BY OSA AMADI
Several centuries ago, in a remote village somewhere in Africa, a strict but handsome widower, a hunter by occupation, was said to have four daughters who were adjudged to be the most beautiful virgins in the entire land. Jealous and worried that other men would take his beautiful daughters, the brave hunter took the girls to live in the middle of a remote forest, where he spent all his life hunting to feed them and driving away male trespassers.
But men were not deterred. The equally brave ones from far and near teamed up and came on expeditions for the beautiful virgins hidden in the middle of the forest by the brave hunter. However, the more they came, the more they died. They were either caught by the poisonous arrowheads of the vicious hunter or by the numerous traps he concealed at different strategic spots on the footpaths.
Occasionally, those who sucessfully evaded the hunter’s arrows and traps had to contend with his fierce and great swordsmanship which the virgins watched with alarm. Suffice it to say that no man who had ever embarked on an expedition to the forest in desire of the brave hunter’s beautiful virgins had ever returned home alive.
One day, the brave hunter died. The beautiful virgins found their ways out of the forest to the village, only to discover that there were only few men left alive. So the four virgins went from place to place holding their hands over their heads and searching for suitors. After many days and weeks and months of fruitless search, two of the four virgins decided to uncover their calabashes of ‘milk and honey’ in order to attract the bees!
Whether this story is a fact or fable, no one can tell. What is certain is that about fifty years ago, a certain sculptor whose identity is now lost decided to sculpture the four virgins with expensive mansonia woods. Today, those sculptured four virgins are exhibited for sale at the Art Gallery of Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos!