1920’s KILIMANJARO PART 5: WACHAGGA TALES
When missionary Eva Stuart-Watt, worked with the Wachagga on Kilimanjaro’s lower slopes in the 1920’s, she documented some of their oral tradition in her book “Africa’s Dome of Mystery.” One of the most interesting is the Wachagga’s tale of “The Fall of Man.” She writes, “in some of their myths they have preserved faint reminiscences of the Bible record of the fall of man.”
According to the Wachagga, “God used to talk with man face to face. ‘You may eat all the bananas and potatoes’ He said to the old man of the village, ‘but the yam or ‘ula’ surely you shall not eat it, lest you die.’” God then left the village but he looked in on them from time-to-time. It seems that a stranger, a man, begged for food at the old man’s door one day. The old man sent him to the garden telling him to eat his fill but not to eat the ula (yam) as “God has forbidden us to eat it.”
Now the stranger said that the sun was high now and in that early morning, God had told him to ask for a pot to cook the ula and eat it with the old man and his sons. The old man was excited to learn that the stranger was a messenger from God, so he got a clay pot and they dug yams together, cooked them and ate. God smelled the cooked yams and asked “What are you eating?” They couldn’t answer for fear. The old man’s servant showed God the cook pot. God found the old man and the stranger in the garden and said. “’Because you were deceived by a stranger and disobeyed my word, death will break your bones and close your eyes, and you shall not live.’”
Since then, they have not seen God, nor has he talked with them.
The quoted text was taken from Africa’s Dome of Mystery, by Eva Stuart-Watt.
NEXT WEEK: More Kilimanjaro tales: The First Murder
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter, and The Leopard’s Prey, all available in trade paperback. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is available in hardcover. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda