CAFFRES

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CAFFRES. In the southeastern part of Africa, there is a race distinguished from the Negroes by a larger facial angle (the head being formed like that of Europeans), a high nose, hair frizzled, but less woolly than that of the Negroes, and a brown or irongray complexion, differing from the shining black of that race. They have many Arab words in their dialects, and the custom of circumcision prevails among them. These people were called, by the Portuguese, Caffres, mistaking the Mohammedan term Cqfir (heretics) for a national appellation. It is now retained, by geographical writers, to denote the savage tribes, whose physical characteristics have already been described, extending from Quiloa southward, and the Cape Colony eastward. The history, origin and actual extent of this race is unknown, and is reserved to instruct or confound future explorers in these unknown regions. In a more limited sense, this name has been given to the tribe whose true name is Koussas, living on the confines of the Cape Colony. They are a handsome, vigorous race, of simple habits, their principal food being milk in the form of curd. They use no salt: water is their only drink. They are all passionately fond of tobacco. Their dress is made of the skins of sheep. Ivory rings, worn on the left arm, are their chief ornaments. The women have their backs, arms and breasts furrowed by tearing up the skin with a sharp instrument. Both sexes paint the whole body red. Their dwellings are low, circular cabins, constructed by the women. Plurality of wives is allowed, but it is rare that they have more than two. Cattle are of the first importance, and the chief object of affection to a Caffre. They obey and follow their master like dogs. The ground is cultivated by the women. At the age of 12, the boys are appointed to the care of cattle, and exercised publicly in the use of the javelin and the club. The girls, under the inspection of the chiefs' wives, are taught to perform the work of the hut and the garden. The Caffres are of a peaceful disposition, but display great activity and skill in the use of arms, when necessary. Their weapons are the hassagay, the shield and the club. Previous to * commencing hostili ties, they send heralds to the enemy. They are fond of the chase, pursuing the lion and the elephant. Each horde has a hereditary and absolute chief. The cupidity of the English colonists has found, pretences for depriving them of their finest territory (1821), now called Albany; and this lately kind and happy people seem destined to extinction, or to a miserable and degraded condition. (See Lichtenstein's Travels in Southern Africa.)