페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

in her favourite enjoyment. At times, when the king condescended to "show his agility," the uproar became deafening. The orchestra consisted of two men sitting opposite each other; one performed on a caisson, a log of hollowed wood, with an upper slit; and the other used the national Hanjas, the prototype of the harmonium. It is made of seven or eight hard sticks, pinned with bamboo splints to transverse stems of plantain, reposing upon the ground. Like the former instrument, it is thumped upon by things like tent-pegs. The grande-caisse, or large drum, four feet tall, skin-covered and fancifully carved, stood at some distance. Highly gratified by the honour, but somewhat overpowered by the presence, and already feeling that awful scourge the sand-fly, I retired, after an hour's review, leaving the dance to endure till midnight.

The rest of my day and the week following were devoted to the study of this quaint people, and these are the results. Those who have dealings with the Fans, universally prefer them for honesty and manliness to the Mpongwe, and the other coast races. They have not had time to be thoroughly corrupted; to lose all the lesser, without acquiring any of the greater virtues. Chastity is still known amongst them. The marriage tie has some significance, and they will fight about women. It is an insult to call a Fan liar or coward, and he waxes wroth if his mother be abused. Like all tribes in West Africa, they are but moderately brave. They are fond of intoxication, but not yet broken to ardent spirits. I have seen a man rolling upon the ground and licking the yellow clayey earth, like one in the convulsions of death-thirst; this was the effect of a (/lass of trade rum. They would willingly traffic for salt and beads. The wretched custom of the coastthe White coastis to supply vile alcohols, arms, and ammunition. How men who read thtir bibles and attend their chapels regularly, can reconcile this abomination to their consciences, I cannot say. May the day come, when unanimity will enable the West African merchants to abstain from living upon the lives of those who pour wealth into their coffers!!

The Fan plant their own tobacco and care little for the stuff imported. They also manufacture their pipe bowls, and are not ignorant of the use of diamba-hashistra. They will suck salt as children do lollipops, but they care little for sugar. They breakfast (kidiashe) at six A.m., dine (domos) at noon, sup (gogashe) at sunset, and eat if they can all day. They are good huntsmen, who fear not the elephant (nyok), the hippopotamus (nyok a madzun), or the gorilla (nje). They are cunning workmen in iron, which is their wealth. Their money is a bundle of dwarf rods shaped like horse-fleams, a coinage familiar to old travellers in West Africa, and of this Spartan currency 10=6d. The usual trade medium is a brass rod, of which 2=1 franc, and of the copper 3=2 francs. Llaki, or witchcraft, has not much power over them. In Africa, however, as in Australia, no man, however old, dies a natural death; his friends will certainly find a supernatural cause for it. The general salutation of the Fans is Nebolane, and the reply Am. The nation is divided, as usual, into many ayons or tribes, who moetly occupy different locations. The principal names in the vicinity visited by me are:

Mayyan. Lala. Sanikiya. Sakula.

Esoba. Esanvima. Esonzel. Wamasi.

The names of the men whom I met were:

Nal. Ngoo. Titevanga. Jembestrona.

Mabuna. Yembe. Njembekona. Uwa.

The names of the women are:

Ahade. Nyendongo. Gondebiza

Menalenguma. Abome. Nyagondabyama.

They have their own names for the neighbouring tribes and places, e. g., the Mpongwe are called Bayok, the Bakeli are Ngom, and the Skekyani Bcsek, whilst the Gaboon river is called Aboka. They have no vocables corresponding with our distinctive names of week days, months, or years. "Amos" is any day, opposed to alusha, a night. Suka or sukasua is the rainy season. Isob the little Cries; oyon, the long Dries, alias a year. The Eugon, or moon, is of course used to express a month. Mwasa is yesterday. Emm, to-day. Kirige, to-morrow. Ozan, the day after to-morrow. The only specimen of the language that I can now find time to quote, is its numeralo'gy. It need hardly, however, be remarked to the Ethno-Anthropological Society of London how instructive and how significant numbers are.

1, Foh (with strong guttural aspirate like the Arabic).

2, Be. '6, Sam. 10, Abom.

3, Lare. 7, Sangwa. 11, Abom na fon.

4, Nne. 8, Warn. 100, Kama.

5, Tanu. 9, Ebu.

On the 14th of April, I went, in company with Mr. Tippet and his wives, to the head waters of the Imbokwe river. After descending the stream for a short distance, we turned into the Sondo creek, one of its northern influents, and presently, after losing sight of mangrove for the first time, we arrived at the village of Takanjok. There, having obtained carriers, we marched through a dense bush cut by streamlets and a few plantations. After a six miles walk over stiff wet clay, we bivouacked for the night in a tall but thin forest. In early morning, a tornado from the north-east broke over us, a curious crash aroused me, and I found that the upper half of a tree had fallen alongside of me, grazing my hammock. When the rain subsided, we ascended the little hill Beka, where, according to the guides, Nkomo and Imbokwe, the two main forks of the Gaboon arise, and on the same evening, after thirteen miles work, of which nine were by water, we reached home at Mayya". Our return down the river was enlivened by glimpses of far blue hill rising in lumpy and detached masses to the east. It is probably a subrange of the Sierra del Crystal, which native travellers described to me as a broken line of rocky and barren acicular mountains—tall, gravelly, waterless, and lying about three days journey beyond the wooded hills. Early on the morning of Thursday, 17th April, the Eliza was lying off Mr. Walker's factory, and I was received with the usual hospitality by Mr. Hogg, then in charge.

I will conclude this brief record of "first impressions amongst the Fans," with tendering my best thanks to that gentleman for his many little friendly offices, without which travelling in these regions is rather a toil than a pleasure.

P.S.—You will bear in mind that the Fans whom I visited were a comparatively civilized race, who have probably learned to conceal the customs which they have found distasteful to the civilized man. In the remoter districts they may still be determined cannibals. Before long I hope to pronounce an opinion on that point.

EXTRACTS From A LECTURE DELIVERED At MUNICH, 1858,
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAN AND BRUTES.
By Dr. Th. BISCHOFF.

In a primitive and savage state man scarcely believes that there is much difference between him and the brute, especially if they much resemble him. Travellers relate that the Negroes in Guinea, and the natives of Java and Sumatra, look upon the orang-outang and chim

panzee as men, who do not speak that they may not be made to work.

Advancing civilization leads to another extreme. The differences now appear to man so great that he considers himself to be entirely separated from the brute creation, which he thinks are only existing for his sole use.

Natural science, however, proffers some doubts as to this exclusiveness of man. It cannot admit that every being has only been created for man's good pleasure, but that each creature has an object apart and is perfect in itself. When in the middle of the last century the anthropomorphous apes were introduced in Europe, the greatest naturalists of that time seemed greatly embarrassed to establish the physical characters which distinguish these apes from man, and it appeared to result from their investigations that man was connected with the brute creation by an imperceptible transition.

That was the time when the whole creation was considered as an uninterrupted chain of beings, and it was but natural to suppose that man formed the last link. It was also observed that the human embryo passed through various stages; that it was first an infusorium, then a mollusc, then an insect, a fish, reptile, bird, and a mammal. It was then said, that it is a mere insufferable pride of man considering himself to be anything more or higher than an animal.

This theory was not long maintained. A close investigation proved that, despite of the great resemblance of the apes to man, there prevail physical differences as great as those which enable us to distinguish genera and species. The theory of the chain of beings was also upset. True though it be that many types present a progressive development, there arc gaps in nature which are unsurmountable. Again the theory of the passing of the human embryo through the stages of the lower animals was shown to be a general law of development common to all vertebrate animals, according to which they all resemble each other in the first stage of their formation, but from which they become differently formed, sometimes owing to an arrest of development, and even by retrogression.

Though it is not my intention to treat this question from a psychological, but rather from an anatomico-physiological point of view, it cannot be denied that the psychological phenomena which distinguish man are the most important, however obscure these phenomena may be.

It is impossible to deny to animals qualitatively and quantitatively many mental faculties as we find them in man. They possess consciouaness. They feel, think, and judge; they possess a will which determines their actions and motions. Animals possess attachment; they are grateful, obedient, good-natured; and, again, false, treacherous, disobedient, revengeful, jealous, etc. Their actions frequently evince deliberation and memory. It is vain to derive such actions from so-called instinct which unconsciously compels them so to act.

But though we cannot deny to animals consciousness, we assert that man alone possesses self-consciousness, that is, the capacity of meditating on himself and his connection with the rest of the creation. I need not point out how from this faculty arise the most important relations of man. I would merely assert that no animal—dog, elephant, orang outang, or chimpanzee—ever exhibited a trace of such self-meditation, either in its own existence or its relation to creation, which faculty is the chief source of the action of man, and which character belongs to every human being not in a morbid or degenerate state.

Vain have been the attempts to refute this assertion by maintaining that the mode by which man and brutes anive at knowledge is the same in both, namely, by experience,and that it is only a quantitative difference. The way by which both arrive at knowledge may be the same, but the motives which lead to this way are generically distinct, and arise, not from the quantitatively, but the qualitatively different psychical nature of man. The brute gathers experience accidentally. Man searches for experience, and applies his own and other persons' experience for a definite object, and is induced to do so by motives which do not exist for the animal.

Nor is it possible to weaken this specifically higher character of man by shewing that there are human beings who exhibit so little or nothing of this faculty, that they stand in this respect beneath many animals.

Thus microcephali, idiots, and cretins have been adduced as instances. The error is manifest that these unfortunate beings can scarcely be called men: they possess the human shape without being human beings in the strict sense. It is a rule of logic that two things should be compared with each other, in their normal condition, and not one thing in a perfect and the other in a mutilated state.

Botocudos, New Zealanders, etc., have also been instanced as scarcely possessing the sagacity of many animals; and instances have been quoted of so-called wild men who, lost in early youth in forests and deserts, grew up like beasts, and exhibited no trace of self-consciousness.

« 이전계속 »