Food as a variation of the seed metaphor for orally transmitted authority and wisdom also features prominently in the rite. For example, the seeds are cooked up into “food” Bwali over the new fire. Mbusa, decorated with seeds, are hidden in bowls of this food. Then the girls touch the bowls all over before handing them to a senior woman. She in turn picks up the lid with her mouth, revealing the food which hides the Mbusa. She now begins passing along the bowls from mouth to mouth in order of precedence. Finally, when the food is ritually tasted, the secrets of the hidden Mbusa are revealed by mouth.

  • Source: Maxwell, Kevin B. Bemba myth and ritual: the impact of literacy on an oral culture. New York: P. Lang, 1983.
  • Culture: Bemba
  • Location: Africa