Yoruba legend recounted by Babalosha (Priest) Temujin Ekunfeo.)
many west and west central African cultures, the African grey
parrot is considered sacred. . ."
to a legend from my ancestral culture the Yoruba people of South Western
Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, the Republic of Togo and Ghana, the
African grey parrot which is known as Odide was not always grey, nor
did it always have red tail feathers.
decided to have a contest to see which bird had the most beautiful
feathers so all the birds in the world began preparing themselves.
They sought to improve their beauty by adding things to themselves
or trying to enhance their colors. At that time the Odide, which was
white in color, made no preparations at all. This caused the other
birds to wonder, why were they working so hard and why Odide was doing
nothing at all. All of the other birds began to worry. They were afraid
that if Odide entered the contest they would all lose. So, all the
other birds got together and decided to spoil Odide's natural beauty.
They first tried to spoil Odide's beauty by dumping ashes on it as
it flew through the trees. This did not seem to have any effect. Next
the other birds went to the Sorcerer to get an evil charm which would
turn the Odide's tail feathers red. The other birds were quite sure
that the Odide would not enter the contest now, since they had spoiled
its natural beauty.
the day of the beauty contest the Odide entered any way in spite of
all that had been done to it. Much to the surprise of the other birds,
God awarded the prize to the Odide because it came to the contest
even though so much harm had been done to it. God said that the Odide
was indeed the most beautiful bird, because true beauty is on the
many west and west central African cultures the African grey parrot
is considered sacred and its tail feathers are a symbol of or an emblem
of royalty. When Kings and Queens are crowned and members of the priesthood
ordained at least one tail feather from the African grey must either
be in the crown or some where on the person being crowned or ordained.
This is done to remind them that true beauty comes from within.
tail feathers may be sent to: Temujin Ekunfeo, 505 Gearing Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15210.
legend is included on this web site with permission of Temujin the
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