The following story by Mr. Lek provides an explanation how the plaited penis sheaths (masin) which in the past were used as pubic covers on the Jos Plateau and in other areas in Africa were invented.
Wash mai, wa’ lel ndee ti cu sis, ta katis kpokolok fat kusum ma nga. Ta katis a mburit gbum. Ta nii, ndo ti kai sis. Ɗam mma ma masai yis mai: ta wis a lan, ta munis a ton fat ɗaam ma lan. Nai a yu a langis a ton.
Ɗeei ti mwaan ka gangi kwa. Ren sani a nii, ma manggwel ta ti a ton, a shitai naafa ti madish ma fukut a nggong mawan ti a ton mma yis ma ti. Wa’ naafani ɗes, a nii, nzis leli ti, ti wu shak, nai ma gam ton, ɓa ta munis ti fat ɗaam ma lan ɗes. Taa a sun, ta nii, wash mma miis a mburit gbum ma ti a ton kwa.
Wash a dum ta ti a ton, ɓa ta tekai madish ma fukuti. A kiris fo ti tutok ngash-ngash-ngash. A fwaar, a dash yish la; shambwet ti, a pwet a wur.
Wash a shitai, u pwetis; a sor, a lal, a niyis: “Kabok, a faren madish ma fukut sai, ɓa i no’, i lang a ɗafal kil kwai kek . Hof ti; tahun-tahun i tika ti ɗama mma, i tiken la ti a ton mmin.”
Shum ti kai sis. A tu’ madish ma fukuti la, a wyaat la, a but la, a niyis: “I hwyan fukuti la, a yes, cin ci lat masinash, ci shu!” Wash a niyis: “Mimai a ti’ masin?”
A gbwya ɗikyau, a lat masin, a kir; a lat, a faris wash, a kir. Si sisal.
A niyis: “Mar ti aa ti, ndiya ti katen ɗanggat, nai ti motet, i ku i tek fukuti, i kir; ndee i lef ti kwa.”
Si tik la a wur, naf si jakai, si niyis: “Ni munan a wan a shu shaat mmu la! Hu lak can ti ngga’ mma hu lat masini, ɓa ca shu shak, ka naf si mawal a tonan.” Si lakis ti. Si but fukutai la, si shu masinash hai ti ram mayes a kwai hani.
Lul taa tu ti findel sani, yit mai
- Mimai a kir, ndee naf si hon fukutai, si kir masin?
- A fa ndo ti mburit ti kek, wash sani ndee a pak a ton, ahun mi ɗes?
- Wurai ma naf ma we ndee si tong mamun mi?
- Masin a mun mburit ti ha?
- Mimai a ti’ mburit?
- Naf mma si waai a masha kwa (fat Ɗuwo) – naf ma mburit mi ahun naf ma taɗi?
- Mimai a ti’ rumwyat?
- Mimai a ti’ lel?
How the plaited penis-sheath was invented
A man was said to have become poor like a church rat. He couldn’t even afford something to wear. He felt very ashamed. He decided to go to the bush and live in a cave like a bush animal. So he went and entered into a cave.
One day, as he was peeping out from the cave, he saw a man with a tattered leather cloth on his buttocks coming towards the cave where he was. Allegedly, the man also thought that his poverty was so shameful, therefore he was also looking for a cave to live in, like a bush animal. He was not aware that the man who was even poorer — to the point of being naked — was already in the cave.
That man suddenly dashed out from the cave and wanted to snatch his tattered leather cloth. He took to his heels. He fell down several times, wounding himself, and narrowly escaped home.
When the other man saw that he had escaped, he stopped and shouted after him: “Please, borrow me your tattered leather dress, so that I may stay among people only today. I will surely return it to you tommorow and go back into my cave.”
The man felt pity. He pulled off the tattered leather dress, tore it and threw it away and said to the man: “I have thrown away my leather dress; come, let’s plait penis sheathes.” The uncle asked: “What do you mean by penis sheathes?” He picked some kajinjiri leaves, plaited a penis sheath and wore it. Then he plaited another and gave it to the other man to wear it. They were happy. He told him: “Only one small goat was left to me. It died recently, so I took the skin for a cloth, but I didn’t slaughter it for that purpose.”
When they returned home, people were very happy to see them and told them: “We have nearly stopped mourning for you. Tell us how you got these penis sheathes. We would also like to wear them, instead of going to caves.” They told them. People threw away their leather clothes and started wearing the plaited penis sheath everywhere, till today.
- Why did people stop wearing animal hides and use the plaited penis sheath instead?
- Was it just because he was ashamed of his poverty that the man moved to a cave?
- Where did the people live formerly?
- Is wearing a plaited penis sheath being naked?
- What is nakedness?
- Are the people who do not get circumcised – like the Ɗuwo – naked or sinful people?
- What is wealth?
- What is poverty?