Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/509

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501
THE SPEAR AND REEL.

purposes, and was furnished, as Diodorus observes, with a rope for letting out the wounded animal, in the same manner as practiced by the modern Ethiopians;[1] there was

Lake Ngami-p501a.png

sometimes another line fastened to the shaft, and passing over a notch at its upper end, which was probably intended to give the weapon a great impetus, as well as to retain the shaft when it left the blade. The rope attached to the blade was wound upon a reel, generally carried by some of the attendants. It was of very simple construction, consisting of a half ring of metal, by which it was held, and a bar turning on it, on which the line or string was wound."

Again: "This weapon," alluding to the harpoon, "consisted of a broad, flat blade, furnished with a deep tooth or

  1. Sir Gardner Wilkinson informs us further that the inhabitants at Sennaar still follow up the practice of their ancestors, and, like them, prefer chasing it in the river to an open attack on shore.