Monday, March 19, 2007

New stories: Olomuroro and stolen aroma

I am trying to catch up on writing folktales I have been told and have just posted two new ones. The first is about Olomuroro and the second about a woman who stole the aroma from her neighbor's soup.

Olomuroro is a Yoruba word that literally translates into 'one with droopy breasts' but I have no idea what that has to do with the story. Olomuroro is a monster who stole a boys meals while the boy grew thinner. The name is perhaps a visual of what this monster supposedly looked like. I had never heard this story before but the person who narrated it to me said she always pictured of an ugly creature with huge breasts that dragged on the floor. As I wrote the story, I also wondered if perhaps this monster represents a disease that afflicted children. One that stumped the child's growth and caused the child to get emanciated. I also couldn't help wondering if the name is descriptive of an afflicted child (or person/woman - maybe it's not even about children). Anyone know a disease that causes such an appearance i.e droopy breasts. If the name meant distended stomach, then the story may have been referring to kwashiorkor.

I also never heard the second story before and I find it to be funny and lighted-hearted. A woman seeks a 'court order' to keep her neighbor from 'eating' the aroma from her soup. I guess the moral of that story is "do not be petty."

One thing I must had on my mind as I wrote both these stories was Egusi soup. Egusi is the seeds from a melon plant. The seeds are dried, shelled, ground and cooked in palm oil with vegetables and tomatoes. Delicious.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The olomu-ororo story I remember as a child was told to explain why women have bigger breasts than men. In the story I remember, after olomu-ororo was killed the woman rubbed secretions from olomu-ororo's breast on her chest and resulted in the breasts getting bigger. By the time the man approached, the secretions had dried up! Tayo from Abeokuta

folktaler said...

Thanks for this information. It certainly throws a new light on this story. In your version of the story then, was it the mother who killed olomuroro/olomu-ororo since she was at the scene first? And I guess my attempted explanation of the story was completely off.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just kind of stumbled on to your blog from google, and I have a question about a african folktale that I can't seem to find a moral in. The story is TALK or TOO MUCH TALK, and it's basically about a bunch of objects talking to people(i.e. a yam, dog, fish trap etc.). I am a high school story teller and I am competing in a Speech contest within my state. I was wondering if you could help me out with finding a moral to this story. I hope you know it. If you can help me, please write me an email. Thanks for your time, and keep the folktales coming!

jc_bluhm@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

I believe this is an absolutely brilliant idea, having such websites people can easily google-out such folktales to be passed-on from generation to generation around the WORLD! please keep up the good work!

Ade, U.K.

folktaler said...

To jc_blum's question:
I found this story earlier this year at http://saintsandspinners.blogspot.com/2005/02/too-much-talk.html

I thought it was delightful to read and like you I cannot deduce any moral from it. It is perhaps just meant to entertain. Hmm, if I had to pick a moral/reason for this tale, I may say it is to illustrate how the ‘impossible’ is possible given the strong belief in magic in ancient (and not so ancient) African culture.

Anonymous said...

I forgot the story but the song stuck to my memory.

Olomu-roro ma wo'le o (Olomuroro welcome)

Tere minamina jalankato (Chorus) - (tae-re-mi-na-mi-na-ja-lan-ka-jo)

Baba re si ko, baba re si ko? (Where is your father?)

Tere minamina jalankato baba mi lo s'oko, tere minamina jalankato (... My father has gone to the farm. . )

Iya re si ko, iya re si ko? (Where is your mother?)

Tere minamina jalankato iya mi lo s'oja, tere minamina jalankato (... My mother has gone to the market... )

Ki ni won fi si le, ki ni won fi si le? (What did they leave?)

Tere minamina jalankato eko ati efo ni won fi si le, tere minamina jalankato (... They left corn pap and vegetable stew... )

Tete lo gbe wa, ka tete jo je (Go get it fast that we may eat it fast)

Tere minamina jalankato owo omode ko t'aga, tere minamina jalankato. (... A kids hand cannot reach the shelve... )

Anonymous said...

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