In the forest of Gabon grows a plant called Tabernanthe Iboga. It has twisted roots, polka-dot pink leaves — and hallucinogenic properties to match. A few nibbles at the iboga root will send you soaring into a drug-induced world of weirdness. You may even get religion — which is exactly how the Bwiti cult began.
MEBEGHE seems to be a tripped-out take on the three-in-one Creator God NZAME. An afternoon munching iboga must have given a completely new angle on everyone’s favorite God. We’re not sure what kind of angle, but without the benefit of mind-enhancing substances we’ll just have to try our best.
Before you can make a cosmic omelet you have to make a Cosmic Egg. You will need underarm hair, a piece of brain, and a pebble from the sea. You will also need to be a God like MEBEGHE. You can then blow on the ingredients and your egg will form. Hand it to a spider to hang between sky and sea and cook it in sunshine.
When it is hot you must fertilize it. Then when it cracks you have descendants. This is the exciting bit. In MEBEGHE’s case there burst forth NINEPONE and her brother NONE. Shortly followed by the strange and unsettling EVUS.
There are more exciting recipes to create worms and termites. These in turn dish up a big ball of dung which becomes Earth Pudding. There may also be animals, birds, plants, and giant triangular zootfroodles, depending on how much iboga you happen to be chewing.
MEBEGHE’s three new deities were placed upon the Earth and told to behave themselves. Needless to say, they didn’t. It wasn’t long before sex and drugs and dead warthogs had ruined all chance of a happy ending.
The cult of Bwiti is still going strong in several parts of Gabon and Cameroon. There are many strenuous rituals to deal with and also a lot of complicated secret handshakes. Meanwhile, MEBEGHE has found new fame in the West as Zame-Ye-Mebege, the Discordian God of Narcotics. It’s a weird old world.