The Mombo and her assistant were in no hurry about lighting the candles on the altar from the oil lamp that is kept burning always on the floor of the assembly room. The doors were kept shut, or partially so, during the lighting of the candles, in one of which four young women who are being prepared for baptism participated.
At last, however, the Mombo began to dance. She whirled slowly about the rooms a few times, swaying and bowing, her feet as precise as a première ballerina. She made libation before each drum. Presently, after she had danced for ten minutes, and she is by far the most graceful and charming dancer I had so far seen, the others began. Each one in turn kissed the ground before the drums, the others singing, the drums beating the Jean Valou rhythm, and then bowed and kissed the ground before the Mombo's feet.
Back in the main room again the drums were beginning to pull the loi into the hearts of the worshippers. A tall young woman in white with a red head rag and a loose and silly face was Simbi. A possessed person (generally) begins by staggering about the room on one leg, almost but never quite falling into the arms of the spectators. The motion is that of a person walking along the iron of a railroad track. Then a violent and frenzied dance begins....(to be continued)