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Crania Americana; or, A Comparitive View of the Skulls of Various Aboriginal Nations of North and South America: To which is Prefixed An Essay on the Varieties of the Human Species

Philadelphia: J. Dobson, 1839


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THE NEGRO FAMILY 87

quite of Egyptian or Arab complexion and feature, and none of them black ; so that I scarcely conceived myself to have arrived at the confines of the blacks till we reached the first inhabited parts of Darfour."* In like manner the Foulahs, who inhabit the Atlantic coast in the same parallel of latitude, are of a brown complexion, with long hair and European features; but these tribes are obviously in part of Moorish descent and are supposed by some to be the Leuctethiopes of Ptolemy. Many nations to the north of the Mountains of the Moon, however, together with nearly all the south of them, present the peculiar features which render the people of this race more readily identified than those of any other. These characteristics, which have been already adverted to, are so uniformly bestowed, that among the thousands of Negroes of many different nations whom I saw in the West Indies. not one could have been mistaken for an individual of any other race.

The moral and intellectual character of the Africans is widely different in different nations. Thus the Makouas and Ashantees have continued to be the uncompromising enemies of the European colonists, and remain to this day unsubdued. The fiery and revengeful Eboe contrasts strongly with the docile native of Benguela. The Kroomen of the western coast are an intelligent and industrious people, while many of the tribes of the Niger are remarkably stupid and slothful. The Mandingoes are tractable and honest; but the Lucumi, who also inhabit the western coast, are a brave and independent people, who in captivity will even resort to suicide to avoid punishment or disgrace. The Caravalli tribe is remarkable for combining industry and avarice; and it is observed in the West Indies that they constitute the greater proportion of the free Negroes who become rich. On the other hand. all the tribes of Congo, and they are very numerous, are noted for indolence, deception and falsehood. The Negroes are proverbially fond of. their amusements, in which they engage with great exuberance of spirit; and a day of toil is with them no bar to a night of revelry.t

Like most other barbarous nations their institutions are not unfrequently characterised by superstition and cruelty. They appear to be fond of warlike enterprises, and are not deficient in personal courage; but, once overcome, they yield to their destiny, and accommodate themselves with amazing facility to every change of circumstance.

* Tray. in Africa, p. 165.

t LANDER, Tray. to Source of the Niger.—PRICHARD, Researches, Vol. I.-MURRAY, Tray. in U. States.



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