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 2085-2105

sirru e ɓerɗe laaɓɗe
maa du e ley bee be ngaandi mum reentii. 2085
Abada caahiiɗo mantoytaako fiya hoddu
ana mantoo ɓe cuuɗan sirru hono mboomri
ndi Geno mari reeni sabu muuyɗe;
ko anndi huunde ɓuri yidde yo janngude diina jannginde.
Wiyataa annde fuu na jogii. 2090
Mo jogitoo hoore muni wumma
yo baaɗo no taalibo no jannga.
Mo yeddaa ngoonga ɓe mo wondi
yaadira boofi mum di waɗi.
Gori biigal yo ndontoori. 2095
Kuru-kuru kanko woni laamɗo.
Walaa kurfaanu jom ŋeccu.
Mo laacol honŋinii no wawdu,
yoga mum seeɓi hono baantu.
Hokkaa hunduko jom sonndu. 2100
Ngori hakkille waɗi masiri
jogolol hoore wojjinoyaa
leeɓoy punnoyaa e waare
ko tiindaa sanne hirseede
ƴiiƴam mayri tooru yiɗi 2105
sabu dee nyliwa ana hula ndi
ŋaccal mayri saate Masa.
Jogginoyoori nimre wuloo

his secret to pure hearts
or enlightened minds.
A man who is well off will never boast
in solemn chords; he hides his secret 147 like the virginity 148
that Geno spares and oversees.
The wise man seeks to learn rather than teach 149.
He will never claim to have all knowledge.
He will always see himself as ignorant
and will approach studies like a pupil.
He will never contradict others' truths
and will always admit to his own errors.
The male to the hen is the rooster.
In the barnyard he is king.
He has no boots, but does have spurs.
His tail is like a sickle
and fragments into little darts.
He has no bird's beak.
This male with pillowed temples
carries a vermilion comb on his head
and on his chin, a thin beard
is the predestined victim
whose blood the fetishes like
because he can scare the elephant 150
and because his spur is fatal to kings 151.
His song drives the night away

Notes (Lilyan Kesteloot)
147. An occult or other secret; all secrets have their importance in a certain sphere of influence, but especially family or state secrets. There is the legend of the initiate who asks his master to tell him the true name of God. The master gives him a box while saying, “the name of God is enclosed within, take good care of it.” The adept goes off in ecstasy; but his curiosity gets the better of him when he hears scratchings from inside the box; he opens it and a mouse escapes. Very troubled, he goes back to find his master and relates to him what has happened. The master says to him, “You can't even guard a mouse and you expect to be given watch over the secret name of God!”
148. If a woman is devoted to a project of Geno, she must remain a virgin for the sake of certain sacrifices such as the reserve of the body or even the gift of life.
149. This attitude is, of course, not very widespread; but an old man can always acknowledge an error; he is not made to notice abruptly, but he is asked,“has such a thing been explained to you?” or he may be told, “See how I was in error, I thought such and such;” whereupon the old man answers, “No, it is I who am in error.”
150. Apparently elephants flee when they hear the rooster sing.
151. The cockspur is always being sought for making into fetishes. In fact Sumanguru was killed by an arrow tipped with a poison cockspur.