In former times, whenever an eclipse of the moon happened, there would be a panic. People (not only in Ron country) used to think that the “sun is eating the moon”. In the following text, Mr. Mafulul Lek, a former journalist who lives in Daffo, tells about some customs related to this cosmic phenomenon. He also provides some information about Ron words for heavenly bodies and seasons.
Ɓwe ti cu ɗambwas
Mma a halai re si mat fo, ahun sin a gwaa’ re a fo: “Waroowa! Waroowa!”, a kir hwam ger, kawet a halai sin a dash kinggangash, sin a fu’ vwyarash ɗes. Mma andai ti, “ɓwe ti cu ɗambwas”; kambet nai mi shaati. Got mmis mai, mma ɓwe ti cu ɗambwas, si jik shaati andai, ɓwe ti ku ti shitai shumi, ti hon sis na a la.
Shaat mama ɓwe ti cu ɗambwas si ma maɗafal ma kang. Ma ɗambwas hai ti shinggil ti, si shaat; ma maɗafal naf mmis ahun nggong mmis mi kek, si shaat. Mma ɗambwas a mot, sai ma kang; si shaat sis kwa, ɗak ma mwa ma wan a malang. Ma we, mma a yu a kurkwil, si nii, mwash a mot, si shitai ma mwa. Ɗambwas ma mwa si jaakai fat mar ma mwa (kalijiu) mma si kir.
Shak ɗambwasas mi ti makon hure ful malang mafwara’ ahun hure yuhun rash. Wil ma ɗambwasas hure malang ful rash ɗes. Wil si kar ti ndik pu’ a fa kil yish – tamun, cam, fuul, humbil. Tamun ma ɗambwas ful – ɗambwas ma ful mayes a ma yuhun. Cam ma ɗambwas hara – ɗambwas ma pu’ mayes a ma mafwara’. Fuul ma ɗambwas ful – ɗambwas ma yelam mayes a ma hure. Humbil ma ɗambwas yuhun – ɗambwas ma hure malang ɗanggat mayes a ma ɗanggat.
A fa mgbangat yish, ɓwe mu fo, ɗambwas ta kul fai. Taa tei, ma ho’an mma si kul fai sin mi: ɓiyar, mater ti mgbang, ujush, ka shitam ma puri. Ɗam mama a kat shak a ti’ njoret.
Layi mu fulal – ne, yit fit kek. Ɓwe ti ɗwai taa fit, ti fur a ne. Fit mma ɓwe ti ɗwai a ti’ ‘East’ ti Maasara; mama ti ɗwai ta ti kwa ta ti’ ‘North’, ɗes ti Maasara.
Ne mma ɓwe ti fwaar ti ‘West’, mama ti fwaar ti kwa ‘South’ ti Maasara.
Lul taa tu ti findel sani, yit mai:
- Ɓwe tima ti cwai ɗambwas tuni, yit ti ɓwe tima ti ro can, ahun ɗiin ti tang?
- Ka ɓwe, ka ɗambwas, ka ɓiyar, ka njoret shak mi fa fasa yish ti – layi mu fa mimai yish?
- Mimai a kyaar ɓwe ti cu ɗambwas?
- Ca nyaai ɓwe ti ɗu, ca nii ɓwe ti fur. Ɓwe ti, mu hatat, ti masyaarai layi, ahun layi ti, mu hatat, ti masyaarai ɓwe? Mma ɓwe ti, mu hatat, a fa mi yish? Mma layi ti, mu hatat, a fa mi yish?
- Cen a ryaan taa lel, cam ta yes; ta rin taa lel, kil ti ku ti le’ la?
- Kil ti wu mahor ta cam ahun ta fuul, ta humbil ahun ti tamun? Ti wu maɗir tami?
- A minggi ɗambwasas mi, ɓwe ti ɗwai a matirkil, ti fur a matirkil? A minggi mi, ti ɗu a masor, ti fur a masor?
- Mma si niya, wil ma hure a atisi malang yelam ti hure yelam rash, a worong tite? Mma si worong hani: 2000, a lak tite?
The sun eats the moon
When you hear people clapping hands or sounding alarms, you should listen more carefully, perhaps you may also hear them beating drums and blowing flutes. If that is the case, then there is an eclipse of the moon, therefore the people are mourning. It is their custom to start mourning for the moon like this, so that the sun will have mercy and spare the moon.
The mourning for the moon and for a human being is different. The one for the moon is done by all the person of the land, the one for a human being is done only by his family. When the moon goes into darkness, that is different; they don’t mourn for it then, since they know that a new moon will come. When it goes into darkness, they say, he will soon die, for the new one to be seen. They dance for the new moon like for a new-born child.
All the months have exactly 28 or 30 days. The year has 12 months. The year is divided into four seasons: spring, rainy season, autumn and dry season. Spring lasts two months – from February to March. Rainy season lasts five months – from April to August. Autumn lasts two months – from September to October. Dry season lasts three months – from November to January.
By importance, the sun is greatest, followed by the moon. After this, the more important heavenly bodies are Venus, Milky Way, Pleiades and Orion. All the other are simply called “stars”. The world is divided into two: southwest and northeast. The sun rises in the (North-)East and sets in the (South)West. The direction where it rises is called ‘East’ in English, the direction where it doesn’t rise ‘North’. The direction where it sets is called ‘West’ in English, the direction where it doesn’t set ‘South’.
- Is the sun which “eats the moon” the God who created us?
- Sun, moon, venus and all the stars are in the sky – where is the world?
- What is the reason for the eclipse of the moon?
- We say “the sun rises” and “the sun sets”. Is it the sun that is going round the earth or is it the earth going round the sun? If it is the sun, on what is it walking? If it is the world, on what is it walking?
- From where does the wind blow when the rainy season starts? From where does it blow when the dry season starts?
- When is it hottest – in rainy season, autumn, dry season or spring? When is it coldest?
- In which months does the sun rise and set slantedly? In which months does it rise and set straightly?
- If you are asked to write (in numbers) nineteen hundred and ninety, how would you do that? How would you say “the year 2000” ?