She is beautiful; she has love, understands; she respects herself and others; everyone likes, loves and honours her; she is a goddess.
Often times it beats my imagination when I think 🤔 about the being called God. I wish I could get a hold of it’s beginning at a particular place but that will be me looking at one side of the coin because so many races breed many beliefs.
In my quest for seeking out the existence of God, I have come to realize that in a land of diverse race, culture and religion there are bound to be different ideas or beliefs about GOD or gods. Some believe their god is extraordinary while others are barbaric or theirs is more superior and should be given more reverence. I dare say, however, no matter the believes each god has related to several cultures should be honoured.
And so I journeyed far and wide and came about this community called Ogume in Kwale. This community is made up of seven villages and each village have a God they worship. Nice place to start my search right? In Ogume they have…
First I ventured into Ogbe Ogume and I notice all around me gigantic snails. Oh, how I love this animal and so I bent down to help myself with some for some fried stew and rice👅. As I was about to pick it, a voice from behind cried out Drop that thing. At first, I was confused 🤷♀️. Was he talking to me? I continued and the voice came back again this time a bit more aggressive. Can’t you hear me, or are you deaf? I said drop that snail. I quickly dropped it and turn around to see who was talking.
Do you know that is my God?😲 From the way you are dressed, I can tell you are not from here. So what do you want? the man asked. Am sorry I never knew you worshipped it but if you don’t mind me asking why do you worship snail? Does it have any powers? Or something. Please tell me. Okay, follow me he said.
As you already know there are several gods worshipped here by the different villages. Here, we worship the snail God and there are items used to prepare portions for the worship of this god. The list ranges from chicken, snail, kola, white chalk etc. Due to these rituals, some of these animals used are forbidden to be eaten in any circumstance but should be venerated. ( more on white chalk https://theblackshome.com/2020/06/09/all-you-need-to-know-about-this-nut-called-kola-in-kwale/)
At some point, two or three of the communities practice and worship same gods and this is all due to strong affairs being created through marriage. The union between and ogbe ogume man and an utue woman sees to it that anything the man forbids, the woman also forbids.
Other race or culture may see a snail as a good sea food or a big source of protein, we see it as a source of power. To you it is a must have delicacy and should be savored but to us, it should be worshiped. Is any of these reasons less than the other? I don’t think so.
In this land snails are seen almost everywhere _ at homes, kitchen, farm and on the streets
No one is allowed to take them at least not being seen. I saw you, that’s why I stopped you. If you had been caught by and extreme devotee, be sure to receive
punishment from the elders.
Also if by chance one of us
eats snail without knowing it was part of the ingredients used in preparation of the food, he will start hissing and bringing out spilt like the snail. Oh my God, this is so serious. Yes it is. Just imagine any characteristics you have seen a snail posses will be what the human will posses until he or she is brought to the snail god for cleansing.
You may be thinking what if they don’t see the snail deity? Certain death my friend, that’s why an Ogbe Ogume man run from it like hell
In return for the worship of the snail god, we is worshipers get PROTECTION from gunshot and cutlass.
You know before now, the majority of Africans go to war with cutlasses, arrows and spears. So for one not to die in war from any of this instrument, you are prepared a charm that will stop any of these weapons from entering your body. In the case of the snail god, the snail is the major ingredients used in the preparation of the charm. So as a devotee you must not eat or kill this animal.
Although in recent times rumours have it that people do come around at night to pick it to sell but nothing happens to them even people from the neighboring communities. This can only take place if one is not from ogbe ogume and it’s not also a worshiper of the snail god.
The tortoise is another deity in Ogbe ogume. It is also a taboo to eat this animal. Here it is formally called nnayi meaning my father. Like the snail, the tortoise is always seen moving around in the community and also has a special shrine dedicated to it. The tortoise god also provides protection from
cutlass and guns like the snail but the tortoise is the major ingredient for this charm.
In the case of the tortoise god, if we eat it or kill it, it is assumed we have killed our father. A person who faults gets a swollen stomach like a pregnant woman until he or she is brought to the feet of the god, bringing offerings. When the offerings are brought before the god, the chief priest will ask the god if this human has offended him. If he has, he should please accept the offering and free him from the swollen stomach. In a few seconds, the person will start having signs of using the toilet. Right there in front of the gods and man, he will shit and his tummy will start going down a sign that the offering has been accepted.
I tell you this people have lots of tradition and believe that I can not begin to mention but I will try and give you one more gist before I leave am so hungry right now. ( more on the tortoise god https://theblackshome.com/2019/06/20/ikaki-old-man-of-the-forest/).
We also believe that when a tortoise is tide or caged in the market and perchance a person from Ogbe Ogume is passing by, it will make so much noise to gain the attention of the person. When he does, he must endeavour to buy it no matter the cost and let it go. If the owner of the turtle refuses to sell after giving all he has, then as he leaves the market, he should abuse the seller or the owner showing disgust and disdain for the persons action. Awe, 🤦♀️ what a tradition right? (he continued) When he does that, he his free from the curse but if he does otherwise, the reverse is the case.
In Utue Ogume one of the seven villages, it is forbidden for one to eat ram. Like the turtle and snail, it roams around freely however the ram is not use for preparing any charms.
The people of this land worship a goddess who they do not know its existence or how it came into being. According to a native, she appears to whosoever she wants, to warn him or her of innate danger and so she earns the name nne, meaning mother. As a mother hen protects her chick, so also the goddess protects the Uteu people. Persons who have seen her say she is always on white attire and whatever she says comes to pass. Not long after, people started worshipping her and a shrine was built in her honour in the far end of the village.
A certain day, they took their offerings to the shrine-like they always do but when they got there, they saw a white ram out there.
They wonder 🤔 could this be the goddess pet or her, but not to offend her, they agreed never to eat it. So this animal lives as long as they like and when they die, the villagers buried them as they bury humans.
Wow, that’s the end of this episode. Did I find the existence of God, am not sure? So my quest continues. Until then, see you on my next adventure.