- Anthills are usually the home of ants where most activities take place especially procreation. The soil hill that houses these ants also serves as security for their offspring and is used for food storage too. These hills are mostly found in farmlands and forest areas in Africa and other parts of the world. Though it houses ants some animals also seek refuge in old anthills.
I grew up in an African village in Ghana where many people had their perception about ant hills and what it is used for. It had many myths across the villages. Hunters and great storytellers were those responsible for telling stories about it or even explaining some myths about it.
Growing up as a child in one of the villages in Ghana, I heard a lot of rumours about it. Some people claim the anthill could save one from evil spirits at night on hunting trails. There was an instance where a hunter told a story about it. I was in primary school by then. Mr Besu who was one of the great hunters in the Akuampem-Togo Range area made it known to us one evening about his experience with the anthill in his hunting journey.
According to him, he went hunting on a bad day when he was a youth. He walked on his trails for almost an hour and realized someone was following him. When he turned he realized it was a ghost. He explained that it moved like a shadow after him and it was very tall. Earlier on the trail, he was asked for water by a stranger but he refused because the person wasn’t a hunter and he can’t imagine what he is doing in the forest at 11:30 pm. So the memory of that man hunted him. Quickly he doubled his steps and hid behind a tall anthill. The perceived image passed by the anthill and continued its journey of searching for Mr Besu. He took to his heels back home immediately after the incident. This has made him and his family obey and adore ant hills anytime they see one.
Also, our grandfather told us about the hunter who mistakenly shot another hunter. Not wanting anyone to disclose it, he dug a part of an old anthill and buried his colleague in it, and covered it with sand. The next morning the ants covered the dead body with the soil and no one would ever think he was buried there. The people of that village perceived that he was taken away by dwarfs and that ended the story.
To the youth of today, it is just a house built by ants. While we might think some of these stories are fiction, some are very true. We just can’t do the separation.
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