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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.


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



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.1 She was represented, in this ceremony, by her husband, the ebony "Prince Consort"; while Livingstone's representative was one of his Makololo attendants. Woman'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.


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

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

2 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.



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.

tions of the observance of this rite. In June, 1874, at the westward of Lake Tanganyika, Syde, a guide of Cameron, entered into this covenant of blood with Pakwanya, a local chief.

"After a certain amount of palaver," says Cameron, "Syde and Pakwanya exchanged presents, much to the advantage of the former [for, in the East, the person of higher rank is supposed to give the more costly gifts in any such exchange]; more especially [in this case] as he [Syde] borrowed the beads of me and afterward forgot to repay me. Pakwanya then performed a tune on his harmonium, or whatever the instrument [which he had] might be called, and the business of fraternizing was proceeded with. Pakwanya's head man acted as his sponsor, and one of my askari assumed the like office for Syde.

"The first operation consisted of making an incision on each of their right wrists, just sufficient to draw blood; a little of which was scraped off and smeared on the other's cut; after which gunpowder was rubbed in [thereby securing a permanent token on the arm]. The concluding part of the ceremony was performed by Pakwanya's sponsor holding a sword resting on his shoulder, while he who acted [as sponsor] for Syde went through the motions of sharpening a knife upon it. Both sponsors meanwhile made a speech, calling down imprecations on Pakwanya and all his

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