The Earth and Its Inhabitants ; West Africa

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Press: (May 21, 2012)
Author Name:Reclus, Elisee


This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. 
Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher.
Not indexed.
Not illustrated.
1892 Excerpt: ...
Coast inland to the Niger water-parting cannot be less than five hundred thousand.
The tribes dwelling to the north of the French territories of Grand Bassam and Assini appear to belong to two distinct stocks--the Agni, the original owners of the land, and the Oshin conquerors, who according to their tradition, arrived towards the end of the eighteenth century.
The Agni are shorter, more thickset and robust, the Oshins slimmer, with longer head, and more projecting lower jaw.
In some villages the women go naked, while the men wear a sumptuous robe or blanket of many-coloured strips.
But whatever their origin, all the tribes on this coast are alike noted for their mild disposition and trustworthy character.
All business transactions are carried on exclusively by verbal contract, and although at times lasting for months or years, they are always scrupulously fulfilled.
At present their territory may safely be traversed in all directions; only expeditions are still very expensive, as the inhabitants of every village expect a present from every white traveller.
For several generations there have been no wars in the district; still every native has his gun, with which he burns much powder, noise and uproar being indispensable elements of all festive gatherings.
Islam has not yet reached this region, where the reli Fig.
102.--Aoui Type.
gious observances are still of a purely Animistic character.
But they do not appear to be celebrated with much zeal.
The fetishes set up at the entrance of every village and at the cross roads are much neglected, and the tabooed or sacred groves are now mostly reduced to small enclosures, surrounded with skulls of animals and potsherds.
In some places even the enclosures have disappeared, and the fetish temple is reduced to a mer...


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