Mumbo-Jumbo
A term used to denote an object of senseless veneration, or
a meaningless ceremony designed to overpower impressionable
people. It has often been used by individuals as a pejorative
label to express their strong personal belief about the occult.
Mumbo-Jumbo dates back to the early eighteenth century,
when it was reported as an image used by the Mundingo tribe
in Gambia, Africa, to keep women in subjection. If the men had
a dispute with the women, the ‘‘Mumbo-Jumbo’’ image was
brought to adjudicate. This image was eight or nine feet high,
made from the bark of trees, with straw on the head, and
dressed in a long frock coat. A man of the tribe would be hidden
under the coat, and would always give a judgment in favor
of the men. The women would usually run away when he was
brought to them, although he had power to make them come
forward or sing and dance for his pleasure.
A secret society amongst the men maintained the tradition
of the Mumbo-Jumbo, and its members were sworn to secrecy.
No boy under sixteen was allowed to join

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