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« Their religion is Islamism, and • The commerce of these Moors they are very zealous Mahometans; extends to every object with which but superstition is always the ap- they can traffic, and to every thing pendage of depravity and a bad that holds out a prospect of advanconscience; and they are ridiculous- tage: they are masters of the gum, ly superstitious.
they have salt-pits, and they raise “ Their priests, whom they call a great number of oxen, camels, Marabouths, and who form among and horses, which being the printhem an important cast, keep up cipal objects of their trade, they this weakness, which, when carried sell at a very considerable distance to its greatest extremities, proves, from their residence. They have that the torch of reason is extin- likewise goldsmiths, who refine the guished, when it is not supported gold, silver, and iron, and manu. by morality, virtue, and a wise and facture them into rings, ear-rings, incorrupt religion.
little bells, chains, bracelets, and « These men, who are in every other ornaments, which serve to respect vicious, corrupted, inhu- decorate their princes, chiefs, and man, cruel, and ferocious, cover women, as well as the negresses on themselves with grisgris, which are the banks of the Senegal and the a sort of amulets, or talismans, ma- Gambia; I have even seen the nufactured by their priests, and Moors from the Zahara sell these sold at a very high price. They ornaments in the river Sierra Leone, have these articles ready prepared and I have been assured that they for all circumstances and occa- frequently carry them to Congo: sions; they consist of certain sacred the common style of these trinkets sentences taken from the Koran, is that of filligree, or fresco; they and written upon paper ; of hairs are a sort of pictures, which they from the tail of an elephant, or an form of little grains of gold almost hyppopotamus; of the claws of a imperceptible, applying and arranghon, panther, or tiger; and of cer- ing them together with wonderful tain grains of gold, or some other delicacy and art. metal; on which are engraved in “ They also make sabres and scriptions or hieroglyphics. poniards, the handles of which are
« These charms, or amulets, are very ingeniously ornamented and
these skins for ornaments, to cover
sheaths of their arms, as well as me to enter into details of their for making harness, boots, and perfections and good qualities. I other articles, which are executed had some of them with me during with much taste and propriety. the journey which I made by land
“ They manufacture all their in the year 1786, from the Senestirrups and bridles: their stirrups gal to. Goree, when I crossed the are in the form of a wooden shoe, Desert, proceeding over upwards and contain about one half the of fifty leagues of a soil of fine foot, and the iron-work of their and moving sand. bridles is a single piece: their " A black horse, five years sandals and slippers are internally old, possessed so much strength ornamented with drawings and and spirit, that before I could quifigures; while every article which etly mount him, I was obliged has a double use is distinguished to make one of my negroes gallop by being differently shaped*; so him through the sands for upthat an article intended for the wards of an hour ; and, after this right side, can never be employed exercise, he was, for the remainder on the left: indeed the pre-emic of the day, full of activity and nence of the right over the left is impatience. very generally observed, as well is It would be easy to procure amongst the Moors as amongst the every year sixteen mares and four negroes.
stallions of tliis race, which, when “ They have also weavers, who, crossed with our Limosins and with looms extremely simple and Norman kinds, would doubtless portable, and the different parts produce a beautiful race. of which are far from being of a also -of opinion, that we might complicated construction, manu- succeed in transporting these fine facture stuffs from goats and ca- Moorish stallions to the pastures mels' hair, and others of wool and of French Guiana, where they cotton, the width of which is ne might be propagated by crossing ver more than half an Egyptian them with American mares; and cubit.
I do not doubt that, by properly attending to them, by putting them to grass in the dry season, and keeping them on dry food, we
should obtain in Guiana a race of “ The Moors possess a race of horses as valuable as useful. horses which have originated from “ They have thought proper to those of Arabia, and have pre increase the price of these Moorserved most of their beauties and ish horses, and in Africa they perfections ; in their oases, they frequently sell for ten or twelve devote themselves to raising and slaves. It is a fact, that the neperpetuating fine races of this ani- gro kings, to whom this sort of mal; and, like the Arabs, they money costs nothing, have frerecord their alliances and genea. quently given for a fine horse as logy. These horses are too well many as twelve captives; but we known to render it necessary for are not thus to infer that this is the
« • The meaning of the author, in this instance, being rather obscure, the trans, lator is of opinion that the custom to which he alludes, is similar to that lately adopted in the metropolis of Britain, of making a pair of shoes upon separate Lasts, &c." 1803.
necessary price for a fine Moorish they kneel down in order to be horse, because the real valde of mounted, even by children six these slaves is, in the trade, about years old; and when a child falls four hundred livres per head : from the back of one of these thus, in a relative proportion, the animals, it not only stops in an price of a horse which is purchased instant, but caresses him, and solifor twelve captives would amount cits him to remount, at the same to the sum of four thousand eight time giving him every assistance hundred livres.
that can possibly be conceived. " However, after having con
“ These horses are taught to versed with a number of Moors; bow the head at the will of their and particularly with Sydy-Moko master ; they bend their right tar, as to the price at which the knee to the ground, afterwards finest of these horses might be their left, and in this manner they purchased, in case we wished to walk at the word of command: buy a number of them at a time, they also make rapid evolutions for the purpose of dispersing them with their heads turned toward amongst our studs, I had an op- their tails, and their gallop is at portunity of convincing myself least equal to that of the finest that I could obtain twenty choice English racers. animals at the rate of fifty pieces « When a Moor has ridden his of Guinea per head, which would horse for some hours, the animal's amount to a thousand pieces of mouth and ftanks are always coGuinea at a time, and would be vered with blood. These barbari: considered amongst the Moors in ans are, nevertheless, perfect horse, the Desert as a very valuable pay- men; they raise their legs like ment. It is therefore certain, that the Cossacks; but they are so acfor twenty thousand francs we give, that we may see them, while might every year receire from thcat full gallop, adjust, and throw oases of the Zahara twenty ani. behind, the sort of lance called mals, either stallions or mares, se
gagaye. They throw these lances lected from the most perfect kinds with so much accuracy, that they that might be offered by the never miss their mark; and it is Moors.
by the strength and rapidity of “ The head and rump of these their horses, that they stupify, run horses are not so handsome as down, and overcome the ostriches, those of the Arabian kind, but with which their oases are surthe legs are much finer, and the rounded, and which they thus erchest and body are more perfect pel from their desert plains. in their proportions. I have seen some whose colour was uncom.
ON THEIR NUMEROUS FLOCKS AND monly beautiful; many were of
HERDS. the most charming cream tint, others were of a slate colour, and « In these interior residences of had fine coats and black tails: the Zahara, which are the chief there were also some of a most places of the tribes, the Moors beautiful black.
also raise numerous flocks and “ These horses are gentle and herds of sheep, goats, and oxen; obedient; the Moors teach them none of these animals are of the à number of singular actions ;. kind which have large and long
tails, and are known in Europe by bit, they fix smaller cords, which the name of Barbary sheep; the serve for reins, and which pass Zahara species is much stronger and hang over the bunch on the than that of France;, the animal back of the animal: they saddle has a longer bouly, and higher them in the same manner as a legs : it is covered with hair in- horse ; and, without requiring stead of wool, and this hair is ex- much excitement or irritation, they tremely thick, but not curled. go at a very quick rate, and travel These sheep are seldom of a white twelve or fifteen leagues without colour; all those which I ob being fatigued. They are suscepserved were either black, brown, tible of an attachment to the perred, or yellow : when they have son who habitually attends and been fed for some time, they be- rides them, and are obedient to come very fat, and their flesh is his commands: their flesh is good, excellent.
tender, and succuleni, and their “ In their solitary residences, produce is equal to that of oxen in the Moors also raise a number of general. oxen, and, amongst the many “ The Moors pass over Africa which I sat, I distinguished two
with herds of four hundred oxen species; one was smaller than the at a time, which they sell at upcommon kind of European oxen, wards of a thousand leagues from but in other respects exactly simi- their deserts. They perform these lar to this kind ; these small oxen journies under the protection of of the Desert are of the same the negro princes whose estates form and colour as ours, but they they travel through, but more par. are more gentle and active : the ticularly by the favour of their other species is large and strong, amulets, which are profusely dishas a bunch upon its shoulders, tributed by their marabouths. and is in fact a degenerate species " It is uncommonly interesting of the bison.
to see these savages, with their 66 These hunch-backed oxen are numerous herds, cross generally longer and higher than largest rivers in Africa : I twice the French kind; they have a enjoyed this sight; the first time at very extensive beard, which reach. Albred:1, in the river Gambra; es almost to the ground; their the second at the isle of the Sehorns are very fine, and almost negal. I shall proceed to give an come in contact at the points; but account of the circumstances atthe distinctive character of this tending the passage of a bird cf species is a large fleshy wen, which upwards of four hundred oxen, rises between the shouiders: this which was performed by the mass of Hesh forms a projection of Moors between Albreda, situated nearly a foot in height, and is on the right bank of the Gambra, considered a delicious morsel by and the village of Bahio, on the epicures.
left bank: the river is upwards of « These animals are very strong three thousand five hundred faand docile: the Moors like to ride thoms wide. upon them, because their pace is “ The herd was collected on the gentle: instead of a bit, they shore to the south of Albreda, pass a cord of camel's hair througlı, where the Moors let them rest for ihe nostrils; to this substitute for a several days, without suffering
them to graze. The conductors vanced-guard entered the river, of this herd were a hundred and excited by the voice of their contwenty in number, and were arm- ductors : the eldest of the Moors ed with muskets, sagayes, sabres, led the van; his or made way and poniards.
through the current with great re“ When they had resolved on solution ; the other animals folpassing the river, they caused their lowed the chief of their file, being oxen to be collected together, and animated by the young Moors, suddenly made a great shouting: who incessantly excited them by they then selected about forty ani- their expressions. mals from the herd, who were “When they were all immerged, destined to form the advanced- the scene was truly singular ; only guard, and were considered as if the heads of the oxen were percepthey possessed a charm: from this tible, and the upper part of the a select number were again chosen bodies of their conductors, who, of those who were the best swim- inclining backwards, held firmly mers, and at the same time the by the cords, which served them strongest and most docile. Ten for support. The chief of the Moors were then chosen to direct file continued to lead the van, and this advanced-guard, and each of the others followed exactly in his these conductors seemed to pay track : they were three hours in great attention in selecting the ani- passing the river, during which mal which was to convey him time the main body of the troop across the river.
continued on the right bank, close “ Nine of these leaders were to the river, with their eyes atten. from sixteen to eighteen years of tively fixed on those who were age; one only was between forty making the passage. and fifty. Across the horns of “ When the advanced-guard each or they fixed a cord of ca- had arrived at the opposite bank, mel's hair, about four feet in the conductors suddenly gave three length; they then mounted their great shouts, which were answered oxen in a standing posture, their with three bellowings by the oxen, feet firnily adhering to the pro- and the noise was distinctly heard jection on the back of the animal; by the main body on the opposite they kept their bodies erect, but bank. rather inclining backwards, and “ These signals were repeated they supported themselves by by the Moors and oxen of the means of the cord fixed to the principal troop, and then one animal's horns : on their heads might easily see the impatience of they carried their arms and cloth- the animals, who stedfastly looked
on the advanced-guard that had " When every thing was thus safely arrived, and testified, by arranged, the advanced-guard was their motions, their desire of a conducted to the banks of the ri- junction. ver; the leaders then made loud “ The principal troop was now outcries, which were answered by collected, and several other oxen the cattle of the advanced-guard, were chosen to lead the way; and the Moors and oxen of the these chiefs of the body were twen. main body also repeated them, ty in number, and twenty Moors Immediately afterwards, the ad- mounted the predestined animals,