Will answer CD's queries from Africa.
Reports extreme amazement of some natives in Gabon upon seeing a white man for the first time.
May 23, '68
I will study your queries in Africa, & answer such as I am able— Some may easily be answered: others require profound & concentrated observation—
I will write to you with great pleasure from Africa, & shall indeed consider it an honour if I am able to contribute any materials for your next work—
With regard to (1) I will mention at once that when passing through the Fans (Gabon country) who in that part saw a white man for the first time I was particularly struck by the amazement of one woman who held her mouth opened as wide (in proportion) as that of the hippopotamus at the Zoolog: Gardens— Another person once took the attitude of a cricketer fielding out—body stooped—hands resting on upper part of thighs—I forget whether a man or woman— The usual exclamation of surprise in Equatorial Africa (w/ is Heigh! heigh! However my recollections are now five years old & I did not observe well then.
It would be of importance perhaps to specify the exact
part of Guinea where you heard of the rams &c. If I do not
visit such a part I m
< > thanking you for replying to my letter, & trusting it may not be trouble in vain I remain | Yours truly | Winwood Reade
In case you should write again would you mention whether measurements of limbs &c. are worth taking trouble about?
- f1 6202.f1See letter to W. W. Reade, 21 May .
- f2 6202.f2The Fang (or Fans) are a people of northern Gabon. Reade had travelled in West Africa in 1862 and 1863; his account of his travels was published as Reade 1863. Question 1 of CD's Queries about expression was, in his own printed version: `Is astonishment expressed by the eyes and mouth being opened wide, and by the eyebrows being raised?' (Appendix V).
- f3 6202.f3Reade describes his encounter with Edmund Gabriel of São Paulo de Loanda (now Luanda), Angola, in Reade 1863, pp. 303--12, and Reade 1873, 1: 252.