Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/432

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^yS Bavili Notes.

of their spokesman, Ngidi Bivanga} And when Nguli Bwanga has received the Mpwnbii, he buries medicines in the ground and plants a Mbota-Xx^^.

When a native is sick and has gone through all the necessary formalities in connection with the rites of Mpumbu, rites in which the plant Msakasaka plays an important part, a pig is killed and its blood is poured over the wooden figures of Mpiimbu, as if they were supposed to glory in that which the Zifumu Zinkondi abhor.^

Nguli Bwanga does not drive nails into the Mpumbu. He simply throws palm-kernels and dust at them, as he asks them to kill the hidden enemy who is secretly de- stroying the petitioner. And Nguli Bwanga causes the Mpumbu to kiss mother-earth as a sign that the petition is heard.^

Mabili as a Nkici Nkondi is found at the entrance of each village and sacred grove, even as it is found at the gates of the old kingdom of Loango on its eastern frontier. It takes the form of a string of grass and feathers stretched across a road from two stakes or uprights of Nkala wood planted on each side of it.*

II. XlMBUKA (the first Nkici brought by the west wind) has the form of a round native basket made of the Mfubu leaves, and is used as the depository for the household remedies. Its guardian does not throw kernels at this basket, but he shakes a small gourd (filled with hard seeds that rattle) at it, as he requests it to cure one of the family, or to slay an enemy of the petitioner. It

^See Death and Burial of the Fjort {F.-L., viii. 135). My cook Makawso was Ngtili Bwanga of the Mpumbu.

^[Cf. p. 404, where the pig is said to be the Xina (tabued animal) of the Fumu Zinkondi (family chief)]. Bakici Bankondi are owned only by the heads of families who can trace their descent from kings.

2 See Plate XXVII. from photograph by R. E. D. The object inside the hut is a coffin containing a corpse prepared for burial.

  • See Plate XXVIII. from photograph by R. E. D.