The secret language of Puki and Magit

Here is another story told by Mr. Mafulul Lek from Daffo in 1992. It is about two brothers — Puki and Magit — who had (invented ?) their own secret language, which came in handy from time to time. Here are some of the things they did. If you would like to know more about them, you should go and ask Mafulul Lek, since Puki was his grandfather.

Findel ma ka Puki si Magit

Wa’ Ɗafo ɓiil fulal ndee si laak findel ɗiin, mama shak, ɗeng a sun kwa. Ɗak naf si masai, ɓa si halai sai masut ma findeli, si masai wet ti, nai si ku si kirai wa’ “Findel ma ka Puki si Magit”. Puki si Magit ndee si mun fe ma da si naa ɗanggat mi. Sum ma damis ndee a ti’ Tat, ma naa nzis ta ti’ Uɓur. Puki, yit mai damis ma Lek, damis ma Mafulul, naaf ma worong sani.

Puki ndee a mun mamgbang ti Magit, ta mun ɗes yo sukwa ma mburu mai. Findel ma sukwyat mama ndee si laak, sin ahwis fulali, wa’ ndee si sha ahwis, si mot ti, ti a tutwai. Findeli, si nii kek, ndee si mburat ti mburat, si zut ti sukwyat ka njulusat, si masai ti ɗaam ma mayor buu, mama mayes a kwai naf si nyai a ma kwa.

Gip ma naf si nii wa’, findeli ndee a mun yo hural ma findeli mai, ahun wa’ findel ma naf ma hai mai. Wa’ mma si shit la, si shitai ɗama ma wan a aɓul, nai si ku si findel ti findel sai. Fat wa’ ti findel sai mai, ndee, mma si halai motan ti mgbang, ahun ɓwyaash mi mayes, si karak ti naaf la. Ahun wa’ ndee a munis findel ma lwa’ ti lwyash mai, tima ti shyaat la, ti shitai wur ahun shinggil mu wan a mamun cala kwa, ti lak. Naf ma lwyashi nai, sin mi, si halai, si ku si tik can tikil. Wa’ a fa findeli mai, naf ndee si majwaai mawan a mburat a nan ta Pukihi. Si nii, hani ti, ndee a mun yo ji, ta har safat a wur yo rus.

Ti findel ma sukwyati wa’ nai si kai Maangguna ɗiin, si gonis Wulyang ma Rundong la yo mor. Wulyangi si faris kpandang ma rundong ɗiin. Nai si wis a hai rundongi a mawet ta fulul. Saf ma Nyorong ma Ɗafo ɗiin mama ndee a ti’ Gbong Maviu, hwam ti hwis hai. Ta yu, ta tar sis la mma si hayan rundongi, sin a lamo’i. Ta nii, miis a lul a hai ta rundongi, si matisai ti findel mmis ma sin ahwis sai, ta gam ɗam ma masayi wet. Si dya’ lohi, si faris. Taa tei, si har lo ma rundong mmis, si cu, si gon gipi la. Wa’ Saf ma Nyorong nai ta wal a cwai mmis lohi, ta nii, ma nya, nya si kai sis kwa ti findel ma hoyai mama ndee si lakai sis a hai sai.

Nai Saf ma Nyorong, Gbong Maviu, yit a nan ta Saf ma Masara ma Ɗafo mama ndee a ti’ Faya Mashigal. Ta niyis Safi, ndya a tar sukwai kyai la, sin a hai rundong a mawet ta fulul, ta nii, ma lul a hai, si lakai sis a hai ti findel mmis sai. Si dya’ lo ma rundongi, si faris, ta wis. Nai ta reni ta mba nya wet, shisher mu kaa’ai sis. Saf Faya Ashigal nai ta rut, si lalis ka Puki si Magiti. Si mun mawan ta Safi, Puki ta lakis Magit ti hural ma findel mmis sai, ta niyis: “Bulal ti, mi wicin a tong masayi. Inii mai, mi wen a matong masayi. Mma na si yes, si nya a nya a ndik, ɓa si fara bulali, ka a ho kwa! Mma a ho, ca mawalan. Mma a ho kwa, ci pwetan cin ndai , ɓur ti mawal.” Magit nai ta niyis ye, ma wan a hwash kwa.

Ti mawan nzis nai, awei, Saf Faya ta nii, si tongis far bulal tawe. Puki nai ta fa nyan a nya. Si dash nggongi, ta sun, ta nii, ɗama ɗiin a niyis kwa. Naf si nii, nggongi mu wan a taɗaasan wash. Ta lifitis, si shitai mandar ma bulal, ahun wash ɓiil kwa. Si kat a mayor.

Magit ta mun a makon ti, ɓa si masisai bulali, Puki ta findelis ti findel mmis sai. Wa’ Maanggas mai, ndee a mun naaf ma masai bulal ma Saf Fayahi. Nai ta halai Puki a lakis Magit findel mama ɗeng a sun kwa sai, wa’ ko ta manis. Ta sunzor bulal fasa, ta nggifinis, wa’ ɓa ta zut Magit, nggong ti wop a taɗaasan. Magit nai wa’ wa hwak, ta lifitis la, Maanggas, ti a nggifin, ta wak bulal a ra a ndik, bura ti dum. Si nii wa’ ɗes, andee Saf Faya, a hai a yis, a her la kaang kwa, andee bulali ti mashu a hai a yis ti! Bulali ɗes, ti wopet a maɗuk!

Nai mgbwiing ti kai Saf Faya ka shak naf mama ndee si mun ti. Ti dukis a hai, Saf Faya ta lulis Maanggas ɗaman mama a masayi. Ta nii, ma lak ɗamani, fo ta rwis, Saf ta niyis, ta mun mbaa. Wa’ hural ma findel mama Puki a lakis Magit sai mai, a manis a ko, nai a nggifinis, ɓa ta zut Magiti la a fwash fwet. Ta nii wa’ Magit ta tik a nya ti a ndik, ɓa ta faris bulali. Ko ta manis Saf Faya ɗes, ta niyis: “Nai mama a hon Magiti, a mbolai inii, a zut ndik ha?” Naf ɗes, kwash si manis, ti niyis fat si dash Maanggasi, Saf Faya ta sha.

Si nii, ndee Safi a wop a nggarai Maanggasi taa wunat, ta wis. Saf ma Nyorong, Gbong Maviu, mama a kul ka Puki si Magit a fo ta naf ma Masarahi ta nii, ma matik a findel, ɓa ta calis saf ko, Saf Faya Mashigal ta niyis, ma wan a matik a halai ɗaman sai taa fo a yis kwa. Taa tei, ta niyis ka Puki si Magit: “A fe ma Tat Malo – Saf ma Nyorong, Gbong Maviu mai, a kul hun a fo ta naf ma Masara. Ndya i shitu hun a hai rundong ɗiin, ahun hun a kai mor ɗiin taa Mangguna, hu gon la, kwa. Hu lifit, hu yu a wur!”

Ka Puki si Magit si palangis Saf, si mun a wis, si lang a hural ma findel mmis sai, sin a ndus a mba kai sisal wet. Naf si kat a manii wa’: “A sa’ – Fanga shak mburai mi, ka findeli!”

Wa’ mburat ti ɗanggati ti, Puki ndee a masai, ta ku ta pwet a ra ta ɓur ti Masara. Wa’ a ɓur ti walayi; tima ndee Masara a pak ti Ɗafo, naf si yu a mawyaat a raman si tonan, ndee a tar Puki la a mawet a dasa. Wa’ ndee si mun a mawet, sin si nafu nzis Umoto Takpong, yit ti Lek, mar mmis, yit ka’ yo kaliju. Wa’ nai Masarahi ta nggwel ti a dasa, ta shitet nafuhi a ndusai kalijuhi nafos yish, ɓa ti hek la, ka ndok a ho, masara ta halai. Nai wa’ Masarahi a niyet, kabok, ka ti hek mari la kwa – ma wan a ɓol set kwa!

Naafara mmit Puki nai ta fa lakan findel mmis sai. Masara nai ta halai la ti Pukihi, ta niyis, shak nzis si rang la ta ti a myar a kil. Si yu, Masara ta lulis: “Hun Ɗafo mi ha?” Puki ta niyis: “Ei, nafu nzin ti tuni, ka mari!” Masara ta niyis wa’: “Ye, masut mmu, masut ma sare mai, yaa wan a ndek la kwa. Shak masut mmu mama si kat na, mi mawyaat, hu lakis, si tik la a wur. Taa kwai, ɓur ti mawal! Hun mi kek, i laku sani hural ma findeli – hun ahu!”

Nai Puki si nafuhi si niyis Masarahi, si palang. Taa tei, Masara wa’ ta sakat aa ɗanggat taa safat mama naf ma ɓur ma Masarahi ndee si mun a nggahi mawis ti, ta niyis Puki: “A mat ɗiin masut na ɗes!” Nai Puki ta mat, ta palaang ti findel mmis si Magit sai. Masarahi ndee a halai ɗaman mama a lakisi ahun wet ɗak, si nii kek, Masarahi ndee a kinggit hai, fat a halai, kat a fuk findel mama a lakisi. Nai Puki si nafuhi si tik la a wur.

Puki nai ta kai yis naf laki ɓur si Masara ta wal – ɓa si rang la taa mawyaat. Gip si fuk, si tik la a wuri. Gip si nii, sutet ti – si kwis ti a mawyaat. Si nii wa’ findel mmis ma sukwyat sai mai, si fa laki si Masara, ɓa Masara ta yes, ta walai a ndek Ɗafo Maanggai la ka masuti gbum. Nai si katis ti raman, mama ndee si yu a mawyaati gbum! Taa, awei ti. Taa ɓur tima ka Puki si nafuhi ka mari si pwet Masara ndee a tik a mayes a ɓur ɗiin a Ɗafo kwa.

The secret language of Puki and Magit

Two Daffo men were said to speak a language which nobody understood. Because nobody could understand their secret language, it was called Puki-Agit language. The two men were brothers. Their names were Puki and Agit. Their father’s name was Tat, their mother’s name Uɓur. Puki is the father of Lek, the father of Mafulul, the author of this story.

Puki, the older one of the two brothers, was one of the leading native doctors of his time. There are many tales about the secret language they used. It is now lost because they kept it to themselves and died with it.

Some said that it was the language of the water-spirits, which ordinary people could not understand. In that peculiar language, they would forecast coming events, like draughts or the outbreak of diseases. Some said that they could interpret the language of the lwa’ birds. For these reasons, Puki became a leading native oracle and healer and amassed a great fortune.

Through this business with their exclusive language, the two brothers were said to have captured a man from Mangguna and sold him as a slave to the nomadic Fulani. The Fulani gave them a fat bull. They went to kill their bull in a hide-out at night. While they were slaughtering it, the chief priest of Daffo, Gbong Aviu, suddenly came. He asked them where they got the bull and why they were killing it secretly at night. But they replied him in their secret language which he did not understand, offering him a piece of meat. They ate part of their meat and publicly sold the rest. The chief priest also went and ate his own, but then became sleepless about what they had told him in that language.

He went and reported the matter to the first modern chief of Daffo, Faya Ashigal. The chief immediately summoned them. As they went to the chief’s court, Puki warned his brother Magit in their secret language: “First, we are going to be whipped. I will take it first. You will lie down and take it next. Don’t cry! If you do, we are finished! If you don’t, we are free and that’s all!” Magit promised not to cry, and so they went.

On arrival, the chief, indeed, ordered them to be whipped, exactly as forecast by Puki. Puki was whipped so hard that one would think his buttocks would start to bleed and he would not be able to walk again. But to everyone’s amazement, he rose up without even a mark of the whip on his buttocks!

When  Agit was ordered to lie down, Puki talked to him in their secret language. The chief’s whip-man, an Angas man, became annoyed about what happened. He raised up the whip and closed his eyes. As he was about to land the whip, Magit quickly stood up and the whip was smashed on the ground, nearly hitting the chief himself. The whip split into two.

Everyone was terrified. When the chief had recovered from the shock, he asked the whip-man to explain what he had done. He was about to say that it was that language spoken by Puki and Magit which had annoyed him, but the chief angrily interrupted him: “Is that why you wanted to whip me instead of Magit?” The whip-man pleaded to the chief to order Magit to lie down for the whip again, but the chief asked him to shut up.

The chief dismissed the whip-man from his work. The chief priest, Gbong Aviw, wanted to appease the chief, but he was also told to shut up. The chief then turned to Puki and Agit and told them: “Sons of Tat Malo, you have been brought here by the chief priest, Gbong Aviw. I did not see you butchering any cow or selling any Mangguna man. Go home, you have no case to answer!”

Puki and Agit bowed in thanks. After they had left the court, they talked to each other in their secret language, throbbing with laughter.

That same language was said to have saved Puki and his wife from the whiteman, in the last colonial war at Daffo. Puki and his wife Umoto Takpong with their baby boy Lek were discovered hiding in a forest by a white soldier, who was the commander. To prevent the baby from crying and exposing them, the mother closed its mouth and nose and was about to kill it. When the soldier saw her, he shouted orders to her, not to kill the baby, signalling that he wouldn’t shoot her.

Puki, who was hiding somewhere behind her, spoke some words in his secret language. The whiteman heard his voice and ordered them to come out from the forest. When they came out, he asked them: “Are you Daffo people?” Puki answered: “Yes. This is my wife and baby.” The officer replied: “Go and tell all your kinsmen to come home. The war will be finished. You are the first people who know this.”

They bowed their heads and thanked him. The whiteman chose a goat from the animals the soldiers had looted and gave it to Puki. Puki thanked the officer in his secret language. Whether or not the whiteman understood it, the tale simply says that he nodded his head in appreciation, and there was no interpreter between them throughout!

Back home, Puki and his wife began to spread the good news that the war with the whiteman was over and every Daffo man should return home from exile. Some believed them and returned home, but others refused, saying it was lies, that he had only conspired with the white man through that queer language to call back the Daffo people to be destroyed all. Those people remained in exile and never returned to Daffo again. But truly, it was the last colonial war between the whiteman and the Daffo people!

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s