Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/514

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The first sight that greeted us was that of a mother washing her child. She was seated at the back of one of the huts. Taking a mouthful of water from a calabash, she spirted it over the child, and then rubbed the child with her hands, repeating the operation until she had in this way gone over the whole of its body. The child was then set down in the dust again. Behind another hut women were dressing the elaborate cylindrical structures of hair on one another's heads.

The chief hospitably invited us into his hut. It was approxi- mately circular, the internal measurement being about 22 x 23 feet, bee-hive shaped, being made of a kind of wattle-work tliatched with reeds. The doorway, which was towards the cattle- enclosure, was so low that it was necessary to creep in. Within, we found it supported on seven small tree-trunks, barked and smoothed, arranged thus :

Opposite the door is a slightly raised place where the pots, calabashes, baskets, and other household utensils are kept. The floor is plastered with earth from termites' nests, making an excellent smooth surface,^ and a low ridge of the same encloses the raised place just mentioned. Stores of various kinds, including branches and stalks of millet, were hanging from the wattle-work of the roof. There was just room to stand upright in the highest part of the hut. The chief took his place immediately in front of the pot store, on the right side looking from the doorway. That side is the men's side of

^ The floor is cleansed by smearing it with liquid cow-dung and then wiping it. This makes the surface clean and sweet. We saw a woman thus occupied in one of the huts.