Is the buffalo someone’s second self?

African Buffalo

Image via Wikipedia

The Fulani people – who are pastoralists – live together with the Ron people. Different cultures living together isn’t  always easy, but most of the time, they live together peacefully.  Here is a funny story by Mr. Mafulul Lek from Daffo about a trick played on each other in which a bush-cow was involved.

The text mentions the concept of lwa’ (“second self”).  According to the animist worldview, “there is no separation between the spiritual and physical (or material) world, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, natural phenomena such as thunder, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment.” (Wikipedia: animism)

Yat ti, ahun lwa’ ti?

Maarun ɗiin ndee a yu a far ti cire mmis. Nai ta kaa’ai lo, ta har a boon. Ta kai mater yis matik la a wur. Kek, ta nii, ma mashit la: yat ti dum ta ti a kima, ti niyis: “Yin lo ti mgbang mwan, hahun ha yes a gam yin ti kwa he?” Yat ti nii hwalak, ti nyai shomwit, ti mbukai boon ka lohi ta ti a fi.

Ta niyet ye. Ta ju runggwa’, ta nii: “A sakur, i cwai mi, i shai ha?” Si makerong si yati. Ta nin carmbel, ta tik a nin carmbel, ta lukis a fa mer ti lwa’ ti lwyash nzis. Ko ta manet yat, ti nyet a nya ti a nggong ma meri.

Maarun ta niyet: “Sutet mmish!” Ta shit la han ta ti a fa mer, ta shitai Wulyang ma rundong ɓiil a gyokai rundong a tye’e. Ta kir la, ta gaasai fe ma Bilati, ta syar ti, ta niyis: “Ndiya hu niyen, yaa yo Kaɗo, ahun mi ha? Ye, ɗama kwa, hu yes, hu shitai rundong ɗiin mwan na a nggong ma mer a nan – mu yet a mamot. Ahun nzu ti yo? Kabok, hu yes, hu shitai !”

Bilati nai, ko ta manis ti gas mama a gaasai sisi. Si nii: “Ca yu ti mbayat yo, ahun ca yu, ca shitai rundong tima ma laki?” Si kir la, si niyis: “A yok, ni na mayes-o!” Si nii, mi mapak la, yat ti nii hwa’, hu gyok sen anda! Si mashwet fo, yit ti fayi. Si nin a rundong kil shuwit, rundong ta nii mbi’ ti tutok, yat ti fayi.

Maarun ta tamas, ta tik a sumu’ yat a fa Wulyangi, yit a gaasayi. Ta shitai, si fotis a mashit ta ti a fa mer kong, ta nin hwet, ta jikis la. Ta gam boon mmis, mama kwai yat ti fwyaa’ai, ka lohi, ta ɗusai. Ta nggyaa’ai ti, kyahap a wur.

Nai wa’ Run si furai ndurum ti findeli, si fwaa a gaasai Bilat, si syaar ti. Si nii: “Mbwa ti Wulyang a rundong! Ɗaam ma lan! Halyang ɓiil mai, si sun!” Nai Wulyang si halai, si niyis, ye, ɗama kwa.

Wa’ Wulyang ma rundong ma sharan, ahun ɗuraje, nai si pak la ta ti a kimaash mama si yaasi. Si konis Run ɓiil shen. Yat ɗiin nai wa’ ti konet a malang ti rundong kil, ti konet ti. Si sharis si rundongi giga’, ngga’ mama mma naaf a shitai, ta sun kwa. Nai Wulyangi si yu, si nggwel, si shitet yati. Si nii: “Ɓwe kapat, kwai caa wer ɗam mama Run ndee si masisai nyaas mmican sai.”

Si ɗik a malang ta mbule’, kil wit-wit, si niyis Runi: “Hu cwaai ɗam ma motan ha?” Si niyis: “Ei, ni cwaai.” Si niyis: “Yee, hu yu, hu shit a rundong sai kil.” Run si nyaash, si niyis: “Ni palang fwet ɓaang!” Bilat si niyis: “Kawe, ɓa ku hu honan gaasai nin, a hai ta findel ma yat, mama ndee hu re’is nyaas mminin kyai hai ha?” Yet lwyat, Run si kabok, si niyis Bilat “Kabok, ni wan a tyaakan kwa.” Bilat si niyis: “Ye, ka hu tyaak kwa, hu yu, hu tek rundong nda!”

Run si ɗik a fwaaran, si malaang fo. Si nii, mi mashit han kong ti a rundong kil, kil ti nii wutirish, yat ti niyis: “Hu ɗa, i mwan!” Run si mashuwit, ti ka yat ti a nggong. Wulyang si nii: “Hya’, findel a mawal, ca weran.” Si tik a gaasai Run, si niyis “Kaɗo!” Si ngga rundong mmis kong, si ɗoris a ne.

Ngga’ mama Run ndee si wal ka yati, si nii kek, a hyau tyaakan tikil kwa gbum. Run si nii kek, yati ndee ti mun yo yat ti fo mmit ti kwa. Wa’ lwa’ ti Wulyang ti, ndee si yes a wer ti ɗam mama ndee sin Run ɗes si masisayi ti yati.

Is the buffalo someone’s second self?

One day, a certain Ron man went hunting with his dogs. He killed some game and put it in his bag. As he was returning home, a huge buffalo suddenly attacked him. As he fled from the animal, it knocked off from his back the bag containing meat of the game he hunted.

The buffalo kept chasing him about. When he was about to over-run him, the hunter transformed himself into a bird (using his second self) and flew upon a tall tree. The buffalo became annoyed and lay down under the tree, waiting for him to come down again.

But the man wouldn’t dare come down. From the tall tree, he saw some nomadic Fulani grazing their cows near-by. He called them and started raining abuses on them, asking them to look at their lost cow, which was dying under the tree he had climbed.

The Fulani men became annoyed. They decided to go over to see what was there. When they reached the tree, the buffalo jumped up and attacked them. They ran away with the buffalo hard after them. When they reached their cows, the cows also started running in disarray. The Ron hunter watched their flight and abused them even more.

When he saw that the Fulani men, their cows and the buffalo had disappeared from sight, he quickly came down from the tree. He took his bag of meat which the beast had knocked off from his back and immediately ran home.

Back home, he narrated the story and the news quickly spread all over the land like a bush fire. People exaggerated, calling all the Fulani stupid and fools. However, the Fulani kept cool (and waited for an opportunity to take revenge for what the Ron man had done to their fellow Fulani).

The opportunity came when some Fulani with a brown or red cow called ‘Dauraje’ in Hausa passed a night in the Ron area on their nomadic movements. At night, they sighted a wild brown buffalo which had slipped into their herd of cows. Now they had got what they needed to take revenge for what the Ron man had done to their fellow Fulani.

Before day-break, they woke up some Ron men living nearby and asked them whether they would like some cow carrion. They replied, yes. The Fulani told them to go and look for one in their herd of cows. The Ron men thanked the Fulani profusely. Pretending to be serious, the Fulani also demanded from them an apology for what their famous hunter did to their Fulani kinsmen with the buffalo. Due to their notorious appetite for meat, the Ron men anxiously asked forgiveness. The Fulani told them to go into the herd and get the dead cow.

The Ron men quickly ran to the herd, overtaking each other. As they looked for the dead cow, the buffalo suddenly came upon them! They had to flee, with the buffalo hard after them. The Fulani had paid them back in their own coins. They abused the fleeing Ron. Then they gathered together their cows and continued their movement west-ward.

How the victims ended is too sad to tell. The Ron simply called the buffalo a second self of the Fulani, deliberately brought to take revenge for what their celebrated hunter did to their kinsmen.

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