Abbildungen der Seite





I TOOK leave of my reader on quitting Sierra
Leone ; but, before I proceed on my travels, I
shall describe the operation of tattooing, and give
some account of the boa constrictor and the ter-
mites, which I had an opportunity of observing,
while there.
· The patterns raised upon the skin form a dis-
tinction of rank, as well as country, and a slave
dares not tattoo himself so magnificently as his
master. The wounds inflicted on a woman of
fashion would be insupportable, if they were in-
tended for


than ornament. At Sierra Leone, I saw the operation performed upon a girl of ten years of age, who was of the family of the king. The pattern, which consisted of a small flower with five petals, was traced out with an acrid and absorbent liquid, of a deep red colour, on the breast, the body, the hips, the highs, and the calves of the legs. The skin was then torn off with small, sharp nippers, and each leaf (and the leaves were innumerable) became a wound. As this was the making of a sumptuous habit which was to last for life, the young lady bore it heroically, and did not utter one complaint. The operation occupied ten days, and after each sitting the wounded parts were rubbed with palm oil, mixed with an aromatic substance; in ten

[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »