Inusa and the Gun That Turned to Water

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(Bachama, Bwaare, Bwaatiye/Cameroon, Nigeria)

While the Bachama were living in Gobirland, there was no Fulani there. The Fulani came from the direction of Egypt, they passed through and went as far as Wukari, and asked for a place to live there. The people of Wukari drove them back. Then they came and met Bawa Jan-Gwarzo, and he allowed them to remain.

They were there for two years when a certain Fulani, a learned man, was urged by his servant to destroy Bawa Jan-Gwarzo and take over his chieftaincy. The teacher said to wait. They waited five years, and then the teacher told the chief that a message had come from Mecca, that a white crow was needed. The chief raised his hands and many white crows came down. He again raised his hands to the sky, and many black crows descended. He did that again, and numerous crows with white necks came down. The teacher went home and asked his servant if he had ever seen a white crow or a purely black crow. The servant said no. The teacher said he did not know who was greater, he or the chief. They continued to live there. They began their intrigue. The Fulani teacher asked the chief to give him his son so that he could school him. So it was that the chief's son, Inusa, went and lived with the teacher. Meantime, the chief's eldest daughter married and went to live in her husband's town. The chief then became ill and he died. A cock crowed, and she knew that he was dead, and she packed to go to him. Her husband did not believe her, but as they traveled a messenger told them of the chief's death. Inusa was told to come to take the chieftaincy. As he left, the teacher said that if he looked back, they would conquer him. Inusa turned and glanced back. The Fulani then gathered together, and Inusa learned that his teacher was plotting against him. He invited the teacher to come to him, and when he took a gun to shoot him, the gun turned to water. The war began. A woman among the chief's people had supernatural powers. She sent a young man around the wall of the town with a cock, but as he went into the gate, the Fulani cut the wall and entered the town. The Fulani were driven back. They brought more Fulani together, and the battle went against the chief. The Bata people battled, then moved to the countryside. The other people returned to the town. And that was the basis for their separation from the people of Gobir (Gobirland was an area including much of what is now Niger and the northwestern part of Nigeria). The one remaining there said, “My brother is lost.”

Subjects: Religion.

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