By Arach Sarah Atim
There was a time in this beautiful land of ours
when we worshiped the gods,
till when the mediators led our souls to the ancestral spirits.
There was a time when we danced to the sounds of drums,
a time when we held so much pride in our Larakaraka dance.
And there was a time when we were told tales;
of our beautiful culture around the fire place,
when the old libraries told and sang to us,
all the knowledge that we were expected to pass on
timelessly, from one generation to the next.
We were taught,
to live a respectful traditional life.
There was a time when the Larakaraka
were more than just beauty to the eyes.
Only in that time were we taught,
that thanking the gods for the great harvest brought more blessings.
Those times when men were taught to be men,
through hunting for food in the wilderness to feed their families.
When the weavers made baskets for the great offering,
And the drums were strung with cured hide
and beaten to remind us
of our great call to preserve our cultural heritage.
Yes there was a time when we gave thanks.
For the abundant rains,
and promised the gods to practice
our beautiful culture and do as our forefathers did,
when we held high respect for the dead
and even consulted them.
when blessings of the great ancestors were paramount.
Do you remember those times?
blacksmiths sharpened their tools and worked all day
with sweat on their foreheads,
spears and shields were borne
to protect the community,
to dance utole.
I mean the times when men laughed
With all their hearts
and also their eyes
Not just their teeth.
That time when a visiting relative called for a celebration.
There was a time in this beautiful land of ours;
with the sun so bright,
the waters vast
and blue, under the green Unyama,
When everyone was a brother and everyone a sister
A time when every child was a daughter and son to everyone
Then again, when every adult male was a father
And every adult female, a mother.
Do you remember those times…?
I said, there was a time.