Melek

This story, first told by ABEDNEGO MAKON,
was transcribed and first published by LONDOL WONYU WONYU.


Melek was a son of the Log Isut family, of the Jemahet lineage, in the region of Hepatet, in the northern part of Temi. His father was Emeleke. Melek was known in the whole land. One day, Ngookola's voice arose: "Leave this ungrateful land, O Melek, son of Emeleke, where one does not open his door neither to his brother nor the stranger, where one does not feed neither the widow nor her orphan child. Leave this land, I tell you, O Melek, and take with you your wives and progeny.

At once, Melek departed. His Kindak was Kimam Ngo Absalom, of the clan of Yehua, the cub of Chaldea whose ancestors came from a region called Yudea. The great god added: "Go, I'll accompany you to your new territories, those I safeguarded for you, for you are righteous. You are wise in your ways, like your father Emeleke. I gave him you so that he may have a comforter of his old days. And you are. You practice justice. Your words are humble. I'll add health to your health, wealth to your wealth, happiness to your happiness, and joy to your joy. I preserved a new territory for you and your following. Its soil is fertile. Fruits weigh heavily on the tree branches, grazing animals bear numerous children, and big fish are plentiful in the waters.
I give you this new land for every day of your life, you have opened your door to both your brother and the stranger, fed both the widow and her orphan and quenched their thirst. You deserve my gifts for you will share them."

The next morning, when the sun grew in the sky, Melek greeted his tutelary god:

Greetings to you, O Batuu-Pek, first in the sky, ancient on earth, master of all, who organizes Nom (duration). You know the pathways of the Minton'. You also know all the secrets of the gods, and the streams the Minton' use to quench their thirst when they paddle Koba's boat. No truth is hidden to you. You know the births of each and every god and how they transmute in the ocean. O Batuu-Pek, you are god because you know things. You know who is in the boat by day and who stands guard in the boat by night.

It's the spirit. It has strength.
Strength is in woman.
Strength is in the being of the male.
Strength is in the world of the living, Nguy Minton' mibi yek, the power the Minton' left.
This power increases righteousness and destroys vice. It grows seed and increases herds. The Minton' left it as a legacy so that human beings may live and live free. Glory to you!
O Nyambe, you are so handsome in your face that you shine and lighten. You rise and set. You ride your boat and swim the firmament. You gather your feathers and add days to your life.
In the dark path, you hear the noise the paddlers make for they rejoice in their hearts as they remember you and your Father, Hilolombi.
O Earth, glory to Nyambe, the Bull who lives in the firmament and who rules everything, father of the Bayon' and first among the Minton'. You are so good and so loving that you help people and their animals live.
I salute you, O Batuu-Pek, you who rise at the horizon. You shine! You sit on your throne. You boat floats. You chase the destroyers of your sacred work. Your body lives, your muscles grow strong, your bones are healthy, your limbs are firm, your spirit is honorable and your power is great. Turn your face to the South so that I do not lost my way to the new territory. Listen to my homage as they come to you.

Come to us, O Batuu-Pek, and stay with us forever,
O you who came to existence by yourself,
you who feed your belly and rub resin on your chest.
Here is your crew with rejoicing hearts.
The sky is filled with their joy.
Allow that we too rejoice on earth.

Only then did Melek, son of Emeleke, take his walking stick and hit the road.

Melek had nicknames and mottos of bravery. Here they are:

Palm-Weaver [climbed up the raffia tree.
He cut palms up the tree.
The palms hung and did not fall down.
Hear the palm tree cutting palms on the raffia tree: pooom! pooom! and no one falls down].
Male-Boar-Of-Hiko called Melek,
[He walked and walked, saw things and never said a word.
He would have said he saw what?]
Road-Traveler [The road to a town never lacks a traveler carrying his burden.
It's the stations--stopping and resting--that wins the road to a town].
Long-Trip called Melek.
Long-Hook [which breaks the tails of wild prunes],
White-Tooth-Of-A-Young-Man,
Trunks [bordering a field of yams],
First-Day [of an elephant in a boat],
Effigie-Of-A-Cock [of a boat's proue with men inside] called Melek,
Without-Bones-Only-With-Bones,
Fine-Oil-Of-Makani,
People-Solidarity [May people help one another,
Solidarity of widows in a compound,
Solidarity of a roof's wood],
Unique-Monkey [of a Chaldean woman eating the fruits of the Liseng tree in dry season],
Snake-Mbombo [which does not journey when cold weather comes],
Black-Sugar-Cane [which grows by the top, not the bottom], that was Melek.

The trip lasted years and years.

Elephant-Sneazing,
Fall-Of-The-Lingenges-Fruit,
Journey-And-Leg-Of-A-Hare, son of Emeleke,
Gnawing-Of-A-Bone, son of Emeleke, [who gnaws a bone without breaking it?]
Cock-Stretching, son of Emeleke,
Juiceless-Small-Sugar-Canes,
Sidewalk-Small-Plants [which sustain the weight of palmnut bunches],
Leadership-Taboos,
Field-Of-Goodies [one does not work on easily]
Dried-Alligator called Melek,
Varan-Roting [and leaving nothing but bones]
Trap-Stick,
Lone-Male-Hut [looking at the road],
Stick-Holder-Kiss,
Small-Finger-In-The-Womb [is only a bone]
Bent-Right-Hand-Receiving-Wine,
Middle-Finger [which does not fatten: bones in front, bones in the back]

They walked and found Um.

Here are Um's own nicknames and mottos:

Um-Of-Yellow-Yams-And-Black-Prunes,
Um-Sliding [down a kolanut tree like a monkey],
What-Is-Found [and picked up does not fight the hunting dogs],
Brave-Fellow [called Bitanga bi Imandi with sharp spearheads],
End-Of-Games,
Brave-Women [the likes of Kimaga Ngo Imandi Bitogol]
Friends-In-The-Bush,
Companions-Looking-At-The-Sky,
Main-Road [dividing itself in secondary paths,
Tree trunk dividing itself in branches,
Major clan dividing itself in lineages]
Drum-Stand-Of-The-Monkey-Ntet,
Chant-Of-Som-Mayi,
Consolation-Of-Njok-N'yan',
Courageous-Women [like Kimasaa Ngo Lisuk li Nyuu]
Mangenda-ma Non'-Blossoming,
[And the hard-tail bird called Nguy curving its back],
Incantation [at the foot of the art of the Um's drum
Incantation which allowed man to pick up the power bag of the master of the nutless land],
Monkey-Som [was going to the funeral of Mbogi Namb,
Hare refused to be sad,
Ti Mbom followed,
He walked on my property and came out late,
that is, he brought a present which Tomba of the tumult of the lute received],
Ants'-Fame [resembles the noise of a sorcerer],
The-Varan, [like the bush lezard, became a serpent],
Snail-Spoilin-The-Path.
Palm-oil [looks like blood but is odorless],
The-Day-Vegetables-Grew-On-Rocks, [rocks began throwing stones,
And the man with a coconut head [a dolicocephale] began thinking hard].

The trip was long. One elder took over at the death of the previous one. Melek after Melek. Only Melek.
Each day, the Melek told the people:

Give glory to Hilolombi as He exits the horizon.
Give glory to His Spirit.
Compliment those of His following so that the first paddler comes at dawn, on time, at the first cockcrow.
We give you thanks four times, O you whose spirit is healthy.
And nine times we salute you and those of your following.

The entire world knows Your Name, the Name of Your Spirit, and the names of the members of Your following.
You are a shining star, O Batum ba Ngii, king of the horizon,
judge of the sacred tribunal, the ancient one of the firmament.
the spirit of the holy seed,
the spirit of the innocent flesh,
the spirit of majesty and eclosion,
the spirit of enchantment,
the male spirit and the spirit of fecondation.

The world knows Um and the names of your genies. Here are a few:
Fertilizing-Genie,
Genie of Glory,
Protective Genie of Children,
Genie of Genies,
Energy of the multiplicity of Fruits,
Genie Grower of Goods,
Genie of Bravery,
Genie of Brilliance,
Genie of Praise,
Genie of Strength,
Genie of Enchantment.

The world respected your names, nicknames, surnames, and mottos. It glorified your spirit and adored your genies. Stand up for it, with goodness and a smiling face, O you who console peacefully. Stand up for the world, O Hilolombi, as you stand in the hands of the ocean. Shine for the world as You shine for the sky.

Listen to the voice crying out for you from the world, O Djob. The world is as happy as Your happy ones. Listen to its voice as you listen to the one who has your favor. Have a compassionate heart for the world, as you have it for those of your following. Give the world a heart, as your heart is favorable to those who inhabit the heavens. Come to the world, for it accompanies your beauty forever.

Handsome are You, O Hilolombi, at the horizon of Your occident, O Master of justice who deserves all fear. Your forms are powerful, and Your love is big for human beings. You shine for them and for everything that is on earth. You illuminate the pathway of the dead. The paths of the genies and earth forces are open wide for You. You sit the deities on their thrones and the happy ones in their blessed huts. May Nyambe rejoice. May Earth be joyful.

O goddesses of the occident, O you who glorify Batum ba Ngii, O you who ululate as he approaches, hold his weapons, get the enemy to fall as you did before, destroy Mbey-Yoy for the great god. May the goddesses rejoice. Let them hold the rope of U's boat. They came by a luminous ray, ordained as righteous, the gods who come from a mysterious place of the occident.

O Ott, you who made Nyambe defeater of his enemies, make human beings defeaters of their own enemies at the great tribunal of Hilolombi, Master of Life.

That's the reason why the Great God who is in His saucer comes to protect His son Koba, the very compassionate Ngookola, Batum ba Ngii who pleases the brave. The happy ones glorify him in the land of the dead, saying: "I greet all of you who came in Batum ba Ngii's company and who revealed yourselves as gods. The world says welcome to You, O You who came as the spirit of the spirits, the Honored One who resides in the horizon. Greetings to You who are more powerful than the gods and who illuminate the world with Your eye. Greeting to You who fly by His own strength and accompany He who is in His saucer.

So every morning, the Melek said to the people: "Now than the aster has exited the orient, let's perform a ritual of thanksgiving. He said:

The righteous world which adores the shining aster says that,
O god, master of light, who exits the horizon every day to illuminate the world that gives you glory at dawn and adores you at dusk,
take our supplications to Hilolombi.
The world rides the ocean in the morning boat and anchors at dusk,
it joins the stars to give glory to you.
When we adore Hilolombi, the whole world says:
Greetings to you, O Batuu-Pek who came to existence by yourself.
What beauty when you exit the horizon and illuminate the world at Temi, the double land, with your luminous rays.

All the gods rejoice when you exit the horizon as master of the sky:
The mother-star stands at your forehead, when the crowns of the heavens and the earth, and the crowns of the north and the south of Temi sit on your head, hooked at your forehead. Ott stands in the front of your boat to topple your enemies. All the genies, the dead and the ghosts came to meet you to see this marvel. I myself came to you to see you saucer of fire every day. Nobody shall be chased out of the world, no one will be set apart, and even elderly bodies will become young again at the sight of your beauty. Those you elected exist. I was one of your adorators on earth. Now we are going to reach the land of longevity, the new lands Batuu-Pek put aside for us.

Greetings to you! Greetings to you! Greetings to you!

The Melek of the day, Nanga, son of Nanga, went his way, watching the pathways, and putting marks at the crossroads. One day he arrived at his destination, the land of the Rock, after crossing the river, the new lands Ngookola guarded for him and his progeny, the land of good soil.
He thanked Nyambe:

My thanks go to you who stand erect at the horizon as Hilolombi Himself. You adorn yourself at your daughter Maah's, that is, righteousness and goodness. You came to earth because you favored us when the Egg was perturbed. You restored order. You brought the sparkling aster with you. When it crosses the firmament, all see it. You showed us your face but as you returned home, you hid it to the people. You will show it again at dawn, as all creatures wake up to the day. You planned it that way. The aster is beautiful. Its rays are still seen even when no one no longer recognizes them. Even polished Ghana (gold) does not shine like this. In the land of the gods, it is written, and it is known, even by the mountains when you station before continuing your trip. All wish to keep you with them forever, O you who like to be hidden.

You alone create. And you create when you are alone. Your ultimate desire is that your primal forms be holy. They must be like yourself, infinite, with honors. The day is short. You cross the rivers in many places like lightning. You ignore time. Night hours are the same for you, because you organize them. They came to be according to your plans. At dawn, you find them where you left them at dusk. The world adores you as you appear.

Glory to you when you appear to influence the day, showing your forms as you exit the horizon, adding to your beauty. You are the Creator because you smith limbs, being He who came to existence as Hilolomby-Of-The-Sky. Now, I am tired. Long ago, we had projects. We have nothing left. Death can come along.

We thank you for having taken us from the ungrateful land and having brought us to Mbog Liaa, the Land of the Rock. I leave my progeny in the Rock. Protect them as you protect the world. When I die, O Hilolombi, permit that they reach you and that I too rejoin the elected who deserve glory in the land of the dead and that I stand before you to see your magnificence as you appear at dawn. At dusk, when you swim in the south of the firmament, turn your face on the right side for my hands will be raised for your adoration. You are truly the creator of existence. You are also the master of goodness. I welcomed you in my heart from the start.

When the moment arrived for Melek to sleep with his ancestors, his sons asked him his will. He said to them:

It is not for any other reason that we left Temi-Temi, the ungrateful and scandalous land; it was for goodness. Hilolombi is good, so is his son Koba. Melek was good, so was each of the subsequent Meleks. Melek means "Goodness". It's goodness I too leave you as my legacy. Be good to the universe as Hilolombi, be good to the world as Ngookola, be good to the people like Melek. Open your doors for the brother and the stranger, open your granaries wide for the widow and her child. Ngookola gives to those who share.
He who opens his door for the poor sees his joy fill up his compound. He blossoms like a flower.
The nourishing peace of youth settles in his hut.
Nyambe who sees afar and far ahead does not send war to him.
This man shall not know hunger, sickness, strife, or any plague.
The soil shall give him everything in abundance: luxurious forests with flowing honey, fields that are fertile, trees bending under the weight of juicy fruits, and fatty grazing animals.
His wives shall give him children who resemble their father. They shall grow up to be prosperous, and joy shall increase in their own compounds. Earth, forever dark, shall grant him numerous harvests.
From everywhere wealth shall come to him. It shall knock at his door when he expects it the least, not even knowing where it comes from.
This is my only legacy, O my sons.
To close one's door to others is a great misfortune. It's an evil deed that spoils life on many differents levels, for its iniquity crushes Earth and the integral world. Evil first befalls the soil which closes down and produces nothing any more. Harvests are lost, herds die, pregnancies end without births and women wallow in the mud when their stillborn children are lying on the ground, lifeless, and those who get to grow up become a youth whose weak grip shall not be the comfort of their fathers' old days.

After he had spoken, he blessed them, and Albino-Elephant, the Melek of the people, lied down on his ear.




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