Travels in the Interior of Africa — Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 141 pages of information about Travels in the Interior of Africa Volume 02.
It was sonorous; and when any portion was broken off, the fracture exhibited a granulated appearance, like broken steel.  The owner informed me that many parts of this cake were useless, but still there was good iron enough to repay him for his trouble.  This iron, or rather steel, is formed into various instruments by being repeatedly heated in a forge, the heat of which is urged by a pair of double bellows of a very simple construction, being made of two goats’ skins the tubes from which unite before they enter the forge, and supply a constant and very regular blast.  The hammer, forceps, and anvil are all very simple, and the workmanship (particularly in the formation of knives and spears) is not destitute of merit.  The iron, indeed, is hard and brittle, and requires much labour before it can be made to answer the purpose.

Such is the chief information I obtained concerning the present state of arts and manufactures in those regions of Africa which I explored in my journey.  I might add, though it is scarce worthy observation, that in Bambarra and Kaarta the natives make very beautiful baskets, hats, and other articles, both for use and ornament, from rushes, which they stain of different colours; and they contrive also to cover their calabashes with interwoven cane, dyed in the same manner.

CHAPTER XXII—­WAR AND SLAVERY

A state of subordination and certain inequalities of rank and condition are inevitable in every stage of civil society; but when the subordination is carried to so great a length that the persons and services of one part of the community are entirely at the disposal of another part, it may then be denominated a state of slavery, and in this condition of life a great body of the negro inhabitants of Africa have continued from the most early period of their history, with this aggravation, that their children are born to no other inheritance.

The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one to the freemen.  They claim no reward for their services except food and clothing, and are treated with kindness or severity, according to the good or bad disposition of their masters.  Custom, however, has established certain rules with regard to the treatment of slaves, which it is thought dishonourable to violate.  Thus the domestic slaves, or such as are born in a man’s own house, are treated with more lenity than those which are purchased with money.  The authority of the master over the domestic slave, as I have elsewhere observed, extends only to reasonable correction; for the master cannot sell his domestic, without having first brought him to a public trial before the chief men of the place.  But these restrictions on the power of the master extend not to the care of prisoners taken in war, nor to that of slaves purchased with money.  All these unfortunate beings are considered as strangers and foreigners, who have no right to the protection

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Travels in the Interior of Africa — Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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