Ombwiri a class of good and gentle spirits who are believed by the natives of Southern Guinea to take part in the government of the world. Almost every man has his own ombwiri as a tutelary and guardian spirit, for which he provides a small house near his own. "All the harm that is escaped in this world," as Mr. Wilson informs us, "and all the good received, are ascribed to the kindly offices of this guardian spirit. Ombwiri is also regarded as the author of everything which is marvelous or mysterious. Any remarkable feature in the physical aspect of the country, any notable phenomenon in the heavens, or extraordinary event in the affairs of men, is ascribed to Ombwiri. His favorite places of abode are the summits of high mountains, deep caverns, large rocks, and the base of very large forest trees. While the people attach no malignity to his character, they guard against any unnecessary intercourse with him, and they never pass a place where he is supposed to dwell except in silence. He is the only one of all the spirits recognized by the people that has no priesthood, his intercourse with men being direct and immediate."

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