Omarakana any man, except Bagido'u, his kinsmen or his intimate friends, would immediately give the answer: "This is Bagido'u's magic-we cannot speak about it." It is bad form to trespass on the magician's exclusive field of knowledge. Moreover, even those who would be allowed to speak about magic freely , would often try to put me off by saying: "This is magical speech-we cannot talk about it. There is nothing which meets it" (gala aoaka biboda, which is equivalent to the statement that such words are untranslatable). Indeed the opposition between megwa la biga, 'magic his language', 'the language of magic', and livala La biga, 'speech his language', 'the language of speech', that is ofordinary speech, occurred so frequently that it became sacramental and therefore irritating. With every new informant I had to get over the difficulty of making him open up. I had to explain to him that I quite understood the distinction between magical and ordinary speech, and that what I wanted from him was such full commentary as he would give to his matrilineal nephew if he were to teach him this magic. There were in fact a number of defensive phrases: ayseki gala takateta, megwa .la biga, 'I am ignorant, we do not know, it is the language of magic'; or again, gala biboda aoaka, libogwo, 'it is not equal to anything, it is old talk'. Or again: tokunabogtoo aybutu otanawa, 'ofold that has been composed beneath (underground)'.