Leo Frabenias It was the anthropologist who recorded and brought to us the stories and tales of Africa. Inside Cordofan fairy tale, Published by Adelphi and translated by Umberto Cola, you can find the most interesting part of the stories collected by Frobenius in 1912, in one of his expeditions. All the fables in this book have been reported by the anthropologist as faithfully as possible, while maintaining the characteristic narrative tension of the oral story. Many of these stories are confusing, they hurt deeply and yet we don’t know why, we are speechless. There is a world of hidden archetypes that affects all of us; This is what Leo Frobenius wanted to demonstrate. The barbarians of Africa are the primitive people who live there and we don’t want to admit it. We are extremely indebted to the ethnographer, who has contributed to dispelling prejudices against African culture, bringing an incredible wealth of stories and traditions to the world of whites.
There’s a fairy tale that particularly struck me, the title “Gratitude to Moses”, Where help and relief themes are addressed. Moses was a strong and wealthy man, so rich and powerful that his fame spread beyond the borders of the region where he lived. Moses was fierce and fearless, so much so that he would kill wild animals like lions with his bare hands and bring them back to their homes to reduce their captivity and gather them in his “seriba”. A kind of enclosure for animals. One day the population of the village, where Musa lived, now frightened by all the ferocious creatures in the enclosure, told Musa to move his property and livestock to a more distant and isolated place, so as not to be disturbed. The spirit of the inhabitants.
Then Moses went to the desert with his wife and children and all the animals in the field. Not long after this, when Musa was out hunting, the assailants came to his house and took away the cattle and killed everyone, his wife and children. The master returned home and saw the terrible disaster; Now poor and with nothing left, he decides to look for some village in the desert. Moses leads a very adventurous life, once he is trapped by an elephant, then he is taken prisoner and forced to flee from his cellmate; At a certain point Moses finds himself tired but free, wandering in the desert and, without asking anything to fate, accepting his terms.
At one point he arrives at a village inhabited by a rich and highly respected Arab who is well-liked by the locals. Wealthy Arabs take Moses as their slave and rule him over his Seriba. Seeing that Musa was always devoted, reprehensible and very good at managing his cattle, he decided to reward him and marry his sister. In all these times the son of Arabia was always his property; One night the boy returns to his father’s house and Musa, always alert and hardworking, thinks he is a thief and kills him. The next morning, the Arab gathered the villagers and, to avoid clashes, brought a hundred cows to kill his son, making sure it was one of them. These one hundred cows will then be given to Moses; He will be left with his wife, his wife, to build his house on another land.
Moses leaves, the cow becomes pregnant, and his wife becomes rich and frightened again. A few years later, when Musa’s child grows up and becomes strong and the son of an Arab killed, Musa decides to send him a letter to his uncle where he confesses to his son’s unintentional murder and proposes to his son. An exchange; A Death for a Death The Arab was, of course, a merciful man, who killed his nephew, filled him with gifts, and sent him back to Moses. Some time later the Arab goes to see Musa and his sister on their farm; And here an incredible thing happens, thanks to Moses. At night, while everyone was sleeping, the hijackers attacked the Arabs and Musa saved his life; But Musa got on his horse and chased the Arab who was returning home, trying to kill him. “Wait for me You’ve always done me good, and so much more that I can’t let you live anymore. I have to kill you!Musa says in Arabic, “If I have done no wrong to you, why do you want to kill me?” I would not have rewarded you if I had worked for you all my life. So I can’t see you anymore. I have to kill you for that. “. The story does not end there, but it is not necessary to end with the many flavors that you can illuminate yourself.
Moses’ gratitude is for the man who is saved without asking for anything, Moses was never really helped because he never asked for help. Excessive charity therefore becomes a violent act, it has no sweetness and gratitude is absolutely not necessary. The fact that Moses was a caring and hardworking slave does not make him a reason to raise and marry an Arab sister. Moses accepts his condition, he is not a man who escapes from his destiny as happy as poverty, he simply complains and accepts whatever fate brings him as a gift without any request for help. So what the Arabs do is not to help Moses, but to help him. The difference is that the basic, in fact, assistance given to people in critical situations who are unable to seek it, is a completely unilateral step, not requested and imposed. Helping someone on the other hand means a complex structure of two forces to solve a problem. Moses has only been rescued and his anger, his seemingly false gratitude, instead of proof of freedom of action which has been taken away from him as a priority, without the possibility of an answer. Musa is stripped of his responsibilities by the Arabs, placed in a corner, and dragged into the will of another who believes he is doing him a favor.
The Arab does not do any good, he does it only for himself, for the satisfaction of his ego. In this way everyone will see him as glorious and merciful, although in reality, despite having good intentions, the result is a good deed which is not necessary, undesirable and therefore not even recognized.
This myth teaches us the profound difference that exists between helping and rescuing, with violence it shows us how much better what is not needed still needs to be killed and buried. Too good is nothing more than an extra, it disables the other to live independently, disinfecting every emotion. Even trying to accept one’s conditions and difficulties. Cordofan’s stories bring us an important lesson: to leave the opportunity to seek help from another person. Let us stop with all these charities, when we are told we give of ourselves, being a good benefactor only makes us beautiful and devalues others.