Culture

Eshu

Eshu

Eshu

When he is angry he hits a stone until it bleeds.

When he is angry he sits on the skin of an ant.

When he is angry he weeps tears of blood.

Eshu, confuser of men.

The owner of twenty slaves is sacrificing,

So that Eshu may not confuse him.

Eshu confused the newly married wife.

When she stole the cowries from the sacred shrine of Oya

She said she had not realized

That taking two hundred cowries was stealing.

Eshu confused the head of the queen –

And she started to go naked.

Then Eshu beat her to make her cry.

Eshu, do not confuse me!

Eshu, do not confuse the load on my head.

Eshu, lover of dogs.

If a goat get lost in Ogbe – don’t ask me.

Do you think I am a thief of goats?

If a huge sheep is missing from Ogbe – don’t ask me.

Do you think I am a thief of sheep?

If any fowl get lost in Ogbe – don’t ask me.

Do you think I am a thief of birds?

But if a black dog is missing from Ogbe – ask me!

You will find me eating Eshu’s sacrifice in a wooden bowl.

Eshu slept in the house –

But the house was too small for him.

Eshu slept on the veranda –

But the veranda was too small for him.

Eshu slept in a nut –

At last he could stretch himself.

Eshu walked through the groundnut farm.

The tuft of his air was just visible.

If it had not been for his huge size,

He would not have been visible at all.

Having thrown a stone yesterday – he kills a bird today.

Lying down, his head hits the roof.

Standing up he cannot look into the cooking pot.

Eshu turns right into wrong, wrong into right.

This is excerpt taken from

“Voices From Twentieth-Century Griots and Towncriers”

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