Another example of the Yoruba poetic chants sung at the funerals of dead hunters. See Iremoje for the background and for other examples of this genre.
In Yoruba mythology, death does not wage war against men alone but travels with a team of supernatural war lords, the ajogun. The following was chanted by Lamidi for the deceased hunter Ogundele at Akeetean, Oyo in 1976.
Death does not kill alone,
Nor does he fight singly.
He goes to war with plenty of warriors.
To count the forerunners he sends to war,
He sends about seventeen in my prescence.
He sends Disease first.
He sends Paralysis next.
He sends Loss.
He sends Curses.
He sends Imprisonment in my presence.
Death finally comes to kill the hunter’s father,
Who drinks now of heavenly water.
Collected and translated by Professor Bade Ajuwon,
from his essay Ogun’s Iremoje: A Philosophy of Living and Dying
taken from Africa’s Ogun: Old World and New Edited by Sandra T. Barnes