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Travels with TooyHistory, Memory, and the African American Imagination$
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Richard Price

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226680583

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226680576.001.0001

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Gweyúnga, The Rain Priest 1690/1754

Gweyúnga, The Rain Priest 1690/1754

Chapter:
(p.60) Gweyúnga, The Rain Priest 1690/1754
Source:
Travels with Tooy
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226680576.003.0013

This chapter discusses the spiritually dangerous incident that occurred inside Wet-Eye Creek in Dahomey during the eighteenth-century wars against the whites which involved rain priest Gweyunga, an African-born runaway slave who was priest of the river goddess known as Tone and Tooy's ancestor. According to the story, as the colonial army tried to forge the broad creek, Gweyunga, who had the power to “bring down the rain”, sank the whites in their tracks and left large numbers to drown. This chapter also explains that Tooy inherited his relationship to Tone from his forebear Gweyunga and conducts periodic rites for Gansa, Mother of Waters.

Keywords:   Gweyunga, rain priest, Wet-Eye Creek, Dahomey, runaway slave, Tooy, Tone, Gansa

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