Somali Tale : The Black Crow

A crow snacking on some bread (pied crow)

The crow was once a sheikh or priest, and at that time he was white. But all the other birds made an accusation against him.

They said, “On the one hand he eats meat, and on the other hand he eats fruits.

So all the birds came together and said, “You are a sheikh or a priest! But what you do is wrong. The smallest birds should eat meat. And the biggest ones eat fruit. But you eat from both sides.”

In not only Somali but Cushitic culture in general, it was said that the crow was the representative of the Sun God called Wak. Oromos believed in the Sun God also. People believed that the crow interpreted what Wak, the Sun God, said to the people and people would send their messages to the Sun God through him.

The crow, when he speaks, says “Wak! Wak!

But the crow became dishonest and ate from both things – fruit and meat, and so he was punished. They cursed him and he became black.

This tale was narrated by Pr. Ahmed Mohammed Ali on Ethiopian Folktales.