Tsamba and Magosti

The twenty-two year old female informant born in the Gabonese Republic, a state located on the west coast of Central Africa, revealed that locals in her city believe two mermaids inhabit the ocean named Tsamba and Magosti. They are revered among the locals. Every time the village floods, it is said that the mermaids are angry. In order to appease the spirits locals make offerings. It is not uncommon to find bowls of food on the beach. Also when near a body of water such as a lake or river the locals toss coins in the water to appease spirits that inhabit it.

The mermaid and spirits seem to operate as lower deities. My informant also revealed that when someone drowns there is a belief that they become slaves to a genie. When asked if he body is recovered are they still slaves the answer was “yes.” It is the soul that is stolen. Seeing how the ocean provided transport for slaves to the Americas that fear may have transpired into this belief. Water operates as random uncontrollable element this may explain some of the mysticism linked with it.