Gweyúnga, The Rain Priest 1690/1754

in Travels with Tooy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780226680583
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226680576 | DOI:
Gweyúnga, The Rain Priest 1690/1754

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This chapter discusses the spiritually dangerous incident that occurred inside Wet-Eye Creek in Dahomey during the eighteenth-century wars against the whites which involved rain priest Gweyunga, an African-born runaway slave who was priest of the river goddess known as Tone and Tooy's ancestor. According to the story, as the colonial army tried to forge the broad creek, Gweyunga, who had the power to “bring down the rain”, sank the whites in their tracks and left large numbers to drown. This chapter also explains that Tooy inherited his relationship to Tone from his forebear Gweyunga and conducts periodic rites for Gansa, Mother of Waters.

Keywords: Gweyunga; rain priest; Wet-Eye Creek; Dahomey; runaway slave; Tooy; Tone; Gansa

Chapter.  1274 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology of Religion

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