Amadou Hampâté Bâ

Translated by Daniel Whitman
With “Kings, Sages, Rogues: The Historical Writings of Amadou Hampâté Bâ”

Washington, D.C. Three Continents Press. 1988.

       Table des matieres       

Kaydara — Strophes 1995-2020

ɓamaa mo njiɗ-ɗaa arano oo kaa yo jawdi
ndi qiima walaa e muuɗum suudu maaɗa;
ɗiɗaɓo oo daroyoo yo cinkal ŋaanyitoro-ɗaa
bilaa hirondirɓe maa kala mettinaa ɗum; 1995
tataɓo oo kaa wonta ngesa maa mbelnga doomaa
ɗo ngattaa aawdi maa aawaa faa funna;
ko woni fii nayaɓo oo noon yo kiiti ɓernde.
Ɓernde na woodi ngoonga mo mboowka dulli.
Ko ɓamroytaa mo aɗa yiɗi woni daliili 2000
anndaa gilli jaaloto jaalataake.
So nii ɓinngel a heɓii ley debbo gooto
ko sifaa e nayon ngonaa hono mawɗo ladde
arɗo mo hoore mawnde yo ɓinnga ladde!
kaaɗaa e gooto tan pati ngortinaa ɗum. 2005
So naa ɗum keblo-ɗaa doƴƴoo e maaɗa
sappo nde sappo ɓeydaa sappo gootel
sugulla waran e maa hade foocoyaade;
so a leloyiima ndonkaa ɗaanoyaade;
jamma nyalooma ndonkaa deƴƴinaade. 2010
Hammadi njiino-ɗaa koo tan yo maale,
a anndii jeegoɓere ndee sirru muuɗum
ndaamaa leyɗe yaamana-juuju jeyɗo
wo goɗɗuɗo sanne kaa ɓalliiɗo Kaydara. »
Fooyre mawnde laayti Hammadi wii: 2015
— « Ko ɗum firi jeeɗɗaɓere ɗee maale leyɗe
yaamana-juuju ee maa mobbo baawɗo
ommbude ndaarle muni tawa ɗaanoyaaki,
tawa ana jooɗoyii ley foomre ɓokki
sooynoo faama faa ɓura gonɗo dow kii. » 2020
Gariibu nayeejo uddoy gudde hinere
faa ɗum juuti hooynii ƴeewi kammu
a sukkan won ko tijjii na yoyɓitee e mum.

and then another, to love! 139
The first will be the priceless fortune of your home;
the second, a prize you exhibit
to provoke and taunt your rivals;
the third will serve as a well-kept field
where you will leave your seed, and grow it;
the fourth will be there for reasons of the heart.
The heart has its reasons that custom ignores.
You will wed a fourth wife because you love her
and because love conquers all.
My son! If you can find one woman
in the four here mentioned, be like the king of the jungle,
the great-headed lord — the wild lion! —
and content yourself with one woman.
Otherwise, be prepared to undergo
ten times ten and eleven 140 worries
that will come and rob you of your rest;
lying on your bed, you'll be unable to sleep;
day and night, you'll find no peace.
Hammadi, you saw only the outer signs
and now you know the secret of the sixth symbol
of the land of the dwarf-spirits; it belongs to Kaydara,
the distant, the nearby Kaydara.”
A bright light shone and Hammadi asked:
“And what is the meaning of the seventh symbol
of the land of the dwarf-spirits? Master, you know
how to close your eyes without sleeping
and, seated beneath a baobab, you can see
and better understand than the man perched above you.”
The old beggar closed his nostrils for a long time;
then he raised his head and looked at the sky
as though hoping to find an idea there.

Notes (Lilyan Kesteloot)
139. It is said: “Let a man love what he loves, for if you don't, he will hate you and go on loving what he loves!”
140. One hundred eleven upsets for the ancestors will come to torment him; there is a prohibition against adding a wife to one who has the four required qualities, on pain of having woes in the past, the present, and future (1,1,1).
As for divorce, among the Fulɓe both parties may do so; this is not the case in neighboring countries; for example divorce is altogether forbidden among the Malinke, where the wife is presented to the husband with a case containing the hoe for digging his tomb, the rope for binding his corpse, and the shroud for enveloping his body.