African Poems

Oral Poetry from Africa

Tag: Fulani

Chain Riddle

A Fulani chain riddle from northern Nigeria. This is a word game for two people. One makes up a line, and the other has to add a second line beginning with the last word of the first. In the process, the players are constantly devising fresh metaphor.

The foreigner salutes you?
Salutes imply royalty?..


The Fulani creation myth from northern Nigeria. Doondari is the creator. The five elements in the first half of the poem (stone, iron, fire, water and air) are carefully balanced against the five stages of man’s suffering and triumph in the second half. As with all creation myths, it is intended to explain the world as we experience it.

At the beginning there was a huge drop of milk.
Then Doondari came and he created the stone

Riddles – A black woman with a nasty temper

Debbo baleejo metta-hakkiiloojo.
A black woman with a nasty temper.

African Poems