Hunting Fish with Long, Narrow Spears
Narrated by Akwai Gora
There was a man who hid himself up in a tree where women were spearing fish. Two began fighting over one fish. One held it by the head and the other by the tail, but the second was the one who had speared it.
So the man called out from the tree, “Don’t quarrel! Listen to me!”
So they kept quiet and listened.
“Who speared it?”
The woman holding it by the tail said, “I speared it first.”
The man said, “You, holding the head, take your hands away!”
But she refused because she wanted the fish herself.
So the man said, “For my sake, please drop it!”
And she accepted his appeal and dropped it, and the fish slipped out of the other woman’s hands and dropped into the river, so none of them got it.
He said, “Where is the fish?”
They said, “It’s escaped.”
So he said, “Go on hunting.” (That is, you must work for your food.)
The women went home and told everyone, “There was a person we didn’t see who gave us the judgement.”
They went fishing again and the same thing happened. But this time the woman holding it by the head was the rightful owner, so the man told the woman holding the tail to drop it, and she did, and the woman holding the head could keep it because it’s easier with the gills.
He said, “Has it escaped?”
She said, “No.”
“OK, go on hunting.”
So they did.
So they went back to the village and told everyone. So the whole village came to look for this mysterious voice. When they came, some went fishing and some hid, and when the voice spoke, they saw it was coming from the tree and found the real man and called him down.
They caught him and while bringing him to the village he changed himself by magic from a man to an animal, then black, then white, then a plant, then a woman – but they kept hold of him and brought him to the village. There they gave him a separate hut, but they agreed they would not feed him in order to prove if he’s a magician or not. And they put a girl to guard him and watch him in case he fell into the fire. After a few days they started giving him food.
The girl stayed with him several nights and slept with him, but then he disappeared and went back to the river bank. The girl was found pregnant.
The boy child was born and when he fed he was never satisfied and grew up very fat and became big and strong. But the boy's father wasn’t known, and his name wasn’t known, so his son was called O Ngie, which means, the son of the stranger. When the boy grew up, he became strong and a king of the Anuak people and from that time the king was called O Ngie.
Anuak kings are even now mainly called by their mother’s name – for example, the son of Abang (woman’s name). Also when uncles love their sister’s child very much, the father’s name isn’t mentioned, but only the mother’s name.
Another name of the kings is “One who comes from the river”.
|< Prev||Next >|