Travels Of Richard And John Lander Travels in West Africa (Congo Francais, Corisco and Cameroons) by Mary H. Kingsley




















 -   When you wander about in the forests of the Calabar region,
you will frequently see little dwarf huts with these - Page 410
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When You Wander About In The Forests Of The Calabar Region, You Will Frequently See Little Dwarf Huts With These Offerings In Them.

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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