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Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story - Culture - Nairaland

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Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Ishilove: 5:08pm On Sep 08
I am a dog lover and owner, and having lived with them for over twenty years, I am able to read them almost 100% accurately. This is why I found this article I will be posting below delightfully fascinating. A Facebook user and member of the private Facebook group, The Nigerian Nostalgia 1960 -1980 Project David Fatumbi narrated an interesting story about Ulli Beier's experience with his dog and a dog eating Oya priest.

The following fascinating story has historical, anthropological, sociological, religious, and cultural value. It is also, from a narrative style perspective, an excellent example of how to tell a story.

DOG MAGIC AND YORUBA HUNTERS, by Ulli Beier* (1975). Subheadings by me.

“Yoruba dogs are relatively short-legged (like their goats), but attractive and intelligent. When living in Osogbo we bred several generations of them. They tended to be excessively affectionate and attached – as if generations of ‘formal’ relationship with man made them absurdly susceptible to our (European) kind of dog handling and sentimentality. Yet I began to learn soon that compared to Yoruba hunters I understood very little about the mind of dogs.

The purpose of this article is to relate two incidents that happened with my dogs, which appear to demonstrate the extraordinary power of hunters over dogs. I should like to make clear that I have no explanation to offer for either of the two events, and I merely want to record faithfully what I saw and experienced. Both incidents happened in Osogbo in the early 1960s.

Tantolorun and the Elderly Priest of Oya

Tantolorun was probably the most beautiful and sensitive dog we ever had living in our house. She was a very sensitive and very gentle dog. She had never shown the slightest aggressiveness, not even when she had pups. But there was one person at whom she growled threateningly every time he entered the house. He was an elderly priest of Oya, who seemed to have lost his following, and at whose shrine little or no activity went on. He was, however, a very knowledgeable man and we enjoyed talking to him. He passed our house often and usually dropped in for a few minutes to sit down on our veranda to relax. Tantolorun grew more aggressive towards him as time went on. She not only growled, but barked wildly at him and had to be shut up in a room while the man was around. Her behaviour was inexplicable, but it began to irritate the man more and more, and he threatened not to visit us any more unless we could manage to control the dog.

What Explains the Attack by Tantolorun?
Some of our friends offered an explanation: they said that the priest liked to eat dog meat, and that because of this he often performed the annual sacrifice for a group of Ogun worshippers in Osogbo. They suggested that the dog sensed his perverse attitude to dogs and that her uncontrollable anger stemmed from that. Whatever the real cause, we could not control her and our friend became more and more annoyed. He finally declared he was not going to enter our house again. Much though we regretted the situation, there was nothing we could do about it.

The Elderly Priest of Oya Takes Action Against Tantolorun
Unfortunately, however, the incident was not closed. Tantolorun seemed to hate the old man so much, that even when he was passing our house on the street, she would rush out and bark at him, pursuing him a few yards down the street. One day she even started to tug at his long flowing agbada with her teeth. Infuriated, the priest shouted that if the dog did it again, he would have to ‘put medicine’ on her. The very next day the dog rushed out again and this time the priest turned round, speaking incantations at her. The effect was curious. The dog cringed and withdrew. She tried to bark, but could not. She appeared to have lost her voice. He followed her back to the house and said: “This is nothing. It is just to show you that I am serious. If she does it again tomorrow, I will really have to use some strong words.” He left angrily.

Tantolorun Pays A Heavy Price
Unfortunately, the dog did not understand the warning. She had recovered from her strange state soon after the old man left. The very next day she rushed out again barking and tried to grab the priest’s agbada. Angrily, the priest turned and spoke his incantations. The dog fled back into the house. But this time she did not recover. Instead she behaved in the most frightening manner. She rolled her eyes, snarled at everybody and foam appeared in her mouth. We could not be sure that she had not developed rabies. Even if it weren’t so, it was obvious that in her present mood she would sooner or later attack people. She did not appear to recognize any of us. We quickly evacuated all the people from the house. There were usually a dozen children playing on the ground floor. Then we locked her into the house, and I went to my old friend, the Oluode, the head of the hunters, to ask for help.

The Oluode (the chief of the hunters) Intervenes
I thought we would have to shoot the dog. She may have rabies, I said, and we cannot afford this kind of risk. But the Oluode first wanted to know how it had happened. When he heard the name of the man who had cursed the dog, he simply laughed: “What, him? He doesn’t know anything! He is a mere child in these matters. Don’t worry. I’ll know what to do. Come, let’s go to your house.”

When we reached the house, he took the key, asked me to remain outside, and entered. There was not a sound coming from within. After about ten minutes, the Oluode came out of the house, laughing. The dog followed him, wagging her tail as if nothing had happened.
Tantolorun had no recurrence of her strange behaviour. For a couple of weeks the old priest avoided our house, but when he passed by again, Tantolorun had lost interest in him. I have no explanation. The Oluode said he did not give the dog anything to eat, that all he used was incantations."

Credit: The Hunter Thinks The Monkey Is Not Wise- The Monkey Is Wise, But He Has His Own Logic , Essays by Ulli Beier edited by Wole Ogundele (Bayreuth African Studies 59, 2001). HT Mr. Biyi Bandele.

*Horst Ulrich Beier, known as Ulli Beier (30 July 1922 – 3 April 2011), was a German Jewish editor, writer, and scholar, who had a pioneering role in developing literature, drama and poetry in Nigeria, as well as literature, drama and poetry in Papua New Guinea. (Wikipedia). Jewish by ancestry, Mr. Beier was Nigerian, by choice and inclination, an ọmọlúwàbí.
https://web.facebook.com/groups/nigeriannostalgiaproject/posts/6430705176970210/

Picture 1. A Yorùbá hunter.

Credit: The Yoruba From Prehistory to the Present by Aribidesi Usman andToyin Falola.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Picture 2. A Yorùbá priest. June 1972.

Credit: John Pemberton III/ https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/topic-essays/show/16

Picture 3. A local dog breed.

Credit: Nairaland.

Picture 4. Ulli Beir and the Ataoja (king) of Osogbo, S.A. Adenle I, admiring an aluminum panel by Asiru Olatunde, donated to His Highness by Professor Beier in the early l960’s at Ataoja’s Palace, Osogbo.

Credit: Mr. Tola Adenle/ https://www.google.com/.../ulli-beier-artists-patron.../amp/

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Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Emilokoiyawon: 5:15pm On Sep 08
shocked shocked shocked

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by FreeStuffsNG: 5:20pm On Sep 08
Very interesting. Those incantations can be learnt too but mostly now being used to invoke the potency in nature's gifts and elements and entertainment role play in Yoruba films/theatre.
This account and its sequence are credible .

Lol @ Prof Uli Beier declaring Tantolorun ( No one is as Great as God) as being rabid after it was charmed.

Thanks OP for sharing . Late Prof Beier was the one who brought his wife , Susanne Wenger ,his ex-wife later became "Adunni Olorisa" of the Osun Sacred Grove Priestess.
FreeStuffsNG

51 Likes 6 Shares

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by lilvicky68(m): 5:34pm On Sep 08
All these for bingo aka Ekuke??

Smh

9 Likes 1 Share

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Ishilove: 5:34pm On Sep 08
I have a very mild mannered dog that is more of a pet than a guard. He allows visitors into my home freely without molesting them, however, there is this electrician that comes to fix things, and whenever my dog sights him, he is transformed to a growling, bristling furball with sharp teeth. He goes crazy and barks non-stop till the guy leaves. I later learned the guy eats dogs, which is why my gentle, tiny pet cannot stand the sight of him. These animals can sense things that most humans can't.

Keep calling them 'pepper soup' o, you hear? Let them catch you first grin

86 Likes 6 Shares

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by pocohantas(f): 5:59pm On Sep 08
Ishilove:
I have a very mild mannered dog that is more of a pet than a guard. He allows visitors into my home freely without molesting them, however, there is this electrician that comes to fix things, and whenever my dog sights him, he is transformed to a growling, bristling furball with sharp teeth. He goes crazy and barks non-stop till the guy leaves. I later learned the guy eats dogs, which is why my gentle, tiny pet cannot stand the sight of him. These animals can sense things that most humans can't.

Keep calling them 'pepper soup' o, you hear? Let them catch you first grin

That silly one around me ehn, he has this particularly girl he dislikes so much. She lives in the BQ. Do you know this dog would go to the front of her room to wait for her? Isn’t that bullying?

Ishi what do you think of landlords owning dogs and expecting all tenants to accept their dogs?

31 Likes 1 Share

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Ishilove: 6:06pm On Sep 08
pocohantas:


That silly one around me ehn, he has this particularly girl he dislikes so much. She lives in the BQ. Do you know this dog would go to the front of her room to wait for her? Isn’t that bullying?
How is it bullying? There is something that the dog is sensing that makes it detest this girl you're talkiing about. My Rott who was killed by poison knew the person who killed him and used to be friendly with him before suddenly turning against the fellow. When you waka yeye waka and pick up negativity along the way, the sensitive animals around will pick it up and react.


Ishi what do you think of landlords owning dogs and expecting all tenants to accept their dogs?
Now this one is the real bullying cheesy

15 Likes 1 Share

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Ishilove: 6:07pm On Sep 08
FreeStuffsNG:
Very interesting. Those incantations can be leant too but mostly now been used to invoke the potency in nature's gifts and elements and entertainment role play in Yoruba films/theatre.
This account and its sequence are credible . Lol @ Prof Uli Beier declaring Tantolorun ( No one is as Great as God) as being rabid after it was charmed.
Thanks OP for sharing . Late Prof Beier was the one who brought his wife , Susanne Yorubaland ,his ex-wife later became "Adunni Olorisa" of the Osun Sacred Grove Priestess
You mean 'Wenger'?

4 Likes

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Kondomatic(m): 7:13pm On Sep 08
Ishilove:
I have a very mild mannered dog that is more of a pet than a guard. He allows visitors into my home freely without molesting them, however, there is this electrician that comes to fix things, and whenever my dog sights him, he is transformed to a growling, bristling furball with sharp teeth. He goes crazy and barks non-stop till the guy leaves. I later learned the guy eats dogs, which is why my gentle, tiny pet cannot stand the sight of him. These animals can sense things that most humans can't.

Keep calling them 'pepper soup' o, you hear? Let them catch you first grin
There was a day I went to deliver something somewhere and saw about 7 - 10 dogs giving a man on a bike a hot chase.

They were all barking.


The road was bad so the man couldn't speed up his bike and the dogs were gaining on him grin

He too started shouting.

It was a funny sight.

Learned later that he sells dog pepper soup

117 Likes 9 Shares

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Pussyassasin: 7:20pm On Sep 08
I remember the day I went to get my cigarettes. saw a one ekuku dog running towards me based on real niggar status I kept walking... lo and below the dog was about 5 inches away from me when I started running at lightspeed grin.

60 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Ishilove: 8:02pm On Sep 08
Kondomatic:
There was a day I went to deliver something somewhere and saw about 7 - 10 dogs giving a man on a bike a hot chase.

They were all barking.


The road was bad so the man couldn't speed up his bike and the dogs were gaining on him grin

He too started shouting.

It was a funny sight.

Learned later that he sells dog pepper soup
No wonder. cheesy If you eat dogs, you are automatically their enemy.

26 Likes 1 Share

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by SkengRay(m): 8:37pm On Sep 08
Ishilove:
I have a very mild mannered dog that is more of a pet than a guard. He allows visitors into my home freely without molesting them, however, there is this electrician that comes to fix things, and whenever my dog sights him, he is transformed to a growling, bristling furball with sharp teeth. He goes crazy and barks non-stop till the guy leaves. I later learned the guy eats dogs, which is why my gentle, tiny pet cannot stand the sight of him. These animals can sense things that most humans can't.

Keep calling them 'pepper soup' o, you hear? Let them catch you first grin

5 Likes

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by siofra(f): 11:06pm On Sep 08
Our neighbour has a useless ekuke dog angry

This mumu dog has a very short memory, today it will be your friend, tomorrow it will bark at you like it never knew you.

58 Likes

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by illicit(m): 4:23am On Sep 09
I eat dog meat, I have dogs

They lick my hands anytime I eat dog meat

15 Likes

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by BluntCrazeMan: 5:33am On Sep 09
illicit:
I eat dog meat, I have dogs

They lick my hands anytime I eat dog meat
What type of dogs do you have??

1 Like

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by illicit(m): 6:55am On Sep 09
BluntCrazeMan:
What type of dogs do you have??

A boerbol and a GSD

I eat local dogs

2 Likes

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Nobody: 6:30pm On Sep 09
Let me drop this here..

If you know you know

8 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Silentgroper(m): 6:57pm On Sep 09
MejiLoyon:
Let me drop this here..
If you know you know
Pukes

23 Likes 1 Share

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Ishilove: 7:28pm On Sep 09
MejiLoyon:
Let me drop this here..

If you know you know
This is so... I have no words embarassed angry

Uncle, dogs are adorable and eating them is akin to cannibalism. Please if you eat dogs I urge you to cease and desist so that they will allow you pass in peace anytime you get close to them.

11 Likes

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Abohboy: 8:19pm On Sep 09
This just shows our understanding of nature and animals and now a lot of the power we previously held is gone with no evidence of existence because of these stupid foreign cultures and religions I wish we took their technology and not their social norms and religions

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Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Ishilove: 9:44pm On Sep 09
Abohboy:
This just shows our understanding of nature and animals and now a lot of the power we previously held is gone with no evidence of existence because of these stupid foreign cultures and religions I wish we took their technology and not their social norms and religions
There are certain esoteric arts still being practiced, like the art of animal remote control

9 Likes

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Abohboy: 10:19pm On Sep 09
Ishilove:

There are certain esoteric arts still being practiced, like the art of animal remote control

Can you please bring more examples

1 Like

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by SimplyFacts: 10:08am On Sep 11
But this time she did not recover. Instead she behaved in the most frightening manner. She rolled her eyes, snarled at everybody and foam appeared in her mouth. We could not be sure that she had not developed rabies. Even if it weren’t so, it was obvious that in her present mood she would sooner or later attack people

You sure say no be 'ifun okete' he give am chop? tongue

I no dey chop dog-meats, but three ekuke don chase me enter river before. I was lucky there were some people close by, I for no know NL at all. grin

9 Likes 1 Share

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Timagex(m): 6:04pm On Sep 11
Very nice and interesting read. This should make front page. cool grin





I remain your best plug for portraits and wedding photography services. cool

7 Likes

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Offpoint1: 3:16pm On Sep 14
Nothing to say
Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by Authoreety: 3:16pm On Sep 14
Fear dogs o.. Those animals an sense their eaters from afar

1 Like

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by pepetua(m): 3:16pm On Sep 14
Great

1 Like

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by JOACHINpedro: 3:16pm On Sep 14
I want a dog embarassed
Op help my ministry

1 Like

Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by JosephXavier(m): 3:16pm On Sep 14
But this write up is too long

I know it's educational but it would have been great if you had shortened it more
Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by bigdammyj: 3:16pm On Sep 14
Okay
Re: Dog Magic Of Yoruba Hunters- Ulli Beier's Story by bestman09(m): 3:16pm On Sep 14
grin
The most interesting thing is that dogs don't eat dog meat, no matter how you garnish it. I had personally tried to trick dogs with dog meat but immediately they smell it, they go away, unlike other animals eat their kind

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