Travels Of Richard And John Lander Travels in West Africa (Congo Francais, Corisco and Cameroons) by Mary H. Kingsley




















 -   Their
first tutors were the slavers, who initiated them into the habit,
and instructed them in ship's work, that they - Page 620
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Their First Tutors Were The Slavers, Who Initiated Them Into The Habit, And Instructed Them In Ship's Work, That They

Might have the benefit of their services in working their vessels along the Slave Coast. And in order to prevent

Any Kruboy being carried off as a slave by mistake, which would have prejudiced these useful allies, the slavers persuaded them always to tattoo a band of basket-work pattern down their foreheads and out on to the tip of their broad noses: this is the most extensive bit of real tattoo that I know of in West Africa, and the Kruboys still keep the fashion. Their next tutors were the traders, who have taught and still teach them beach work; how to handle cargo, try oil, and make themselves generally useful in a factory, - "learn sense," as the Kruboy himself puts it. To religious teaching the Kruboy seems for an African singularly impervious, but the two lessons he has learnt - ship and shore work - are the best that the white has so far taught the black, because unattended with the evil consequences that have followed the other lessons. Unfortunately, the Kruman of the Grain Coast and the Cabinda of the South West Coast, are the only two tribes that have had the benefit of this kind of education, but there are many other tribes who, had circumstances led the trader and the slaver to turn their attention to them, would have done their tutors quite as much credit. But circumstances did not, and so nowadays, just as a hundred years ago, you must get the Kruboy to help you if you are going to do any work, missionary or mercantile, from Sierra Leone to Cameroon.

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