Explore and Understand Africa Through Her Food and Culture

If you like honey, fear not the bees. -African Proverb

Saturday, July 14, 2012

How the tortoise became bald African Folktale

How the tortoise became bald is an intriguing African folktale. African folktales are stories forming part of an oral storytelling tradition shaped by the tongues of African elders passed down from one generation to the next. 


How the tortoise became bald African Folktale





Ijapa the tortoise was not always a bald animal. He used to have hair on his head, however, due to unfortunate circumstances, which the tortoise brought "upon his own head" literally speaking, he lost it all.

How the tortoise became bald African FolktaleIt happened a very long time ago, long before the tortoise broke his back, but that is another story altogether. 

The dog and his family had prepared a feast of yam porridge. The aroma reached the tortoise who immediately followed his nose which led him to the dog's home. The tortoise went in and saw that a big pot of yam porridge was cooking. 

Wanting all of it for himself, he called out to the dog and told him that he had brought a message from the king. "The king wishes to see you and all your family in the palace", the tortoise said. The dogs immediately left to see the king leaving the tortoise with the big simmering pot of yam porridge. The tortoise began to eat as fast as he could. He knew that the dogs would be back soon because the king was not even at the palace.

And soon, he heard the dogs approaching. There was still a lot of porridge left in the pot. The tortoise wanted to take some home with him and looked around for something he could put some porridge in. 

The dogs by now were almost at the door. As he was running out of time, the tortoise pulled off his cap, filled it with the porridge and put it back on so nobody would know he was carrying porridge. He planned to hurry off immediately because the porridge on his head was indeed hot.

When the dogs came in, the tortoise told them he would be leaving. They dogs asked him to stay with them for lunch as they had some porridge cooking. The tortoise tried to make excuses to leave immediately, but the dogs kept him, trying to convince him to stay.


Eventually, the porridge was so hot that the tortoise just had to pull off his hat. Everybody was shocked when he pulled of his hat to reveal steaming hot porridge. The porridge had burned his scalp so badly that all his hair fell off and in fact, never grew back again.

 
Did you know…?
Anansi the spider is a beloved African Folktale character
African Folktale

African Folktales three facts

African folktales usually have sly animals and spirits as the main characters.

Anansi is one of the most beloved African folktale characters. He often takes the shape of a spider and is considered to be the spirit of all knowledge of stories.

Reading African folktales will help kids make connections to their cultural heritage.

Read with your child and share wonderful African folktales.

Children enjoy listening to many types of African folktales learning from the wisdom and rich tradition of African storytelling. Folktales reflect the morals, superstitions and customs of the African people.


Share this page

Trending Now

Did you know?

The eye never forgets what the heart has seen - African Proverb

A tree without roots cannot survive the wind

A tree without roots cannot survive the wind
African Proverb