The Africans at Home
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1864 Excerpt: ... play with female children, lest they should really be wives, and a heavy fine should be the penalty. The women do not live in the same house with their husband, but in a cluster of huts by themselves, or under the care of their mothers. Nor do they ever eat in their husband's presence. One of the king's sisters is appointed governess, a ruler of all the women in the country; and settles, or tries to settle, all grave disputes amongst this sex. They are, however, under the most absolute control of their domestic lords. If any one is caught listening to her husband's conversation, the loss of an ear is the inevitable consequence; or, if she blab out any of his secrets, her upper lip is the forfeiture. Where some people have so many wives, it follows DISPLAY OF GOLD IN ASHANTEE. 195 that many must have none, which is specially the case with slaves. To provide for this emergency, a number of females are set apart for the common use; and wealthy women bequeath slaves to the state for this purpose, as an act of religious righteousness. Other irregularities may be expected to occur. In fact, no distinction between right and wrong is made respecting the relationship of the sexes to each other; it is treated as a mere matter of property. This covered porch or piazza, in which a great man sits, smoking, drinking, and gossiping, is the front of his house. A door through it leads into the yard and court, in which are a number of sheds or huts built of "swish," that is, of sticks and mud. The front of the wall is sometimes ornamented with various devices in plaster work. The king is on public occasions magnificently appareled in silk and gold. His person is loaded with all kinds of ornaments of this precious metal, mixed with charms; and his "stool..".
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