Sunday, 30 November 2014

16.10.14 Bakonjo Witch Doctor's Basket

Began more investment procedures today but David had to keep going off to attend to various things such as deliveries, hunters, visitors, etc.

Winnie later told me some stories about witchcraft when l had told her that Baluku Sasio was from a long line of witch doctors.  She said she came from a village where witch doctors were plentiful and was a place well known for it (in Jinja).  She grew up being superstitious in this way although now being a Christian she doesn’t really believe these things, although there seemed to be some doubt still left in her mind.  The general perception is that witch doctors are bad, as the Christian belief is to destroy false idols, be they objects or values.  She told me that one day they had an American Evangelist come to talk and he told the people to bring anything they might have from the witch doctor. So they did and all these items were put into a drum, and because the speaker had to go he left the task of burning the lot to the church in his absence.  However, by the next day all the objects had disappeared -  basically they had been retrieved or stolen over night which perhaps signifies their importance still according to Winnie.  She was very surprised.

She also told me that, one day a man who was carrying a traditional Bakonjo basket could be a phantom of the witch doctor’s and would follow a guilty person, perhaps he had stolen something, and when it caught up with the bad man, it would beat him to death with the basket!!!

Another story concerned her classmate.  She told me, that if someone is possessed by a spirit, they might go mad, and start screaming, which one girl in her class did and everyone thought the worst.  It turned out she did this on purpose, so that she could leave school and go to her boyfriend!!!

Visitors later came to the foundry from lodges and other places where tourists stay, so that they had an insight into the experience the visitors might gain from visiting such attractions as the foundry.  Someone from UBC and NTV interviewed me about how and why l was there, not that l realised this until afterwards.  One of the men knew Justin Willis from BIEA who l met when l was doing my PhD research into the Giriama of Kenya – I remember one of his papers was on the ‘palm wine drinking’ of the Giriama!!!

Emmanuel was saying that they used human faeces for road building when l mentioned that cow dung was used in Jetres’s winnowing basket and thought it might not comply with H & S standards in terms of food hygiene.

When l asked David to enquire of Buhoto Richard whether he still had any witch doctor paraphernalia he told me had burnt the lot.  However, when we asked whether he knew a witch doctor we could visit he said his sister’s husbands’s brother was a witch doctor – so l am hoping to visit him one day next week.  David talks about going to Ibanda for the other interviews where we might find more graves of the traditional variety.

David’s daughter was sent home from school today, as he couldn’t raise the school fees at the moment (£180 per term).

Eria is back – having endured a bus ride form Kampala with people smelling of BO and urine and such like!

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