On Saturday evening it’s time for an important ritual: the story before bedtime. After brushing their teeth, the kids climb on one of their beds, dressed in their pyjamas. There is always a little competition for who gets to sit next to dad, but we end up sitting happily in a row. I tell them stories about cars, and also fairy tales like Snow White and Cinderella, but I wouldn’t be Chief of Tribes if I wouldn’t occasionally tell my children a tribal story.
They love it, and they are increasingly asking to tell about the Kyrgyz and their horses, and about the Hamar ritual to mature. But with all the Tribes locations, I sometimes get confused. Last week I told about the Hamar, who have to succeed in stickfighting, in order to mature. Valentine corrected me immediately: ‘No Dad, that’s the ritual from the Suri!’ And Valentine knows, since it’s her favourite tribe. Each story ends with the same question, one that’s probably very recognizable for many parents: ‘one more story daddy?’
‘Well, all right then. But that’s really the last one…’
‘Once upon a time, there was a young warrior named Moran. He was a brave boy and would almost mature, but in order to do so, he had to succeed in a test. After 10 years of training, he had to prove himself by capturing a lion. Moran though it was all nonsense. ‘It’s so old-school’, was his opinion, and he didn’t want to participate.
At sunset, Moran sneaked from his hut, and left the Savannah. He made his first stop after a few days. He arrived in a large village, and he saw a group of young men. He carefully approached one of the boys, and he asked them what was going on. ‘Today we are going to mature, by a symbolic stick fight. We have practiced a lot, and now we have to prove ourselves worthy and strong men’, he said. Moran paused to look at the ritual, and he saw the courageous Suri boys becoming adults.
‘This is not the place I want to be…’ were the thoughts of Moran and he continued. Moran visited many other tribes in the days after, but he never felt at home. He kept walking until the landscape changed, and until his shuka couldn’t keep him warm any longer. He saw a village in a valley and he was warmly welcomed by an older man on a horse. ‘Those who ask for help, will always receive our help’, he said. Moran received warm clothes, and was allowed to sit at the tör, the place of honour. After a delicious meal, he spent the night at the Kyrgyz. As he lay in bed, he thought of his home. The Kyrgyz, who had welcomed him with open arms, had to want to know everything about him.
When they asked why he left his village, he had admitted that he was afraid. He had run away because he was afraid he would not catch the lion. But Moran had a plan: he would go home, show courage and ask for help.
Once he returned home, he told his family about his journey. He talked about the important lessons he had learned and that he knew how to defeat the lion.
The Chief of the village started to smile and said: ‘Moran, the real insight here is that ‘the mind needs to travel to be creative’.