MYTHS AND LEGENDS IN TANGALU HISTORY

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MYTHS AND LEGENDS IN TANGALU HISTORY

JAPHIL YILA

INTRODUCTION: Before now, I was of the belief that the concept of myth and legend was limited to the Greek, flows to the Egypt, Babylon, Rome, China, Aztec, Inca, Maya, Yoruba etc., and never extend to  minority ethnic groups like the Tangalu of Gombe south.

The final blow to the piece came when I stumbled upon the works of Rev. Hall 10 years ago- and became relieved and knew the Tangalu really are bestowed with the gift of myth in their history as a people. Although the work was majorly centred on the Kaltungo and Shongom, and gave little attention to Billiri, yet the erudite A.M ANKALE recommended the learned writer’s work. Meanwhile, the late writer’s interview of Ciji Karga, Sauzau,Mukollo and the rest in the year 1917 gave birth to a written material that bothers on some myths about the Tangale nation- especially the legend of the sun which to my mind was the best story out of the Tangale history.

But curiosity would not let me be, as I inwardly nursed the task of research of this people starting from my earliest works of ‘Re: Reconsideration of the Tangale Nationality,’ and ‘Surgical Reconsideration of the Tangale Nationality,’ which in turn gave birth to this full blown grey area of “myth” and ‘legend’ often ignored by writers of the history of Tangalu.

 Albeit, only recently did the piece glued together. When I was a toddler my grandfather Lawan Sagada told a story of “Dwarves” who held the ‘sun’ captive in those days, but after a fierce struggled, a hunter fought and forced the released of the sun to the fowls in heaven…”

Then, it only sounds like a folk tales to me and nothing more. But after my relentless research of over 15 years, I got convinced that, that which I once believed was “story story” was indeed a myth.

From the oral accounts of Mr. Babuga Africa, Ciji Simeon Yeldings, Mr. Dimas Laumara,  Gambo Mukollo and other number of now deceased intellectuals around the Kaltungo/ Shongom axis, I became certain that we, too have quite a number of myths and legends we could call our own.

The final blow to the piece came when I stumbled upon the works of Rev. Hall 10 years ago- and became relieved and knew the Tangalu really are bestowed with the gift of myth in their history as a people. Although the work was majorly centred on the Kaltungo and Shongom, and gave little attention to Billiri, yet the erudite A.M ANKALE recommended the learned writer’s work. Meanwhile, the late writer’s interview of Ciji Karga, Sauzau,Mukollo and the rest in the year 1917 gave birth to a written material that bothers on some myths about the Tangale nation- especially the legend of the sun which to my mind was the best story out of the Tangale history.

The Target of this work is to propel the Tangale nation in the eyes of the world. While the idea is to enlighten our curious students of history and literature as well as interested persons about the history of the Tangale people.

The bulk of what is available as far as the Tangalu is concerned now are migratory history of the people. And few writings about culture intercourse between the Tangalu and other neighbouring groups like the Jukun, Tera, Bolawa and the rest.

Therefore, the objective of this work is to see the nation of the Tangalu in a grain of sand and high above on the top of the Kilang hill, so as to enable the world appreciate the beauty of these wonderful people.                                                                                                                    Japhil YILA esq                                                                                         August, 2018.

Myth is that traditional stories, especially the ones concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon and typically involving super natural beings or events. More often myth consists of sacred narratives about gods. Generally they are stories of gods, and account of the beginning of the world, the creation, fundamental events and so forth.

The brother legend could be said to be those traditional stories sometimes popularly regarded as historical but not authenticated.

While it is true that many of the stories are based on fiction and unauthenticated, others are based on facts. For instance, the myth and legends found in the holy books:- the Bible and Qur’an.  Especially the Bible wherein we read about stories of the flood, the giant Goliath, trumpet sound blowing away thick walls, the episodes of the adventure of the Israelites, Moses dividing the Red sea and many more.

The more reason why myth and legends are worthy of consideration is that they contained the origin of believes still found in our lives today and the future. For instance, the belief in immortal soul can be ascribed to ancient Assyro- Babylonian myths through Egyptian, Greek and Roman beliefs to Christendom and other religions.

The first people to fashioned mythology in a constructive and systematic as well as fascinating pattern are the Greeks. In the 18th century B.C.E Hesiod the Greek writer brought Greek mythology to limelight, whence he observed that, the world and gods began when Gaea or simply Gaia (Earth) gave birth to Uranus (Heaven). That Uranus was supreme but he suppressed his children and Gaia convinced his son Cronos to render his father impotent. And further swallowed his own children until his wife Rhea gave him stone to eat in place of Zeus, Zeus grew up in Crete, who later forced his father to vomit his brothers, and with them and other aid defeated cronos and his Titans and cast them down into Tartarus.

In time Zeus became the supreme god of the Olympians, and fathered Perseus and Heracles or Hercules.The myth further went to state that Zeus and his brother divided up creation. Zeus took the sky and was accorded supreme authority on earth and on mount Olympus. Poseidon received the sea as his domain, making him god of the sea. While Zeus last brother Hades got the under-world and became the ‘god of the under-world’

On the other hand, the Egyptians who have many myths about gods have the most prominent of them as Isis, symbol of divine motherhood; and Osiris her brother and partner; and Horus their son, represented as a falcon. Isis is represented by breastfeeding her son Horus. The three gods are all associated with creation, protection, destruction and final hope thereafter.

Their counterpart, the Asstro Babylonians has Anu as their mythical supreme god, reigning over the heavens; Asshur the warrior; Enlil the god of air; Marduk who was believed to have swallowed up all the other gods took over their functions. Other gods includes Hathor, the goddess of love and joy, music and dancing- regarded as queen of the dead, helping men with ladder to achieve heaven. And Apis represented as the bull banaded the ram, heat the frog.

The Roman mythology shared very common tradition with the Greek with few slight differences. Juno, queen of the gods, goddess of matrimony and one of the dii consentes. Equivalent to Greek Hera. Jupiter king of the gods, god of storms, lighting, sky and one of the Dii consentes; was assigned a flamen maior- equivalent to the Greek Zeus. Others are Apollo, the god of sun, Bacchus- god of wine, parties/ festivals, madness, and  merriment. Caelus- the god of the sky. Ceres-Saturn daughter, as goddess of farming and agriculture. Cupid- the god of love and many more.

Although, most written documents about the Chinese mythology were destroyed between 213- 191 B.C.E. however, few remained relevant describing how the earth was formed. According to professor Anthony Christie ,

“we learn that chaos  was like a hen’s egg. Neither heaven nor earth existed. From the egg P’an-ku was born, while of its heavy elements earth was made and sky from the light elements. P’an-ku is represented as a dwarf, clad in a bearskin or a cloak of leaves. For 18,000 years the distance between earth and sky grew daily by ten feet and P’an- ku grew at the same rate so that his body filled the gap. When he died, different parts of his body became various natural elements….HIS BODY FLEAS BECAME THE HUMAN RACE”

The Aztecs god includes, TLALOC, the rain deity, the god HULTZILOPOCHTLI patron of the Mexican tribe, QUETZALCOATL, the feathered serpent, wind god, culture hero and god of civilisation and order. TEZCATLIPOLA, the shrewd god of destiny and fortune, connected with war. Her myths divided the world into 13 heavens and a earthy layers or netherworlds. The most important celestial entities in Aztec world were sun, the moon and the planet Venus.

The Inca myths and legend has MANCO CAPAC as the founder of the Inca dynasty in Peru and the Cusco dynasty at Cusco. Was said to have been brought up from the depths of Lake Titicaca by the sun god Inti. Although numerous other version opposing the above legend abound making the myth about the Inca contradictory.

  • APU- was a god or spirit of the mountains.
  • ATAGUCHU- was a god who assisted in creation.
  • CATEQUIL- was the god of thunder and lightning.
  • VAVILLACE – a virgin goddess who ate a fruit, which was actually the sperm of Coniraya, the moon god. When she gave birth to a son, she demanded that the father step forward, no one did, so she put the baby on the ground and it crawled towards Coniraya. She was ashamed because of Coniraya’s low stature among the gods, and ran to the coast of Peru, where she changed herself and the son into the rocks.

Others are:

  • EKEKO- god of the health and wealth.
  • ILLAPA INTI, the son god, protector of the people KON- god of rain.
  • MAMA ALLPA, fertility goddess.
  • MAMA QUCHA , sea mother.
  • MAMA PACHA and MAMA KILLA and many more.

The legend goes thus; that long ago near the beginning of time, the son god, Inti and his wife, the moon goddess, Mama Quilla ruled over all, Mama Quilla later gave birth to Earth while Inti gave the people of Earth the gift of civilisation. And later instructed his children to teach the people how to worship the sun.

The MAYANS had between 166 to 250 known gods with a complex and changeable pantheon. They had gods to oversee every human action and aspect of life.Their myths has ITZAMNA who created human beings and fathered Bacabs who upheld the corners of the world.

YUM KAAX the nature god.

MAIZE god, the god dancing, art and feasting. Others include Hunab ku, Kinich Ahav etc.

Their myths and legends have it that the gods first created the earth and sky, then continued with the animals and living creatures. The gods wanted to be involved, worshipped, and remembered, but the animals were unable to talk. That failed, they went ahead and created human being using the earth and mud. This also failed since man can simply dissolve and disintergrate. After third attempt a better man was finally made.

These myths and legends can be summed up thus; man creation by the gods, multiple gods who crave for man’s worship and submission and on a more extensive study, catastrophic flood that devastated nearly all human races. And another remarkable conclusion one can’t avoid to draw is the fact that all these people and their stories lived and exists far from one another geographically. They share no common culture and tradition and bore no relationship to one another. Yet and miraculously they have almost similar stories to tell about gods, creation, man, destruction and in fact same origin, Africa inclusive.

In African societies, there is little speculation about the origin of the universe; Benjamin c. Ray in his studies on African myths observed further that; African thought tends to be bound up with daily life, and hence there is little interest in questions that do not concern practical matters. Most African myth deals primarily with the origin of man and that of certain social and ritual institutions  that account for real- life situation.

African mythology contains a good deal of what we would call ‘history’. In this continent oral tradition, myth and history generally overlap and shade into one another. Myth blends into history as cosmic and archetypal events bear upon local situations and history blends into myth as local and human events become ritualised and infused with cosmic and archetypal meaning…..

Below, we shall see how African myth-history gives meaning to that of her counterparts.

Perhaps one tribe in Africa that developed a highly sensitive, unusual and elaborated myth regarding cosmogony are the Dogon of Mali. They are an indigenous tribe who occupy a religion in Mali, south of the Sahara desert in Africa.

They are believed to be of Egyptian descent that migrated to Africa bringing in astronomy legends dating back to 3200 BC. Among many is the legend of the Sirius brilliant star believed among the Egyptians as the bringer of the Nile. That the star influenced events on earth. The tribe believed that in the beginning, Amma, the supreme god, existed alone and depended upon nothing but himself. Amma had the shape of an oval egg made out of his four bones joined together. That he is responsible in creating life on Earth and eventually produced children- the birth of the world.

Right now only the Dogon myth and legend distinct itself with the rest of the African continent as a result of its direct lineage and connection with the Egyptian myth as well as its uniqueness from what is obtained in Africa.

Meanwhile, according to Ganda mythology, Kintu the sky born founder of the kingship disappeard into the forest after establishing the kingdom of Baganda- a Bantu ethnic group within Uganda. The legend went further to state that after kintu passed all Ggulu’s tests, Ggulu gave him his daughter Nambi, among other gifts to take back to Earth ; then to hurry back to Earth and avoid his brother Walumbe and later after a lot of plots and grappings Walumbe was later blamed as the reason for death on Earth.

The Dinka mythology of the south Sudan attributed the primary acts of creation solely to NHIALIC who was said to fashion the first people from clay or created them in a river or tree. Today, to the Dinka, he continues to act as the sole creator of humans by shaping them in the womb and by giving them life.

In Nigeria, the Igbo are one ethnic group that give little attention to myths and legends and only have the supreme God as Chukwu (great spirit) who created the world and everything therein and other lesser spirits which have a lot in common with the Tangale mythology.

Perhaps one of the most interesting mythologies is that of the Yoruba legend that ascribed the act of world creation to Oduduwa; the tale goes thus; that Olorun (lord or owner of the sky) delegated the task of creating the world to first Obatala his son. Obatala failed because he drinks a lot. So Olorun entrusted his younger son Oduduwa who completed the task. To each man, Olorun gave the breath of life. The legend further states that men on earth travelled to heaven, Olorun home and collects food but when some got greedy he separates the heaven and the earth. Some legends have it that Obatala created the Igbo ethnicity.

Those and other myths and legends abound in Africa and especially Nigeria. The central aim of this work is analysing the world’s mythology vis- a- vis the Tangale. Geographically, the Tangale land lies in Gombe south of Gombe State in the Northern Nigeria which comprises of 3 local government Areas of Billiri, Kaltungo and Shongom.

The first known myth about the  Tangalu is the one associated to their migration centuries ago. Legend has it that the people during the course of such migration beginning from the Chad basin after Yemen was led by a mythical stone and that after this final settling of the people, the stone finally settled at Ture Hills. A number of aged men have testified to the said legend.

2.The sun – (Poda)

Unlike the Aztec who derived her source of inspiration in the sun by directly worshipping it. The Tangalu never ascribed any inspirational bond with the son or any of the cosmos.

The sun to them plays only personal roles of farming and messages passed as a  result of changes in the position of the sun. to the Tangalu the sun was said to be helped and relocated  above from the ground where it was earlier stationed. That then, the dwarves ruled the world and controlled the movement of the sun. the cocks lived up in the heavens and praised and nailed the sun continually to come up and escape the clutches of the dwarves. Thrilled by the praises above, the sun escaped the dwarves and travelled the world in search of a worthy servant that will help in its ascension  to heaven. In the course of such adventure, it passes through layel-wol and Lalutu two great towns of great warriors. Failing to meet any worthy keeper the sun transformed into a ram and sleeps below and the world became dark. As a result the inhabitants of the world started dying.

In the course of the said calamity a great hunter Law-ti searched the four  corners of the world for the sun been the only survival of the darkness- found the sun and captured it and flew it to the sky and light shone after 102 years of darkness that took hold of the world. Lau- ti was blessed by the cocks and empowered to come down to the earth and start a new race.

The above myth may not hold water since hardly was it documented anywhere. Save for the very few old folks who have since died the myth remain a subject of scrutiny, but we cannot deny the fact that what makes history of a people fascinating is their story- in from of myth and legend.

  1. STARS (NINI)

With the son abode the sky for farming and rearing of animals in the day, the sort of men (sirum) sparkles in the night. The son remains above and watches over the world and mankind and sleep at night and offered in the souls of men in the form of stars.

The morning star, the biggest of them all called kwaral belong to the soul of the great chief priest. The myth proceeds by stating that when a shooting or falling star is seen, all chorus and shouts and declared ‘…..the soul of one of us is lost and surely the owner of the star will die…’ And therein all will await the death of somebody among them or elsewhere.

THE KILANG HILL

The legend surrounding this 8000 feet tall mountain equivalent to 2348 M. (roughly a trek from mallam waye round about to the mai Kaltungo palace) goes this is a long ago that during war, the mountain would simply open up and accept everyone in its belly then closed up. When the enemies come they will find no one. Meanwhile in the belly of the mountain abounds food and drinks for everyone to take. The enemies finding no one hurriedly leave and the mountain would then open up and all exit to their respective homes.

There is a similar legend within the neighbouring Awak people under Katungo L.G.A; IDI Buba Awak narrated that long ago a bird named nebonge and his wife wife ne- shegle protects and guide the people during war. That when the enemies advanced to Awak they will meet nobody as the birds have provided   Walls around the community.

     WAR FARE

According to T.F Carlyle and Oliver Howard, the Tangale were the earliest known dominant occupants of Gombe area. That they possibly displaced earlier autochthonous groups, such as the Yaffudawa of Kalani hills and the Rogdo of Kafarati (Kwom) both in the Bolewa vicinity. Before setting at the present Kaltungo and Shongom country the people of the eastern Tangale displaced another aboriginal group  known as ‘Kwomda’

Unfortunate, there is no oral account of the success seed displacing of the Yaffudawa and Rogdo at the Bolewa vicinity but there are oral account of that of the Kwomda people.

The first account goes thus: abort 200 or 300 years ago…. Says NJWATA from shongom: that upon certain days, our leader KUNGLUNG because disturbed on the unsactifactory nature of our dwelling place, disclosed such to a man from pargatak (at present BOH) He said ‘this land is no longer a home for us- the land has lost its fertility. Go out and find us a dwelling place’’ Pargatak went off moving eastward and leaving home westward (Tungul), and on reaching the present country he turned himself into a lion. He made his way directly to one point of vantage after another, until he reached a hill overlooking the whole inhabited settlement he cleared off himself a place under a tree and there laid down and took observation of all the human activities, spying out their great leader, a warrior named NJOMJOM, (a symbol of power and confidence)

Satisfied he retraced his steps, came back home and reported to konglung. Kongwak in turned called kolwi, who also listened to pargataks account of his findings. He declared that the people were many, and their land was good, with fruit trees of all kinds and abundant food in general. Then too there was a great man called Njomjom, whose feet were turned around, so that his heels were where his toes should be. When this man trod the ground to go to the farm and you examined his foot prints, you were sure he had gone from the bush to the town ; and when he was going town wards, you declared from the footprints that he was going to the bush.

Kunglung commanded kolwi to call other sectional leaders to a conference, at which he told them all that the man of pargatak had seen in his jorney, and asked for suggestions of methods to be followed in the attempt to take the place for themselves. It was decided in three days a call should be sounded through out the extent of their land summoning all to battle on the following days on the fourth day, therefore, all the strong males of the people armed for fight and gathered to their leader

A council of war was held pargatak said, the people are great and mang, what shall be done kunglung said, watch; then lifting himself he threw himself on the ground, and snakes ran all over a man again, he said, if I do that and go out among the people, biting ten here and there, cord I not finish them off pargatak said, he cannot finish them all ‘let me ‘ said he, become a lion so that night and day I shall mangle the people and tear, their roots and walls to pieces : ‘that will not do, said a man of lame. ‘just wait and let this man of layange do his :then the man of layenge turned himself in to an eagle and flew up and cut the air alighting once more the man of lame said ‘let us use tha.

The great armysey forth, the elder in front and the fighters in the rear ….. and reached a strategic point were the attack should be advance pargatak gave orders to layenge to fly and watch out for a ram stacked under a certain tree, where also would be a great company sewing root- grass layenge raised himself and threw himself down and turned in to an eagle, flew through the air and settled on the hillside he watched as a man came out from a house drawing a ram to a point under a tree, he tied it there. the also had a mat on which he world sit to do his roof – grass sewing.

Good ! I will snatch the ram and make off with it close to the ground, and then when their see me they will follow me, thinking to snatch back the animal when I shall have alighted close; he declared.

A large ground gather at the place and feel to sewing roof – grass. Then layenge the eagle rose and swooped down upon the ram and, tearing it from the rope, made off with it close to the ground. The men sprang  up from their work, and from every quarter in the town the people hearing the yells rushed to join in the pursuit ‘see’ they cried, ‘it is closed to the ground; let us follow and snatch the sheep.

The ground was immense and growing larges, white the eagle led them in to the middle of an ambush of the invaders who descended on them as they mercilessly, slaughtered them and taking off their heads.

After a year the invaders came again and encountered a solid wall and a resisting army with shilds and weapons suggesting readiness to defend their  land.

‘Look! They remain numerous and intending to defend and to fight what shall we do.? Kunglung save ordersto a man of kalgamo to try an arrow the arrow smote one of the shields with a smart blow; and to the ground the expected army went: they were apparition!

They overspread in to the town and found out that they were in complete possession they looted the place ….after some time they made the abandoned place their home.

That was how the people of komda were displaced and the eastern Tangale retain the place which is the present day kaltungo and shongom L.G.A

But one man survived who ran and hide himself in a cave and was later discovered and was promised that his life will be spared who later thought them the wisdom of the komda people.

This detailed myth was gathered in 1925 by Rev Hall.

The second account was narrated by kidda sadata, Andirya Galadima and the eminent O.B. Africas grandmother:

That while at Tungo many years ago, a woman from the eastern Tangale lost her way and consciously or unconsciously travelled Far East and found herself in a strange settlement know as komdawho eventually captured her as slave. Later one of their kinsmen married her and she borne two children all males. According to komda tradition: if a child does good and people rightly acknowledges his goodness, the credit goes to his mother and her people  one of her son was a good man praised by all. One day he asked his mother, mother where are your people and where did you come from? For nobody seems to know about your origin. She was reluctant in granting his request. But the boy refused to give up as he constantly pressurised her. A t the end she told him iam from Tangale, shongom clan she was asked furthermore, where is this place?

After more pressure from her son she took off one day to pand kwalgawari at Tungo. The trek was not an easy one because in that time freedom of movement was restricted at least it you want to stay alive. She was able to manoeuvre her way through the hostile community, and finally reached Tungo people could not recognised her. A relative recognised her and explainded her identity to the elders and the people who she was and they cried. ‘Oh! Good yamba, we thought you have died probably killed by the beast…..’I was not killed. I was captured by the komda people she said. ‘ who are these people? They inquired. ‘they are strong warriors, many and real worshippers of shooro (evil spirit). She told them her story; how she was captured and what led her to come back.

At the cornail of elders meeting – she narrated the beauty of the place they became fascinated and listed in their hearts to be there. ‘can we fight them? They asked. ‘ not possible; she answered ‘they are warriors than you and heavily populated than you and more shockingly is the fact that they are worshippers of fearful shooro. There and then they begged her to go and spy more. She went back and spied more as she collected their basic secrets.

After some days she came back with what they requested: the time of their fetish activities and the secret behind their act of worship, the mode of worship their strength and weaknesses that heir sacred symbol was ‘bia’  (a goat). The goat was the symbol of their inspiration and existence as a people and was always tied under a tamarind tree she went further to tell them about a certain giant called Njomjom a man of enormous strength and height, stood 7 feet and 6 inches tall, muscles displayed a terrific structure on his body and always carry a big shaved head with two big feathers which were obviously growing on his shaved head. Whenever he is walking eastward the foot prints points. Westward and vice vesa. His shield extra large that nobody was fit to lift it up. Whenever he walks seven bells rings warning everybody that a warrior is passing by. He can only be killed with’ pand tilin’ and’ Kongrong’ (a fan palm)

Pand tilin is a typical blackish rock mostly frond at the kilang hill.

After hearing all these, they deliberated on it with the war strategists on the best way to attack. She was told to go back and stay with them and on so so day ‘put your children in a ban with a sign….

On launching the attack they imploded mystical and magical means, a transformation powers were displayed: kale and kacyila clans from kwalgari turned in to miizo (pythons), kaljaro turned in to Lantule , nul ndeede, the kalgamo clan turned in to a swik (a ciass of rodents with a sharp piercing mouth with a bad odour) others turned in to sele, sagaka, lamosok, la’andan pipi,nanjir haze etc.

The man from pargatak turned in to a turum and Layenge turn into sugurgup (eagle) the turum and sugurgup were approved to do the forefront attack while the rest of the warriors were left tp wait at lasule. The turum and the sugurgup moved inward and settled at an advantage position were they viewed the tamarind tree, the sugurgup flew and picked the sacred goat tied under the tree which was their shrine and flew with it round the settlements and the people became shocked and confused. It brought the goat to the warriors who immediately slaughtered it. The death of their sacred symbol rendered them powerless and vulnerable as the warriors unleashed the deadly attack on them killing many and severing their heads they finally come back home and jubilated over their victory.

The remaining dwellers were worried and anxiors for an evil things has befallen them. They build a wall and made some human like figures on the eagles of the wall which tells an intruder that the army are ready for them. The lizard man came closer and observed the truth. They went bundled the figures and penetrated the settlement and found only few remaining as they went on with their killing exercises at the climax – it was the battle between them and njojom : they surrounded him sending all manner of missiles which failed to penetrate him they overshadowed him and tied him down using the edge of kongrong or konnron they cut off his head and had his body for meal and the skull buried between pargatak and layenge.

Komda defeated, war over the rest of the komda people ran as far to an extent locating them is a futile exercise. The people of loo were suspected komda there are some people in billiri who bears komda. Those two children of the slave woman tuener spy were spared and live among the new dwellers. There is a clan in kwalgwari. Lapan who were suspected direct descendant of these children (the komda people) the dwellers adopted some komda usages and words: paja, pan njomjom, kilan, dwale etc.were komda words. The trad are concatenated.

The two traditions though regrettably inconsistent possessed some remarkable similarities: the fact that there was spying to gather information and the pre-planned strategy to launch war and the finally success of the war; both traditions acknowledged the fact that they were many. The goat njomjom appeared a giant both account cant ignored his existence. with these few point at the background, we can as well proceed to confidently buttress our point that the eastern Tangale met a certain aboriginal dwellers called komda and used magical means to displaced them and thereby occupied the land which stretched from kaltugo to shongom considering the fact that the land was fertile and it possessed  the kind of expectations they aspired in the lands and place they desired to live. Statistically speaking, the unsatisfied life they lived as a result of unfruitful nature of their former world prompted the quest for a more fertile area. From these traditions we can infer that the Tangele ethnic group may have, throughout their migration and the search for land, concurrently, wage war on a people living on their land. Though this inference is open to debate and more critical research work. 

            

SHOLAT TREE

One remarkabletree regarded as ancestral is the sholat tree. A very attractive tree strictly for providing shade with no meaningful fruits. It is very available in almost every home of the people of Tangale. The myth surrounding this unique tree is that it housed the ancestors long dead. In those days food are usually kept under the tree and only to meet empty dishes the following day as the anampure has consumed the food in the night. Stones are arranged under the tree hierarchically, the ones at the top are preserved for the anampure who are believed to commune among the living- listening only they can’t talk.

Apart the ancestral dwelling home of the anampure, the tree also serves as an important  role in religious function of the people.

MIJI or MIJO (PYTHON)

The importance of the python in the lives of the Tangalu can never be over stretched. The reptile actually commands significant awe and respect in the hearts of the people.

The legend about his giant holds that the Billiri (Taangale) brothers has the snake as a protector of the people as well as led them in establishing the current Billiri land . it further went on to say, the snake first goes out to discover a land for settlement which must be disease free and fertile. With that done, the people confidently occupy the land. Currently ballin Hills in Billiri homed the reptile.  Kal Yila in Lapan also hold the reptile in awe. These formed parcel of the Tangale myths and legends. 

SINGNIFICANT OF TANGALU MYTHS AND LEGEND IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD.

The most significant of the Tangale myth is the legend of the sun. it possessed the qualities of a constructive and relevant tradition. Which invariably places the Tangalu myth to the rest of the world.

Some salient characteristics regarding the myth is the:

  • Sun
  • Dwarves
  • Warrior
  • Creation
  • Death
  • Remedy/redemption
  • Cock

I shall analyse each of these characters and see how it reflect along side the rest of the world legends.

  • As earlier noted, the sun featured in almost all the legends of the world and more particularly the AZTEC and INCA and finally the Tangalu. As stated earlier the Tangalu myth has the sun as bringing of light and sustenance which its turning into complete darkness for centuries brought death to mankind. Both the AZTEC, INCA and the Tangalu acknowledges the sun as a source of their history.
  • Dwarves – It’s highly amazing that dwarves featured in both the Chinese legend of creation as pointed by Prof. A. Christie, and the Tangale legend of creation as pointed above.
  • Hero- in all the myth analysed above just like in the Tangalu myth, heroes featured in almost all the myth and legend of the world. A hero was always there to make a wrong right, to bring redemption as we saw in the Tangalu’s Law ti who saved the world.  

CREATION: the central aim of virtually all the myths and legends in this world bothers on creation, of the world and mankind. For instance the earliest myth known to man, the Greek mythology pointed out how the gods created the world and mankind and this chain flows to the Egypt, Rome, Inca, Aztec, Banda, Yoruba and the rest down to the Tangalu whose myth and legend has Lauti as the creator of mankind after the death of mankind as a result of excessive darkness.

DESTRUCTION, FLOOD AND DEATH:

Some 4,528 years ago to about 2,528 B.C.E the Holy Bible tell of mankind destruction as a result of sin and the survival of one Noah, a man said to be upright in God’s sight. In the book of Genesis- it went to explains how some few animals were equally saved in an ark.

Significantly enough, this myth is also supported by the fact that it is reflected in so many mythologies worldwide, including the Maya,Incas, Aztec, Gilgamesh, China and the Tangalu etc.

For instance, the myth of the Gilgamesh who was said to be one great god, a two-thirds god and one-third a man or a demi god.

That in Uruk he built walls, a great rampart and the temple of blessed Eanna for the god of the firmament Anu…. But Gilgamesh leaves no virgin or any woman intact for he lusted over all the women. The people of Uruk complained to the gods. In response the gods of Uruk created one Enkidu to stand as rival to Gilgamesh. Enkidu instead became friends with Gilgamesh who later died and Gilgamesh became heartbroken and set to find immortality from Utnapishtion who in turn instructed him to build a ship, give up possession , seek thou life……Aboard the ship, take thou the seed of the living things.’    In Aztec flood myth-it shows how a human survived by hiding in a hallow vessel and cooked fish when the water subsides and when the smoke reaches heavens, the gods became angry and punished them by turning them into dogs.    

Another version has it that the fourth era was ruled by Chalchiuhtlicue, the water goddess whose universe perished by a flood. Men were saved by becoming fish!

According to the Mayan’s mythology as told by popol vur, the creator gods attempted to create creatures who would worship them. After two times failure, the third attempt became successful and produce the race of humans carved from wood and later got destroyed by flood.

The Chinese has yu; ‘the conqueror of the great flood. The myth further states that Yu channelled flood waters into the rivers and seas to resettle his people.

In the Ganda mythology it was said that the god walumbe was the person for death on earth.

Finally the Tangalu has the myth regarding destruction in her sun legend where it states that after escaping the dwarves, who happened to be the inhabitant of the world and failing to reach up, angered it shot off its light and darkness and death took hold of the world.

 

REMEDY & REDEMPTION

On a cursory look into all the myths around the world one will notice a general remedy to all form of catastrophes that initially befalls a people and a final respite.

After a long battle, finally, Zeus became the god of the heavens and resides at mount Olympus with Poseidon under the sea and Hades under world. This sweet ending can be found in almost all the myths around the world.

Meanwhile, the sweet ending of the Tangalu myth has lauti coming down the world wherein he was blessed by the cocks and he breeds in a new race.

CONCLUSION;                                                                             

In most African history, what featured the most are cannibalism, fetish practices and war. But if it ends at that, then Africa history remains a bore. Myths and legends makes our history interesting.                                       

REFERENCE;                                                                                 1.Mankind’s Search for God; 1990,WATCH TOWER and TRACT SOCIETY PENNSYLVANIA.                                                                                     2. Benjamin C. RAY; 1976, African Religion.                                            3. John S.HALL; 1994, Religion, Myth and Magic in Tangale.

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