The legend of the baobab

The legend of the baobab

The baobab is really a strange tree. It is tall tall and always stands alone. It’s so fat that it takes about twelve people to hug it.πŸ˜ƒ

Its name, baobab, seems to have been chosen to make us understand how round it is, like a huge pastry.

In the Tanzanian language it is called mbuyu and is highly respected by everyone, also because it has the ability to live up to 2,000 years. Think about how long it is two thousand years! It is so far from us that we can’t even imagine it.

The trunks of the oldest baobabs have seen all kinds of things: elephants who use them to scratch their backs, rain, wind, lightning. They survived and resisted, but the consequences are evident: they are often empty inside and so animals can make their home there and men can use them to take refuge or even to keep their things safe.

legend of the baobab

If it is not rainy season, in Tanzania weather can be very hot and water becomes very important. What does this giant do to keep from dying of thirst? It holds waterπŸ’§ in its trunk. Lots of πŸ’§. Thousands of liters of πŸ’§ so when it needs it, it can use it and survive without problems.

Another giant of the savannah, however, has discovered its secret and takes advantage of it.😜

It’s the elephant🐘, but how? It tears off huge pieces of bark and eats them and while it eats, it can quench its thirst with the water that there is inside. Smart right?πŸ˜ƒ

It also tastes the fruit of the tree and then leaves its seeds in the ground. In this way it reciprocates the kindness and gives the possibility to other baobabs to grow strong and lush.

Men also use the seeds of the baobab, but to make coffee !! Yes, because, if toasted, they are used to make a similar drink. It’s very sour and Tanzanians like it that way.πŸ˜ƒ

Many stories, many legends are also linked to the baobab and they are very much appreciated. There is one in particular, very famous and born many years ago, which explains just how important the natural elements were for these trees.

It seems that at the beginning baobabs were very proud and arrogant. They kept complaining to the gods because they sent rain and wind that ruined their beautiful hair.πŸ˜ƒ The gods were very angry about this and decided to talk to them. They asked them to stop behaving so badly because water is life for everyone. Without water, no one can live.

Do you think the baobabs have stopped? Of course not!πŸ˜‚

Then the god of rain, the god of winds and the god of lightning came back to explain to them how these three elements are very important. If it doesn’t rain there is no nourishment, without wind the seeds cannot fly and give birth to new plants, without lightning dead trees cannot be destroyed.

But the baobabs did not hear reasons and so they angered the supreme god, the most important one, who, very very annoyed, decided to punish them by putting them upside down in the ground and as the leaves are the eyes of the plants, the baobabs have not been able to see all the beauties of the world since then.

It has been a long time since this happened and the supreme god has calmed down a bit, so now baobabs are back to having leaves, flowers and fruits on their branches, but only during the rainy season. For the rest of the year they remain dry and bare to pay their debt of pride.😊

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