Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Olu of the Masamba Tribe

Each tribe in Fahdamin-Ra has a set of numbers that they tend to deal with. The Masambas tend to favor the number 'two'. They have a man and a woman at the head of their tribe because they feel that two people balance each other out, and that most tribal decisions are much too important to leave up to one person. These two chiefs are a man and a woman who are married, rule together as man and wife, and are called the Olu.

During the 500 or so year time period that there were no Creators coming to Fahdamin-Ra, the Masamba lost a lot of their faith. It also did not help when the Shadow Men appeared and the tribal priests gained in numbers (from two to five) and power in order to protect the Masambas. The five priests, with their head man Olo, took more and more power away from the Olu. By the time that Celestine, Joel, and their father, Raymond meet Olu Ko, he has been pushed aside by the tribe and only has his title to show that he has any office at all. His wife, Ama, is not there at the first meeting because she is ready to give birth to their son. Olu Ko would have never been rude to the Creators like the priests were, and would have accepted Raymond and the children, not making them perform tests to show who they were.

How do the Masamba choose their chiefs? If one of the present chiefs loses their spouse, they have the option of selecting a person of the opposite sex to help them rule as a chief for one tree ring, which is a Masamba year. At the end of that time period, if the chief is not ready to marry again, they have to step down and a new pair of chiefs will be selected. Each person who wishes to become chief has to 1) be married, 2) has to show a symbol of what their leadership will be like, and 3) has to explain what their symbol means, and how their leadership will help the tribe. Everyone in the tribe is given a stone and the potential Olu couples hold out woven bags. Tribal members put their stone in the bag of their couple, and each person that is considered an adult gets one vote.

Olu Ko and Ama won because Ama provided a bowl of water and Ko hollowed out a gourd, making it float upon the water. No matter how much they moved the bowl, the gourd still floated, showing how they could lead the tribe through troubled times. They were voted for by a large majority. However, several years passed and the priests still ran the tribe, making Ko especially frustrated, because he saw some of the underhanded things that they were doing. When Raymond and the children appeared, the Olu and other people in the tribe began to hope, while the priests feared the arrival of the Creators.

One of the two things that the priests had going for them was that they supposedly kept the Shadow Men from taking or killing tribal members. If a member did disappear, the priests claimed that the person did not believe. The second thing was that Olo had a stick or wand that he used to help cure people, and it worked most of the time. Ko was despondent when his son was stillborn and the Creators had put the priests out of commission. That was, until Raymond brought the Olu's baby back to life. It was a turning point for Ko and Ama. Not only did they have their son's life restored, but here were powerful beings that only wanted to help and who did not use their power to force people into obedience.

With Olu Ko and Ama in their rightful place, the tribe changed and started going down another path, one to freedom and true equality.

1 comment:

  1. These books sure are going to make for an interesting read if your magic pen keeps up like this!