While growing up, like little kids who knew very little or nothing at all; we were fed countless numbers of lies but innocent us did swallow it all; hook, line and sinker. Some of these myths were to correct us, scare us from doing certain bad or inappropriate things, some of these myths were put in place to teach us morals. As untrue as these things are, we believed it anyway, because we had no knowledge then. Most of us will agree with me that regardless of the fact that these sayings are myths, not considering the fact these sayings lack an iota of verisimilitude in them, they still play a very positive and helpful role in our childhood.
Just to bring back old memories, this article will help us to look back at some of these myths that once scared us, that once served as a warning sign to us anytime we were leaving our tracks to wander off... Read on.
1. Walking over a pregnant woman's leg:
During those days, it is commonly believed and taught to little children that it is wrong to cross over a pregnant woman's leg or over a girl's legs because they believed that when such a woman gives birth, the child will surely resemble the person who has crossed over the mother's legs. This myth glued to our hearts seriously and so we spared not cross over a woman's leg for the fear of hot corrective slaps that could come from any angle, especially from our mother. Now, critically examining this, is there any scientific proof of how something so fictitious like this could happen? of course not! Even though there is no explainable source where they could have gotten their myths from. it is very untrue.
2. Using a broom to beat a boy:
I know these myths may begin to sound funny to our ears but believe me, they are once truths that were held in high esteem in time past. An example is an aforementioned factor. When we were young, it was a general and superstitious belief that it you beat a boy with a Broom, then his manhood would suddenly vanish. Sounds funny right? But it is what we were told then. We believe this one so much that any of our friends who touch us with broom will surely be beaten, but the surprising part of the matter is that our parents that instilled this myth into our innocent and ignorant head do use the broom to flog us hard and nothing would disappear, who knows, maybe because the rules do not apply to them since they are our parents.
Just like the first myth mentioned there is no kind of research or evidence to prove these myths and neither can our parents say exactly the source of their theories.
3. Whistling at night:
This is one of the most popular myths that we swallowed hook, line, and sinker without checking it, well how dare us to check what our parents tell us. It was a popular belief that it you whistle at night, an evil spirit of the forest, demons would find such a person and torment him. They said whistling at night is like one is inviting the spirits without having nothing to offer them and they would then become angry and turn on the person who has summoned them.
not only that, the second phase of this myth is that whistling in a sunny afternoon will attract snakes. This looks pretty scientific a bit, as we have seen it heard of cases where snakes are controlled with flutes, but in the case of whistling and then snakes starts showing their slimy shiny head, has anyone seen such a thing before? I highly doubt that. In fact, let me add to this; in Yoruba culture, they even told us not to call a snake by it's common Yoruba name (it is just funny because they could not give us the consequences that would ensue if one does this), but rather, we call it "Okun ile" in Yoruba, but in plain English, it simply means "ground rope" or "the rope of the ground"
This one will never leave the mouth of Nigerians. It is one myth that even elders dare not joke with. They say that when an old man or an old woman dies in a family, and then a child is born shortly after, it is believed that it is the dead that has come back to life in form of a newborn baby and so they name the child "Babatunde" if it's a boy, and if it is a girl, they will call her "Iyabo".
The second phase of this myth is that they believe that when a young person dies, he does not go back to the creator because it is believed that such a person has not fulfilled his purpose in life, and so he or she goes to another village or town where he is or not known and then starts a life there; get a job, marry and even have kids. Have you heard this before?
3. Rainfall during the day:
I can't say for sure about other tribes but in most of Yoruba towns, it is believed that when the rain starts to fall during the day, that means that a "lion" is giving birth to its cubs. Now, we believed this one too as usual, as a matter of fact, we would be shouting when the rain starts to fall during the day, we will be looking for the "lion" and it's newborn cubs in small bushes beside the house. I put the lion in quotes because as I grew older, I began to wonder how a "lion" could ever become pregnant because it was called "kiniun" in Yoruba language and that means a lion, not a lioness.
these are some of the myths that scared us when we you and ignorant, which ones were you told too? Share with us in the comment section.
Rainfall and sunshine at the same time.
While I was young as an African kid, I was made to understand by the older ones that if we experience rainfall and sunshine at the same time it's said that two elephants are either fighting or an elephant is about to give birth. And it was really fun living with that belief.
While growing up, I was told stories about demon-possesed bush babies and how they disturbed highschool students. But later I understood that such things never existed.
When I was small, I was told that you don't put your hand outside while rain is falling because if thunder strikes the hand will become stiff for life. But have put my hand outside while rain is falling many times and yet nothing has happened to my hand.