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Wrapping the tiny body in a blanket, Jane laid it tenderly

time:2023-12-04 15:34:46source:zop

The art of making fire is the same in India as in Africa. The smelting furnaces, for reducing iron and copper from the ores, are also similar. Yellow haematite, which bears not the smallest

Wrapping the tiny body in a blanket, Jane laid it tenderly

resemblance either in colour or weight to the metal, is employed near Kolobeng for the production of iron. Malachite, the precious green stone used in civilized life for vases, would never be suspected by the uninstructed to be a rich ore of copper, and yet it is extensively smelted for rings and other ornaments in the heart of Africa. A copper bar of native manufacture four feet long was offered to us for sale at Chinsamba's. These arts are monuments attesting the fact, that some instruction from above must at some time or other have been supplied to mankind; and, as Archbishop Whately says, "the most probable conclusion is, that man when first created, or very shortly afterwards, was advanced, by the Creator Himself, to a state above that of a mere savage."

Wrapping the tiny body in a blanket, Jane laid it tenderly

The argument for an original revelation to man, though quite independent of the Bible history, tends to confirm that history. It is of the same nature with this, that man could not have MADE himself, and therefore must have had a Divine CREATOR. Mankind could not, in the first instance, have CIVILIZED themselves, and therefore must have had a superhuman INSTRUCTOR.

Wrapping the tiny body in a blanket, Jane laid it tenderly

In connection with this subject, it is remarkable that throughout successive generations no change has taken place in the form of the various inventions. Hammers, tongs, hoes, axes, adzes, handles to them; needles, bows and arrows, with the mode of feathering the latter; spears, for killing game, with spear-heads having what is termed "dish" on both sides to give them, when thrown, the rotatory motion of rifle-balls; the arts of spinning and weaving, with that of pounding and steeping the inner bark of a tree till it serves as clothing; millstones for grinding corn into meal; the manufacture of the same kind of pots or chatties as in India; the art of cooking, of brewing beer and straining it as was done in ancient Egypt; fish- hooks, fishing and hunting nets, fish-baskets, and weirs, the same as in the Highlands of Scotland; traps for catching animals, etc., etc.,--have all been so very permanent from age to age, and some of them of identical patterns are so widely spread over the globe, as to render it probable that they were all, at least in some degree, derived from one Source. The African traditions, which seem possessed of the same unchangeability as the arts to which they relate, like those of all other nations refer their origin to a superior Being. And it is much more reasonable to receive the hints given in Genesis, concerning direct instruction from God to our first parents or their children in religious or moral duty, and probably in the knowledge of the arts of life, { 6} than to give credence to the theory that untaught savage man subsisted in a state which would prove fatal to all his descendants, and that in such helpless state he made many inventions which most of his progeny retained, but never improved upon during some thirty centuries.

We crossed in canoes the arm of the Lake, which joins Chia to Nyassa, and spent the night on its northern bank. The whole country adjacent to the Lake, from this point up to Kota-kota Bay, is densely peopled by thousands who have fled from the forays of the Mazitu in hopes of protection from the Arabs who live there. In three running rivulets we saw the Shuare palm, and an oil palm which is much inferior to that on the West Coast. Though somewhat similar in appearance, the fruit is not much larger than hazel-nuts, and the people do not use them, on account of the small quantity of oil which they afford.

The idea of using oil for light never seems to have entered the African mind. Here a bundle of split and dried bamboo, tied together with creeping plants, as thick as a man's body, and about twenty feet in length, is employed in the canoes as a torch to attract the fish at night. It would be considered a piece of the most wasteful extravagance to burn the oil they obtain from the castor-oil bean and other seeds, and also from certain fish, or in fact to do anything with it but anoint their heads and bodies.

We arrived at Kota-kota Bay in the afternoon of the 10th September, 1863; and sat down under a magnificent wild fig-tree with leaves ten inches long, by five broad, about a quarter of a mile from the village of Juma ben Saidi, and Yakobe ben Arame, whom we had met on the River Kaombe, a little north of this, in our first exploration of the Lake. We had rested but a short time when Juma, who is evidently the chief person here, followed by about fifty people, came to salute us and to invite us to take up our quarters in his village. The hut which, by mistake, was offered, was so small and dirty, that we preferred sleeping in an open space a few hundred yards off.

Juma afterwards apologized for the mistake, and presented us with rice, meal, sugar-cane, and a piece of malachite. We returned his visit on the following day, and found him engaged in building a dhow or Arab vessel, to replace one which he said had been wrecked. This new one was fifty feet long, twelve feet broad, and five feet deep. The planks were of a wood like teak, here called Timbati, and the timbers of a closer grained wood called Msoro. The sight of this dhow gave us a hint which, had we previously received it, would have prevented our attempting to carry a vessel of iron past the Cataracts. The trees around Katosa's village were Timbati, and they would have yielded planks fifty feet long and thirty inches broad. With a few native carpenters a good vessel could be built on the Lake nearly as quickly as one could be carried past the Cataracts, and at a vastly less cost. Juma said that no money would induce him to part with this dhow. He was very busy in transporting slaves across the Lake by means of two boats, which we saw returning from a trip in the afternoon. As he did not know of our intention to visit him, we came upon several gangs of stout young men slaves, each secured by the neck to one common chain, waiting for exportation, and several more in slave-sticks. These were all civilly removed before our interview was over, because Juma knew that we did not relish the sight.

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