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Africa culture/tradition education folklore Igbo culture Series Uncategorized

African myths

Do you know that in Africa there are many ridiculous myths and beliefs? This is not Voodoo or any kind of mystery. Myths do exist. Most times, they are used to scare children, to refrain children and young adults from being rude, behaving wildly or disobeying their parents or elders. So let’s define a myth to get a clearer picture of what it means.

Myths are a commonly-held but false belief, a common misconception; a fictitious or imaginary person or thing; a popular conception about a real person or event which exaggerates or idealizes reality.

Some African myths include:

* Do not sweep in the quiet night, when everyone is asleep! I even heard that anyone who sweeps late in the midnight will get himself arrested by ghosts! Haha, outrageous right? But the excitement goes when you find out this is far from reality.

* No whistling in the night! I guess this is funny to you. But wait! Ghosts may slap the whistler, and a part of the face turned black!

* Don’t take fish from some streams. Honestly, I can recall several warnings not to fish or take any creature from some selected streams and ponds. I even remember killing a crab, took it home and was asked to return it to the stream with apologies! Also, if you deliberately collected a fish while fetching water from the stream, then the stream may violently visit you! It wasn’t funny then, but one must respect the myth anyway.

* To know whether a person is a ghost, bend down and look through your spread legs. It is believed that when one does this, you will see people who their feet barely touch the ground. Mind you, doing this actually gets ghosts angry. I’ve never tried this before. I’m not scared, just feel it’s a complete waste of time.

* If you sleep beneath a spider web you may have bad dreams. A lot of people said this is true. I’m not sure since spiders are just another living creature.

* When you sneeze often then someone is actually thinking about you. Familiar right? I believe this one. But there’s no fact to backup that it’s true. Till then let’s keep it as a myth, unless you think otherwise.

There are many myths around here. I’ll be updating some other time. Good night from here.

By Oke Iroegbu

Finance Graduate, Bibliophile and Bard of Ovim, his hometown. Read more at www.oiroegbu.com/about

2 replies on “African myths”

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