A Hausa wedding song from northern Nigeria, sung by the bride’s girl friends as she leaves her father’s house in tears for her new husband’s compound. The ‘Great hunt’ (in No. III) refers metaphorically to the successful search for a suitable husband.

I

From this year, you won’t go dancing,
From this year, you won’t go to the dance,
From this year, you won’t go dancing,
You’ll dance only on the path to the river.
From where you’re tossing cowrie-shells,
From where you’re tossing cowrie-shells,
From your compound you’ll hear our drumming under the silk-cotton tree,
But you won’t be able to come.

II

The lucky one, the favourite,
The lucky one of the kin,
The lucky one was betrothed,
The lucky one got her!
Resign yourself, patient girl!
Marriage is an ill you can’t revenge,
Only death will bring relief!

III

You have had your gifts,
Get to your house,
Go and taste the chickens of your husband’s house!
The great hunt was a good hunt,
The great hunt brought meat:
In the great hunt we caught,
(The great hunt was a good hunt),
We caught, we caught,
Ten hares, ten ground squirrels,
Ten buffaloes, ten gazelles,
Ten elephants, ten antelopes,
And ten hyenas! We caught them!
The great hunt was good!