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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 290 pages of information about The Mafulu.

8 = Gegedo ta gegedo ta gegedo ta gegedo (two and two and two and two) [or Bodo fida ta gegedo minda (one hand and two and another) ].

9 = Gegedo ta gegedo ta gegedo ta gegedo minda (two and two and two and two and another) [or Bodo fida ta gegedo ta gegedo (one hand and two and two) ].

10 = Bodo gegedo (two hands).

11 = Bodo gegedov’ u minda (two hands and another). [Note the “v” at the end of gegedo.  The full word is really gegedove; but it is shortened to gegedo, unless the next word is a vowel.  Also note the “u.”  There are two words for “and,” namely ta and une.  The “u” here is the une shortened, and put instead of ta for euphony].

12 = Bodo gegedo ta gegedo (two hands and two).

13 = Bodo gegedo ta gegedo minda (two hands and two and another).

14 = Bodo gegedo ta gegedo ta gegedo (two hands and two and two).

15 = Bodo gegedo ta jovari fida (two hands and one foot).

16 = Bodo gegedo ta jovari fidari u minda (two hands and one foot and another). [Note the “n” at the end of fida.  The full word is really fidane, and the “n” is introduced here for euphony.]

17 = Bodo gegedo ta jovari fida ta gegedo (two hands and one foot and two).

18 = Bodo gegedo ta jovari fida ta gegedo minda (two hands and one foot and two and another).

19 = Bodo gegedo ta jovari fida ta gegedo ta gegedo (two hands and one foot and two and two).

20 = Bodo gegedo ta jovari gegedo (two hands and two feet).

As regards these numerals it will be seen that in some cases alternatives are given, whilst in other cases, where corresponding alternatives would appear to be equally applicable, they are not given; the reason is that in these latter cases the alternatives do not in fact appear to be used.

There is no numerical phraseology to indicate any number above twenty; and in the ordinary affairs of life, although numeration can be carried in this cumbrous way up to twenty, they rarely use the numerals beyond ten, and anything over that will be referred to as tale, tale, tale, tale (which may be translated “plenty, plenty, plenty, plenty").

Important counting, such as that of pigs at a feast, is accomplished by the actual use of the hands and feet.  The fingers stretched open mean nothing; Closing down the thumb of the right hand indicates one; closing down also the first finger of that hand indicates two; and so on with the other fingers of the right hand, till you reach the closing down of the thumb and all the fingers of the right hand, which indicates five.  Then, keeping all the right hand closed, they begin with the left hand also.  Closing down only the thumb indicates six; and so on as before, until the thumbs and all the fingers of both hands are closed, which indicates ten. [96]

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