Tell a lie and die

The twenty-two year old female informant born in the Gabonese Republic, a state located on the west coast of Central Africa, revealed her uncle pressured her and her siblings not to lie by telling a traditional story of four children. “The kids did something bad… there were four of them… they were taken to a lake to see if they were lying.” They were all forced to stand in water. The parents asked the four children to tell the truth and “every time a child told a lie the water would rise up.” One child refused to tell the truth eventually the water rose over his head killing him.

The purpose of the story was most likely to scare a child in order to keep them from telling lies. I highly doubt the story would be convincing for an adult but if you refer to my other post, water is a revered element in Gabon.