Anthology of Kongo religion


pp. 1-27 –Part I. "Literacy and Truth".

pp. 5b-11a -- 0.1 "Speech".




"Nganga is ... an expert, ... usually a healer, priest, or magician; most often the nganga acquires his skill by initiation into the cult of a particular charm or fetish (n’kisi), such as the divination apparatus ngombo ... . ... The process of instituting or activating such an object is called vanda n’kisi, or in the abstract mpandulu. The oral aspects of the ritual consist largely of songs and elicited responses, requiring the participation of at least two persons. ... Often an expression is ... a form of punning employing homonyms or near homonyms."


substances used at burial, as puns :





nkandikila (a red fruit)

kandika ‘to set a guard’


lunungu lwa nsamba

nunga ‘to win’; samba ‘to invoke’


luyaala (another fruit)

yaala ‘to dominate’


luvemba (chalk)

"confers ... ability to perceive witches"


creatures of nanga’s invocation to nkisi Makwende (‘leopard’) :

"Ntoyo, a day bird, foretells impending death if it sings at midnight ... .

Owls ... are the "chickens" of the ancestors.

The ... crocodile, ... in folklore, carries people off to the land of the dead below the water, and snakes are associated with water-dwelling simbi spirits ... .

The banana tree at the edge of the water, between life and death, is the malefactor whose fate is at issue."


creatures of nanga’s invocation to nkisi Nsansi :

"M’fuma, the silk-cotton tree, ... as a place where witches congregate to conduct their nefarious commerce (zandu). ...

The n’kisi is ... a "dog" ... because dogs ... are believed (as in West and Central Africa generally) to have "four eyes," that is, two for this world and two for the world of invisible forces."


"traditional code" : " "I have seen a light on the hill," uses the image of witch-light on graves to suggest ... the sexual attractiveness of girls. Kungana, "to join," is given the secret meaning of sexual congress, an abnornal use which can be found in the erotic verse recorded by Van Wing ([: Etudes Bakongo. 2nd edn. Brussels,] 1959) for the Nkimba rite."


" "If a mouse, give it to the [mother’s] clan; if a rat, to the father’s clan," ... the field rat of the living is the house rat of the dead".


"Mpeve zambi ... is regularly and literally translated as "mauvais esprits, evil spirits".


"instruments such as the drum, ngoma, are believed to speak with the voice of the ancestors."

pp. 21b-27b – 0.5 "Functions of Language".




terms : nlongo ‘sacred’, kinlongo ‘ritual centre’, bilongo ‘ritual medicines’

26, Tab. 2

hola "to suck out (illness)", buka ‘to heal’,

nolo ‘strength’, vumi ‘respect, honor’,

lulendo ‘power (curative, of plants)’, kundu "mystical power"


Kimbangu scripture, by Masamba : "The text, in the form of a diary, is dated on a few days from about 1935 onward, each entry being occasioned by a lengthy vision to which scores of pages are devoted. The writer’s claim to visionary or revealed authenticity is underscored by recurrent passages of written glossolalia."


pp. 31-42 – Part II. "Space and Time".

p. 34a – 1. "Man in His World".


"The N’Kongo thought of the earth as a mountain over a body of water which is the land of the dead, called Mpemba."


"At the rising and setting of the sun the living and the dead exchange day and night."


In the Nkimba rite, a priest initiating his charges "would use the sun in order to expound his teaching ... :

(1) rising, beginning, birth, ...

(2) ascendancy, maturity, ...

(3) setting, handing on, death, ...

(4) midnight, existence in the other world, eventual rebirth."

pp. 34b-38a -- 3. "Minkisi".






"Nkisi is ... the thing we use to help a man when he is sick ...; the name refers to ... medicines".



"Funza is the origin of all minkisi."



"Funza governs over the domain of healing (bukasanga) a person who has twins or triplets."



"The first one ... to compose minkisi is the ancient MUKULU".



"When MUKULU lay down and fell asleep, he dreamed a dream."



"He returned to sleep and was shown the medicines by God or Funza".



"an nkisi possesses life because when it heals a person it sucks illness out."



"an nkisi ... strikes and drags people around through illness because of its "jealousy" (nsoki)." {cf. "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God" (Exodos 20:5).}



"the nkisi ... becomes their being, their hands and feet, their eyes; medicines are all these."



ingredients of particular minkisi, as puns :





luyala (a fruit)

yaala ‘rule’


lusakasaka (leaves)

sakumuna ‘bless’


tonda (a mushroom)

tondwa ‘desired’


nkandikila (a fruit)

kandika ‘interdict’


mudingi (copal)

dingama ‘silent’


luzibu (grain)

zibula ‘open’


lutete (gourd seed)

teta ‘crack’


mukazu (kola nut)

kazuwa ‘bite off’


muzazu (a cocoon)

zazula ‘stitch together’


luwanga (a small toad)

niangu ‘explode’


lufulangi (a fruit tree)

fula ‘blow’



"Some people open them on a Mpika-day while divining with a mirror the priest puts spirits before them".



"Some priests ... take the heart of a healthy person and put it into the sick person; in this wise the sufferer gets well."



death of a twin : "if one of the two dies, ... If the twin was male, they call him Went-to-fetch; if female, Went-to-Chop-Firewood."



"When one dies, the other ... must not be allowed to suckle unless the statuette of its companion-twin is tied to nhim."



"The twin which dies ... will ... be buried ... at a crossroads, where they will also plant Lemba-Lemba, Lubota, and Nsanga-Dinkonde."



minkisi : "Some people keep them in large nkutu bags, one bag for each nkisi".



"Some chief priests ... can descend beneath the sea and compose minkisi there for a period of a month or two."



"from the sky ... come ... ndingi resin {cf. the Meso-American world-age which ended with shower of resin from the sky}, and a certain snake with a bright flashing body and a double head." {cf. South American tropical forest mythic double-headed rainbow-snake}



"the most powerful of the small nkisi is Mbwanga ... – their drums nkonko".



"Nkiduku is kept for the purpose of helping a person live and become old."



categories of minkisi :






nseke (‘land’)

Luhemba, Mwe Kongo, Kula, Biyala, Mwe Nsundi, Madungu (Nkokobondo), Kilonda, Musansi, Mbwanga, Nsakulu, Mungani, Kubangu



‘land’ + ‘water’




‘land’ + ‘divination’

Muzinga, Niambi, Muteke, Mutadi



nlangu (‘water’)

Bunzi, Matinu, Mbumba, Mpodi, Bisimbi, Mwe Mbuku, Mbola



‘water’ + ‘divination’

Mutadi, Mpika, Suku



yulu (‘sky’) + ‘land’





Mwe Kongo, Madungu, Mungani



"An nkisi may become belligerent and angry because the priest fails to observe the rules (bina) or sacred prohibitions (nlongo)".



"the ingredients of the minkisi were first given by ancestor MUKULU; his disciples taught all other followers, and ... they in turn taught theirs."



"An nkisi’s strength is rooted in how it was discovered originally".


pp. 42-55 – Part III. "Uses and Abuses of Power".

pp. 45b-46b – 9. "How Witchcraft Works".






/mpemba/ ‘chalk’ {cf. [Bodish] /Sa-skya/ ‘chalk’} : "ku mpemba ... is where the dead go. It is the country or village of the dead."



"the witch .. just draws off the soul (vola kini) of the arm or leg."



"the statue (teki) {cf. [Maori] /TiKI/} has to have a person (muntu) put into it so that it may have powers (ngolo) proper to it."



"The witches first remove the inner body (ngudi a nitu) and what remains is just a shell." {a "psychic shell", according to the Theosophical Society}



"When they draw off (hola) someone’s body, what remains is just an envelope (kiukula) such as a snake or cockroach sheds."

pp. 48b-55b – 13. "A Blighted Society".






"From witchcraft, if it can be brought into the light, may be developed the remedy (kimbuki) that will do most to raise up our country."



"Witchcraft ... deserves respect ... it can embellish or redeem (ketula evo vuukisa)."



"The ancestors were equipped with the protective witchcraft of the clan (kindoki kiandundila kanda). ["every matrilineage had one or two members who had some form of witchcraft power to protect the clan" (p. 156, fn. 37)] ... They could also gather



the power of animals into their hands and kill them whenever they needed. ... If we could make use of these kinds of witchcraft, our country would rapidly progress in knowledge of every kind."



"You witches (zindoki) too, bring your science into the light to be written down so that we may choose the benefits in it with which to endow our race."


pp. 55-68 -- Part IV. "Personal Experiences".

pp. 65b-68b – 19. "The Universal Church of the Twelve Apostles in Congo (EUDAC)".



__ Vis.

Vision’s [Dream’s] content




"During the middle of the night ..., while in leaden sleep, I heard a voice outside briskly calling [my name]. As soon as I replied I saw myself suddenly leaving the house, although the door remained intact. Outside I stood facing a man who said, "Follow me," which I did.



On the road we took we entered an immense forest before crossing a very large expanse of grassland in the middle of which I saw a crossroads and a man coming towards us. ... Fixing his eyes on me he said, "Follow me," and I obeyed.



On arriving at the top of a small hill he showed me a deep well of very pure and clear water in which I saw beautiful fish swimming. The depth of the well was like the distance between the earth and sky. ... and he plunged the index finger of his right hand into the water; one of the fish came and bit on it. He pulled, but the fish was so long, so infinitely long that, being unable to pull it completely out of the water he put it back in. {cf. [Maori] mythic Ika-roa (‘Long Fish’) = galaxy (encircling the world) (D&F)} ...



My companion led me past the well to where we saw a great river like the Congo. ... After that we went back to the well and ... returned to the crossroads where I met him. ... he gritted his teeth. {gritting the teeth is a Daoist practice}At the same moment, a great light from the sky surrounded us. ...



Left alone, ... I went a little way and saw a road, and women on the road fetching water ... . ... Thereupon I went to the house in which I had been sleeping but found the door shut on the inside so that I could not open it.



... I rapped on the door so firmly and with such a bold air that my friend opened it without asking me when I came. I went back to bed.



Suddenly I saw that the man who had been with me was standing at the side of the bed and right there I saw a fruit tree growing. ... I stretched my arm to touch the fruit but the tree shook and the fruit moved away from me so that I could not contrive to grasp any". {cf. myth of Tantalos and the fruit-tree (GM 108.d)}




"The next evening, at abut midnight, when we were all asleep I heard outside a great voice of one crying [my name]. As I replied to him I found myself outside without having opened the door. There I found a crowd of people sitting in a circle with myself standing in the midst of them. From the sky there came down a large metal object {UFO} like a large house, on which was painted in large gold letters the word "FORAKAM." As we all looked at this thing we saw it slowly descend in the direction of my head ... until it touched my head ... .



Trying to find out where this thing came from, I called one of the people sitting around to pull on the chain by which it had been lowered. We pulled and pulled ... . ... {Having returned the home wherein sleeping, as in Dream # 1,} When I approached the door of the house I tried to push it [the door] but saw that it had been shut from the inside as it had been the first day, and from that I concluded that I had seen another vision. So I knocked, and my friend ... who was inside opened the door without realizing what had happened. Going in, I went back to sleep".




"As I sat on the bed ready to retire I once again heard a great voice calling [my name]. I replied, here I am ... . So I understood that only two verses had sufficed to exhaust the night; truly, before my eyes, a real miracle." {This would be a sort of sleep-walking episode, with the sleep-walking being done in dreamless sleep not leaving any memory of passage of time.}

D&F =

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

{From the descriptions of Dreams #s 1 & 2, it is not quite evident whether the returns to the home were part of dreams, or were waking experience at the conclusion of sleep-walking episodes. If the latter, then could the re-lockings of the door from within have been instances of telekinesis enacted by poltergeists?}


pp. 69-86 – Part V. "Common Rituals".

pp. 70b-72b – 20. "Calling on God (Nzambi)".






"Nzambi is invisible".



"Great Nzambi is up in the sky, he has sharpened the tooth of the dog."



"Nzambi wrote crosses on the palms {of the hands, and also on the soles of the feet?} of all people when he made them, and they called those crosses the paths of God. Another of God’s roads is the spine. These are the paths by which God moves in our bodies."



"they would make an oath and say, "Long ago Nzambi gave me fingers and toes." That is, Nzambi gave me the whole ..., I made only one by one". {I count one by one on my own fingers & toes}



"When they wanted it to rain they put their nkiduku charms in the water".



Wherever Nzambi "faced the people, there they would get plenty of rain .., because of the tears on Nzambi’s face, falling continually on account of the evil done by those on whom he had turned his back." {God turned His back to Mos^eh on mt. Sinay, so that God’s face was not seen by Mos^eh; but on the mt. of Olives Iesous wept}



"Great Nzambi is in heaven. That’s the little prayer they prayed".



"They thought of Nzambi’s body as like an immovable stone, but they did not represent him in any image ... . If they heard thunder they would say that Nzambi and his people were talking together up in the sky."



"People on this earth do not communicate with Nzambi in their waking lives ... but only in death. ... Nzambi spoke to those who are with him ... . They are very many. Their bodies are while and very tall and strong, and their hair is smooth. They are quite clean".

pp. 73a-75b – 21. "Invoking the Ancestors".






"And I take earth from the grave and rub it all over my face and my body, and ask whatever it is I need (yobila tobe, lit., to bathe in dirt). And some of the earth I take back to the house with me, but I must not speak to anyone ... . When I get home I put some of the earth at the head of the bed and some at the foot. If I have been sincere, then when I am asleep my father will come in a dream and explain all my troubles to me."



"I went ... and spent the night in her house. It must be a woman of father’s clan, not a man. At first light I lay across the threshold of her house and she stood up and stepped across my body three times, wearing only a little back cloth. Then I stripped and went out to the crossroads."



[spell recited at the road-fork :] "I have come here where three roads meet. ["forks in the roads, "the parting of the ways," signify the boundary between worlds." (p. 155a, n. 23)] ...



Truly I am MAKABA {cf. /MAKKABAy/ (from tribe S^im<o^n) founder of dynasty to rule over the 12 tribes} [ (p. 155a, n. 26)] who divided the twelve clans ... I originated ... whence came the nkodya [snail shell]".



[remainder of the caerimony at the road-fork :] "He chews kola nut and spits ... .



This is called yungila dikongo, "to prepare a ritual space.""

pp. 77b-78b – 23. "Songs for Water Spirits".




bisimbi : "In central areas of Kongo the priestesses ..., called "mothers of twins"


(ngudi za nsimba, za bakisi), may be called upon to conduct propitiatory or therapeutic rituals connected with abnormal births, twins, ... attributed to bisimbi. These spirits are believed to live in particular pools, streams, and caves, but may appear incarnate in twins, albinos, and other "sacred" children (baana banlongo). ...


In eastern Kongo a similar cult is that of the bankita ... . The priests, male and female, are called bamandona. The cult includes as treatment for persons deemed to be afflicted by the spirits an expensive form of initiation involving prolonged seclusion in a "sanctuary" (vwela)."

p. 155b, n. 33 "Bisimbi are the spirits of particular localities (nsi) who govern the fertility of female members of the lineages ... . Large-headed (hydrocephalic) children belong to the class of "sacred children" (baana ba nlongo) regarded as incarnations of bisimbi. ... The bisimbi, manifested in whirlwinds, live in particular pools and gullies but ... also in a forest associated with a village site formerly occupied by the lineage."

pp. 83a-86b – 26. "Munkukusa".






"When they used earth from the graves in the rites they took it only from the graves of pagan ancestors".



"The adepts chose Wednesday to be their holy day."



"In the middle of the nights, each clan must go to the place where they bury their forefathers (mase). Only one person in the clan of the father (kanda dia se) will be chosen to go to the cemetery, and in addition to this, all the children. [bana bambuta (young children of the village) : "It is the bana bambuta who lead the coffin of a deceased paternal elder to the cemetery in the funeral rites ... . The deceased will indulgently oblige and follow the bana bambuta to the land of the dead and not remain behind to harrass the village." (p. 156a, n. 35)] ... A strict precept exists to the effect that if those who remain in the village do not sing the children who have gone to the cemetery will disappear completely and will never be seen again."



"They go very slowly until they are at the grave, in this night of wonders".



This procession having arrived in the cemetery, the adult "anoints all the children with the mixture of palm oil and ancestral grave earth (kukusa ... tobe), beneath this night of wonders."



After this anointing, "the children begin the return to the village. They believe that when they return the dead will follow behind them up to and into the village. ... "Go slowly, not swiftly, because the dead are following after us; some of them have crippled legs, it is hard for them to walk quickly.""



"The people of the village would dance all night to celebrate the coming of the dead".



An earth-depression "cross they dug in a trench form ... .



The second cross is a wooden one ... . ... the chief (duki) ... must kneel over the cross of wood and sat : ... Then, the nails! All the people who are there to hear him, reply : Koma-a-a! Strike the nail! After they reply "strike the nail!" the one doing kukusa takes the hammer and drives the nail into the wooden cross."



"He must leap over the length and the breadth of the crosses, three times each way. {[In Roman legend,] Remus leapt over the city’s trench-ditch.} ... he immediately kneels down and puts his eyebrows into the mud which comes from the grave".



"All of them refrain from sleeping the whole night through."



"The villagers encircle this place; they must be dressed in tattered rags."



"Those going to the forest as well as those remaining in the village have to sing energetically, since those going risk becoming totally lost." {cf. risk of children disappearing, p. 83b (2.1)}



"benefits brought by the Munkukusa" : "After we had done the kukusa a certain crocodile in Bemba stopped catching people; ... until now, leopards have not been able to catch animals in the village, although before the kukusa they stole animals ... in the night; the owls have completely ceased speaking."


pp. 96b-107b – Part VIB. "Sacred Medicine Cults".

pp. 97b-102b – 30. "Initiation into Lemba".






"If a person would receive Lemba, first he must get a chest cough, the stitch, or breathe with difficulty." {cf. Kemetian Book of Breathings (BB, BP) & 2nd Book of Breathings (2BB)}



"When those who will initiate the Lemba Child arrive, then the Father sounds ngoma and mikonzi drums at the village entrance."



"He has dreamed of the ancestors ...



That the thing (causing illness) falls in the water".



"They then go to a distant plain to don nsokia grass skirts so money will not be depleted in their hands".



Lemba "Heals the children, makes nionzi fish grow big".



"That which was a spark in the fire {Joseph ben Israel saith : "May all holy sparks be gathered in" (ShG)}

Has become a hundred and ten". {"Joseph lived an hundred and ten years." (B-Re>s^it 50:22 -- NJ)}



"Be alert like the bat

In the night of Lemba.



Be evasive like the night-jar

In the night of Lemba."



"they say to the Lemba Child : When we return to the village, you shall lay with the priestess-wife of your Lemba Father, and he shall lay with your wife too."



"the following plants are collected ... : mumbwangu-mbwangu, mundandanzila, ndimba, minkwisa-mianseke, nwila-mwindu, mulolo; these are wrapped in a raffia cloth".



"they pass by the burial place to fetch a wise n’kuyu spirit from amongst the neophyte’s ancestors by taking a clod of earth from the grave".



"After this is done the Lemba Father and the Lemba Son quickly enter the enclosure; all the while the other priests are drumming mikonzi



drums and singing and dancing outside.



The Father and Son have each chosen the most beautiful wife to have intercourse with.



When they have done this they make designs on the women so the other priests will know that the Lemba Father and Son have had coitus with them."



"They take the plants .. from the cloth ... .



It is put into an nsaba pot and inserted in a hole behind the house. ...



Then they take up the box again and place some of the earth [from the grave] in it, thus binding in the ancestral spirit.



Tukula-red ...



put in the center of the box; also a package of the following from each priest : hair, finger and toe nails, eyebrows and pieces of old cloth from the house of each.



Then the wives of the Lemba Child tie the statues together in the circular box ... .



Then the Lemba box is finished and is placed inside the house on a shelf; the nkonzi drum is placed over the door of the Lemba Child’s house."



"Then he [the priest] takes nkula and ndimba red and rubs it around his [the patient’s] eyes and in lines along the arm that the glory of the priesthood will be manifest in him."



"The Lemba priest may not see a nude woman nor sleep with the wife of another." {except, of course, the wife of the Lemba Son (.7.10) etc.}



"The heart of the pig may ... be eaten ... the Lemba Father who initiated the neophyte."



"He may not eat ntoba manioc stew".



The Lemba priest "as he travels in villages ... will carry only a staff and a copper bracelet on his arm; the satchel and a calabash ... will be carried by a youth".

BB =

BP =

2BB =

ShG =

NJ =

pp. 102b-106a – 31. "Tsimona-Mambu, Trickster".






"There once was a man with two wives, each with a food taboo : one could eat no lizard meat, and the other no partridge meat."



In order to seek a cure for his 2 wives’ food-prohibitions, that man sought advice successive from several renowned counselors (some [should have been all] of whom each recommended the subsequent) :





[Tree-]stump (whereon he stubbed "his toe"),



Door (whose keyhole spake to him) in abandoned village,



Woman "working her peanut patch" (whose "child" [viz., peanut] he ate),



Stream whose "water flowed upstream",



Young Man "tapping a palm tree" (for sap) – "he had left his bones on the ground and was climbing the tree all flesh" {cf. [Dinka] god ‘Flesh’},



Hunter (whose village-headman, a monkey, he unwittingly slew);



in continuing with the quaest to seek the cure his 2 wives’ food-prohibitions, the traveler now started taking along (carrying) with him in his travel-bag and increasing collection of fellow-pilgrims, namely :




Old Cripple (guide who pointed out the pathway),



Giant Spider (female),



Big Wasp (female),



Hot Wind (also put into bag {– cf. wind stored in bag for Odusseus by Aiolos, GM 170.g}),



Cold Wind (also put into bag),



Big Bush-Rat (kumbi),



Village-Headman (whose wife, a female beast [NaMbanada (p. 104b)], he unwittingly slew).



When "Tsimona-Mambu came to the edge of the Luangu river", the Giant Spider (of .11) "spun a thread across the river and soon after there was a bridge spanned" :



"Tsimona-Mambu mounted the bridge, ... walked ... and passed the big man [after having been warned by the "small cripple" (of .10) not to speak to that "big man" {similarly as Kic^e` the twin-heroes were warned not to speak to, but to by-pass, the statues : "Thus they did not salute the mannikins on their arrival at the Xibalban court" (PV, p. 229)}] and came before God", whom he greeted with "three hand-claps".



Tsimona-Mambu requaested of God the cure for his 2 wives.



God agreed to help "only if green banana-stems carry ripe bananas, and if the black palm nuts turn red."



Wasp (of .12) "went out to sting up the bananas stems so that the bananas ripened hurriedly, and the palm nuts similarly so they would color."{cf. door to sky as bananaplant-skin (ISh, p. 124) [viz., purple sepal-covering of banana-boquet]}



"Tsimona-Mambu would have to gather a large package of the strongest forest vines in one night." The gust of Cold Wind (of .14) "blew the vines together quickly."



"Tsimona-Mambu would first have to set fire to and burn down all the moist wood in the just-cleared field." The desiccation of that wood was accomplished by the "hot summer wind" (of .13).



Tsimona-Mambu was to "drink a calabasse of palm wine while hanging from the palm tree ... . ... Tsimona-Mambu found the tree. He climbed it, found the calabasse, and began to drink. And as he drank the wine ... the overseer addressed the tree, "fly up ... ." And the palm tree jerked itself loose ... into the sky with Tsimona-Mambu hanging in his life-belt from the crown of the tree. ... The bag said to Tsimona-Mambu, "pronounce the spell so that the overseer sinks in the ground ... ." So as Tsimona-Mambu spoke the overseer began to sink into the ground".



"God ... would only recognize Tsimona-Mambu if ... felling the m’fuma-cottonwood tree ... with one blow of the axe."



"Then Tsimona-Mambu called the wood borer beetle [of .9] out of the bag ... to go to the mfuma-tree and burrow out the inside so that only a thin ring remained around the outside. This he did and when the morning dawned, ...and when Tsimona-Mambu took the axe, with one blow he brought the tree crashing down."



"Tsimona-Mambu entered the house ... . But after he was in the house, God told the overseer to go and lock the door".



The kumbi rat (of .15) was able "to dig a tunnel under the wall of the house to the outside." Then the kumbi was able "to bring him food."



Thereupon, God recognized Tsimo-Mambu as his son.



God gave to him 2 copper arm-rings, one for one of his 2 wives to wear,



and one for he himself to wear. {cf. European metallic wedding-rings}



God provided eggplant-fruit and dilemba-lemba plant to him for the cure of his 2 wives. {cf. door to sky as eggplant-skin (ISh, pp. 124-5) [purple] – cf. .21}



He returned to his 2 wives and therewith cured them.



He also gave one of the 2 copper arm-bands to one of his 2 wives to wear on her upper arm.

PV = Lewis Spence : The Popol Vuh. London, 1908.

ISh = Penelope Graham : Iban Shamanism. Australian National University, Canberra, 1987.

{"He is invited to "eat groundnuts ..." (12.3), and he eats the children ... . He is invited to join women working with mortar and pestles, "strike them their mortars" (12.4), and He kills two women. He is invited to watch for a monkey ..., and he shoots the chief (11.8). He is invited to stand guard of a banana tree, and he shoots the chief’s wife (11.16). He is invited to join a hunt an to "shoot everything ..." (12.5), whereupon he shoots dogs, hunters, children, and so on." (John Janzen : Lemba. 1982. p. 270)}

pp. 106b-107b – 32. "Mahungu, Androgyne".






"Mahungu ... had no pain; he had no knowledge of jealousy and no knowledge of hatred".



"In the surroundings where Mahungu lived, there grew a tree called the tree of Mpungu or God’s palm."



1st circumambulation : "Mahungu ... when he had done the first full circle of the tree, ... saw that he was no longer one, but rather two beings of different natures : female and male. ... Lumbu (male) saw and thought of his female half that had left him and muzita (female) longed also and sought her male half that had left her." {this explanation of reciprocal desires of male for females and of females for males is also in the writings of Platon and in the Qabbalah}



2nd circumambulation : "After reflecting on this, they decided to return around God’s tree in the opposite direction from before." {cf. the S^into myth that Izana-gi and Izana-mi walked around the pillar a 2nd time, reversing ro^les from how they had acted the 1st time, in order thusly to correct the effect of the 1st walking around the pillar.}



The 1st woman "is the "mother of the m’fuma and min’dimba trees"".



The 1st man "began to mock ... animals who lack marriage :"












"little red antilope"

{The serpent’s coiling around the tree-of-knowledge-of-good-and-evil instilled Original Sin; but a 2nd serpent ("as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so ... lifted up") undid that Original Sin as if by uncoiling the 1st’s coiling by using a coiling in reverse direction – the reversal shewn by the distinct coilings of the serpents of the kerukeion-caduceus. As for the original androgyny of Mahungu, cf. the 2 gendre-reversals experienced by Teiresias when he viewed the serpents’ coupling on 2 different occasions (GM 105.h).}


UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PUBLICATIONS IN ANTHROPOLOGY, No. 5 = John M. Janzen & Wyatt MacGaffey (eds.) : An Anthology of Kongo Religion : Primary Texts from Lower Zai:re. Lawrence (KS), 1974.