Tag Archives: folklore

Why we have house rats and bush rats

Mus Musculus

Image via Wikipedia

I have collected a number of animal tales which are also etiological tales, i.e. which explain why certain things are the way they are. Here is one form Bokkos told by Rev. Benjamin Matawal. It explains why we have house rats and bush rats. Continue reading


Waatan ti Ushuwar

utawal.jpgToday is international women’s day. In order to honour all the hard-working women in Africa, I present a fairy tale about three women, again in the Daffo dialect of Ron. It was told by our friend, Mrs. Utawal Magwa (seen here on a picture) , in 1991. I recorded it and later transcribed it with the help of Mr. Mafulul Lek. Continue reading

The Hare and the Crownbird

Here is another hare tale in the Daffo dialect of Ron. It was written down and recorded in 1992 by Mr. Mafulul Lek from Daffo. This time, the hare and the crownbird (Hausa: gauraka) are courting a girl. The hare tries to get rid of his rival by cheating. But his trick fails: the girl prefers to marry the crownbird. Continue reading

The Hare and the two Boys

machif_akila.jpgThe following story in the Daffo dialect of the Ron language was told by my late friend, Mr. Benjamin Macif Malau from Daffo (seen here on the right of the picture). I recorded it in Daffo in 1990 and transcribed it with the help of Mr. Mafulul Lek. Continue reading

How Goat, Sheep and Dog went on a Journey

benjamin_matawal.jpgThe following story in the Bokkos dialect of Ron was written down by Mr. Benjamin Dapel Matawal (seen here on a picture together with his family) in 1999. It is an animal tale which seeks to explain the different behaviour of goats, sheep and dogs that can be observed when a car arrives: goats will usually run away, while sheep will stay on the road until the car nearly hits them and dogs often follow the car barking. The story gives an explanation why this is so. Continue reading

Ron Proverbs

According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia (English version, article on proverbs),

A proverb (from the Latin proverbium) is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim. If a proverb is distinguished by particularly good phrasing, it may be known as an aphorism.

The following proverbs are in the Daffo variety of Ron. They were collected by Uwe Seibert in 1991. Continue reading