NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2015 Volume 15.2 - Page 10

“Obowie Mama,” I greet her, genuflecting. “Itohan, woye-ena?” Her voice seems far away. “I am fine Mama.” The short man, though young-looking is obviously Ohenlen, the priest. He says we should move further down the bush path along the river bank. Fresh izobo of earthen pots, broken calabashes, pieces of red and white clothes, native white chalks, severed heads of goats and chicken fill both side of our path. I am shivering as we move further into the damp bush. We finally settle at a spot away from the foot path, where the river touches our feet. “This place will do. Move closer here and pull down your wrapper. Who will stand for you?” Ohenlen asks. I don’t understand what he means, so I look towards Matron who suggested we come here in the first place. She did not tell me I have to bring a surety. She smiles and steps forward, still clutching her handbag close to her chest. “I will stand for her, she is my daughter; her mother that would have been here today has left us for the great beyond.” “Ok, that is very good then, no difference between the snail and it’s shell. I know you have good head and your luck will follow her to the white man’s land and anything she touches will prosper and she will never forget what you have done for her this day.” I say thank you to Matron again and again for standing for me. 8 “Where is the sacrifice?” The chick I brought is awake and