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




















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Mrs. Grenfell, of the Upper Congo, told me in the same year, when I
had the pleasure of travelling with - Page 420
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Mrs. Grenfell, Of The Upper Congo, Told Me In The Same Year, When I Had The Pleasure Of Travelling With Her From Victoria To Matadi, That A Similar Practice Was In Vogue Among Several Of The Upper Congo Tribes.

Again in 1893 I came across another instance of the post-mortem practice.

A woman had dropped down dead on a factory beach at Corisco Bay. The natives could not make it out at all. They were irritated about her conduct: "She no sick, she no complain, she no nothing, and then she go die one time."

The post-mortem showed a burst aneurism. The native verdict was "She done witch herself," i.e. she was a witch eaten by her own familiar.

The general opinion held by people living near a river is that the spirit of a witch can take the form of a crocodile to do its work in; those who live away from large rivers or in districts like Congo Francais, where crocodiles are not very savage, hold that the witch takes on the form of a leopard. Still the crocodile spirit form is believed in in Congo Francais, and to a greater extent in Kacongo, because here the crocodiles of the Congo are very ferocious and numerous, taking as heavy a toll in human life as they do in the delta of the Niger and the estuaries of the Sierra Leone and Sherboro' Rivers.

One witch-doctor I know in Kacongo had a strange professional method.

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