Folktales are said to be fictitious and totally lack truth in them. They are just moral stories usually set in imaginary lands where impossibilities are made possible, and their aim is to impact morals and positive values in people especially in children.
There is no country in the world where folktale is unknown. It is the easiest way to give advice and the person being advised does not feel bored. Folktales are not foreign in my country Nigeria especially my tribe - Igbo. Obaledo is a fictional tale that advices women on the risks of marrying or befriending men who are strangers simply because they find them attractive.
It tells the story of a beautiful young maiden Obaledo who was born in a time when spirits roamed freely among men. Lots of men in the community found her attractive and so made marriage proposals. But because she was too proud and was unwilling to submit herself and her beauty to any man, she insulted and rejected them all. According to her, they were too ugly to meet her beauty standards. She had her own definition of a perfectly handsome man.
Her parents adviced her to pick a man from all of her suitors but she refused. Her beauty was not to be given away to common people. Her fame and beauty spread across the land.
At that time, there was a spirit in the form of a skull who roamed the land of the living. He heard about the beauty and pride of Obaledo and swore to marry her so as to teach her a lesson. So he went to different places in the world and borrowed body parts from different people. After he became as complete as a human, he went in search of Obaledo to take her as a wife. Obaledo did not waste time in accepting him because he was the most perfect man she had ever seen.
Her parents kicked against the marriage. According to them, a woman should not marry a stranger she knows nothing about. Obaledo was too stubborn to pay attention to their advice so she went ahead to marry the spirit skull in human disguise.
After the marriage, Obaledo followed her husband home. The journey was too long but she didn't mind. Even when they walked through a forest, Al she could tell herself was not to worry because she was in the company of a handsome husband. Her husband took her to an abandoned hut in the middle of the forest and kept her there. His mother who was also a spirit lived there. She was nice and welcoming to Obaledo but Obaledo was frightened to see a woman walking with her head on the ground. It was when she looked back that she realized her husband had turned into a skull. She was frightened and tried to run away but was unsuccessful. The spirit Skull cursed her to be ugly for trying to run away from him.
From that moment on, he made the now ugly Obaledo a slave to himself and other Spirits. The only spirit who was kind to her was the spirit Skull's mother. She was so nice to Obaledo that when she realized the poor girl has learnt her lesson not to be proud again,she helped her escape from the spirit world.
When Obaledo came back to her family, they were happy and accepted her even with her now ugly face. She stopped being proud but could not find a husband as all the men that wanted to marry her before now found her ugly. She was only able to marry after her father found a husband for her.
Thanks for reading.
Lead image downloaded from Google