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The terrible calamity of drought is put in direct relation with . . . the miscarriage of women when the fetus has not been dealt with according to rule, the birth of twins, the death of children who were not yet aggregated to the tribe by the ceremony of boha puri . . . and who have not been buried in wet ground; these are the great natural causes which prevent the rain from falling. . . . What then must be done? The chief will collect his men and ask them: "Are you in a normal state"? (literally, "are you right"?). They answer: "Such and such a woman was pregnant but nobody knows what she has brought forth." This woman will be arrested and told to go and show us where she has put it. . . . Then the women assemble. They must remove all their clothing, only putting on some grass round their loins and, with a peculiar skipping step, singing a special song: Mpfula nana—"rainfall"—they go to all the spots where children prematurely born have been buried in dry ground, on the hills, take what they find in the broken pots, and collect all that impurity in a secret place, so that children may see nothing of what they are doing. Water is poured on these graves in order to "quench them." On the evening of the same day they go and bury these impurities; this is done in the mud, near the river. No man must approach during that work: women would have the right of striking the imprudent one and of asking him questions on the obscene formulas of circumcision; the man would answer them in the most impure words he could find, as all the language tabus are suspended on that day: nakedness even is no longer tabu, "because," says Viguet, "it is the law of the country!" Everybody consents to the suspension of the ordinary laws.1

1Junodn/an/an/an/an/an/a, 294–296, (The Macmillan Company. By permission).

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Chicago: Passim in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed September 22, 2023,

MLA: . Passim, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 22 Sep. 2023.

Harvard: , Passim. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 22 September 2023, from