I been collecting en sharing stories for moons going on decades now for de love, survival en nourishment of mi soul en others. There’s a hadithi I know it’s about de earth en how it floats in space on de back of a turtle, I read it in The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative by Thomas King, one of the books that dis blog owes its existence to, not only for de full on embracing of his ‘beginning’ in dis series of ‘Hadithi Zetu’ but for de legacies en continued guidance en protection of his wahenga. In that spirit of intimacy or dis ting we call ubuntu..

as photographed by Toyin Coker

Kuna hadithi najua vile, hapo zamani za kale, jua na maji were great friends, en both lived on de earth together. The sun very often used to visit de wota, but maji never returned his visits. At last de jua asked maji why it was he never came to see him in his house. Maji replied that de sun’s house was not big enough, en that if s/he came with hir people s/he would drive de sun out.

Maji then said, “If you wish me to visit you, you must build a very large compound; but I warn you that it will have to be a tremendous place, as my people are numerous en take up alot of room.”

De jua promised to build a very big compound, en soon afterward he returned home to his wife, de moon, who greeted him with a broad smile when he opened de door. De Jua told de moon what he had promised de maji, en de next day he started building a huge compound in which to entertain his friend.

When it was completed, he asked de maji to come en visit him de next day.

When maji arrived, s/he called out to de sun en asked him whether it would be safe for hir to enter, en de ju answered, “Yes, come in, mi rafiki.”

De maji began to flow in, accompanied by de fish en all de wota animals.

photographed by Toyin Coker

Very soon de maji was knee deep, so he asked de sun if it was still safe, en de jua again said, “Yes,” so mo maji came in.

When de water was level with de top of a man’s head, de maji said to de sun, “Do you want mo of my people to come?”

De sun en de moon answered, “Yes,” not knowing any betta, so de maji flowed in, until de sun en moon had to perch themselves on de top of de roof.

Again de maji addressed de sun, but, receiving de same answer, en more of his people rushing in, de wota very soon overflowed de top of de roof, en de sun en de moon were forced to go up into de sky, where they have remained ever since.

Hadithi wa Ibibio-efik, via Best Loved Folktales of The World [ selected by Joanna Cole]

And there’s another story I know bout the Origin of Death as retold by de (wA)Kamba people of Kenya

 Asasi wa Kifo

And how did it happen?

It is God/dess who created men. And since God/dess has pity, S/he said, “I do not wish men to die altogether. I wish that men, having died, should rise again.” And so he created men en placed them in another region. But he stayed at home.

And then God/dess saw de chameleon en de weaver bird. After he had spent three days with de chameleon en de weaver bird, He recognised that de weaver bird was a great maker of words compounded of lies en truth. Now of lies there were many, but of de words of truth there were few.

Then s/he watched de chameleon en recognised that he had great intelligence. He did not lie. His words were true. So he spoke to de chameleon, “Chameleon, go into that region where I have placed de men I have created, en tell them that when they have died, even if they are altogether dead, they shall still rise again-that each man shall rise again after he dies.”

De chameleon said, “Yes, I will go there.” But he went slowly, for it his fashion to go slowly. De weaver bird had stayed behind with God/dess.

De chameleon travelled on, en when he had arrived at his destination, he said, “I was told, I was told, I was told……” But he did not say what he had been told.

De weaver bird said to God/dess, “I wish to step out for a moment.”

And God/dess said to him, “Go!”

But de weaver bird, since he is a ndege, flew swiftly, en arrived at de place where de chameleon was speaking to de people en saying, “I was told…..” Everyone was gathered there to listen. When de weaver bird arrived, he said, “What was told to us? Truly, we were told that men, when they are dead, shall perish like de roots of de aloe.”

Then de chameleon exclaimed, “But we were told, we were told, we were told, that when men are dead, they shall rise again.”

Then de magpie interposed en said, “De first speech is de wise one.”

And now all de people left en returned to their homes. This was de way it happened.

And so men become old en die; they do not rise again.

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Hapo zamani za kale, not far from the city of Accra on de Gulf of Guinea, a country man went out to his garden to dig up some yams to take to the market. While he was digging, one of de yams said to him, “Well, at last you’re here. You never weeded me, but now you come around with your digging stick. Go away and leave me alone!”

The farmer turned around and looked at his cow in amazement. The cow was chewing her cud and looking at him.

“Did you say something?” he asked

The cow kept on chewing and said nothing, but de man’s dog spoke up. “It wasn’t the cow who spoke to you,” de dog said. “It was de yams. The yams say leave him alone.”

De man became angry, because his dog had never talked before, en he didn’t like his tone besides. So he took his knife and cut a branch from a palm tree to whip his dog. Just then de palm tree said, “Put that branch down!”

De man was getting very upset about de way tings were going, en he started to throw de palm branch away, but de palm branch said, “Man, put me down softly!”

He put de branch down gently on a stone, en de stone said, “Hey, take that ting off me!”

This was enough, en de frightened farmer started to run for his village. On de way he met a fisherman going de other way with a fish tarp on his head.

“What’s de hurry?” de fisherman asked.

“My yam said, ‘Leave me alone!’ Then de dog said, ‘Listen to what de yam says!’ When I went to whip de dog with a palm branch de tree said, “Put that branch down!’ Then de palm branch said, ‘Do it softly!’ Then de stone said, ‘Take that ting off me!’ “

“Is that all?” de man with de fish trap asked. “Is that so frightening?”

“Well,” de man’s fish trap said, “did he take it off de stone?”

“Wah!” de fisherman shouted. He threw de fish trap on de ground and began to run with de farmer, en on de trail they met a weaver with a bundle of cloth on his head.

“Where are you going in such a rush?” he asked them.

“My yam said, ‘Leave me alone!’ De dog said, ‘Listen to what de yam says!’ De tree said, “Put that branch down!’ De branch said, ‘Do it softly!’ And de stone said, ‘Take that ting off me!’ “

“And then,” de fisherman continued, “de fish trap said, “Did he take it off?”

“That’s nothing to get excited about,” de weaver said. “No reason at all.”

“Oh, yes it is,” his bundle of cloth said. “If it happened to you you’d run too!”

“Wah!” de weaver shouted. He threw his bundle on de trail en started running with de other men

They came panting to de ford in de river en found a man bathing. “Are you chasing a gazelle?” he asked them.

The first man said breathlessly, “My yam talked at me, en it said, ‘Leave me alone!’ And mi dog said, ‘Listen to your yam!’ And when I cut myself a branch de tree said, ‘Put that branch down!’ And de branch said, ‘Do it softly!’ And de stone said, ‘Take that ting off me!’”

The fisherman panted, “And mi trap said, ‘Did he?’”

De weaver wheezed, “And mi bundle of cloth said, ‘You’d run too!’”

“Is this why you’re running?” de man in de river asked.

“Well, wouldn’t you run if you were in their position?” de river said.

De man jumped out of de wota en began to run with de others. They ran down de main street of de village to de house of de chief de chief’s servant brought his stool out, en he came en sat on it to listen to their complaints. The men began to recite their troubles.

“I went out to mi garden to dig yams,” de farmer said, waving his arms. “Then everyting began to talk! Mi yam said, ‘Leave me alone!’ Mi dog said, ‘Pay attention to your yam!’ De tree said, ‘Put that branch down!’ De branch said, ‘Do it softly!’ And de stone said, ‘Take it off me!’”

“And mi fish trap said, ‘Well, did he take it off?’” de fisherman said.

“And mi cloth said, ‘You’d run too!’” de weaver said.

And de river said de same,” de bather said hoarsely, his eyes bulging.

“De chief listened to them patiently, but he couldn’t refrain from scowling. “Now this is a really wild story,” he said at last. “You’d betta all

go back to your work before I punish you for disturbing de peace.”
So de men went away, en de chief shook his head en mumbled to himself,

“Nonsense like that upsets de community.”

“Fantastic, isn’t it?” his stool said. “Imagine, a talking yam!”

[Ongea=Talk is an ancient hadithi from de Ashanti people, via The Cow-Tail Switch by Harold Courlander & George Herzog]

Dear ndugu,

Thank you for empowering us, thank you for your sacred leadership…. I borrow from Black Looks, the Coalition of African Lesbians & Alice Walker and say en echo everywhere –

“David, rest. in us, the meaning of your life is still unfolding….”

Na kwasababu it is not taboo to go back for what you forgot, hii ni hadithi of where we come from……

The Child-confirmation and naming ceremony and festival

(Okwalula abaana) – among de Baganda

The naming and confirmation of children is marked as an important occasion and is therefore followed by ceremonies and rituals. The process literally means “hatching and coming out of the shell” by the child, signifying coming to the new world. The rituals are considered sacred. They are therefore performed in an atmosphere of sanctity. All people who are to participate in the rituals are supposed to abstain from sex and certain foods for no less than 9 days before the ceremony and during the duration of the ceremony. The occasion is marked by much feasting and rejoicing.
The children affected by the ceremony.

All the children of the family who have never been confirmed or officially named are included in the ceremony.

In traditional Kiganda society, the family includes children, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters who may have their own children, and other immediate relatives. The Kiganda concept of family also includes the unborn members who are still in the loins of the living and members who have departed, while the household is the smallest unit of the family. The Euro or western concept of family is largely restricted to the household.

Preparing the Event
Members of the family, as in the manner described above, convene at the home of the children’s grandfather. Parents from the various homes which made up this family bring forward all the children who have not undergone confirmation and naming.

A big feast is prepared. The banquet signifies communion of the family, friends and neighbours in celebrating new members of the clan and the community. The ritual banquet consists of many selected local dishes, including matooke, millet bread, beef or goat meat plus the essential ritual items: unripe, unpeeled green bananas (empogola); mushrooms (obutiko obubaala); and sprats (enkejje). Simsim (sesame) in groundnut sauce and other vegetables are also part of this meal. The drinks consist of banana juice and beer. All items for the feast need the prior approval and ritual blessing of the clan elder or main celebrant.

Steamed unripe, unpeeled bananas (empogola) symbolise communion with twins since this type of dish is considered to be their specialty. Special songs for twins precede the rituals involved in the ceremony.

It is believed that mushrooms connect the departed with the living. It is believed that mushrooms contain properties that can protect the child from misfortune and from all manner of evil including witchcraft, magic, sorcery and taboos. Mushrooms are very much valued because the Baganda believe that they have high nutritional value and can be used to combat malnutrition and disease.
Sprats symbolise the spiritual connection of the Baganda with Lake Victoria (Ennyanja Nnalubale) and Ssese Islands, two major sources of the mythology and beliefs of the Baganda. It is believed that the lake and the islands of Ssese are the home of Buganda divinities.

Lubaale Mukasa is the chief divinity of the lake, while the sprat is the king of all the fish species found in the lake. The sprat is the totem of Mukasa, the chief divinity of the lake who lives in Ssese Islands and who is God’s agent for child-birth (ezzadde), wealth and bounty (obweeza). The Baganda therefore believe that the sprat when used their rituals connects their children with spiritually with Mukasa. The sprats are, on the other hand, considered nourishing and good for preventing and combating children’s diseases, such as measles and malnutrition.

Simsim (sesame) symbolises plenty, prosperity and multiplication; and is regarded as nutritious because it contains oil and vitamins and nutrients which are considered good for proper child growth.

Millet indicates bounty and strength. It is regarded as highly nutritious and resistant to disease attacks. It is believed that it gives vitality, endurance and longevity. It is used in the feast to wish the children a long life and a life of plenty and a life in which they can use stamina and endurance to overcome difficulties. Millet is also associated with the myth of Kintu and Nnambi, the first people on earth and the original ancestors of the Baganda. It is a symbol of the children’s origin and a reminder that their great ancestor, Nnambi, had gone back to heaven to collect millet when she was accompanied by her brother Death (Walumbe) who causes misery to mankind. Millet was the main food of the Baganda before the arrival of matooke (bananas) from Asia.

Beer brings unity as it is shared by all regardless of status. Quite often, part of the beer is offered as libation to appease ancestors and family spirits and exorcise them not to harm the child and to protect it from enemies.

The sweetness in juice is an indication of the sweetness of the world which should be enjoyed by the child in life.

The coffee beans, which are shared and used in the rituals, symbolise brotherhood. They are used as an offering to the ancestors and family spirits in order to create a bond, a brotherhood, between the child and ancestors and family spirits, and seek protection for the child from harm, as well as long life and prosperity for the child. Coffee beans are also used to consolidate brotherly ties and understanding among family members, friends and the community.

Drums and other musical instruments are played at the ceremony as a sign of rejoicing and marking a great event in the history of the clan and the community. Of special importance is the clan’s drum (omubala) which is sounded to mark the theme of the occasion.

Key celebrants 
The chief celebrant at the naming is the clan elder, usually the head of the family or kinship circle. His role is that of traditional chief priest. He is the link between the departed, the living and those not born who are still in the loins of their parents. He interprets the environment where the ceremony is going to take place. He offers libation and sacrifices to appease ancestors not to harm people but instead protect them. He supervises the rituals which are central to the ceremony. He blesses whatever takes place that day. He is assisted in this role by grandparents of the children, particularly the grandmothers. The clan elder and the grandparents are considered to be the custodians of wisdom. For this reason, they are present to guide the young through this process and to ensure that the rituals are performed in accordance with the traditional norms of society.

Another key figure in the rituals is the mujjwa. This person is the son or daughter of a man’s married aunt or sister. The mujjwa belongs to his father’s clan, and not to the clan of his or her maternal uncle. The mujjwa therefore represents the “external” wing of the family, while his uncle’s sons and daughters belong to the “internal” wing of the family. The mujjwa is by custom always considered a child (zoboota) by his/her uncle’s side regardless of his/her age or status. The role of the mujjwa role in respect of child-naming is that of a traditional priest who sweeps away all that is considered impure or unwanted or unbecoming. He thus cleans his uncle’s home of any abominations, curses, magic, witchcraft, sorcery, misfortune, sickness, and all manner of evil prior to the ceremony. He therefore brings purity, good fortune, prosperity and blessing to the home of his/her maternal relatives. It is his/her duty to give his clearance for the rituals to go ahead once he/she has done the cleansing. As a custom, the mujjwa is entitled to a high fee for his/her services. His/her maternal relatives make sure that their mujjwa is satisfied and comfortable. Any grumbling by the mujjwa about poor pay is to be avoided as it is a bad omen; and his maternal relatives make sure they pay him/her handsomely for wiping away the dirt which would otherwise make the ceremony imperfect and unholy.

The ritual banquet 
When the feast is ready, the main celebrant leads the songs of the twins, and asks the children’s paternal grandmothers to prepare the children’s mothers for the on-coming rituals. The mothers adorn themselves in special bark cloths and sit in a line with their children on a big bark cloth in the porch or on veranda. They sit with their legs stretched out. Each of the mothers has with her the child’s dried umbilical cord. It is customary to place a girl’s umbilical cord on her left, while that of the boy is put on her right. Until their acceptance and confirmation by the clan, these children are regarded as outsider and, because of this, their mothers, too, are considered outsiders.

Then, the ritual meal and drinks are served. The children’s paternal grandmothers and aunts serve this meal. The food and drinks are placed in front of the clan elder before they are served. The clan elder blesses the food and drinks, and offers prayers to the family’s spirits and ancestors for the smooth running of the rituals by dedicating the banquet and the benefits therein to the departed, the living, and those who are not yet born but are in the loins of their parents. After this, he allows the meal to be served. He and fathers of the children are served inside the house together with relatives, friends and neighbours. Part of the meal (ekitole ky’emmere) is given to the children’s mothers, grandmothers, children and other relatives who are seated in the porch or on the veranda. This food is served to them while they are still seated on the aforesaid bark cloth.
Part of the food is put aside for a subsequent ritual.

Establishing ownership of the children in the clan
After the ritual meal, the paternal grandmothers ask the children’s mothers to bring forward children of both sexes with the dried umbilical cords which they had kept with care after the birth of the children. Next, the grandmothers smear the umbilical cords with cow butter and clearly mark them so that their ownership as per child would not be disputed.

A dry sprat is also clearly marked for each of the children.

After this, the grandmothers drop the umbilical cords into a basket, which contains sprats, water, milk and beer. If the child’s umbilical cord floats, the clan elder or main celebrant accepts the child as legitimate, and there is much jubilation because this is an indication that the child belongs to the clan; but if the cord sinks, the child to whom it belongs is considered born in adultery and disowned. The mother concerned is in big trouble. She is put to task to name the father of the child.

This ritual has great significant and meaning to the children and their mothers. After this ritual, the child has received official acceptance, confirmation and recognition as indeed a child of the family and clan. The child has now deep roots and an identity. The mother of such a child is given recognition and great honour and respect as a mother and faithful wife within the family and clan. She is highly relieved from the state of having a child whose ownership was in suspense and doubt. In Buganda, a child who has no clan is a great stigma to the mother.

The sprat belonging to each child is carefully preserved and kept during the lifetime of the child until that moment after death when, at the last funeral rites, it will be thrown into the fire and burned to ashes.

The umbilical cords are kept by the grandmothers until they are ritually buried later in the day.
The liquid in the basket that was used in the child-confirmation ritual is kept until it is used for the bathing ritual.

All these actions are supervised by the clan elder with the assistance of the grandparents….

Kwa hivyo, kwasababu ni muhimu kuuliza tena na tena. Who among us carry the sage secrets of loving?

[read more at http://www.njovu.org/home.htm]

[ To the ‘Godfather’ of the KuchuLGBT movement in Uganda with infinite gratitude, kama sharing ni caring, then wot wealth we got to harvest in reclaiming indigenous ideas about mapacha?]

Background

The Njovu Clan is one of the 56 recognised clans of Buganda. Therefore, its traditions, customs and norms are not different from those of other clans. They are part and parcel of the culture and heritage of the Baganda people. The Clan has no culture peculiar to itself.

It must be pointed out that these traditions and customs exist in a traditional religious environment. They have been handed down from generation to generation for centuries, and they have become part and parcel of people’s lives. For this reason, the Baganda have been described as being notoriously religious…..

The birth of twins

The birth of twins in the family is regarded as a great blessing to that jamii. It is a wish that almost every woman entertains. It is an honour for a woman in Buganda to be called Nnalongo (mother of twins).
The additional child was not looked at as burden or challenge in the past. This is because the Baganda had a settled life and did not have to roam around with their families in harsh conditions. This situation still obtains today.
However, the birth of twins was and is still seen as an event out of the ordinary. Therefore, twins were and are still treated with fear and special care and respect. Children of such births were and are still believed to have special powers. There is still a belief that twins bring blessings to the family and community, but can be nasty and dangerous if not treated well.
Many beliefs, taboos, rituals and ceremonies are associated with twins. People fear them; and this fear is associated with the unusualness of their birth.

After birth 
On the birth of twins, special names are immediately given to the twins, their parents, and the children in the traditional family who come either before or after the twins. The twins are named: Wasswa or Babirye or Kato or Nakato, depending on their sex. The father is named Ssalongo, and the mother Nnalongo. The child who precedes the twins is named Kigongo. Children born in the extended family after the birth of twins are also given special names, as it will be seen later.

These special names become permanent identities for everyone concerned, but they are not clan names. The names given to the parents accord them special honour and respect and enhance their status in society.

Ssalongo (the father of the twins) has an obligation to deliver the news of the birth of twins in person to his parents and to the parents of his wife. Two things happen here:
1) Ssalongo is given a surrogate Ssalongo (Ssalongo omukulu=the ritual Ssalongo) from his family; and from the family of Nnalongo he gets a surrogate Nnalongo (Nnalongo omukulu=the ritual Nnalongo); and
2) all contact, between Ssalongo and his parents and between Nnalongo and her parents, is cut off until after the ceremony that is held for celebrating the birth of the twins. This ceremony is the equivalent to the naming ceremony for ordinary children, though the rituals involved are somehow different.

The surrogates play critical roles in the rituals associated with the twins. These two persons are minors. The significance of this is that the rituals in which they are going to participate are sacred; these persons need therefore to be people who are holy or at least people who have not yet engaged in sexual activity. Apart from acting as surrogates, and still innocent, they should be the natural people to care for the twins who are considered to be holy.

A variety of intricate and complex taboos, rituals, and ceremonies accompany the birth of twins. The rituals and ceremonies are intended to: put an end to the period of taboos which begun with the birth of the children; ensure the safety of the twins and that of the family; and establish the twins’ legitimacy as complete members of the clan and of society at large.
The rituals and ceremonies slightly differ in families. It is the responsibility of Ssalongo’s father, the grandfather of the twins, to make arrangements for the performance of the rituals and ceremonies in accordance with his family’s norms. However, characteristically, there are big ceremonies and festivals to mark the birth of twins.

There is, however, one big ceremony for celebrating the birth of twins (okumala abalongo; entujjo y’abalongo) which seems to be common. This ceremony is characterised by a lot of rejoicing, feasting and general merrymaking not only by the relatives concerned, but by also the surrounding community.

On the vigil of the appointed day for the ceremony, Ssalongo’s family, led by a clan elder, performs the child-confirmation and naming ceremony for the family’s children who have not yet undergone that ceremony.

On the appointed day, Nnalongo’s mother and her relatives prepare a one pulp of cooked matooke. Ssalongo’s side does the same. At the agreed hour, both Ssalongo and his relatives and Nnalongo’s people gather in the main house of Ssalongo’s father to share a common meal. The two separate pulps of food (emiwumbo gy’emmere) are meshed into one pulp.

Then, Nnalongo’s mother picks a morsel of this food and hands it directly to Ssalongo, her son-in-law (Maama wa Nnalongo akoleza mutabani we, Ssalongo, bba wa Nnalongo, ekitole ky’emmere n’akimukwaasa mu ngalo butereevu ye kennyini). Ssalongo’s father also picks a morsel of food and hands it directly to Nnalongo, his daughter-in-law. Relatives from both sides do the same to each other. As this is going on, omujjwa comes and steps in the food and carries away. This is followed by a ritual dance, similar to a bump dance, in which Nnalongo’s mother and Ssalongo dance together and Ssalongo’s father and Nnalongo do the same. The pinnacle of this dance is the coming into contact, through bumping, of Ssalongo’s rear and his mother-in-law’s rear and Nnalongo’s rear with her father-in-law’s rear. The relatives from both sides also engage in this bump dance.

This ceremony has special significance and meaning. The meshing of the two separate pulps of matooke into one big pulp which is shared by all present is a sign of unity and communion between the twins’ paternal and maternal families. It is also the meeting place of the dead, the living, and those not yet born but are in the loins of their parents.

Communication, cut off immediately after the birth of the twins, is re-established. The ceremony puts an end to the period of taboos which begun with the birth of the twins. It also ends for good all the sexual marriage taboos which are common with other people who are not parents of twins. Henceforth, there is no longer avoidance and the in-laws from the families affected by the birth of twins can meet and talk freely to each other (obuko buweddewo).

The action of the mujjwa of spoiling the food symbolises the wiping away of any evils and problems that would otherwise normally have resulted from breaking sexual and marriage taboos.
After the big celebrations (entujjo), the twins’ umbilical cords are not buried as it is the custom with normal children. Instead, they are firmly tied and made into a beautifully decorated necklace which is kept and adorned by Ssalongo at ceremonies and festivals of his household or of the traditional family……..
  
Modern Changes

A lot of changes have occurred to the way twins are treated in modern times. These changes have occurred as a result partly because of the spread of foreign universal religions, partly because of intermarriages, but mainly because of changed outlook and new lifestyles in urban settings.
Some parents have abandoned the twin culture as a result of the various intricate and quite complex activities accompanying the ceremonies and rituals. The activities are considered as wasteful and hard to fulfil; and this has forced them to opt for the less complicated and less expensive church services. In many cases, it is economic hardship which has probably forced people to abandon these customs.

However, the aura surrounding the twins still exists in the minds of many parents and their relatives. It is believed that twins should not be mistreated since many taboos are attached to them.
The special naming of close relatives of twins continues, but the naming in modern times is increasingly becoming restricted to the household of the twins’ parents. This is because of western education and influence where the family means only the small unit of husband, wife and children (if any). This is in sharp contrast to the traditional view of the wider or, in western eyes, the extended family which includes brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews, etc. Under western education and influence, members of the traditional family are more or less regarded as outsiders.
In these cyber days, the Ssalongo informs both his parents and the parents of Nnalongo by telephone (sms). He therefore does not engage in certain rituals which were mandatory in the past. If at all his household is ready to get involved in traditional rituals pertaining to the twins, he asks for the surrogates on telephone (by sms again).

Whereas it was a strict requirement in the past that the surrogates be children who have not engaged in sexual activity, these days the surrogates are mature persons, often people who already have children, thus destroying the sense of sanctity that, in the past, was associated with the birth of twins.
Whereas in the past all channels of communication were cut off between Ssalongo and Nnalongo and their parents until they engaged in the ceremony celebrating the birth of twins, nowadays this is no longer the case. They meet freely and exchange ideas.

Some of the intricate and complex taboos, rituals, and ceremonies accompanying the birth of twins are dying out. Except in very remote communities, it is no longer possible for Ssalongo to drum for a whole month day and night. Also, gone are the days of wild rejoicing and feasting during which lewd songs were sung and irresponsible acts, including free sex, were committed.


In some families, the umbilical cords are not bundled and decorated. Neither does many a Ssalongo find the time to wear the umbilical cords as required by tradition.

Some non-Baganda wives dislike engaging in Kiganda traditional practices pertaining to twins, even although they very much love to be called Nnalongo.

However, some families nowadays combine the traditional and the modern under modified form. In some Christian families, the twin babies are baptised and then a small party for celebrating their birth is held at home.
These days, the tendency in many modern families is to treat twins as normal as any other children. These people do not see any reason to fear twins or regard them as having more power than other people………

Reblogged from http://www.njovu.org/traditions_customs.htm

inayofuata ni another straight-up so inspiring kinda hadithi that it got reposted-as-is, kwasababu sharing is caring, and it is betta to speak our truth, remembering we were never meant to survive…..

To counter some aspects of popular native literature that portray native people as stoic or create characters who speak pidgin English, we are pleased to be able to include some poems that give tender insight into the world of a Lakota mama. The fact that they were written by

the late Isabelle (Ten Fingers) Kills Enemy, a respected Lakota holy woman whom Tilda Long Soldier met in the early seventies, reveals a deeply touching side of a holy womban.

Isabelle’s daughter Valentina Janis explained that during the years when her mama was most active as a healer, she was not around her much and went to only a few of her ceremonies. Valentina shared what she could and then said, “ You know, there is something about my mom that not many people know. She loved to write poems and songs and she even wrote her own music.” Here is a poem on the loss of a child:

SINGING TO HEAVEN

On a moonlight

In a dream, lil’ darling

Dream denotes so you will be gone-gone-gone

From this whole wide world of living.

Just memories you are leaving

Singing, winging your way to heaven

Singing, winging your way to heaven

In this dream world

We’re happy, little darling

Missed you soon from our midst you’re gone-gone-gone

In vain your name we were calling

Searching then we heard your singing.

-RISING WIND (ISABELLE TEN FINGERS), 1906-84

Mother, daughter, granddaughter-these holy womben we met or learned of were not the isolated, childless crones of popular literature. Valentina also showed us a set of songs her mama had composed on staff paper. Not only could this womban, a reservation full-blood born on April 18 1906, write poetry in English but she had also acquired all the skills involved in songwriting.

Cultural anthropologists tell us that shamans were the first poets, artists and songwriters of the human race. They also point out that high intelligence and being multitalented were almost prerequisites to this sacred calling. At the end of her life, Isabelle wandered into the Badlands near her home. Her body was not found for some time.

BEAUTY OF MY MAMA’S PRAYERS

My dearest memories of Mama

As she trod along life’s way

Serenely she paused and stood there

At the altar she knelt and prayed

There’s a sweet strangeness when

Mama prayed for you and me.

And the peace and love on her face

Was like the glowing dawn of day.

The sunlight seemed brighter

Round her

When my mama knelt and prayed.

Like rainbow o’er the flowers that grow

Beauty of my mama’s prayer

Like singing or a river that flows

Beauty of my mama’s prayer

Like breezes o’er my fevered brow

When life is low, and the joy of love on her face.

Was like the glowing dawn of day.

The sunlight seemed bright around her,

When my mama knelt en prayed.

-RISING WIND (ISABELLE TEN FINGERS)

Ese.

[excerpts from Healers, Dreamers, and Pipe Carriers – Medicine Women of the Plains Indians –  Walking in The Sacred Manner

by Mark St.Pierre & Tilda Long Soldier]

God/desses of de Metutu [as re/presented in de Metu Neter Vol.1  The Great Oracle of Tehuti and the Egyptian System of Cultivation, a kitabu re/written by Ra Un Nefer Amen] remixed

1.       Maat aka. Aje Chagullia, Lakshmi, Tzadki-El….

She likes aloes en anise and….walks with a papyrus sceptre. She achieves abundance. Maat’s sceptre fuses divine law with de abundance that follows from living it. Its color, green, symbolises abundance and fruitfulness, while de papyrus, which was used for writin’, symbolises de book of de law. She realises that even her enemies are integral parts of de whole; en thus works en shares with them.

Seshat raises her consciousness to de hall of de Metu Neter en realises the ultimate unity of all things. There are no irreconcilable opposites in de world. This is de source of undaunted optimism, faith, en inner joy which reveal themselves in a peaceful genuine smile en relaxed (Hetep) state of being in de midst of setbacks en de greatest of external difficulties.

Maat (de divine law) is de food en drink of Ra (de Life-force). She nourishes her Ra with de divine law, en gives endlessly of her love (shares seeking nothing in return). There is no end to her worldly fortune as her giving is answered from de depths of Nut.

Perseverance in adhering to a belief system based on the cosmological arrangement en synthesis of divine laws, such as achieved through de Tree of Life, leads to success in all undertakings, as de view of unity that is concealed in de midst of de municipalities that life presents to us, is neva lost.

A collection of wise sayings, en divine laws, however true cannot save us, if they are not arranged into an integral system of guiding us in our day to day existence. We have seen how de abstract analogies re/presented in dis blog, especially de symbols of de Tree of Life, serve to unify specifics across general categories. Unless de elements making up our belief system (whether secular, or religious) are unified in dis manner, they become enslaving agents of dogma, instead of vehicles of salvation…..
Biological Correspondences

Physiology: Like Venus, Jupiter is responsible for de conservashun, preservashun, en expansion of de life-force en spiritual powah! It is de establisher of physiological equilibrium en fruitfulness, hence, it is de “Fortuna major” (major fortune) en greater healing force of de body. Its action is centered in de liver where it is in charge of de producshun en storage of blood suga, breakdown of protein waste into urea, etc., en the creashun en regulation of sex hormones. It also exerts a major influence on de arterial circulation en arterial blood itself….

Spiritual Counsel

When you receive a Maat reading, you are being counselled to stop on your forward movement to achieve your goal, en to meditate on de abstract principles that will enable you to acquire a broad view of de subject at hand….

2.       Het-Heru aka. Oshun, Kamalatmika, Nebt-Het, Hana-El….

The arousal of de life-force (Chi, Ra, Kundalini) through joy and pleasure, especially when ecstatic, provides de motive force for de accomplishment of our minor goals, en vitalization of de will. Unfortunately, most people are ignorant of this fact, en surpress their joyfulness waiting for success and overindulge their passions en neva know why they have so much difficulty carrying out their will, concentrating etc….

Esoteric Herbalism:

Baths: yellow roses, honeysuckle, calendula flowers, maiden’s hair, parsley, vetiver, spearmint, sandalwood

Oils: rose, sandalwood, honeysuckle, cinnammon….

Spiritual Counsel

Whenever you receive an Oshun reading you are being reminded that de purpose of indulging pleasurable (or negative) sensations is for de arousal of Ra. When they are combined with your visualisations (daydreams, meditations) of occurrences in your life ( past en future), they are given powah to manifest. In de same vein, you are being warned against wasting your life-force through over-indulgence, in order to avoid weakening your constitution en de ability to achieve your will….

3.       Sebek aka. Elegba, Eshu, Matangi, Apuat, Rapha-El….

However pragmatic en necessary for de manipulashun of physical phenomena, de mastery of definishuns, names en descripshuns – de fundamental elements of our educashun – does not constitute knowledge of reality. Proceeding with awareness of dis limitation will bring us good fortune. Proceeding without awareness of this limitation; misfortune. We speak glibly of de person coming into being in de third month of

gestation; of life arising out of de chance coming together of nonliving particles, in de same breath that we give betta odds to a random assortment of 800,000 words en definishuns on index cards  being tossed in de air en falling in alphabetical order. And with pride we call ourselves scientists.

Special Correlates:

Sebek/Tehuti: To remind people that wisdom is not represented by de accumulation of information, de Kamitic men of wisdom used de dog-headed ape (Auaun), a very cunning, en imitative animal, en hence a Sebek type, to symbolise education as de

 aping (imitation) of wisdom. At best, de most it can do is to inspect de measuring hand of de scale of balance, record de verdicts, en chastise de pig.

Sebek/Maat: Maat is de means of giving order to thinking en provides de “truth premise” that has eluded western logicians from de days of de Greek philosophers.

Sebek/Het-Heru: This is de configurashun of de “Hermaphrodite.” Verbal thinking that is guided by images (description) gain coherence, unity, en a certain degree of objective reality. While we must experience something in order to describe it, we can easily delude ourselves with definitions, which essentially are “hearsay” (verbal explanations not necessarily associated with experience).

Sebek/Auset: All of de beliefs en rationalisations bout life…are based on our identifications with our persons. However lucid, they are sources of self delusion (maya) as they cannot uplift us…..

4.       Auset aka. Yemaya, Dhumavati, Yesod, Gabri-El

Underlying Principles:

+ By devoting ourselves to realising our true self, de indwelling intelligence, we come to realise that de true Self in all beings is none other

than de Supreme Being. Thus we elevate our devotion to uplifting our character, en de caring for others to de highest level of spirituality.

-The ignorance of de divinity of de inner being constituting our true self, en that of others degenerates our caring for ourselves, en others into permissiveness, thus undermining our spiritual development.

Spiritual Counsel

Whenever you receive an Auset reading, you are being reminded that every emotional experience is a mediumistic trance induction which creates or reinforces a conditioning.

From another perspective, you may be reminded that as Auset is de point through which you express your devotion to things – emotional identification! -, it reveals to you what you truly worship. Is Ausar,  de likeness of God in which you are made, what you identify with-care most for-, or is your person-de complex of conditioned thought, and emotional reactions to situations you identify with? Do you know which God/dess you worship?……

Hadithi? Hadithi?

Why is Nairobi mythologized as the crossroads of the heart of [moyo wa] Afrika? The answer is as simple as the riddle of the sphinx; it’s  where Makmende was (re)born.

Check dis hadithi….hadithi? Hadithi njoo! Uongo njoo! Utamu kolea! Nipe mji?

Nilienda Abuja, Addis Ababa, Benghazi, Brooklyn, Cape town, Cairo, Dar-es-salaam, Harare, Joburg, Kampala, Kigali, Kingston, Lagos, London, Misrata, Port of Spain, Rajasthan, Tdot, Tripoli na Nairobi

Hapo Wahenga walisema “The freedom and development of the Afrikan woman are indispensable to the freedom and emancipation of the Afrikan people”
(Ahmed Sekou Toure) n
a pia,the revolution is not a one time event” (Audre Lorde)   

[There’s a story I know it’s about the earth and how] when spider webs unite they can tie up a lion. [an] Amharic proverb

As long as I been in dis other ‘Britannia’ called Turtle Island, I’ve had to rely on memories en lived experiences like these of….

the spaces between where I grew up and the city that I came back to and [ran away from again], seeking replenishment, re-learning en living vicariously thru [#hadithi ya] Bredrin and sistas in solidarity speaking truth to powah!

With dis blog doing the best it can to archive the metamorphosis of Hadithi zetu in different worlds, from the shores of Afreeka to the diaspora of righteousness

Ai also been co-creating adventures to fulfill vivid dreams harboured for learning villages sustained with a courageous love…with native super/sheroes inspired by honourable legends, working on this thing called Ubuntu…..

these ndoto [dreams] always have me, you en we, as  holistic individuals  in a matrix of pan-Afreekan villages of star youth, mamas, babas en elders doing the best we can to serve our God, ourselves and others

In another place, not here…..Makmende has not only returned, he’s revised everything we [think we] know from creation stories to the truth about Santa, the easter bunny,  AFRICOM, the tooth fairy, Mayan prophecies and the United States of Afreeka

Makmende is [like] a universal archetype ‘he believes that life, true life, is something that is stored in music. True life was kept safe in the lines of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin while you went out in the world and met the obligations required of you. Certainly he knew (though did not completely understand) that hip hop wasn’t for everyone, but for everyone he hoped there was something. The records he cherished, the rare opportunities to see a live performance, those were the marks by which he gauged his ability to love.’ (Bel Canto – 5)

Kwa hivyo, if Makmende is the food of memes then Britannia Zimeisha is the mama of Afrika, so what’s next Abscondita?