Má kàn-án jú; don't be in a haste, this is the topic ; orí-ọ̀rọ̀ of discussion.
Literally, the statement implies that the farm men; ará oko see themselves as valuable than the ará Èkó; city people think. They belief they are more important (ní-ìwúlò) and should be accorded regards for their efforts which is nothing other than food production.
Ará means people, relatives, relations, family, friend. Whereas, Èkó is a local parlance for Lagos while oko means farm.
"Ará Èkó ò mọyì ará oko "
- the Lagos (urban) habitats no not the value of the villagers (rural people).
Come to think of it, the above statement is true - tòótọ́ lọ̀rọ̀ Yorùbá yìí, ẹsin ọ̀rọ̀ ńlá sì ni pẹ̀lú.
The proverb has so many meaning ascribed to it. First, most of the raw materials needed for human survival all comes from the land; farm which is cultivated by someone.
Bí àgbẹ̀ bá jí á mú ọkọ́ -
(the farmer wakes up, picks his hoe)
Bí àgbẹ̀ bá ro oko ẹ̀gan tán - After clearing the bush, and the seeds; irúgbìn have been prepared, the farmers make beds/ridges; ebè (ebè àkọyíká tàbí ebè olọ́gọọrọ) before sowing of the seeds (gbin èso/irúgbìn).
Often times - nígbà gbogbo, ìgbẹ́ẹ màálù; cow dung, human feces; imí èèyàn, poultry wastes; imí adìẹ are materials used as manure (ajílẹ̀/ajẹ́lẹ̀) on the farm.
Now that the crops have been planted, the farmer must wet the crops regularly; ní gbà gbogbo if the land is not an àbàtá/àkùrọ́; mired soil. The àgbẹ̀ waters; (wọ́n omi sì) the plants day-by-day, clear the weed; koríko and also watches out for pests, insects kòkòrò that might be of threat to the crops.
The ará-oko oníṣẹ́ akíkanjú (deligent farmer) works day-to-day (ọjọ́-sọ́jọ́), month-to-month (oṣù-dóṣù) as well as year-to-year (ọdún-mọ́dún), in rain and dry; nínú òjò ńnú ẹ̀rùn ensuring that his great work (iṣẹ́ takuntakun) to bring oúnjẹ́; food to the table of the ará Èkó is brought to fruition (di múmúsẹ).
Yet, ọ̀pọ̀ àgbẹ̀ ; many farmers lost their apá àti ẹ̀sẹ̀ - limbs due to farm work - iṣẹ́ oko, cutlass; àdá, thorns and prickles; ẹ̀gún on the oko has injured farmers, scorpions; àkééke, snakes - ejò has bitten them many a times. Ọpẹ́ lọ́wọ́ Olódùmarè -Thank God for the leaves; ewé found on farm came to the rescue by tranquilizing the venom or poison - oró of the serpents (àwọn ewé kan wà tí a ma ńgbo sójú ẹgbò bí ejò tàbí àkééke bá bu ni jẹ).
Many ará -oko did not wait to tell the story; ìtàn of what happened in the wood - aginjù, wild beasts (ẹranko búburú) devoured (pa) them.
Truly, ará -oko tó láti gbé gẹ̀gẹ̀; they deserve to be adored, many àgbẹ̀ as well as ọdẹ lost their lives - pàdánù ẹ̀mí while foraging the forest all for the survival of other men like them.
Before the scarecrow "aṣokopẹ́" used to ward off - lé birds; ẹyẹ that feeds on crops on the oko, the great àgbẹ̀ aroko bọ́dún dé; he who farms year to year, does more work in ensuring that no useless ẹyẹ feed on his hard labour (iṣẹ́-ipá). He has to stay back on the oko warding off birds. He sleeps - sùn in the ahéré; farm house leaving the night danger behind his mind; láì ro ewu alẹ́.
Its time for harvest; ìkórè, the crops are packed into the basket; apẹ̀rẹ̀, sack; àpò to be transported to the ọjà market: city.
That is not all, for processed foods like gaàrí, fùfú and other Yorùbá staple made from cassava; pákí/ẹ̀gẹ́/gbágùdá, it takes more days to get to the ọjà and finally city. But its a pity its no longer so, cassava harvested today gets to the market tomorrow or next and this is dangerous to human health.
Here, is the process to make gbágùdá/pákí into gaàrí or fùfú :-
- Harvest the gbágùdá/pákí/ẹ̀gẹ́
- Bó pákí ; Peel the casssava
- Fọ ẹ̀gẹ́ kí o gé e wẹ́wẹ́- wash the ẹ̀gẹ́ and chop into 2/3 pieces (for gaàrí grate the cassava after wash. Soak cassava in water for a 3-5 days for fùfú (rẹ pákí fún ọjọ́ mẹ́ta sí márùn-ún, láti yọ igi àárín rẹ̀ jáde)
- Sẹ́ ẹ kí o dàá sínú àpò tó mọ́ kan, kí o so ó pẹ̀lú ìgege); sieve, put the pákí into a sack and tie the sack with ìgege (a stick/iron object ).
- Put the sack on the orítẹ̀/atẹ̀/irin kórokóro and let it stay for a week to extract the bad starchy water.
- After a week, bring down the sack and fùfú is ready.
- Fry the gaàrí in apẹ; large pot for frying ẹ̀gẹ́
- Pour in apẹ̀rẹ̀ or àpò
"torí ọ̀yà ni Ọlọ́run fi dá eèsún, torí ará-ilé ni Ọlọ́run fi dá ará-oko"
The above òwe buttress the fact that the ará-oko are created by Elẹ́dùmarè to provide food; pèse oúnjẹ for human survival; láti so ẹ̀mí ènìyàn ró.
Without the ará-oko what will the city ará-ilé feed on? Game; ẹran-ìgbẹ́, popularly called bush-meat, how will the rich man in the city be able to buy if someone in the oko did not hunt it?
Kí ìmọ̀ ìjìnlẹ̀ iṣẹ́ ọ̀gbìn tó ó dé ni àwọn ará oko ti ńṣiṣẹ́ oko - ará-oko have been providing food to the people from near and far even before the invention of modern farming utensils.
Ará Èkó ò mọyì ará oko
If you don't know, the àgbẹ̀ abìrokokùà/ará-oko are actually called ará oko not because they live in abúlé; villages but because they sleepover on the farm - oko, under the àtíbàbà; farm house and only come home either monthly; oṣooṣù, quarterly; ìdákúrékú or yearly; lọ́dọọdún. They are the òkú-ìgbẹ́ who live on the farm.Even with all the stress; ìdààmú and hard labour, the ará oko stay healthy, feed on roots and herbs; egbò, ewé, eat fresh day in day out, which keeps them alive, old but agile and strong.
Do you think the ará oko deserves to be adored? As the proverb ará Èkó ò mọyì ará oko implies, do you think they deserve any value; iyì?