TO MY MOTHERLAND.
As might be expected, the use of ardent spirits
is very common; yet the natives are seldom seen
drunk, the regulations of their Ogboni lodges for¬
Cola-nuts, (cola acuminata,) a bitter "and slightly
astringent vegetable, are used by all, although in some
places expensive. It probably counteracts the effects
of the laxative character of their food. Whenever
any one wishes to show particular mark of respect
to his guest, he presents him, with great formality,
a few cola-nuts. A little boy or girl brings a covered
vessel, the best in the house, and prostrating, presents
it. Abundant thanks and salutations follow. They have
a proverb which says : " Anger draws arrows from the
quiver: good words draw cola-nuts from the bag."*
There is not a more affable people found any where
than are the Akus. Not even Frenchmen are more
scrupulous in their attention to politeness than they.
Two persons, even utter strangers, hardly ever pass
each other without exchanging salutations, and the
greatest attention is paid to the relative social position
of each in their salutations. Equals meeting will
simply say, acu; but one addressing a superior affixes
some word to acu, thus, acabo, (acu abo, f ) acuni, etc
* See Crowther's Vocabulary of the Yoruba language.
\ One vowel dropped for euphony.