The mother of all of us

This story is about the Mossi people who live in an area of a country called Burkina Fasso. The Mossi came from Ouagadougu, today the capital of Burkina Fasso. Moré is the language spoken by these people and, in Moré, Burkina Fasso means “The Country of Free People”.

Uendé was the oldest ancestor of the Mossi.

One day, three Mossi men went up to Uendé.

“I want a horse,” demanded the first.

“I want hunting dogs”, said the second.

“I would love to have a woman”, sighed the third man.

And Uendé gave them the things they had asked for.

And the three Mossi men went home happily.

But as they entered the jungle, they were caught in a storm of thunder and heavy rain. They were obliged to stop and find shelter.

It rained and rained.

They became hungry.

The woman lit a fire and made dinner for everybody.

The two Mossi with the horse and the hunting dogs made the trip back to Uendé.

“O great Uendé”, they said, “we want a woman each!”

So the oldest Mossi ancestor changed the horse and the hunting dogs into women — one each for the two men.

And the two Mossi men went home happily.

The woman who had been a horse turned out to be a lazy good-for-nothing and a glutton, to boot.

And the woman that had been transformed from the dogs was an evil, nasty piece of work.

But the first woman, the one that came out of the love of the Mossi people, was good and gentle: it is she who is the mother of all of us.

Text: Koldo Izagirre

Translation: Joe Linehan

Voice: Tim Nicholson

This is the story about the mother of all of us — cooking all the way from Burkina Faso in Africa

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