Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/292

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256 Reviews.

viz. that women are generally used as the vehicles of expression by the Aiitnu, and the Atinm who is spiritually wedded to any particular woman will often through the mouth of his corporeal wife state his name, and the old people of the village will remark on this when they hear the name, and for instance say, " Oh, yes, that was so and so's great great grandfather.'"

I do not remember any instance of this belief being previously recorded from any part of Bantu Africa ; but it corresponds very closely with the doctrine held on the Gold Coast, as set forth by Prof. Westermann in the Archiv fiir Religionswissenschaft. (The article in question was translated by the Rev. A. Jehle in the Journal of the African Society, July, 1907, under the title "Soul, Spirit, Fate," the passage alluded to being found on p. 413). The researches of Profs. Meinhof and Westermann, which have now made it clear or at least probable that the Bantu are an offshoot, touched by Hamitic influence, from the fundamental "negro" stock of a race reaching right across the continent from Cape Verde to Abyssinia, explains the identity of so many features of custom and belief in peoples between whom there is such a distinct line of cleavage as regards speech.

The stories of haunted woods and hills recall similar incidents related to M. Junod by the Baronga; — in all probability they exist everywhere, but the European to whom such things are revealed does not. We cannot resist quoting the passage in extetiso : —

"At Ivibauoni or Gibauoni, a mountain in the east part of Ulu district, there is believed to be a ghost of a bull with only one leg, this is said to have been often seen but when any one approached it, it disappeared. For some years after the cattle disease (rinderpest) swept off nearly all the cattle, of an evening high up on the mountain the people used to hear the lowing of large herds of cattle but could not see them. One day the grass on the mountain caught fire and spread up to an important Ithenibo or shrine which was under a large sacred Mumbo tree and when the fire reached the tree loud shrieks of human beings, bellowing of cattle and bleating of sheep and goats was heard but nothing was visible to the human eye. This throws rather important light on the animistic beliefs of these people as it shows that the A-Kamba believe that the domestic animals possess souls as well as mankind " (pp. 86-7).

Mysterious " half-beings " are of frequent occurrence in African folklore. Mostly they are human or quasi-human ; a Chinyanja tale speaks of " a big bird, with one leg, one wing, one eye " ; but this is the first case of a one-legged bull that I remember