Dahomey, an ancient West African kingdom, vol. 1 by Melville Jean Herskovits

By Melville Jean Herskovits

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Additional resources for Dahomey, an ancient West African kingdom, vol. 1

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1 In the main, the flow of products from producer to consumer is a direct one, the trader in many instances being the producer of what he sells. This is true of all craftsmen, for even though the ironworker sells a hoe that has been cooperatively made by all the fellow members of his forge, it still means selling the product of his own hands, since, as will be explained, he gives the major portion of his time to working the iron of the others in return for their labor on his iron when his turn comes to receive this.

Ii, p. " Cf. JBosman, pp. 315-316. Forbes, however, reports (p. " So intensive is this cultivation in Abomey, that the space between a road or path and a compound wall, though no wider than a few feet, will be. planted. " These "forests," which every cult-group, every diviner and every sib must possess, are actually mere clumps of trees with undisturbed brush growing about them. N o forests, properly speaking, exist anywhere near Abomoy. Cf. Burton's description of the manner in which he observed agricultural work, particularly at Whydah.

316, 386-388, and b y Foa, p p . 126-128. Cf. Burton, vol. i, p. 98, note 1. Cf. Dalzel, Introduction, p p . x x i v - x x v . . 46 DAHOMEY and cloths woven of both cotton and raffia. The last named type constitutes the finest Dahomean weaving, both from the point of view of technical excellence and of design, and it is so regarded by the Dahomeans themselves. European contact has greatly lessened the demand for native weaving, for the cloths worn by the Dahomean today are usually European cotton prints made in imitation of Javanese batik designs.

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