Ethnic Origin

How Spirit Societies Began

A man was walking through a forest when he came upon a deserted village, and since he was far from home and night was falling, he decided to sleep in one of the village houses. He entered the largest house and climbed into the loft, between the ceiling and the roof.
While the man was asleep the moon arose and a Gofe came into the house. A Gofe is an evil spirit belonging to a dead man.

Soon after a second Gofe came, then a third and fourth, until Gofes were arriving thick and fast from every direction: for this house was their meeting place. that was why all the villagers had run away.

The noise of the Gofes talking woke the man, and when he realized he was in a spirit-house he began to fear for his life. More and more Gofes came, crowding in through doors and windows until they filled house, then they began climbing into the loft, and the terrified man had to scramble up under the roof and hang from one of the topmost beams.

Gofes overflowed the house, sat on the roof, and swarmed up nearby trees. They had their medicine pouch in the room below and began to dance around it, singing an awful spirit-song. Then they began discussing the best way to avoid Waras and Softlys.

Wara is a small animal which lives in hollow logs and makes scary noises in the night. No one has ever seen one or know exactly what it is, but they devour evil spirits.

A softly is an animal like a lemur, about the size of a kitten but with strong hands which can seize and strangle even the biggest spirits; these are the two animals which evil spirits fear. But they are particularly afraid of the Wara’s call.

The man hanging from the roof realized this, and began to see a way in which he might escape. He carefully cleared his throat, and above the noise which the Gofes were making he shouted:

“Oooo–Wara, Wara, Wara!”

Which is the noise which Waras make. One of the spirits below said:

“I thought I heard the call of something.”

“What kind of something?” asked a fellow-spirit. The first one shuddered and looked over his shoulder.

“It was the call of a … of a Wara!”

The spirits who heard this turned pale. Gofes. can.

“You’re lying. It cannot be true. Please don’t say such awful things in here.

“Then let’s listen,” said the first Gofe. they all listened, and in the middle of the silence the man gave a fearful cry which filled the house:

“Oooo–Wara, Wara, Wara!”

“A Wara!” cried the Gofes. “A Wara is upon us!”

Gofes leapt down from the left, slithered from the roof, fell from trees and threatened to burst the sides of the room below. They poured from doors and windows like beans from the mouth of a bag. Each of them wanted to escape first: and when outside they rapidly disappeared.

But in their hurry they left their precious medicine bag behind; the man found it, and in the morning he took it to his home. He built a strong fence about his house to keep out evil strangers and invited the members of his clan to come and use the medicine.

That was how secret Spirit Societies began among men.