Ritual objects in  'the house of the pot'
The Bum believe in a supreme God (Fyen) who is responsible for all creation. He creates every person in the society. To some he gives clairvoyance (seba = two eyes). To others God gives only one eye (seimok). Those endowed with clairvoyance are called Clairvoyant (sg. Wutaseba = person of seba pl. ghetaseba). The Clairvoyant refer to the one eyed as innocent (sg. Ayung, ngwo, munin = person of seimok - pl. wuyung, wungwo, wumumu). The the clairvoyant is believed to be endowed with the ability to see and do certain things which their innocent counterparts are incapable of. This extraordinary ability is also called clairvoyance (sg. fintini - fintitu). Thus the Clairvoyant may also be referred to as (sg. Wutafintina = person of fintini - pl. ghetafintina). Equally, it is not uncommon to hear the Clairvoyants being referred to as clever people (sg. Wutatoffana = person of sense - pl. ghetatoffana). With the innocent is associated the idea of shortsightedness, incapability, and at times foolishness. Sometimes the Bum simply use the verb to see (Yen), to distinguish between the clairvoyant and the innocent. They say that the former sees (Yenalo), and the latter sees not (Yenawi).
The Clairvoyant and the innocent are the only two categories of persons in Bum. A person either belongs to the one, or to the other. However, both categories have two subcategories each. Thus a clairvoyant might either be associated with the Awung or the Msa. The Awung (pl. uwung) as the clairvoyants of the first subgroup are called, are further divided into two categories: The Wise man (sg. awungadzunga = good awung - pl. uwungudzungu) and the Sorcerer (sg. awungahe = bad awung - pl. uwungube). The Cunning (sg. Wutamsa = person of Msa - pl. ghetamsala) is the appellation of the second sub-category of clairvoyant. This subtype is also divided into two other ones namely: the Sly (sg. wutamsamdzung = good person of Msa - pl. ghetamsamdzunga); and the Villain (sg. wutamsamba = bad person of Msa - pl. ghetamsambe). The innocent fall into either of two sub-types. The medium (sg. wut-ni-toffotu = person with intelligence in the head - pl. gheta-ni-toffotu); or the inept (sg. ayung, ngwo, mumu = A person capable of no great thing - pl. wuyung, wungwo, wumumu).

This page was created by Ian Fowler