Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/446

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388 Bavili Notes.

Then they walk, and walk, and walk, until they arrive at a place where all the ndoxi or Bmitu a ndongo were in the grass.

" Mamboma Xinkanda," ^ says the old woman Nfumu Ngo'^ with sores (in her hammock) when she sees the boy ; " Mamboma ! Xidiela kalokaka mino mabola maka ku sungomina." (Mamboma ! Xidiela is not a witch, he comes only to look on, as sure as I'm a nganga I divine it.)

And Mamboma replies : " Zibika munu aku anjea natanga mu xipoia." (Shut your mouth, it is because you are in a hammock that you say so.)

The old woman replies : " Maxi ku natua batu ku anganga" (It is not because I have a hammock, but because I am a nganga that I say this.)

Mamboma then says : " How could he enter here if he were not a ndongo ? Give him a matchet ^ that he may dance."

They give him a matchet. Xidiela takes the matchet and dances away, and dances back again. And the young women are very pleased and cry out : " Tuala ntulu ! " (return here !).

^ I have heard a little story of the Xinkanda (lemur). This little animal is looked upon to-day as the MatnboDia (Vizier, prime minister) of the princely Ngo (leopard), and was elected a prince of Loango in the following manner :

Ngondo (a long-tailed monkey) was very proud of the power his tail gave him in his hurried movements here and there, and upon this power he laid claim to the chief office in Loango, i.e. that of Mamboma. Now the Xinkanda objected to this claim on the part of the Ngondo. The Xinkanda is a close-fisted little animal, and the Bavili say sticks hard to anything he clings to. They say it takes hours to get anything out of its hands once they are closed on any object. The Xinkanda is said to have made some bitter remarks about the Ngondo and his tail, and challenged him to call a meeting of all the animals to get at the general opinion of their world upon their merits. At this meeting the slow-moving but sure Xinkanda was unanimously elected Mamboma.

'^See pp. 390, 391. 3 A YmA of cutlass.