INNA : MOTHER
According to some versions of Hausa myth, Inna is the mother of all Bori spirits. She is among the most powerful of the Bori, a protective deity who guards her devotees as if they were her children. She may be invoked to protect the property of those in her favour.
Inna is one of the two wives of Sarkin Aljan Suleimanu. (His other wife is her sister.) She is also involved in a not-so-secret adulterous love affair with Kuturu the Leper, her husband’s chief counselor. Inna’s brother is the Head of the Bori House of Fulani Spirits, and she is envisioned as a Fulani woman. Her own six sons were given to her husband’s younger brother, Sarkin Aljan Biddarene, to raise. In exchange, Biddarene gave Inna his six sons, including Dan Galadima.
Inna punishes thieves and those who persecute her devotees by causing stomachs to fatally swell. Her traditional affliction, however, is paralysis. Paralysis caused by Inna takes very specific forms:
• The victim is unable to stand.
• One hand and foot, usually the left, are twisted.
• One hip and one side of the lower back is rigid.
• The eyes bulge.
• The mouth is paralyzed so that it’s open on one side and can’t be closed (drooling is also characteristic).
The paralysis that Inna causes must be dealt with shamanically immediately as it progresses very quickly. Without quick shamanic intervention, it can be fatal. (Paralysis caused by Inna will resist conventional medical treatment and diagnosis.)
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Mai-Inna; Doguwa; Ha diza; Bafilatana
Inna appears in the guise of a tall, dark-skinned beautiful, regal woman.
Inna may be represented by the image of the snake charmer more commonly associated with Mami Waters.
Baobab, plus trees identified by the Hausa as those growing in Fulani cattle camps, including:
• African ebony (Diospyros mespiliformis)
• African mahogany (Khaya ivorensis)
• Shea tree (Butyrospermum parkii)
Inna lives in the city and the bush. She’s content in both urban and rustic settings.
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.