A Chaga prayer from Tanzania. Ruwa is the Chaga name for God and also for the Sun. He is described as their Chief, the Preserver, who united the bush and the plain and created men. The bull in line 6 is being sacrificed to Ruwa, and the prayer is for healing, for offspring, for unity and for security.
We know you Ruwa, Chief, Preserver:
He who united the bush and the plain.
You, Ruwa, Chief, the elephant indeed,
He who burst forth men that they lived.
We praise you and pray to you and fall before you.
You have sent us this animal which is of your own fashioning,
For you share with no man and none is given thereof:
Chief, receive this bull of your name,
Heal him to whom you gave it and his children,
Sow the seeds of offspring with us that we may beget like bees,
May our clan hold together that it be not cleft in the land,
May strangers not come to possess our groves:
Now Chief, Preserver, bless all that is ours!
from Kilimanjaro & its People
by C. Dundas
Frank Cass Ltd. (1968)
Liked it? Take a second to support African Poems on Patreon