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(Yasi in Bullom) Mende name for a cult association that has its own source of spiritual power (halei) that it uses to diagnose various kinds of ritual pollution and to purify those who have wittingly or unwittingly incurred pollution. A symptom of the latter is some form of mental derangement or illness and Njayei is said to be specially empowered by its medicine (halei) to cure mental illness. Its sacred house is distinguished by walls that are daubed with white, red and black spots, and Njayei for that reason has sometimes been referred to as 'the society of spots'. It has both male and female members. This is reflected in the sculptures made for it, which typically are a pair of figures, one male and one female.

  • A.J.Gittins, Mende Religion (Nettetal 1987), 145-147.
  • W.A.Hart, 'Sculptures of the Njayei Society of the Mende of Sierra Leone', African Arts, 1993, XXVI, 3, 46-53.