Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/519

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Collectanea. 483

are notes of the information I obtained. In making a sacrifice, an ox or "beast" is the largest, a goat the smallest offering. Only a rich man can offer a "beast." The usual offering is a goat, but sheep are now also killed. The animal is slaughtered by stabbing the breast. It is allowed to linger while an invocation is pronounced to the spirits of the departed, calling on them for help. They are invoked by turn, beginning with the most recent, and are addressed by name — " So-and-so, son of so-and-so," and so forth. All the departed whom the people remember should be named and the list exhausted before the invocation is finished and the animal finally despatched. If an ox be killed, the people making the offering surround the cattle-kraal and pronounce the invocation before they send for the assegai to stab it.^ The gall of the slaughtered animal is sprinkled first on the right forefinger, then on the shoulders, and lastly on the navel. If the offering be on the occasion of a marriage, the bride is sprinkled that she may win favour with the spirits, and so obtain children. If it be for a sick person, the patient is sprinkled. In fact, everyone on whose behalf an offering is made is thus sprinkled. A little of the gall is also drunk. The small stomach of the animal killed is hung up at the back of the hut (inside) as an offering for the spirits. Several of the men present at Laduma's feast wore in their hair the gall-bladder of a goat. It was explained to me that if a goat were killed as an offering on account of a son, the son was entitled to wear (or did wear) the gall-bladder. If the goat were killed for a patient, the medicine-man kept the bladder and wore it.^

^ Cf. Callaway, Religions System, p. 140.

" In such a case I believe the usual custom is for the medicine-man to add it to his collection of amulets worn round the neck. I bought a witch- doctor's necklace at Durban which comprised several. It is figured in Plate XV. The dealer from whom I bought it gave me the following certificate :

"374 West Street, Durban, Natal, 22nd August, 1905.

" The witch-doctor's necklace, made of horns etc., belonged to a Zulu well known to myself. He belongs to a tribe near Tugela. This doctor was on a visit to Durban for the purpose of trading, and was wearing this necklace when I purchased it. He was very unwilling to part with it. Some of the pieces of medicine in the necklace the Zulus use for snake-cure.

F. W. Flanders."