1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ba-Kwiri

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BA-KWIRI, a Bantu nation of German Cameroon, West Africa. According to tradition they are migrants from the eastward. The "Brushmen," for that is the meaning of their name, are grouped in about sixty separate clans. They are a lively intelligent people, brave fighters and daring hunters, and in their love of songs, music and elocution are superior to many negro races. Their domestic affections are strongly developed. Their chief physical peculiarity is the great disparity between the size and complexion of the sexes, most of the women being much shorter and far lighter in colour than the men. The Ba-Kwiri are generous and open-handed among themselves; but the law of blood for blood is mercilessly fulfilled, even in cases of accidental homicide. Their religion is ancestor-worship blended with witchcraft and magic. They believe in good and evil spirits, those of the forests and seas being especially feared. In common with their neighbours the Dualla (q.v.) the Ba-Kwiri possess a curious drum language. By drum-tapping news is conveyed from clan to clan. Slaves and women are not allowed to master this language, but all the initiated are bound to repeat it so as to pass the messages on. The Ba-Kwiri have also a horn language peculiar to themselves.