Kambili Battles Cekura

Born for a reason and learning are not the same.
Putting tradition aside for one day’s pain is not good.
Hot pepper of the Game!

The brave sat down and thought.
He said, “Kumba! Beloved Kumba!”
“Yes?” she replied.
She said, “Kambili the Hunter, Kambili Sanafila!
The man-eating lion is going to die in Jimini.
I will go to the hair-dressing place at my namesake’s house.
With Cekura’s mother, Marama.
I was the loving wife of Cekura in Jimini.
I grew up by the side of his robe in Jimini.
The wife of Cekura’s host instructed me.
I know Cekura himself.
No other is seizing the people,
If it’s not Cekura.”

And so they called Bari the Omen Reader.
Bari began to read the omens.
“Namusa
Naburuma
Woro dogolen
Woro faransan
Jitumu Mansa
Nonkon Forokoro
Filani Fabu
Kenken Mamuru
Jonyayiriba
Twenty four parts of the bow.
The is sigi.
This is maromaro
This is karalan.
This has become teremise.
This has become Regret,
Another Regret.
This nsorosigi.
This yeremine.
This has become karalan.
Ah! The omen has become marmaro, Man.
The omen has become a longbow omen
The earth-shaking reason has come out.
Bring me a headhair,
Yes, bring a hair of the lion’s head,
And bring some hair from under his arm,
And bring some hair from his crotch.
And bring the sandal off his foot,
And bring a pair of his old pants,
And lay them on the omen board.
When we find a means to the man-eating lion,
Should we do that, the man-eating lion will die.”

(Sleep has made your eyes heavy! Pay attention to the rhythm)
The debt of Last Judgement is never forgotten for the living.
A slave spends a late evening.

The slave doesn’t stay long among you.
The omen for staying here is not easy on things with souls.
A name is a thing to be bought; a name is not to be forced.
My hand is dipped in my habitual thing,
The thing is not for all!

Ah! It was none but Kumba’s voice.
“Kambili the Hunter,” she said, “Kambili Sananfila!
I will go have my hair done at Marama’s place.
I will never betray you.”
She took ten kolas,
And put them in a little calabash,
And brought out greeting gifts,
And put them in the little white calabash.
“I’m doing this for my husband, Kambili.
Please forgive me, Kambili.
I’m going after the hair of his head, Kambili.
I’m going after the underarm hair, Kambili.
I’m going after the sandal, Kambili.
I’m going after the old pants, Kambili.
That done, the man-eating lion will die, Kambili.”

If you are not afraid of females, Master,
If you are not afraid of females,
You’re not afraid of anything.
The woman’s hand knows how to strike a man’s desires in any case.

Beloved Kumba went off to meet Cekura,
And entered Cekura’s place at about two o’clock.
She called, “Cekura!”
“Yes,” the reply.
“I have come to the hair-dressing place.”

Don’t you know this made Cekura happy.
It was none but the man-eating lion’s voice.
He said, “The hunters are going to kill you this time,
And I, Cekura, will cry.
Ah! Little hypocrite, didn’t I tell you,
Marrying a hunter will never succeed?
A hunter is nothing!
When a hunter enters the bush,
He may spend a whole week.
He has no need for his wife.
When a hunter sees some antelope,
He has seen the game he will kill …
It’s a case of being jealous of the game.
He has no concern for having children, Allah!”

This put Kumba in a difficult situation, beloved Kumba.
Kumba responded, saying, “So it is.
You’ve just said my reason for coming.
Cekura that’s my reason for coming.
I’m no longer in this hunter’s marriage
I’m fed up with this hunter business.
He and his shoulder talismans …
The hunter and his side talismans are never apart,
Saying you shouldn’t touch the hunter’s bag;
woman’s taboo talisman is inside it.
Don’t put your hand on his shirt;
A woman’s taboo talisman is on it.
When he has gone off to the bush,
He can come back and spend three nights,
Without touching his wife,
He has no desire for his woman.”

She continued, “Cekura!”
“Yes?”
“There’s just one thing about what I’ve said …
I beg you
That you hurry up this affair between us
So that I can go back soon.
Kambili’s funeral, I don’t want to miss it.”

And he called out,
“Maramba Kumba is here to have her hair done.
He went and bought some grains of rice,
And went and bought some white chickens,
And went and bought ten white kolas,
And came and gave them to my Kumba.
He has some rice prepared,
And has those chickens’ meat cooked up,
And went and poured out some milk,
And saturated the fresh milk with honey,
And gave it to the beloved Kumba.
“Kumba, don’t you see this drinking water?
As for me, I’m well off these days, beloved Kumba.
I don’t really need any of this.
But me, I’m against these people, for vengeance.”

When night had fallen,
As soon as they had finished eating,
They lay down together.
He put his leg over Kumba,
And she said, “Get you hind leg off of me!”
He laid his hand on her,
And she said, “Get your claws off of me!”
Ah! Cekura was in a hurry.
“I have found the way,
The way to destroy Kambili.
Those nights between Kambili and me,
I can count them.
They don’t go beyond ten night.
None of them ever accomplished anything beyond hunting game.
Charging off to game-hunting.
I have no desire to be married to a hunter.
If you give me an old pair of pants,
They’ll be used as a means to get Kambili.
Bring me some hair off your head,
We’ll find a means to get Kambili today.
Bring me some hair from under yoour arm,
And give me some from your crotch,
And take off your old sandals …
Take the sandals off your feet.
We’ll use them as a means to get the rugged one, Master.
When all that’s done, he’ll become a corpse.
And I will begin marriage to Cekura once more.
Ah! Take up the weapon!
Don’t you fail. Do not hesitate!”

Words are like the writing of a holyman;
They don’t suit the heart of every young man.
Speech is something to be learned in every day of this world.
Intelligence has become a thing hard to get, Master.
Look to Mother Dugo’s ogre for that which scares children.

Cekura gave some of the hair off his head,
And gave the hair from under his arm,
And gave some hair from his crotch,
And gave the old pair of pants,
And gave the sandals off his feet,
And went and took an old, used hat,
And put it all in one calabash,
An old cloth, wrapped around it for good.
“After that, there is only me.”

She said, “Cekura, oh, Cekura,
My hair has been dressed,
I’m going right off with these means,
So that no one does it before me.
As soon as the hunter is killed,
I will come and marry Cekura.
There is no other person I want in this world,
If it is not to be Cekura.”

These words were sweet to the old hyena’s ears.
He hunched back his shoulders.
He tried to hold back his joy.
He gave a little laugh.
He said, “Don’t betray me.”
He said, “Don’t betray me between this world and Last Judgement.”
And she replied, “I would never betray you in the world.”

Kumba brought back the things for her means,
And came to give them to Bari of the Omens.
He laid them in the omen dust,
And made an offering to the omen,
An Earth-shaking Reason sacrifice,
And went to bury it in the old market in Jimini,
By the old nere-tree there.

Ah! Mother Dugo the Owl,
Kambili took the occult black powder of Nyaji.
Kambili had become an adept, old hunter.
Kambili took out a kola of red hue,
And took out a white pullet,
And went to sit at the crossroards.
“If we are to go towards the east, Nyaji,
For me to kill the man-eating lion, Nyaji,
Turn the kolas face to the ground.”
The two halves turned face up.
“If we are to go to the south, Nyaji,
For me to kill the man-eating lion, Nyaji,
Turn the two kola halves face to the sky.”
The two kola halves turned face to the ground.
“If we are to go to the west, Nyaji,
For me to kill the man-eating lion, Nyaji,
Turn the two kola halves face to the sky.”
The two kola halves turned face to the ground.
“Should we go to the north, Nyaji,
For me to kill the man-eating lion, Nyaji?
Turn the two kolas face to the sky.”
The two kola halves turned face to the ground.
“Should I sit in the old market, Nyaji,
To kill the Jimini man-eating lion, Nyaji?
Have two kolas turn face to the ground.”
And the two kola halves turned face to the ground.

Look to the talisman’s Angel of Death for that not easy for all.
The praise for Tears of the Game.
No man becomes a hunter if you have no knowledge of the occult.
Nothing is pleasing to a man without a reason.
Nothing is displeasing to a man without a reason.
Ah! It’s a question of reason, Kambili.

He went off also with a hammock.
He went off with the hammock for his blind,
And went to tie it to the nere-tree in Jimini,
At the outskirts of Jimini town,
And lay down in the old market.
He was seated on the thing Kumba had brought,
And then made a single trip,
Coming to speak with Toure.
He said, “Toure ni Manjun,
Won’t you give me a young boy,
For me to tie to the nere-tree before the lion,
For me to tie before the man-eating lion?”
So they came with a young boy.
The boy was coming from the cattle pasture.
He called out to the young boy,
Who was blowing a flute like so:
Victorious bull, bellow!
Stop and hold up your head.
Victorious bull, bellow!
Stop and hold up your head.
Victorious bull, bellow!
Stop and raise your head on high.

He called, “Hey, young boy, flute-play,
Come over here, I’m calling you.
Put aside singing about victorious bulls,
And come arrange something else first.”
And what did the young boy say?

“Ah! Toure ni Manjun, didn’t you think about it?”
He said “If I am taken from the pasture, for Allah’s sake,
The cows will eat someone’s millet because of me.
The cows will destroy someone else’s property because of me.
What has put you against me this time, Toure ni Manjun?
You have killed my father,
And killed my older brother
And killed my very mother,
And you gave me to her co-wives.
I have become a lifeless child.
What are you thinking of, Toure?
What have you got in mind now?”

And his stepmother cried out from the house:
“Ah! I have no child.
Oh! I have no child.
Ah! I have no child.
Oh! I have no other child.
You say to tie him before the beast, Imam.
You say to tie him before the man-eating lion.
Ah! Oh! I have no child.
Oh! I have no other child.
Ah! Have mercy on me, Toure ni Manjun.
Have mercy on me, Allah!
To tie a person up before the best today,
Even his real mother is afraid.
Ah! Oh! I have no child.
Oh! I have no other child.”

“Get your butt out of here and go sit before the best!
A little fish is put on the hook,
In order to catch a bigger fish.
Put the rope around the young boy’s neck now!”
And he was taken and tied to the nere-tree.

Kumba tied up an amulet,
And put it in her talisman horn
In the black amulet powder.
And went to give it to the young boy.
“Young man, take this amulet.”
Fear took hold of the young boy.
A fly came and sat on the young boy’s head.
It said, “Young boy, don’t be afraid.
Nothing will happen to you.”
It was Sansinba,
She was called the Mother of Hunters.
“Should the man-eating lion come,
I will give you four baobab seeds;
He will never ever reach you.”

Kumba spoke to her husband,
“Kambili the Hunter, Kambili Sananfila,
Go and sit in your hammock.
I am going to look for Cekura.
Ah! The beloved Kumba traveled and traveled,
And went to the outskirts of Jimini,
And went to call Cekura.
Cekura was in the bush.

There was a little old careless lady,
Who said she would go pick plants for the sauce.
It was none but her grandchild’s voice,
Saying, “Grandmother, please don’t go.”
“The lion man, I am his old guardian.”
“The lion has gone through the old women.
If you go out to pick the leaves,
If you are not capable of a great act,
You will be in a soul-losing act, there’s little doubt.
Everyone is afraid of Cekura.”

The old woman went to pick the leaves,
And was leaning over, picking the leaves.
Coming back from the meeting with someone,
He grabbed her by the jaw,
Surprising the little old woman,
And broke her into two pieces,
Giving one to Faberekoro,
Grabbing the other by the bottom,
Making her his toothpick.
Ah! The little old woman was the last meal he would make of people.

Dugo’s child came.
And sat in the hammock of the blind.
He climbed with his trace-erasing stick,
And so climbed up in the nere-tree.

Born for a reason and learning are not the same.
A man doesn’t become a hunter,
If he can’t control his fear.
The coward doesn’t become a hunter,
Or become a man of renown.
Death may end the man; death doesn’t end his name.
The omen for staying here is not easy of things with souls.
A slave spends but a late evening with you;
A slave doesn’t stay long among you.
Look to the rolling stone for the pebble crusher.
Look to the deathless for the sightless.
Kambili the Hunter, Kambili Sananfila.

Kumba has gone off with Cekura.
Kumba herself was a lionwoman.
Cekura was a young lionman.
He followed Kumba, tengwe, tengwe!
If a woman is not capable of tricking a man,
She will never pass Last Judgement.
And she came up with Cekura,
And brought him before Kambili.
Kumba, the irreproachable,
Kumba was a lion-woman,
And could change herself into a wicked horned viper,
And she could change herself into a buffalo,
And change herself into an owl.
Kumba had no match as a sorceress.
Kumba had no match as a snakesperson.
Kumba had no match as the spotted beast.
Kumba could become an owl, the big-eyed night bird.
She brought the man-eating lion,
And stood him before her true husband.
It was none but the young boy’s voice.

“When you see a man-eating lion,
You should be afraid.
But I’m not afraid of you, Master;
I’m tied up quite well.
Aren’t you going to seize this young boy?
I’m really bothered by these ropes cutting through me.”

The lion was about to kill the young boy.
When he said, “Young boy, you’re not alone here.
I’m afraid of this young boy.
Ah! Young man, you spoke too well!”
He said, “Ah! Young man!
You, the well-tied one,
I’m not going after you; I have my doubts.”

Kambili’s Kumba said: “What are you afraid of now?”
There’s nothing whatsoever here.
So you refuse to take your thing here for nothing.”

The lion circled around the young boy,
And circled around the young boy again,
And went to sit on his haunches,
And set his eyes on the young boy.
And there was Kambili sleeping!

Cekura had a talisman,
The name of which was Sleep.
He had fallen asleep, Master.
The hunter was sleeping in the tree.
And what song then did the young man sing?
Ah! And so he’s sleeping!
Won’t you awake?
It’s the sleep of solitude.
Won’t you awake?
Ah! It’s sleep!
Won’t you awake?
It’s the sleep of solitude.
Won’t you awake?

The brave stretched and lay back down again.
He said “Ah! The man-eating lion has come!”
Namu-sayers!
He made his one leg like a fork of the bush,
And made his elbow like a hanger of the bush,
And separated Danger from Imprudence,
And fires the packed-down powder at the right time.
Ah! The shot went off like an iron drum, Master.
Dust rose up behind the man-eating lion.
The bullet travelled straight and true.

The young boy was overcome with joy.
Jimini heard the sound of the victory shot,
That victory sound like a clap of thunder.
The dust of their feet like the fog.
Coming to lose Kambili in the dust completely.
Mother Dugo the Owl Bird, we salute you!
Dugo’s Warrior Bird, we salute you!
The Game’s True Hunter, we salute you!
The lion was dispatched with one shot.
The lion was dispatched with one shot.
The man-eating lion was dispatched with one shot.
Ah! The hunters came,
And came and took Kambili,
And put him in between them,
And raised him up above them.

“You have taken us from under the execution sword, Kambili.
You have rescued the hunters,
And saved the farmers,
And saved the whole army.
May Allah not keep you behind.
May Allah not keep the breath from you, Kambili.”

Don’t you know the man-eating lion has died?
The lion was dispatched with just one shot.
They tied the lion on a pole,
And set Kambili up on its back,
And took him before the Imam.

He said, “Toure ni Manjun,
The young boy who was tied before the lion,
He should be my apprentice.
The young boy knows how to master his fear.”
The young boy’s name was Sanson.
Sanson was given to Kambili.
And what else did the Imam do?
He brought out one young girl,
And made her a reward for the lion,
And brought out the young boy,
And made him a reward for the lion.
The Imam spoke out,
And spoke to Bari of the Omens,
And mounted him on a white stallion.

“Call out to Dugo’s Kambili,
And mount him on a white stallion,
And bring out a double-barreled shotgun, Master,
And give it to Dugo’s Kambili.”

It became the master rifle.
Whatever was so brought out, Master,
It was all given to the little hunters.
And he brought out firing caps,
One thousand pounds of rice grains,
It was reward for the lion.
There was a whole week of harp-playing in Jimini.
They made it a whole week long.
Kanji spent the whole week
Playing his fiery dance.
Yala the Smith spent the whole week
Playing the hunter’s harp.

Ah! The lion has died.
The Jimini man-eating lion has died.
Ah! Eh! Ah! Here! No slave knows Allah.
The lion has died.
Ah! If the Jimini man-eating lion didn’t die,
The lion would have destroyed all the soldiers.
Ah! Hey! Ah! Here! No slave knows Allah.
The lion has died.
he has killed the man-eating lion.
The lion had gone through the grass-cutters.
Ah! Hey! Ah! Here! No slave knows Allah.
The lion has died.

He cried out, “Ah! Harp players!
Can’t I say a word to you?
Sing a song for Kumba, why don’t you?”

Ah! Kumba has charm, Kumba of Jimini.
Kumba has charm.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
You have killed the man-eating lion.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
A woman to surpass all women.
Kumba has no match among the women.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
She lies beside a hunter brave.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
Kumba didn’t betray the hunter brave.
The lion was left in the dust.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
Ah! Kumba the fearless!
Ah! Hey! Jimini loves Kumba.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
She lies beside her hunter brave.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
Ah! The likes of Kumba have yet to be seen.
The likes of Kumba have yet to be seen.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
The fearless one of the hunters’ women.
No red sorcerer can equal Kumba.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
Ah! Woman of the spirits!
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
Ah! The likes of Kumba have yet to be seen,
Dugo’s child’s Kumba has no equal.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!
Kumba was given to the hunter brave.
The lion was made to cry in despair.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba.
Ah! The Jimini man-eating lion has been killed.
The reason was Kumba.
The gracious, the beautiful Kumba, ah!

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