Two Brothers and the Gesges, as told by Rosemary Tohielats

We are introduced to the gesges in this story; a small, mischievous being who, like the mdualih, lives in the bush. He is described as grotesque, dirty, and wrinkled, with stringy hair, long fingernails and toenails, dreadlocks, and big eyes. In this story two orphan brothers, who live alone, go hunting.

The older brother, Bereo, kills a pig and leaves his younger brother, Ulu, to watch over it cooking while he goes in search of another. A gesges smells the cooking pig and manipulates Ulu into giving him piece after piece of cooked pig until Ulu becomes so angry and afraid that he retrieves the remaining parts of the pig from the stone oven and calls out to his brother; his repetitive calling out constituting the story’s song.

Finally Bereo arrives, but not before the gesges has consumed the remaining parts of the pig. Bereo saves his brother and the gesges meets his deserved end. The brothers celebrate with a feast, the narrator locating herself at the feast and then giving the head of the pig from this feast to the next storyteller.

Go to top