The Bundu Devil attended by her satellites, a country institution common throughout Mendi Land
Royal Commonwealth Society Library. Cambridge University Library. University of Cambridge.
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Unknown author (2004). The Bundu Devil attended by her satellites, a country institution common throughout Mendi Land [digital image]. http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/1239
110 x 157 mm. Showing the Bundu Devil standing among a group of her acolytes, with palm thatch houses in the background. One of the group carries the large mat behind the cover of which the devil may remove her mask to obtain a little fresh air, hidden from the eyes of villagers. Several of the other acolytes, or 'digbas', hold the seghura which is played when the devil appears on festive occasions, but not when she is investigating a misdemeanour. After leaving the Bundu bush the girl if she likes can attain distinction in the higher degrees of Bunduism, of which there are three grades: Digbas, the lowest or first degree; Normeh, the Bundu devil or second degree; Soweh, the headwoman, third degree. '... If the girl wishes she can simply become a Digba; she then has the great privilege of holding the mat before the devil at any function. She must not assume too much familiarity; she must remain medicinally at a respectful distance, the mat being between her and the devil. All large towns in Mendi have devils on hand ready to take up the cudgels against the mere man who may violate the stringent Bundu laws and interfere with the Bundu girls ... The devil never talks, but gesticulates with the bunch of twigs; but whenever it is necessary to explain anything, it is a digba who does it. The considerable power of the devils allowed them, in conjunction with the chief of the village, to impose punishments and extract fines from miscreants.' (Alldridge, T.J. (1901), 'The Sherbo and its hinterland', London: Macmillan and Company, pp.142-3).
Sierra Leone (Africa)
start=1890; end=1899; scheme=DCTERMS.W3CDTF
Host Item: RCS Photograph Collection, Y30446F.
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