Lieder der Dschagga

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Lieder der Dschagga
Songs of the Wachagga

Unlike most of his contemporaries, Gutmann takes the art of Wachagga poetry seriously. He actually regards it as an art and tries to identify its rules. He describes them in detail in his introduction and proves them with examples from the songs that he passes on in the original Kichagga.
So far we can provide the introduction and the songs no. 10, 12, 13 and 14 in a translation into English and Kiswahili. The rest will follow later. In the “Zeitschrift für Eingeborenensprachen” in which the text was first published, the songs from No. 4 onwards are printed in such a way that the Kichagga original is on the left page and the German translation is on the right page. The titles run across both pages. We have therefore digitized the text in double pages and published it as such. We have not done this with the translations; please use the numbers of the songs as orientation.


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german (original)


Songs of the Wachagga
by Bruno Gutmann

“Singing is an intensified life, as it were a twofold one, best kindled when people sing together,” says R. Hildebrand. That is a fine observation. Even now, the song creates community and testifies to the connection in which people stand to one another. In song, a people visualises the connections that determine its being. In song, a people do not speak as a sum toral of individual beings, but are moved by the great soul that lives in them all. A healthy, tribal people is not an association that gradually disintegrates into individual sections as members join, but an organic structure that must be thought of as having been primordially set up with all the subdivisions and interdependencies that constitute its very essence. Just as we find language more and more beautiful in sound, as it were song-like, the further back we can trace it, so we may also assume that song played a leading role in the primeval times of mankind and can be thought of as being naturally connected with peoples and tribes in all relationships in which a people’s soul demanded to hear itself. Like all expressions of communal life, subsequently those circles which exercised conscious leadership and strove for dominance lso made song subservient to them. But in itself it is the primal expression of a people’s soul and not accessible to our systematics.

Once one has freed oneself from all worries about the correct systematic and evolutionary sequence of song genres, then it is refreshing to wander in the song garden of peoples for whom their song has not yet become history and a problem; rather, they still live it as unselfconsciously as a child lives its mother’s voice. For such refreshment, the sixteen Wachagga songs are presented here.

The Wachagga, East African Bantu with traces of Hamitic influence, still sing their songs in a completely primordial way, i.e. as a collective creation and without consciously grasping the laws that appear in them. Even today, they need for their choral singing a precentor, who sings the individual verses,


which are then repeated by the chorus, either completely or only with the concluding phrase, in order to then swing out in purely vocal interjections, from which the new verse of the precentor breaks out like a wave hurled upwards from the surging sea. These are often sung [practised] songs that have become the common property of the people, bringing the whole crowd into the picture with the first note of the precentor.

Here it is sufficient to utter the initial word, after which the songs are then also named, in order to enable everyone to sing along. But these songs, like those that still show this (Nos. 8, 13, 14), originated from the collaboration of two singers, one of whom helped the other to unfold and double the parables and images. From such an originally double authorship has developed the song structure in double stanzas, which have the same wording, but avoid monotony by modifying the last word.

This change in the last word was usually made possible by a synonym: lile and mbwero for bride, njoda and mantsi for thirst, etc. In doing so, people perceived as synonymous some words which from our perspective are sharply delimited from each other. Mnovio and mnonongoro differ like melodiousness and pleasant taste. The one word denotes the excitation of the auditory nerves, the other the excitation of the gustatory nerves. In the Song of Comradeship No. 8, both are used in the sense of melodiousness. It would be wrong to assume that because the native can let the different areas of excitement enter into one another, he has not yet progressed to the clear distinction of such sensory impressions; rather, it appears that the excitation of the taste nerves as well as the auditory nerves affects him much more strongly and triggers in him a rhythmic awareness of life, which with us has atrophied through non-practice, so that nowadays in our case the sensory impression resonates [only] in a part of the nervous system whereas the still rhythmic person feels his whole system of movement addressed. At least we still have borderline cases in our field of experience, for example, when an over-sour taste impression forces a person to jump around. For us, song is limited to the melody. We have completely forgotten that it also has a beat, and through counting we laboriously teach ourselves the little bit of rhythmic feeling that is essential for


consolidating the melody. For the African, on the other hand, song is not melody, but rhythm, movement in the free swinging of the body according to the syllable accents of the sung words.

That is why he does not change the emphasis of the words in the song, because he is not under the constraint of a rigid tone [composition] structure. Sound and word are still a coherent sphere of life for him, his singing is only an intensified melody of speech. The native is therefore unable to evoke a song of his tribe in himself without feeling its rhythm through the whole body. Movement, sound and word are the three counterparts that give form to the song.

However, the change in the last word of the double stanza is often made possible by a term from related ideas, such as mbwȧ and ifiši “rain” and “cloud”, or by object and simile, such as mavele “breasts” and maumu “gourds”, or one helps oneself by introducing a foreign word, such as e. g. Ingai, the Maasai name for the god in heaven, instead of the chagga word Iruwa (Ruwa).

The use of old [word-]forms is also an aid to variety in the expression of meaning, e.g. the ancient [term] molo for the now common “life”, imala for imā “to bring to an end, to exterminate (eradicate)” (cf. no. 13 imala-imarisa in the same meaning). Sometimes, however, one only helps oneself in the sense that in the second stanza the same word is made autonomous in the possessive pronoun, e.g. wari [my] and then woko “mine”, or by adding a more specific meaning: wuki “honey” – wuki msaheḏa “honey of the Sahera[tree]”.

Particular attention should be paid to their means of dissolving the homophony of the stanzas by phonetically changing the decisive word: ndamī-namīku (No. 5), kiroki-kirokja, kimbolea-kimbolele (No. 6), ritima-muriti, ndori-ndoro(No. 7) tongilo-tonga (No. 12). Through these variants, we are given insight into a time when the single word was still loosely formed, not yet solidified, as it were, but flexible. The freedom to form of a Bantu language is attested to by the [Ki]Chagga in many places. The expression for: “to behave” still has three forms today: ikelo, ikeo, ileo. But the way in which they transform the sound of a word goes far beyond relying on a richer older form. This is shown by ndamiku for ndamī; ndamī “father of the man”, miku “old man”. Here, this has simply been combined to form ndamiku, with the omission of one syllable.


Thus, those songs in which the double stanza and its conclusion in the modified word are performed purely, prove to be old. They allow the melodious sound of the language to emerge particularly beautifully, because they have been formed through singing by generations. Even just reading No. 7, for example, we sense something of this. But anyone who knows how unattractive the Western [Ki]Chagga can sound will realise that here the sound of the language has been refined through the heightened sense of language in the singing.

The focus on the sounding word and its repetition has produced a number of teasing songs, such as No. 3, in which the last word is made the beginning of a new verse by [using it in, as] the alternating question. Such songs are often sung to the children when they are falling asleep. The children are often put in the old people’s huts, and when the little ones have lain down, they probably ask the grandmother: “Sing us a song so that we can fall asleep”. And then she sings them such songs in alternating questions until the last child has stopped doing the counter-singer and everyone has fallen asleep.

Nos. 1, 2 and 4 are songs with which one lulls an infant to sleep. But one would be wrong to assume that they were invented for this purpose. By the singer’s self-designation as a “Scherbling” [being a shard], No. 4 introduces itself as a song sung by an old woman. The midwife sings it when she cradles the newborn in her arms. The content of the song, however, is addressed to the younger woman and is part of the established teachings with which the older generation introduces the younger into the full circle of obligations that maintain the association of society life among the people. Thus, songs 1 and 2 have probably been detached from the context of teaching songs from youth instruction and have become independent as fragments. The song of the “restless nature “, which was particularly popular among the children, turns out to be such a fragment. In its abbreviated version to a children’s song, this song makes a much more coherent artistic impression. But it had to be presented here in the more complete form that has been brought to light again. No. 5 is only one example of the hundreds of teaching songs that exist and are still connected in a fixed order in the eastern part of Kilimanjaro, introducing to the tribal discipline of the Wachagga.


 Song appears to the Wachagga almost as the friendly guide of human beings and especially of the youth, accustoming them most easily and at the same time most securely to vital attitudes, without any external coercion being perceived. That is why the Wachagga have elevated this ruler of the soul, singing, above the whole people and country. They also tried through song to make familiarisation to work acceptable to little ones. How sweetly, for example, girls are introduced to the clicking sound, used to keep the cows quiet during milking. The song begins:

Mḏi msumu, mḏi msumu
fukasumiṟa wana na mbe.

The “Märlebaum märet” [the fairy tale tree tells]1 children and cattle!
These are the cattle from the distributor.
They are being milked like [as if they were] water.
They are being milked like [as if they were] streams.
The bull comes: “Halter me, halter me!”
The ram comes: “Halter me, halter me!”
The young cow comes, “Milk me, milk me!”
And yet they are animals with horns!
“Milk me, milk me!”
“Where can I do that, where can I do that?!”
Nžidima haṅa haṅa!

With the word haṅa “where” the sound of clicking is heard, which tells the child while laughing: “Look, therein lies the secret. You have to know how to click, then the impetuous cow will keep still.”

Through song, the chief also ruled over his men. It is not accidental that of the 16 songs presented, four can be traced back to Mangi Rindi of Moshi, for a large part of the songs sung in Moshi originate from him. As in song No. 10, which he sang to his men after his return from exile in Machame (ca. 1876), he expresses his decision to create an age class by educating them to be frank, which, unlike the previous one, cannot fall under the leadership of upstarts through its stupidity, but shares responsibility for the welfare of the whole out of free manly conviction, so he just sang through everything with his people. Even when he gave the order to start tilling the fields again, he got the people in the mood by dancing and made the decision to resume the work in the fields the content of the song.

1Here the meaning is difficult to understand: These terms are not used in Germany today, they are very old words that Gutmann uses in an unfamiliar sense that is not clear. One can understand “Märlebaum” as a tree that tells fairy tales, but also as a tree, mentioned in a fairy tale. But “märlen” as a verb does not only mean to tell, but to tell in a very special way: in the sense of chattiness, but also secretiveness and may be connected with the fact that it may not be true. The combination of the terms could also mean that the “Märlebaum” brings forth the children and cattle…


But of course there were also songs in which the individual soul expresses itself in a state that does not so easily illustrate a common feeling. The song to the beloved (No. 16) and the song of comradeship (No. 8) do not belong here, but the praise of the tongue sung by a mouth bow striker [player] (No. 15) does. Those who knew how to master the humming bow [mouth bow] were held in high esteem. Like a medieval singer, he was well-liked in the courts of the rich and lived from their food. Mangi Rindi kept several bow-strikers, who had to sit in the doorway of his sleeping house and play for him until he fell asleep. The art of bow-striking consisted not only in singing melodious yodels and embellishments to the plucked bowstring, but also in linking a song with the sound of the string. Thus it was also inseparable from the humming bow and could hardly become common property.

However, this was possible in a quite different way with songs that the individual sang in special distress. We too know song not only as an expression of collective life, not only as an attempt by individuals to arouse participation in others, but also as a means of self-appeasement and self-control. People who are alone and afraid will sing. The Wachagga have mastered the art of releasing emotional excitement, as well as physical pain, in song and thus mastering these emotions. Song No. 12 is an example of this. These laments found their resonance among the people, and this could even lead to a distortion, as in the Dog Ape [baboon] Song, which was sung by a man whose entire cornfield had been harvested by the apes. This has now become a beautiful round dance song. One variation of these laments is the pleading song. For example, a man from Moshi, who was childless and therefore could not expect to be buried in his hut, managed to get the mangi and his men to find a way out for his burial. He achieved this by singing a lament every night in the guard huts at mangi’s house.

The “singing out [being exclaimed by singing]” of a person (imba mndu) deserves special mention. A person’s infamy was pilloried in song by the entire age class. This was part of the people’s justice. If it was a respected man, the mangi himself was usually called upon to set the song, because the others did not dare. The enthusiasm with which it was then received was all the greater. I have resisted the temptation to


present such a scolding song. It was sung to rid the country of an evil or to publicly warn all who were concerned about it. A variety of the scolding song is the mocking song, which was put to rest most quickly if the person concerned bore it good-naturedly or even sang along himself.

By its very nature, the warning song was also a song of a single person. The man sang it to his blood friend, the neighbour to his neighbour, when he wanted to warn him and yet had to avoid anything that might arouse suspicion that he had passed on the warning. Then he sang the warning in song and drew the attention of the person to whom it was addressed by inconspicuously mentioning his name once in the middle of the stanzas.

It was a wealth of songs that once sounded through the soul of a Mchagga and made him aware of the rhythm of his tribal life, from his mother’s womb onwards. From his grandmother he heard the song of the fairytale tree. With his age-mates, he would leap to ancient songs of distress in the round dance while herding the cattle and goats. On the chief’s court lawn he imitated the warriors and caught the proud words from their songs. Standing next to his father, he heard the warning song in the grove in astonishment. Driving the cattle home from the plains, he tried whistling and singing the old victory songs to please the cows and God in heaven, the owner of the stellar cows. He sneaked over to where the bow-striker crouched and yodelled and lamented to the humming bow. He sickened and heard the wondrously proud words the conjurer murmured over him. He heard from afar the teaching songs with which those who had grown before him were toughened up to manhood, and listened to their sound as to a world of secrets which he was eager to explore. Thus his life was saturated with images and sounds and his rhythmic feeling developed into the finest receptivity. And when he then rose to become a precentor or let joy or sorrow flow out in a particular song, he improvised not from what was his own, but from the treasure of the people, which he safeguarded with [the others], and so here, too, the songs were often “fragmented”, that is to say, mixed up. The ancient beauty of the Bantu sound has faded away, the richness of their images dissipated before anyone understood it. Have they exchanged something better for it?



10. Mangi Rindi’s song: self-encouragement to educate his men

Let us carve the stick, let us carve [hew] the stone,
Let’s make him a councilor!
Whether we do not rise as we once did.
And if we would have to dig him out of the ground!
Ho, stick; ho, stone!
Mangi Rindi is wise enough,
To make others wise too.
I split the Tere-Tere, I transformed him into a
I carved the stick, I transformed it into a
I set it up in a place, and he transformed into
a human being.
Ho, stick; ho, stone!
I carved [hewed] the stone and made it a
human being.
The stone that could not speak!


 12. Mangi Rindi’s lament about his death [facing his appoaching death]

Woe, woe to me, you men!
I see the bull is flayed, my heroes!
I see the sorrow remains on the hide.
The hide will be streched out with pegs,
The hide will be pegged, like a monitor lizard.
I turned back to Mangi Ndetia, then I heard, “Has
died long ago.”
I turned back to my mother, the fair and blessed,
the fair one,
I heard about the woman of the Tšaki clan,
“Died long ago.”
Now I have no one to whom I can tell my sorrow.
There is no one left to whom I can lament my
Now I lament to my elders.
To them I cry my distress.
To them I cry my sorrow.
Now help me lament my misery,
Now help me lament my woe!
I see that the distress will remain with you.
When I have left the home, misfortune will remain
with you.


 13. Mangi Rindi’s alternating song with his councillors.
Prediction of European rule

Mangi Rindi

I will ask the lords,
I will ask my lords:
You continue to grow,
You continue coming up.
But now I see something from a distance,
But now I see something coming from afar.
What shall we do?
How shall we act?
That we may keep our lives,
That we may keep our lives, you my heroes.


Vassal Kirama Kesi:

If only someone would give us a protective basket
made of iron,
In which we would hide Mangi Rindi,
The Mangi Rindi, that his life might last and stay.


Mangi Rindi

The sorrow is for you, ye rich ones,
Woe is upon you, ye men!
I see something coming from a distance,
I see something coming from afar.


Vassal Kirama Kesi:

So let us request it from God!
Whether he would not preserve for us this
calf of God,
This one he has given us.
So let us request it from the circumciser!
Whether he would not preserve for us this
calf of God.
Which he has sent to us into the world,
And so dispense justice.


Mangi Rindi

There is something that is alienating, ye lords,
There is something that depresses, ye heroes!
I see it coming from the distance,
I see it coming from afar.
This is what destroys all advice.
This is what destroys all commands.
That sprawls here like banana stems,
That sprawls here like a banana stem overgrows
the banana bunch.


Vassal Kirama Kesi:

Just ask [request] it from God!
And let them ask of the elders of God,
Whether they will not ask for the world,
Whether Chief Rindi doesn’t want to return to the
power of youth!
Woe to you now!
Where do you want to lead the offspring that
grows up,
With what will you (now) raise them?


Mangi Rindi

There is a matter that makes me wonder, ye lords,
There is a matter that makes me wonder, ye men.
That is what comes from the unknown,
That is what comes from far away.
That puts an end to the honey tree,
That puts an end to the shelter tree.
That is what has come into my head.
The matter I wonder about, that’s what it is!


Vassal Kirama Kesi:

Unless you yourself, you our lion!
Unless you yourself use your mouth
(i.e. pray) at dawn!
Unless you yourself use your mouth at the hour of
the morning star!
Whether you will save the branches, that they may
not perish,
Whether you would save the shoots, you our lion!


Mangi Rindi

I see your watchmen’s pillar is breaking,
I see the one which is yours buckling and breaking.
And you will follow it [the watchmen’s pillar] like
the lamb follows the mother,
And you will follow it like the kid follows the
So shall you follow behind me.
Pray [to] earth and heaven!
Pray to those who are afar off,
Whether I would preserve the life.
As long as I am, no one will touch the offspring.



14. [15.] The Praise of the Chief (Kiwusa of Moshi) [i.e. Mangi Meli].

Vassal Leka Mateï and the Warriors’ Choir

O you our chief, single [singular] as the moon!
O you immovable one, like the Kibo over there!
O chief, who cuts the food in front of the men as
[for] the goats,
That they may eat from the manger like goats,
And gain strength to bring women into the house.
O great chief, thou art the fig tree from which
we pluck fruit.
You are the tall fig tree in front of the house,
tempting us to eat fruit.
Let us lick the lips that taste of honey from the
Sahera tree.
My Kiwusa (Feller)! You protective basket made
of iron!
He who brings up the lambs!
Let us surround him like bees,
Like bees that bring in their load.
He is the queen of bees,
Let us surround him firmly.
Let us surround him like black ants,
Like black ants hauling termites.
He is our garment that (we) wear,
That gives cover in the rainy season,
Let us grasp him well,
The rain, though it hits,
He is the garment that covers us!


Interlude by the Chief

Have you holding tight? The halter post for the
wide-horned one is me!
I let the milk well up for you,
I make the white sap well up for you.
If from this you receive life,
Take hold of me tightly
And have no worry!
For I have power,
I am your hammer.


Choir leader

It’s you, the protector of the men,
It’s you, the protector of the home.
It’s you who keep for yourself the heroes,
It’s you who keep for yourself the men.
And if they retain their lives, they will be
tillers of the soil,
Who till for you, thou chief of God.
You are the shadow in which to shelter in the
hot season.


Interlude by the Chief

The hot season, and even it burns,
My lips you shall
That you may soothe the aching life.
My lips shall be sweet as honey,
Like honey that tastes of [the] Sahera [tree],
The shadow of God am I!


Choir leader

O you our shadow,
O you abundance of the earth,
O you neck of the earth!
O you our neck!


Translated into English by Hartmut Andres. (I want to thank Prof. A. Jones, Leipzig for copyediting.)
[All additions in square brackets are from the translator.]


Nyimbo za Wachagga
Bruno Gutmann

“Kuimba ni maisha yaliyoimarishwa, kana kwamba yapo mara mbili, ambayo huamsha hisia pale watu wanapoimba pamoja,” anasema R. Hildebrand. Hilo ni wazo zuri. Hata sasa, wimbo huunda jumuiya na hutoa ushuhuda wa uhusiano ambamo watu hushirikiana. Katika wimbo, mtu huona mahusiano yanayoelezea kuwepo kwake. Katika wimbo huo, watu hawazungumzi kama jumla ya viumbe binafsi bali wanasukumwa na nafsi kuu inayoishi ndani yao wote. Watu wa kabila wenye afya, si kama chama ambacho hugawanyika polepole kuwa sehemu ndogondogo kadiri ya watu wanavyoongezeka, bali ni muundo wa viumbe hai ambao lazima ufikiriwe kuwa ulianzishwa awali kama sehemu ndogondogo zinazotegemeana ambazo kwa pamoja hutengeneza kiini chake. Kama tuonavyo uzuri wa lugha kwenye matamshi, kama ilivyokuwa kwa wimbo, ndivyo tunavyoweza kufuatilia chimbuko lake, kwa hivyo tunaweza pia kudhani kwamba nyimbo zilikuwa na jukumu kuu katika nyakati za zamani za wanadamu na zinaweza kudhaniwa kama ziliunganishwa kwa asili na watu au makabila katika mahusiano yote ambamo nafsi za watu zilitamani kuwepo. Kama madhihirisho yote ya maisha ya jamii, hatimaye, wale waliotekeleza uongozi makini na kupambania kuwa juu ya wengine, pia walifanya nyimbo kuwatii. Lakini ni dhihirisho la awali la roho ya watu, na hazipatikani kwa mifumo yetu.

Mara tu mtu anapojinasua na hofu zote zihusuzo mfuatano sahihi wa kimfumo na ukuaji wa tanzu za nyimbo, basi inafariji watu kuambaa katika bustani yao ya nyimbo ambayo kwao wimbo wao bado haujawa historia na tatizo; badala yake, bado wanauishi bila kujitambua kama mtoto aishivyo sauti ya mama yake. Kwa kiburudisho kama hicho, nyimbo kumi na sita za Wachagga zimewasilishwa hapa.

Wachagga, ambao ni Wabantu wa Afrika Mashariki wenye athari za Kihamiti, bado wanaimba nyimbo zao kwa njia ya asili kabisa, yaani kama ubunifu wa pamoja na bila kuzishika kiutambuzi sheria maalum


zinazoonekana ndani yake. Hata leo, wanahitaji manju wakati wa kuimba kwaya, ambaye huimba beti moja moja, ambazo husindikizwa na kiitikio, kwa ujumla au kama msemo wa kuhitimisha, ili kufanya vibwagizo vya sauti tupu, kisha ubeti mpya wa manju huvuma kama wimbi lililorushwa juu na bahari inayojaa. Hizi ni nyimbo ambazo aghalabu huimbwa mara kwa mara na hatimaye kugeuka mali ya watu, zikiwaleta kundi lote kwenye picha ya pamoja pale tu manju anapoanza kuimba.

Hapa huwa inatosha kutamka neno la awali, ambalo pia huwa ndio jina la nyimbo, ili kuwezesha watu wote kuimba kwa pamoja. Lakini nyimbo hizi, kama zile ambazo bado zinaonyesha hili (Na. 8, 13, 14), zilitokana na ushirikiano wa waimbaji wawili, ambapo mmoja wao alimsaidia mwingine kufunguka na kurudufisha mafumbo na taswira. Kutokana na utunzi wa asili unaojumuisha watu wawili, muundo wa wimbo kwenye ubeti huwa na maneno sawasawa lakini huepuka marudio kwa kuunda upya neno la mwisho.

Mabadiliko haya ya neno la mwisho kwa kawaida yaliwezeshwa na kisawe: lile na mbwero kwa maana ya bibi harusi, njoda na mantsi kwa maana ya kiu, n.k. Katika kufanya hivyo, watu walichukulia baadhi ya maneno kuwa ni visawe, ambayo kwa mtazamo wetu, yametenganishwa kabisa. Mnovio na mnonongoro hutofautiana kwa tuni na ladha ya kusisimua. Neno moja linaonyesha msisimuo wa neva za usikivu, nyingine ni msisimuo wa neva za ladha. Katika Wimbo wa Undugu Na. 8, zote mbili zimetumika kwa maana ya ladha nzuri ya kusisimua. Itakuwa ni makosa kudhani kwamba kwa sababu mwenyeji anaweza kuruhusu maeneo mbalimbali ya msisimko kuingiliana, bado hajaendelea katika kutofautisha fikra za hisia; badala yake, inaonekana kwamba msisimko wa neva za ladha pamoja na neva za usikivu humuathiri kwa nguvu zaidi na huchochea ndani yake utambuzi wa kiridhimu wa maisha, ambayo miongoni mwetu imedhoofika kwa kutofanya mazoezi, kiasi kwamba siku hizi hisia zetu husambazwa tu kama sehemu ya mfumo wa neva. Kinyume chake, mtu aliyebaki na ridhimu bado hujisikia mfumo wake mzima wa mwendo ukihusishwa. Angalau bado tuna visa vyenye wasiwasi katika uga wetu wa tajiriba, kwa mfano, hisi ya ladha ya uchachu uliopitiliza inapomlazimisha mtu kurukaruka. Kwetu sisi, wimbo unaishia katika melodi. Tumesahau kabisa kwamba pia kuna mdundo, na kwa kuhesabu tunajifundisha kwa bidii hisia kidogo ya mdundo ambayo ni


muhimu katika kuunganisha melodi. Kwa Mwafrika, kwa upande mwingine, wimbo si melodi bali ni mdundo, mwendo wa kuchezesha mwili kwa uhuru kulingana na lafudhi ya silabi za maneno yanayoimbwa. Ndiyo maana habadilishi mkazo wa maneno katika wimbo kwa sababu hadhibitiwi na kizuizi cha muundo wa toni thabiti. Sauti na neno bado kwake ni dhana za maisha zilizofungamana, na uimbaji wake ni matamshi thabiti ya melodi. Kwa hivyo, mzawa hawezi kuamsha wimbo wa kabila lake ndani mwake bila kuhisi mdundo wake katika mwili wote. Mwendo, sauti na neno ni vitu vitatu vinavyouunda wimbo.

Hata hivyo, mabadiliko ya neno la mwisho kwenye beti pacha mara nyingi huwezeshwa na istilahi kutoka kwenye mawazo yanayohusiana, kama vile mbwa na ifisi, mvua na wingu, au kwa kitu kama vile mavele (matiti) na maumu(vibuyu), au mtu anaweza kutambulisha neno la kigeni, kama vile Ingai, jina la Kimasai la Mungu aliye mbinguni, badala ya neno la Kichagga Iruwa (Ruwa).

Matumizi ya maneno ya zamani pia husaidia kutofautisha maana, mf. neno la kale molo kwa sasa likijulikana kama mo(maisha), imala kama ima (kuleta mwisho, kuangamiza) (taz. nambari 13 imala-imarisa katika maana sawa). Wakati fulani, hata hivyo, mtu hujisaidia tu kwa maana ya kwamba katika ubeti wa pili, neno hilohilo linafanywa kuwa huru katika kiwakilishi miliki, mf. wari (-angu) na woko (-a kwangu), au kwa kuongeza maana mahsusi zaidi: wuki (asali) – wukimsaheda (asali ya mti wa Sahera).

Uangalifu mahsusi unapaswa kuzingatiwa wakati wa kutengua homofoni ya ubeti kwa kubadili kifonetiki neno la mkataa: ndami-namiku (Na. 5), kiroki-kirokja, kimbolea-kimbolele (Na. 6), ritima-muriti, ndorindoro (Na. 7), tongilo-tonga (Na. 12). Kupitia vibadala hivi, tunapata undani kuhusu wakati ambapo neno moja liliundwa kwa urahisi, kana kwamba bado halijaimarishwa, lakini lenye kunyumbulika. Kichagga kinathibitisha uhuru wa kuunda lugha ya Kibantu katika maeneo mengi. Usemi huu: “kuwa na adabu”, bado una namna tatu leo: ikelo, ikeo, na ileo. Lakini jinsi wanavyobadilisha sauti ya neno huenda mbali zaidi ya kutegemea njia bora na ya zamani zaidi. Hii inaonyeshwa na ndamiku kwa maana ya ndami, ndami (baba wa mwanaume), meku (mzee). Hapa, hii imeunganishwa na kuunda ndamiku, silabi moja ikiachwa.


Kwa hivyo, zile nyimbo ambamo beti pacha na hitimisho lake katika neno lililorekebishwa zinathibitisha kuwa za zamani. Zinaruhusu sauti tamu ya lugha kujitokeza mahsusi kwa uzuri kwa sababu zimeundwa kwa kuimbwa kwa vizazi vingi. Kwa mfano, hata tukisoma Nambari 7, tunahisi jambo kama hili. Lakini yeyote anayefahamu jinsi Kichagga cha Magharibi kisivyovutia kusikiliza, atatambua kwamba sauti ya lugha hiyo imeboreshwa kupitia hali ya juu kabisa ya lugha katika uimbaji.

Uzingativu katika neno linalosikika na marudio yake umezalisha nyimbo kadhaa za tashtiti, kama vile Nambari 3, ambapo neno la mwisho linafanywa kuwa mwanzo wa ubeti mpya kwa kulitumia kama swali pokezano. Nyimbo kama hizo mara nyingi huimbiwa watoto wakati wa kulala. Watoto mara nyingi huwekwa kwenye vijumba vya wazee, na labda wakati watoto hao wanapokuwa wamejilaza, huenda wakamuomba bibi yao: “Tuimbie wimbo ili tupate usingizi”. Kisha anawaimbia nyimbo kama hizo kwa maswali ya kupishana hadi mtoto wa mwisho kulala anapokuwa ameacha kufanya majibizano ya wimbo na kila mtu anapokuwa amelala.

Nambari 1, 2 na 4 ni nyimbo ambazo hutumika kumbembeleza mtoto kulala. Lakini mtu atakuwa amekosea kudhani kuwa zilibuniwa kwa kusudi hili. Kwa kujipa nafasi ya kigae, Na.  4 unajitambulisha kama wimbo ulioimbwa na mwanamke mzee. Mkunga huuimba wakati anambeba mtoto mchanga mikononi mwake. Hata hivyo, maudhui ya wimbo huo yanaelekezwa kwa mwanamke kijana na ni sehemu ya mafundisho imara ambayo huanzishwa na watu wazima ili kuwafundisha vijana kuhusu mzunguko mzima wa majukumu ambayo yanadumisha ushirika wa maisha ya jamii miongoni mwa watu.

Kwa hivyo, pengine nyimbo Na. 1 na 2 zimetengwa kutoka kwenye muktadha wa nyimbo za mafundisho ya vijana na zimebaki vipande vinavyojitegemea. Wimbo wa “asili isiyo tulivu”, ambao ulikuwa maarufu sana miongoni mwa watoto, unageuka kuwa kipande kama hicho. Toleo lake fupi kwa ajili ya watoto linaonesha hisia dhahiri zaidi kisanaa. Lakini ilibidi iwasilishwe hapa kwa fani kamilifu zaidi ambayo imeibuliwa tena. Na. 5 ni mfano mmoja tu wa mamia ya nyimbo za kufundishia ambazo zipo na bado zimeunganishwa kwa mpangilio maalum katika sehemu ya mashariki ya Kilimanjaro, ikitambulisha kaida za kikabila za Wachagga.


Kwa Wachagga wimbo huu huchukuliwa kama mwongozo rafiki wa wanadamu na hasa wa vijana, unaowazoeza mambo muhimu kwa ufanisi na kwa usalama zaidi, bila kuhisi dhana ya shuruti kutoka nje. Ndio maana Wachagga wamemwinua huyu mtawala wa roho, wakiimba, juu ya watu na nchi nzima. Pia, kupitia nyimbo, walijaribu kufanya mazoea ya kazi kukubalika kwa watoto. Inapendeza, kwa mfano, wasichana wanapoeleweshwa jinsi ya kupiga kidoko ili kuwatuliza ng’ombe wakati wa kukamua. Wimbo unaanza:

Mdi msumu, mdi msumu
fukasumiṟa wana na mbe.
(Mti wa hadithi husimulia)
watoto na ng’ombe!
Hawa ndio ng’ombe kutoka kwa msambazaji.
Wanakamuliwa kama maji.
Wanakamuliwa kama mito.
Fahali anakuja: “Nifunge, nifunge!”
Kondoo anakuja: “Nifunge, nifunge!”
Ng’ombe anakuja, “Nikamue, nikamue!”
Na kumbe ni wanyama wenye pembe!
“Nikamue, nikamue!”
“Nifanye hivyo wapi? Nifanye hivyo wapi?!”
Nzidima haṅa haṅa!

Kwenye neno haṅa (wapi) sauti ya kidoko inasikika, ambayo inamwambia mtoto: “Angalia, ndani ya sauti kuna siri. Lazima ujue jinsi ya kupiga kidoko , kisha ng’ombe mwenye hasira atanyamaza.”

Kupitia nyimbo, mangi pia alitawala watu wake. Sio bahati mbaya kwamba kati ya nyimbo 16 zilizowasilishwa, nne zinatoka kwa Mangi Rindi wa Moshi, kwa kuwa sehemu kubwa ya nyimbo zinazoimbwa Moshi zinatoka kwake. Kama ilivyo katika wimbo Na. namba 10, aliowaimbia watu wake baada ya kurudi kutoka uhamishoni huko Machame (takriban mwaka 1876), anaeleza uamuzi wake wa kuunda rika ili kuwaelimisha kuwa wakweli, ambalo, tofauti na lile la awali, haliwezi kutawaliwa na malimbukeni kutokana na upumbavu wao, bali wanabeba jukumu la kuhakikisha ustawi wa wote kwa msingi wa imani huru ya ukomavu wa kiume. Kwa hivyo, alipitia kila kitu na watu wake kwa kuimba. Hata alipotoa amri ya kuanza kulima tena mashamba, aliwachangamsha watu kwa kucheza ngoma na kuamua kuendelea na kazi shambani, kama ilivyo katika nyimbo.


Lakini bila shaka, pia kulikuwa na nyimbo ambazo nafsi ya mtu binafsi ilijieleza katika hali ambayo haikuonyesha haraka hisia inayojulikana. Wimbo kwa mpendwa (Na. 16) na wimbo wa urafiki (Na. 8) hazihusiki hapa, lakini wimbo wa sifa unaoimbwa na mcheza zeze (Na. 15) unahusika. Wale walioweza kucheza zeze la mdomo kwa ustadi walienziwa sana. Kama mwimbaji wa zama za kati, alipendwa sana katika vitala vya matajiri na aliishi kwa kula chakula chao. Mangi Rindi aliwaweka kwake wacheza zeze kadhaa, ambao ilibidi wakae kwenye mlango wa nyumba yake ya kulala na kumwimbia hadi alipolala. Ustadi wa kupiga zeze ulihusisha kuimba kwa sauti na madoido na kuunganisha wimbo na sauti ya uzi. Kwa Hivyo, ilikuwa haiwezi kutofautishwa na sauti ya ndege mzuri na haikuwa mali ya kawaida.

Lakini, hii ilikuwa tofauti kabisa na nyimbo ambazo mtu binafsi angeweza kuimba akiwa na shida fulani. Tunafahamu pia, nyimbo sio tu onyesho la maisha ya pamoja, kama jaribio la mtu binafsi kuamsha ushiriki katika wengine, lakini pia kama njia ya kujifurahisha na kujidhibiti. Watu wapweke na wenye hofu huimba. Wachagga wamebobea katika sanaa ya kuachilia hisia na maumivu ya kimwili kupitia nyimbo na hivyo kuzitawala hisia hizi. Wimbo Na. 12 ni mfano wa hili. Maombolezo haya yalipata mwangwi wake miongoni mwa watu, ambao ungeweza hata kusababisha mparaganyo, kama vile Wimbo wa Nyani Mbwa, ulioimbwa na mtu ambaye shamba lake la nafaka lilivunwa na nyani. Huu sasa umekuwa wimbo mzuri wa ngoma ya mduara. Aina mojawapo ya maombolezo haya ni wimbo wa kusihi. Kwa mfano, mtu mmoja wa Moshi ambaye hakuwa na mtoto na hivyo hakutarajia kuzikwa kwenye boma lake, alifanikiwa kuwashawishi mangi na watu wake kutafuta njia ya kumzika. Alifanikisha hili kwa kuimba wimbo wa maombolezo kila usiku katika vibanda vya walinzi karibu na nyumba ya mangi.

“Kuimbwa kwa mtu” kunastahili kutajwa kwa umuhimu. Fedheha ya mtu ilitangazwa hadharani na rika lake lote kupitia wimbo. Hii ilikuwa ni sehemu ya haki ya watu. Kwa kawaida Mangi aliitwa kutunga wimbo huo ikiwa mhusika ni mtu anayeheshimiwa kwa sababu wengine hawakuthubutu. Shauku ambayo ilipokelewa wakati huo ilikuwa kubwa zaidi. Nimepingana na kishawishi cha kuwasilisha wimbo wa kukaripia kama huo.


Uliimbwa ili kuondoa maovu nchini au kuwaonya hadharani wote wanaohusika. Aina mojawapo ya nyimbo za karipio ni wimbo wa dhihaka, ambao ulisitishwa haraka sana ikiwa mtu anayehusika aliupokea kwa uzuri au hata kuimba pamoja na wenzake.

Kwa asili yake hasa, wimbo wa onyo pia ulikuwa wimbo wa mtu mmoja. Mtu alimuimbia rafiki yake wa damu, au jirani kwa jirani yake, alipotaka kumtahadharisha na kama bado ilibidi aepuke jambo lolote ambalo lingeweza kuzua shaka kwamba alitoa onyo hilo. Kisha, huimba onyo hilo na kuvuta fikira za muhusika kwa kutaja kwa sauti ndogo jina lake afikapo katikati ya beti.

Ilikuwa hazina ya nyimbo zilizowahi kusikika katika roho ya Mchagga na kumfanya autambue mdundo wa maisha ya kabila lake kuanzia alipokuwa tumboni mwa mama yake. Alisikia wimbo wa mti wa simulizi za ngano kutoka kwa bibi yake. Akiwa na watu wa rika lake, angecheza nyimbo za kale za dhiki katika ngoma ya mduara huku akichunga ng’ombe na mbuzi. Kwenye uwanja wa kitala cha mangi, aliiga wapiganaji na kunasa maneno ya fahari kutoka kwenye nyimbo zao. Akiwa amesimama kando ya baba yake, alisikia kwa mshangao wimbo wa onyo kutoka kwenye kichaka. Akiongoza ng’ombe kutoka nyikani, alijaribu kupiga miluzi na kuimba nyimbo za zamani za ushindi ili kuwafurahisha ng’ombe na kumpendeza Mungu, mmiliki wa ng’ombe wa mbinguni. Alinyemelea hadi alipochutama mpiga zeze, akaimba kwa madoido, na kuulalamikia upinde unaovuma. Aliugua na kusikia maneno ya fahari yaajabu yakinong’onwa na mganga. Alisikia kwa mbali nyimbo za mafundisho ambazo ziliwaimarisha kufikia utuuzima wale waliomtangulia na kusikiliza sauti zake kama asikilizae ulimwengu wa siri alizotamani kuchunguza. Kwa hivyo, maisha yake yalishibishwa picha na sauti na hisia zake za mdundo zilikuzwa na kupea katika usikivu. Na alipokua na kuwa manju au kuruhusu furaha au huzuni kutiririka kupitia wimbo fulani, hakutunga kulingana na matakwa yake, bali kutoka kwenye hazina ya watu, ambayo alishiriki kuilinda, na hivyo, hata hapa aghalabu nyimbo hizi zilikuwa vipande vipande, kwa maana ya mchanganyiko wa mambo. Uzuri wa kale wa sauti ya Kibantu umefifia, na utajiri wa taswira zao umetoweka kabla ya mtu yeyote kuuelewa vizuri. Je, wameubadilisha kwa kitu bora zaidi?


10. Wimbo wa Mangi Rindi: Kujitia Moyo Kuwaelimisha Watu Wake

Hebu tuchonge fimbo, tuchonge jiwe,
Tumfanye diwani
Kama hatutapata ukuu wetu kama zamani.
Hata ikibidi kumchimbua kutoka ardhini!
Ho fimbo, ho jiwe!
Mangi Rindi ana hekima ya kutosha,
 Kufundisha wengine pia
Nilimgawanya Tere-Tere;
Nilimgeuza kuwa diwani.
Nilichonga fimbo; nikaigeuza kuwa diwani.
Niliiweka sehemu, na aligeuka kuwa binadamu.
Ho fimbo, ho jiwe!
Nilichonga jiwe, nikalifanya kuwa mwanadamu,
Jiwe ambalo halikuweza kuongea!

12. Maombolezo ya Mangi Rindi Kuhusu Kifo Chake (akikabiliana na kifo kilichokaribia)

“Ole, ole wangu, enyi watu!
Namuona fahali akichinjwa, mashujaa wangu!
Naona huzuni inabaki kwenye ngozi yake.
Ngozi yake itawambwa kwa vigingi.
Manyoya yatavutwa, kama kenge.
Nilikimbilia kwa Mangi Ndetea,
Kisha nikasikia, “Amefariki zamani”.
Nikarudi kwa mama yangu, yule mpole aliyebarikiwa, na mwenye haki.
Nilisikia habari za mwanamke wa ukoo wa Tshaki,
“Alikufa zamani.”
Sasa, sina mtu wa kumweleza huzuni yangu.
Hakuna mtu yeyote aliyebakia wa kumweleza huzuni yangu.
Sasa ninaomboleza kwa wazee wangu.
Kwao, ninalia dhiki yangu.
Kwao, ninaomboleza huzuni yangu.
Sasa nisaidie kuomboleza taabu zangu!
Sasa nisaidie kuomboleza huzuni yangu
Nona dhiki itabaki kwenu.
Nitakapokuwa nimeondoka nyumbani, mabalaa yatabaki nanyi.

13. Wimbo wa Majibizano wa mangi Rindi na Madiwani Wake
Utabiri wa Utawala wa Wazungu

Mangi Rindi:

Nitawauliza Mabwana,
Nitawauliza Mabwana wangu:
Mnaendelea kukua,
Mnaendelea kuinuka.
Lakini sasa naona kitu kwa mbali,
Lakini sasa naona kitu kinakuja kutoka mbali.
Tufanye nini?
Tutende vipi?
Ili tuweze kuhifadhi maisha yetu,
Ili tuweze kuokoa maisha yetu, ninyi, mashujaa wangu.

Mchili Kirama Kesi:

Laiti mtu angetupa kikapu cha kinga kilichotengenezwa kwa chuma,
Ambacho tungemficha Mangi Rindi,
Huyu Mangi Rindi ili maisha yake yabaki na kudumu.

Mangi Rindi:

Huzuni ni kwa ajili yenu , enyi matajiri,
Ole wenu, enyi watu!
Naona kitu kinakuja kwa mbali,
Naona kitu kinakuja kutoka mbali.

Mchili Kirama Kesi:

Kwa hivyo, tumuombe Mungu!
Ikiwa hatatuhifadhia huyu ndama wa Mungu,
Huyu aliyetupa.
Kwa hivyo tuombe kutoka kwa ngariba!
Ikiwa hatatuhifadhia huyu ndama wa Mungu.
Ambaye amemtuma kwetu huku ulimwenguni,
Na hivyo, toa haki.

Mangi Rindi:

Kuna kitu chenye kufarakisha, enyi mabwana,
Kuna kitu kinachofadhaisha, enyi mashujaa!
Nakiona kinakuja kwa mbali,
Nakiona kinakuja kutoka mbali.
Hiki ndicho huharibu ushauri wote.
Hiki ndicho huharibu amri zote.
Kinatapakaa hapa kama mashina ya migomba,
Kinatapakaa hapa kama shina la mgomba linavyozaa mikungu kupita kiasi.

Mchili Kirama Kesi:
Toa ombi kwa Mungu!
Acha wawaulize wazee wa Mungu.
Ikiwa hawataomba kupewa ulimwengu,
Ikiwa Mangi Rindi hataki kurudi kwenye nguvu za ujana!
Ole wako sasa!
Unataka kukipeleka wapi kizazi kinachokua,
Utawalea na nini?

Mangi Rindi:

Kuna jambo linanishangaza, enyi mabwana ,
Kuna jambo linanishangaza, nyie watu.
Hayo ni matokeo ya mambo yasiyojulikana,
Hicho ndicho kinachotoka mbali.
Kinachoangamiza mti wa asali,
Kinachoangamiza mti wa makazi.
Hicho ndicho kilichoingia kichwani mwangu.
Jambo ninalolishangaa , kumbe ndio hilo!

Mchili Kirama Kesi:

Hadi wewe, wewe simba wetu!
Hadi utakapotumia mdomo wako kusali alfajiri!
Hadi utakapotumia mdomo wako katika saa ile ya nyota ya asubuhi!
Ikiwa utaokoa matawi ambayo hayataangamia,
Ikiwa ungeokoa machipukizi, wewe ni simba wetu!

Mangi Rindi:

Naona nguzo ya walinzi wenu ikivunjika,
Ninazijua zenu, zilizopindana zinazopata nyufa.
Na mtaifuata (nguzo ya walinzi) kama kondoo amfuatavyo mamaye,
Na mtazifuatilia kama mtoto amfuatavyo mamaye.
Nanyi mtafuata nyuma yangu.
Ombeni kwa ardhi na mbingu!
Waombeni walio mbali,
Ikiwa nitahifadhi uhai.
Maadamu niko hai, hakuna atakayegusa uzao.

14. [15.] Sifa za Mangi (Kiwusa wa Moshi – yaani Mangi Meli).

Mchili Leka Matei na Kwaya ya Mashujaa
Ewe Mangi wetu, wa pekee kama mwezi!
Ewe, usiyehamishika, kama ile Kibo pale!
Ewe Mangi, unayegawa chakula mbele ya wanaume kama uwalishae mbuzi,
Ili wale kutoka horini kama mbuzi,
Na wapate nguvu za kuoa.

Ewe Mangi mkuu, wewe ni mtini tuchumao matunda.
Wewe ni mtini mrefu mbele ya nyumba, ukitutamanisha kula matunda.
Acha tuilambe midomo yenye ladha ya asali kutoka mti wa Sahera.
Kiwusa wangu (Mtema)! Kikapu chako cha kinga kimetengenezwa kwa chuma!
Yeye anayewalea wanakondoo!
Acha tumzunguke kama nyuki,
Kama nyuki wanaoleta mzigo wao.
Yeye ni malkia wa nyuki,
Basi tumzunguke kwa uthabiti.
Tumzunguke kama siafu weusi,
Kama siafu weusi wanaovuta mchwa.
Yeye ndiye vazi tunalovaa.
Linalotufunika wakati wa masika,
Tumshike vizuri,
Ingawa mvua inanyesha,
Yeye ndiye vazi linalotufunika
Mangi anaingilia kati:
Je, mmeshikilia madhubuti? Ile nguzo ya kumfunga ng’ombe mwenye pembe kubwani mimi!
Ninatoa maziwa kwa ajili yenu,
Ninawatengenezea maziwa meupe.
Ikiwa haya yatawapa uzima,
Basi nishikeni kwa nguvu,
Na msihofu!
Kwa maana nina nguvu,
Mimi ni nyundo yenu.

Kiongozi wa kwaya:
Ni wewe, mlinzi wa watu,
Ni wewe, mlinzi wa kaya.
Ni wewe unayetunza mashujaa,
Ni wewe unayetunza wanaume.
Na ikiwa watahifadhi maisha yao, watakuwa wakulima wa udongo,
Watakaokulimia wewe, ewe Mangi wa Mungu.
Wewe ndiye kivuli cha kujificha katika kiangazi.
Mangi anaingilia kati:
Kiangazi, hata kikiunguza,
Mtailamba midomo yangu,
Ili mpate kutuliza maisha yenye uchungu.
Midomo yangu itakuwa mitamu kama asali,
Kama asali yenye ladha ya mti wa Sahera,
Mimi ni kivuli cha Mungu!

Kiongozi wa kwaya:
Ewe, kivuli chetu,
Ewe ujazo katika ardhi,
Ewe shingo ya ardhi!
Ewe shingo yetu!

Imenakiliwa na kutafsiriwa kwa Kiingereza na ndugu Hartmut Andres na kutafsiriwa kwa Kiswahili na Dk. Valence Silayo. (Tunataka kuwashukuru Prof. A. Jones, Leipzig, kwa masahihisho ya kiuhariri ya Lugha ya Kiingereza na Mr. Ndesumbuka Merinyo kwa masahihisho ya kiuhariri ya Lugha ya Kiswahili)

additional information

Bruno Gutmann has handed down another song by Mangi Rindi in the "Volksbuch der Wadschagga":


89. Das Lied des Häuptlings (Volksbuch S. 139)

Als der Häuptling Rindi von Moschi von einer Krankheit genesen war, rief er seine Krieger zu einem Feste. Und er sprach zu ihnen: „Ein Lied habe ich gesetzt. Ich wills euch lehren.“ Und er sang:

Luandžare-ndžare Maventse
Hahenda ruve-ruve!
Luandžare-ndžare Kiporo
Hahenda ruve-ruve!
Kinderi na kja Kiporo
Kilehe na kja Maventse
Kisokye kunu koko.
Kiole mānde
Mānde ha Kipō.
Kinderi kī kja Kikoriso
Kilehe kī kja Norovi.
Kiole-ole ija wujana koḏu
Oruka luengere iṅana.
Nderuhuo kitšumi
Kikeri Manjeri ili katša
Ngapengeluo ngaiḏa
Ngahenda sahya ndeń
Ngasura matša na iwuja.
Ngatša yambuja kunu orukeń loḏu
Tšando kilehe kilja
Kjasotsa mānde
heolya kunu orukeń loḏu.

Laßt uns schön tun dem Maventse,
Daß er steigre Glanz auf Glanz!
Laßt uns schön tun dem Kibo
Daß er steigre Glanz um Glanz!
Ein Federling vom Kibo her,
Ein Vöglein vom Maventse her,
Kam zu mir hernieder.
Daß es Sühnewasser sprenge,
Sühnewasser vom Kibo.
Federling das war ein Rabe,
Vöglein eine Haubendrossel.
Besprengen wollt es unsre Welt,
Daß das Land den Wohlstand mehre.
Das Tor hab ich geöffnet,
Das von alters in Manjeri.
Ich tat es auf und schritt hindurch
Und ging zu grüßen bei den Vätern,
Doch es trieb die Sehnsucht mich zur Wiederkehr.
Ich kam und schaute unser Land,
Dem Vöglein gleich,
Das Sühnewasser niederbrachte,
Herabzusprengen hier auf unser Land.
Und es war froh.


89. The Song of the Mangi (Volksbuch der Wachagga p. 139)

When Mangi Rindi of Moshi had recovered from an illness, he called his warriors to a feast. And he said to them: “I have set a song. I will teach it to you.” And he sang:

Let us flatter [compliment] the Maventse,That he may increase splendour upon splendour!
Let us flatter [compliment] the Kibo
That he may increase splendour upon splendour!
A “Federling”1 [feathered one] from Kibo,
A “Vöglein”1 [little bird] from Maventse,
Came down to me.
That it may sprinkle atonement water,
Atonement water from Kibo.
The “Federling” [feathered one] was a raven,
The “Vöglein” [little bird] a crested thrush.
It wanted to sprinkle our world,
That the land may increase in prosperity.
I have opened the gate,
That from time immemorial is in Manjeri.
I opened it and passed through
And went to pay my regards at the fathers’ place,
But longing drove me to return.
I came and looked upon our land,
Like the “Vöglein” [little bird],
That brought down the atonement water,
To sprinkle on our land here.
And it was pleased.


1: “Vöglein” and “Federling” (neologism): Gutmann uses these words, which sound so different in German than “kleiner Vogel”: “little bird” and “der Gefiederte”: “the feathered one” I don’t know what impression the Kimoshi text creates, but Gutmann’s choice of words is in any case unique and beautiful and creates (for me) a very special mood.

Translated into English by Hartmut Andres. (I want to thank Prof. A. Jones, Leipzig for copyediting.)

[All additions in square brackets are from the translator.]


89. Wimbo wa Mangi (Volksbuch der Wachagga p. 139)

Mangi Rindi wa Moshi alipokuwa amepona ugonjwa, aliwaita wapiganaji wake kwenye karamu. Naye akawaambia: “Nimetunga wimbo. Nitawafundisha.” Naye akaimba:

Tumsifie Mawenzi,
Ili aongeze utukufu juu ya utukufu!
Tumsifie Kibo,
Ili aongeze utukufu juu ya utukufu!
Ndege kutoka Kibo (Federling),
Ndege kutoka Mawenzi (Vöglein),
Ili anyunyize maji ya utakaso,
Maji ya utakaso kutoka Kibo.
Ndege wa Kibo alikuwa kunguru,
Ndege mdogo wa Mawenzi alikuwa mkeshamsitu kishungi.
Alitaka kuinyunyiza dunia yetu,
Ili ardhi yetu istawi.
Nimefungua lango,
Ambalo tangu zamani za kale lipo Manjeri.
Nililifungua na kupita
Nikaenda kutoa salamu za upendo  kwa baba,
Lakini hamu ilinisukuma kurudi.
Nilikuja na kutazama nchi yetu,
Kama ndege mdogo,
Aliyeleta maji ya utakaso,
Kunyunyizia ardhi yetu hapa.
Na alifurahia.