Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/344

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which is really a week of seven days and some nine hours, and in consequence each week commences at a different hour of the day. The first day of the first week commences when the new moon is first seen, usually about sunset, and each moon contains exactly four of these periods, or weeks. Say the new moon is visible at 5 p. m. on a Monday, then the first week will terminate about 2 a. m. on the next Tuesday but one, and will contain seven days and eight nights nearly. The second week, commencing at 2 a. m. on Tuesday, will terminate at 11 a. m. on the Tuesday following, and will contain seven and a half days and seven nights, approximately. The third week will terminate at 8 p. m. on the next Tuesday, and the fourth when the next new moon appears. Each of the seven days has a name: 1. Dyo-da, or Adjivo-da. 2. Bna-da. 3. Uku-da, or Wuku-da. 4. Yaw-da. 5. Fi-da. 6. Memin-da, or Memere-da. 7. Kwasi-da. It is sometimes said that these days correspond to ours, but that is not quite correct. The only correspondence is one of order—i. e., Dyo-da answers to Monday because it is the first of the series, and Fi-da to Friday because it is the fifth; but as the Tshi week is nine hours longer than ours, the days do not correspond in time.

The suffix da, which we see attached to these names, is derived from the verb da, "to sleep," and shows that, as we should expect, the period is a seven-night period rather than a seven-day period. From its connection with these words, da, or eda, has now acquired the meaning of "day." A week is da-pen, "a set of days," or nuaotyo, "eight days," because the week contains seven days and a part of an eighth. Nua is the plural of da. The word for "day," in contradistinction to "night," is awia, which properly means "sun." Month, or moon, is sram, a word which is derived from sra, "to watch for," and has reference to the custom of watching for the new moon. Sram-fia, "moon-appearing," is the beginning of the month, and sram-wua, "moon-dying," the end.

The Gã tribes of the Gold Coast likewise have a week of seven days and some nine hours, so that a lunar month consists of four of these periods. Their names for the days are: 1. Dsu. 2. Dsu-fo. 3. Fso. 4. So. 5. So-ha. 6. Ho. 7. Ho-gba. These seem to consist of three pairs and a single one, viz., the third day. Day and night, as contrasted one with the other, are fane and nyon, the formor of which probably means "the redness," and no doubt refers to the sun, while the latter means "moon." Nyon-dse, "moon-appearing," means the beginning or early part of the month, and nyon-gbo, "moon-dying," the end. These two nations afford examples of a seven-day week being formed directly from the lunar month.

Now, as nations progress in knowledge and gain a more or less accurate notion of the solar year, they begin to compute time