By some scholars supposed to be the plural of Old Latin manis, good (compare im-manis, cruel). The deified souls of departed ancestors as beneficent spirits, as opposed to larve and lemures, the malevolent "shades" of the Lower World. Also, the spirit of a departed person, considered an object of homage or reverence, or as demanding to be propitiated by vengeance. Taken in the sense of "mortal remains."--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1908
First Day of Parentalia,
on which the ancient Romans paid tribute to their dead parents and relatives. This was the start of a weeklong purification festival, whose Latin name referred to "parental rites," provided an opportunity for healing and reflection. Charles Hardwick's Traditions, Superstitions, and Folk-Lore (1872) shed light on a lesser known feature of Parentalia that involved legumes: "Peas and beans have had symbolical or sacred characteristics from the earliest times. Beans were regarded by the Greeks and Romans, according to Plutarch, as highly potent in the invocation of the manes of the departed. ... Beans contain the souls of the dead, for which cause they were used in the Parentalia."
Beans, beans, the magical fruit indeed!
-The Gneech, serving up chili with ancestral souls