Following on the World Salad Chapbook of translated poems that Saraba published in June 2011 in collaboration with the Poetry Translation Centre, UK, we are pleased to present this work of translated Nigerian Folklore. Too often, Nigeria is presented as a union of three cultures with solid, defined margins. Presenting these folklore in their indigenous languages, we aim to communicate the beautiful variation and uniqueness across these cultures on the hinterland. An Emai myth from the Emai clan of Edo State tells us the surprising creation story of why we have have armpit hair, God”s desire to contain human immodesty. There are proverbs and sayings in Ibibio,the indigenous tongue of the Ibibio, who make up the majority of the inhabitants of Awka Ibom State. Ibibio is also spoken in parts of southern Cameroon; this illustrates the spread of the language. The Ham people, situated in the southern region of Kaduna State, speak the Hyam language. Our collection of folk songs and proverbs offers a brief glimpse into a rich culture and communicates Ham values. We hope you enjoy reading these works as much as we have enjoyed selecting them. We humbly invite you to cast your eye on a few, select impressions of some of the cultures that make up the tapestry that is Nigeria.
Photo: Eva Rinaldi