Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/81

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Some N'otes on East African Folklore. 71

gedal, having finished the beef and being unable to procure other food, again went and sat in the bara, crying, till the elephant came by, carrying a bag of honey. Questioned, he replied as he had done to the lion, adding the informa- tion that ' father used to carry me on his back.' The compassionate elephant said, ' Up with you, then ! ' and the gedal climbed on his back and began eating the honey. From time to time he let some drops fall, and, when the elephant asked if it were raining, answered that the thought of his mother made him cry. Having finished the honey, he remarked that his father was in the habit of walking under trees, so that he could pick the fruit. The elephant fell into the trap, and passed under the overhanging branches. When he got home the honey and the gedal had alike disappeared." (Cf the Masai story of " The Hare and the Elephants," Hollis, p. 107.)

The interesting point is the substitution of the Jackal for the Hare, as we find it in Hottentot folklore, and, as it is now placed beyond doubt that Nama and the other "Hottentot" languages are, partly at least, of Hamitic origin, it does not seem very unlikely that here we have remnants of a common Hamitic tradition belonging to the time before the Hotten- tots had left their original abodes in North Africa.

Another tale (written out for me in Swahili by a Pokomo teacher attached to the United Methodist Mission at Gol- banti) is prefaced by the remark that " this Gedala or Mwakatsoo or Kitunguwe is all one : these three are his names because he is very cunning" {inwerevu sana). Kitun- guwe (or Kitiuigule, as in Krapf's Dictionary) really does mean a hare, however, and the remark may imply either that the writer was not personally familiar with the hare, or that " Mwakatsoo " and the Gedal alike, as far as the stories are concerned, are losing their animal character and on the way to become quasi-human, or perhaps extra- natural personages, like the Zulu Hlakanyana.

The tale, written out for me by Benjamin Abare, is a