Dreaming, Religion and Society in Africa, 7-10


pp. 111-125 M. C. Je,drej : "Ingessana Dreaming". [in Sudan's Blue Nile province]

pp. 112-114, 117 occult terminology



its meaning



diviners [plural]



people with "double-eyes" ("second-sight")



"ghastly creatures which bring illness and death" [plural]



a dream [singular]



dreams [plural]


nams i caalk

"consumed by dreams"



a frightening dream (about a nen)






a stick for digging


jerg i nenet

buried object causing frightening dream



"souls" or "shadows" of the dead [plural]



deity; the sun

pp. 115-116 categories of jok ‘people’




Jok Calofan, who come at night to work ritually completely encircling a house


Jok Tao, who are the children of the female ninit Narema in a temple at Aselk : she is the wife of the ninit Mufu inhabiting a temple at Matelk

pp. 117-118 nenk & cak




description by a doctor-diviner :- 3 principal nenk (Narema, Mufu, and Melesonol) "were not human in appearance and Ngarema, whom he had seen, could not be described because


the image seemed to reflect like a mirror."

{cf. [Aztec] god Tezcatlanextia; and the mirror of the god Dharma; flying-saucers are likewise usually reflective-surfaced.}


Narema, Mufu, and Melesonol are nenk and


" "their ancestor is the ground squirrel" ("ek methenii sej") [xerus erythropus]."" [north-African white-striped chipmunk]

{inasmuch as the Wic^ol chipmunk-god is aequivalent to Theseus, therefore Theseus’s son Hippo-lutos (worshipped, at Troizen, as constellation Auriga – GM 101.i) ought to be one of these Inessana deities. That his chariot must be a reflective flying-saucer would tend to exemplify the speculation that all such "chariots of the gods" may be flying-saucers.} {[Inessana] /TeL/ must be etymologically cognate with [<ibri^] /T.aL/ of the resurrection (in YS^<YH 26:19), judging from the resuscitation (GM 101.k) of Hippo-lutos; while the constellation Auriga would be the starry resurrection (in DNY>L 12:2-3).}


formal recognition of the child of a cak as likewise a cak :- "The doctor-diviners will then make him into a cak by a procedure of "washing" ... the joints of the limbs. ...

Some people who suffer from pains [arthritis] in the joints and who have dreams in which doctor-diviners appear may have to be made ... in order to prevent their limbs from becoming stiff and crippled."


"A cak ... is able while asleep to leave his body and go out


on the back of of a manyil and travel over great distances instantaneously."

{thus, the cak may be symbolized by the cross carried on the back of the spider in depictions from antient pyramids of the Mississippian Ameridians (C, pp. 51-65); while the 4-eyen nature of the cak may be displayed as the 4 dots in the corners of the cross-symbol of the hieroglyphic Maya day-sign Lamat}

C = Sally A. Kitt Chappell : Cahokia : Mirror of the Cosmos. U of Chicago Pr, 2001. http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/101363.html

divinely-directed sacrificial cow, obtained in consequence of (p. 118) "dreams of cak, ... experienced by several cak at the same time" :-

p. 118 "This sacrificial animal would then, if it really is the cow of god, ... start walking towards the hills of its own accord with the people following behind and it will, still unguided by men, perambulate ... to the temple at Kamol".

"Ilos follows a dappled prize cow to the site where he founds Ilion (Apollodoros 3.12.3). On a more exalted level, the Egyptians believed that a celestial cow conducted the dead pharaoh to a heavenly throne." (M&P, p. 55)

Carolingian legend :- "the Camel, ... impressing its footsteps in the hard rock as if it were wax, ... led the closely following worshippers to ... the Niedermunster ... Convent". (SD, p. 214)

M&P = Dora Pozzi & John Wickersham : Myth and the Polis. Cornell U Pr, 1991. http://books.google.com/books?id=_7skyICpAB4C&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=

SD = Trevor Ravenscroft : The Spear of Destiny. 1982. http://books.google.com/books?id=BKt_4HbED6AC&pg=PA214&lpg=PA214&dq=

p. 119 festivals (san)

San i Bal, "after the seeds have been planted" : "The name bal refers to the musical instrument, a kind of whistle".

"The Sin i Poinj announces the season typified by the music of the lyre".

"On the day of the festival ... "the jeza mat comes down" ... a large mat women from dom palm (jeza) fronds. This mat hangs, rolled up, ... Inside there are some sold staff and throwing sticks which belonged to the ancestors who were

temple custodians (aurek) ...

{/AUR/ may be cognate with [<ib.] />AHRo^n/}

along with ... other relics of dead kinsmen. ... The mat is also brought out ... at burials, when the dead person is bound into the mat to be carried to the grave. But a relic is brought back from the grave to be lodged in the jeza mat which is suspended in the hut. Ingessana say that this is the deceased’s shade (kuuth)." [/kut/ is "the remembered image of the whole person." (p. 124, n. 2)]

pp. 121-122 rite of "restoration of the "souls" of "shades" (kuuthek) of children"




"The cult group which carries out these rituals is called "caalk", "dreams".

... the parents of a child who has suffered some frightening experience ... approach the local leader of the cult and ask her


(this person, called taun,

{perhaps cognate with [<ib.] /TH.iNNah/ ‘favor, grace’}


is always as woman) to restore the child".


"The cult group arrives and they begin their singing and vigorous dancing ..., brandishing their characteristic switches.


There is ... much horseplay involving references to sexuality, defecation, breaking wind ...

{cf. the similar behavior of Moki sacred clowns}


The second phase begins when the child is taken to the place where they had the frightening experience. The child is made to the spot and is then covered with ashes. The child is stood up and then sprayed with water, and immediately everyone runs back to the homestead. ... The main elements of the rite involve the taun putting ash on the left legs and arms of the children, making them smell ... a species of cress ... The children are then picked up and held upside down over gourds containing ... ashes. They are then stood right way up and the taun sprays them with mouthfuls of beer from a special double gourd ..."


A chicken which has been immersed in beer is circled over and around the children and this way too sprays them as the bird flaps about. ... .

{the [Hellenic] god of healing by means of dreams, namely Asklepios, likewise had the chicken as dedicated animal (for the festival Asklepieia, on the 8th of the month Xanthikos – FNA)}


... this is done to restore the souls ... so that their soul will not abandon them, "run off into the wilds"".

FNA = http://www.neosalexandria.org/festivals.htm

pp. 122-123 other features of the Caalk Society




"The licensed deviance which in a feature of caalk conduct is reputed to extend beyond ... even the startling exhibition of carved phalluses ..., to grossly sacrilegious acts such as defecating on the sacred monolith upon which


the revered semk pray.

{cf. [Skt.] hero /Adhi-SEMa Krs.n.a/}


On other occasions some of their number are dressed in masks said to represent hyenas."


"caalk or caalk-like institutions are known ... to exist among neighboring peoples such as ... the Murghaja ... to the west and south."


"The contrasting orientations ... is vividly represented by the spectacle in waking life of the benign grandmother, the taun of the caalk group, casting seed around the house as a benediction, and the dream image (caalk) of the ... ghost casting malevolent seed around the dreamer’s homestead."


pp. 126-134 Peter R. McKenzie : "Dreams and Visions from Nineteenth Century Yoruba Religion".

[p. 126 references are to "the personal papers of contemporary Yoruba ... held in CMS Archives"].

[p. 133, n. 2 the CMS Archives are in Birmingham University Library]

pp. 126-7 admonitory vision of a goddess




[CA 2, 058, Jnl. 13/11/75] "in Ibadan, at the brink of death and nearly penniless, he suddenly had a vision of the goddess Osun


entering his house with a train of followers. Those about him saw nothing. The orisa accosted him by name and sharply reprimanded him for his neglect of her. She assured him he would become well if he resumed his worship of her. He did so and his fortunes improved."

pp. 127-8 actions to countreact evil omens




[035, 19/5/76] "encountered a priestess of Osun who asks him as an alufa or priest to make an amulet for a woman relative whose ... dream she regarded as a bad omen".


[076, 28/5/63] "at Badagry ... encountered a senior Ifa diviner or babalawo making sacrifice for a woman who was the victim of a terrifying dream."


[098, 13/4/75] "at Ondo ... in the course f a festival for Obatala. Women were beating the drums with great skill. ... . ... a great shout announced that "the orisa has got one of their number ...". The possessed one later told them that she had been to the spirit world and had been instructed by Obatala to warn everyone of the evil that would befall them if they did not perform the appropriate sacrifice."

p. 128 resuscitation of man apparently dead :

[058, 29/2/75] "before the interment his corpse was seen to be moving. It was unwrapped and they found the man had come to life again. ... When he recovered he explained a great high God "enthroned in a spacious place, from top to bottom in white. {the whiteness of Oba-tala?} On his right is the God Orisha-nla and on his left the God Ifa, both his counsellors ...; and before him ... are the Gods Ogun and Sopona. Ogun is armed with 4000 short swords ...

Sopona {deity of plague-epidemics} also has 4000 vials about him".

{cf. "the seven vials full of the seven last plagues" (Apokalupsis of Ioannes 21:9)} ...

p. 129 "traditional metempsychosis"

[098, 6/8/79] "an Ondo man ... declared that when anyone dies "he has to enter the womb of women"."


pp. 135-52 Richard T. Curley : "Private Dreams and Public Knowledge". [Kamerun]

p. 148 spirit-possession

"The possession trance and the ideology of spirit possession offer a demonstration of the immediacy and power of the supernatural realm that is thoroughly convincing ... . ... In many religious traditions, possession experiences help ... the supernatural world".

p. 149 psychedelic entheogen

"Fernandez describes how Bwiti members ingest the psychotropic eboga during initiation before experiencing visions of encounters with the supernatural (1982:470-493).

These religious experiences activate the religious consciousness of the individual and ... confirm religious conceptions ... (Geertz 1966:24)."

Fernandez 1982 = J. Fernandez : Bwiti. Princeton U Pr.

Geertz 1966 = C. Geertz, in :- M. Banton (ed.) : Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Religion. London : Tavistock Publ. pp. 1-46.


pp. 153-76 Simon Charsley : "Dreams in African ...".

p. 154 publicly shared dreams

"individuals may certainly believe themselves to have the same dream repeatedly.

{Some persons even undergo the same dream repeatedly in a single night; this is something which they experience; not merely "believe".}

They may also believe that it is possible for different people to dream the same dream (Evans-Pritchard 1937:138)."

{Such people experience that (known as "mutual dreaming"); and not merely "believe" in it."

Evans-Pritchard 1937 = E. E. Evans-Pritchard : Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande. Oxford : Clarendon Pr.

p. 155 the supernatural in dreams

[Pondo tribe of South Africa] "The izulu is described initially as a common witchcraft familiar, a lightning bird which appears in the form of a beautiful young man and becomes a woman’s lover ([Hunter]:282). ...

There was a dream ... in which the dreamer had heard someone saying that she would be bewitched with lightning and had later dreamed of lightning flashing around her head (op. cit.:490)."

Hunter = M. Hunter : Reaction to Conquest. 1st edn 1936.


STUDIES ON RELIGION IN AFRICA (SUPPLEMENTS TO THE JOURNAL OF RELIGION IN AFRICA), VII = M. C. Je,drej & Rosalind Shaw (eds.) : Dreaming, Religion and Society in Africa. E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1992.