Dodo and Beans

Colgate prides itself in tradition. Please describe a religious, cultural, or family tradition you can share with the Colgate community.


The sound turned the very marrow in my bones to ice: a six pound bag of olotun beans trickling onto a shallow plastic tray. I did not wait for my mother to instruct me to perform the ensuing task. I made reluctant haste to the kitchen where the inevitable awaited me.

There are few things more characteristic of a West African childhood other than a meal of Dodo and Beans. Its presence at our dining table caused a frisson of ecstasy amongst we, the younger ones, whilst our mother and the older girls who helped to cook the meal observed with knowing smiles. When I turned eleven; an age my mother deemed appropriate for the cultivation of traditional 'womanly' skills; I was forced to confront the monster that made our kitchen its abode. My mother slashed through its outer fibers and I watched, transfixed, as a steady stream of beans gushed through the hole of the fat hemp sack. I was charged with the task of sorting through the infinite mass for misplaced corn seeds, tiny stones, and broken husks.

Resigned to the futility of the task, I made a poor job of sorting through the beans. The result was a gritty sauce that left one's tongue smarting- and many a ruined meal time. My mother threatened to punish my indifference but my...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1048 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8142 literature essays, 2279 sample college application essays, 354 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in