brain, bones, white fluids of the body
sympathetic nervous system, para sympathetic nervous system
womb, liver, breasts, buttocks
circulatory system, digestive organs, elimination system, pubic area (female)
heart, kidney (adrenal glands), tendons, and sinews
reproductive system (male), bone marrow, life force or chi
lungs, bronchial passages, mucous membranes
CERTAIN Yoruba King, Ajaka, had a favourite wife of whom he was very fond; but, alas for his hopes! she gave birth to twins.
At that time it was the universal custom to destroy twins immediately at birth, and the mother with them. But the King had not the heart to put this cruel law into execution, and he secretly charged one of his nobles to conduct the royal mother and her babes to a remote place where they might live in safety.
Here the twin brothers grew to manhood, and loved one another greatly. They were inseparable, and neither of them had any pleasure except in the company of the other. When one brother began to speak, the other completed his phrase, so harmonious were their thoughts and inclinations.
Their mother, before she died, informed them of their royal birth, and from this moment they spent the time vainly regretting their exile, and wishing that the law of the country had made it possible for them to reign.
At last they received the news that the King their father was dead, leaving no heir, and it seemed to the brothers that one of them ought to go to the capital and claim the throne. But which?
To settle this point they decided to cast stones, and the one who made the longer throw should claim the throne, and afterwards send for his brother to share in his splendour.
The lot fell on the younger of the twins, and he set off to the capital, announced himself as the Olofins son, and soon became King with the consent of all the people. As soon as possible he sent for his brother, who henceforth lived with him in the palace and was treated with honour and distinction.
But alas! jealousy began to overcome his brotherly affection, and one day as he walked with the King by the side of the river, he pushed his brother suddenly into the water, where he was drowned.
He then gave out in the palace that his brother was weary of kingship, and had left the country, desiring him to reign in his stead.
The King had certainly disappeared, and as no suspicion fell on the twin brother, he was made King and so realized his secret ambition.
Some time later, happening to pass by the very spot where his brother had been drowned, he saw a fish rise to the surface of the water and begin to sing:
Your brother lies here,
Your brother lies here.
The King was very much afraid. He took up a sharp stone and killed the fish.
But another day when he passed the spot, attended by his nobles and shielded by the royal umbrella made of the skins of rare animals, the river itself rose into waves and sang:
Your brother lies here,
Your brother lies here.
In astonishment the courtiers stopped to listen. Their suspicions were aroused, and when they looked into the water they found the body of the King.
Thus the secret of his disappearance was disclosed, and the wicked brother was rejected in horror by his people. At this disgrace he took poison and so died.
of Ile-Ife had a beautiful and virtuous wife named More
mi, and a handsome young son, Ela.
The country of the Ifes was at that time subject to fierce raids by a tribe called the Igbos, who were of such an uncanny appearance in battle that the Ifes thought them not human, but a visitation sent by the gods in punishment for some evil. In vain did they offer sacrifices to the gods; the raids of these strange beings continued, and the land was thrown into a state of pamc.
Now the heroic More
mi, desiring to bring an end to this condition of affairs, resolved to let herself be captured during one of the raids, so that she might be p. 15
carried as a prisoner to the land of the Igbos and learn all their secrets.
Bidding farewell to her husband and her little son, she went to a certain stream and promised the god of the stream that, if her attempt was successful, she would offer to him the richest sacrifice she could afford.
As she had planned, she was captured by the Igbos and carried away to their capital as a prisoner. On account of her beauty she was given to the King of the Igbos as a slave; and on account of her intelligence and noble heart she soon gained the respect of all and rose to a position of importance.
Before she had been in the country very long, she had learnt all the secrets of her enemies. She found that they were not gods but ordinary men. On going into battle they wore strange mantles of grass and bamboo fibre, and this accounted for their unnatural appearance. She also learned that because of these mantles of dry grass, they were much afraid of fire, and that if the Ifes were to rush among p. 16
them with lighted torches, they would quickly be defeated. As soon as it was possible, she escaped from the palace and from the territory of the Igbos and returned to her own people. Her tidings were joyfully received at Ile-Ife, and shortly afterwards the Igbos were utterly defeated by the trick More
mi had suggested.
mi now went to the stream and made a great sacrifice of sheep, fowls, and bullocks; but the god of the stream was not satisfied and demanded the life of her son.
mi was forced to consent, and sacrificed the handsome boy Ela. The Ifes wept to see this sad spectacle, and they promised to be her sons and daughters for ever, to make up for her loss.
But lo! Ela as he lay upon the ground was only half dead, and when the people had departed, he recovered consciousness and sprang up. Making a rope of grass, he climbed up to heaven, and it is certain that he will some day return to reap the benefits of his mother’s noble sacrifice.