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Title: Plants and Animals Used on Birth and Death of the Ngandu (Bongando) in Central Zaire
Authors: TAKEDA, Jun
Keywords: Slash-and-burn agriculturists
Use of animals and plants
Folk medicine
Tropical rain forest
Issue Date: Mar-1998
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 25
Start page: 135
End page: 148
Abstract: The Ngandu, slash-and-burn agriculturists in the Congo Basim, bilieve in the hidden demons of illness and evil powers which threaten their lives. A child warmly blessed by peole may suddenly get cold in death. An adult may die in the evening, though he is full of vitality in the morning. A venomous serpent hiding in a tree hollow may attack a woman engaged in bail-fishing. Various kinds of small animals, tsetse flies and mosquitoes in particular, also may cause fatal diseases to them. The Ngandu people prepare traditional medicines for these diseases and fight against them. The wives and mothers go into the forest in search of herbal medicines for her husbands and children suffering from various diseases. The parents secretly bury "medicines" under the road to protect their children from evil spirits. A child suffering from a disease caused by breaking a food taboo is given an enema. In general, younger generation, or children, are carefully protected from evil powers in various ways by their parents. Complicated social regulations are imposed on the adults responsible for nurturing and protecting the group. Obligations deriving from marriage and incessant gift exchange between lineages serve to bind different groups, and these are continued, through funeral rituals, even after death. The strong tie between this world and the other cannot be easily lost. These traditional belief and customs are deep-rooted in Ngandu society, maintaining strong ties between generations, between lineages, and between the forest and the Ngandu people.
DOI: 10.14989/68388
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/68388
Appears in Collections:25 (Man and Nature in Central African Forests)

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