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IKAKI: OLD MAN OF THE FOREST

In a land of peace and harmony, a land full of greens and splendor, lived an old man who lives in a tree, at the far end of the forest.  He is a man with wisdom – a prolific dancer and entertainer. His dance step breaks the rule of rhythm and causes men to stay awake all night long. As a magical being, he was loved by all who sees or come in contact with him but what was missed is that  he has an insatiable appetite for food, money and pretty women with large hips. He stops at nothing to get what he wants even if it means to defile morals or kill someone for it. He operates with a vast deviousness and elaborate cunning; his name his IKAKI the old man of the forest; who lives in a tree.
In the long defunct village of Oloma, in the creeks west of the month of the San Bartolomeo River, lives this supernatural supertortise. Every now and again, Ikaki will come out of the forest to dance; and when even he did, the villagers gathered round him to watch. They found his dancing enchanting and every time, they always pestered him to come back again and again to dance for them for his moves was breath taking. But each time he came, Ikaki warned the people in song.

Ee, omini ke kuruma, omini I ke kurumaye
Al’ Ikaki, Al’ Ibulu.
O bara k’I lamama, o bara k’I lamamaye.
Al’ Ikaki, Al’ Ibulu.
Remember my words, all of you; remember my words all of you.
Chief Tortoise, Chief Grey-Hair.
Don’t any off you touch me; Don’t any of you touch me.
Chief Tortoise, Chief Grey-Hair.
The Oloma people persisted in calling him back. Then one day, he came out with a finer dance than ever before; he takes four shuffling steps forward, then he twist on his left foot, raises the right leg and hops four times in a quarter-circle to the left. He takes four more steps forward, then turns on his right foot, raises the left and hops four times in a quarter-circle to the right. Ikaki breaks off from the basic steps into a canny, mincing gait and as he danced, he sang a song:
A new simeari piriogbo, a new simeari buogbo,
A Kula tubo sinyaa.
Kwe kwekwe ikirioro, kiri kiri tominoruye.
Agemage.
Tomina nama krim, krim.
Agemage.
Tomina ingbe krim, krim.
In the forest where I live, in the swamp where I live.
I don’t call any child of Kula.
Kwe, kwe, kwe,
Agemage.
Human meat, yum, yum.
Human bones, yum yum.
As he danced, he lifted one leg and all the people living in that direction died. He lifted the other leg and all the people in the opposite direction died. Ikaki vanished into the forest and was never seen again. After some years, the few people who were still alive and knew about Ikaki’s wonderful dancing thought they will like to imitate it. But all were fearful when it comes to lifting the legs of the super being, for they thought what if it brings more deaths? So they went to ask the great oracle Chuku to show them the way. The oracle instructed them to make certain changes and to take certain precautions, and if they did these things, all would be well so goes the tale of the Kalabari people.
                                                                                                                                                                                          

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