The wrist-watch used as oracle


A Rolex wrist watch (Photo: Wikimedia)

Would you think that a wrist watch (the type with hands, not the digital type) could be used to divine? Here is another funny story Mr. Mafulul Lek from Daffo told me in 1992.

Mburat ti agogo

A halai mama ndee si masai mburat ta agogo, yit ka’ a malang la ha? Ɗak si halai wa’, agogo ti gwaaf ti ɓwe, ahun ngga’ mama mu hatat, nai si nii wa’, sukwa ma Masarahi a masai ɗam ma findel si ɓwe ti!

Nai, wash ma wamai ɗak, ta yu, ta gon ti we ɗiin taa ra ta wamai ɗak. Naafani, ɓat a dukulum a hai ɗes kwa, ta faris, ta niyis kek, mma ti sor, ta hurish kil mama ti swaar, ca hurish sai kek.

Nai ta yes ti ɗama mmis, ta langis ti a mburat. Naf nai si matutok mawan ta wa’ mburu ma Masara, mama ma mburat ti ɗam mama Masara a findyaal ti si ɓwe. Mma naaf a yu, nai ta tek agogohi, ta kir a ndik. Naafan ahun nafuhi nai si lak ɗaman mama mi fuki, ahun ɗam mama a kul sisi. Ta lang wa’ ma mba ham ti agogohi. Ta niyis nafi wa’, si tong twaaf gor la taa kwash tawe. Nai, shak ka yit mburuhi si twaafai agogo lulya yish ti a ndik, si nii tufo’a-tufo’a.

Taa tei, ta tek agogohi, ta niyis, naaf mama a yes a mba hami ta mat, ta kai a ra. Ta niyis kong, ta lak shak mafwash mama a masai, ma fuk, ɓwe ti yafis. Ahun, kabok mama a yes ti ta ɓwe a hai ta ɗam mama ma fuki, ta masai ti naf mama miis a nggongi. Ahun si haris motan a yish, ahun mi cwai sis fehi. Nai naafi ta wal a tot ɗamani ti agogohi ti a ra, mburuhi ta matai, ta kir a ndik. Agogohi ti mun a zuti kyak-kyak-kyak – ta gan hai han, ta gan han, yit a shyaatai re ma agogohi. Taa tei, ta niyis naf mama si yes a mburati, si kul ɗam mama mi wan a fari, ta ku ta lakis ti ɗam mma ɓwe-agogo ti laki.

Naf nai, si niyis, ta lak ɗam mama ma fuki si farisi kek . Ta niyis, yit ɗes ma wan a lak ɗam ɗiin kang si ɗam mama yit ɓwe ti lak taa fo ti agogo, ti nii, si farisi kwa. Nai ta mbuk agogohi, ta kir a hwam. Ti mun a hwash kyak-kyak-kyak – ta lulet ɗam mama wa’ a hyau, ta mat a ra ta nafi. Nai ta tik ti agogohi la ti a ndik. Ta shit a fasa, ta shit a ndik, ta nii, ɓwe ti nii, si faris ɗam han mai.

Ta nii ɗes, ɓwe ti nii, mma si kabok, ɓa ta diisai la, ma wis a dyai la. Nai si walis a har ɗam mama a laki, ta tik a tek agogohi, ta kir a hwam, wa’ ma halai ɗam mama ɓwe mu wis nafi a laki. Nai agogo ti mun a kyak-kyak-kyak ti a hwam, yit a tot mmis, ta niyai: “I palang! Waa’, kabok! Kabok, kabok! Ye, i palang, a naa!”

Taa tei, ta kir agogohi la a ndik, ta gbukai la a kil. Fat ɗak naf ma tot ɓur si masaahai, shak ɗaam mama kwai naf kyai si lak ti fo mmis, ahun si kabok a fo ta ɓwe, sin mi, ta totai ti ɓur, ta niyis wa’, ɗam mma ɓwe ti lakis nai! Ta wun, ta gaasai, ta syar ti. Si mun a wis, ta sisal, ta niyis, mma si tyaak, mimai a wa ti!

Gip ta niyis, si yu ti shit a lwa’, ahun wa’ si nggiisai kil ma lwa’. Ahun wa’ yiu ti mari mu al ti ɗakash, si yu, si tek. Ngga’ mama ndee si nin ti agogohi, si wis ti a mburat, si cu ti kil, si kaf mani. Ti vat ti kat a ra tuni, gip si gon, si haat ti a yish fat laya.

Si mun ti, si nii wa’, agogo ti ra ti masaahai wunat ti wash mi. Nai si hon no’i a ra, si kyaar a jalpo. Si nii ɗes, wa’ ti shwaa wash ma naaf ta ti a mala. Gip ma naf nai si fa tokai agogohi fo gbum.

Mayes a kwai hani, ɓiil miis ɓat ti a kurkwil a hai ti agogohi. Wa’ kpak, agogo shilim ti ɓwe ti. Mma andai kwa, wa’ mimai a kir, agogo mu hatat ryap si ɓwe, ngga’ mama naaf a haat si shilim nzis?

The wrist-watch used as oracle

Did you know that in the past the wrist-watch was used as an oracle by some Ron people ? People thought that through it the white man could talk with God (the word for sun and God is the same in the Ron language), as it always went according to the sun.

A certain Ron man therefore went and bought an old wrist-watch somewhere. The man who sold it was not well informed how it worked. He only showed him how to wind it when it stopped and gave it to him.

Back home, the man started working as a diviner. News quickly spread that he could use the white man’s means of talking with God. Whenever clients came, he would put down the wrist-watch in front of them. They would tell him their problem. He would tell them to ask pardon from God for any evil they had done to anybody and forgive those who had done wrong to them. As a sign for removing all bad feelings from their hearts, they (including the diviner) would spit on the watch.

Having done this, the client would be asked to hold the watch in his hand and pray to God, asking him what he wanted him to do about his case. When the client had finished his prayers, he would take back the clock from him and put it down. He would then walk round the clock, watching its hands and moving about his head, as if he was listening to what the clock was saying. He would then ask the client to give him his due fees, before he could interpret to him what God would say about his problem.

The client would ask him what the fee was. He would then tell him that he would ask God for the right fee. He would do this by asking the clock and then holding it against his ears, pretending he was listening to God. After a while, he would tell the client what God wanted him to give as a fee to the diviner.

If the client would frown at the amount charged, he would lessen it a bit on grounds of mercy. After the client paid the fee, he would put the wrist-watch to his ear again, claiming he was listening to what God wanted him to tell the client about his problem. He would be talking to himself, saying: “Thanks! Have mercy, I pray! Thanks, Mother God!”

He would then put down the clock and turn to the client to tell him God’s answer to his prayers. He would do this by simply judging the clients on the confessions and prayers he had earlier made and then passing his own personal opinion about them.

In addition, he might also tell the clients that their second selves had been tampered with. He would then direct them to go and do the necessary rituals to regain their health. This is how they used the wrist-watch as oracle. Others would wear it like a charm.

Some people believed that the wrist-watch worn on a person’s arm would cause shortage of blood, therefore they kept it in their bags. But even that was not safe to some people. Those wouldn’t carry a wrist-watch at all.

Up to now, some people are still ignorant about how a clock works. They believe it must be “God’s shadow”, since it walks with the sun (i.e. God) like a shadow of a person.

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