Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/91

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A Priest King in Nigeria.

townsfolk, who not only filled the courtyard, which is a very large enclosed space, but thronged the market-place outside. They came, in a state of great anxiety, to watch over the sacred priest and guard him, so far as in them lay, from any misfortune, the effects of which it was believed would at once react on all the countryside. On his head the chief always wears a hat deco- rated with seven eagle's feathers, and surmounted by the tail of a parrot.

So soon as official work allows, I am arranging to return to Elele to visit, and, if possible, photograph the chief in the sacred compound, with all the cult objects, and, in any case, gain every available scrap of information concerning him, his predecessors, and the cult itself, which is quite obviously connected with the spirit of vegetation.

It seems to me that here, alive and to our very hand, we have a triumphant refutation of all those who thought the theory of "Priests who slew the Slayer" far fetched and even impossible.