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Alice Werner

The Were-Wolf Husband

There was a girl, who, after attaining maturity, rejected all the suitors that came for her hand in marriage. This girl’s wish was to have a perfect husband. Her parents, who did not want to have a commoner for a son-in-law, supported her decision. One day, a sword dance was organized in the girl’s village, and young men came from far and near to take part in the dance. Amongst them was a tall and handsome young man who was the centre of attention for every young girl. He wore (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1933

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Alice Werner

The Were-Wolf Husband

United Kingdom 1933

african Other Traditions


Kiazpora Book Series

A Messob Gift to Lula’s Friend

Lula decides to offer a messob* to her friend as a gift in honor of their friendship. She asks her mother if it is a good idea and her mother agrees. She looks at the messob basket made by her mother and is very excited. Lula knows how to bake and also how to make traditional baskets and she takes some weaving tools from her mother’s kit box for that. The next day Lula looks for palms and straw to weave the traditional basket and her mother permits her to use some of the straw she had kept(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2019

COUNTRY: United States of America


Kiazpora Book Series

A Messob Gift to Lula’s Friend

United States of America 2019

african Other Traditions


Werewere Liking

A New Earth. African Ritual Theatre [Une Nouvelle Terre. Théâtre-Rituel]

The entry is based on the English translation of the play by Siga Asanga, Jeanne N. Dingome, Innocent Futcha and Nalova P. Lyonga under the title: African Ritual Theatre. The Power of Um and A New Earth. San Francisco: International Scholars Publication, 1996, 61-89. This play is a sequel to the 1979 version of the same title, reviewed in this database.It is a play written in three movements. The first movement opens in an imaginary village with a man, Nguimbus, arguing with his wife, Soo, (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1980

COUNTRY: Ivory Coast


Ngwa J. Neba

A Royal Turmoil

The novel begins with the Fon* startled by the noise that has awakened him from sleep: lightning, thunder and then a storm; things that are unusual in the dry season. Before this happens, he had a dream in which three of his wives (queens) left his presence and excrete on the path leading up to their houses. In the same dream, he saw the sacred tree of the village in flames and a voice from nowhere telling him to “cleanse the village”. All these led the Fon to the conclusion that all(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ngwa J. Neba

A Royal Turmoil

Cameroon 2005

african Other Traditions


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about a Giant, and the Cause of Thunder

A long time ago, there lived a man and his wife. He called himself “A-Man–among-Men” (henceforth referred to here as “the pretender”) and was very confident of his strength. One day, his wife went out to draw water from a well but returned with an empty pot because the well was too deep. On her way back, she met a strange woman and her son, who were also on their way to the well. They happened to be family members of the real “A-Man-among-Men” (hencefort(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1913

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about a Giant, and the Cause of Thunder

United Kingdom 1913

african Other Traditions


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about a Maiden and the Pumpkin

There was once a rich man called Alabarma, whose wife, Watapansa gave birth to a girl called Furaira; the man decided that he did not wish to raise a hand to her. One day Watapansa took Furaira to the bush to relieve herself. There, the child saw a pumpkin and asked her mother to harvest it for her to play with. Her mother refused because it was the sole pumpkin in the patch, and she did not want to disturb it. This made Furaira cry all the way home. Once there, the father asked the cause (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1913

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about a Maiden and the Pumpkin

United Kingdom 1913

african Other Traditions


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about an Orphan Which Was the Origin of the Saying “The Orphan with a Coat of Skin is Hated, but When It Is a Metal One He Is Honoured”

There was a man who died and left two sons and their mothers, his wives. Time passed, and one of the mothers fell sick. No matter the quantity and quality of medicine that she took, there was no amelioration. Realizing that she would die, she swore in the name of God and told the other woman that she was leaving her son for her to take care of. The other woman (i.e. co-wife) accepted this agreement. One day, she died, and when the funeral was over, her son started rearing fowls with hi(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1913

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about Three Youths All Skilled in Certain Things, and How They Used That Skill to Circumvent a Difficulty

Three young men (known as the king of wrestlers, the king of prayer and the king of archers) went to a neighbouring village with young girls. On their way, they came across a stream, where the water was so shallow that it barely reached their ankles. They crossed with ease, arrived where the girls were, greeted them and carried off one each. On their way back, they found that the waters of the stream had risen, and it had become so deep that they could not get into it. Since none of th(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1913

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


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

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Elisabeth Belomo

Abobo Ndene and Otene Nka'a

Cameroon 2017

oral Other Traditions


Dapo Adeleke

Adamu and His Horse

Adamu and His Horse is a Children’s fiction, didactic and with thematic thrusts yarned from oral tradition. Adamu is a young and ambitious young man. His parents migrated to Garinlafiya long time ago from their ancestral village where they were relatively wealthy but had to leave because of famine. His father had a retinue of slaves but trusted one. On the night of their departure from Garinlafiya, he tied together most of his property and money which were too heavy to carry on the back of(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2004

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Dapo Adeleke

Adamu and His Horse

Nigeria 2004

african Other Traditions


Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Warrior

Akata Warrior recounts the story of Sunny Nwazue, who is a leopard* Nigerian-American albino girl, struggling to understand her true self through the secret leopard world**, after officially undergoing initiation into a local Leopard Society***. The key to leopards’ extraordinary power is their uniqueness or ‘natural’ flaws. In Sunny’s case, it is her albinism. Sunny finds it difficult to adapt to both worlds, since she is the only leopard person in her family.  One (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: United States of America


Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Warrior

United States of America 2017

african Other Traditions


Izechukwu John Ekeh

Akwugo, the Gods of Our Land

Lebechi was a beautiful girl with many unfortunate experiences, one of which was childlessness. These misfortunes continued even when she became pregnant with her husband, Ajulu. One day, Ugele, Lebechi’s closest friend visited her and just when she was about to take her leave, Lebechi started labour. With the help of Ugele, Lebechi delivered a baby boy. Unfortunately, Lebechi collapsed. Shortly afterwards, Ugele met Ajulu and told him the news about his wife’s putting to birth but A(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2019

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Izechukwu John Ekeh

Akwugo, the Gods of Our Land

Nigeria 2019

african Other Traditions


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


Joseph Ndipowah Teneng

An Orphan Girl and Her Stepmother

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Kemonde Wangmonde

An Orphan’s Tears

The novel opens when Ngeh* is walking along the road in Bay City and stubs his toe. An old man, almost the age of his father, appears from nowhere and tells him that in the African traditional belief, hitting one’s toe is a sign of bad luck. Ngeh gives a deaf ear to this old man because he takes him for a swindler, but the old man tells him he will understand someday. Later in a taxi, Ngeh contemplates about their low standard of living and his father’s incapability to pay his school(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Kemonde Wangmonde

An Orphan’s Tears

Cameroon 2005

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Ghana


Enoch Tanyi

Anansi

Ghana

oral Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Annick Ndo Medjoto

Angon Nana and Abomo Nguele

Cameroon 2017

oral Other Traditions


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


Cyprian Assam Egbe

Arrah and the Slave Girl

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Chinua Achebe

Arrow of God

Arrow of God is a classic tragedy which depicts the fall of a tragic hero caused by both his hubris and outside forces beyond his understanding. The title comes from an Igbo proverb in which a person or event is said to represent the Will of GodEzeulu, the chief priest of the Umuaru clan, wields enormous power over the six federated villages that make up the clan. Part of his role is to store up twelve healthy yams in his barn which he roasts and eats without salt or palm oil immediately he sees(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1964

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Chinua Achebe

Arrow of God

United Kingdom 1964

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ogbeh Peter Ogbeh

Awele and the Stranger

A long time ago, there lived a very powerful lady named Awele. She was an excellent hunter. In one of her hunting expeditions she stumbled across a path which led her to the kingdom of Anye. Upon arrival she came across Prince Azuka who was being attacked by a group of warriors. Awele immediately intervened and helped fight off the prince’s assailants. Prince Azuka was grateful and brought Awele to the palace. King Ezewanyi of Anye immediately offered a part of his kingdom to Awele as a si(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2018

COUNTRY: Nigeria


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 means the world. Earth created everything: animate and inanimate. In fact, everything came into existence thanks to the Earth. According to the myth, the world is found at Nzsyè**, which means, the be(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Tchidi Chikere, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji

Blood Sisters

Work in progress(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2003

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Tchidi Chikere, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji

Blood Sisters

Nigeria 2003

african Other Traditions


Brey Houzibe

Burma-Te-Dge

In the beginning, among the Ngambays people of Mundu in the South of Chad, there lived a young pregnant woman, who constantly went out to fetch wood in a nearby forest. While in the forest, she wanted to lift a big log of wood, and suddenly her baby came out of her womb together with the placenta. In this village, the placenta was considered as a second baby. She took the placenta home and abandoned the real baby in the forest. After a long time, an old woman who had also been fetching wood in t(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Chad


Brey Houzibe

Burma-Te-Dge

Chad

oral Other Traditions


Efua Theodora Sutherland

Edufa

In her three-act play, Efua Sutherland, depicts the life of a traditional and influential Ghanaian man, Edufa, whose pride and stubbornness results in the death of his wife, Ampoma. Set in a little Ghanaian community, the story begins with a prologue that introduces characters and the dramatic events that will ensue. In the prologue, Edufa’s sister, Abena, patiently sits in the courtyard, gathering dew in a black pot. As the prologue reveals, the dew she collects, along the water that she (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1967

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Efua Theodora Sutherland

Edufa

United Kingdom 1967

african Other Traditions


Daurette Bidja

Ejengi, the Provider of Light and Water

In the beginning was the powerful Komba. He was the god of the Baka people. He lived in the darkest part of the forest with his wife and children. Komba’s powers came from two principal sources: first, from his sacred calabash in which his drinking water was kept. Nobody had the right to look at it, talk less of touching it. Second, he had a torch that could only be used by him. He also had a garden full of succulent fruits that were consumed by him alone. This god of the Baka was so greed(...)

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(...)

oral Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Elphinstone Dayrell

Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria, West Africa (Book): The King and the Ju Ju Tree

King Udo Ubok Udom, a very popular king, lived in the land of Itam and ruled over an inland town that had no river. He was a very committed husband and father to his wife and daughter, the latter of whom was now a full-grown and a pleasant-looking girl. King Udo was so fond of her that he considered her the apple of his eye. Having been away for two years, the king realized that the spring behind his house where he usually had his bath had been occupied by a gigantic tree. Consequently, he no lo(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1910

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Elphinstone Dayrell

Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria, West Africa (Book): The Woman with Two Skins

The Woman with Two Skins is a myth of the people of Calabar in Nigeria. This myth is centred on the mysteries surrounding Adiaha, the Spider’s daughter, who had two skins and married King Eyamba I. Her inner skin was beautiful, and her outer skin was ugly. People were only aware of the outer skin because her mother had warned her not to expose her inner one. She could unmask herself at night to sleep and veil herself at sunrise. She also promised her mother not to expose it until a c(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1910

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


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,(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Daniel Orowole Olorunfemi Fagunwa

Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter’ Saga [Ògbójú Ọdẹ nínú Igbó Irúnmalẹ̀]

The novel opens with the narrator’s encounter with Akara-ogun, the great hunter of the village. Worried that he may die at any moment and that the world might forget him, the hunter asks the narrator to pick up his pen and write down his hunting story. He opens up by talking about his immediate family and his name, Akara-ogun (Compound-of-Spells). Because he has wronged God by getting married to a witch, a spirit is sent to kill him but it spares him and asks him to kill his witch wife. No(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1938

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Mama Asanatou

Gheuh

In the distant past in the Baba 1 village, a mysterious lake, called Gheuh*, suddenly appeared in broad daylight in the lower section of the village**, to the happiness of the people of the village and their king, who saw in the lake a source of water, fish etc. for their sustenance. They had not had water for a long period and the people had been in great suffering. However, a short period afterward, war broke out between the invisible inhabitants of this lake and their king on the one hand, an(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mama Asanatou

Gheuh

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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.(...)

oral Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mathieu Djele

God and His People

Cameroon 2017

oral Other Traditions


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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Elias Mbome

How Dogs Came to Live as Domestic Animals

Cameroon 1997

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

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 Jumneh came 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. (...)

oral Other Traditions

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 counselors 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(...)

oral Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Gideon Ngafi

How Lunga Went to the Sky Alive

Cameroon 2017

oral Other Traditions


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

YEAR: 2016

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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

How the Whip and the “Maara” Spoon (a Broken Bit of Calabash) Came to the Haunts of Men

A man had two wives: one of whom had children and the other who did not but stayed with an adopted child. The man despised the wife with whom he had children. Whenever there was hunger, he went to the bush and brought food for the childless wife. One day, he went to the bush, found twenty guinea-fowl eggs, and gave the largest to the wife with children. She boiled it and gave it to her children. Another day arrived, and the woman with children went to the bush and brought corn, which she stirred(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1913

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Egbe Ifie

Iseregwe

This myth is found in: Marriage with Gods and Goddesses (in Classical and African Myths) by Egbe Ifie, 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 older one, in spite of her pompous and unpleasa(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Egbe Ifie

Iseregwe

Nigeria 1999

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Desire Guifo

Jengu

Cameroon 2017

oral Other Traditions


Nneka Bennett, Robin Bernard

Juma and the Honey Guide: An African Story

The story begins with Bakari telling his son Juma that the honey-guide bird is calling for him and he will follow him to bring home a treat. Juma opts to follow his father and his father accepts, promising to teach him how to get honey. Both father and son then follow the singing bird out of the village into the forest and walk past a number of different kinds of wildlife: giraffes, ostriches, zebras and a family of warthogs. Finally, they come to a group of yellow acacia trees beside a waterhol(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1996

COUNTRY: United States of America


Nneka Bennett, Robin Bernard

Juma and the Honey Guide: An African Story

United States of America 1996

african Other Traditions


Mfone Nde-Zama

Just Another Woman: A Play with an Introduction by Peter Suh Tangie

Just Another Woman is a play about children's rights – a topic which frightens most traditional parents in Cameroon/Africa who think that the modern child is stubborn, bad and rotten with no hope for redemption. The fears of such parents (and they are many of them in the traditional communities in Cameroon) stem from the fact that they think old customs and traditions that they hold dear and see as the best way of life are threatened. The author challenges this old-fashion mentality be(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Siddi Hamadou

Kaikiyourou

In a very long distant past in Hadjarai in the Northern part of Chad, a basket-maker met Mr. Death, who was going to the market to sell his teeth. When Death realized that the basket-maker was lacking one tooth, he offered her a tooth, which she tried to fit in. Once she put the tooth in the hollow space in her mouth, it stuck and couldn’t come out. Death cried: “Give back my tooth”. The basket-maker tried in vain to remove the tooth. She promised to give Death a stable full of(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Chad


Beyana Ngarbaï

Kazaye and the Horn of Abundance

There was once a hunter in the village of Lere, in the Mayo Kebi East area of N’djamena in Chad. He was called Kazaye. He always hunted to feed his family, and would keep fruits for them upon return home. One fateful day during his hunting expedition, he felt itches on his body and decided to take a bath in the river. While taking his bath, he happened to touch a hard and twisted object (a horn) inside the water. He immediately took it out of the water and out of curiosity, started singing(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Chad


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 Other Traditions

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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Angola


Clyde W. Ford

Kimanaueze

Angola 1999

african Other Traditions


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.(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Uganda


Clyde W. Ford

Kintu

Uganda 1999

african Other Traditions


Verna Aardema, Joe Cepeda

Koi and the Kola Nuts: A Tale from Liberia

Chief Ogumefu dies, and his youngest son, Koi, does not get a share of the royal possessions when the old Wise Man divvies them up. Being a hunter, Koi arrives from the forest and finds his three older brothers hurrying off with their inherited animals and ivory. Koi asks the old Wise Man for his share, but the older man just stares at him. Then, he finds a little kola nut* tree and hands it over to Koi. Koi, at first, feels cheated but soon realises that he can make something out of t(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: United States of America


Verna Aardema, Joe Cepeda

Koi and the Kola Nuts: A Tale from Liberia

United States of America 1999

african Other Traditions


Egbe Ifie

Kruku

The original version of this myth appears in Egbe Ifie'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 (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Egbe Ifie

Kruku

Nigeria 1999

african Other Traditions


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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Cameroon Ghana


Clyde W. Ford

Kwasi Benefo

Cameroon Ghana 1999

african Other Traditions


Alice Werner

Kwege and Bahati

A long time ago, a man got married to Mulamuwingu of the Uwingu* clan. Mulamuwingu’s new home was a two-day journey away from her brother’s (Muwingu) home. The man and Mulamuwingu had a son and named him Kwege. When the man dies, Mulamuwingu inherits a slave called Bahati. The society she lives in is riddled with taboos. One taboo is that Mulamuwingu should never allow rainwater to touch her because she is an off-spring of the sky God. If it does touch her, she will die imm(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1933

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Alice Werner

Kwege and Bahati

United Kingdom 1933

african Other Traditions


Alice Werner

Liongo Fumo

The myth of Liongo Fumo* is about a Swahili poet, warrior, and hero who braved diverse barriers till his death. He was a tall and brave man whose younger brother, Shah Daudi Mringwari, the Sultan of Pate, hated him. Their polygamous father, Shaka Mashah, favoured the latter because the former’s mother was more miserable. However, Liongo’s extraordinary stature, fighting and poetic skills gained the attention of many. His brother’s jealousy leads him to plot to get rid(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1933

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Alice Werner

Liongo Fumo

United Kingdom 1933

african Other Traditions


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 (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Angola


Clyde W. Ford

Lituolone

Angola 1999

african Other Traditions


Onyeka Opara

Lost in the African Forest of Zuki

Young Amira and her family live in the village of Zuki. She does all her house chores and equally assists her mother in the kitchen. She loves and is being loved by all in the house. She becomes a good friend of stubborn Bozo, when she challenges her. Bozo is so stubborn and hard-headed that no form of punishment from her parents can restrain her. Amira's parents do not like their daughter making friends with the disrespectful and hard-headed Bozo. But Amira admires Bozo for her adventurousn(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: United States of America


Onyeka Opara

Lost in the African Forest of Zuki

United States of America 2016

african Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Musi Seth Pie

Mamagieh

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Ruby Yayra Goka, Edmund Opare

Mama’s Amazing Cover Cloth

Mama uses her cover cloth (a piece of cloth that remains after the seamstress has sewn the kaba*) for multiple purposes. These uses include: tying the cloth around her waist or head, protecting a newborn baby from the scorching sun, strapping the baby on her back, serving as a support to carry heavy objects as well as a bank where she saves money, and a mat on which the baby is laid to sleep. Most importantly, it is used by both men, women and children to perform different types of dances and as(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2018

COUNTRY: Ghana


Ruby Yayra Goka, Edmund Opare

Mama’s Amazing Cover Cloth

Ghana 2018

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Babila Mutia

Mami-Wata

Cameroon 2017

oral Other Traditions


Guidang Danzabe

Matching, the Rainmaker

The myth goes that one day among the Mundang people the chief’s daughters decided to go and look for walnuts and millet stalks, to fabricate vegetable salt. On their way, they arrived in the village of the wicked (devils) and everything there was strange. The sap of a cactus was the only thing to take as liquid in that land. They collected some to drink on the way. These girls, who were constantly very thirsty, finished the sap from their cactus on the way before reaching their final desti(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Chad


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Peter Tamukong

Mijini

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Tanzania


Clyde W. Ford

Miseke and Thunder Man

Tanzania 1999

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

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 (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Andiensa Yuh

Mitofchuofoyn – Wiser than the King

Cameroon 1997

african Other Traditions


Yaël Farber

Molora

Klytemnestra appears before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and admits murdering her husband. She considers the murder as an act of bravery, and her husband’s destiny. Her daughter, Elektra, then takes the floor and expresses her displeasure and indignation at her mother’s deeds. Both mother and daughter are now committed to the process of unearthing the past. They take us to a period when Elektra was seven years old. The murder is re-enacted. Because of the brutal kill(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Amos Tutuola

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Just like his first novel, The Palm-wine Drinkard, Amos Tutuola’s second novel, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts has its roots in the folkloric oral tradition of the Yoruba tribe of the Southwest of Nigeria. The author uses the first person narrative technique to tell his story set in the jungle inhabited by goblins and other weird and fantastic monsters acting in the spiritual realm. As common in folklores, the basic themes of the novel are focussed around didactic instructions to (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1954

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Amos Tutuola

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

United Kingdom 1954

african Other Traditions


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.Photo designed by Flavie Ariane Nlend, Research Assistant.(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Anatole Ikuana

Myth of Dzàna Ngazok

In the beginning, there was a man called Dzàna Ngazok, who had a very beautiful wife called Angonomane. He loved and cherished her with all his heart and with all his soul. Unfortunately, Angonomane died. After her funeral, Dzàna Ngazok decided to follow her to the world of the dead in order to bring her back to the world of the living. He prepared himself; took his machete, his lance and his dog. He walked for days and nights traversing hills, forests and bushes. When he was tired(...)

oral Other Traditions

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 (...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Moussa Khalidou

Myth of Issah

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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 children, 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(...)

oral Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


NzeUmeokwonna G.C. Ezechukwu

Myth of the Departed River

Nigeria

oral Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Gideon Mbangmoh

Myth of the Láng

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


George Nebachi

Myth of the Nsaani Mubaburu

The Mbebili people had their market day that they used to hold on their holy 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 (...)

oral Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


George Nebachi

Myth of the Nsaani Mubaburu

Cameroon 2017

oral Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Soliey Mbezenyuy

Myth of the Origin of Lake Wasibel

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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ntiege Mesumbe

Myth of the Origin of the Bakossi People

In the beginning there lived a skilful lonely hunter in the Bakossi land called “Ngoe” or “Ngweh”. One day, he went hunting in the mountains, and after a long hunt, he did not catch any game. Exhausted, thirsty and hungry, he decided to rest under a baobab. Before he could close his eyes, he had an eerie feeling around him. Suddenly, he felt the presence of something around him and thought it was a wild animal. In that shock, he opened his eyes only to discover a very bea(...)

oral Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mohamadou Houlaï

Myth of the Origin of the Logone River

In the long distant time in the past, the Sao people who live in a very vast territory had all the riches that God bestowed upon them. These included fertile lands, beautiful women and physically strong men. God had an agreement with their leader, where He promised not to refuse any of their requests for additional bounties. These people were unusually very tall and well-built such that they could reach the sky, the house of God, just by stretching up their hand. In the local language it is said(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Chad


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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Saïdou Kitikil

Myth of the Sacred Fish, “Mubala”, among the Giziga People

Mubala is a sacred fish in the Giziga land, which appears in several colours and it is revered among the Giziga people in the north of Cameroon. The myth states that at the beginning of time, when the Giziga people were migrating from Sudan toward Cameroon (specifically Maroua, where they are presently settled), they had no leader to guide them. They were moving away in search of fertile land for agriculture, water body for fishing and forest for hunting. One day when they arrived at a lake at t(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Diane Modjo

Myth of the Shye Vak Vak

A long time ago, in Bayangam village, there was a plague. Almost everybody was suffering from one mysterious illness or another. Traditional doctors from far and near did all they could to remedy the situation to no avail. One day, one of the young traditional healers of the village was offering sacrifices to the gods of the land and suddenly, he saw his late father’s spirit in front of him. The man got frightened but the spirit reassured him that he was his father and that he shouldn&rsqu(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


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 Other Traditions

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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Eleanor Zofoa

Nä’Si

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Cosmas Aza

Ndàmìníp

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Peter Ambe

Ndongbiko

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon, Patricia C. McKissack

Never Forgotten

The story opens with a griot’s warning that white folks will invade Africa, capture blacks, and sell them as goods. He recounts the story of Dinga, a well-respected blacksmith who, after losing his beloved wife, decides to raise his newborn baby boy all by himself. Although elderly women in the village advise him to remarry or give out his son as requires their culture and tradition, Dinga rather dedicates his son to the Mother Elements (the goddess of the earth, the goddess of the wind, t(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2011

COUNTRY: United States of America


Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon, Patricia C. McKissack

Never Forgotten

United States of America 2011

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Elisabeth Belomo

Ngan-Medza

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Pierre Nyobe

Ngok Lituba and the Tree of Rejuvenation

“Ngok Lituba” is a pierced rock 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 from(...)

oral Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Nde Fru

Ngoniton

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Peter Tancho

Nifo'o

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Chad


Losngar Nodjidoumngar

Njeh bôlh je

Chad

oral Other Traditions


Mama Asanatou

Njeundem

In a very distant past, a certain man who owned a very big farm lived in a certain village in the Bamun kingdom and wild animals would often come from a nearby bush to devour his crops. He had two sons; one was very aggressive and rude and the other one was very humble and kind. He also owned two spears which he bequeathed to these two sons before he died. The man told his sons that these spears were the only weapons to use to fight the intruding animals. The spears were specifically marked so t(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mama Asanatou

Njeundem

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Mama Asanatou

Njintapmayo

A very long time ago, there lived a man, Njintapmayo*, in a far distant village. He had several wives and children and they all lived together in a very large compound. This man was a gourmand (big eater) and was fond of moving around all the time looking for food to eat. On one fateful day, he went to a road junction and saw a large basket of food and meat covered in a huge wooden container. He called for the owner but did not see anyone, so he asked: “Who is here? Please come and let me (...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mama Asanatou

Njintapmayo

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Musi Seth Pie

Nongu

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

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,(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Rosa Foyenka Lukong

Nya’ti and Her Frog Lover

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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 goes downhill when it is smashed into pieces with a rolling stone pushed down by his servant, Atunda. The pieces of t(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Cameroon Nigeria


Clyde W. Ford

Obatala

Cameroon Nigeria 1999

african Other Traditions


Thierry Ntamack

On the Road of an Angel [Sur la route d’un ange]

On the Road of an Angel is a very popular Cameroonian movie which confirms the well-known assertion that ‘God walks straight on crooked lines’. The movie opens with Mrs Beaufia, the CEO of a company, reciting a Christian prayer (Holy Mary) in the native language, Ewondo*. In front of her are a series of candle lights. She is praying to God for the peaceful ascent of her late daughters’ soul in heaven. In the next scene, we are introduced to Tony, the main protagonist in the sto(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2011

COUNTRY: Cameroon


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Brey Houzibe

Origin of Ancestral Worship

In the olden days, there lived a patriarch by the name Akoa among the Garap people of Abeche in the Northern part of Chad. He was a member of the council of elders of the village. In this village there were certain hours of the afternoon which were believed to be dangerous for any person to be out in the farm or near a certain river. This hour was the time that the inhabitants of the underworld would come out to take a rest in the human world. Akoa, the patriarch violated this tradition by going(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Chad


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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Adebayo Tijani

Osun Sengese

Osun was a very beautiful Yoruba girl who was loved and admired by many people in her village. She was also an excellent hairdresser and most women flocked to her to get their hair done. Osun fell in love with Oluodemi, whom she finally married. Long after their marriage Osun could not conceive but her husband was patient in waiting for the gods to bless their marriage with the fruit of the womb. One day, Osun was on her way to the stream when she started querying the gods for not blessing her w(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Adebayo Tijani

Osun Sengese

Nigeria 2017

african Other Traditions


John Pepper Clark

Ozidi

In Ozidi, J. P. Clark depicts a series of crises in the state of Orua. The play begins with the Story-Teller, who reminiscences the death of six kings in four years in the state of Orua. The Story-Teller also relates the need for a new king on the vacant throne. The council of elders of the land (Ofe, The Short, Azezabife, The Skeleton, Agbogidi, The Nude and Oguaran, The Giant) do not listen to the elders’ plea that time be taken to select a new king. On their own decision, they proceed w(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1966

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


John Pepper Clark

Ozidi

United Kingdom 1966

african Other Traditions


Beyana Ngarbaï

Ping the Precious Monkey

From the beginning of time, when the women of the Pala clan in the western part of Chad were pregnant, there was only one way for them to give birth - their wombs had to be opened with a knife to remove the baby, and they would inevitably die in the process. One day a pregnant woman, realizing that she would soon go through the same fatal process, escaped to the forest and sat under a big tree, lamenting her situation to the forest. Then, the forest god appeared to her in the form of a(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Chad


Gabriel Okey Okonkwo, Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Sacrifice of Hope: Part I and II

The movie Sacrifice of Hope is a sequel of the Nigerian movie Sacrifice of Tears. This sequel of the movie Sacrifice of Tears begins with Ifeoma’s father (Mazi Uche) crying and cursing at Amadioha, the god of Buchi for afflicting strange illnesses and happenings on the land and especially on his wife Ebele (Ifeoma’s mother). He cries in confusion and decides to seek answers from a renowned chief priest Agogho in Omabra village, a faraway land. His daughter Ifeoma cries and tries(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Gabriel Okey Okonkwo, Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Sacrifice of Hope: Part I and II

Nigeria 2014

african Other Traditions


Gabriel Okey Okonkwo, Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Sacrifice of Tears: Part I and II

This movie is a prequel of the movie Sacrifice of Hope I & II. Part I starts with tears in Buchi as Mazi Uche shouts at his wife Ebele for not being able to bear him a child after so many years of marriage like his fellow elders. He then threatens to introduce another wife to the family. Ebele, goes and prays to Amadioha, the god of Buchi and hopes he listens to her this time as she attempts to avoid the inclusion of another wife.The next scene opens in the Okuoha village where the Igwe just(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2014

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Gabriel Okey Okonkwo, Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Sacrifice of Tears: Part I and II

Nigeria 2014

african Other Traditions


Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Scorpion God & Ikenga (the Greatest Warrior) Part 1 & 2

Ikenga was the most powerful and greatest warrior in the entire Igbo Kingdom. He was immensely favoured by Amadioha (The god of gods) to whom Ikenga owed his greatness and reputation. In battle, Ikenga fought mortals and immortals alike, challenged gods, and feared no deity. It was common knowledge that Ikenga’s back had never touched the earth, in any fight. His name and praises were on every lip and his wrestling titles were countless. Ikenga was equally an amiable family man who provide(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2007

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Verna Aardema, Nancy L. Clouse

Sebgugugu the Glutton: A Bantu Tale from Rwanda

Sebgugugu is a poor man who lives in a hut with his wife, Unanana, and their two sons, Zitu and Zabala. All they own is one cow named Gitale, on whose milk the sons feed. One fateful day Unanana leaves to tend her garden in the forest. A bird comes around their hut and Sebgugugu is convinced that its chirping is a message from Imana, the God of Rwanda. He tells his wife that if he kills the cow, they will have a hundred more. But she is not convinced and warns him not to do anything foolish. He (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1993

COUNTRY: United States of America


Verna Aardema, Nancy L. Clouse

Sebgugugu the Glutton: A Bantu Tale from Rwanda

United States of America 1993

african Other Traditions


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 (...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Etienne Nguelo

Siebanzhi

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Tololwa Marti Mollel, Linda Saport

Subira Subira

A few months after the death of their mother, Tatu’s father makes her understand that she must take on the responsibility of caring for Maulidi, her younger sibling, before and after school, while he is at work. Maulidi, naughty and unruly as he is, disobeys and fights Tatu at every turn: he refuses to walk to school with Tatu and refuses to do the chores at home after school. Tatu complains to their father who gives her a sound scolding, but this does not help as Maulidi’s fights wi(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2000

COUNTRY: United States of America


Tololwa Marti Mollel, Linda Saport

Subira Subira

United States of America 2000

african Other Traditions


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 (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Angola


Wole Soyinka

The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite

Attention:+18 yearsSoyinka’s Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite, an adaptation of Euripides’ Bacchae, hovers around the tragic demise of the proud king of Thebes (presented as a colonial society, marked by slavery in the text), King Pentheus, an oppressive tyrant, who, because of his pride, objects to the god of wine, Dionysus (presented as a revolutionary leader). As a result, he is punished by the god. Soyinka’s play commences with Dionysus, also called Bacchus, who clear(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1974

COUNTRY: United States of America


Cosmas Njume Njume

The Bakossi Animal Dance

Before the Bakossi people found themselves on the land which they presently occupy, Mwankum had been living on it. When the people knew about his presence, they acknowledged him as their god because they believe he alone knows their origin. They started worshipping him as the protector and defender of their ancestral land. He communicates and acts through his servants, who are initiates. He, however, acknowledges the presence of a bigger god, who reigns above him. He is a lover and keeper of pea(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Cosmas Njume Njume

The Bakossi Animal Dance

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Robert Ba Ndangho Fomunyang

The Bali Creation Myth

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Hypolithe Annicete

The Chimpanzee and the Orphan

In the days of our forefathers, there lived a man called Məkwǒcwà. He was married and had two sons namely: Mwōfᴐ and Nəbwâsyâ. His wife died during childbirth, leaving Məkwǒcwà, now a widower, to bring up their two sons single-handedly. One day, Məkwǒcwà became sick and sensed he was going to die. He called Mwōfᴐ, his elderly son, and told him, “My son, I have lived in this world and have known no joy. But as I am on my journey to the land of the ancestors,(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Elechi Amadi

The Concubine

Attention:+18 yearsThe story takes place in Omokachi, a small Nigerian village comprising eleven family groups, each family group occupies a cluster of compounds and every compound has a path bursting into the main road running across the village. Emenike lives at Omokachi and is married to Ihuoma, a beautiful woman from another village, known as Omigwe, who is admired by the entire community because of her exemplary character. They have three children. Emenike has a disagreement with anoth(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1966

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Elechi Amadi

The Concubine

Nigeria 1966

african Other Traditions


Kester Onuigbo

The Deity of Umudike Kingdom

The story is about the King of Umudike, a man who preferred female children and was destined to attract evil visitors to his land. One evening, the King was musing over the fate of his kingdom when his son, the Prince, entered and offered him palm wine. That same night, many different sources, including the Deity (Merima), would prophesize the visit of evil strangers to the village who intended to destroy the King and the villagers. When the villagers learned about this, they were gripped with f(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2018

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Baba Aoudou Hervé

The Faces of Gold [Les visages de l'or]

The novel opens with a question contained in the first chapter. This question is: what is gold? Ndinga, the main character, is a peasant farmer of forty years, who ended his studies at Primary School. One morning, he took game he had killed for sale at the Sub Divisional Officer's residence. Ndinga has never set foot in the Sub Divisional Officer's house, which has the reputation as the most beautiful place in the village. The Sub Divisional Officer buys his hedgehog at 3,000 franc CFA ((...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ben Okri

The Famished Road

The Famished Road is about the life of an abiku (spirit child), Azaro, in the ghetto of an unnamed city. At the beginning of the novel, Azaro is a spirit child who lives in the spirit world also called the land of the beginning. It is a land of happiness and joy, where all unborn spirits live before they are incarnated into human bodies. In this land, exists a group called the spirit companions (Abikus), who, in order to enjoy the privileges of the spirit world forever, make a pact never to live(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1991

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Ben Okri

The Famished Road

United Kingdom 1991

african Other Traditions


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

The Gaawoo-tree and the Maiden, and the First Person Who Ever Went Mad

A man named Umaru possessed two wives: Mowa and Baura, who both had girls. Mowa always swept the compound and gave her daughter the dirt to throw away, which she always did, where the gawo-tree was located. There was a part of the tree that looked like a human navel. This awakened the girl’s curiosity every time she went to throw dirt there. She would always stand there and say, "The gawo-tree with the navel." One day, she struck a mark on the tree, and it started foll(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1913

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

The Gaawoo-tree and the Maiden, and the First Person Who Ever Went Mad

United Kingdom 1913

african Other Traditions


Alice Werner

The Girl Who Married a Lion

Werner narrates the union between a were-lion (sisimwe) and a human. A lion, who appeared as a man, arrived in the village and married a young girl. After some time, they had a child and the husband proposed that they go and see his parents. The girl’s brother accompanied them. As they journeyed the first day, the man used thorn-bush to build a kraal (mutanda) for them to rest. After the building, he told them he was going fishing. In his absence, the bride’s brother mocked(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1933

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Alice Werner

The Girl Who Married a Lion

United Kingdom 1933

african Other Traditions


Alice Werner

The Girls Who Wanted New Teeth

This myth narrates the life of a girl whose mother dies and is left to be cared for by her stepmother. However, she is mistreatment by this stepmother. It is an illusion for her to measure up to her friends who had the freedom to go out and get new teeth*. Envious of her friends who returned with their sparkling new teeth, she decides to go for hers. She completes her house chores, and without anyone noticing her, leaves. On her way, she meets a hyena and a lion who admire her beauty a(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1933

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Alice Werner

The Girls Who Wanted New Teeth

United Kingdom 1933

african Other Traditions


Ola Rotimi

The Gods Are Not to Blame

A first baby, male, is born to king Adetusa and Queen Ojuola of Kutuje. As tradition demands, they take him to the shrine of Ogun for blessings and for the divination of his future. Baba Fakunle, a purblind great seer who is called in for the divination pronounces: “This boy, he will kill his father and then marry his mother”. To avoid these evil events in the land, and with the consent of the parents, the priest of Ogun ties the boy’s legs with a string of cowries and hands hi(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1971

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Aloys Nkong Kima

The Gods’ Plum Tree

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Athol Lannigan Fugard, John Kani, Winston Ntshona

The Island

The play begins with two prisoners, John and Winston, prisoners in a cell on an Island. They undergo torture and mutilation every day, while in chains. However, they resolve to practice camaraderie as a source of relief. John caters for Winston, while the latter takes care of the former’s wounds. As they languish in misery within the confines of the cell, they take a trip down memory lane to their blissful boyish days; the time they spent at the beach, and their early incineration days in (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1974

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Athol Lannigan Fugard, John Kani, Winston Ntshona

The Island

United Kingdom 1974

african Other Traditions


Mama Asanatou

The Jealous Woman Who Became a Snake

“Kesasahooo”! “Kesasahooo”!* [Can I tell you this story! I tell you this story!]“Wooo”! “Wooo”!  [Yes! Yes!]A long time ago, there lived a hunter who had many wives in an unknown village. He could stay in the forest for many years hunting. In his absence, his wives would always fight and quarrel among themselves. Whenever he returned with gifts and game, he did not share equally among his wives. The second wife was always given the biggest sha(...)

oral Other Traditions

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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Baba Wagué Diakité

The Magic Gourd

The story begins with Brother Rabbit, who wanders around the parched country in search of food to feed his family who were starving because of a drought. While on his journey, he runs into a chameleon that is stuck in a thorny bush. The chameleon calls out for his help and promises to reward him well if he comes to its rescue. Rabbit rescues Chameleon and in return, Chameleon rewards his kindness with a magic gourd that fills up with anything that its owner desires and requests.Overwhelmed by th(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2003

COUNTRY: United States of America


Baba Wagué Diakité

The Magic Gourd

United States of America 2003

african Other Traditions


Efua Theodora Sutherland

The Marriage of Anansewa

The Marriage of Anansewa, a reworking of Ghanaian folk-theatre presented through story-telling, brings into limelight the story of Anansewa, a beautiful Akan girl, whose father, Kwaku Ananse, intends to give her away to different suitors for his personal gain. Set in Ananse’s house, the four-act play begins with Ananse who writes letters to his daughter’s suitors. These letters are addressed to Chief Sapaase, Chief Akata (Togbe Klu IV), Chief of the Mines and Chief-who-is-chief. The (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1975

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Efua Theodora Sutherland

The Marriage of Anansewa

United Kingdom 1975

african Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Chrysantus Mboh

The Mban

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999


Olajire Olanlokun

The Missing Calabash

Barely after the coronation of Adekambi, the new and promising king of Opela, the village experiences panic as a result of the absence of one the symbols of royalty, the calabash. Chief Koya, one of the elders of Idofin Council, out of greed and bad faith, steals the calabash. With the disappearance of the calabash, the new king can no longer rule effectively and the whole royal family is depressed. While the calabash is in the custody of Chief Koya, he finds neither peace nor sleep as it consta(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1991

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Olajire Olanlokun

The Missing Calabash

Nigeria 1991

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Thomas Essa Ngoukou

The Mysterious Staff of Ngat

This myth is a sequel to the myth of Ngan-Medza, already in the DB. The tale of Ngan-Medza is the story of how the Bantou people of the Central Region of Cameroon crossed the river Yom (now called River Sanaga) on the back of a snake that served as a bridge. They fled from the Muslim onslaught led by Ousman Dan Fodio, who wanted to convert the animist Bantou people to Islam. According to the myth, this crossing, ordered by the Bantou ancestors, took place over several years. Each nigh(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Egbe Ifie

The Myth of Aziza

The original version of this myth appears in Egbe Ifie'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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Egbe Ifie

The Myth of Aziza

Nigeria 1999

african Other Traditions


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 (...)

oral Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Alfred Ngoisa Lyonga

The Myth of Efasa-Moto

Cameroon 2017

oral Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Egbe Ifie

The Myth of Etarunyarha

The original version of this myth appears in Egbe Ifie’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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY: Nigeria


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Mado Pauline Tcheutchoua

The Myth of “Nkentatet” (ŋĸØ’ta’tét)

Nkentatet (ŋĸØ’ta’tét) is a sacred worship place located in the Bamendjou-Bamenka-Bansoa* border where three great rivers meet and form a waterfall at a confluence. The Nkentatet (ŋĸØ’ta’tét) sacred place is also the name of this small river. The myth goes thus: in the distant past, Nkentatet (ŋĸØ’ta’tét) was surrounded by Baobab trees and rocks, all in a small isolated forest. When God decided to create the Bamendjou-(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Richard Whitaker

The Odyssey of Homer: A Southern African Translation

The epic begins with the growth of Telemakhos, the epic hero, Odysseus’ son. Two issues occupy the hero’s son: the readiness to welcome his father’s return from adventurous journeys and his preparedness to fight intruding enemies. Assisted by the goddess Athene, the young hero’s development into manhood is secured. Aware of the backup, Telemakhos defies his enemies at home and goes out for his own adventures in Sparta, with one goal: to look for his father. The epic shift(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Republic of South Africa


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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Lawrence Teneng

The Origin 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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Peter Mkong Bongjio

The Origin of Lake Oku

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


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 (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Elias Mbome

The Origin of the Dry and Rainy Seasons

Cameroon 1997

african Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Veronique Mengue

The Orphans and the Old Woman with her Walking Staff

Performer: Ekaŋ biso elaŋ elaŋ éé;Audience: éééé,Performer: Ekaŋ biso elaŋ elaŋ éé;Answer: éééé,Performer: Ekaŋ biso elaŋ elaŋ éé;Answer: ééééPerformer:: məlό məba [two ears]Audience: məba fᴐ [two indeed]Performer: esame ndoloAudience: esango;Performer: esame ndolo;Audience: esango;Performer: esame ndolo;Audience: answer: esango;Performer: vogəlán nlaŋ mazu mina lɛ(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Amos Tutuola

The Palm-Wine Drinkard

work in progress(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Werewere Liking

The Power of Um [La Puissance de Um]

Ntep Iliga dies in the presence of his wife, Ngond Libii Ntep Iliga (which means slave woman of Ntep Iliga). She sets the stage for mourning while singing funeral songs and addressing a calabash of wine whose contents she likens to her own life: “[s]tatic, but coiled up, ready to overflow from the calabash like you… boiling with rage, enclosed in a much too small container” (28). She calls in her eldest son Ntep Ntep, informs him that his father is dead at last, and asks him t(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1979

COUNTRY: Ivory Coast


Werewere Liking

The Power of Um [La Puissance de Um]

Ivory Coast 1979

african Other Traditions


Abou Manifi

The Resurrection of Omang

A long time ago, there lived a man in Begui called Omang a Ziare. He was humble, obedient and patient. These qualities catapulted him to the throne of Begui after the death of his father. Beside these virtues, he was endowed with some supernatural powers, which he used to protect his relations against any evil practices or witchcraft.One day, Omang went to a distant market from Begui and while at the market, a violent fight broke out and in the course of it, his walking staff was snatched by som(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Pepetela [Pen-name of Artur Carlos Maurício Pestana dos Santos]

The Return of the Water Spirit

The Return of the Water Spirit presents a fictitious version of the city of Luanda, Angola wherein the population has been witnessing a series of buildings collapsing one after another. The very first building collapse happens at Kinaxixi square, after the wedding of Joao Evangelista, son of Mateus Evangelista and grandson of Rosario Evangelista, a surname that defines their religious background. Unlike his predecessors who were pastors in an Evangelical church at Huambo, Joao desired to be an e(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1995

COUNTRY: Portugal


Pepetela [Pen-name of Artur Carlos Maurício Pestana dos Santos]

The Return of the Water Spirit

Portugal 1995

african Other Traditions


Clement Che Bonuh

The Rise and Fall of Fulantieh

A long time ago, as the notables of Nsei land were performing sacrifices during the siinteh festival, Fulantieh jumped down to them from above as a sign that the gods have accepted their sacrifice and plea and sent down Fulantieh to help them. They wholeheartedly received him and gave him a place to stay. He was a great warrior, combining both spiritual and physical force to win wars against territorial intruders. It was known that he would go to war alone and place his legs on two hills that we(...)

oral Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Eveline Keko Ngang

The Rock-Soldiers

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Mama Asanatou

The Snake and Mandere Big

A long time ago, there was a big village near a big river. One day, the natives of this village noticed that a big snake would come out of the water to the land from time to time. And each time the snake came out, people would be terribly afraid and would hide in their homes. Later, this snake came right into the king’s dwelling and overthrew the king and became the king himself. Afterwards, the snake moved around the village in search of beautiful young girls as wives. Since the whole vil(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Kalu Anya

The Stubborn Generals

The Stubborn Generals is a modern Nigerian movie based on the story of a poor and naïve young woman, who gives birth to identical female triplets by name Diana, Agatha, and Cassandra. Since having children out of wedlock is considered a taboo in this society, the triplets are taken from her and sent to three different places where they grow up, having the same physical features but different character traits. However, they all share an imposing and commanding trait—courageous and dari(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Kalu Anya

The Stubborn Generals

Nigeria 2013

african Other Traditions


Jean Paul Tueche

The Succession of Wabo Defo [La succession de Wabo Defo]

The succession of Wabo Defo has been presented many times on CRTV (Cameroon Radio and Television), and it is also available online on YouTube. It is also a household film in Cameroon because the issues it raises are common practices across Cameroon.The succession of Wabo Defo is a film made to warn those who try to buy traditional titles in traditional Cameroonian villages in a bid to have both wealth and honor. The film is all about the necessity to understand that a child who is prosperous and(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1990

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Alice Werner

The Swallowing Monster

The summary refers to the legend Khodumodumo, or Kammapa, a version of the Swallowing Monster myth according to the Basuto people (pp. 208-209)*. The swallowing monster is a South African myth that tells the story of a huge amorphous monster called Khodumodumo or Kammapa**, that swallows a whole village and is killed by a heroic little boy. According to the myth, the monster appeared in numerous villages and swallowed everything and everyone that stood in its way: cattle, goats, fow(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1933

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Alice Werner

The Swallowing Monster

United Kingdom 1933

african Other Traditions


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 (...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ibrahim Mbgarouma

The Tikary Messiah

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Margaret I. Ogumefu (Baumann) [Marguerite Lees]

The Twin Brothers

King Ajaka, a Yoruba King had twins with his wife and he refused to kill the kids and their mother, though their tradition prohibited the keeping of twins. Rather, he sent one of his nobles to keep them in the forest. The twins grew up in the forest. They were identical in a way that when one started a phrase, the other completed it. Years passed by and their mother grew old. Before she died, she revealed their history to them. This angered the twins and they wished that the laws of their c(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1929

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Margaret I. Ogumefu (Baumann) [Marguerite Lees]

The Twin Brothers

United Kingdom 1929

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Tayeb Salih

The Wedding of Zein [عرس الزين (Urs' al-Zayn)]

The story opens with news of Zein’s wedding that comes as a surprise to everyone; the villagers all marvel at how an ugly person like Zein, who has only two remaining teeth, could marry the village belle Ni’ma.Through a flashback, Zein’s childhood is exposed. Immediately after his birth, it is said, the infant Zein did not cry as every child is expected to do at birth, but burst out into laughter, and lost almost all his teeth at the age of six. He had a strange natural charm t(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1964

COUNTRY: Lebanon


Marie

The Wicked Son

In the beginning of this chiefdom (Bafou), the chief’s son waged war against the entire community because of a misunderstanding he had with his father. He was bent on killing his father, and when the population heard of the abomination, they decided to go to their chief’s rescue. In the encounter, half the population was killed since the son had extraordinary powers. The boy however never succeeded in killing his father, but seriously mutilated his face. As his punishment, the chief (...)

oral Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Gabriel Sira

The Wife of God

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Julienne Ngah

The Young Initiate and Emomodo, the Monster

In the beginning, in a village called təgə ndᴐŋ (meaning useless), lived a monster called Emomodo. It used to swallow people be they young, old, men, or women. Due to the wanton deaths and untold sufferings it made people go through, the elders of the village held a meeting to discuss how to stop this monster’s terrible terrific actions in the village. They decided to empower the bravest warrior in the village with magical charms and equipped him with a blade, a knife and some pepper so th(...)

oral Other Traditions

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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Babila Mutia

Tikoloshe

Cameroon

oral Other Traditions


Alan Paton

Too Late the Phalarope

work in progress(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1996

COUNTRY: Republic of South Africa United States of America


Alan Paton

Too Late the Phalarope

Republic of South Africa United States of America 1996

african Other Traditions


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(...)

oral Other Traditions

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(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joseph Akono Ateba

Why Awae People marked their Children

In the distant past among the Ewondo people, the myth goes that the wife of God gave birth to a child and the child fell from the sky to the earth. God and His wife came down to look for the child. Before their arrival, they sent a message to the chief priest of the Awae land to announce that their time of arrival would be at mid-night the message also instructed everyone who had a baby aged between 0 - 3 days old to put a mark on the child’s forehead with a sharp object, in order to diffe(...)

oral Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joseph Eboa, Emmanuel Matateyou

Why Moon and Sun Live in Sky

Cameroon 1997

african Other Traditions


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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Martin Njoya

Why People Die and Do Not Come Back

Cameroon 1997

african Other Traditions


Menkwet

Why Some Bamileke Tribes Worship Skulls

A long time ago, there lived a troublesome young man in the Bamileke land (Bafang), who disrespected everybody including the ancestors. He was the only lone son of his parents and spent a great deal of his time breaking the laws of the land and being rude to people, irrespective of their origin, age or social status. He had no reverence for tradition. He did what he wanted anyhow, anywhere, any time and with anybody. Upon observing how disappointing their lone son was, his parents started regret(...)

oral Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Beyana Ngarbaï

Why the Garap People do not eat He-Goat

A a man stayed in the forest in the land of the Garap people of Mayo Kebie-East in the South of Chad until daylight ended. According to the myth, the daylight that ended transformed itself into a he-goat and was going back home to come back the next morning. When this man saw the he-goat, he caught it and took it home believing that it was a stray animal. According to the tradition of the Garap people, if a lost property or object was found, it was to be given to the chief priest of the land. Th(...)

oral Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Chad


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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


NzeUmeokwonna G.C. Ezechukwu

Why the Human Back Has a Median Line

Nigeria

oral Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

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 Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Veronique Mengue

Why the Spider Roams between the Earth and the Sky

A very long time ago, there was a spider that went to converse with Zobe (the supreme deity in Beti land also called Zambe/Zamba/Zama). In the course of their conversation, the spider told him “God, humans hate you. They blame you for all their misfortunes.” Zobe replied, “It is incredible! I created men and, of course, the world. So how can they hate me?” Then, the spider told him: “Since you do not believe, follow me”. Both started moving towards the earth. (...)

oral Other Traditions

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(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joe Tabi Ekema, Emmanuel Matateyou

Why the Thumb is Short

Cameroon 1997

african Other Traditions


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 Other Traditions

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 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 (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Pa Buweh , Emmanuel Matateyou

Why Tortoise Has a Cracked Shell

Cameroon 1997

african Other Traditions


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

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Babafemi Adeyemi Osofisan

Women of Owu

Anlugbua, the progenitor of the Yoruba race, and some two women are lamenting the fall of the great city of Owu Ipole after their city has been ransacked, and their husbands killed, and when the rest of family members are about to be taken away as slaves. The previous night King Oba Akinjobi escaped from the land, along his notables, but without his family. As a result, the allied forces from Ijebu killed all the rest of the men and children back at home and enslaved their wives. Queen Erel(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2006

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Babafemi Adeyemi Osofisan

Women of Owu

Nigeria 2006

african Other Traditions


Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo

Zoba and his Gang

The story opens with Zoba, the protagonist, standing in front of his family house and watching some group of boys of his age play football. He longs to play with them but he cannot because his mother wants him to sell vegetables to his neighbours and to carry some around from house to house for sale. Zoba, his mother and two sisters live in a village called Koko, his mother is a trader and his father was a fisherman and a painter before he died. Zoba’s suffering began after his father&rsqu(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2009

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo

Zoba and his Gang

Nigeria 2009

african Other Traditions