Mwina wa Chiza

 

1. K’ongowea ja mvumo, maangavu maji male. K’ongowea is like the roar (of breaking waves); with crystal clear deep water.[1]
Haitowi lililomo, Gongwa isingenyemele. It does not give what is inside; would that Gongwa were not so quiet.
Msiotambua ndumo, na utambaji wa kale, You who do not recognize (its) war-cries and (its) strategy of old,
Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambuli![2] It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it!
   
2. K’ongowea aridhi mbi, ukenda usijikule. K’ongowea is an evil land, if you enter do not put on airs/act boastfully.
Ina mambo t’umbitumbi, wajuvywa hawajuvile It has numerous affairs, (even) the well-informed do not know about them.
Mara huliona wimbi, lausha nyuma na mbele, Suddenly one sees a wave, it surges to and fro,
Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambuli! It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it!
   
3. Mteza na Nyali K’uu, kugeua mageule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes,
Humvundanga maguu, asende mwendo wa kule; It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far.
Akawa p’aka mnyau, mnyau p’aka mwele; He becomes a cat, a sick cat.
Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambuli! It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it!
   
4. Gongwa nda Mwana Mkisi, Mvita Mji wa Kale. Gongwa belongs to Mwana Mkisi, Mvita is an ancient city!
Usitupile viasi, ukenda enda kwa p’ole; Do not cross (its) borders, if you do go (there) go carefully.
Inika chako kikosi, maninga vyema sivule, Be humble (lit. bend down your neck), do not raise (your) eyes.
Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambule! It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it!
   
5. Mvita mji wa ndweo, ivumayo kwa k’elele, Mvita is a land of revelry (lit. “drunkenness”) that resounds with noise;
Ilikutile t’utio, p’anga za masimba wale. It has brandished quivering swords of the lions.
Haishi vingurumio, na kwangusha mwanzi mle. There is no end to the roaring and call to arms within.
Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambuli. It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it!

TJH translation is based on MHA 1979 and on discussions with MHA July 1999. The text follows Hichens (1940:15) while dental and aspiration diacritics follow MHA.  MHA in his text has utambaaji in verse (1) while Hichens (1940) has utambaji. The latter preserves the proper scansion of the line, and so I follow Hichens in his spelling.

[1] When mvumo is used figuratively, as it seems most likely here, it can mean “fame, renown, reputation”, thus an alternative figurative translation: Mombasa is renowned with deep and quiet water (i.e., it is inscrutable).  Of course Muyaka may be invoking both senses of the word.

[2] Sacleux (1939:1023) quotes this refrain, but instead of mbwi he gives mbi “evil”: Mwina wa chiza mbi, (Mombasa) c’est un 
abîme de profondes ténèbres.

MHA Translation

1. K’ongowea roars like the surf; though its deep waters are still and calm.
It does not reveal the great secret it holds, no wonder Gongwa is so placidly quiet.
You who cannot perceive the war-cries and the old strategy of the warriors—
This is an abyss of deep gloom (i.e. Mombasa) even those who are well-informed comprehend it not!
2. K’ongowea is a land full of spite, refrain from being haughty when you go therein.
It has innumerable affairs that could not be understood even by those who are informed.
Suddenly an overwhelming wave appears surging forwards and backwards,
This is an abyss of deep gloom, even those who are well-informed comprehend it not!
3. He who trifles with Nyali K’uu in order to change its status,
It smashes his legs so that he cannot walk far.
He becomes a grimalkin cat, a sickly grimalkin cat.
This is an abyss of deep gloom, even those who are well-informed comprehend it not!
4. Gongwa is the royal land of Mwana Mkisi, Mvita is a city of old!
Do not exceed the bounds, but tread warily therein.
Cast down your head, and do not look straight, with your eyes wide open—
This is an abyss of deep gloom, even those who are well-informed comprehend it not!
5. Mvita is a land of loud death-groans;
It has already brandished its long thin blades, swords of those lions.
There is always thunderous noise and cries of war.
This is an abyss of deep gloom, even those who are well-informed comprehend it not!

 

Msamiati

angavu                       [adj.]                            Bright, shining, crystal clear, etc. (TJH). Dead calm, shuwari na malenge (MHA). Bright, shining, luminous, radiant, clear, limpid; transparent (Knappert). Also see FJ: 1. bright, shining, luminous, radiant, polished, etc. 2. transparent, clear, as water, etc.; 3. fig. enlightened, clever, quick-witted (FJ). Clair, limpide, transparent, diaphane; qui laisse voir le fond (eau) Kongowea nda mvumo; 
Madyi maàngavu male, Mombasa est renommée;
 (Mais c’est une eau claire, profonde dont il faut se métier) (Sx). K’ongowea ja mvumo, maangavu maji male, K’ongowea is like the roar (of breaking waves); with crystal clear deep water (MY-Mwina). Note that MHA p. 143 also notes an equivalency between “calm water” and maji makuu “high tide, deep water”; he also quotes a proverb: maji male maangavu “still water runs deep”. It should be noted that water which is clear and transparent has also to be calm (TJH).

angusha mwanzi      [v. caus.]                      Archaic expression. Call to arms, lit. set off a cannon; see mwanzi bamboo; note English etymology: cannon < French canon < Italian canone ‘large tube’, canna ‘cane, reed’. Roseau en gén. au pr. et au fig. … Instrument de musique comme flute, flageolet, pipeau: de là l’emploi pour appeler aux armes de l’expression vieillie –angusha mwanzi à faire décrocher le sifflet de guerre, amener la guerre (Sx). Haishi vingurumio na kwangusha mwanzi mle. There is no end to the roaring and cry to arms within (MY-Mwina).

aridhi                         [n. 9/10]                      Land (MHA). See St. ardhi (FJ). K’ongowea aridhi mbi ukenda usijikule. K’ongowea is an evil land, if you enter do not put on airs/act boastfully (MY-Mwina).

chiza                           [n. 9/10]                      Darkness; palatalized variant of kiza. Also giza, see FJ (TJH). Gloom (MHA). Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambuli! It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it! (MY-Mwina).

geua mageule             [v. phase]                             Make changes, make innovations (TJH). Faire des innovations (Sx). Mteza na Nyali K’uu kugeua mageule, Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

Gongwa                      [n.]                              Mombasa, old name for (TJH). One of several sentimental names for the Swahili quarter of Mombasa Town; others are K’ongowea, Nyali K’uu, Mji wa Kale, and Nuhasi; a name also used in some parts of the northern coast (of Kenya) to refer to a city in which a ruling king or queen lived, or to a royal palace (MHA). Haitowi lililomo Gongwa, isingenyemele, It does not give what is inside, would that Gongwa were not so quiet. (MY-Mwina).

guea                            [v.t.]                             Change, alter, etc. (TJH). Change, make different, alter, but the Cs. geuza is generally used in this sense; (2) fig. treat with scorm, contempt, thrust aside, of persons, e.g. usinigeue, don’t treat me as though I were nobody (FJ). Mteza na Nyali K’uu kugeua mageule, Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

guu/ma-                      [n. 3/4]                        Leg, foot (TJH). See St. mguu/mi- (FJ). Mteza na Nyali K’uu kugeua mageule, Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

inika                           [v.i.]                             Give a downward direction to, etc.; listed under -ina (FJ). Cast down (MHA). Inika chako kikosi maninga vyema sivule, Be humble (lit. bend down your neck), do not raise (your) eyes (MY-Mwina).

ja                                 [adv.]                           Like, as. Archaïque, sans emploi dans le langage de la conversation. Comme (devant un subst.), semblablement à. Ana ugonjwa wa safura, amegeuka ja kinyonga, il a la jaunisse, il a changé comme un caméléleon. (Sx). K’ongowea ja mvumo, maangavu maji male,K’ongowea is like the roar (of breaking waves); (and its) water is deep and calm (MY-Mwina).

jikula                         [v. refl.]                       Be high and mighty, be arrogant, be haughty, be boastful (TJH). Be haughty (MHA). see St. -kua. -jikua not in FJ. En poésie on trouve le réfl. avec le sens de -jikuza; Mwendako msijikule, où que vous alliez, ne vous exaltez pas (Sx). K’ongowea aridhimbi ukenda usijikule, K’ongowea is an evil land, if you enter do not put on airs/act boastfully (MY-Mwina).

juva                            [v. i.]                            Know (TJH). Sx: < Siu. See St. –jua know. Ina mambo t’umbitumbi, wajuvywa hawajuvile. It has numerous affairs, (even) the well-informed do not know about them (MY-Mwina).

juvila                          [v. appl.]                      Know about (TJH). Sx: < Siu. See St. –jua know. See –juvya. Ina mambo t’umbitumbi, wajuvywa hawajuvile. It has numerous affairs, (even) the well-informed do not know about them (MY-Mwina).

juvya                          [v. caus.]                      Make known, inform, cause to know (TJH). Cf. -jua know xxx (FJ). Ina mambo t’umbitumbi, wajuvywa hawajuvile. It has numerous affairs, (even) the well-informed do not know about them (MY-Mwina).

K’ongowea                 [n.]                              Mombasa, archaic name for (TJH). One of several sentimental names for the Swahili quarter of Mombasa Town; others are Nyali K’uu, Gongwa, Mji wa Kale, and Nuhasi (MHA). Un ancien nom de la ville de Mombasa. K’ongowea nda mvumo Kongowea la célèbre (Sx). See –kongowea greet, salute, accost, but with excessive humility or show (FJ). K’ongowea is also the present-day name of an estate on the mainland just across the Kilifi Bridge on the right before reaching Kisauni which was owned and named Kongowea by a Swahili person from Old Town in memory of Muyaka; cf. kongoni ‘welcome’ (MHA); also –kongomana be joined, be assembled, meet together. K’ongowea ja mvumo, maangavu maji male,K’ongowea is like the roar (of breaking waves); (and its) water is deep and calm (MY-Mwina).

kiasi/vi-                      [n. 7/8]                        Boundary, border, confines, territory (TJH). Bounds (MHA). FJ only lists this as a singular n. and adv. Usitupile viasi ukenda enda kwa p’ole, Do not cross over (its) borders, if you do go (there) go carefully (MY-Mwina).

kikosi/vi-                   [n. 7/8]                        Back of neck, nape (FJ). Inika chako kikosi maninga vyema sivule, Be humble (lit. bend down your neck), do not raise (your) eyes (MY-Mwina).

kingurumio/vi-         [n. 7/8]                        Roar, loud, thunderous noise (TJH). Not in FJ, but see –nguruma make a rumbling or roaring noise. See –ngurumia ‘roar at’ (Sx). Haishi vingurumio na kwangusha mwanzi mle, There is no end to the roaring and call to arms within (MY-Mwina).

kula                            [v. i.]                            See St. –kua. See –jikula in this glossary. K’ongowea aridhimbi ukenda usijikule. K’ongowea is an evil land, if you enter do not put on airs/act boastfully (MY-Mwina)

le                                 [adj.]                            Deep, long, tall, high (TJH). Arch. Am etc. = –refu; le ~ –re (Sx). K’ongowea ja mvumo, maangavu maji male,K’ongowea is like the roar (of breaking waves); (and its) water is deep and calm (MY-Mwina).

mageule                      [n. 6]                           Changes, innovations, transformation (TJH). Status (MHA). See -geua mageule faire des innovations (Sx). Mteza na Nyali K’uu kugeua mageule, Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

mbi                             [adj. 9/10]                    Evil, bad, wicked (TJH). See –wi bad, etc. (Sx). K’ongowea aridhi mbi ukenda usijikule, K’ongowea is an evil land, if you enter do not put on airs/act boastfully (MY-Mwina).

mbwi                          [ideo.]                          Ideophone (MHA, p.c. 1999). An ideophone to emphasize the depth of something, or something falling into water (TJH). See chubwi, an ideophone for the sound made when something is dropped into water (Sarah Mirza, p.c. June 30, 2014). Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambuli! It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it! (MY-Mwina). Its use by Muyaka in this verse is meant to emphasize the deepness or possibly the unfathomable darkness of the hole.

mjuvywa/wa-             [n.1/2]                         Informed, sophisticated person, one who knows, someone in the know; see -juvywa ‘be made known’ < -juvya ‘make known’ < –juva ‘know’ (TJH). Cf. -jua know (FJ). Ina mambo t’umbitumbi, wajuvywa hawajuvile. It has numerous affairs, (even) the well-informed do not know about them (MY-Mwina).

mnyau/mi-                 [n. 3/14 an.]                 Cat (TJH). Grimalkin cat (MHA). (Mr. du N., Mv. Par emprunt au Digo, Samb., Bo., Zig., Kami, etc.) = Mr. du S., Mg, nyau). Chat (Sx). Akawa p’aka mnyau, mnyau p’aka mwele, He becomes a cat, a sick cat (MY-Mwina).

mtambuzwa/wa-       [n. 1/2]                        One told, one reminded, one well-informed (MHA). See –tambuzi clever, quick, intelligent, knowing, shrewd < –tambua recognize, etc. (FJ). Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambuli! It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it! (MY-Mwina). See mtambua/wa- & mtambuzi/wa- (1) a knowing, clever, well-informed, intelligent person; (2) one able to explain, interpret, fathom difficult problems, etc. (FJ). See –tambuzi adj. clever, quick, intelligent, knowing, shrewd; and utambuzi n. (FJ)

mteza/wa-                  [n. 3/4]                        One who plays, player (TJH). One who trifles with (MHA). Mteza na Nyali K’uu kugeua mageule, Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

mvumo/mi-                [n. 3/4]                        Roar (MHA); see FJ -vuma 1. usually of any low indistinct sound, i.e., roar, growl, rumble, hum, buzz, rustle, e.g. of wind, thunder, wild beasts, insects, drums, e.g. bahari inavuma, of the roaring of breakers on a reef (FJ). See Sx: Vuma n. Faire résonner comme unbruit de souffle de la tempête…; Fig. En parlant de qqn, faire du bruit, être bien famé, avoir du renom, être renommé ou estimé, illustre, cèlèbre, fameux, en honneur; avoir de la réputation, s’illustrer; être connu au loin.   K’ongowea ja mvumo, maangavu maji male,K’ongowea is like the roar (of breaking waves); (and its) water is deep and calm (MY-Mwina).

Mwana Mkisi            [n. 1/2]                        Reputed ancestral queen of Mvita (MHA). Gongwa nda Mwana Mkisi, Mvita Mji wa Kale, Gongwa belongs to Mwana Mkisi, Mvita is an ancient city! (MY-Mwina).

mwana/wa-                [n. 1/2]                        Lady (TJH). On retrouve encore mwana ‘dame’ en composé avec le nom d’anciennes reines restées célèbres, Mwana Aziza de Zanzibar, Mwana Mkisi de Mombasa, Mwana Masuru de Siyu (Sx). Gongwa nda Mwana Mkisi, Mvita Mji wa Kale, Gongwa belongs to Mwana Mkisi, Mvita is an ancient city (MY-Mwina).

mwanzi/mi-               [n. 3/4]                        Bamboo, hence any reed-like object: tube, pipe; mwanzi wa pua nostril, mwanzi wa bunduki gun barrel, etc. (FJ). See –angusha mwanzi. Haishi vingurumio na kwangusha mwanzi mle. There is no end to the roaring and call to arms within (MY-Mwina).

mwele/wa-                  [n. 1/2]                        Sick person (TJH). (Mv. = Am. G. mwee, Ngaz. 2. Mwade, Nz. 2. Muwade). Malade pl. wawele ou waele (Sx). Akawa p’aka mnyau, mnyau p’aka mwele, He becomes a cat, a sick cat (MY-Mwina).

mwina/mi-                 [n. 3/4 ~ 3/6]               Abyss, deeps waters, a deep place in the sea (MHA). Hole, deep place, pit (FJ). Fosse, trou en terre, shimo with plurals given as maina ~ mena (Sx). Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambuli! It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it! (MY-Mwina).

nda                             [cop.]                           Contraction of ni ya it is of, it is for. Crase pour ni ya c’est de, c’est à, avec extension aux locutions possessives ndangu, ndako, ndake, ndetu, ndenu, ndao. Ces forms sont plus usitées dans les Dial. Am. G. Ng. qu’ailleurs. Gongwa nda Mwana Mkisi, Mvita Mji wa Kale, Gongwa belongs to Mwana Mkisi, Mvita is an ancient city (MY-Mwina)

Ndeo                           [n. 9/10]                      See ndweo.

Ndevo                         [n. 9/10]                      G. See ndweo.

Ndreo                         [n. 9/10]                      Am. See ndweo.

ndumo                        [n. 9/10]                      War cry (MHA). Cri de guerre; cf. zumo < -luma (Sx). Not in FJ. Msiotambua ndumo na utambaji wa kale. You who do not recognize (its) war-cries and (its) strategy of old. (MY-Mwina).

ndweo                         [n. 9/10]                      Drunkenness, inebriation; revelry, elation, exhilaration; loudness, boisterous & raucous behavior — according to Sx principally used figuratively; < -lewa “be drunk” (TJH). Loud death groans (MHA). Pride, arrogance (FJ). (Ng., Mv. = Am ndreo, G. ndevo). enivrement (surtout us. au fig.), vie large et sensuelle. Aph. Mvita, mji wa ndweo, Mombasa est une ville d’enivrement (Sx). See ndeo laxness, slackness, heaviness from overeating (Krapf). Mvita mji wa ndweo ivumayo kwa k’elele, Mvita is a land of revelry (lit.“drunkenness”) that roars with noise (MY-Mwina).

nga                              [clitic]                          A morpheme suffixed to verbs to express customary, repetitive action; also to indicate an intensive action (TJH). Doublet de -ga suffixe intensif. S’emploie après un verbe dont le radical est terminé par un consonne (Sx). Also see -ga suffixe qui s’ajoute au présent et au passé de l’indicatif, au subjonctif, à l’impératif et à l’infinitif, le plus souvent pour marquer l’habitude, parfois aussi simplement pour affirmer davantage, marquer la certitude (Sx). Mteza na Nyali K’uu kugeua mageule, Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

ninga/ma-                  [n. 5/6]                        Eyes (MHA). Inika chako kikosi maninga vyema sivule, Be humble (lit. bend down your neck), do not raise (your) eyes (MY-Mwina).

Nyali K’uu                 n. 9                              One of several sentimental names for the Swahili quarter of Mombasa Town; see K’ongowea, Gongwa, Nuhasi, Mji wa Kale (MHA). Mteza na Nyali K’uu kugeua mageule, Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

nyemele                      [pref. stm.]                  Be silent, be quiet; < –nyama- (-nyamaa, -nyamalia, -nyamaza, etc.) (MHA & TJH). Haitowi lililomo, Gongwa isingenyemele, K’ongowea, It does not give what is inside, would that Gongwa were not so quiet. (MY-Mwina). (See Grammar for Perfect Stem and vowel change).

p’aka                          [n. 9/10 an.]                 Cat. Akawa p’aka mnyau, mnyau p’aka mwele, He becomes a cat, a sick cat (MY-Mwina).

t‘umbitumbi              [adv.]                           In abundance, in large quantity, all together, a lot of (TJH). Innumerable (MHA). (DN = P. shumbi), tas, monceau, amas, grande quantité ensemble…. (Mv. Am) t’umbi ou t’umbi-t’umbi en tas, en masse, en grande quantité. Watu tumbi nzima (ou t’umbi-t’umbi) des gens en foule. Aph. Mvita ina mambo t’umbi-t’umbi. En cet emploi tumbi est très us. comme syn. de –ngi, tele. Kitumbi (Sx). Not in FJ, but see shumbi: 1. deep water, depth; 2. a heap, e.g. shumbi ya mchanga a heap of sand (FJ). Ina mambo t’umbitumbi, wajuvywa hawajuvile. It has numerous affairs, (even) the well-informed do not know about them (MY-Mwina).

t’utio                          [n. 9/10]                      Shaking, trembling, quivering, quaking, vibration; < –tutia carry to, with, etc. (TJH). Mitetemo (MHA, p.c. 1999). Not in FJ. Not in Sx. Ilitutile t’utio p’anga za masimba wale, It (Mombasa) has brandished quivering swords of the lions (MY-Mwina).

tambula                     [v. i.]                            Recognize, know, understand, discern, etc. see -tambua (FJ) Mwina wa chiza mbwi chile, mtambuzwa hatambuli! It is a deep dark hole, (even) a clever one cannot fathom it! (MY-Mwina).

tambuza                     [v. caus.]                      Remind, inform, someone, etc. Archaic? See mtambuzwa (TJH)

tambuzi                     [adj.]                            Clever, quick, intelligent, knowing, shrewd (FJ).

teza                             [v.i.]                             Play, play with, etc.; note dental /t/ (TJH). See FJ –cheza. Mteza na Nyali K’uu kugeua mageule, Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

towa                            [v. t.]                            Give, etc. See St. -toa give, etc. NB: MHA marks this as a dental /t/ (TJH). Haitowi lililomo, Gongwa isingenyemele. It does not give what is inside, would that Gongwa were not so quiet. (MY-Mwina)

tupila                         [v. prep.]                      Jump across, over; pass over, cross over (TJH). Note dental /t/. See St. -chupa jump down from above & -chupia (FJ). Usitupile viasi ukenda enda kwa p’ole, Do not cross over (its) borders, if you do go (there) go carefully (MY-Mwina). (The use of -tup- “jump over” by Muyaka may refer to scaling the walls of Fort Jesus; he was warning the Omani Arabs, long-time antagonists of the inhabitants of Mombasa (Mvita); see MHA p.19)

tutila                          [v.i.]                             Carry for, with, etc. (FJ). Brandish (display, flaunt, show off) (MHA). Brandish (Harries 1962:212). Ilitutile t’utio p’anga za masimba wale. It has brandished quivering swords of the lions (MY-Mwina).

usha                            [v. t.]                            Surge, rise up, rear up, rush in (TJH). Surge (MHA). (Am. Ng. = G. –usa, DS –rusha). –usha nyuni, faire envoler un ou des oiseaux. Kunako usha mawimbi, Marra huliona wimbi, Lausha nyuma na mbele. Là où il y a des vagues déferlant…. Soudain on voit la lame. Se dresser derriere comment devant (Sx). Cf. -uka go away (FJ). Mara huliona wimbi lausha nyuma na mbele, Suddenly one sees a wave, it surges to and fro (MY-Mwina)

utambaji                    [n. 14]                         Strategy (MHA). Way, manner of crawling, creeping, moving with stealth thus strategy, tactic, scheme, intrigue, maneuvering (TJH). Marche, allure (Sx). See St. –tambaa crawl, creep, move slowly (FJ). Msiotambua ndumo na utambaji wa kale. You who do not recognize (its) war-cries and (its) strategy of old. (MY-Mwina).

utambuzi                   [n. 14]                         Mental quickness, intelligence, perception, facility, cleverness, skill; (2) explanation of a difficult problem, answer to a riddle or cryptic saying, etc. (FJ).

vula                            [v.t.]                             Lift up, raise (TJH). See -vua; hutumika katika msemo: ~ macho tazama, angalia (KKS). Tirer qqn. de l’eau …. (Sx). Inika chako kikosi maninga vyema sivule, Be humble (lit. bend down your neck), do not raise (your) eyes (MY-Mwina). Cf. Maninga vuwani, nduza nawambiya, Lift up your eyes, I say to you my brothers (ASN-Maninga).

vunda                         [v. t.]                            Break, smash, etc. (TJH). Cf. St. -vunja (FJ). Mteza na Nyali K’uu kugeua mageule, Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, He who plays with Nyali K’uu to make changes, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

vundanga                   [v.t.]                             Break repeatedly, over and over; smash, pulverize (TJH). See St. -vunja (FJ). Smash (MHA). Humvundanga maguu asende mwendo wa kule, It smashes his legs so that he cannot go far (MY-Mwina).

wi                                [adj.]                            Evil, bad, wicked (TJH). See mbi cl. 9/10. K’ongowea aridhi mbi ukenda usijikule, K’ongowea is an evil land, if you enter do not put on airs/act boastfully.

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Discovering Swahili Poetry