Friday, October 25, 2013

An Untold Tale

About two hundred years ago there was an obscure little village in an obscure little country in Africa.  The village had a Chief, Mbuyu and Mbuyu had three lovely children, one strong son, Azizi and two beautiful twin daughters, Moja and Mbili. They lived in a large straw hut, the Azizi and his Father wore the finest loin cloths and donned robes that were made from the the skins of great lions.  Moja and Mbili too had the best grass skirts and colorful beads made by the kindest, most talented women in the village.  They wore these coverings because the trading of fabrics had not yet reached the people of their village.

One day, on their 13th birthday, there was a big celebration being prepared for the daughters because their Father had arranged a marriage for both of them.  Two Chiefs from far away villages were bringing sons to marry Moja and Mbili and afterward, they were going away from their village to live as queens, never to see their family or their village again. 

After much dancing and celebrating, Moja and her husband went North, taking with her several of her own servants and a few of her friends also accompanied them on the journey.  Mbili and her husband went East, also taking her own servants and friends traveled with them.

Moja reached her new home and was greeted with dancing and more celebrating and all the village women treated the people of her village with much kindness and she was very happy.

Mbili was not so lucky for her husband was not so kind. When they had walked about a day and half away from her home, Mbili's group was attacked by a vicious tribe and many were killed.  The rest were taken to a city by the sea and sold to men who put them on a ship to sell them in American.  

The journey was long and hard.  They were kept in a dark hole and rarely allowed outside.  They were given strange food to eat that was nothing like the things they were accustomed to eating.  There were also these strange pots just lying around the hole, but they did not know what they were for because they had always relieved themselves outdoors.  Not knowing what to do, and being chained up most of the time, they had no choice but relieve themselves right where they sat and they made the thirty day voyage in their own excrement.  How could such a horrible thing befall poor Mbili?

Finally one day, the ship arrived in America and Mbili and her people were taken up on deck, where buckets of water were just thrown on them to clean them off.  They were taken to a place where they were to be sold as slaves.  In due course, it was Mbili's turn to be sold and the man, Mr. Robinson, bought her took her on yet another journey across the land to a great white house where many other people like her lived. There was an older woman who was very fat called Kushu and she had two small children. There was a young man, Wakati, who traveled with them and seemed to be important to Mr. Robinson. The Mister called him Will.  She also met two more young girls who worked in the great big white house and four young men who did work in the fields and took care of several strange animals.  

  They lived in small wooden houses apart from the big white house. The ways were strange. This thing called "clothes" was strange, but she grew used to it.  So was the food, but Kushu taught Mbili and she learned over the coming months to not only like the food, but also how to prepare the food for the people at her new home and they were kind to her and the others. They all worked together and when there was time, they celebrated together; things like birth and marriage and holidays and harvests.  The Robinson family was very good to them.

Many years passed and Mbili was no longer called Mbili, but Milly.  A war came and went but Milly was always as happy as a person could be in her circumstance so she decided to stay with the Robinsons for a time.  Eventually, Milly and Will were married and the moved to a city where they found work, paying work, in another grand house.  Will worked as a butler and Milly became the housekeeper.  Between them, they had four children.

Many years later, Will and Milly died but they left behind their four children, 15 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.  As time passed even more, Will and Milly's descendants numbered in the hundreds.  Her great great great great granddaughter, Miche, was the first of her line to get a law degree and she grew up to be a very good lawyer and respected member of her community

And what happened to her twin sister Moja?  Milly never saw Moja or her brother Azizi again.  Many years later it was Miche who discovered that her distant Aunt had been killed when her village was attacked by the same tribe who had taken her great great great great grandmother so long ago. She also learned that Azizi, who was a much anticipated Chief among his people, was killed by a lion in the hunting ritual that preceded him taking over.  In the time since Milly had been sold into slavery, Miche discovered that there was no more information to be had about her heritage.  All the people from that particular tribe had either been sold as slaves, died out or moved on.  So it was, that the legacy of the Great Chief, Mbuyu only lives on today through the line of his daughter, Mbili in a country of wealth and prosperity. 

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