Today we remain in West Africa and take a tale from the Yoruba people. It is entitled:

 

AKITI THE HUNTER – A Yoruba tale from West Africa

 

A FAMOUS hunter and wrestler named Akiti boasted that he was stronger than any other man or animal. He had easily overcome a giant, a leopard, a lion, a wolf, and a boa-constrictor, and as nobody else opposed his claim, he called himself “the King of the forest.”

Wherever he went, he sang his triumphant wrestling-song, and everyone feared  and respected him. But he had forgotten the Elephant, who is a very wise animal and knows many charms. One day the Elephant challenged him and declared that he had no right to call himself “King,” as the Elephant himself was the monarch of the forest and could not be defeated.

Akiti thereupon flung his spear at his enemy, but because of the Elephant’s  charm, the weapon glanced off his hide and did him no harm. Akiti next tried his bow and poisoned arrows, and his hunting-knife, but still without effect.

However, the hunter also possessed a charm, and by using it, he changed  himself into a lion and flew at the Elephant, but the Elephant flung him off. Next he became a serpent, but he could not succeed in crushing the Elephant to death.

At last he changed himself into a fly, and flew into the Elephant’s large  flapping ear. He went right down inside until he came to the heart, and then he changed himself into a man again and cut up the heart with his hunting-knife. At last the Elephant fell dead, and Akiti stepped out of his body in triumph, for he was now without question “the King of the forest.”

 

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From Yoruba Legends

ISBN – 978-1-907256-33-2

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_yor.html

 

NOTE: The Yoruba people are descendants from a variety of West African communities. They are united by Geography, History, Religion and most importantly their Language.  Many years ago, before African slavery, the Yoruba people inhabited an area which stretched, along the coast of West Africa, all the way inward and down to Angola in South West Africa.

 

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