The Mafulu eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about The Mafulu.
Mt.  Pizoko village spoke Afoa fluently, as this mountain is close to the Fathers’ Fuyuge-Afoa boundary.  Also Mt.  Davidson is according to the Fathers in the Boboi area; but Dr. Strong seems to have regarded it as Ambo, and to have treated vocabulary matter collected from a native who came from a village “apparently on the slopes of” that mountain as having been taken from an Ambo native.  In this case, however, there seems to be some doubt as to where this native did in fact come from; and the eastern slopes of Mt.  Davidson are not far from the Fathers’ Afoa boundary.

I think that these linguistic materials, taken as a whole, are, so far as they go, well in accord with the delimitation by the Fathers of the Fuyuge area, except as regards their view concerning Korona, as to which they did not profess actual knowledge, and merely expressed a doubt, and subject to the point that, for linguistic purposes at all events, the Fathers’ use of the word “Mafulu” as representing the whole Fuyuge area is perhaps not desirable, and would be better replaced by the term “Fuyuge,” with subdivisions of “Mafulu,” “Korona,” and “Kambisa,” as given by Mr. Ray; though probably Sikube might be included in either Mafulu or Korona, as geographically it is evidently between these two.


Illness, Death, and Burial

Ailments and Remedies.

All serious ailments occurring up to certain ages, and except in certain cases, are generally assumed to be the work of someone acting in connection with a spirit; but, speaking generally, no efforts appear to be made by imprecation or other supernatural method to propitiate or contend against these spirits, except by the use of general charms against illness, and except, so far as the propitiation or driving out of the spirit is involved, by one or other of the specific remedies for specific ailments mentioned below.  The natives have, however, for common diseases cures of which some are obviously purely fanciful and superstitious, but some are probably more or less practical.

The chief ailments are colds and complications arising from them, malaria, dysentery, stomach and bowel and similar complaints, toothache and wounds.

Dysentery has recognised and accredited curers, both men and women.  The operator chews and crushes with his teeth the root of a vegetable (I do not know what it is) which they grow in their gardens, and then wraps it up into a small bundle in a bunch of grass, and gives it to the patient to suck.  This remedy does not appear to be effective.

There are men who are specially skilled in dealing with stomach and bowel troubles.  The operator takes in his hand a stone, and with the other hand he sprinkles that stone over with ashes.  He then makes over it an incantation, in which, though his lips are seen to be moving, no sound comes out of them; after which he takes some of the ashes from the stone, which he still holds in his hand, and with these ashes he rubs the stomach of the patient, who, I was told, generally at once feels rather better, or says so.

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The Mafulu from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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