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within prepared in such way as to form a good hard threshing-floor on which the iminyani, or ears, are laid and beaten out when dry. The Kaffer and Boochuana tribes are decidedly more provident and economical than the Hottentots. Whilst the latter, with comparatively few exceptions, thoughtlessly kill and eat as long as their little stock lasts, or carelessly squander away their scanty pittance as soon as they get it; the former, on the contrary, uniformly labour to keep in hand a store of something or other; so that real and continued want is much less felt amongst them.
Like the Bedouins in some of the northern parts of *Africa, they lay up their winter provisions in pits, or subterranean granaries, which are invariably made in the cattle-folds. The shape of these is circular, and their size, depth, &c., of course vary according to the quantity of grain that is to be deposited in them. They are in general dug by the men, who proceed about them in the following manner, viz.,—the ground being cleared, a hole is made just wide enough to admit a man's body; and when the pit is sufficiently deep to allow of his descending into it, the earth is gradually and regularly excavated on every side, until the cavity is large enough for the purpose intended. The workman is particularly careful to keep the orifice or entrance within such dimensions as are barely necessary to allow of his creeping in and out. Before the corn is poured in, the interior is thoroughly plastered with fresh cow-dung, and the pit is finally closed up with a thick covering of the same material, which ultimately becomes so hard and imporous as to be proof against both air and water. It is worthy of remark, that, although these subterranean storehouses are frequently exposed, and the kraal in which they are made sometimes deserted for weeks and months together, an instance rarely or never occurs of one being broken open, or of its contents being
unlawfully taken away. This would be accounted a very heinous offence.
The simplicity, but more especially the antiquity, of this part of the Kaffer's system of economy renders it a matter of some interest. Allusion is made to this ancient mode of preserving the produce of Africa by Cæsar himself; and the same plan, though on a larger scale, was evidently adopted in the ancient and celebrated city of Tripoli, as appears from the "corn-wells, or caverns," which have been discovered within her foundations, and in which grain was formerly laid up for exportation, Varro asserts, that wheat thus preserved will keep for fifty years, and millet for more than a hundred; but the state of the grain, although perfectly good in the estimation of the native himself, after having been in those cisterns for the space of two or three years only, is far from corroborating this assertion. The superiority, however, of the depositories to which that writer alludes, would doubtless make a very wide difference as to the perfect preservation of their contents.
Another contrivance is resorted to for the preservation of a part of their produce. The imbeo (seed) and incuba, or tobacco, are not unfrequently stowed away in a kind of upper store, called the ixanti. This place has omewhat the appearance of a hut perched upon bare oles, six or eight feet high. The latter are firmly fixed in the ground; and upon their upper extremities rests a sort of platform, made of sticks placed transversely, and covered with mats. On this is raised a slight frame, which is thatched in the same way as their houses. The whole structure is altogether detached from the other buildings, and is characterised by its singularity rather than by either its safety or utility. The stranger, on first viewing it, would in all probability conclude that it was either a pigeon-cot or a poultry-roost.
When the labours of the field no longer require their
attention, the women are occupied in repairing their habitations, or in building new ones, in making baskets, baking-pots, or manufacturing mats. The pots which are commonly used for cooking, &c., are a very rude description of earthen ware. They are clumsily moulded, and exceedingly inconvenient, having neither handles nor coverings. A comparatively small degree of attention is paid to the preparation of the clay, which in all probability is far from being the best; and hence many of these unsightly vessels are very porous. Nevertheless they stand the fire tolerably well, and answer every purpose for which the natives require them..
Their mats are of two kinds, coarse and fine. In the former there is no display either of attention or art, as they are made merely to serve the most common purposes; but in the workmanship of the latter, both industry and genius are manifest. The utyani (rushes) of which they are composed consist of the very finest that can be found. These are neatly stitched together with thread, made from the bark of trees, and in such a manner as to give a closeness and regularity to the texture of the whole piece; so that, when well finished, they very nearly resemble many of the Indian mats. One of these, spread on the floor, forms the very best bed that Caffraria affords, and the only one used by the wealthiest and most powerful of its Chiefs. Being but a single rush thick, it of course constitutes no easier a couch than the ground itself; hence the weary traveller is but ill able to obtain that rest upon it which his exhausted strength and aching limbs require. The Kaffer and his consort, having arisen from their slumbers in the morning, carefully roll it up, and put it away till wanted again. It is sometimes used as a seat also; but to scatter any particle of food upor it, is accounted a great breach of decorum. Instances are here frequently occurring illustrative of our Lord's words, Mark ii. 11; as the natives are frequently seen
walking with their beds upon their heads. Add to these matten couches, a leathern milk sack, an earthen cooking pot, and a calabash or two, (made from a species of gourd,) which serve as substitutes for tumblers, and we have the whole of a Kaffer's household furniture.
Government-Genealogy of the Chiefs-Intermarriage with neighbouring Tribes-Gaika's Attack upon his Guardian— His Intercourse with Colonists—Judicial Proceedings— Kaffer Law-Infidelity of Females-Predatory Disposition general-Attack upon the Mission Fold-Thieves arrested—Author's Study plundered—Alarming Threat of the Chief-A Heathen Ceremony-Vile Conduct of the Sorceress Infatuation of the Chiefs-Mode of Proceeding in Cases of Sickness-Cruel Tortures-Capital Punishments-Affecting Facts-Gaika's Death-Treachery and Barbarity of his Son.
NOTWITHSTANDING the great dispersion of the different tribes, the migratory habits of many of the clans, and the numerous wars that have from time to time had place amongst them, they have uniformly kept up a certain system of government, which has evidently existed, as we now find it, from time immemorial. For the genealogical order of their successive Chieftains, as well as for every other matter relating to their forefathers, we are of course indebted to tradition wholly, there being no knowledge of letters, and consequently no written record, to be found in any part of Caffraria. How far many of these traditionary accounts are correct, is extremely hard to say, seeing that the facts themselves are in most cases
merged in confusion. Rarely do we meet with any one amongst the younger class of Kaffers that is able to furnish us with much certain information respecting their ancestors; nor do even the middle-aged seem to have interested themselves sufficiently in the concerns of antiquity; consequently their statements are generally of a hesitant and problematical character. Frequent and tiresome were the conversations held upon subjects connected with their customs and polity, ere I could arrive at any thing at all definite and satisfactory. But, anxious to redeem from oblivion every thing that might be in the least degree important or interesting, I made a point of allowing no opportunity to slip which was likely in any way to prove advantageous to my purpose.
One day a very old native, son of Galaka, Hinza's grandfather, came to the Mission-House, entreating that I would give him a little medicine for his grandaughter, who was sick. Having complied with his request, I proposed to him divers questions respecting the history of his people, and the events of former days; all which he cheerfully answered, and with a readiness peculiar to the aged when speaking of what they learnt and saw while young. This venerable genealogist gave me the names of several ancient rulers of the Amakosæ, with whom we were before unacquainted. The oldest of our kings," said he, "of whom any account has come down to us, is Thlanga, in whose name we always swore in the earliest days."* Thlanga was succeeded by his son Goosh, at whose death Malangana, the son of Goosh, became the chief ruler of the tribe. From Malangana sprang Isikomo, who was heir to his father's authority, and who was succeeded by his principal son Toguh. Gondé the son of Toguh, and the next Chief of import
* The custom of swearing by the ancient, or most celebrated Chiefs, obtains universally.