Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/454

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39^ Bavili Notes.

Mpakasa Awct, the wild ox or buffalo (that listens and hears), is the sacred animal of the province of Loango, namely, what is called the Xina xi Bika imiana bukulii. When Maloango ^ first came from Kongo he brought this Xina, Mpakasa Awci, which is Nkicici, with him. He is said to have asked some men for water and they refused to give it to him, hence he made the flesh of the Mpakasa Xina Buhilu to their family. These four, then, the leopard, the cricket, the eel, and the ox, are the Xina of the whole tribe of Kongo and the three sub-tribes composing it, and the three latter are not only the sacred animals of the sub-tribes but also the forbidden food of certain families in those sub-tribes.

2nd Class of Bina. Each province under the rule of its Fumu [head-man, chief, judge] has two Xina, for instance, in the case of the province of Xibanga, the Susn or fowl and the Sexi or Sesse, or gazelle [are the X/««] : these are called Xina Fiminci.

jrd Class. Then each district under its Kongo Zovo has its Xina, as [for example] in the chief district of the above province the Nzikn (chimpanzee). This kind of Xina is called Xijta Xici, and, if I am not mistaken, will be the sacred animal of the sacred grove of the district. Thus Mpuku, the rat, is Xina Xici of a family as well as [being] the animal connected with the grove Mpuku Nyambi as an omen.

^ Tradition says that Kakongo and Loango were founded by two sons of a former King of Kongo, who gave their own names to the two pro- vinces (See Folklore of the Fjort, p. i). The route of Maloango and Kakongo from San Salvador to Loango is marked out by the ground where they rested becoming xinkici a 'itci, i.e. sacred ground. There are no altars made with tools, but as you wander through the woods you will at certain places come across a mound of earth and leaves. And as your servants pass this mound they will add their tribute to it. They say these mounds are marks which divide the frontiers {ndilu) of two provinces, and that in passing them they pick up earth and leaves and heap them up, so that they may not be accused, as they say, of bringing anything evil into the next prince's country. These mounds are called Lombi.