THE LUNGA MYTH – The story of LUNGA: “The Man Who Went to Heaven Alive”.
Lunga was a member of the Boo Ngala family of Luh village in Dunga- Mantung Division. Other members of the family today live in Ma- ngi a quarter in Njap village, Taku and other parts of the Division.
In time immemorial, the Boo- Ngala family was struck by a series of mysterious deaths that almost decimated the whole family. The situation beat the imagination of Lunga who was a traditional drummer and folk singer with dreaded mystical powers.
One fine morning after the death of another relative, Lunga took his traditional hunting spears, his small armpit drum (gaga) and a scabbard which he hung across his shoulder. He passed a twine around his waist to support the piece of cloth that covered his manhood in front and formed a foxtail behind.
He then began to sing about the mystery of life and death and wondering aloud where one could go to escape from death. Lunga danced alone to the rhythm of his armpit drum to the utter surprise of onlookers who came to condole with the family. Within the twinkle of an eye he was air-borne with all his traditional paraphernalia and soon disappeared into the cloud.
Lunga is said to have landed in heaven to escape from the many deaths on earth and also to ask God why so many people were dying especially in his family. But unfortunately, he only met God’s children in Heaven who told him that God had gone to condole with a bereaved family. Lunga was surprised that death also exists in heaven and decided to return to the earth.
He decided to drop by a long rope which he asked God’s children to hold. He told them to only leave the rope when he landed on the ground and shoke the rope. But on his way down, he passed through a wind-storm which shoke the rope as if he had already landed. The children of God let hold of the rope and Lunga crashed-landed on a stone.
His large footprint and the fading marks of the spears and the armpit drum are still visible on the stone today. The footprint is known as `Ku Lunga’ (Lunga’s footprint).
Shortly after landing on the stone, Lunga transformed himself into a large ram which ran passed their compound to a winding section of River Mbim in Luh. Here, it transformed itself into a water hydra and was living in the slow deep water.
Before the villagers could come to terms with the Lunga mysteries, another incident occurred. A nursing mother who went down the river to fetch water was slaughtered by the Lunga hydra.
As the sad news spread round the village like wild fire, the most dreaded witch-doctors of Luh came out with their talisman and bags of amulet and chased Lunga out of the river.
At that moment, the hydra could only be seen by witch doctors and people with “four eyes”. The chase was a dreadful one towards the borders with neighbouring Taku village.
As soon as Lunga crossed the village boundary, the witch doctors from Luh returned home. Meanwhile a certain Pa Nyabvuh from Taku welcomed Lunga with a large cock. It was given refuge in the sacred forest known as Nchirtu and warned never to cause any problem again.
Lunga’s life and activities in the Nchirtu is the subject of the next investigation.
LUNGA AND LUH FOLK SONGS
Ever since the life and mysteries of Lunga, his name became an integral part of Luh oral literature. The story of Lunga is common theme that runs through most of the Wimbum folk songs that originated from Luh.
For example “Lunga am koh mbi bu ntee…” is a master piece of the Rkongni Dance of Luh village in Donga- Mantung Division.
Most of these songs have been exported to other Wimbum villages of Donga- Mantung Division.
AUTHOR: © Mr. Websi Samson. An extract from the ‘KU’ LUNGA news letter Archives. Published 2004.
Electronically retrieved from a Facebook post by Tandap Charles on the WIBBUM HERALD Fb page. February 23, 2015 Click HERE for Source Post .