Belli Paaro
A former secret society of Liberia, Africa, the cult of which
consisted in a description of brotherhood with departed spirits.
The seventeenth-century author Olfert Dapper, writing of this
society, stated ‘‘They have also another custom which they call
Belli Paaro of which they say it is a death, a new birth and an
incorporation in the community of spirits or soul with whom
the common folk associate in the bush, and help to eat the offerings
prepared for the spirits.’’ This description is far from
clear, but apparently those who joined the society wished to be
regarded as spiritualized, or as having died and having been
brought to life again; and that their society was a confraternity
of all those who had passed through this training in common.

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