How Spirits Guarded Kpademai

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Men tell a half-forgotten tale of a secret town called Kpademai. This town was founded by an accomplished warrior called Kpade, and thus its name means “Followers of Kpade.” It lay beside a sweet stream and belonged to the Bondo Loma Clan; they were careful not to let any stranger see it, lest it be attacked.

When anyone in Kpademai died his spirit was seen slowly climbing a nearby hill called Worler Gizi, dressed in his burial shroud; and the path which ascended the hill was kept in good repair by the spirits who lived there. These ancestral spirits were regarded with pious veneration by the townsfolk and return the spirits guarded the town and caused the fields to yield abundant crops.

One day a hunter from a hostile clan chanced to discover the secret town when hunting in the forest for black deer, and he reported to the council of his clan, saying the town was rich and the nearby lands were fair and fertile. The enemy clan resembled an army under the leadership of a great warrior named Tegrili and the army marched on Kpademai.

On the first day of the battle Tegrili was captured and put to death, but the fight wore on for several days until the spirit Worler Gizi seized and bound the hostile warriors, and killed them in such a dreadful way that the sweet-water stream turned to blood.

Thereafter Kpademai was left in peace and prospers still.

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