at 8.30 and travelled about a half hour. We then walked over the hills about a mile and a
half to the Kraal of the ChiefZ(Laduna) who lives in a small village but who presides over the
affairs of all the little villages we had seen. The interpreter found him a bit grumpy but
finally succeeded in getting him in a more hospitable mood and we were recieved. He was
clad in his every day clothes which consisted of a nice square of sheep skin hanging from
his waist and which always seen to turn under him when he sat like a nice comfy rug
should do. In front he wore a bunch of tails which when he sat fell between his legs.
The upper part of his body was covered by a white man's under shirt, neither neat nor clean.
After a time he invited us into a hut which was probably his Mother's. It had
an extra large entrance door and by stooping we could enter. Usually one must crawl.
An old woman lay upon her stomach on a rush mat with a blanket over her. Three young
women sat crosslegged in a row and were decked in their Sunday best. Neck and wrists
and ankles were decorated with many strings of beads. The hair was wonderfully dressed
and a skirt and "moutche" were wrapped about the middle. The legs from the knee down
and from the navel up were exposed. These young women had come from a neighboring vil-
lage to pay the chief a visit and had brought him a present of freshly brewed beer.
After looking about a bit we went out and were escorted to the Chief's own tent. It had
two doors opposite each other, an evident concession to the white man's ideas. It like
the other was beautifully constructed. Small trees stripped of braches [branches] abd [and] twigs are
woven together in a most expert way to form the bee hive. The crossing of two trees
is always tied with bark to make it secure. The men do the work of the framework of
the house two standing outside and two standing inside the hut. When the frame is completed,
women add the thatch. The floors of thse [these] huts all over Africa are made of the hills
of the white ants and are equal in hardness and smoothness to the best asphalt.
In the middle between the supporting poles is the fireplace. A carefully lowered space
surrounded by a rim something like a platter in shape is prepared for the fire. There
is no escape for the smoke and the timbers are blackened by it. At one side of the
round room another rim or division was made and behind it was the family collection of
pottery bowls for water, straw woven strainers for beer, kettles etc. The family beds
consist of mats or skins upon which they lie with a wood block for a pillow and blank-
ets for cover. The whole is rolled up and put one side during the day. The hut was
in perfect order, and clean as the small brooms made of brush could make it. The smooth
perfect making of the floor and fireplace, the exact and artistic design of the center
place filled us with wonder for the completed whole was a genuine work of art. In the
Chief's own hut there were three chairs setting in a row. They were of a common kind we
were invited to occupy them with pride of ownership very manifest. We were glad to sit
for the walk over the hills had been very trying in the tropical sun. I had had to beg
the party to stop several times to allow me to cool off. Now in these tents or huts we
found the air delightfully cool. I had supposed them to be very hot since they are al-
ways exposed to the sun. The chief invited us to partake of his newly presented beer.
This was a great honor and we accepted. The men only pour the beer and in many tribes
perhaps all, the men alone drank it altho [although] the women brewed it. The chief went out
and brought in a woman with a pan of fresh water. Then he washed a strainer and two cala-
bashes. Into one he poured the foamy top of the beer and into the other he poured
the good beer. All was done with the greatest cleanliness, ceremony and deliberation.
When all was ready he lifted the calabash to his own mouth and took a good swig. The
interpreter told us this was to show us that all was safe. He then offered it to the
man as such human creatures are the superiors of all females as all the world knows.
He however motioned that we were to drink it first. It was then passed to me. Carefully
getting my eye focused on the side of the calabash the Chief had not drunk from I
lifted it to my lips and took so small a sip that the Chief laughed. The others being
beer drinkers drank more to his liking. Afterwards I was able to get a photo of
the chief drinking beer and I am sure it was out of the same calabash (a calabash is a
gourd. They grow to an enormous size and the largest ones must hold a gallon. In
these the beer is kept. Those holding about a quart are used for drinking.
Notes and Questions
Nobody has written a note for this page yet
Please sign in to write a note for this page