Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/459

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Bavili Notes. 401

Maili, oysters. The saying Yau Misamu Yi Mali Maili gives us to understand tiiat the palaver to be talked out is no small matter, and that it is as hard as an oyster to open. A mound of these shells is found in the Bibila.

Mboina, the boa-constrictor. Its skin is found in the Bibila.

Tele, the whale. Its vertebrae {Kala Kala Mbusd) are in the Bibila, and are said to point out that people come there from all parts. Tele Nsamu is to open a palaver.

Nkombo, the goat. When a member of a village has committed some crime worthy of death, a town's meet- ing is called, and if there be one dissenting voice against his being put to death, his family supply a goat in his place. This is killed, and every member of the com- munity must eat a little of it. This custom is called Muntu Fundii Nkombo Fundu. Thus both the goats and the fowl are Ximenga. The goat's skin is used in the Bibila to sit upon instead of the usual grass mat. It is looked upon as noisy and lascivious.

Sungu is a large antelope ; and the saying is that the Sungu always feeds on the tops of hills, and is therefore always ready to catch sight of his enemy {Sungu Mbakala Muntu Ke Kulila Mu Binanga). To look out becomes a habit of mind {Sunga) with it. Its head and horns are in the Bibila.

Nzau, the elephant. The chief of all the world, the great giver of food {kulawmbo ndundu ku miteka), for when it is killed people come with matets (baskets) and seem to be for ever coming and carrying its flesh away; and the story goes that it was led from Kakongo by a single string of piassava {nkawxi ba kawkila Jizau mu luvusu). Nzau is a pet name given to little babies. The hairs of its tail are found in the Bibila round the necks of people.

Mpiliy the spitting viper. This snake is said to object