THE OCCULT : A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Ndembo, The

Also known as Kita, this secret society has widespread implications on the lower Congo. Initiation into the society must be made through the ganga who commands the neophyte to lie down as if they are dead when he gives the signal. He is covered with a shroud and carried to an enclosure on the outskirts of the village called Vela, and is announced dead. Up to 50 candidates can die at any one time.

It's assumed that the people 'dying' will decay until only one bone is left, and after a period of time the ganga will take charge of it. The process can take anything from three months to three years, and the ganga is believed to bring each candidate back from the dead. Once back, the neophytes behave as new people, ignoring their parents and relatives and adopting new names. They return with the urge to have everything they want, beating to the death if it's refused them. They are seen as above consequences because of the 'childlike state'.

Those who have completed the rites are known as Nganga, or "the knowing ones, and they learn a language during the rites that they continue to speak in.

THE OCCULT : A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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