Nda is the name of a religious secret association among the people of Southern Guinea, in West Africa. It is confined to the adult male population, and is thus described by Mr. Wilson who, from his long residence in the country, acquired an intimate acquaintance with its peculiar customs: "It [i.e., the association] is headed by a spirit of this name, who dwells in the woods, and appears only when summoned by some unusual event — at the death of a person connected with the order, at the birth of twins, or at the inauguration of sonme one into office. His voice is never heard except at night, and after the people have retired to rest. He enters the village from the wood-side, and is so brundled up in dry plantain leaves that no one would suspect him of belonging to the human species. He is alwvays accompanied by a train of young men, and the party dance to a peculiar and somewhat plaintive air on a flute-like instrument as they parade through the streets, As soon as it is known that he has entered the village, the women and children run awav to their rooms to hide themselves. If they should have the misfortune to see Nds, or should be discovered peeping at him through the cracks of the houses, they would be thrashed almost to death. Perhaps no woman has ever had the temerity to cast eyes upon this mysterious being. Nda frequently stops in front of the dwelling of a man who is known to have rum in his possession, and exacts a bottle in default of which his property would be injured. The leading men of the village show the utmost deference to his authority, no doubt for the purpose of making a stronger impression upon the minds of the women and children. If a distinguished person dies, Nda affects great rage, and comes the following night with a large posse of men to seize the property of the villagers without discrimination. He is sure to lay hands on as many sheep and goats as are necessary to make a grand feast, and no man has any right to complain. Many take the precaution to lock up their sheep and other live stock in their dwelling-houses the night before, and in this way alone can they escape the ravages of this monster of the woods, who is sure to commit depredations somewhat in proportion to the importance and rank of the man who has died. The institution of Nda, like that of Mwetyi, is intended to keep the women, children, and slaves in subjection. I once heard a man who belonged to the order acknowledge that there was no such spirit; 'but how,' said he, 'shall we govern our women and our slaves if we do away with the impression that there is such a being.'"

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