A Voyage to the River Sierra-Leone: On the Coast of Africa; Containing an Account of the Trade and Productions of the Country, and of the Civil and Religious Customs and Manners of the People; in a Series of Letters to a Friend in England

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B. White and Son; and J. Sewell, 1788 - Sierra Leone - 183 pages
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Page 128 - Though the ceremonies above related are conftantly pradtifed, yet the different tribes have different methods of performing them. The Suzees carry the whole body, but the Timmaneys and Bullams only the clothes the deceafed had on at the time of his death, and the nails of his hands and feet, which they cut off immediately after he is expired, and which they hold to have the fame power to anfwer the queftions propofed, as if the whole body was prefent, in which no doubt they are right.
Page 127 - I would kill many more," and often during his work meafuring the length and width of the grave, by the dimenfions of his own body. When the grave is judged deep enough, they...
Page 142 - ... person, who becomes security for the person and goods of the stranger, and also for the recovery of all money lent, provided it is done with his knowledge and approbation. This business finished, and proper presents made, (for nothing is done without) they proceed to trade either by lending their goods to the natives, who carry them up into the country, or by waiting till trade is brought to them. The former is the most expeditious way, when they fall into good hands; but the latter is always...
Page 127 - When the grave is judged deep enough, they direift the prifoner to {land at the edge of the foot of it, with his face towards it, then a perfon behind ftrikes him a violent blow upon the nape of the neck, which caufes him to fall upon his face into the grave ; a little loofe earth -is then thrown upon him, and a...
Page 145 - ... in the country with European goods and fait; which is an article fo highly valued, and fo eagerly fought after by the natives, that they will part with their wives and children, and every thing dear to them, 10 obtain it, when they have not flaves to ciifpofe of; and it always makes a part of the merchandice for the purchafe of flaves in the interior country.
Page 125 - Then in prefence of the whole town, who are always affembled uponthefe occafions, he firft eats a little cola or rice, and then drinks the poifoned water. If it kills him, which it is almoft fure to do, he is pronounced guilty ; but if he efcapes with life, after drinking five or fix quarts, and throwing up the rice or cola unchanged by the digeftive powers of the ftomach, he is judged innocent, but yet not intirely fo till the fame hour next day. During the interval he is not allowed to...
Page 99 - ... which in dancing fpreads in every direction. In their hands they have pieces of flat wood, which they clap together, and with which they keep time during the dance. The death of a child, friend, or relation, adds no lefs to the enjoyment of this paftime, by performing the wha', or cry : but, from the the manner in which it is performed, a ftranger to their ceremonies would rather term it a rejoicing.
Page 100 - The death of a child, friend, or relation, adds fio lefs to the enjoyment of this paftime, by performing the wha', or cry : but, from the manner in which it is performed, a ftranger to their ceremonies would rather term it a rejoicing. On the evening of the day appointed the friends and relations of the deceafed aflemble together, and proceed, by a flow and folemn movement, to an open fpace before their houfes.
Page 142 - British and foreign spirits and tobacco he dispatches his boats properly equipped to the different rivers. On their arrival at the place of trade they immediately apply to the head man of the town, inform him of their business, and request his protection; desiring...
Page 123 - In order to convince ths fpeftators, they repeat this two or three times. The culprit is then feized, and if a witch fold without further ceremony : and it frequently happens if the deceafed were a great man, and the accufed poor, not only he himfelf but his whole family are fold together. But if the death of the...

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