BERUFUNGSGESCHICHTEN

 

I) Berufungsgeschichten, gesammelt von Michael Ankobillea (Fumbisi):

Anmerkung: Die Geschichten wurden meinem Assistenten in Buli erzählt. Anschließend schrieb dieser sie in seiner eigenen stilistischen Gestaltung aus dem Gedächtnis in Englisch nieder. Namen wurden aus Gründen des Datenschutzes stark verkürzt oder verändert.

 

DONINGA

 

Achi.

The story of how a jadok was acquired: A man cannot stay indoors all the time. If he must, then he must be unwell or forbidden to go out. Sometimes you go out and meet fortune, other times you meet disaster, mishap or disgrace. Whichever of these comes your way is destined and should not be treated beyond its true limits, value and size, because everything comes from Naawen. He is the greatest of all men dead and all men still living. He is master of the times. He is the know-all. He is also the most generous giver. He gives blessings just as much as he gives trouble, shame and uncertainty. No man compares with him!

I will tell you something true about myself to illustrate what I have been telling all along. I have told you, no man stays indoors for nothing. I used to be out most times enjoying myself. I love songs and have composed many songs myself, about people and happenings in Doninga and the whole wide world. I can also play the sinyaali and kpornung [kpanung]. Most times I and my friends are entertained with food and pito or akpeteshi, when we sing praises to someone. I think I began to crave for akpeteshi because of the nature of my work, and eventually ran into trouble with my chimi or totem.

The totem of my clan is a waab-kpiem. We are forbidden to kill it or treat it with contempt or lead others to kill it. I committed the most abominable offence, when I killed a baby python unknowingly.

I was out one evening entertaining some farmers from the village of Bachongsa. They had closed for the day, and I and my friends joined at the invitation of their leader. Actually it was chichambirini. There was food and meat and akpeteshi in galore. We ate and drank to our fill and then entertained the farmers all night long. At the first appearance of daylight I and my friends left for home to do some work on our farms, but before we were granted permission to leave, the leader of the farmers gave us some more "akpeteshi", which we drank and set on finally - walking.

On arriving at my compound I found my right leg swelling steadily, but painless. At noon my right arm began to swell too. Next morning my entire head was completely swollen and I could hardly see. The swelling of the leg and arm and head were still painless, and I began to wonder about it all. My family immediately sent someone out to consult a soothsayer, returning he told the family the dreaded news. I had stepped on a waab-kpiem the night before, crushing its head. The penalty that the totem should have meted out to me was instant death, but for my innocence in the course or the apprehensive act. Believe me that I still cannot figure out where I trampled on the baby python the night I and my friends left Bachongsa from home! My drunken state must have blinded me to it. I also cannot remember anyone of my friends seeing the baby python or else they would have told me about it. I think God was at work then, and none of us could hold Him back. For the sake of my life I got all the required material ready and a medicine man went to where I had trampled on the baby python and brought its carcass for burial, and its funeral was performed as for a man.

I also had to be washed with special herbs by a medicine man to cleanse me of the murder of the baby python. It all cost me so much money and food. However the swelling disappeared after the performance of the funeral of the baby python. I am thankful I had been made well again.

Finally I accepted the spirit of the baby python as my jadok. Sometimes when I am at work, a baby python would visit me in the soothsaying room as on my farm. When I see it around my water pot I know it is thirsty and I give it water in a kpalabik. I just fill the kpalabik with water and leave it by the python. It leaves after cooling off itself. I am quite old now and greatly blessed by the baby python.

 

Akb.

The story of the jadok: I did not inherit my jadok. I acquired it or it came to be with me when I shot a bush pig sag-deri with an arrow killing it.

I was a young man then and very active. I loved to hunt because when I shot arrows I never missed my target. I used to have skins, skulls and tails of various animals but most of which I have sold to dealers in the past few years. I am commanded never to sell the skull of the particular pig that became my jadok.

The seasons was rainy. The day sunny and clear; a market day in Doninga. The majority of the members of my compound were away to the market. I stayed back home to do some weeding in my farm, a little away from my kusung. I had been weeding for about an hour, when I heard some noise ahead of me. I stopped weeding to see what was causing the noise, but could not see anything, the noise ceased too. I bent down again continuing my work. Presently I heard the bursting of a loud harsh sound as is common to forcing breath through the nostrils. There was the smell of an animal around too, but I could not place the particular animal. After a quick judgement of the situation I decided to climb up my gbong, so I could have clearer and better look around my farm. I might see the cause of the noise. So up I went and from that height I took an overall view.

This is what I saw. There among the tallest millet plants stood a sag-deri uprooting the plants with its hard long mouth. The destruction it was causing to my plants cited me and I unhesitatingly got down, collected my bow and some arrows and then quickly climbed up again, determined to shoot and kill. Taking three aims I slapped three arrows on it. One in the neck, and the other two in its sides. The pain from the wounds set it wild and it began to seek escape routes blindly, thus destroying many more of my millet plants. Again I took aims sending out a few more arrows all of which inserted themselves into its flesh on the legs and backsides. I could see that I had ditched its strength and so did not shoot any more arrows. I just watched it twisting and turning in winding motions. I went on this way for a while, then stopped suddenly and turned with its head facing me. Then it suddenly cried out loudly like a baby before it crushed on its belly dead.

I got down and examined it. I found it strange that all the arrows had dropped out of its neck and sides; in all there were nine arrows about it on the ground. I gathered the arrows and left the carcass where it lay in wait for the family to return from the market. I went back to weeding.

The market over, just a little over sunset, my family returned to the compound. I told them about the carcass and led them to it. As we approached the carcass there was an odour unusual of a carcass only a few hours dead. The unpleasant smell meeting our noses was my first suspicion of the carcass beginning to rot. True to my suspicion we found one half of it completely rotten when we turned it over. Its belly was rotten! My family found this unusual and asked that I consulted a soothsayer.

I was told the sag-deri was a god that had come to visit me bringing with it good tidings. However I would still be granted some blessings and powers if I accepted the pig as a jadok. Failing or refusing I would be shot in nine places in my body in nine days' time. I accepted the condition of becoming a soothsayer, thereon the spirit of the god of the pig was pacified and I was initiated a soothsayer weeks later.

I think I have since been blessed because I have lots of children and wives and cattle and that is all I want from the god-spirit of the sag-deri.

 

FUMBISI

 

J.Ab.

The story of how Mr J. Ab became a soothsayer: When I completed Middle School in 1966 my dream was to pursue education to the highest level attainable to me. Education was free then, and I desired to make the best of it. But things did not turn our that way for me. I admire intelligence greatly and love to be among the learned. In those days I could not enter a Secondary School , because I had gone past form two. The alternatives were a Teacher-Training college or a technical institution on the job market. I chose to write the entrance examination for admission into a Teacher Training College. I did write the exam, failed and tried again the next year without any success. To this day I still look back on those years with surprise and shock. It was a real blow! All the same I managed to overcome the disappointment, but I must tell you it was very hard for me. You know, I used to be a church-goer, and there was an announcement on a bright morning in the church for interested members to apply to the Parish Priest to be considered for training as a catechist. This was catchy for me, considering my earlier attempts to pursue education. Without waste of time I wrote an application and delivered it to the priest personally. I wasn't going to take chances. The priest was happy and thanked me for being quick and eager about the announcement. It was another bright day in my life because of the fullness and of the hope I had. Man proposes and God disposes, and so it was with me. In fact, my bright day was suddenly turned into night. At sundown I awoke from a nap, picked up a basket and set out to gather dried cow droppings (when processed turn out termites which we use as feed for chickens). As I gathered, I day-dreamed about my becoming a catechist and all the joy and dignity I would be enjoying. I imagined myself teaching Bible lessons and catechism to the Primary Schools, children and illiterate folk of the church. I even thought about starting a night school for adults and young adults. Do not forget I was to leave home the next morning for Wiaga to begin training. I had told myself that ironing would be next if I got home. This thought was the last I made in day-dreaming about becoming a catechist. I got back to my compound with a fever and a terrible headache. I have never experienced it. My temperature began to rise and I was getting weak in my joints. I managed to spread a mat in my room and quickly covered myself. I felt very uncomfortable with pain, all over my body.. I suddenly lost my sight and hearing. I think I must have become unconscious then. I cannot remember what happened thereafter but I woke up slowly and found my parents and relations around me. Looking around I could see they were troubled. There was a medicine man too. I noticed a little later but didn't ask questions because...I suppose there was no reason why, but I just kept looking at the faces around until I heard someone say my name. I know that was my name but I could not answer. The same voice asked if I would drink water. I still could not answer. I just kept searching the faces around me. I could also feel the wetness of the pillow under my head and the mat. Must have been my sweat or water. My joints were still weak and my body was painful too. I never spoke a word that evening. Someone lighted my lamp and I could see anyone who came in or got out. The medicine man said something to my uncle and he quickly left the room. Presently he returned with something that I guessed was my personal god. This was placed by my head and everyone left the room including the medicine man. Later I slept. Next day I woke up feeling good and struggled out of my room. I met my uncle and a few relatives seated in the yard. Perhaps they had kept watch. I greeted them and asked for some water to wash my mouth and face. After I had washed my face my uncle asked again about my health. I told them I was fine but hungry. My uncle ordered that food be prepared for me as fast as possible. While I ate they left me to consult a soothsayer. They returned after a while and invited me to sit with them. Then I was told a spirit strongly attached to me wants to make me a soothsayer. If I refused to comport myself it would make me mad or even kill me. They went on to explain that I had failed to enter college because of the spirit and would never be successful at any endeavour if I do not submit to the spirit and related issues. I calmly told them I was a Christian and such intrigues were not permissible in Christian faith. I desired to remain Christian and nothing else. I was again warned of the consequences of my refusal and their innocence. I retorted that everything be left to God. That was how we parted: I in trust of my Christian faith and they in their belief. A few days later, I felt much better and decided to see the Parish Priest again. At the parish I was told he had travelled abroad and would return in a fortnight. He was in charge of appointing a catechist and must have crossed out my name on account of my absence. Damned; another setback! I told myself. I was down and out, terribly disappointed and rejected. I turned around and started for home, dejected. Let me tell you that I never found my way home. I developed hallucinations and eventual madness. I stayed in the bush between Kasiesa and Gbedema and avoided all human contact. I fed on wild fruits and pothole water. I don't know for how long I kept this way, but I follow I left my abode in the bush when I realized people were trying to send me home. The sight of human beings terrified me. I got more and more ragged and mad.

I was picked by some strong men (quite unknown to me) and sent home. I got shackled and the medicine-man came in again. Several rituals were performed by the medicine man. Herbs and fowls constituted a large part of the medicine man's treatment. A few months passed before I began to get well. My uncle told me I would only get well and prosperous if I submitted myself to the spirit. Reluctantly I agreed or rather submitted and the spirit offered me a god which now sits in my room beside my personal god. The spirit is a bunoruk (chameleon), one that came to me from one of my late uncles. He was a great soothsayer and much liked because of the exactness of his predictions and accurate forecasts. Today I am a soothsayer and I must admit that there is some power in soothsaying that I do not understand. This power is real and effective.

After the spirit had been appeased and I also submitted myself to its dictates, I began to grow. I got a job with the Ministry of Agriculture as field assistant; trained also for primary health care in my village. I have a flourishing poultry farm (not very large) and I enjoy life very much. I haven't been sick for a very long time now nor have I met any misfortune. The spirit forbids me attending funerals, so I don't attend funerals or wake-keepings of anyone. If I do, there will be trouble of any kind, and I am not going to take chances!

 

Apok

The story of how Apok became a soothsayer (Fumbisi-Naadem): "You schoolboys like to know everything about us, whereas we know very little about your work; I mean the books and letters you read for yourselves and others. But I will tell you my story all the same, because I want you to understand so that you may believe.

It all happened many, many years ago. I was a bit younger then and had already born two children. I also engaged in making pots which I sold in the market. A big samoaning sold at 3 pesewas then, but that was an awful lot of money. I could buy some fish and pepper and salt and cola. Today a pot that size sells more, but pays for very few goods. I don't know why, are the gods against us?

My mother was a soothsayer, but she has long been laid [buried]. She used to spoil me and love her [me?] so much.

One evening I broke my cooking [pot] while I was stirring T.Z. in [it] over the fire. The T.Z. wasted and the family went to bed without supper. My younger son could not stand the pain of hunger in his belly [and] cried so long and hard, I had to beg a neighbour for some food for him. Having eaten he got quiet and asleep with the family. Dawn caught me on the way to the stream where we fetched water. I arrived at the stream in absolute silence, because I was weak from not having eaten the previous night. The first calabash of water I fetched from the stream that morning was unusually heavy and I got curious. I looked into the calabash and saw a mud-fish [Clarias sp.] lying peacefully at the bottom of the calabash. The mud-fish was fairly big and I could not imagine how it got into the calabash, because fish usually would speed away on hearing noise or seeing a killer. For the next few moments I could not decide what to do with the mud-fish but I wasn't afraid of it because it wasn't harmful. Without much thought I turned it loose, washed my calabash and filled my pot with water and made for home slowly.

As I approached the entrance to my compound, I saw two chameleons walking away in opposite directions. They were both the same colour and about the same size. I did not mind that; I just walked past with my pot of water on my head. Having emptied the contents of the pot into a bigger one I set about sweeping the yard, gathering the rubbish and throwing that outside on the tampoi [rubbish-heap], then got back inside.

I heard footsteps outside, then got out to see who it was because I knew my family to be asleep. But behold that who I saw was my husband. He must have been out right after I had set out for water. The look on his face was not a pleasant one, and I quickly asked him to know what had gone wrong. Shaking his head and waving his right hand he replied with alarm "There's trouble on your head and you must act quickly or suffer a great lose [loss]." I quickly deduced that he had just consulted a soothsayer and that message must come from him. I pressed further to know it all , and he continued, telling me about the pot I broke while cooking [and] the fish at the water-side. He even mentioned the chameleons. I confirmed it and he finally had this to say: "Your father's jadok has entered the compound and unless we quickly initiate you, we will lose our children one by one, and you know what that means. So get prepared and let's avert the danger."

Indeed I got prepared and was initiated three market days later. The chameleons were even the cause of me [being] christened Apok (meaning chameleon woman). I knew all of this would happen when my father died a few years back.

 

Ach.

The story of how Ach. in Vayaasa became a soothsayer as narrated by him:

I was on my way to a soothsayer's house - Abongyeri - for consultation. The time was about 5.30 a.m. As I walked through Saana - a fetish bush - I saw several guinea fowls and felt a feeling of mingled surprise and curiosity at their restlessness. You see, they were making so much noise and appeared to be seeking refuge. I told myself that the fowls were in danger and started looking around to see what was troubling them.

My search for their tormentor brought me closer to the group of guinea fowls and I saw under a tree a coiled python, which had its head raised and seemingly attentive. It must have seen me but it was apparently not scared. It didn't bother to flee or attack me, it just lay there in majesty. The python snake had taken all my attention or concern for the guinea fowls, and I did not realize when they had left or where they had taken refuge. At this stage I decided to let sleeping dogs lie, and went on my way. But I had an intuition what exactly I had seen that morning!

I returned to my compound after consulting the soothsayer, but life - my life - was to make a U-turn, which I would never be able to reverse (he shook his head partly in worry and dismay for that day). I will tell, and believe me, lightning stroke twice in the same place (a proverb in Buli meaning the unusual happened - it is believed lightning does not strike twice in the same place). I developed fever and became restless avoiding my daily schedule of work. I went on like this for several months because I shunned all advice and caution from my family, relatives and friends. Actually I did not tell anyone about what I had seen at Saana. I kept the experience to myself.

About a year later I became deranged and remained so for several months. Thereon my family began to consult soothsayers about my health. They consulted several soothsayers over a period of time before it was determined that the fetish at Saana had exposed itself to me and demanded that I accepted it as part of my personal god to prepare me to become a jadok soothsayer.

Upon this information my relative gave me a cock and two hens which we sent to the teng-nyono who slaughtered one hen to the gods placed in front of his kusung and the other hen and cock he slaughtered at the Saana for the fetish which was the python I saw. The teng-nyono collected some soil from Saana for me which I took home to become my personal god. I appeased this god with millet flour water (zu-nyiam) and another hen before I started getting better in health. Ababa of Abang-Yeri initiated me.

Today that python is my jadok and forbids me drinking liquor, particularly akpeteshi (a locally distilled gin) and all spirits. I can only drink pito because of the very low content of alcohol in it.

This jadok of mine told me it would send some kikerisa to me, a couple of years back, that is why I have a white calico curtain dividing a quarter of my soothsaying room. When the kikerisa finally come that is where they will stay and talk to me and clients each time I call them for consultation.

Right now I am preparing to be initiated for the kikerisa and I would invite you to witness the occasion. It is the highest and most powerful level in soothsaying among us. It is also a very expensive initiation ceremony involving the slaughtering of fowls, goats and a cow. As for money and malt for pito and other paraphernalia the cost is frightening (he said looking into the sky).

But this is something more powerful than me, and I must comply or face death or something else tasteless.

 

 

GBEDEMBILISA

  

Abo (M.A.)

The origin of kaboluk goes back countless years into the past. My father's father's father could not remember anything about kaboluk's origin (as a stream) though he lived with it and worshipped it all his life. It's a hand-down of my ancestors and I and my clan see it just as such.

If you walk towards these trees in the distance you will find kaboluk. It's a little stream with lots of fish. In the good, good old days no one went fishing at kaboluk and returned with an empty basket, but it's not so now. The children swim and fish nearly always yet they would come with little fishes in their baskets or bags. The bigger fishes are rare now. Well, for all my life and those of my ancestors [we] have never heard or seen kaboluk dry up. Isn't it mysterious?

In real terms kaboluk is a tanggbain. I understand that kaboluk must have been used as an underhand deity to escape or avoid awkward situations such as earlier tribal wars, the slave raids and earlier epidemics. I think there was belief of the divine nature of the stream which might have been based on reason and unusual happenings at kaboluk. Those that I know of are sketchy but that is the way I know it.

I follow that before raids of slaves or wars as any communal mishap those who lived close to kaboluk in the past used to notice the colour of kaboluk water turn black for the entire day. So the coincidental change of colour of kaboluk and the mishaps must have stimulated awe in the people, near kaboluk. Naturally, they must have consulted a medicine man who must have established its deism and associated rituals and attitudes. The eldest of the settlers near kaboluk was initiated its first priest and has handed it down to all his descendants.

Today the settlers are still a clan and there's an annual occasion of thanksgiving and divination; special medicines are prepared with food and invitations sent out to clan members to come and pay moral and spiritual allegiance to kaboluk. The one focal point of this occasion is the automatic acquisition of divine power on eating the food prepared with medicines. Even a stranger who partakes of it acquires these powers too, though the/she might not be a member or relative of the clan. The principle is that kaboluk's role as a communal rescuer should never be denied any peaceful person, but an aggressor or oppressor. This implies that all the members of the clan are diviners or soothsayers whose jadok is kaboluk, however compulsory practice of soothsaying is not a rule! It's a matter that rests on the individual and only three of us clan members divine in Gbedembilisi.

 

Ate.

The jadok that I work with is a goai-naab. There are not many of them around these days. The hunters must have killed most of them and scared away the rest, but I think you can sometimes find one or two along the river bank, where the vegetation is greener. Goai-naab is good meat, but dangerous and powerful when attacked. My father was once carried away by a goai-naab.

It's traditional that our men get together and plan a hunting expedition soon after the harvest of the late millet. Actually it is really started when all crops on all farms in a particular section have been harvested. It's usually an occasion to display talents and agility. Men would show their physical strength and fitness by running faster and longer in pursuit of game; or the ability to throw a club farther and deftly killing an animal. Some would excel in shooting arrows while running and hitting one or more animals. Others may show real strength of their muscles and bones by strangling big animals like a goai-naab. And for others it's a chance to test new medicines or a juju they have acquired. They may test it on a renowned medicine in the group or on an escaping animal. Weak men and children usually would be in the hind of the group killing rats, rabbits and bigger birds. Bush burning accompanies these hunting expeditions.

It was on one such expedition that my father got carried away by a bush cow or goai-naab. Game was in progress when he stopped to attend nature's call - he stopped to free his bowels. Having found the shade of a tree he made to ease himself quickly and catch up with his mates. He had just sat on his heels when a goai-naab sprang out of the shrubs, charged him and carried him on its horns. It ran opposite the hunters unnoticed, and disappeared with him in the bush. At sunset the leader of the expedition ordered its conclusion. They got together and started for home. Not long someone noticed his absence and announced it in question. The leader asked the members of the group if he had informed anyone of them and left for home or anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts in the bush as a result of injury or accident. Everyone denied knowledge of his whereabouts or sudden departure. Instantly the group turned into a search party. The search lasted three days with not wind of my father. They were ordered home and a soothsayer was consulted that evening; there it was revealed that a god had snatched him and was holding him hostage in the bush. For his release his family would have to make sacrifice of millet flour water, cola and a basket of late millet to the tanggbain of the area where the hunting expedition was carried out. In time, the priest of the tanggbain was contacted and he offered the listed items to the tanggbain which received them on behalf of the god. The next morning my father returned home safe and sound. In his narration of what happened to him he told the family how he got carried away on the goai-naab's horns to some far way bush he had never seen before. He was placed in a cave-like stem of a baobab tree. Strangely he never felt thirsty or hungry for all the time that he lived in the stem of the baobab tree. He slept for long periods much of the days and dreams he could still recollect in detail and orderly. In his last dream he was in company of many bush cows, the king of whom ordered him to perform certain rites privately when he returned home so as to acquire the powers of medicine and soothsaying. Naturally he heeded the order and soon became one of the best known soothsayers in our land Gbedembilisi.

When I was growing adolescent he got laid, and years later I inherited his jadok after his final funeral rites.

 

Asa.

My mother died when I was only a girl. If it were today, I could tell you my age then, but you know we don't write dates. I remember and I am also told she died not long before [after?] large grasshoppers migrated here in vast swarms and ate all the vegetation of millet grass and almost everything green. The only crop they did not eat was bura. I was fed on that by my aunt. She fed on that too. That season and subsequent ones were really terrible times; people ate all kinds of barks and roots to keep alive. Thank God I have not experienced it again.

Mother used to travel around a lot and must have known many places before she died. My aunt used to tell me how my mother (her sister) would travel to places like Kanjaga, Uwasi, Kong and others to visit relatives and ask them for help in terms of food. I think her family and possibly her husband were really poor, and must have had their woes lightened by her trips and whatever she brought back with. It was always food whenever she returned but one day she brought home a waab-kpiam as a jadok.

Story goes that she first saw two big black snakes in some shrub when she was travelling to Fumbisi. I don't know for what [reason] particularly, but I understand it was on that journey she saw the snake. In those days people used to travel in two, three or more. No one dared walk alone for it was unwise and dangerous. Man-eating animals used to be very common and daring; they even appeared to enjoy human flesh most, but my mother was alone that day. She must have noticed the snakes copulating in the shrub and turned her face to avoid them, still walking on towards Fumbisi. Suddenly she decided to return to Gbedembilisi and made a U-turn there and then. She got home when it was dark. The compound was not asleep when she returned and so she was seen entering her hut.

Next morning she woke up and found a big black snake in her hut. The snake gave her a feeling of fear and helplessness though it lay quietly and unruffled. She hurried out, called her husband (not my father) to go into her hut and see the snake and maybe kill it. Her husband having seen the snake decided against killing it. He found its presence in the hut intriguing and went right away to consult a soothsayer. Anxiously they all waited for the outcome of the consultation.

Weeks later, the rigmarole was over and she was initiated soothsayer; her jadok being her black patched snake called waab-kpiam.

She handed her baton of soothsaying to me after her funeral had been performed. This was made known during the performance of the usual rituals. It may have gone to a brother or sister of mine, but I am an only child and obviously fit [for] the cap.

 

KADEMA

 

Abi.

You do not know my grandfather, but he lived many, many years ago on this land. I follow he was a farmer and loved his crops too much. He would go early to his farm and come back late in the evening. Yes, that was his way, so he was able to accomplish a lot. Her had several wives and children, all of whom he fed well; my father was younger son of his. However he has been laid [buried] too.

I follow my grandfather was a quiet thoughtful man. He would listen to a question or proposal with a lukewarm attitude and speak wise answers or responses minutes later. He ate very little and could go on that for hours on his farm. He owned some cattle and was considerable wealthy. I can show you some of his cows grazing in the valley. I am now their proud owner. I am also the grandson who has inherited his jadok.

My father was a soothsayer [as] much as my grandfather, who started it all when he had to obey the greater forces of nature.

I told you my grandfather was a farmer, and on his farm he had a lot of experiences. He killed big snakes and gamed too. I have skins of animals he killed on his farm. They are family relics, but the most scared of them is an arrow fixed in a piece of round metal. In fact they are inseparable, that was my grandfather's jadok.

My father told me how it happened. Grandpa was weeding among his crops when he heard an unusual noise above him. It was a continuous droning sound. Naturally he knew the sounds made by animals and birds, and considering the humming sound strange he stood up full length in total curiosity. He looked all around him but could see or smell nothing. The noise however got louder and closer and seemed particularly directed towards him. Then he began to feel dizzy and decided to flee for safety. He had barely moved a step when an object fell right in front of him with a heavy thuck mesmerizing him. He turned around and fled when he had momentarily gained courage.

The sun was not setting then and everyone wondered what must have brought grandpa home so early. But no one dared ask because he would not answer immediately. Laying his goat skin on the logs in the kusung, he lay down seemingly asleep, but he would turn on his side occasionally to look about as though he had developed hallucinations. His eldest son's concern for his strange behaviour went inside the kusung and shook him to speak, but he would not. Presently he stared his son in the face and ordered him out with a gesture. He refused his supper and slept in the kusung that night.

At dawn the told of the strange object and noise he saw and heard on his farm and the family left for the farm to see it too. They did see it but did not touch it. They returned to the hut and made a collective decision to consult a soothsayer about the strange object.

The soothsayer told them the iron and arrow came from God and should never be left lying in the farm. He instructed them to take it home and keep in a special room. He told them also that the object was a jadok that had been sent to him (my grandpa)) to guard him against evil spirit and the machination of envious men and women in his village. The entire family considered all of this as desirable blessings and so all the men went together to bring the iron and arrow home. I understand it was my grandfather who picked it up and put it in a large piece of white native cloth and carried it home. It was he again who choose a room for it. The iron and arrow were laid on the white native cloth and that is where they have always been lying since it was brought to our compound.

Later he performed the initiation rite and was finally confirmed a soothsayer. He was old then and did not live very long, but there has been little misfortune in the family since he acquired the arrow and iron jadok.

 

Aku.

My grandfather, called Aku., was a hunter. He liked shooting game animals for food and amusement. In those days the bush was thick and good habitat for many animals. My grandfather hunted with a bow and poisonous arrows. He also had in his kit a native axe and several knives inserted [in?] the skin he wore and on occasion his magic smock. It was a taboo for him to announce the time of his departure for game to anyone. So no one knew when he left for hunting; his absence at sundown was perhaps the family's only way of knowing he had left for hunting. It is believed that if he announced his departure, the spirit god of the animals would get to know his strategy and alert all the animals in the bush to avoid the routes he would be using that particular day. Se he always left and returned unannounced but with the carcass of various animals. Each day he returned from hunting at dawn or at midnight he would usually smear the gore of each carcass on his personal god and the god of hunting specially prepared for him by a medicine man. This done, the carcass would be skinned with the help of others and the meat eaten or some of it sold. I understand he killed a puutong [feline animal] with three shots from his bow. He was as usual leaving home for hunting when he met this particular puutong proceeding towards his compound at a moderate pace and fearlessly. He halted and caused the arrows in his sheathe to rattle. This way he hoped to scare away the animal, but it kept coming on towards him and in defence shot the arrows at it, hitting it in the neck, head and upper limb. The animal sank on its knees in pain and died with its neck stretched out such that its head was pointed to Akusung's compound. Akusung walked up to the carcass of the puutong and tried to remove his arrows. Strangely he broke all the arrows in the attempt and instantly got apprehensive. Never before had he broken an arrow in all his encounters as a hunter. His intuition warned him that he had hatched trouble with his own hands. He had to see a soothsayer. The puutong was left to lie where it was shot and killed for three days. Afterwards it was carried indoors and buried. Its funeral [was] performed [a] day later. The puutong became a jadok for Akusung. When he died my father's brother inherited it and lived with it a while. He died of black cough and after his funeral I got terribly sick and on consulting a soothsayer I was declared the next of kin for the jadok. I have been at work as [a] soothsayer for many, many years. I must die a soothsayer.

 

Abe

Story of initiation: No one remembers when the fetish Koksa [kok = dry zone mahogany, Khaya senegalensis] came to be, but we worship it. I am related to Koksa and give it special attention, because it nursed my inherited jadok. Koksa is very close to my compound. My grandfather Akalak was first initiated soothsayer with a wuri [monitor lizard, Varanus exanthematicus?] jadok. Akalak was a herbalist. He gathered herbs from all kinds of bush in Kadema and surrendering [surrounding?] villages, e.g. Wiaga, Uwasi, Fumbisi etc. For many years he sold or exchanged his herbs to people from far and near, he would even treat the sick who agreed to stay with him for some time in his compound. He was known to have cure for fever, stomach ache, boils, skin infections, sexual weakness and many more.

The story about him has it that he had always lacked a particular herb which he considered vital for the treatment of convulsion. It was a common ailment then and he was determined to treat it as best as he could. In his search for his herb he would spend long hours looking up the bush in Kadema, but to no avail. Nonetheless he kept faith. One morning he noticed a hawk [jiiruk; F.K.: eagle] perch on a branch of a kok-tree in the fetish Kokta. Hawks had constantly preyed on chicks and lambs in his compound, and in a bid to check [?] them he jumped out of his kusung with a sling to shoot at the hawk killing or scaring it away. Each time he shot the sling and missed the hawk, he got closer to take a better aim. Eventually he found himself standing at the feet of Koksa. Looking up to shoot again he noticed instead the herb he had been looking for the past years. He had suddenly found it growing on a branch of the kok on which the hawk had perched. He abandoned his pursuit of the hawk and ran home for an axe. Returning to Koksa, he cleared his path so as to reach the kok, climb and chop down the branch on which the herb was growing. In the process of clearing a way for him to reach the kok tree he unknowingly smashed the head of a young wuri. He realized his killing of the wuri only when he noticed blood stains on the blade of his axe and picking some leaves [he] wiped off the blood stains, climbed the kok and cut down the branch, then cut the particular herb he wanted and made his way happily home. For him it was a great, great, great day!

The night when he went to bed, he found sleep difficult for him. His head baked in severe pain and everything he did to ease the pain failed. As the pain persisted intensively, he broke down in tears and kept his compound awake with his long but high mournful cry. He went on that way until morning, when a soothsayer was sought for advice. The soothsayer told of his killing a wuri in Koksa and how Koksa was angry with him for killing its baby. To appease Koksa he would have to accept the wuri as a jadok or lose his life. For fear of losing his life the teng-nyono was asked by Akalak to make sacrifices of a chicken and millet flour mixed in water to the Fetish. This done his exploding headache ceased and he got well a few days later. Before the next few weeks he had performed all the rites necessary to make him a soothsayer.

When he died my father inherited him and I him when he passed away too. Today I have the Koksa as god in the room, in which I do make work as soothsayer when required. The god was adopted by my grandfather and will be passed on to his offspring accordingly. But we may not be herbalists like him, because we do not have that ability. We do know a few of his herbs, and I administer to my family.

Zusätzliche Frage F.K. an Michael: "Was Akadak allowed to cut branches for a tanggbain tree?" - Michael: "Usually you can take sticks, but this tree probably did not like it".

 

 

UWASI

 

Aka. (M.A.)

Kutin is my jadok. It is the greatest of all the fetishes in Kazensa. I belong to it, and it belongs to me, because we work together.

It was many years ago when it happened and I got initiated. I had a piece of land very close to the fetish on which I cultivated groundnuts. In fact, my father had worked on it too, and so I continued to work on it after his death. The yields from this particular piece of land was very good yearly. I bought my first cow from the money I made selling crops from that land.

My first cow soon produced a young one which in return produced another and eventually gave me a herd. My family also grew in numbers and I was generally respected or admired by my friends and neighbours. For many years I basked in this glory.

Our fathers (ancestors) have it that every great man has had some bitter past, but I think my kind of bitterness experienced was really distressing and harsh beyond words.

First there was a heavy downpour [of rain] which caused a flood bringing down my entire compound. My barn fell leaving the grain for the family to the mercy of the flood, and I tell you, the water washed it all away. My groundnuts and beans were soaked and began to germinate days later. In a few days all my food was gone, and so much property damaged by the falling walls on rain water. I moved my two wives and five children to a neighbour's compound for shelter. My neighbour accommodated us in one room. That was the best he could do for us, and I was glad to a have a roof for the family. For the first time I sold one of my cows to buy food for the family, and we managed to go through that severe trial. Next we set about building a new compound after the rainy season had ceased. Again I sold some of my cows for the purpose of the building at a different site this time.

You know that in the season that does not produce liquid visits, our cattle, sheep and goats move away to find water and graze in distant places. They would usually return when our valleys turn green and our ponds sparkle. That year when the animals returned to their owners my herd never came. I waited for days in disappointment and then decided to seek them with my eldest son as an aid. We searched Kunkwak, Kpesinkpe and several villages along that route. Failing we turned to places like Yagba, Kubori, Mankarugu and the nearer villages. No one we asked remembered seeing any herd of my description; having spent three market days [nine days] in fruitless search we returned home jaded and daunted. But the rudest shock was the reported death of my two little girls. They were both fetching wood near Kutin when a red-headed snake crawled across them and deftly bit them in their legs with its fangs. They managed to reach the compound but died before sunset. I watched the new graves through tears.

When misfortune begins to dog your steps, you know something is amiss and must receive attention in the briefest time. Tired and hungry as I was I consulted a soothsayer who told me Kutin was at war with me; the reason being that I had never bothered to offer it water or blood in appreciation for its role in my prosperity and strength. I was made to understand that Kutin kept my piece of land near it fertile over the years, herein my prosperity. To reverse the ordeal Kutin desired that I ritualize it as my jadok. I yielded and got initiated.

Believe the fetish, it returned my lost herd after my initiation and I begot a pregnant woman for a third wife weeks later. Kutin is now at peace with me and I am prosperous and happy again.

 

Aga.

It starts with my great grandfather's visit to the land of the Talinsa in Tongo. I follow he was unable to make children and so went to Tongo to consult the fetish there. He performed the rites and promised to offer the fetish three bulls if it helped him to beget children. Apparently he was wealthy and did not desire that his wealth be inherited by anyone other than his own children. I follow he was an only child to his parents and hoped strongly to carry on the chain of his lineage.

A year later he begot a son and several others as years rolled on. At the birth of his first son he returned to the fetish to fulfil his promise. Not long after his return from Tongo he met terrible setbacks. First was the death of his fifth son and months later his third wife. This appalled him so much, he returned to the fetish to lay his burdened heart. After consultation he was told the fetish desired that he adopted it as a jadok or lose his family and wealth. He immediately conceded the demands of the fetish and was initiated soothsayer. Thereupon peace and prosperity embraced him until he died in very old age.

The Tong has since been inherited by his descendants sequentially. My father last held that spiritual force, I inherited it from him and will have to carry on with its business until my dying day.

There are times when I have to visit the fetish in Tongo to perform some rites as thanksgiving to the fetish. The medicine people from Tongo come to me here yearly too. They come to appease the gods and ask for their blessings for good harvest, health and prosperity in our land.

 

Agb.

The story of initiation as told me by Agb: I was born and bred in this village but pushed down south for cash and change of environment. I later recruited in the army. A few years after my training, myself and many other soldiers from Ghana were flown to Burma to fight on behalf of the British Crown.

In Burma time was so hard, the world was at war. But one Corporal Mensah, a Ga man, used to relief us of the tension by mimicking funny scenes of our engagement with the enemy. I happened to be out late night and started for my camp at dawn. As I approached the camp I could see a moving figure in army uniform. He was white and I thought him to be the camp-commander, so I hid myself in the shrub. From there I watched the man outside the camp. Minutes later it got a bit clear and I could see that the man was not the camp commander; that set me wondering what a Whiteman could be doing outside our camp alone, particularly when we were all (but for the commander) black and Ghanaian. Having been alerted I carefully studied his uniform and detected that he was an Indian soldier. Some of them hated us (blacks) and so I guessed he was at the camp for mischief. I picked a piece of rock and hurled it at him. The piece of rock hit him right in the temple causing him to fall. I leapt out of the shrub and he on hearing my boot-steps began to escape. I pursued him and caught up with him as the pain in his temple seemed to have turned him dizzy. He thumped exhausted on the ground, I approached him cautiously for he could have been feigning so as to get me closer for a slab with a dagger. It was morning now and I could see the Indian was bleeding from his temple; the piece of rock had mutilated his side of the eye. I could judge he had become weak and so I courageously walked up to him. He spoke something but I could not understand him. Looking into his face I could see he was in real pain, but I could not help him for fear my camp commander would not accept him. Beside I did not want my camp commander to know I was out late last night.

I noticed a talisman around his neck. It attracted me so much; I impulsively removed it from his neck and stuffed it in my pocket (the upper right pocket) and walked away from the Indian. Some of my camp mates were already up for the morning routine, but none asked questions as I joined them, I decided to let sleeping dogs lie.

We remained in Burma a few more months as the war raged on. Then one evening after our supper the camp commander summoned us and read a list of names which the appropriate owners responded to. We had lost several men while others had been taken captive. He went on to announce our departure next morning and great was our joy for the war was over. Some of us went to the bar that last night and shared beer with our friends. It was [a] big aircraft that flew us home to friends, families and duty the next morning.

Many weeks after arrival I developed nightmares. My behaviour changed too: I became aggressive over trifles. This condition of mine progressed until my barracks sergeant feared I had lost sanity and reported these findings to the officer-in-charge. An army doctor examined me and recommended a long period of rest for me, thus I was made to go on leave. I arrived in Uwasi for leave with the same strange behaviour. My parents consulted a soothsayer who told them about the talisman and the spirit of the Indian; in fact the Indian had died from my wound. His spirit was in pursuit of me for revenge. A medicine man was consulted and told my family he could appease the spirit of the Indian which he did after my parents had offered him the required paraphernalia.

The talisman became a jadok and I have it in my room even now. It works with the spirit of the Indian soldier whenever I invoke them for consultation.

My leave over, I returned to Accra, got retired from the army and began to practice full time [soothsaying?] in Uwasi. I think the inhabitants are confident in my jadok because they openly acknowledge how beneficial my services have been to them. I think that has also earned me the sobriquet "India".

 

WIESI

 

Asu. (M.A.)

I have enjoyed a healthy life most of my years. You can see I am quite old now, but I tell you, I used to be young, strong and basked in the warmth of good food, women and what have you. I used to fish a lot and enjoyed hunting too. Best of all I loved good-looking women. I had several of them years ago, but none of them is in my yard today. The only woman I have is the one you see washing the calabash. Time, time, time is a mysterious thing that carries with it many strange things. I had my good times and I wonder if you young men are enjoying yourselves! My son, if your are enjoying yourself now, I would advise you to enjoy it as best and as peacefully as you can, for a day would come when nothing would interest you any longer. That is the double face of time.

I had four wives and several children before time started its troubles with me. First I developed fever and swelling of my feet and could not stand on them. For about a year I could not walk. Many seasons passed before I got well; my body was strong again, but I no longer enjoyed pastime. I kept to myself most times. The worst followed. My children and wives began to die one after the other. I remember a couple of them who left my compound and never returned - they refused to come back to me, I let matters stay like that because I was too weak and bitter with life. It is a painful thing to lose your children and wives!

From the outset I had regularly consulted soothsayers to find out the cause of these misfortunes without success. Nonetheless, I continued to have an inner conviction that something was seriously wrong with me spiritually. So my determination to find out the cause in order that I liberate myself set me searching for a powerful soothsayer. I remember a friend (long dead) of mine listen to my woes and he advised me to got to Yagaba in the Northern Region and consult a blind soothsayer believed to be the most reliable in divination and the use of herbs. Without wasting time I left for Yagaba.

There I was taken to see the blind soothsayer who after invoking his spirits began to tell me strange things about the past. I was told about an animal my ancestor killed which had turned a jadok and desired to be ritualized. If I failed to do as it desired, the entire lineage of the ancestor would be wiped off the face of the earth.

From the description the blind soothsayer made of the particular animal I realized that the animal was what we call kung [antelope] in Buli. He further instructed me on how to go about appeasing the angered spirit of the animal. The entire process would cost so much money today if I have to repeat it.

Being weak and poor at the time I was told to initiate myself, I relied greatly on my relatives who got all the bits together for me to be initiated. Slowly everything was put together and I was finally initiated.

I have never really understood why my jadok should lick me of all my children, wives and wealth when I would have accepted it even under the pressure of its first harassment. It is all strange, my son!

 

Aya

I have a waab-piik as my jadok. This jadok came to me from my grandfather who was a soothsayer many years ago. I follow that I was a baby when he died but he used to like me very much because I looked exactly like him.

After his death I became a sick boy and a weakling. Many medicine men attended me to no avail, so slowly I grew up still a weakling. However my family liked me because I was always asking to be allowed to do the same kind of hard work assigned to my brothers and friends.

There was in the neighbourhood another sick boy who was always a worry to his parents. His father determined to cure his son of his persistent illness and invited an experienced and powerful medicine man to Wiesi to examine his son and give him the best of medicine in his knowledge of medicine. The medicine man arrived and many other sick persons were brought to him. My father took me to him too.

I was examined and told to go home and come again next morning. My father took me to the medicine man again the next morning. When we were let into the medicine man's room, he bade my father and me to sit on the floor and listen. He told us my grandfather's jadok wishes that I inherit it so that it would make me well and strong for any type of work. He advised that the funeral of my grandfather be performed before everything necessary is done to initiate me.

Not long after this consultation the funeral of my grandfather was performed making it possible for me to inherit his jadok and onward initiation. For many seasons now I have always been healthy and strong. I am, no longer the weak lad.

 

Apo (female)

I woke up each morning with a mind to go through my daily chore (small jobs considered to be boring, unpleasant etc,) with calm and determination. It is not easy to find pleasure in any kind of work because it all goes with pain and sometimes disappointment.

I had the need for a new hut and had to cut sticks and grass from the bush for the purpose. I personally like to bring closer to me all things far away from me that I would require in any piece of job, closer to my compound before I commence work on a particular job.

It was this wisdom that set me cutting sticks in the bush one morning. I had cut enough good sticks and was making up my mind to return home when I noticed a properly shaped forked stick among some trees, I began to imagine what great help it would be in my new hut, and felt delighted with the picture in my mind.

Picking my axe I walked to the particular tree and began to cut it down. As I cut on, the sound coming from the base where I was cutting sounded hollow. I went on cutting until the forked tree fell. Examining the tree I realized that the entire tree was indeed hollow from its base to its top. I struck my axe against the sides of the tree and all sounded hollow!

I felt disappointed and turned to go when I heard a hissing sound reaching out from the inside of the tree. I have known that sound to be one of a big snake and wisely kept distance in self-defence. Soon I saw a big snake moving slowly out of the hollow. When it had come full length out it crawled round the hollow forked tree that I had felled before making for the bush. I did not pursue it because I thought it strange to find a big snake in the trunk of a tree.

I told my eldest brother about what I had experienced when I got. He also considered it strange and so he went to consult a soothsayer. When he arrived at the soothsayer's house he was told he was ill and could not see anyone. He returned home to consult him again another time.

That night I developed fever. My temperature was terribly high, my family began to fear for my life. My eldest brother and others at dawn consulted a different soothsayer who told them everything. He told them I had chopped down the abode of a tanggbain and I was destined to accept the tanggbain as a jadok, provide an abode in my compound for it and also prepare the place where I had chopped down the forked tree for worship of the tanggbain.

My personal god was invoked to appease the tanggbain on my behalf and to promise that I would be initiated in its name, and indeed I was initiated in its name when my fever was gone. The waab kpiem is now my jadok, and tanggbain. I make sacrifices to the tanggbain whenever a request comes from it.

 

II) Berufungsgeschichten, gesammelt von Sebastian Adaanur

Von diesen sehr zahlreichen, z.T. aber sehr kurzen Geschichten wird hier nur ein Teil veröffentlicht. Ein häufig wiederkehrendes Erzählschema lautet: “A. was caught by the river for some time and a soothsayer told him to become a soothsayer himself” oder “A. saw coupling chameleons and had to become a soothsayer” oder “A. killed a jadok-animal and was ordered to become a soothsayer”. Diese Typen sind nicht in der folgenden Liste aufgenommen worden.

Einige der befragten Wahrsager kennen die Berufungsgeschichte nicht, da sie den jadok-Schrein z.B. von ihrem Großvater (VaVa) ererbt haben.

In der folgenden Liste erscheint nach dem Wohnort des Wahrsagers der Name des Wahrsage-Geistes, der gewöhnlich die Bezeichnung für das Tier oder einen materiellen Gegenstand ist, in dem sich dieser Geist manifestiert hat.

 

Doninga, waab

when Abs. was six years old he was swallowed by a big snake, his family performed his funeral, after some time (twenty-five) he came back with the soothsaying materials

 

Sandema Longsa, beli

Abt. had been under water in a river for some (3? 7?) days; in the stomach of a big fish: He did not eat and drink during this time. One morning he found himself on the bank of the river.

 

Sandema; bunorta

Abv saw five chameleons, the first of which was wearing a red cap; Abv. always wears a red cap during divination.

 

Sandema Kalijiisa-Choabisa, beli

vocation: Avr. went to his uncle's house in Bilinsobsa. On his way he fell into a tanggbain-river. For one day he was in the river, then was released.

 

Siniensi; goai-naab (bush-cow)

Abw. lost his way and was carried home by a bush-cow. Later he fell sick and had to become a soothsayer.

 

Doninga, waaung-soluk (tree)

When Achl. was collecting termites in the bush he saw a termite hill under a waaung-soluk tree, on the hill there was a red cap; he took the cap home and had been haunted by that tree until he was installed as a soothsayer.

 

Sandema-Awusiyeri, beliwaaung (monkey)

Ache’s father, a hunter, was resting under a tree in the bush. When he was thirsty, the monkeys in the tree asked him what he was looking for. He said "water". One beliwaaung-monkey invited him to ride on his back. The monkey's wife and child followed and they went to a big river. Ache mixed his flour with water and drank with the monkeys. His taboo is now never to hunt a beliwaaung-monkey again, which became his kisuk-animal. Later monkeys filled his jug every day. In the farming season a man found out that he had to become a diviner. After that he had never been ill.

 

Sandema-Fiisa, waaungsoluk

When Ada’s father went hunting in the bush, he lay down under a small waaung-soluk tree which had not yet any fruit. He was hungry. The wind blew and suddenly the tree was full of fruit. He ate but could not eat all. Whenever he had killed animals, he skinned them under the tree and left part of the meat there (no sacrifice!). He always was successful in hunting; in the wet season he had an eye-disease and nearly grew blind. Then he became a soothsayer and grew healthy again.

 

Sandema-Balansa (female), bunoruk

When Adsi’s father was working on a field, he heard a very big chameleon calling his name. It said: “You are not the only one who wants food; go home for the sun is hot. Her father went to the soothsayer who said he himself should become a soothsayer.

 

Sandema Kori, waaungsoluk

Ady was collecting termites in the bush. He saw a waaung-soluk tree getting fruit quite suddenly.

 

Sandema-Awusiyeri, snakes of Akukula (river near Chana)

Age's ancestor wished riches and received it, but they forgot their promise to the tanggbain (river). All died except Age. Then Age. saw two pythons getting out of the river and saw them copulating. The snakes took him down into the river for some time. Then they released him. At first Age had only the male river-jadok, then also the female one; clients may choose which they want.

 

Sandema Balansa, siik-tree (tanggbain of Abilyeri)

One night Agy. came home from the market drunk. Near Abilyeri tanggbain he met a man and a woman who told him he should never go back home from market drunk.

 

Sandema Pungsa, Akukula

Aju promised a dog to Akukula (tanggbain), if he became rich: He became rich and forgot about his promise. Akukula came to his house in the night and called his name, but Aju saw nobody. He had to become a soothsayer.

 

Sandema Pungsa, waaung-soluk

Alie (female) wanted to fetch wood from a waaung-soluk tree when she heard a voice: Basi mu! (Leave me!) She told her husband...

 

Sandema Kori, waaungsoluk

Akaba inherited the jadok from father. His father went hunting, lost his way and became very hungry. The leaves of the waaung-soluk-tree told him that he might eat all the fruit except those of a certain branch. As he was very hungry he also picked a fruit of that branch. When he opened it blood poured out of the fruit.

 

Sandema Fiisa, bunoruk (chameleon) other informant: chamkurik

Akza cut dry branches from a shea tree, that tree was a jadok, he put the bundle on his head and carried it home. When he wanted to put it down, also his head dropped on the ground. He carried the wood back to the bush and went to a soothsayer.

 

Wiaga Kubelinsa, ti-biak

Aksi had to cut branches for repairing a roof by the riverside. He had cut them from a bad tree.

 

Wiesi, ninang

Akapo killed ae ninang-bush-animal, which afterwards haunted him until he became a soothsayer

 

Sandema Bilinsobsa, Akukula

Aklie inherited the jadok from her father. She left her husband one night to return to her parents. On her way she met a man and a woman who were spirits of Akukula and told her to return to her husband.

 

Sandema Balansa, yuk (monitor lizard)

Aya killed a yuk-lizard. His fingernails grew long as those of a lizard. When he cut them they grew again over night.

 

Alawan Sandema Fiisa, kpajein+waab

Awa was born with a small egg (kpajein) in his hand. When he grew also the egg grew up to normal size of a hen's egg The egg is in the jadok-room today.

 

Sandema Balansa, waaungsoluk

Ala fetched termite clay from under a waaungsoluk-tree and found a red cap in the termite hill. A soothsayer told him he should wear it during divination (after he had become a soothsayer).

 

Fumbisi Naadem, suom (hare)

Akab saw a hare with a red cap

 

Aka Sandema Kori, Seb.: Akukula; Akanwari: Ngiak

Aka fell into the Akukula river and was absent for about a year. He was regarded as dead, but he was with people who gave him food. He found himself again on the bank of the river.

Akanwari: Ngiak is the Tallensi-shrine responsible for rain. Aka’s grandfather made a vow: he would sacrifice an animal to the Ngiak, but he forgot about it. After the grandfather's death Ngiak forced his son to offer the sacrifice and to become a soothsayer

 

Sandema Balansa, waaungsoluk

Aya fetched termite clay from under a waaungsoluk-tree and found a red cap in the hill. When going home his stomach ached.

 

Sandema Kori-Kanaasa, wapiik

Asib inherited jadok from his father. His father was bitten by a waapiik-snake; after that his body changed its colour like that of a snake.

 

Sandema Bilinsobsa, waaungsoluk  

Abils wife fetched wood from a waaung-soluk tree, but the wood did not burn. When Ábil tried to throw it away his arm was thrown away too. He went to the soothsayer with the wood. Today he uses a piece of that firewood as his divining wand.

 

Wiaga Kubelinsa, wapiik/tanggbain

Aso had killed a wa-piik snake which represented the Kubelinsa tanggbain Pu-koatik.

 

Sandema Kori-Kanaasa, beli

When Atag tried to cross a river he slipped and fell into the river. For 3 days he was absent. His wife went to the sacrificer of the river who broke an egg for the river (probably a sacrifice). Then Atag came back.

 

Doninga, kasoluk

One morning Ati wakes up with ear-pain. In his ear is the tail of a kasoluk<