Nubians, etc., though in popular language, especially in the older
writings, it comprises these and other dark skinned nations, who are
not however characterized by the crisp hair of the true negro.
The negroes are said to occupy about one half of Africa, excluding
the northern and southern extremities, but including its most fertile
portions. They have less nervous sensibility than the whites, and
are not subject to nervous afflictions. They are comparatively in¬
sensible to pain, bearing severe surgical operations well; they sel¬
dom have a fetid breath, but transpire much excrementious matter
by means of glands of the skin, whose odorous secretion is well
known. His skin is soft and silky; hair, though called wool, does
not present the characters of it, and differs but little from that of
the other races except in color and in its curled and twisted form.
He flourishes under the fiercest heats and unhealthy dampness of
the tropics, where the white man soon dies.
In addition to Africa, negroes are found in the United States,
Brazil, West Indies, Peru, Arabia, and the Cape Verd Islands.
The}r are rare in Austria, Europe, and Polynesia.
Negroes were almost unknown to the Hebrews. They were un¬
known to the Greeks until the seventh century B.C. About twenty-
three hundred years B.C. the Egyptians became acquainted with
negroes, who helped them on their monuments as early as 1,600
The African negroes display considerable ing-enuity in the manu¬
facture of weapons, in the working of iron, in the weaving of mats,
cloth and baskets from dyed grasses, in the dressing of the skins
of animals, in the structure of their huts and household utensils,
and in the various implements and objects of use in a barbarous
state of society
Some of them worship idols, and believe in good and evil spirits,
in witchcraft, charms and spells, omens, lucky and unlucky days.
They make prayers and offerings to their idols, and have sacred
songs, and festivals. They sacrifice animals and sometimes human
victims. They have priests Tvho are their doctors. They believe
generally in an after life, without any distinct idea of retribution.
They have great fears of ghosts and apparitions. They become
ready converts to foreign religions. All tribes are passionately fond
of music, and have many ingeniously contrived musical instruments.
They have a keen sense of the ridiculous, and are of a cheerful dispo¬
sition. Naturally they are kind-hearted and hospitable to strangers,