12 Art of Travel.
Presents and Articles for Payment.-It is of the utmost importance to a traveller to be well and judiciously supplied with these : they are his money, and without money a person can no more travel in Savagedom than in Christendom. It is a great mistake to suppose that savages will give their labour or cattle in return for anything that is bright or new : they have their real wants and their fashions as much as we have ; and, unless what a traveller brings, meets either the one or the other, he can get nothing from them, except through fear or compulsion.
The necessities of a savage are soon satisfied ; and, unless he belongs to a nation civilised enough to live in permanent habitations, and secure from plunder, he cannot accumulate, but is only able to keep what he actually is able to carry about his own person. Thus, the chief at Lake Ngami told Mr. Andersson that his beads would be of little use, for the women about the place already "grunted like pigs" under the burdens of those that they wore, and which they had received from previous travellers. These are matters of serious consideration to persons who propose to travel with a large party, and who must have proportionably large wants.
Speaking of presents and articles for payment, as of money, it is essential to have a great quantity and variety of small change, wherewith the traveller can pay for small services, for carrying messages, for draughts of milk, pieces of meat, &c. Beads, shells, tobacco, needles, awls, cotton caps, handkerchiefs, clasp-knives, small axes, spear and arrow heads, generally answer this purpose.
There is infinite fastidiousness shown by savages in selecting beads, which, indeed, are their jewellery ; so that valuable beads, taken at hap-hazard, are much more likely to prove failures than not. It would always be well to take abundance (40 or 50 lbs. weight goes but a little way) of the following cheap beads, as they are very generally accepted,-dull white, dark blue, and vermilion red, all of a small size.
It is the ignorance of what are the received articles of payment in a distant country, and the using up of those that are taken, which, more than any other cause, limits the journeyings of an explorer : the demands of each fresh chief are an
immense drain upon his store,
)F - www.fastio.com