Chipimpi and the Head that Thunders

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Chipimpi (Kipimpi), the first chief, was given fire and cultivated plants by his wife, Liulu.

A quarrel broke out between Chipimpi's men, the Goat clan, and his son, Kabunda, and daughter, Lumpuma, both of the Hair clan. Chipimpi decided to separate these two matrilineal clans.

His people, because they insisted on sowing seeds that had been exposed to fire, suffered a serious famine: the rain could make nothing grow in the fields. But Lumpuma and Kabunda were prosperous. Chipimpi's nephew went to visit his crosscousins, who fed him. He spent the night with Lumpuma, who was pregnant with an infant by her brother, Kabunda. Chipimpi sent the people of his clan to eat with his children. Lumpuma married her cross-cousin. The child she brought forth was called son of an unknown father.

When Lumpuma's husband lost some immortal dogs belonging to his mother-in-law, Liulu, this woman was furious. She insisted that her son-in-law compensate her by killing Chipimpi, who was his father-in-law and his maternal uncle. Kabunda, Chipimpi's son, reinforced this order. The nephew brought the people of his clan together to associate them with his act. The women refused to agree to it, but the men acceded. After spearing Chipimpi twice, they cut off his head. When a new dispute erupted between the Goat clan and the Hair clan, the people of the Goat clan decided to commit collective suicide. Joined together, they threw themselves into a river. One woman only was dragged out in time by her husband, who belonged to the Leopard clan. So it was that the Goat clan survived, from that time dominated by the Hair clan. After the burial of Chipimpi, the villagers were surprised to find the dead man sitting on his front doorstep. They killed him a second time and took the precaution of burning his body. But on returning to the village, they found his head. This still exists. It rolls angrily around whenever one hears thunder. See also: Kabunda, Lesa, Luchyele.

Subjects: Religion.

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