her co-spouse then stole the child, hid it, and claimed (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Benjamin Emeada

Myth of the Oyise-Owhe Festival

The Owhe people (Otor-Owhe, Owhelogbo and Akiewhe) celebrate the feast of OYISE OWHE. It is believed that Azagba migrated to Emede due to oppression and dispossession in his hometown. He got married to Owhe of Emede. The union produced three sons: “Ovoh” who founded Otor-Owhe, Ogbe who founded Owhelogbo and Uthatho who founded Akiewhe. A myth has it that, Ithatho, the daughter of Uthatho who was married to Uruafe, saw the feather of an eagle falling from the sky in their farm. To her(...)

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COUNTRY: Nigeria


Rebecca N. Umeafonta

Myth of the Superior Status of the Male Gender

After Chukwu Okike (Creator God) created human beings, both man and woman. He assigned an equal social status to both genders. As time went on, conflict became a constant factor in several families and societies. The problem reached God in the sky. He sent down some of his muo-ozi (angels) to the world to investigate the cause of the incessant conflict among the humans. After observing interpersonal, familial and group relationships in the world for some time, the angels discovered the root of t(...)

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COUNTRY: Nigeria


Eleanor Zofoa

Nä’Si

So many years ago, there was a certain queen in Babungo called Nä’Si who liked eating sugar cane very much. In fact, it was said that she was always eating sugar cane and people could swear on their lives that they never met her not eating sugar cane. Whenever she was going to the farm she would get enough sugar cane to take her to the farm and back. While the other queens and women in the community farmed other crops like beans, corn and cocoyam, she would do same but would always ad(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Cosmas Aza

Ndàmìníp

So many years ago, there was a small black serpent that got separated from its mother. It obviously couldn’t trace its trackback to where it had come out from, and so was wandering around the village. As it slunk around the community looking for comfort and a place to stay, everyone was aggressive towards it and wanted to kill it. After so much frustration, it then crept to the Nkòsì River and sat in a distance watching the children frolicking in the river. It stayed there fo(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Peter Ambe

Ndongbiko

A long time ago in this village,There lived a man.His name, I do not know.Even my parents did not know his name.This man grew up as a hard working farmer and hunter.He was one of the best hunters in the village.He grew up, And like any prosperous man, He was admired by many, especially women.He turned down many love advances from his female peers.However, he ended up in the arms of a woman Who was more or less an ogre.Their union produced a handsome boy.His name was Ndongbiko.Ndon(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Rose Nanje Mande

Neither a Man nor a Woman

A long time ago, there lived a woman who had only one child. This child was very beautiful but was neither a boy nor a girl though she looked more like a girl. One day, this woman prepared bean cakes for her child to sell in the village and the child went out to sell them. As she went round with the bean cakes, she was calling out, “Fine bean cakes! Fine bean cakes!” The chief saw the child and asked if that particular child lived in that village. He asked where the child came from. (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Elisabeth Belomo

Ngan-Medza

The Bantou are people from the southern part of Sudan, in North Africa. They lived in this part of the continent for ages in perfect serenity with neighbours. The Arabs and the Hausas then came and chased them from this place. In the course of fleeing from the Muslims, they stopped in the Central African region precisely in Cameroon and lived in the north of the country. Nanga, one of the Bantou, had many children namely Kolo Beti, Eton Beti, Mvele Beti, Fang Beti, Bika Beti, Bulu (the only girl(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Elisabeth Belomo

Ngan-Medza

Cameroon

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Pierre Nyobe

Ngok Lituba and the Tree of Rejuvenation

“Ngok Lituba” is a pierced stone of eight hundred meters high situated at Nyanon, a village near Edea, Cameroon. It is in the forest, close to where part of the Sanaga River flows.In the beginning, the living God, Nyambe, created all the forces. He created geniuses, spirits and the first human couple. In creating the forest, he also created that stone Ngok Lituba. This pierced stone has a tunnel. Nyambe was living in joy with his people in the tunnel. The first children were born fro(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Nde Fru

Ngoniton

Long time ago,There lived a woman,Who had only one daughterThis daughter was called Ngoniton.The main occupation of this woman was fishing.Her yields were usually good whileThose of her co-spouse were often poor.Her lone daughter Ngoniton was very beautiful.She was shining like the face of the moon.Because of her beauty, her stepmother hated her.A time came when Ngoniton’s mother’s yield became low.The yield was low.It persisted for sometime.She tried, she tried again,Nothing happene(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Peter Tancho

Nifo'o

Once upon a time,At nkwih tinso’o*There lived an old man,Who owned a raffia bush.His name was Asa’ankieh,This man was an excellent tapperNobody in the village could tapThe type of wine he was producing,He could tap more than,The present chief’s tapper.THE RAFFIA BUSH HE HADCOULD COVER MORE THANFIVE MOUNTAINS.Since the raffia bush was too large,And he had numerous palms to tap a day,He was forced to construct a small hutNear the Nifo’o,Where he could stay,And carry out his(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Losngar Nodjidoumngar

Njeh bôlh je

In ancient times, the Mbanga people lived and interacted with animals and trees in their everyday activities. Among those people, there was a man called Bath, who could transform into an owl, a hippopotamus and a lion at the same time. One day, he discovered that another man in a far off tribe, called Mongh, had the herb that could give a person the power to transform into other creatures, just like his own plant did. The challenge for Bath now was how to get to Mongh’s place and steal tha(...)

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COUNTRY: Chad


Losngar Nodjidoumngar

Njeh bôlh je

Chad

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Musi Seth Pie

Nongu

Many years ago, the entire community of Bafanji used to fetch potable water from Ndawi*. One day, a child was drowned in Ndawi and the river was desecrated. The Gods of Ndawi were not happy. All those who went there to fetch water after the tragedy died mysteriously around the banks of the river. It was a pregnant woman who went to Ndawi naked and in tears, begging the Gods of Ndawi to have mercy on them. The Gods were weakened by the spirit of the unborn child in the woman’s womb, and req(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Rachael Lum

Nyamaboh and his Aunt

Long time ago There lived a woman Who had her only son called Nyamaboh.The woman was old,But the child was still too young.A plague occurred in the village - scabies. The plague killed the old woman and many others. Upon her death, this child was handed to his aunt.The aunt had many children. Nyamaboh was always being mistreated .He became the hewer of firewood for the family. Sometime later, a prolonged rain came. People had to trek for long distancesBefore th(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Rosa Foyenka Lukong

Nya’ti and her Frog Lover

A long time ago, there existed a kingdom called Nseh. In this kingdom, animals talked and walked and no animal crawled, skipped or stooped, hopped or jump for movement; they all walked. In the kingdom, there lived a beautiful princess named Nya'ti. She was the most beautiful girl in the kingdom. Her beauty attracted all the young handsome men in the kingdom, and the princes in the neighboring kingdoms and beyond. It was each and every man’s wish to have her as a wife but unfortunately,(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Clyde W. Ford

Obatala

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 148-155), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.In the beginning, a single god-head called Orisa-nla is smashed into pieces with a rolling stone when he goes downhill by his servant, Atunda. The pieces of the almighty (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon Nigeria


Clyde W. Ford

Obatala

Cameroon Nigeria

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Amos Bobe Ngong

Origin and Settlement of the Kom People

Narrator: Moghaina (Should I say a story)Audience: Sighain (Yes, say it!)A long time ago, there were massive migrations of people from the North to the South of Cameroon. As a result, the Tikars entered the Mbam plain and a fraction of this group, the Kom people, broke off from them, travelled through Bamum and settled in Babessi in the Ndop plain where they met the Babessi (Shui*) people, who were already settled in that plain. These people happily welcomed the Kom people and coexisted with the(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Elisabeth Belomo

Origin of EVU (Evil Spirit) and AWU (Death) amongst the Beti-Fang, Cameroon

A long time ago, Zamba (God)*, the creator and father of humanity lived on earth among humans with a human appearance. He had a very beautiful wife (Mingon**) and a daughter. People in those days were pleased to live on earth. This pleasure was due to the fact that neither death nor hunger existed, because Zamba was always there to intervene. If a person was about to die, Zamba would revitalize him/her; he would equally go to places forbidden to men every morning in order to bring them food. Peo(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Raissa Tiola

Origin of Seh Lechuere

There lived a happy man called Negoue, with his family in a village called Tikato. He was very generous and kind. In fact, he was loved by everyone. He was a farmer, with very productive farms and the Gods also blessed him with many wives and children.One day, a spirit appeared to him at night and told him, “Don't feel frightened; I want to warn you of the evils that will befall this village in a few days; I advise you to leave this place together with your family and settle elsewhere.(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Etienne Nguelo

Siebanzhi

A long time ago in the Banka community, there lived a child named "Siebanzhi", which means “only God knows.” He was special. His birth and deeds clearly made him outstanding. In fact, he was born seven times in different years. The first time he came to the world, he died two months later and before he was buried, a mark was put on his stomach. The next year, the mother of the house gave birth again, but to the utter dismay of the villagers, they realised that the baby had (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Etienne Nguelo

Siebanzhi

Cameroon

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Clyde W. Ford

Sudika-mbambi: The Hero Child who Saved His Tribe

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 41-45), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.A certain Ambundu man, Kimanaueze goes to Luwanda to find work leaving behind his old father and young wife. While he is away, warriors from an enemy tribe, Makishi invade (...)

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COUNTRY: Angola


Rose Nanje Mande

The Bakundu Creation Myth

In the beginning, Obase (God) created Kongwe Mountain. Since he was alone, he created the great Botu tree, which he planted on the Kongwe Mountain to produce all the species of things on earth. The branches of the great Botu tree brought forth the various creatures that exist in the world today. One of the branches brought forth the human race, another cats, another dogs, the cows, the water bodies, the rocks and every other thing that exists.The branch that brought forth humans further forked i(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Robert Ba Ndangho Fomunyang

The Bali Creation Myth

In the beginning, Nikob (God) created the world and left it empty for a relatively long period of time. One day, he spread seeds of trees everywhere on earth. The trees grew so fast into different types and sizes. Among the so many types of trees Nikob created, there were some that were special. There were not only colossal and strange, with big as well as small roots but they were also rare to find. Nikob lived in these huge trees throughout and regularly studied the atmospheric temperature unt(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Aloys Nkong Kima

The Gods’ Plum Tree

There was a woman in Bioleh whose name was Nkeng. She was commonly called Anyinkeng because she was a mother to twin children. She was married to a man called Kang, and the names of their twins were Ngenyi and Asonganyi. Anyinkeng had a younger sister who came to babysit the twins at birth. At that time, the Nweh people were living eternally on earth. There was no form of illness nor death in the village.In the village, there was a special plum tree reserved only for the Gods of the tribe. It wa(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ndi-deng

The Lake that Travelled with the Undesirable Twins

Long, long ago,There lived a coupleThat got married andHad no child.The woman was alreadyThreatened by the family of herHusband.They were calling herAn old yam,A soundless gong.The woman was alsoAnxious to have children.People were sayingThat the joy of motherhoodLies in child bearing.She struggled with the husband,But they could not hearŊyàà ŋyààŋyàà [the cry of a newborn child]In their compound.People said,It is a family curse.They washed her in all th(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Chrysantus Mboh

The Mban

Mban is the dwelling place of the ancestors whose spirits incarnate in special stones. From time immemorial, it has served as a pillar of justice and truth in the community. In the early days, long before the Meta people settled in the Meta land, evil had already conquered the hearts of men. There were only twenty-nine families who were all descendants of the same paternal lineage. Twenty-nine great and honest fathers from the twenty-nine families of the land converged and came up with a code of(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Clyde W. Ford

The Miracle Worker

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 96-101.), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.A young man fails to find any damsel beautiful enough to be his wife in his village. So, he travels to a distant village in search of a wife against the counsel of his el(...)

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Foncha Wanka’a

The Musician and His Mythic Leaves

There lived a man who had many Wives and was always directing them On what to do.He had to tell them when to work And when to harvest.He was also a musician. One day he was about to travel to the Next village for a musical show.He instructed his wives and children To harvest crops in all the farms, but for one. At the beginning they followed their husband’s advice.Later on, as the crops in the first four farms Were getting finished, Their husban(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Egbe Ife

The Myth of Aziza

The original version of this myth appears in Egbe Efie's Marriage with Gods and Goddesses: in Classical and African Myths published by End-time Publishing House Ltd, Ibadan, 1999: pp 35-37. This is a summary of the myth. The full text can be read in the book cited above.Aziza was born with physical grace. His handsomeness was praised in songs and hymns all over the countryside. This made him grow up with the certitude that he had extraordinary assets. He became proud and lazy. When he got ma(...)

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COUNTRY: Nigeria


Alfred Ngoisa Lyonga

The Myth of Efasa-Moto

Efasa-Moto is the folkloric god of the Bakweri people at the foot of the Fako Mountain. He controls the entire “hill” from the North East Coast to the West Coast on the border with Balondo land in the Meme Division. Efasa-Moto is the male counterpart of the Liengu la Mwanja or the legendary “mammy water” or jengu (water goddess). After an agreement between the two, Efasa-Moto chose to live in the mountain while Liengu la Mwanja remained in the sea. Efasa- Moto and Liengu (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Egbe Ife

The Myth of Etarunyarha

The original version of this myth appears in Egbe Efie’s Marriage with Gods and Goddesses: in Classical and African Myths published by End-time Publishing House Ltd, Ibadan, 1999: pp 34 and 35. This is a summary of the myth. The full text can be read in the book cited above.Etarunyarha and his wife virtually subsisted on good men’s charity. One day, as Etarunyarha was strolling on the sandy bank of the river, thinking of how to bring his family out of poverty, he came across a lady w(...)

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COUNTRY: Nigeria


Ndimeh

The Myth of Lake Awing

Many, many years ago, The present lake Awing,Also called fo’gheme was in Bambili.Lake Bambili and Lake AwingWere twin lakes,They were together.At some point, there wasDisagreement between them.Lake Awing decided to leave (the narrator drank gently and asked the audience)“Hope the wine is good.”(audience) “They brought it yesterday”(narrator wiped his mouth after sipping the wine).This is how it happened:On his way,He saw Mbahnkah, a tapperAnd told him,&ldq(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Peter Mkong Bongjio

The Myth of Mnkong Moteh – The Enigma

A long time ago, a man appeared around Lake Oku. No one knew where he came from. He did not have any known parents or relatives, and spent all of his time near the lake and in the sacred forest of Lumetu. His name was Mnkong Moteh, and he came up during the reign of Nghanga, son of the legendary Nyanya, founder of the Ntul dynasty. Though Nghanga had mystical powers that he inherited from his mother, Mnkong Moteh fought and won Nghanga in a spiritual war that was fought in the lake, burnt most o(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Maurice Tangang

The Myth of the Origin of the Bambui

In the beginning,The Bambui people were with the other Tikaris.As they started moving to their present site,They had the all-powerful, The almighty Ntsu’uWho was their leader.He was very powerful;He had fought with lions and other wild animals.The people saw him as a demi-god.He had to lead them to their present site.As they started moving to the present site,There was a mysterious opening, closing and endOf the path they were following.Each time the path opened,Or each time somebody (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joseph Njong

The Origin of Black and White (Red) Races

The form of the notation reflects the rhythm of the performance. Capital letters indicate when the storyteller’s voice was high; italics indicate when the voice was low. In the beginning, God was alone.He had no company.He liked to see people.He liked to see people dance, run, play, and converse and do many things. [Aside by the storyteller] If we are living today... it is because God needed our company. [The storyteller wipes saliva that is dripping at the extreme right sid(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Peter Mkong Bongjio

The Origin of Lake Oku

A long time ago, a wandering traveler, who had apparently been rejected in many places, arrived the Oku Chief's palace. He looked very exhausted and had unkempt hair. He was well received and after a brief stay, he expressed his desire to stay and put an end to his wandering life. The Chief of Oku showed him a site on which to settle at Itoh, not too far from the palace. He complained, indicating that he would have preferred a place much farther, so that he could have enough land for himself(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Elias Mbome

The Origin of the Dry and Rainy Seasons

This is a reprint, with slight syntax changes, of the story as it appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 46-48) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. We have the permission of the publisher and the author to publish up to 10 myths in this collection in the context of our project on “Our Mythical Childhood…”. We are therefore thankful to The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd and Professor Mataeyou for granting us this (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Edmund Sama Titanji

The Origin of the Voma Cult in Bali Nyonga

A long time ago, in the land of Bali Nyonga, situated in the North-West Region of Cameroon, lamentations echoed throughout the village. The community was struck with unusual happenings: mothers lost their babies, wives lost their husbands, people went to the farms and never returned, the land was barren and so produced little or no crops, the villagers cried out to their fon for help because they could not stand the suffering they were undergoing. The Fon sent his ‘Nchindas*’ to go r(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mvongo Biya

The Origin of Witchcraft in Maka Land

There was once a couple in the Maka Land who shared love that was supposed to be eternal. The man was very good at setting traps for animals, and used to bring back fresh game to his beloved wife. They used to enjoy the game with their children. One day, the man decided to visit his traps. When he got to the last trap, he found a hedgehog (a symbol of witchcraft in the old Maka customs). The hedgehog greeted the man, and the man responded. The hedgehog asked the man if he had finished visiting h(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Philip Loh Dzadjih

The Origin of “Efiehnstemseh,” The Great Cave of Drums in Kedjom

Long long time ago, in Kedjom Ketinguh an extraordinarily beautiful girl, Shembom, was born to the Fon (or King). He named her Shembom, meaning the work of the Gods. As Shembom grew up, she became even more and more beautiful. Even as a girl, many families started competing for her hand in marriage. Her parents, however, rejected these offers. They wanted their daughter to grow up and choose a husband for herself among the most handsome men in the village. Eventually, two Gods fell in love with (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Lawrence Teneng

The Orign of Eternal Death

Long, long time ago,People used to die and come back to life.Life by then was eternal. There was resurrection after death, Old people died and came back young. (The audience interrupts),“What do you mean by dying and coming back young?”(Narrator continues), “Have you ever seen a snake, and what happens to it? At old age, it sheds the old layer and becomes young.” The period of death, was the period for the old to shed off their old coats and become young ag(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Sama Ambe

The Power of the Magic Ring

Capital letters indicate high pitch from narrator; italics indicate low pitch from narrator:The Boy and His Bag of SaltIn the beginning, When people used to live together,Animals were also communicating With people. Then came a time, When people started sending Their childrenTo go out in quest for wealth to nearby villages. There was a man, who had many children.A certain time came,He dispatched the children To go and look for money. Most of the children w(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ibrahim Mbgarouma

The Tikary Messiah

Some years back, there was a dragon which lived in a water source and had a great influence on the people living in that kingdom. Every year, the dwellers had to offer a virgin girl to appease it. When they failed to do so, it would come out of the water and devour anybody it met, whether child or adult. People lived in constant fear and starvation for they were too afraid to do either farming or trading. The king was so worried that he promised to reward, with his own crown, whoever would kill (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ibrahim Mbgarouma

The Tikary Messiah

Cameroon

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Theresia Abula, Emmanuel Matateyou

The Unfaithful Wife

The original published version of this myth appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 82-87) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the written authorization of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to modify the syntax of this particular myth and to make it shorter. We are therefore very than(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Theresia Abula, Emmanuel Matateyou

The Unfaithful Wife

Cameroon

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Sama Ambe

The Water God “Atutu” Marries the Most Beautiful Princess

The form of the notation reflects the rhythm of the performance. Capital letters indicate when the storyteller’s voice was high; italics indicate when the voice was low. I The Princess and the SuitorsLong time agoThere lived a beautiful princess, SHE WAS TOO BEAUTIFUL. She was known for turning down All suitors.She was always refusing these suitors,And looking for the most handsome and richest men on earth.The story went round the village,People came from distant places(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Gabriel Sira

The Wife of God

About a thousand years ago, the god of creation, Boumvouboum, together with his wife and the entire community, sent one of their daughters to the earth to find out how humans were reproducing their progenies. They had just noticed an exponential growth in the human population given that before then, humans were few and their lack of belief led to frequent deaths. So they chose to send their daughter to be born into the family of a very young couple. As a result, this couple gave birth to two chi(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Babila Mutia

Tikoloshe

According to Zulu myth, the Tikoloshe is a mischievous dwarf spirit that becomes invisible when it drinks water. It is said to rape women and bite people’s toes in their sleep as well as cause illness and death. Elders often use it to dissuade children from bad behaviour. It is believed that women who are harassed by witches at night offer Tikoloshe gifts such as salt and milk to keep off the witches from making love to them all night long*. Tikoloshes manifest in different forms such as d(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mume Fua Zofoa

Weei Nyui Fesha

Many years ago, during the reign of King Fuan Forting, there was a very humble and beautiful queen in the palace called Nah. She was an exemplary queen to her co-queens and a model for so many subsequent queens. She was respectful and, though she was privileged as the first queen of the land, she was often humble and considerate towards the other queens. The king loved her so much because she had a good heart. One day, she slept and did not wake up. The king was so worried. Thus, he summoned the(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Richard Ngamfu

Whatever Will Be, Will Be

So many years ago, Death had the habit of visiting people and giving them a leaf that contained the exact time they were to die. Death had visited so many people and as such was known and feared by many. Physically, he was huge, bearded and wrinkled. He lived in the great forest and was apparently the strongest youth in the world of the dead. In fact, those who saw him swore that he was three times the size of an adult human. He was hardly ever patient with those he visited, making any negotiati(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Godwin Doh Nuvaga

Why Birds Chirp in the Morning and at Dusk

So many years ago, God sent messages to the world through a strange red bird, called Nkub. Every year, Nkub brought annual messages from the great forests to the people. This special bird was only seen once every year and each time it flew from the forest into the land, it repeatedly sang a phrase in Mungaka, “chulog manikob” which is directly translated as “a message from God”. Whenever it flew into the land, it never landed until it got to the palace, where it delivered(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Benjamin Emeada

Why Humans and Animals Co-habit the Earth

When Oghene, the Supreme Being, created the earth and the Isoko people, his initial intention was for men to live forever. However, this idea was short-lived because the earth became overpopulated by animals which were also created by him. Due to this, there was a serious controversy between the animals and men. As they gathered to make deliberations as to the way forward, “toad” suggested that men should stay while the animals leave the earth but the “dog” contradicted t(...)

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COUNTRY: Nigeria


Joseph Eboa, Emmanuel Matateyou

Why Moon and Sun Live in Sky

The original published version of this myth appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 41-43) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the permission of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to summarize this particular myth. We are therefore very thankful to The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd and Professor M(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Martin Njoya

Why People Die and Do Not Come Back

The original published version of this myth appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 31-33) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the written authorization of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to summarize this particular myth because the original version is too long. We are therefore ve(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mvongo Biya

Why the Dead are Respected in Maka Land

A long time ago in the Maka Land, there lived four women full of ambition and passion for wealth. One of them farmed for profit while the three others were engaged in fishing. They were very satisfied with what they made out of their activities and did not waste any opportunity that could earn them more. They devoted all their time to their activities and ignored happenings that concerned the entire community. One day, one of the old men in the village died. Usually in such situations, the (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mofor Nchinda

Why The God Gave The Man The Cutlass and Woman The Hoe

In the beginning,God created this world.Immediately after creation,He thought everything was over.So he left and went up to live in the sky.He stayed there, stayed thereUntil his absence was noticed on earth.Chaos started.Nothing was going on well;People were quarrelling;People were fighting;Adultery was everywhere;Idleness was everywhere;There was total confusion.People wanted to know how they originated.They started complaining;Cursing themselves and the creator.God heard their worries; God he(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


NzeUmeokwonna G.C. Ezechukwu

Why the Human Back Has a Median Line

In ancient times, the world of humans and the world of the spirits were in close communion. Spirits visited human beings and human beings returned such visits. One day, a group of people visited the land of the spirits. The spirits welcomed them very well and entertained them with well-pounded foo-foo and bitter leaf soup, garnished with a lot of dried meat and fish. They ate to their fill. The spirits then served their visitors pots of fresh palm-wine. They drank and were merry. However, becaus(...)

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COUNTRY: Nigeria


Cosmas Aza

Why the People of Ngwokong no Longer Eat Frogs

In the olden days, there was a virtuous old woman in Ngwokong who was considered a model of communal morality. All the women in the community were often advised to emulate her character because she understood what it meant to be a woman and a mother. Even in her humility, her voice was the most eloquent when there was the need for women to assert their responsibilities and privileges in major traditional events. Everyone was convinced that her husband was blessed because many longed to have her (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Matthew Ojongnsi

Why The Sky and The Earth Are Apart

Many years ago, when there were no trees on earth, there was an affable and visibly strong bond between Sky and Earth. They were fun of each other as the birds are to the trees. In fact, their interactions passed for a belief that they were bounded by the blood of a common pedigree. Though they both had large families, Sky had impeccably beautiful daughters with sky-like complexions while Earth had strikingly attractive sons, with muscles and fine brown skins. Since Sky and Earth were close, the(...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joe Tabi Ekema, Emmanuel Matateyou

Why the Thumb is Short

This is a reprint of the story as it appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 49-50) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. We have the permission of the publisher and the author to publish up to 10 myths in this collection in the context of our project on “Our Mythical Childhood…”. We are therefore thankful to The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd and Professor Mataeyou for granting us this permission.Many, many, many y(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joe Tabi Ekema, Emmanuel Matateyou

Why the Thumb is Short

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Ndoe

Why There are Many Kingdoms in Moumba

In distant times; the very olden days,Which no man can remember with exactitude,There lived a man and his family in the forest.This man was called Kombo and he had two wives:The first wife, Songou, gave birth to two boys,And the second, Nadamba, gave birth to one boy and many girls.Kombo was happy because he had three sons who would continue his lineage:Gbabio and Lamy were the sons of the first wife, andGarba, was the son of the second.Kombo constructed an estate where he lived with his family.(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Atangche Munga

Why There Is Plenty in Palaces

Long time ago,In the olden days,There lived a man and his wife.They had two children,A boy and a girl.A time came when there was Famine in the village.One day,As these children,Were coming back from their daily activities,Their parents were quarrelling,About eating one of them.The father wanted the girl to be killed;The mother wanted the boy to be killed.As the boy and girl heard the argument.They planned to escape.Never to go to their house again.They started on a journeyTo an unknown land(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Pa Buweh , Emmanuel Matateyou

Why Tortoise Has a Cracked Shell

This is a slightly modified version of the story as it appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 63-65) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. We have permission of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”. We are therefore very thankful to The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd and Professor Matateyou for granting us this permission.Once upon a (...)

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COUNTRY: Cameroon


Maurice Tangang

Why “Kighori” has Remained a Holy Ground for the People of Bambui

Long time ago,After the Bambui people settled here,The person who led themInto this land disappeared. Before his disappearance,He told the people, I WILL SHOW YOU PEOPLE A SIGNThe time came, And the people saw the sign. There are three principal shrines here (in Bambui),These shrines were seen through This promised sign.  One day,As the people were moving around, They came to a place, Near Mfontah.A forest suddenly emerged there. (The forest is not th(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon