Giryama Vocabulary and Collections

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Society for promoting Christian knowledge, 1891 - African languages - 140 pages
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Page 81 - culted ' : for the Giryama thinks that the disembodied spirit is powerful for good and evil. Individuals worship the Shades of their immediate ancestors or elder relatives ; and the k'omas of the whole nation are worshipped on public occasions. " A jinn or demon (pepo), called Katsumbakazi, is said to be seen occasionally. It is malignant, and, being of no great stature, when it meets any one, is jealous lest it should be despised for its insignificant size. It accordingly asks, 'Where did you first...
Page 81 - Where did you first catch sight of me?' If the person is so unlucky as to answer, 'Just here!' he is sure to die shortly ; if he is aware of the danger, and says,
Page 44 - M'ng'aro. In this dance the bodies of the initiated are reeking with oil. They vie with one another in the amount of their fees, and the one who surpasses his companions is entrusted with the keeping of the ritual drum peculiar to this class — a long bamboo closed at the end with a tight skin, and beaten rhythmically with a pounding motion upon the ground. This drum they call their musichana, or
Page 45 - Wava, club-house, of their district. They even confine persons who intrude upon them, until the offenders can ransom themselves; and no one who is introduced to them is allowed to salute them, nor do they salute one another in the ordinary manner. In the woods their drunken howlings often make night and day hideous, and altogether the people are becoming tired of them, as they grow less useful to the state. (2) The Fisi, Hyena — the inner circle of all, very select.
Page xv - God) ; destitute of literature, but handing down its legends with literal accuracy of expression and detail — it has apparently preserved its purity of language and lineage up to the present time. The other is, in these respects, what it might be expected to be from its character and accidents— a seafaring, barter-loving race of slave-holders and slave-traders, strewn in a thin line along a thousand miles of creeks and islands ; inhabitants of a coast that has witnessed incessant political changes...
Page 44 - M'kuzi, as if to say, the Initiator of the Greater Mysteries, and the Mysteries themselves are called M-wandza ATkulu, the Greater Mystic Drum. The candidates, Ku-tsindza rigo, ' flay the Great Skin ' (?), ie they are shown the Mwandza by the Initiator. This drum, with its strange roaring bellow, is used to excite the superstitions of the common people. "(2) Sayo ra K'oma, the Clapping of the Shades (the ancestral ghosts), is a dance which lasts only one day. The hierophant is called simply Mwenye...
Page 25 - Circumcision-cycles (marika). These play a very important part in the Giryama commonwealth. Every child born before a certain time that is not already circumcised has to be brought to one common place, where the ceremony is gone through. All the children of one cycle receive a common name and are bound by a common tie. They grow up free of the same private clubs, and from their number are chosen the three enye-tsi, when the time comes for such promotion. The cycles always bear the following names...
Page 135 - ... him, but he did not get up and they struck him again — he did not get up! And the children burst out crying. And the mothers of the family cried. And folks sat a-mourning. And all the people that heard of it were amazed- at his death : ' Such a clever man ! who built so many houses, you know — and for him to have met with his death through such a trifling thing!
Page 32 - a p'ep'o or jinn, said to be seen occasionally in daylight. . . . It is usually malignant. When it meets any one, it is jealous for its stature (which is very low) and accordingly asks him: * Where did you see me? ' If the person is so unlucky as to answer: 'Just here,' he will not live many days; but if he is aware of the danger and says:
Page 108 - M'balazi wa tsaka-ni, forest plant resembling the preceding. M'bamba-kofi, a tree ; produces large pods containing pretty black and red seeds, used for ornaments ; the wood is good for building purposes. M'bate, for building. M'belenga ; the infusion is used in diarrhoea. M'bono, castor-oil plant or " palm-crist " ; the seeds, called " mbono " (za), are boiled to extract the oil. The latter is used as a cosmetic, and occasionally in cooking and medicine. M'bono-koma, "castor-oil plant of the Shades...

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