Kpelle-Introductions and Food
My original plan was to do an explanation on locatives (locations of something using a prepositional phrase). But I was finding that very boring. Instead, I decided to provide a basic lesson on introducing oneself in Kpelle (along with Kpelle traditions) and then some vocabulary and cultural traditions/explanations while eating.
Ba nun! Kumeni?
Good morning, How are you?
When introducing oneself for the first time, it is important to stand-up and provide a good vaa kei (handshake). The person who shakes the hand should move first after the handshake, ife see tue (do not sit first). Eventually the other individual or if you are welcoming them, will tell you to imaa-yen (sit down-for honorable people….which we all are J) or seei kaa naa (sit down for friend or child). When you do sit down it is important to say Iseye (thank you). If you are eating at the person’s house, they will then ask for someone to koto, pa’ mii-sen noya (bring food for the stranger). If there is something you don’t like you can say- iseye, kElE fa bonba Kpele-oo (Thank you, but I don’t swallow). You can also use “fa” to talk about something you don’t eat. For example, Fa ______(food item) mii (I don’t eat _____). Make sure you finish your plate while eating and thank everyone, especially the Kalon/Galon (chief).
Some other food/eating words and phrases are:
Le be iwee mii?-What did you eat yesterday?
Le be ba nwellii I mii saa?-what did you eat today?
A kE a nElEE?-Was it good?
NonEE e kE len?-How did it taste?
A pa wee tEE mii-I ate chicken yesterday
Na saa ba nwElii da tEE? I want to eat chicken today
NonEE e kE a nElEE- It tasted good!
Na ba mii-I am eating rice
Na sua mii-I am eating meat
Some basic food items:
Kwii-tEE- white man chicken
Manan-la- cassava leaf
tEE-yalon-egg (chicken egg)
It should also be known that there are several different ways of talking about rice:
Ku mai- to eat rice
Pa kumai mii-Come let us eat rice
Now that you have some basic words, lets practice.