TO MY MOTHERLAND.
handles are short, rendering it necessary for the opera¬
tor to stoop in using them. The soil is prepared by
heaping the surface-earth in hills, close together and
regularly in parallel lines. Cotton, yams, corn, ca'ssava,
beans, grow close together in the same field.
The beautiful blue, almost purple dye of their
cloths is not from the common indigo-plant of the
East and West-Indies, but from a large climbing plant.
The leaves and shoots are gathered while young and
tender. They are then crushed in wooden mortars,
and the pulp made up in balls and dried. For dyeing,
a few of these balls are placed in a strong lye made
from ashes, and suffered to remain until the water be¬
comes offensive from the decomposition of vegetable
matter. The cloths are then put in, and moved about
until sufficiently colored. There are dyeing establish-
ments in all the towns from Lagos to Ilorin.
Palm-oil factories, as one would suppose from the
quantity of the oil exported from Lagos and other
parts of the West-African coast, are very numerous.
The process of extracting the oil is simple. The nuts
are gathered by men. From one to four or five wo¬
men separate them from the integuments. They are
then passed on to other women, who boil them in
large earthen pots. Another set crush off the fibre in
mortars. This done, they are placed in large clay vats