Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/516

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

482 Collectanea.

thickness. Other hides of cattle, previously slaughtered, were undergoing a similar process.

The chief and his native visitors occupied the cattle-kraal. The visitors, who had been executing dances while waiting for dinner, now sat down in parties on different sides of it. We watched him cut up and distribute to them the flesh of the oxen. As he cut off and handed over each piece a roar of thanks followed. The orators got up from time to time and harangued in praise of the chief. His white visitors of course could not follow the remarks of these gentlemen, but they saw enough of Laduma, son of Teteleku, son of Nobanda, chief of the Amampumuza, to feel much interest in him. He is a man apparently of about thirty-five years of age,^ about middle height, and in spite of the loss of sight in one eye, of a pleasing, good- humoured expression. The one clear brown eye which is left to him flashes in response to the thought or the word of the moment ; and his courtly bearing and evident tact, made him, as one of the ladies said, "a most fascinating man."

The women do not join the men in their feast. We found them at the back of the huts drinking together, chattering, and laughing. Some of us took photographs. Laduma himself submitted readily to the process, but his ladies objected on the ground, as was explained to us, that "they did not wish any- thing to be left of them when they were dead."

When Laduma knew that we must go he took us into his hut once more, followed by his wife and some other women. There we sat this time in better order, the white visitors and the men on one side and the native women on the other side. Again we were regaled with Kaffir beer ; we expressed our thanks to the chief for his hospitality and our pleasure at the visit, and placed a small present in the hands of the official to be used for the benefit of the chief. As we left the kraal, the chief marshalled his tribesmen, led them out of the enclosure, and, charging round it, halted them before us, made an appro- priate speech, and with a ceremonial cheer bade us farewell.

While at the kraal I made enquiries on various matters, through Mr. Lugg, from old men of the tribe. The following

^ He did not wear the chaplet.