Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/294

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258 Reviews.

Mtoro bin Mwenyi Bakar * speaks of a haunted wood at Kolelo in the Nguu country, where the Wadoe go to pray for rain : —

" There is (a place) haunted by spirits {wenyi mztvtu) in the midst of the wood — (it is strewn with) white sand, as if people came there and swept it. And on some days the drum sounds in the wood, and the shrill cries of woman {vigekgele), as if there were a wedding. "

In his Appendix (p. 166) Mr. Hobley gives a further note on the same subject : —

" At the foot of each Mumbo . . . there is a small clearing, a shrine, in fact, where offerings of food are placed ; this food is known to be eaten by birds, rats, etc., but it is believed that the Aiimu are pleased at this, but a human being dare not eat of any such offering, as it is believed that he and his live- stock would die ; in some parts of the country it is laid down that he must not enter the sacred grove wantonly out of mere curiosity,^ neither must he go thither alone, but always in company with one or more. If he was to go there alone, he would be fined a bull or five goats by the elders. In Ibeti district it is stated that, should a man unwittingly enter a sacred grove, he would hear voices ordering him to retire from the vicinity, stones also would fall all round him but would not hit him ; he would then realize that he had offended the Aihmi and would return to his village, and standing outside would announce that he had been chased away by the spirits and ask for Moyo [life]. A goat would be killed and the contents of the stomach smeared over his face, hands, and feet, and only after this lustration could he rejoin his fellows. Now this mysterious stone-throwing ... is said to occur all over India to intruders who trespass in the vicinity of sacred groves, and a curious case was recently related to the author of a European in this country who built a house under a sacred tree and was constantly annoyed at night by stone-throwing on the roof."

This stone-throwing is a common belief in Java, where at least one case, reported to have occurred within the last twenty years, has been considered well authenticated even by Europeans. It is much to be desired that such occurrences should be subjected to competent examination.

Mysterious lights or appearances of fire attributed to the Aiimu are mentioned on pp. 86, 87, 167. In Nyasaland it is the wizards {qfiii), who are supposed to be responsible for these phenomena.

Mr. Hobley gives us a few folk-tales of great interest, — unfor-

"^ Safari za Waswahili, p. 180.

^Cf. the statement of Pausanias as to the ghostly sounds heard at Marathon, I. 32 : ivravda dva iraaav vvKra Kai iTnTuiv xprjixeTL^bvTijiv kcu avSpGiv fj.axofJ.ivuji' i(TTiv aiadecfdai' KaTaffTrjvai de is evapyyj Oeav eTrlrrides /xev ovk idTLV Srq} avvrj- vt-j/Kev, dvrjKdu! 5e 6vti ko-I dWus crv/j.^ai' ovk eariv tK tCiv dai/j^vuv opyi].