Is She Not Pretty?"
Sekwebu Had Been Making Inquiries Among The People, And Had Found
That The Women Indeed Possessed A Great Deal Of Influence.
We Questioned The Guide Whom We Finally Got From Nyakoba,
An Intelligent Young Man, Who Had Much Of The Arab Features,
And Found The Statements Confirmed.
When a young man takes a liking
for a girl of another village, and the parents have no objection to the match,
he is obliged to come and live at their village.
He has to perform
certain services for the mother-in-law, such as keeping her well supplied
with firewood; and when he comes into her presence he is obliged to sit
with his knees in a bent position, as putting out his feet toward the old lady
would give her great offense. If he becomes tired of living
in this state of vassalage, and wishes to return to his own family,
he is obliged to leave all his children behind - they belong to the wife.
This is only a more stringent enforcement of the law from which emanates
the practice which prevails so very extensively in Africa,
known to Europeans as "buying wives". Such virtually it is,
but it does not appear quite in that light to the actors.
So many head of cattle or goats are given to the parents of the girl
"to give her up", as it is termed, i.e., to forego all claim on her offspring,
and allow an entire transference of her and her seed into another family.
If nothing is given, the family from which she has come can claim the children
as part of itself:
Enter page number
Page 930 of 1070
Words from 267011 to 267286