Should the girl happen to be living near her parents at the moment when she attained to puberty, she was expected on her recovery to inform them of the fact, whereupon her father jumped over her mother. Were this custom omitted, the Baganda, like the A-Kamba, thought that the girl would never have children or that they would die in infancy.
And should she be overtaken by the first flow while she is in the fields, she must, after hiding in the bush, scrupulously avoid all pathways in returning home. A reason for this avoidance is assigned by the A-Kamba of British East Africa, whose girls under similar circumstances observe the same rule. "A girl's first menstruation is a very critical period of her life according to A-Kamba beliefs.
Truly, as Hobley says in his unexcelled work on the A-Kamba, "the life of a savage native is a complex matter, and he is hedged round by all sorts of rules and prohibitions, the infringement of which will probably cause his death, if only by the intense belief he has in the rules which guide his life." * Customs are not universal among the different tribes. I am merely illustrating.
Girls at puberty forbidden to touch the ground and see the sun, 22; seclusion of girls at puberty among the Zulus and kindred tribes, 22; among the A-Kamba of British East Africa, 23; among the Baganda of Central Africa, 23 sq.; among the tribes of the Tanganyika plateau, 24 sq.; among the tribes of British Central Africa, 25 sq.; abstinence from salt associated with a rule of chastity in many tribes, 26-28; seclusion of girls at puberty among the tribes about Lake Nyassa and on the Zambesi, 28 sq.; among the Thonga of Delagoa Bay, 29 sq.; among the Caffre tribes of South Africa, 30 sq.; among the Bavili of the Lower Congo, 31 sq.