The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa

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The family of the young woman who had died heard about Kwasi Benefo's grief. They said, "He is suffering too much. This man loved our daughter. Let us give him another wife. They said to him, "One must grieve, yes, but you cannot give your life to it. We have another daughter, she will make a good wife for you.

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Take her. This way you will not be alone. What is past is past, one cannot go there anymore. What a man has loved is in his heart, it does not go away. Let the dead live with the dead, and the living with the living. Just as with the Bantu, the Ashanti believe that the dead inhabit a world that is a mirror image of the world of the living, only underground; in this world, death happens in stages over several generations. As long as the name of a departed ancestor can be called, that ancestor is not dead in some final sense of the word.

These unseen ancestors called nsamanfo in Akan can, then, be forces in the lives of the living, and in dreams or states of deep reverie, the spirit of a living individual sunsum can convene with these nsamanfo. Kwasi Benefo felt the presence of his wife who had passed into the world of the ancestors: "Now, how can I take another wife when the one who has died calls to me? But in time it will be different. The two were wedded, and she bore a fine son whose birth was feted throughout Kwasi Benefo's village.

Then darkness covered his spirit. He said, "Is there something left unspoken? She sat beneath the tree to rest. A spirit of the woods weakened the roots, and the tree fell on her. He went to his house. His wife lay upon her mat without life in her body. Kwasi Benefo cried out. He threw himself on the ground and lay there as if life had departed from him also. He heard nothing, felt nothing. People said, "Kwasi Benefo is dead.

They said, "No, he is not dead. He lingers between here and there. They revived him. He stood up. He made the arrangements that were necessary.

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There was a wake, and the next day his wife was buried in her amoasie and beads. After this Kwasi Benefo plunged into deep despair. What evil fate had visited his life?

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What woman would want to be married to him? What family would entrust their daughter to him? Even his friends began to look at him with suspicion. His cattle, his crops, even his son--what meaning did they have for him after all this tragedy and loss? He abandoned his house, he abandoned his farm.

He carried his son to the place where his wife's family lived and left him there. He went out into the bush. He walked for many days, not caring where he was. He arrived at a distant village, but he departed from it at once and went deeper into the bush. At last, at a wild place, he stopped. He said, "This place, far from people, I will stay here. He gathered roots and seeds to eat. He made traps for small game. Thus he lived.

The Hero with an African Face

His clothing turned to rags, and he began to wear the skins of animals. In time he almost forgot that his name was Kwasi Benefo and that he had once been a prosperous farmer. His life was wretched, but he did not care. This is the way it was with Kwasi Benefo.

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These were the "forest years" of Kwasi Benefo's self-enforced exile. This earnest man has misread the signposts of his life, interpreting his great pain and suffering as a direction to quit the world, renounce all material possessions, and retreat to the life of an ascetic recluse. But this hero's journey does not end here: After several years passed, Kwasi Benefo reemerged from his forest seclusion and traveled to a distant village where he was unknown; there he began to farm again and married for a fourth time.

But when his fourth wife fell ill and died, Kwasi Benefo's will was broken. People were surprised because they had thought he was dead.

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The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa [Clyde W. Ford] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this remarkable. The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa [Clyde W. Ford] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. "Discovering a deeply.

His family and his friends gathered to celebrate his return, but Kwasi Benefo said, "No, there is to be no celebration. I have come back only to die in my own village and be buried here near the graves of my ancestors. One night as he lay sleepless, the thought came to him that he should go to Asamando, the land of the dead, and see the four young women who had shared his life. He arose. He went out of his house and departed from his village. He went to the forest place called Nsamandow, where the dead were buried.

He reached it; he went on. There were no paths to follow. There was no light. All was darkness. He passed through the forest and came to a place of dim light.


Dr Clyde W Ford. Self-revelation itself can cause us to suffer--it is not always easy to learn how we may have contributed to our own pain; it may be difficult admitting what we must do to change. Drawing inspiration from the past in order to greet. Kwasi Benefo said, "Yes, living is worthwhile. From Uganda we learn of the legendary Kintu, who won the love of a goddess and created a nation from a handful of isolated clans. New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1. Here is the story of a hero whose quest is motivated out of love, suffering, and great compassion: A young man was living among the Ashanti.

No one was living there. There were no sounds in the air. No voices of people, no birds, no animals broke the stillness. Kwasi Benefo went on, until he came at last to a river. He tried to ford the river, but he could not do it, for the water was too deep and it was running too fast. He thought, "Here my journey comes to an end. Here, too, we should hasten to understand this myth in symbolic terms, for like the underworld, forests are symbolic of the human unconscious, and so the myth points to the inward journey beyond the pain and suffering of human life.

Unsure of how to continue on his path, Kwasi Benefo sits by the river's edge--the first great threshold of this African hero's adventure. On the far shore is the object of his quest, but to get there he must first find a way to cross over. At this moment he felt the splash of water on his face, and he looked up. Sitting on the far bank was an old woman with a brass pan at her side.

source link The pan was full of women's loincloths and beads. By this sign, Kwasi Benefo knew her to be Amokye, the person who welcomed the souls of dead women to Asamando, and took from each of them her amoasie and beads. This was why women prepared for burial were dressed as they were, so that each could give her amoasie and beads to Amokye at the river crossing. Amokye said to Kwasi Benefo, "Why are you here?

I cannot live any longer, because every woman who stays in my house, death takes her. Your click lost a money that this link could n't tell.