Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Koumen: Ninth Clearing — Fourth Sun

Ninth Clearing — Fourth Sun
—Table of Contents—

Rudu dalla, Rudu makan dalla, Rudu fabo dalla[1]

Malian Tortoise (source unknown)
Kuuru kaara,[2]enclosed in a carapace of bone, toothless, moving slowly, when will you fly like a hawk?[3] When will you be able to suck the teats of the sacred sheep?[4]

I am Koumen who nods his head with pleasure when the cow bellows and shakes it with disappointment when it is silent. My sight is powerfully set on the yellow ray of the fourth sun.

Make way, paralyse the agents of evil and may those in front go behind and those behind go in front.

The tortoise said, “Pass, well-favoured ones, who go into the area where the laareejiawait you under the sixth sun.”[5]

[1] This incantation is untranslatable.
[2] The tortoise, kuru kaara or heende, is associated with sheep.
[3] This sentence is a wish for evolution: if the beings populating the universe continue to evolve, one might see one day the tortoise “fly”, that is to say attain spiritual wisdom.
[4] The sacred sheep here represents one of the levels of wisdom (of which more in the next clearing).
[5] The lareeji(sing. laare) are supernatural powers and “guardian spirits” on which the health and fertility of the herd depend. They are 28 in number, corresponding to the days of the lunar month, as well as to the 28 knots of the rope which Silé will later receive from Koumen’s wife Foroforondou. The first twelve rule over the twelve months of the solar year, and the remaining sixteen rule over the sixteen “dwellings” of geomancy. The initiated pastor invokes each laare through the mediation of the associated sacramental object of the ngaynirki which are therefore also 28 in number. Silé will gain possession of each in turn under the sixth and seventh suns by unriddling the 28 knots in the twelfth clearing.

A. Hampâté Bâ & G. Dieterlen (1961)

English Translation:

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