Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Did Gandalf ever wander into Nigeria?

This is just for fun, but while doing some background research for yesterday’s post, I came across mention of the Yoruba Creator-God, Olorun, a figure strongly associated with the color white, and I couldn’t help but think of Olórin, the name of Gandalf (later, Gandalf the White) in his youth in Aman. It’s amusing to think of Gandalf wandering into prehistoric West Africa on vacation, or perhaps looking for the Blue Wizards; chanting to himself — something along the lines of “Nearwe genyddon on norðwegas, / wiston him be suðan Sigelwara land, / forbærned burhhleoðu, brune leode, hatum heofoncolum”, naturally — and accidentally planting the seeds of an entire religion. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been the first time!


  1. Gary Schmidt9/12/2007 12:17 PM

    I know you -- you just wanted another post to put in the category "Niger-Congo Languages," hahae. :)

    The idea of Gandalf colonizing Nigeria reminds me of the famous story of Christopher Columbus landing on the shores of the New World, taking possession of it in the ceremonially accepted manner by reading from a parchment in Spanish, which the natives obviously didn't understand, and then concluding, obviously very satisfied with himself, "Y no fui contradicho" (And I was not contradicted). :)

  2. I know you -- you just wanted another post to put in the category "Niger-Congo Languages," hahae. :)

    Hahae, so true. After all, I could pretty easily have incorporated the paragraph-long post into the previous one, couldn’t I? ;)

    Great comparison to Columbus, by the way! And thanks for the links, too. Imagine if he calculatingly declared, “Y no fui contradicho,” only to hear one of the natives shout out, “Oh yes I did, suckah!” Our history might have unfolded in quite a different way, and you might be reading this blog in Powhatan.