Doctor Jean-Rene Lambert, who lived in different parts of the Congo from 1930 to 1939 wrote about something in his Souvenirs which has several points in common with the story of Charlemagne and the magic ring.

Doctor Lambert has just treated a young man called Mumba for enteritis.  The young man has fainted, and the doctor has handed him over to his young wife, Mayi, whom the boy made fall in love with him via a magic stone which he carries on him at all times.  The doctor continues his story.

“Mumba had hardly left before I found on the ground the stone that had been given to him by the sorcerer.  It must have slipped from his belt.  I was going to run after him to return it, when I had the idea of attempting an experiment, and I put the stone in my pocket.  We would see if this object had any power.  The answer came without delay.

“The next morning, I discovered, with the astonishment that can be imagined, Mayi crouched in front of my door, looking at me tenderly.  Greatly embarrassed by this little black girl in love, who didn’t want to leave me, I hurried off to give back the stone to Mumba, and all returned to normal…  But I was able to see for myself the extraordinary effects of this object prepared by a sorcerer whose knowledge – the thing being proven to me once more – was far greater than my superficial white doctor’s knowledge.”

Docteur Lambert says “once more” because, elsewhere in his book, he recounts that he had been able to see the magical powers of certain sorcerers over rain, wind and storms.

***

Most explorers will tell you that in certain traditional civilizations – which certain ethnologists still scornfully call primitive civilizations – there are initiates capable of using forces which are unknown to us.  In New Caledonia, for example, numerous cases of Canaques of both sexes being “emboucanes” through sorcerers, and made amorous, are still cited today…

***

So, it is possible that Charlemagne was also “emboucane” by a Carolingian sorcerer endowed with the same powers as the Congolese nyanga or the Canaque magicians…  Who knows?

***

Mosaic from Saint-Jean-de-Latran, in Rome, dating from the end of the VIIIth Century. We see that the Carolingian Emperor, Charlemagne (Charles I of the Francs), did not wear a beard, in spite of the legend that says that he did. He wore only a moustache.

Advertisements