Page:Distinguished Churchmen.djvu/339

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THE BISHOP OF ZULULAND 293

people. You see, the idea is repugnant to the black as well as to the white races. People can never mix socially if there is a tremendous barrier between them. That discovery was made long ago in India. Here we are confronted with an insurmountable difficulty. We are quite con scious of it ; but it is not a point upon which we can lay down the law."

"Has any effort been made to prevent such marriages ? "

" No ; you see there is no law against them."

" You spoke, first of all, of polygamy as con stituting a great difficulty. To what extent is that indulged in ? "

"The chief offenders are the Swazis, Zulus and Tongas. There is really no limit to the number of wives which a man can take to himself, except it be in his degree of wealth. It is the custom for the native man seeking marriage to give to the woman s father an agreed number of head of cattle. On that basis it is evident that the rich man can have more wives than the poor man. But there has been great difficulty experienced in that respect lately because of the cattle being affected by rinderpest."

" How many head of cattle is a coloured wife considered to be worth ? "

"The Government passed a law making ten head of cattle the recognised payment for each wife. But the original idea was very different. Formerly, the intending husband never paid to the prospective

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