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Darkest Africa

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56347.  Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:17 pm Reply with quote

Q: Why can't the Bubi people talk to each other in the dark?

Because their language is so heavily dependent on gesture as to be unintelligible if you can't see the speaker.

This is one of JumpingJack's, and I don't have the detail - Jack, perhaps you could add something, or steer us towards a source?

Presumably this would also mean that they can't use the 'phone?

The Bubi live on Bioko, an island off the west coast of Africa which is part of Equatorial Guinea. Their language is in the Bantu family (a term which is apparently regarded as offensive in South Africa because it was the official designation of blacks under the Apartheid system), which also includes Xhosa and Zulu. The Bubi are a minority ethnic group in Equatorial Guinea, the majority being the Fang.

56348.  Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:21 pm Reply with quote

56359.  Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:55 pm Reply with quote

This is from Mary H Kingsley's Travels in West Africa, chapter 12 (1897):

... these Bubis are undoubtedly a very early African race. Their culture, though presenting some remarkable points, is on the whole exceedingly low. They never wear clothes unless compelled to, and their language depends so much on gesture that they cannot talk in it to each other in the dark.

... from which we also get the account of an encounter with a crocodile who
chose to get his front paws over the stern of my canoe, and endeavoured to improve our acquaintance ... (I had to) retire to the bows... and fetch him a clip on the snout with a paddle.

56406.  Wed Mar 01, 2006 3:15 pm Reply with quote

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