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Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort, by Richard Edward Dennett, [1898], at


Nenpetro had two wives, Kengi and Gunga. So he cleared a piece of ground for them, and divided it, giving each her part. And they planted maize, and beans, and cassava; and soon they had plenty to eat.

One day Gunga took some beans from Kengi's plantation, and this made Kengi very cross. Gunga was sorry that she had done wrong, but pointed out that they were both married to one man, and that they ate together. After some time they came to an agreement that all that was born on the farm of the one should belong exclusively to her, and that the other should have no right to take it for her use.

Some time after this Kengi came to Gunga's plantation, and asked her for a little tobacco, as she was in great pain and wished to smoke. Gunga told her to sit down awhile, and gave her tobacco. And while Kengi was on Gunga's plantation, she bore a child. Gunga took possession of the child, and would not give it up to Kengi. Kengi wept bitterly, and sent a special ambassador to Gunga demanding her child. But Gunga refused to give the child up, and said she was ready to hold a palaver over it. Thus the two women resolved to go to the town of Manilombi and state their grievance to him.

They arrived, and Manilombi received their presents, and welcomed them. He then asked them what ailed them.

Kengi said: "I brought forth a child. Gunga has robbed me of it; let her speak."

And Gunga answered. "Nay, the child is mine; for when I took some beans from Kengi's plantation, Kengi got vexed, and made me come to an agreement with her that whatsoever was born on her plantation should belong to her, and all that was born on my plantation should belong to me, and neither of us should take anything from each other's plantation. Now, Kengi came, uncalled by me, to my plantation, and this child was born there; so that, according to our agreement, the child is mine and she cannot take it from me."

And witnesses were called, and they gave their evidence.

Then the prince and his old men went to drink water. And when they returned, Manilombi said that Gunga was acting within her right, and that therefore the child should belong to her.

Next: XII. The Twin Brothers.