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Showing 59 entries for tag: Myths of origin

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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

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Séverin Millet, Michel Piquemal

Fabulous Mythological Tales [Récits fabuleux de la mythologie]

The book begins with two short introductions (each signed separately by the author, clearly a reprint of the introductions published in the two-volume first edition) explaining why the author decided not to rely on various mythologies but rather go back directly to sources, i.e. to ancient authors who transmitted mythological stories. As a result, Michel Piquemal produced a collection of myths divided in two parts (volumes in the 2006 editions): Des héros et des monstres [Heroes and Monst(...)

literary

YEAR: 2006

COUNTRY: France


Nikola Kucharska

Greek Myths for Children in Pictures [Mity greckie dla dzieci w obrazkach]

The book presents seven most popular Greek myths in a comic book style, using illustrations with almost no words. Every myth has its own two pages and can be viewed on vertically or horizontally displayed page. The myths in the book are presented chronologically, after a short summary of all seven myths at the beginning, the reader enters the world of unknown or misunderstood mythology. The first myth shows the creation of the world. The comic book style presentation leads the viewer from illust(...)

literary

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Poland


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(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


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(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


The LEGO Company

Lego Minifigures (Series): Faun

This minifigure is of average height of around 1 inch tall. His head has curled grey horns protruding from his skull, with goat like ears and curly brown hair. On his chest, he has curly hair on his pectoral muscles. The minifigure’s skin is coloured yellow and his legs are brown and goat-like. The sole accessory that accompanies the minifigure is a short brown flute.The biography depicts Faun as carefree, living in the forest where he "plays his flute, makes up silly riddles, and dan(...)

material

YEAR: 2016


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(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


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(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


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.(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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 (...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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 (...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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 (...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Nigeria


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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


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(...)

oral

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 (...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon Nigeria


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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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.(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Wilfred Jackson

The Goddess of Spring

Jackson’s short animation re-tells a classical mythological story about the origins of seasons. It opens with an idyllic scene where animals, dwarfs and flowers dance around a beautiful girl, called in the song “The Goddess of Eternal Spring”. Crowned with a floral coronet by birds and sitting on a throne among nature (in the central position of the frame), she is shown as the most important (in an anthropocentric way) character in this picture. The situation changes when the e(...)

audiovisual

YEAR: 1934

COUNTRY: United States of America


Eto’o

The Loss of The Fong Totem

A long time ago, Fong, a village in the Beti clan was constantly haunted by epidemics, which caused the mysterious deaths of loved ones and the destruction of culture. This situation forced the people to look for ways through which they could protect themselves from these attacks. So, some elders of the village took advantage of the presence of a young pregnant woman in the village and initiated her unborn baby, so that he could serve as their protector after birth. The baby was finally born, bu(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Jean Njome Epole

The Myth of Ellah The Sacred Rock

A long time ago, there existed a sacred rock called “Ellah” in a village known as Nkonjnine, situated in the Mungo sub division. This sacred rock served as a shield against all invasions in the village. Whenever there was any danger, custodians of the rock would mobilize the population to take refuge in the rock. In such circumstances, the rock opened up for the villagers to enter and later closed after everybody was in. The rock could expand to contain more people as the need arises(...)

oral

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 (...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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 (...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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 (...)

oral

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(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Eveline Keko Ngang

The Rock-Soldiers

A long time ago, when intertribal wars were still very common among migrating communities, a certain warring village attacked the Mankon warriors. Awasom Tambu, a Mankon Chief Priest, who was at the same time a prophet, chanted some incantations and transformed his warriors into a heap of rocks. The assailants arrived the battle ground only to discover that the Mankon warriors were no longer more there. They were confused about what must have become of the soldiers. They were ready to fight and (...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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 (...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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 (...)

oral

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(...)

oral

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

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Jacqueline Meguimgue

Why the Yemba People Do Not Farm on Certain Days of the Week

A long time ago in Dschang, the people led a peaceful life. Individual habitations were pretty far from one another. Powerful men in the village occupied vast portions of lands so that they could be heads of families and later rulers in those areas. Thus, many lived in isolated areas. This dream of living in isolation was deferred by a sudden invasion of the land by an evil spirit. After a futile struggle to combat the ravaging evil spirit, the villagers thought of one of their brothers in a dis(...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon


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

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 (...)

oral

COUNTRY: Cameroon