Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/431

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Bavili Notes. 377

Dennett, as will be seen, attaches great importance to this distinction. In the notes which follow he treats of fetishes for family, personal, and public use respectively. Ed.]

I. Bakici Bankondi.

(Family Fetishes brought by the winds ; known as Zinkondi in the Kongo.)

I. The Mpumbu are said to have been brought by the east wind {Mabili).

They are wooden figures of a man and a woman, stand- ing about eighteen inches in height. When these figures have been carved it is necessary to enrol them among the bakici^ of the Bavili. They must be set apart from common figures {nkawci), and dedicated to their sacred use as nkici. This is done by the nganga in the follow- ing way :

A small shed having been built, he encloses it with the fronds of the palm tree. He goes into the bush to gather the leaves of certain trees and herbs (which I do not know) to make the necessary medicines. He picks out a man from the family who shall act as the spokes- man of the figure, and then proceeds to put the spirit into him ^ by pouring a decoction or infusion of the herbs he has gathered into his nostrils and eyes. The man thus treated then lies down upon an empty box within the shed, surrounded by the fronds of the palm tree, until the spirit enters his head. He gives evidence of this by beginning to shake violently, so that his body makes a noise on the box like the beating of a drum. He then gets up and tries to run away ; but he is forced back into the hut until the attack has passed, when he is given the name of Ngiili Bwanga.

The wooden figures are charged with the proper medi- cines, and as Mpiimbji are then given into the custody

^[Bakici, pi. oi Nkici.]

-[Neither he nor the figures being nkici ci, nkici of the earth.]