Jamaica: New Names

In her note to the story, Beckwith reports a West African story where four brothers-in-law will not give food to their brother's wife because she does not know their names, but a bird alerts her to their names in a song, thus saving her life:

Listen, I will tell thee;
(One is) Tumba Sekundu;
(One Is) Tumba Sekundu Muna;
(One is) Tumba Kaulu;
(One is) Tumba Kaulu Muna.

[Notes by LKG]

This story is part of the Jamaican Stories unit. Story source: Jamaica Anansi Stories by Martha Warren Beckwith (1924).

New Names

There was four friends; one was Anansi, name of the other was Tiger, name of the other Tacoomah, name of the other Parrot.

So they go for a journey, and Anansi bargain with them that the four mus' change their name an' when they come home, each one mus' go to their mudder house an' if their mudder call them the old name they mus' eat their mudder. So the new name: Anansi name was Che-che-bun-da, Parrot new name was Green-corn-ero, Tiger name was Yellow-prissenda, Tacoomah name was Tacoomah-vengeance, the four new name. Any mudder call them the ol' name, they mus' eat the mudder.

So they come to Tacoomah house first. Anansi say Tacoomah name 'Tacoomah-vengeance.' The mudder didn't understand the new name, so she say, "Look me pickney Tacoomah come!" An' kill Tacoomah mudder an' eat him.

Second, 'em go to Tiger mudder. Anansi say Tiger name 'Yellow-prissenda.' So they fall upon Tiger mudder, eat her.

So that night Anansi cry to excuse the night an' go over to his mudder house an' say, "Mudder, if you call me Anansi', dey will kill you! But de name 'Che-che-bun-da'."

The next night they come to Parrot house. Anansi say Parrot name 'Green-corn-ero.' Eat Parrot mudder the same.

At night, again Anansi cry excuse an' go to his mudder, say, "Mudder, las' night wha' me tell you say me name?" The mudder say, "Me pickney, you no name Anansi?" Anansi say, "Ma, coming here tomorrow night an' if you call me so they kill you! You mus' call me 'Che-che-bun-da'!" Ask his mudder again, "Wha' me tell you say yo' pickney name?" She say, "Anansi?" Anansi say, "No, mudder! dey kill you! Me name Che-che-bun-da, Che-che-bun-da, Che-che-bun-da, Che-che-bun-da!" Keep tell the name over an' over that the mudder no forget.

So the night now Anansi turn come and they come along singing,

Anansi name a Che-che-bun-da,
   Cherry-senda, Yellow-prissenda,
Parrot name a Green-corn-ero,
   Cherry-senda, Yellow-prissenda,
Tiger name a Yellow-prissenda,
   Cherry-senda, Yellow-prissenda,
Tacoomah name Tacoomah-vengeance,
   Cherry-senda, Yellow-prissenda.

An' as Anansi mudder see Anansi coming an' the rest, say, "Look me pickney Che-che-bun-da!" Call the new name, so her life save, an' didn't eat Anansi mudder.

Anansi make the bargain to feast on the others an' save his mudder!

Next: Long-Shirt

(400 words)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments for Google accounts; you can also contact me at laura-gibbs@ou.edu.