A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 3 - By Robert Kerr












































































































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19. The cemis of wood are thus made. A person travelling sees some tree
that seems to move or shake - Page 220
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19. The Cemis Of Wood Are Thus Made.

A person travelling sees some tree that seems to move or shake its roots, on which in great alarm he asks who is there?

To this the tree answers that such or such a Buhuitihu knows and will inform. The astonished traveller applies to the conjurer, who repairs to the spot, where he takes cogiaba or the intoxicating powder formerly mentioned, then standing up addresses the tree with many titles as if some great lord, then asks who it is, what he does there, why he sent for him, and what he would have him do, whether he desires to be out; whether he will accompany him, where he will be carried, and if a house is to be built and endowed for his reception? Having received satisfactory answers, the tree is cut down and formed into a cemi, for which a house is built and endowed, and cogiaba or religious ceremonies performed there at certain stated times. The stone cemis are of several sorts, some being those stones which the Buhuitihus pretend to take from the bodies of the sick, as before related.

When the natives wish to know if they are to be victorious in war, the great men of the district consult the favourite cemi, no others being admitted into the house or temple. The principal chief snuffs cogiaba, and makes a long address to the idol. Then stands a while with his head turned round resting his arms on his knees, after which looking up to heaven he relates the vision he has seen, pretending to have conversed with the cemi, and delivers his favourable or unfavourable responses, according as it may have struck his imagination during the fit of intoxication produced by the cogiaba.

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