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General facts

* The Mengen people are subsistence farmers. They live off the food which they grow in their gardens.

* To compliment a person in Mengen, you would say, "You are fat!" or "Your skin is big!!"

facts1* The Mengen live in houses made of hand-split boards and grass roofs.

* Some Mengen believe that they can make thunder and lightening stop just by speaking to it.

* The Mengen people eat taro, sweet potatoes, bananas, coconuts, greens, fish, pork, tomatoes, papaya, various nuts and fruits found in the jungle etc.

* Mengen children are told that if they point at a rainbow, one of their parents will later die or be injured in some way.

* Some Mengen people believe that their sins can be removed by paying small amounts of money.

* Newborn babies are often fed solid foods (bananas and sweet potatoes), right from day one.

* Red clay is smeared onto a baby's soft spot to strengthen it.

facts2* Each Mengen woman will have several gardens, each on a different rotation, so that food is constantly available.

* Many Mengen people think that stars are the spirits of their dead ancestors.

* The Mengen also believe that when someone is injured, he will have to pay his friends money or clothing, so that the sore will heal.

* When a Mengen lady shells a certain nut, she will not refer to it by name, or it won't be plentiful.

* The Mengen people perform magic to make their gardens come up, to keep their children strong and healthy, to prevent injury or harm from coming to their family and to give them success in whatever they do.

* Thunder and lightning are thought to be evil spirits fighting.

* Fish, eels, freshwater shrimp and frogs are all wrapped up carefully and carried home nicely. If you don't treat them with "respect" the evil spirits who live in the water will make you sick or even kill you.

* Banana peels, fish bones, hair clippings, tobacco stems etc. are all hidden deep down into tall grass. Someone might pick them up and work magic against you.

* Dogs can understand everything humans say because a long time ago, they used to be able to talk.

You can contact Rebecca at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. She can also be reached through New Tribes Mission at 1000 E. First St., Sanford, FL 32771-1487.

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