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UFOs and Spirits in the Congo

From: wlmss@peg.apc.org [Lawrie Williams]
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 07:15:04 +1000 (GMT+1000)
Fwd Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 12:49:06 -0500
Subject: UFOs and Spirits in the Congo

UFOs & Spirits in the Congo.

A 1926 report based on interviews in the Congo relates:

"....the Azande believe that witchcraft emits a bright light that
can only be seen in the daylight by witch-doctors and by witches
themselves, but which is occasionally visible at night to persons
who are neither witches...nor witch-doctors. The light of ~mangu~
is described as being similar to the little lights of firefly
beetles, which move about like sparks kicked from a log-fire,
only it is ever so much bigger than they..... a so much greater
and brighter light."                                    [1]

"Those people who see witchcraft when it goes by night to injure
someone say witchcraft is on its way shining bright like fire,
it shines a little and again it obfuscates itself."     [1]

During this activity the witch is asleep on his bed in his hut.
The spirit he has despatched removes spirit-flesh (mbisimo pasieni =
spirit-flesh-his) to be devoured. It can be used to kill.

All of this testimony was collected at a time in the congo when
missonaries were active and witchcraft was being actively condemned
by every white person that came by. More recent studies have shown
that this bias has distorted the real roles played by witchcraft
and sorcery in these situations. For instance sorcerers in a variety
of cultures are credited with healing in a similar manner.

The power of witches comes from their mangu, which they get from
their parent of the same gender.  So a woman's daughters will be
witches, a man's sons will be sorcerers or witch-doctors.

The child'e mangu is like a child, but he usually grows in power and
ability. Sometimes older mangu become violent and unscrupulous. The
mangu is centered on the gall-bladder.

Mangu was involved in all sorts of everyday events. A Zande who
injured his toe said that mangu had prevented him from seeing the
stump and mangu was preventing the wound from closing up again. The
mangu in a witch is based around his stomach region.

After death a witch becomes a spirit called ~agilisa~.

Lawrie Williams______________

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Also from Africa:

"The impundulu is the lightning bird.....which is there when
the thunder strikes. An izulu (impundulu) is always posessed
by a female witch, and it appears to her in the form of a
very beautiful young man, who becomes her lover......       [1]
The manner by which it kills is a mystery." (Hunter 1936 pp 282-284 )

"Impundulu can cause miscarriages, blindness and death to man
and stock. I myself found that in the Eastern Cape, the impundulu
sucked blood from its victims and that its insatiable hunger
drove its owner to kill for "meat". Long wasting illnesses
accompanied by coughing, stabbing pains and shortness of
breath are believed to be caused by these vampire-like
activities: sudden death from being kicked by the
"bird of heaven"." (Hammond-Tooke 1970 pp 28-9 )  [2]

....Izithunzela are extremely tall and black and have the power
of hypnotizing a person so that he will be drawn toward them
like a bird attracted by a snake. (Hammond-Tooke 1962 p 287 )
Their appearance is so ghastly that those who see them go mad." [3]

"Thikoloshe is a small hairy being, having the form of a man,
but so small that he only reaches to a man's knee. He has
hair all over his face and coming out of his ears, and his
face is squashed up like a baboon's. The penis of the male
is so long he carries it slung over his shoulder, and he
has only one buttock. All thikoloshe speak with a lisp...."
[ Hunter 1936 pp 275-8]                     [4]

1   Lagae C.R. (1926) "Les Azande ou NiamNiam." Biblitheque Congo
    vol 18 1926 p 108

2   Hammond-Tooke W.D. (1970) "Urbanization and the Interpretation
    of Misfortune....."  Africa vol 40

3   Hammond-Tooke W.D. (1962) Bhaca Society  Oxford Uni Press

4   Hunter M. Reaction to Conquest 1936 Oxford Uni Press

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