Showing posts with label alexander hetherwick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label alexander hetherwick. Show all posts

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Fetish worship among the Ngoni of Ntcheu and other Tribes

  • Saturday, September 18, 2010
  • Samuel Albert
  • A letter from ALEXANDER HETHERWICK. The Blantyre Mission, British Central Africa. March 4th, 1903.

    I have to hand the Editor's letter, per Mr. Lovett, with inquiries regarding my note on Fetish-Worship in Central Africa, which he read before the Folk-Lore Society [10th December, 1902]. I reply to these queries in their order.

     1. [Are remote ancestors worshipped, or only the recently dead ?] 

    Worship is confined to recent ancestors almost entirely- generally to those of the generation immediately preceding. Among the Yaos and the Angoni, the chief or headman who has recently died, steps into the place occupied by his predecessor, and is worshipped in turn. The chief whose spirit hitherto was the object of worship is now for the most part neglected, and all homage is paid to the spirit of the man recently dead.

    For example : there is on the top of Mount Soche, three miles from Blantyre, the grave of an old Mang'anja chief called Kankomba. He was the chief of the country when the Yaos came into it in Livingstone's time and drove out the original Mang'anja owners. He died in his old village and was buried on the top of the hill where he lived. The incoming Yaos worshipped his spirit as the previous chief of the district. This they did till their own chief Kapeni died, when his successor left off making offerings to the old Kankomba and paid his worship to the recently dead Kapeni. This he will continue to do till he himself dies and becomes to his successor the next object of worship.