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, 1791 - Ethnology - 183 pages
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Page 129 - 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 128 - 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 126 - If it kills him, which which it is almoft fure to do, he is pro* nounced 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.
Page 101 - Sometimes one perfon performs the dance, the reft fitting or flanding round in a circle, joining chorus and clapping hands as before : at other times two, three, or four, will dance together till they are weary, and then are relieved by others; the reft finging and clapping hands. This! with firing of guns, continues from evening till near daylight, without intermiffion; but H 3 they 1 *^ they frequently regale themfelves with liquor and tobacco.
Page 143 - ... 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 106 - Welih harp, but not above two feet long : the firings are made of the fibres of a plant and the hair' of an elephant's tail. The women and children alfo have feveral forts of rattles made of gourds, into which they put fmall hard berries ; and in Sherbro...
Page 125 - At the time appointed the accufed is placed upon a kind of high chair, ftripped of his common apparel, and a quantity of plantain leaves are wrapped round his waift. Then in...
Page 125 - ... the laws of his country, and is no longer at liberty. As foon as it is dark he efcapes to the next town, and there claims the protection of the head man, who is fuppofed to be an impartial perfon; informs him that the corpfe of fuch a perfon has accufed him of caufing his death by poifbn ; that he is innocent, and defires that to prove k he may drink red water.
Page 122 - ... corpfe is laid upon an open bier, decently wrapped in a white cloth, and borne upon the heads of fix young people, either male or female ; for that is a matter left entirely to the choice of the corpfe, who...
Page 128 - When the grave is judged deep enough, they direct the prifoner to ftand 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...

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