Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/436

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380 Bavili Notes.

The wife married in this way is called Nkaci Lembe, and is the one who acts as the guardian of all her husband's Nkici, and should she commit adultery, the husband upon opening the basket containing the medicines connected with the marriage would find them wet. Nkaci Lembe is kept very strictly within her hut and the fence ilumbd) surrounding it. Ltibuku, a large kind of rat, is said by Tati to be Xina [tabu] to Nkaci Lembe}

Note. — Binkawci Nkawci Bi Mwakutm (the little figures that are apart, looking in different directions) are two figures on stakes driven into the ground which are said to turn round as the seasons follow one another. At the beginning of the rainy season one faces Kayi, the other the lake Luleba, that is, their backs are more or less turned to the sea. In the dry season they face different points of the sea.

2. Personal Charms or Fetishes.

The following are some of the principal Nkicikici, or personal protective charms — fetishes in the proper sense of the word feitiqo :

Ciba ; a charm worn by women to ensure safety in child-birth, consisting of a horn of the little gazelle sese, filled with " medicines."

Tanta ; a string bearing a strip of the skin of the Xinkanda, or sloth, tied tightly round the head, as a charm to protect the wearer from harm and pain. Tanta is also worn as a sign of mourning, and is then supposed to have the effect of helping the wearer to bear his troubles.

(The sese and xinkanda are two of the most difficult animals to catch, hence the charms are proportionately valuable.)

Nteo; a charm for a woman.

Nduda; a charm for a man (cf. ante. Note I., p. 375).

^ Cf. Miss Kingsley's West /African Studies, p. 193,