The Land that Howls

Nationality: Ethiopian/Italian

Primary Language: English

Age: 21

Occupation: Student

Residence: Los Angeles

Date: 2/20/2024


“In Eritrea, there is a town named Nefasit, meaning the village of the wind nested in the mountain highlands. Because of its high elevation, the wind frequently picks up and due to the shape of the surrounding mountains will make a lot of loud sounds. They say that the sound comes from our ancestors reaching out to us, and that the tone of the sounds lets us know of their intention. 

When the wind howls, it is them warning us to stay vigilant as danger nears. And sometimes when the wind hits the mountains the right way it vibrates everything with a humming that sounds like music. This means that the ancestors are pleased with our decisions and that good fortune is upon us, usually in the form of a woman blessed with a child or a fruitful new season.”

Context: He recounts the story behind a region in his motherland Eritrea. This is a known story that he heard growing up through his family. He explained also how important nature is in the country of Eritrea and how they are very in tune with the land around them. Therefore they listen and take in signs that mother nature is trying to show them and use it as a vice to predict the future. 

Analysis: It was really charming learning how a piece of folklore was so interconnected to mother nature. A distinguished tie to nature is rare from my own community, so hearing another community’s strong acknowledgement to nature and how that ties into their traditions is very insightful. My interpretation of the story is that the people of that region are very in tune with their surroundings and have gone through centuries of receiving signs from their environment that indicate fortune or misfortune.