Język Ewe - Ewe language - Eʋegbe

Story of naming a baby by a foreigner

This is one of the Ewe texts collected by us. See below the text for an English translation. Later on we will add the grammatical commentary and audio recordings of the text. Djoubogbe Kossi Afoutou is the author of the text and English translation. Enjoy your lecture!

Ewe version

Ne nyɔnu aɖe le evi dzim eye wo le kukum nɛ la, o wɔna kɔnu na ɖevi yeye si wo ga dzi la, to ŋkɔ bubu tsɔtsɔ nɛ la me, bena ɖevi yeyela me ga ku ke o. Ŋkɔ sia nye na ŋkɔ si ke ame bubu tsɔna na ɖevia si gɔme enye be ehɔ ɖevi la ƒle le ƒomea si. Ame si hɔ ɖevi la ƒlela tsona ƒome bubu me alo dukɔ bubume alo edu bubume alo amedzro tso duta, vɔa nyui tɔ enye be amea ne nye amedzro tso duta. Kɔnua wo yina ale: evinɔ si ga dzi ɖevi bubu alo evi yeye la ƒe ƒomea yina ɖe mɔdododzi, he da ɖevi yeye la ɖe mɔ dodome, he yina bena ɖe gbetime alo aveme he nɔ ŋku sam na amesi ato afima afɔ ɖevi la. Ne ame aɖe vayina to afimagodzi he kɔ ɖevia la, le emayi me la ƒomea doa dzesi amema alo bena kplɔna neneŋ ƒe amea ɖo, ne wome dzesi o, he nyana afisi nye amedrola ƒe afeme alo afisi wo da ɖevilaɖoe. Emegbe la ɖevila ƒe pomea ɖona to, he tɔna tekpɔ ekpɔ dodo tso ɖevi fɔfɔ ŋti, eye ne wose kpododo tso ɖevi fɔfɔ ŋti la, enumake wo yina he gblɔna be miavie. Esiao kãtã vayina le ga ƒoƒo aɖeo me. Ɖevi yeye la ƒe ƒomea nana mɔnu kpɔkpɔ amesi fɔ ɖevi la be woa ɖu tɔ nɛ. Ie ɣemayi mela ame si fɔ ɖevila, nana ŋkɔ bubu si dzroe ɖevila, ŋkɔ sia ateŋ anyi Fɔfɔe alo Ofɔe alo Oƒle…… ne amesi fɔ ɖevi yeyela me na ŋkɔa ɖekee o. Evi fɔla si trozu ɖevila ƒe tɔ evelia la, ateŋ ne elɔla, ahɔ ɖevila ɖe eɖokui gbɔɛ le ɖevila ƒe sisime alo ɖevima ateŋ anɔ egbɔ yim le aza dzilo alo lekuhɛ me. Esiao wɔwɔ, hena emɔ na, eku be mega dzesi ɖevi yeye la o, elabena etɔ ŋkɔ bubu. Edzi edzi la kadodo nɔna ɖevila ƒe ƒomea kple ɖevila ƒe tɔ evelia dome kuɖe ɖevila ƒe nyawo ŋti. Ele be ma ɖo ŋku edzi be amesi fɔ ɖevila ɖo la nye ŋsu, ne me nye nenema ola, ele be woa ga gbugbɔ dze kɔnua gɔme. (Kɔnu sia nye kɔnuaɖe si sɔkple, ne woa gblɛ kpuiɖe ko la, Moiz ƒe ŋti nyao le bibla me).

English translation

If a woman often loss his baby after he is born, people make a kind of ceremony for the new one born, and this ceremony is about giving to the new baby another name that help the newest stay alive. This name comes from another person, which means that this person buys the baby from the biologic parents. This person must not be part of the whole family of the baby, he must be from another family, another village, another city or another region or ethnical group or another country, but the best situation is when this person is from another country (foreigner). The ceremony is done as follow: the family of the newest baby goes on the road, and leave the baby in the middle of the road (of course not the road where cars can kill the child) and goes to hide in the bush or in the forest close to the road to see who will pass through the road and take the baby. When somebody passes through the road and finds and takes the baby, in this time, the family notices the person and if the family doesn’t know who is it, he simply follow the person in secret to know where the person live or where the person leave the child. After then, the family simply waiting for information about a baby find on the road, and the family goes and said it is our child. All this happen in some hours. The family gives an opportunity to the person who finds the child to be he’s second father. At this time this person gives a name he wants to the child, but this child can be named Fɔfɔe or Ofɔe or Oƒle if this person doesn’t give any name to the child. This person who becomes the second father of the child has close right like the biologic parents, for instance can request to raise the child of course after some years or the child can visit him in holidays or ask for help or advice in difficult situations. This fact protect the child from the quickly death as this woman observes in the past for her babies because this baby has another name and the death can’t recognize him. Time to time the biologic family and the second father discuss about some matters connected to the child. I have to mention that the person who finds the child must be a man another way, the ceremony must be done again in other that the person who will take the baby must be a man. (This ceremony is close to the history about Moses in the Bible)

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