Thursday, January 26, 2012

Merriman at Gbenderoo

© by CF

photo © 
Early in the morning I was headed by lorry (public transport) to the town of Daru to visit with the well-known Mende weaver by the name of Pa Brimah Daru. I remember the day being quite cool for Sierra Leone and quite foggy. It was on the way down Dama Road (the road from Kenema and Nongowa Chiefdom to Dama Chiefdom) that we stopped at the village of Gbenderoo. It was in this village that a Merriman or medicine man lived. Conversant in Arabic, in his small house he made amulets within which were Arabic sayings that reportedly brought the owner good health and good luck. Since the transport made a stop in this village, I paid the man a visit and we talked. There were two pictures that I took - one of him reading the Koran and one, this one, in his house writing, for me, a good health wish in Arabic. Highly respected by his neighbors in the village, they gave him space, and were very hesitant to cross him. [probably 1969]

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