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East Mississippi times. (Starkville, Miss.) 19??-1926, April 29, 1910, Image 6

Image and text provided by Mississippi Department of Archives and History

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87065609/1910-04-29/ed-1/seq-6/

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Jr- —TANARUS) ■'’ YOU look at a map of Af-
Irlca. with British territory
marked In red, you will find
J on the west coast a splash of
B color now known as British
Nigeria, three times the sire
of the British Isles and cor-
‘‘ring 400.000 square miles of
country. Running up through
Nigeria la the wonderful River Niger,
the birthplace of which was for ages
as mysterious as that of the Nile It
self. It la with some of the people
who live along the banks of the river
that I now propose to deal. They are
among the latest of the kings sub
jects, for It was only In I90(i that they
came under direct Imperial adminis
tration
Near the coast the land la low ly-
Inu and swampy. But as the Interior
la reached there rise plateau after pla
teau. until at last high mountains are
discovered Climate and environment
play an Important pan in the charac
teristics of a people Accordingly,
among the natives of the Niger delta,
living In the malarla-soak-d mangrove
swamps, there Is constant disease, and
the negroes are addicted to every kind
of foul custom and superstition When
however, higher country Is reached,
where there are grassy plains and
hills studded with fine trees, a brave
and warlike type of negroes is en
countered, men who are altogether In
a higher slate of civilization
There Is something terribly eerie
about the dark forests which cling to
the slimy and foul-odored banks of the
Lower Niger. Along the Innumerable
creeks the heavily leaved branches of
the mangrove trees are so Interlaced
that the light Is completely shut out.
The malorodous air. which sucks all
the vitality out of the white man. Is
steamy, and the squelching mud Is full
of appalling and vlle-looking creatures.
Alongside these black recesses lire
the negroes whom I hare called the
men of the mangrove swamps. Some
thing of the horribleness of the sur
roundings seems to have entered Into
their natures, for they take a fiendish
delight In murder and torture and In
practices of the most revolting charac
ter. The Impression on the mind of
the traveler when his canoe pushes
up one of the network of creeks, and
In the blackness of the forest, so
strange and so weird after the flaming
light outside, he suddenly comes
across a village of wattled huts and
low-caste natives, completely naked,
with tattooing or raised scars upon
their black skins, Is never eradicated
as long as memory holds.
Life Is one long terror to them.
They believe In ghosts which kill with
spears, they believe that constantly on
the steamy waters are traveling misty
canoes, hurrying the living to the re
gions of the accursed; and they are
sure of the existence of evil spirits
which kill without a wound, or which
mark their visit by daubing the huts
with blood, and sometimes even tilling
the cooking pots with blood.
Away In the most Inaccessible cor
ners of the bush, so hidden that you
can approach within a few yards with
out knowledge that you are close to a
settlement, live the Iblbloa, who are
among the lowest of the tribes of the
Niger delta. Their villages are re
moved from the native roads, prob
ably to escape the notice of slave tra
ders. who used to be very active In
these parts. By the roadsides may be
seen spirit houses for the reception of
the souls of men between death and
reincarnation.
Until the coming of the British-—and
even now In remote districts—these
people Indulged In cannibalism. They
made human sacrifices. As the birth
of twins was considered of evil omen,
the mother and her children were al
ways slaughtered. Since British rule
has been exorcised these atrocities
have been prohibited, and thus when
ever disaster comes to the Iblbloa they
always aserlbe It to their being pre
vented from making sacrifices to ap
pease the devils of the woods.
The most Important race on the
lower Niger, and living further Inland,
are the Ibos. The people speaking the
Ibo language number some millions,
though, of course, how many exactly
It Is Impossible to say. They are not
very big men. rarely taller than five
and a half feet, but they are well made
and muscular, and the women have
skins so black and so bright that they
look like ebony. When young they
are often rather handsome, but as
they reach manhood or womanhood
they become either very fat or very
thin. The black man's Ideal beautiful
girl la a very plump one. and accord
ingly before marriage the bride Is
specially fattened, so that her spouse
may be all the better pleased with
her
The Ibos are great fishermen, and
spend much of their time In that pur
suit. leaving most of the trade In the
hands of the women. They have towns
and these, as well as the villages, are
governed by chiefs recognized by the
British government, each of whom has
sworn allegiance to the local king. The
streets are grassy lanes, across which
stretch festoons of giant creepers,
and the huts are so hidden among the
scrub and low trees that they are al
most indistinguishable from the sur
rounding vegetation. The king's pal
ace Is surrounded by mud walls. He
is practically a prisoner, for only once
a year la ho allowed by the priests to
go outside, and then only to perform
t solemn dance before hls subjects.
The Ibos Inhabit the stretch of coun-
*
try extending from the Niger to the
Cross river. The customs, of course
vary in different parts. Those who
live near the Cross river have prac
tices that are certainly peculiar. For
instance, when a festival is in pros
pect. the women spend many days be
forehand in arranging one another's
hair, smearing It with palm oil and
then plastering If into singular shapes,
which remain undisturbed for months
at a time Most men share their chins,
but the chiefs allow a small tufty
beard to grow, and to the end of this
they not infrequently fasten a small
brass bell or some ornament.
As the English girl wears a ring
when she is engaged to be married, so
the ibo girl wears necklaces in pro
portion to the number of lovers she
has. The clothing is not profuse. The
men are content with a straight piece
of cloth, which falls from their waists
to their ankles, while the cloth worn
by the women reaches only half way
to the knee. On occasions of festival
the women, like their sex in other
parts of the world, love to adorn them
selves with gaudy ribbons of blue and
orange, fastened In a bow to the righr
side of their waists. Hoth sexes paint
their bodies on fete days, while when
they are in mourning they mark white
rings round their eyes.
Great pains are taken in the paint
ing of the figure. When a woman
wants to look particularly smart she
has a white mask painted over her
own countenance, while a long white
daub stretches down her spine. Al
though the skins of the men are as
black as night, they always take the
precaution, when setting out for war
fare, to paint themselves black. When
a girl reaches marriageable age she
la painted red all over by the man to
whom she is betrothed, which is a
sign she must receive no more at
tentions from the other young men of
the district. Hut after this coloring
and while she is being fattened for
the marriage ceremony, she is invari
ably painted white all over when she
goes out visiting her friends. The na
tive seizes every opportunity to cover
himself with paint of some serf. If
ho la sick ho plasters himself with a
thick green paint made from leaves.
The usual Ibo way of saluting a
friend la to snap the Angers and shake
the Ast. The natives at Lokoja, how
ever, salute one another by bobbing
down to the ground and going through
the pantomime of spreading dust over
their faces, and taking it in turns to
make weird noises. Thus, when a man
passes another he says; "(high, ough,
ah, ah, ya yl oh ah." The other man
meanwhile does the same, alternately
with the Arst, both of them slowly and
pleadingly and with rising intonation.
Then suddenly one, changing, brings
out anew word, which the other re
peats: "Oh, oh, ah. oh. akoo, ah akoo,"
while the other comes in with "Aboo,
aboo, aboo," and thus they pass each
other, the plaintive "oughs" and "ahs”
gradually getting fainter as the dis
tance increases.
It Is not surprising that among the
people who inhabit the fetid swamps
bordering the Niger and the gloomy
shadows of the forests there should be
Innumerable secret societies. Most of
these are chleAy for the maintenance
of tribal order; some are associated
with superstitious religious practices,
while there are others which have ter
rorism and plunder as their main ob
ject. Youths are initiated into the
lower grades of these tribal societies,
advance in knowledge of the secrets
ns they reach manhood, and then at
tain high rank or oAlce in proportion
to their ability or their wealth.
Quito apart from these legitimate
tribal societies are the brigand socie
ties. Among the Ibiblos there are so
cieties known as "leopards" and "al
ligators.” The "leopards" thieve and
murder on land, while the “alligators"
take the rivers and creeks as their
province. The "leopard" society is so
called because its members dress
themselves in leopard skins; they go
forth at night, make the woods echo
with iheir yells, and if they come
across any one murder him and steal
his belongings The native who knows
their yell crouches in terror, for he
knows that it caught his doom la
sealed. The ''alligator" societies have
canoes made to resemble crocodiles;
they lie in wait underneath the over
hanging branches of a tree on the
river, and w*hen a native comes pad
dling down shoot out, upset his boat,
kill him and seize his belongings. The
difference between these murderous
societies and the ordinary tribal so
cieties is that, while the object of the
former is the commission of crime,
one of the chief functions of the lat
ter is the detection and punishment
of crime.
The most widespread of the secret
societies in Nigeria is the Egbo so
ciety, which is partly religious and
partly social In its functions, and may
almost be compared to Freemasonry
in England. The functions of the high
officers are secrets which have not yet ■
been discovered by European Investl-'
gators. The societies meet in a se
cluded spot in the bush, and then set
out in procession to different places,
dancing in their fantastic costumes.
They shout as they go along, but vary
the tones of their voices from gruff
bass to thin falsetto, and all the while
shake wooden rattles.
Every member of Egbo is bound by
oath, under penalty of death, to obey
every command issued by . the spirit
under which the society professes to
be organized. One of the members
acts as priest to represent the spirit.
When his voice is heard every one in
the town shuts up his house and re
mains within as long as the priest is
near. When he goes forth he is pre
ceded by runners, who carry whips of
hippopotamus hide, and thrash every
body out of the way. while those who
are not successful in getting out of
sight take care to avert their faces.
Of course, the natives know that the
orders are given by a human being,
but will not confess, even to them
selves, that the voice Is any other than
a spirit which must be obeyed. To
disobey the laws enacted by the Egbo
society is to risk death.
Hut there is an even more influen
tial society than the Egbo in Southern
Nigeria. It Is called Idlon, and con
sists only of men of rank and impor
tance. No man who has not passed
through all the grades of Egbo ejan be
admitted. The laws of the Idlfn so
ciety demand that Us members' shall
not steal. He or do anything wrong.
These secret societies are va4uable
factors in the government of the coun
try. When the British authorities can
persuade the heads of thonp that •
particular thing ought to be done or
ought not to be done there is never
any question on the part of the people
to the order, but they obey Instantly.
Diamonds Once More In Demard.
The diamond Industry, which In 1908
suffered severely from the effect o! the
1907 financial crisis In the United
States, commenced to show decided
Improvement in the beginning of 1909.
The rapidly increasing prosperity of
the United States, which absorbi 60
per cent, of the diamond production of
(he world, caused renewed purchases,
co that in the early spring all the dia
mond shops of Amsterdam were at
work in full force to supply the de
mand. Conditions have steadily Im
proved, and the trade prospects are e
cetnlonally good.
Manhattan's New Bridge.
The total length of the new Manhat
tan bridge connecting the burroughs
of Manhattan and Brooklyn is 6,856
feet. The total coat of the bridge, in
cluding real estate, is I1&.833.60I1. The
weight of the cables is 6,300 tens.
Improved Type of Shovel.
A shovel with high, sharp sides and
with a hinged blade that lifts away
from the front, has been patented by
a New Jersey resident to cut and lift
sods.
SEIIIiI
f■ f\ $ >nxt lives t cut short
■i IV tT unheslthtttl food *d
>iit • through strong
drink ”
tvrmglr.c of HUMmb demands
mc-rt ~,1. thn the mloins of chickens."
Spring Cleaning.
In this day when wo am eliminating
the useless ornamental things from
the homo, hating the woodwork free
from grooves and dust gathering
spares, honsooleantng does not loom
np Into such a bugbear as formerly.
We am not yet entirely divomed
from the carpet, for if we have them
it seems extravagant to dispose of
them.
With a vacuum cleaner to be rent
ed, the cleaning of a carpet is not
such a problem Then it should be
carefully wiped over with a flannel
cloth and borax or ammonia water.
The pictures of course should he
taken down, carefully cleaned and the
walls well wiped. A cheap cotton bat
ting makes a fine wall cleaner, renew
ing the hatting as it becomes soiled.
Nearly every woman has her own
method for houseeleaning. but these
who turn the house inside out. making
everybody uncomfortable for weeks,
are, we hope, dying oft from over
work
FiJDS^
ET us be kind:
Around the world the tears
of time are falling.
And for the loved and lost, these hu
man hearts are calling
Let us be kind.
To age and youth let gracious words be
spoken.
Vpon the wheel of pain so many weary
lives are broken.
We live In vain who give no tender to
ken.
I-et us be kind."
Rhubarb.
This succulent plant Is not only
wholesome as a fruit, but has valuable
medicinal qualities. The part most
used is stalk of the leaves. The roots
of the rhubarb are dried and used In
medicine.
Though a vegetable. It is used as a
fruit. It has the reputation of being
good for the complexion and a foe to
the gout and rheumatism, as It neu
tralizes the uric acid In the blood.
For a simple sauce stew the rhu
barb In sugar in the oven, adding a
little water; when the rhubarb is soft
It is ready to serve. Early In the
spring the beautiful red of the plant
stalks may be preserved by cooking
without removing the peeling or skin.
It is so tender that it cooks up well
and adds to the attractiveness of the
dish.
Spring Diet.
In the spring the appetite Is apt
to fail after the heavy foods of win
ter. The blood needs thinning and
toning up. There is nothing better
than nature’s own remedies. Rhu
barb, spinach, fruits of all kinds, cress
and lettuce, green onions are all good
for spring eating.
If one Is billons, take a little lemon
Juice in a glass of water without sugar
before retiring. A dozen lemons are
cheaper than a patent blood purifier
and a great deal better and safer.
Early dandelion greens are another
good spring green, served cooked or
fresh with French dressing.
Martha Washington Waffles.
Heat six eggs separately until very
light, put the yolks and whites togeth
er, sift into them one quart of flour
and one teaspoonful of salt—add a
tablespoontul of melted butter, one
and one-half pints of new milk and
three tablespoonfuls of yeast. Let
this rise over night, stir well In the
morning and bake In well greased
wallle Irons.
Swedish Cake.
Six eggs, cupfuls of sugar, one
cupful of potato flour (potato flour
may be procured at any Swedish gro
cery); beat whites of eggs to a still
froth, then add one yolk at a time and
beat until quite light. Then put the
sugar in gradually with a spoon. Sift
the potato flour and add also gradual
ly. Bake one-half hour in a round
deep cake pan.
Deviled Eggs.
Have three rounds of bread fried
and keep them hot. Cut a small piece
from the end of three hard cooked
eggs; remove the yolks and mix them
thoroughly with one heaping teaspoon
fu. of butter, a little anchovy sauce,
a dust of red pepper and salt. Flli
the whites again and stand on the
rounds of toast; sprinkle parsley over
and serve at once.
Fruit Cheese.
Use half a pound each of raisins,
figs, currants, dates, blanched almonds
and walnuts. Grind all together and
mix well. Pack In a mold and let
stand until hard. Cut In slices or
squares aud roll in sugar, This Is a
confection very wholesome for the
children.
Chemistry in the Kitchen.
When using Jarello water or any
acid which will at the fiber of Doth
In taking out stains, see that (he stain
is removed, then use ammonia on the
•pot to neutralize the add before giv
ing the article a good washing,
¥t-CC~.
Stop/
dwACW(to
Thi* Fact—that in addressing Mrs. Pinkham you are con
tiding your private ills to a woman—a woman whose ex.
perience with women’s diseases covers twenty-five years.
The present Mrs. Pinkham, daughter-in-law of Lydia E,
Pinkham, was for years under her direction, and has ever
since her decease continued to advise women.
Many women suffer in silence and drift along from bad
to worse, knowing well that they ought to have immediate
assistance, but a natural modesty causes them to shrink
from exposing themselves to the questions and probable
examinations of even their family physician. Such que*
tioning and examination is unnecessary. Without cost
you can consult a woman whose knowledge from actual
experience is great.
MRS. PINKHAM’S STANDING INVITATION:
Women suffering from any form of female weakness arein
vited to promptly communicate with Mrs. Pinkham at Lynn,
Mass. All letters are received, opened, read and answered by
women. A woman can freely talk of her private illness
to a woman; thus has been established this confidence
between Mrs. Pinkham and the women of America which
has never been broken. Never has she published a testi
monial or used a letter without the written consent of the
writer, and never has the company allowed these confi
dential letters to get out of their possession, as the hun
dreds of thousands of them in their files will attest.
Out of the vast volume of experience which Mrs. Pink
ham has to draw from, it is more than possible that she
has gained the very knowledge needed in your case,
She asks nothing in return except your good will, and her
advice has helped thousands. Surely any woman, rich or
poor, should be glad to take advantage of this generous
offer of assistance. Address Mrs. Pinkham, care of Lydia
E. Pinkham Medicine Cos., Lynn, Mass.
THE greater honor. LIMBURGER AND THE U
9 Odorous Compound Responsible I
Some Trouble and a Little Al
leged “Wit."
"Technically,” said Judge Welle
William Rung in the municipal cm
"you had the right on your side. Hi
ever, you chose a form of cruel I
unusual punishment that cannot
tolerated by this court. I'll hate
fine you one dollar.”
i It appeared from the evidence II
Mr. Rung, who is a stereotyper,i
down to luncheon with Edward SnH
Wjj a fellow employe. The piece de ret
/aRI ance of Rung’s luncheon consisted
llmburger cheese, and Snider, who
n „. ~ , . , . gards himself as something of a w
f.r ILh / ma “ S ° Cked UP bad certain remarks about
twnnu , , cheese, reflecting particularly on
Second Kid Dats nothin My old odor- Thereupon Mr. Rung smei
man b locked up fer shootln a copper. a plece of the cheese over the hue
u t _ ous Snider’s countenance.
“John, I think you would better give . " Thl8 ;" Bald
Edgar a good whipping.” to P ay hls fine - !s tbe „ kind o[ jull
“What's he been doing?” that smells to heaven.
"He won’t study hls lessons or do “ That wIU be about all from ,!l
any chores about the house.” Baid the court bailiff; “cheese It,
“What reason does he give?” Chicago Record-Herald.
"No reason that amounts to any-
thing. I tell him that 1 want him to A Great Surprise,
study and work in order that he may Papa—Ruthle, I shouldn't be i
become a great and successful man prlaed lf God would send you a "
and he just says he would rather be baby brother before long. What wo
like you.” £ou think of that?
Ruthle—Oh, papa! I think it wo
Need Care for No One. be perfectly lovely. And say, P
No man is more Independent than let’s you and me keep it a surprl#
he who can pny hls bills. mamma.—Life.
Day After Day
One will find
B| Toasties
||| Some folks have P ll
. m nounced Post Toasties th
Kf cholcest flavoured bits
CCreal f °° d eVCr Pr ° dU
Family size 15c.
“The Memory Lingers”
Postum Cereal Cos., Ltd,. Battle Creek, Mich., U. SA

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