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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/512

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47 8 Collectanea.

and thus broil it. As a piece got browned on one side, it was turned with two sticks. When it was browned on both sides, though it must have been quite raw within, it was taken off the fire with the aid of these sticks and laid on leaves, to be after- wards consumed. I met a man carrying a big portion of the entrails, which he evidently considered a tit-bit. In the mean- time Kaffir beer had been flowing. Dancing was going on no longer by the whole band but in little groups, surrounded by a delighted crowd. Sham fights were being enacted. The fighters were egged on by the crowd, and the fun was growing fast and furious.^

Returning to the marriage at Henley, it was understood that the bride's mother was not present, this being forbidden by native custom. The father's presence also is forbidden where the bride is his eldest daughter. The marriage ceremonies vary in detail from tribe to tribe. The description given above is partly from what we actually saw, supplemented from the official programme prepared by the Native Affairs DepartmentĀ ; and it exhibits what are stated to be "roughly and generally the customs observed by the native tribes [of Natal] at these weddings."

Many of the native usages are becoming obsolete, as might naturally be anticipated, with the advance of what is called civilisation among the natives. Among such were specially enumerated to us the well-known taboo between the bride and her husband's father, and between the mother-in-law and son-in-law. A striking illustration of the decay of native super- stition was displayed as we left the field. We met a native who had a brilliant green vna?nba snake, evidently freshly killed, wound round his body and over his right shoulder, its head fastened behind his back to its tail with a safety-pin. The green imamba, a poisonous snake, is the form frequently assumed by deceased chiefsĀ ; and I can hardly imagine any Kaffir, however

1 It should also be mentioned that, in addition to the dances above described, the Village Main Reef Gold Mining Co. were good enough to arrange for a very large native dance by their employees on their ground near Johannesburg. In this dance members of many tribes (notably of Shangaans) took part. A dance by torchlight was also performed later on in Portuguese territory on our way from Umtali to Beira. Both of these were very interesting and picturesque.