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Nkondi

The server is excruciatingly slow today (even worse than usual) so I’m not sure if this post will actually make it; I’ve got time to bake a cake while I wait for the page to refresh!  Many of you may rejoice at this news (keep the Barmy Cow as far away from these pages as possible!  Thought I’d say that before offering the opportunity to anyone else.)

 

Thank you Peter Barnett for sending me those web links regarding my bathroom fetish.  It would seem that what we have is a Nkondi (African Nail Fetish).  Apparently these particular fetishes are protective figures used by individuals, families, or whole communities to destroy or weaken evil spirits, prevent or cure illnesses, repel bad deeds, solemnize contracts or oath-taking, and decide arguments. A diviner or holy person would activate the statue, using magical substances. Fetishes gained power and were effective because people believed in them. They were also used to literally "hammer out agreements"...with clear
implications as to what would happen to people who broke the agreements.

 

So it would seem that our little bathroom warrior was probably placed beneath the bath in an effort to protect against rather than to attract evil.  I did a bit of background research on previous owners of the cottage (the old lady who sold it to us originally still lives in the town) and she told us that the cottage was rented briefly to a couple 'from somewhere African' before she bought it in 1979.  I guess that seems to be the most feasible explanation; maybe they hid the fetish away after it had done what it was supposed to do.  It’s not a good idea to destroy effigies or fetishes so placing him under the bath with a bunch of roses was probably the most sensible thing to do.  I currently have him standing on the landing bookshelves along with some of my other African artifacts; hopefully he will feel at home and make some new friends.

 

Meanwhile; I have discovered the source of the mysterious two hundred quid in my purse…it was nothing more enigmatic than money given to me by a customer the other day and I had simply forgotten about it.  I guess my addled brain is turning to mush as I approach my dotage.  Good job I didn’t splash-out and buy that driftwood candelabra I saw yesterday!

BarmyCow BarmyCow 51-55, F May 15, 2012

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