Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/198

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190
ANCIENT CUSTOM—NANGORO.

In the afternoon of the second day after leaving Chikor'onkombè's werft we came in sight of the residence of the redoubtable Nangoro. We were not, however, allowed to enter the royal inclosures, but a clump of trees was pointed out to us as our encamping place.

While arranging our baggage, &c., Chikor'onkombè proceeded to inform his royal master of our arrival, and to state the quantity and quality of the intended presents. Before making his obeisance to his majesty, the Eastern custom of taking off the sandals was carefully attended to. On his return he brought a man carrying some fire, with orders to extinguish ours, and to relight it with that from the king's own hearth.

 

 

CHAPTER XVI.

Visit from Nangoro.—His extreme Obesity.—One must be fat to wear a Crown.—His non-appreciation of Eloquence.—Singular Effects of Fireworks on the Natives.—Cure for making a wry Face.—Ball at the Palace.—The Ladies very attractive and very loving.—Their Dress, Ornaments, &c.—Honesty of the Ovambo.—Kindness to the Poor.—Love of Country.—Hospitality.—Delicate manner of Eating.—Loose Morals.—Law of Succession.—Religion.—Houses.—Domestic Animals.—Implements of Husbandry.—Manner of Tilling the Ground.—Articles of Barter.—Metallurgy.

We had been nearly three days at Nangoro's capital before its royal occupant honored our camp with his presence. This unaccountable delay gave us some uneasiness; yet we could not but surmise that he had been longing to see us during the whole time. I believe it, however, to be a kind of rule with most native princes of note in this part of Africa, to keep strangers waiting in order to impress them with a due sense of dignity and importance.

If obesity is to be considered as a sign of royalty, Nangoro was "every inch a king." To our notions, however, he was the most ungainly and unwieldy figure we had ever seen.