Sunday, May 25, 2014



“The only connection that the natives have with the church is when they go to carry prayer books or umbrellas for their masters, and sit on the doorstep and sleep in the sunshine until the sermon is over. You have no idea how many castes there are, and how sharply they are defined."

"And religion?"

"Lots of it, lots of it, I boarded with a civilized man who had three children and a wife. The man belonged to one church, the wife to another, and each of the three children to a different one.


“Oh, he said, “when the societies send over good things we can get some of all;” That father had only one regret, and that was that he had no more children. And collections. Why a man with a hundred dollars and who knew how to play poker could break the republic in two nights."

"And the native religion"?

"That's pretty. The girls are kept in the 'gregory-bush' until they are seventeen and the boys in the ‘devil-bush until they are eighteen. The boys wear a gauze cap which they remove under no consideration until they leave the 'bush. On that they are taught their honor, virtue and life depend, and if the cap is removed all this is lost.

The girls wear a charm around their necks, and this answers
precisely to the caps worn by the boys. The young people are remarkably chaste. They wear no clothing, and mingle freely, but only where the natives have come in contact with the civilized are ever found instances of unchastity.

The natives also are truthful, honest and intelligent. The Veys are the most powerful native tribe and are brown, not black. They are the best formed I have ever seen. Some of the women are remarkably pretty. I never saw a dwarf or an idiot among them.

They believe in a hereafter, and in a supreme being called 'Cumbah.' But, 'Cumbah' has a wife and children, and is very much like a god of Roman or Greek antiquity.

He is very much like a mortal, and much more intelligible to them than a Great Spirit who has a Son but no wife, and the Holy Ghost is something they can't conceive. The idea of three persons in one is the same way, then take into consideration the cheating and brutality of the 'civilized' people, and you cannot wonder that they prefer their own religion." 

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