Some old women had large jars for the storage of smoked meat. They were called kitafuka and no one was allowed to touch them. There was a coffee-grain basket called endabi which was also taboo. Transgression of this rule meant sudden death to a child born to the offender. When a child suddenly died the father consulted a diviner as to the cause. Should he say that the mother had touched a coffee basket which was not her property the husband would come home and question her. He would give her a white goat and a white cowry shell to give to the offended owner of the basket. This person would then touch the woman, saying “Never again touch a coffee basket which does not belong to you.” — “I shall never do it again,” the wife would reply.

  • Source: Kagwa, Apolo, Sir. The customs of the Baganda. New York: Columbia University Press, 1934.
  • Culture: Ganda
  • Location: Africa