Kept secretly for fear
the head, and thereby the spirit, of the dead chief, should be
stolen from the town. If it were stolen it would be not only a
great advantage to its new possessor, but a great danger to the
chief's old town; because he would know all the peculiar ju-ju
relating to it. For each town has a peculiar one, kept exceedingly
secret, in addition to the general ju-jus, and this secret one would
then be in the hands of the new owners of the spirit. It is for
similar reasons that brave General MacCarthy's head was treasured by
the Ashantees, and so on.
Charms are not all worn upon the body, some go to the plantations,
and are hung there, ensuring an unhappy and swift end for the thief
who comes stealing. Some are hung round the bows of the canoe,
others over the doorway of the house, to prevent evil spirits from
coming in - a sort of tame watch-dog spirits.
The entrances to the long street-shaped villages are frequently
closed with a fence of saplings and this sapling fence you will see
hung with fetish charms to prevent evil spirits from entering the
village and sometimes in addition to charms you will see the fence
wreathed with leaves and flowers.