Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/493

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Collectanea. 435

appeared to be a red hat and gown, a glowing figure, the lurid light of many torches falling on him. Then a goat was held up so that he might sever its head from its body and sprinkle its blood upon the altar. Six goats were killed, and all the altars within and without the house sprinkled with their blood, and all this was done in comparative quiet. Then Ogiigu, a Nabori holding up one of his arms and followed by his courtiers, danced before his people. Then followed the three great dances called Okele, Ugulu or Sakwadi, and Ohogo, which I will describe later on. We saw but little of these dances that night, but from the noise that took place the natives appeared to have appreciated them ; and then for a time all was quiet. Soon, however, bands of people singing and bearing lamps and torches wended their way in Indian file round about and into Ogugu's residence ; no sooner had one emerged than another seemed to take its place, and their songs as they approached and wandered about the place and finally departed were weird and beautiful. Some sang softly in falsetto, and some sang songs that reminded one of old Gregorian chants. This went on all night. In the early morning Ogugu, preceded by a band of drummers and players on beaded gourds, came out of his house followed by many hundreds of people. Immediately in front of him was a man bearing a dish of cowries {Igo), and just behind him was his umbrella bearer and his courtiers. Under the shade of this umbrella Ogugu crushed the cones of chalk {Or hue) and sprinkled the dust upon the cowries. Thus the procession passed us on its way down the grassy glade which led to the Benin City road. The band waited for the procession just where the glade is divided by Kolo trees from the village, while it proceeded to the "juju" place to salute the great father who, in the spirit, is still in Benin City, but who, as Overami, the late king of Benin, is in reality a prisoner in Old Calabar. On the return of the procession the band joined it, and Ogugu scattered the cowries right and left to the boys and girls who scrambled for them.

Thus did Ogiigu celebrate the anniversary of the death of his father.

Then he came to greet us as we sat in front of the rest-house,