while another would be selling
piles of cooking-pots made of a sort of clay, only to be found in certain parts of the country, which was especially suitable for that purpose; while in another part of the market large quantities of the red ochre—or siriga, as it is called—which the natives used for painting their bodies was to be had. Another peculiar thing I noticed was the selling of the native drink njohi, in exchange for a hornful of which I saw a native pay over a hornful of beans. Having no money, everything was bought and sold by means of a system of barter, which was not accomplished without much arguing and haggling, everybody gesticulating and shouting at once.
A GROUP OF WA-KIKUYU PORTERS AND THE AUTHOR
It was on the site of this market-ground that the ceremony of blood brotherhood was to take place, and it was looked upon as a great event in the country, and the occasion for much feasting and rejoicing. Thousands of the natives attended, each chief bringing a large crowd of followers, while all the tribes in the neighbourhood were fully represented, but no women or children were present. Wagombi took quite a large number of his people, and I took the bulk of mine, leaving only a few in charge of the camp; while Olomondo, the Wanderobo chief, had about ten of his men with him. An immense crowd had already gathered when we arrived, Karkerrie and Muga-wa-diga—each attended by hundreds of warriors—having got there in
advance of us. It was a stirring spectacle to see these thousands of warriors gathered together in all their savage glory, their bodies elaborately painted and oiled, and e
ach man armed with spear and shield, while their dress of skins added to their savage appearance. The natives were for the most part standing about, but a few of the older men were sitting down talking matters over, and our arrival was greeted with shouting and singing. Such an event as this was, of course, entirely new to them, nothing like it having ever taken place before in the Kikuyu country, and as it was through my influence that it had been brought about, I was naturally the centre of interest. I had the union Jack with me as usual, and as we advanced there was a lull in the conversation