When You Wander About In The Forests Of The Calabar Region,
You Will Frequently See Little Dwarf Huts With These Offerings In
You must not confuse these huts with those of similar
construction you are continually seeing in plantations, or near
roads, which refer to quite other affairs.
These offerings, in the
little huts in the forest, are placed where your bush-soul was last
seen. Unfortunately, you are compelled to call in a doctor, which
is an expense, but you cannot see your own bush-soul, unless you are
an Ebumtup, a sort of second-sighter.
But to return to the bush-soul of an ordinary person. If the
offering in the hut works well on the bush-soul, the patient
recovers, but if it does not he dies. Diseases arising from
derangements in the temper of the bush-soul however, even when
treated by the most eminent practitioners, are very apt to be
intractable, because it never realises that by injuring you it
endangers its own existence. For when its human owner dies, the
bush-soul can no longer find a good place, and goes mad, rushing to
and fro - if it sees a fire it rushes into it; if it sees a lot of
people it rushes among them, until it is killed, and when it is
killed it is "finish" for it, as M. Pichault would say, for it is
not an immortal soul.
The bush-souls of a family are usually the same for a man and for
his sons, for a mother and for her daughters.
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