Contents | Display Settings | Font Settings | About

Part 6: On consideration, kindness, and thoughtfulness


“Má bàá mi jẹ ìdùn,” ẹran ní ńlé lọ.
“Do not share in my delicious meal,” chases away the animal.
(The selfish person would rather ward off good fortune than allow others to share it with him.) [7]

“Má fẹ̀ẹ́ ọwọ́-ọ̀ mi kù” tí ńyan gúgúrú fún eégún; eégún náàá ní “Má fẹ̀ẹ́ ọwọ́-ọ̀ mi kù”; ó fún un ní ọmọláńgidi.
“Just so you won't find my hand empty” roasted popcorn for the masquerader; the masquerader also responded with “Just so you won't find my hands empty” and gave him a wooden doll.
(Stinginess will not win generosity in return.) [8]

M̀bá-lówó-m̀bá-se-ọ̀lẹ̀lẹ̀-fún-Agọ́n: ìjímèrè kì í jẹ oko ẹ̀ kó sọ̀.
Had I money I would cook bean meal for the Agọ́n masquerader; the brown monkey's raiding of his farm never elicits a complaint from him.
(One should acknowledge and reciprocate favors done one by others.) [9]

“Mú wá, mú wá” lapá ẹyẹlé ńké.
“Bring! Bring!” is the sound of the pigeon's wings.
(Some people know only how to take, never how to give.) [10]


7. The reference is to a hunter who would rather scare away game he cannot kill than give another hunter the opportunity of killing it.  [Back to text]


8. Masqueraders supposed to be the embodiment of ancestors are credited with the power to grant boons, including children, to supplicants. A person who makes lame excuses while offering inadequate gifts to the masquerader will hear lame excuses and receive worthless boons from the masquerader.  [Back to text]


9. The egúngún (masqueraders) are believed to favor ọ̀lẹ̀lẹ̀, seasoned and steamed ground beans. Agọ́n is the masquerader charged with executing witches.  [Back to text]


10. The sound the bird's wings make when in flight is supposed to sound like “Mú wá, mú wá!”  [Back to text]