Salia Koroma: More Than She Bargained For
I shall be writing a post on Salia Koroma and his spoken introductions. For today, though, I’ll limit myself to a specific introduction to a particular song.
The song here is Kpomuma-Jekele. I’ve three versions of this song, one of them without an introduction. In my opinion both introductions are superfluous, as the song (s) by itself/themselves tell the story quite well. In the introduction I’ve posted, it’s a simple story of a middle-aged wife who gets more than she bargained for when she seeks a co-wife and helper in a young girl. The other introduction presents a story of jealousy.
Kpomuma-Jekele, the sobriquet that the older woman gives the girl, refers to the manner in which the latter sits on the log bench at the farm hut. (Jekele is an adverb that can be roughly translated as daintily. Kpomu is a name specific to a log bench at a farm hut. Ma is a postposition, as we don’t talk about prepositions but postpositions in Mende.) My translation of the title has placed the emphasis on the character of the girl rather than on how she sat.