From W. W. Reade 23 May 1868
May 23, ’68
I will study your queries in Africa, & answer such as I am able—1 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—2 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.
Mr Gabriel of Loanda3 told me that certain fowls there had black bones—
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 mt perhaps ascertain about it, or procure specimens. In case anything else shd occur to you, I will mention that I do not sail before Monday week
〈 〉 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?
Will answer CD’s queries from Africa.
Reports extreme amazement of some natives in Gabon upon seeing a white man for the first time.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6202,” accessed on 27 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6202