They are as real and present as the night, and
the goal is to elude them or to pass through
them without getting caught. This is why all
important rituals, especially those with a high
initiation value, must take place at night and
must necessarily begin at sundown and end
only when the sun rises again. The objective
is to step across the night and thus to connect
one day to the next.
White is the color of transition. It is uncertain
and ambivalent, and it is associated with the
pale light of the moon, which is always at risk
of disappearing at night. But it also carries
with it the expectation, if also the wait, for
red, the color of the sun and the light of day,
health, and life.
This article places the facts presented in an earlier
one, called “Het komo masker: oorsprong en
functie” presented in Africa-Tervuren, XIX-
1973-2, pp. 29–32, into a broader perspective.
The author would like to emphasize that his
observations took place in the past, and he has
since been unable to follow the evolution of the
diviners’ functions and the ritualization of those
functions as they exist in the present day. Both
have undoubtedly been strongly affected by the
troubles that have been widespread throughout
the Komo area since he spent time there.