||[22 Aug 2006|02:02am]
Embaba ni Kajambu Ja'ra Embumu ni wuwune Wembu
Or the Coming of Wembu and the Creation
Long ago, there were no words; only the Buru, river, and the K-ijambi, jungle, existed upon the land, and they consumed it, and all men despaired. Jamuwa, the Scarlet Eye, loomed above; and though his heat bore down upon the land, he could not defeat the river, for it was too vast and too deep; nor could he burn the jungle, for it was fed by the great river and would not die.
It was not until Embumu ni wuwune Wembu, the Speaker of Great Dangers, came forth from the K-ijambi to the banks of Buru, that words began. Taking a branch from the nearest tree, Wembu lifted it to the sun, crying "Jamba! I take the heat and the heart of the jungle and the river unto me!"
And then the branch was set aflame, and the power of Jamuwa was unleashed upon the land. Where the heat touched it, the trees of K-ijambi toppled, and the froth of Buru fled; and so, in the space between the river and the jungle, a great plain was made, and the burnt fork of the brigand of Wembu was planted at its center.
From this fork were the great horns of Nu nib Narabi, the father of all gazelles, formed; and his body was of the plains, neither to dwell among the kapoks, nor to swim in the currents of the river. And yet he made great fun of them, for he was indeed swifter than Buru, and more alive than the K-ijambi; and in his pride he taunted them, and he fathered countless children and they were a tribe greater than any before them. Upon the grasses they fed, until much of the land was dry and barren that the Speaker had created.
Then Wembu was angry, and from the dust he made the second tribe, the Nu nara Buti, the lions; and he crowned them with heads of golden hair, and he sent them into the plain, and the tribe of Narabi was frightened.
When at last the tribes were in balance, Wembu sat upon the plain in repose, and pulled his knees to him, and there he remained like a great and silent mountain: K-irimanja'ru. From his hair and head, the birds came forth and with his great locks built their homes in the jungle; and from his secret heart, all the creatures of the world burst forth in flames and spread themselves upon it, and all was good.
And today, the people of the tribe of Wembu still cry the word "jamba" to the sun every morning when they awake, and they stir the fire of their hearts; and sometimes K-irimanja'ru answers them, when from the flames new life is born, and the river and jungle are kept at bay.
Listen to a recording of the story.