The Member of Parliament for Wa Central Constituency, Dr. Rashid Hassan Pelpuo has released a portion of his historical write-up Educating his followers on some spiritual and Physical Aspects of the Waala Society.


Another part of my unpublished work about the historical and Social foundation of the Wala…

This one is about the belief of the Wala in a spiritual snake called Juhu.. read on and pass your comment.


Juhu is a Wali word, which means Python. We have the physical Juhu and the spiritual Juhu. Used in the spiritual context even though it may still have the same form, the creature can only be seen by those who have the eyes to see it. In Wa there is a wide spread belief in this spiritual being. An individual may deliberately acquire it for the purpose of getting it to serve him or her. They usually are believed to have the ability to swallow or vomit money and would usually vomit money for its owner. Women are usually associated with this spiritual creature. The creature would live with their owners in the house and would serve them so long as they are also served. Juhu, like its counterpart in the real world, loves to feed on eggs and perhaps chicken and the owners keep serving them with these items as the creature may demand. Sometimes a Juhu in possession of a particular individual would be said to be demanding human blood for its up keep. In this sense it might be served with either the child of its owner or that of a close relation. Failure to satisfy the Juhu would result in the creature falling on the owner. Several stories exist of women who got swollen up because they could not meet the demands of their hungry pythons. Such people were said to have died slowly as the swallowing went on until they were swallowed whole and died miserably.

But a Juhu well catered for may bring forth offsprings and make the owner prosperous. An owner of a Juhu, which has brought forth offspring, may have to give out some to other neighbours who may be interested in keeping them. However, not all owners may even know they own them. In that sense neighbours may only find out people who have juhu capable of spiritually sighting the Juhu and the owner’s attention would then be drawn to it. For some people once the Juhu comes to know them and live with them it would hardly leave them. And for an owner to give up a Juhu, it demands very costly ceremony involving some sacrifices. At the time of doing this write up I happened to be in Wa briefly and was invited to see an empty basket which was said to contain some young Juhuminae (plural) abandoned by an owner who did not know what to do with them. Bystanders were warned not to touch the basket for fear that they may unknowingly pick up a Juhu.

Case study: A true story but with changed names

Saaka-ma, a woman from Nayiri tells a story of how she got entangled with a Juhu. She had a friend with whom she traded in firewood in a village five kilometres away from Wa. For some time they had very good trade relation. It happened that Saaka-ma had a funeral and her friend came to moan with her. The friend stayed with her for four days. On the night before the friend left she left a kerosene bottle for her to take care of while she went to toilet. It downed on her it was a strange request but she took the bottle and kept it aside. Her friend didn’t come back that night to take her bottle nor did she ask for it when she showed up the following morning. Once Saaka-ma drew her friend’s attention about her kerosene bottle but she appeared rather uninterested and oblivious about it. In any case the bottle could no longer be found where it was kept.

A few months after this incident Saaka-ma started experiencing strange loses in her firewood business and related activities. Friends began shunning her company and rumours started flying all over that she had a Juhu. She never heard any such rumours though she suspected that something had gone amiss about her life. She had lost some weight considerably and was worried. One day as she walked pass a house at Wapaani, a section of Wa, along with her sister, an old woman they greeted called back the sister.
“What is that lady to you?” enquired the old lady.
“She’s my sister,” the sister responded.
“I must confide in you,” said the old lady.
“Your sister is innocently carrying a very big and mature Juhu around her neck. The Juhu has just brought forth younger ones and they are all clinging to her while she innocently goes about her business. I see that your sister is innocent because those who intentionally go in for them and are aware of them would not display them the way your sister has done.”
Douguma’s sister was terrified. “But you need not be afraid, just find a way of relieving her of this painful burden.” The old woman added.

This was the first realisation of the situation Saaka Ma found herself when her sister mastered courage and informed her about her conversation with the old woman. Should she commit suicide or just search for an antidote? What of if it didn’t work? After several considerations Saaka Ma along with her still terrified sister approached a medicine man who used charm and hypnosis to cast away the taunting Juhuminae from her. She became normal and acceptable to her peers thereafter.

Source: Dr. Rashid Hassan Pelpuo/MP Wa Central

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