Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/453

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Bavili Notes. 395

homewards, when a leopard sprang out of the bush upon the old man. The children cried out, not being able to run away. The leopard left the old man, and the party then took up their burdens and ran away in the direction of their village. At last the old man threw his bundle of leaves into the grass, and said he could go no further, he would rest and then come home. Shortly after he had stopped the leopard set upon him again. The little ones saw it, shouted to it to go away, and then ran home as fast as they could. The people of the village set out to look for the old man, but only found his head. How this palaver was settled I do not know.

These four cases in this district then have come to my knowledge within six months, and I give you the facts as related to me, and therefore with their native colouring, and as they are looked upon by disinterested native third parties.

Now to continue the first class of Bina (plural of Xina) : Mesii Mazenzi Mavili MatJininini say the Bavili for a crooked palaver in which one is [yet] able to see the truth. "You can cook the grasshopper (or cricket) but its eyes remain," or, in other words, " The truth will out." Mesit (the cricket) is the Xina of Sonio. Zombo {Bawci or Boci) (the eel) is, on the other hand, the Xina (sacred animal) of Kakongo. An old lady is said to have been on a journey in Kakongo, behind a place called Futila. She carried a child on her back, and asked some women who were planting in the fields for water. The women said that they only had enough for themselves and that water had to be brought from a long distance. The lady eventually got a drink of palm-wine from a young man who was tapping a palm-tree. She rewarded the young man and punished the women for their want of motherly instinct by turning the field they had been in into a lake {Bazvci), the fish of which is Xi?ia to the women of Ntumpu to this day.