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of his illness. He offers to restore the sick man to health [70] meekp5511.gif, and directs him to bring a "cock", i.e. to hand over the soul of one of his maternal[71] meekp5512.gif relatives. The sick man feels he cannot refuse and is restored to health by eating some of the soul-liver of the victim. In this way he himself becomes a witch. If he is accused later of practising witchcraft he can put forward the plea that he was made into a witch against his will, and he indicates[72] meekp5513.gif the name of the man who was responsible for his condition. The latter (i.e. the original witch) is then required to undergo the sasswood ordeal, and if he is found guilty the secondary witch is allowed to go scot free[73] .

Among the Mambila it is customary to open the body and examine the heart of every person before burial, in order to see if he had practised witchcraft during his lifetime. The examination is carried out at the instance of the deceased's maternal relatives, who employ a professional [74]meekp5515.gif examiner. One horizontal and two vertical incisions are made in the abdomen, the flap is raised and the heart pulled forward. If the heart is found to be surrounded with a rough filament it is concluded that the deceased had practised witchcraft. In this case a diviner is summoned in order to show whether the witchcraft had been obtained by heredity, purchase, or involuntarily. If it is shown that the witchcraft of the deceased had been due to heredity or purchase, nothing further is said or done. But if it is shown that the deceased had become a witch through the trickery of another witch the diviner is called on to declare the name of the other witch, who is then required to undergo an ordeal, [75] meekp5513.gifand if he is found guilty he and some of his relatives become the slaves of the family of the deceased. The reason for this procedure is that the family of the deceased may receive compensation for the loss it had sustained through the witchcraft of the deceased, who had been forced by the machination of the other witch to make inroads on his own family.

The form of ordeal usually practised to determine the innocence or guilt of a person suspected of witchcraft was that of drinking sasswood, a method which is now illegal. If the accused vomited the poison at once, he was adjudged not guilty of the charge, and his accuser was required to pay heavy [76] meekp5513.gifcompensation for bringing a false charge.

If the accused retained the poison he soon died, and his family

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