A Popular Account Of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition To The Zambesi By David Livingston

 -   A chief must have some source of revenue; and, as many
chiefs can raise none except from ivory or slaves - Page 140
A Popular Account Of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition To The Zambesi By David Livingston - Page 140 of 505 - First - Home

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A Chief Must Have Some Source Of Revenue; And, As Many Chiefs Can Raise None Except From Ivory Or Slaves, This Tax Is More Free From Objections Than Any Other That A Black Chancellor Of The Exchequer Could Devise.

It seems, however, to have originated with the Portuguese themselves, and then to have spread among the adjacent tribes.

The Governors look sharply after any elephant that may be slain on the Crown lands, and demand one of the tusks from their vassals. We did not find the law in operation in any tribe beyond the range of Portuguese traders, or further than the sphere of travel of those Arabs who imitated Portuguese customs in trade. At the Kafue in 1855 the chiefs bought the meat we killed, and demanded nothing as their due; and so it was up the Shire during our visits. The slaves of the Portuguese, who are sent by their masters to shoot elephants, probably connive at the extension of this law, for they strive to get the good will of the chiefs to whose country they come, by advising them to make a demand of half of each elephant killed, and for this advice they are well paid in beer. When we found that the Portuguese argued in favour of this law, we told the natives that they might exact tusks from THEM, but that the English, being different, preferred the pure native custom. It was this which made Sandia, as afterwards mentioned, hesitate; but we did not care to insist on exemption in our favour, where the prevalence of the custom might have been held to justify the exaction.

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