Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/490

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are permitted, however, to rear a few goats, which they do less for the sake of the milk and flesh than for the skins, which are converted into sleeping rugs, and carosses for wear. They also keep a few barn-door fowls, but apparently of a very ordinary breed.

They derive their chief subsistence from the produce of the soil, which is fertile, yielding the necessaries of life in abundance, and with little labor. A month or two before the rainy season the ground for cultivation is selected, cleared, and slightly worked by a small, short hoe, the only agricultural implement I have seen used by the Bayeye in tilling. After the first heavy rains they begin to sow the corn, of which there are two kinds indigenous to the country, namely, the common "Caffre," and another sort, very small-grained, and not unlike canary-seed—a description which is akin, as I am informed, to the "badjera" of India. This is more nutritious than the other, and, when well ground, makes excellent flour. Tobacco, calabashes, watermelons, pumpkins, beans, and small peas are also grown, as well as different kinds of edible earth-fruits, of which the oiengora (motu-o-hatsi of the Bechuanas, I believe) may be mentioned in particular. This is a sort of bean, having its pods under ground. It is well known to the Mozambiques; is extensively grown by the black population in Mauritius, and is, I am told, no uncommon article of importation at the Cape of Good Hope.

Moreover, the country, as before said, produces a variety of wild fruit-trees, which serve no less to beautify the scenery than to afford good and wholesome sustenance to the inhabitants. Among the most handsome and useful trees, the moshoma stands, perhaps, pre-eminent. On account of the great height, the straightness of the trunk, and the distance at which it begins to branch out, the fruit can only be gathered when it falls to the ground. It is then exposed to the sun for some time, and, when sufficiently dried, is put into a hollow piece of wood (a sort of mortar) and pulverized. It