The war for Umgbaleng

Here is another story written by Mr. Mafulul Lek in 1992. It is about Umgbaleng, a beautiful woman from Daffo who is said to have caused a tribal war between the Eastern Ron and the Daffo.

 

Ɓur ti Umgbaleng

Nafu tima wa’ ndee ti kiris Run si Ɗafo ɓur, ti ti’ Umgbaleng. Wa’ ndee ti mun yo Mutiɗafo ti. Gip si nii, wa’ ndee ti hyau yo nafuhi fiyang. Nai ti wal a kunggo la holeng, re si walai a maju a hai, si wu fa ndee yit ka’ yo maafwari.

Sin a hai ta maju a hai a fwashi ti, nai Maarun ɗiin ta zan taa ra ta Maɗafo ɗiin mama yit mai naafara ma kunggo mmiti. Maɗafo mama ndee ti kunggohi, si Maarun mama ndee ti yu a ra tihi, shak si kirai sum kwa. Si nii kek, Maarun mama ndee a tek set ti kek, a gam sum. Ɓa nzis sum ɗes, ti ho fat nzit ti Umgbaleng tima ndee si ho tihi.

Wa’ nai ɗak a zan, ta hatai ramami ti, wa’ a wetayi. Maɗafo nai ta fwaa a gami fulul si ren, ta fwaa wet. Naf si ndur ti findeli. Gip si sisal sis, si niyis, Maarun a cwan nafuhi ka safati. Wa’ ta wakis ka safati kek. Ka ndok wa’ a yes, ta fot hai la a kima yet nafu. Si niyis mma Umgbaleng ti kuta, ɗak ti nii, a fwashash ti gbaak, a gam ti fwashashan ɗiin fa hayaahi kek. Ahun mma mahyau ti, yit si Maarun mama a nzek tihi si hyau, si wu kawa? Gip si shitai shum ti Maɗafohi, si niyis: „A ya a hai ta gam nafuhi kek, ka a halai findel ma naf kwa.“ Si niyis: „Mma ti kuta gbaak, a gam kek, aa gam safat mma mai. Dwon ti fwaar a yiri, a tek myaki kwa?“

Wa’ nai Maɗafohi ta shu Maarun la, fat uwu wakai gam nafuhi fo. Maarun nai wa’ ta nyaash, ta sisal, ta nii, wa’ a gofai mwis Maɗafo shum, ti ndokis, a wakis nafuhi ka hari ka safati! Maarun nai ta tik a wetai nafuhi kwa. Ta nii, ma jikai hai fwet, ta ngga a fo, ta wis ti a lan. Naf nai si tik a furai ndur ti findeli. Ref mi, si wu ndurum ti ɗamani, si sisal Maɗafohi, si nii, a kir wor ma fwash, uɗeng mu matik a kunggo sis kwa. Si nii, yet shisher ti, a wakis Maarun nafuhi ka hari. Wa’ a gasisai fe ma Manggai a Daas sum la. Si gaasai, si nii, ɓa Ɗafo si kai ɗamani, si gon la.

Maɗafohi ta halai shak findelashi, ta tik a kir hwam. Ta nii, ma halayi, hwam ti hwis hai. Naf ma kukwer kil si niyis: „Mwya Maarun, sin na a homan a lan a te’ si nafu nza Umgbaleng.“ Taa tei nai, Maɗafohi wa’ ta lang a ɗikil, ta no’ yish. Ta fur puri a fi, yit a lan mama si nii, mwis ka nafuhi mi homani ti. Ta jikai Maarun hai, bakam a bil! Maarun ta nii, ma zut tikil, bakam ti walan a cwayi. Maɗafo mma nai, wa’ ta wop a tek hai, ta hwi ti a boon. Ta ngga Umgbaleng ka puri ma hwen Maaruni a fo, yit a nahwai mayes ti a Ɗafo.

Ti mayes yit ti hai ti Maaruni a disang ma mgbang a Hurum, ta niyis, hu mat. Ta cu a fo, ta niyis: „Hai ti Maaruni mwani ahun wet?“ Si niyis: „Nai keki.“ Naf ma taɓak si fur a mater mawan a Run. Run si niyis, ɗakwai a hek mwisi, ta tek hayi kwa; ɗakwai findel kwa. Hai tima a tek tindai ti, kpak ɗes, Run si tek nzis. Ɗafo nai si niyis, wa’ si yes a Ɗafohi, si tek hai ti Maɗafohi fat yit ndee a yu a Run, ta tek ti Maaruni. Run nai si niyis, mma Maɗafo ɗiin a tek nafu ti sum ɗiin taa Run, fat sin ndee si tek Umgbaleng, mi wan a mayes, si tek hai ti Maɗafohi.

Fat si tek ref fo ti findel ma gam sum fat Umgbalengi, nai Mutirun ɗiin ti twaak naf ma taɓak la, ti yes a ra ta Maɗafo ɗiin. Run nai si nii, mi mayes a tek hai ti Maɗafohi, ti nyet ɓur ti har hayash. Wa’ nai, ɓuri ti walai a yaf ref ma Run si Ɗafo ti findel ma rahi. Wa’ nafu ɗiin ti tik a makon a wur ti kunggo kwa. Ɓur ti mun a mashar, sin a mashar tikil, mawis a ra. Ngga’ mama si nii, Run si Ɗafo, ka re, ka refi, ndee si ful ɗamani la nai, si fwaa a zut ɓuri, si fwaahai, fat Nyorong. Si ringai ti lanani shak, si katis ka kil ma han ti.

Yit ti, wa’ ɓur tima si nyaai: „Ɓur ti Umgbaleng, ti shwai lanan mwan, ti kirai ɗiin Balan, ti kirai ɗiin Mulik… Yit ti ɓur tima si nii, ndee ti kul ɓuran ti cet a Lashom, ahun „kil ma lim ɓuri“.

The war for Umgbaleng

A woman called Umgbaleng is said to have caused a tribal war between the Eastern Ron and the Daffo. She is said to have been from Daffo. She is said to have been a very beautiful woman. After marriage, men were still chasing her about, even more than when she was not yet married.

Finally, she was abducted from her Daffo husband by a man from Bokkos. The name of her Daffo husband and the Bokkos man who abducted her are not known. People say that the Bokkos man wanted to become famous. He wanted to be as famous as the beautiful Umgbaleng.

After abducting her, the man went underground with her. Her Daffo husband suffered searching for her. He became a talk of the town. Some people laughed about him, saying that the Bokkos man had taken his wife and the bride price. That he should leave the bride price to him. That he should take care not to loose his head because of his wife. They said that if Umgbaleng thought he was too ugly for her, then he should look for another woman who was as ugly as him. Or were she and the man who seduced her in fact more beautiful than others? But others encouraged him not to give up the hunt, and not to listen to people’s talk. Even if the woman didn’t like him, he should get the man who abducted her, to pay him back the dowry. As long as there was life, there was hope.

So the Daffo man pretended to have given up searching for his wife. The Bokkos man then laughed and boasted that he had won the battle, that the Daffo man had left his wife to him, together with the child she was expecting and the dowry! He no longer hid the woman. He was so sure of himself that he even took her along to his farm. People began to talk about the matter. Especially women abused the Daffo man, saying that now he had a bad repute, that no woman would marry him again. They said that he was coward, because he left the woman and the child she was expecting to the Bokkos man. That he was a shame to all of them. They called on the Daffo traditional authorities to sell him into slavery.

The Daffo man listened to all these talks. All these talks kept ringing in his ears. He was then tipped by his spies that the Bokkos man and his wife Umgbaleng were harvesting somewhere around. The Daffo man quickly armed himself. He dashed off on his horse to the place where they were harvesting. He came wielding a sword and took the Bokkos man by surprise. The Bokkos man tried to run away, but the sword already got him! The Daffo man smote off his head and put it in his bag. He rode back to Daffo, driving home his wife and the dead man’s horse and singing a victory song.

Back home, he presented the dead Bokkos man’s head to the Daffo authorities like that of an enemy killed in a war. He boasted, saying: “Is that the Bokkos man’s head or not?” They answered: “It is!” Immediately the Daffo negotiators set out for Bokkos. They were told that if the man had only killed his enemy, without taking his head, there would be no talk of it again. But for removing the man’s head, they had to take his head, too. The Daffo people challenged the Bokkos people to come down to Daffo and smite off their man’s head, like he had gone to them and smote off their man’s head. They replied that they would do that, if any Daffo man dared to abduct a pretty wife from them, as they had abducted Umgbaleng.

This talk made women mad for becoming famous like Umgbaleng. Soon, a woman from Bokkos went to marry a Daffo man, against all warnings. The Bokkos men came to get the head of that Daffo man and a war broke out. Worse still, woman from both sides went for the so-called “temporary marriage”. The sanctity of marriage was broken, women slept no longer in their husband’s houses. Just like the tribal war got heated up, women were also heated up for temporary marriage. The war became more and more severe. Everyone suffered, but they wouldn’t stop. They fought everywhere. In the end, there was no place left for farming.

This is the war they sing about in a well-known song: “War of Umgbaleng, it put the farms on fire, it took one Balan, it took one Mulik”, etc. This is the war which led to the so-called “Basket burial treaty” talked about elsewhere.

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One response to “The war for Umgbaleng

  1. Daniel Mankilik

    E pallang wu ti dam sa

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