Wadadli Pen Challenge Prompt – mythologies

This comment – “The huge demand for slaves…led to constant wars over large areas of West Africa. When prisoners could not be acquired this way, West Africans started looking for new excuses to condemn someone to slavery, including twins and mothers of twins” – on Page 299 of Matthew Parker’s Sugar Barons had me googling “west African” + “twins” + “slavery”

This link provided some perspective, not on slavery but on how twins were perceived in Yoruba culture:

“In traditional African societies, twins were considered of
preternatural origin and raised emotional reactions oscillat-
ing from fear and repugnance to hope and joy (Leroy,
1995). In ancient times, the Yoruba used to reject and even
sacrifice newborn twins (Leroy, 1995). Strangely enough,
historical scales were tipped so that twins are nowadays not
only well accepted but welcomed, their birth being an occa-
sion of great rejoicing.”

The reference, elsewhere in the article, to the Yoruba gods had me thinking of the absence of these deities in popular culture – why does Thor (from Norse mythology) have a Hollywood franchise and not Shango. They’re both gods of thunder, right? Here’s hoping we see some of these Africa deities making it into Wadadli Pen Challenge submissions maybe re-imagined in Caribbean culture in some way. It’d be interesting right?

1 Comment

Filed under Wadadli Pen 2013

One response to “Wadadli Pen Challenge Prompt – mythologies

  1. Pingback: Workshop Space | Wadadli Pen

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