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BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER.

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than a mother's milk. With them, any two children nourished at the same breast are called "milk-brothers," or sucking brothers";2 and the tie between such is very strong. A boy and a girl in this relation cannot marry, even though by birth they had no family relationship. Among even the more bigoted of the Druzes, a Druze girl who is a "sucking sister" of a Nazarene boy is allowed a sister's privileges with him. He can see her uncovered face, even to the time of her marriage. But the Arabs hold that brothers in the covenant of blood are closer than brothers at a common breast; that those who have tasted each other's blood are in a surer covenant than those who have tasted the same milk together; that "blood-lickers," as the blood-brothers are sometimes called, are more truly one than "milk-brothers," or "sucking brothers"; that, indeed, blood is thicker than milk, as well as thicker than water.

3

This distinction it is which seems to be referred to in a citation from the Arabic poet El-A'asha, by the Arabic lexicographer Qamus, which has been a puzzle to Lane, and Freytag, and others. Lane's transla1 See Redhouse's Turkish and English Dictionary, s. vv. sood and soot. 2 See Lane, and Freytag, s. vv. rada 'a, and thady.

3 See reference to Ibn Hishâm, 125, in Prof. W. Robertson Smith's Old Test. in Jewish Church, Notes to Lect. XII. See, also, p. 59, infra.

* See Lane, and Freytag, s. v. sahama; also Smith's Old Test. in Jewish Church, Notes to Lect. XII.

tion of the passage is: "Two foster-brothers by the sucking of the breast of one mother, swore together by dark blood, into which they dipped their hands, that they should not ever become separated." In other words, two milk-brothers became blood-brothers by interlocking their hands under their own blood in the covenant of blood-friendship. They had been closely inter-linked before; now they were as one; for blood is thicker than milk. The oneness of nature which comes of sharing the same blood, by its inter-transfusion, is rightly deemed, by the Arabs, completer than the oneness of nature which comes of sharing the same milk; or even than that which comes through having blood from a common source, by natural descent.

3. THE PRIMITIVE RITE IN AFRICA.

Travelers in the heart of Africa, also, report the covenant of "blood-brotherhood," or of "strong-friendship," as in vogue among various African tribes, although naturally retaining less of primitive sacredness there than among Semites. The rite is, in some cases, observed after the manner of the Syrians, by the contracting parties tasting each other's blood; while, in other cases, it is performed by the inter-transfusion of blood between the two.

The first mention which I find of it, in the writings of modern travelers in Africa, is by the lamented hero

BROTHERHOOD IN BLOOD AND BEER. 13

missionary, Dr. Livingstone. He calls the rite Kasendi. It was in the region of Lake Dilolo, at the watershed between the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, in July, 1854, that he made blood-friendship, vicariously, with Queen Manenko, of the Balonda tribes. She was represented, in this ceremony, by her husband, the ebony "Prince Consort"; while Livingstone's representative was one of his Makololo attendants. man's right to rule-when she has the right-seems to be as clearly recognized in Central Africa, to-day, as it was in Ethiopia in the days of Candace, or in Sheba in the days of Balkees.

Wo

Describing the ceremony, Livingstone says: "It is accomplished thus: The hands of the parties are joined (in this case Pitsane and Sambanza were the parties engaged). Small incisions are made on the clasped hands, on the pits of the stomach of each, and on the right cheeks and foreheads. A small quantity of blood is taken off from these points, in both parties, by means of a stalk of grass. The blood from one person is put into a pot of beer, and that of the second into another; each then drinks the other's blood, and they are supposed to become perpetual friends, or relations. During the drinking of the beer, some of the party continue beat

1 See Livingstone's Travels and Res. in So. Africa, pp. 290-296.

Ibid., p. 525.

ing the ground with short clubs, and utter sentences by way of ratifying the treaty. The men belonging to each [principal's party], then finish the beer. The principals in the performance of 'Kasendi' are henceforth considered blood-relations, and are bound to disclose to each other any impending evil. If Sekeletu [chief of Pitsane's tribe-the Makololo-] should resolve to attack the Balonda [Sambanza's—or, more properly, Manenko's-people], Pitsane would be under obligation to give Sambanza warning to escape; and so on the other side. [The ceremony concluded in this case] they now presented each other with the most valuable presents they had to bestow. Sambanza walked off with Pitsane's suit of green baize faced with red, which had been made in Loanda; and Pitsane, besides abundant supplies of food, obtained two shells [of as great value, in regions far from the sea, * as the Lord Mayor's badge is in London,'] similar to that [one, which] I had received from Shinte [the uncle of Manenko]."1

Of the binding force of this covenant, Livingstone says farther: "On one occasion I became blood-relation to a young woman by accident. She had a large cartilaginous tumor between the bones of the forearm, which, as it gradually enlarged, so distended the muscles as to render her unable to work. She ap

1 See Livingstone's Travels and Res. in So. Africa, p. 324 f.

AN UNCHANGING PEOPLE.

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plied to me to excise it. I requested her to bring her husband, if he were willing to have the operation performed; and while removing the tumor, one of the small arteries squirted some blood into my eye. She remarked, when I was wiping the blood out of it, 'You were a friend before; now you are a blood-relation; and when you pass this way always send me word, that I may cook food for you.'

" 1

Of the influence of these inter-tribal blood-friendships, in Central Africa, Dr. Livingstone speaks most favorably. Their primitive character is made the more probable, in view of the fact that he first found them existing in a region where, in his opinion, the dress and household utensils of the people are identical with those which are represented on the monuments of ancient Egypt.2 Although it is within our own generation that this mode of covenanting in the region referred to has been made familiar to us, the rite itself is of old, elsewhere if not, indeed, there; as other travelers following in the track of Livingstone have noted and reported.

Commander Cameron, who, while in charge of the Livingstone Search Expedition, was the first European traveler to cross the whole breadth of the African continent in its central latitudes, gives several illustra

1 See Livingstone's Travels and Res. in So. Africa, p. 526.

2 Ibid., p. 213.

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