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CHAP. 1V.]   DAMARA IDEAS OF NUMBER.   8t

half to inspan the two waggons, and every man was actively employed. We went only three hours, and slept at the furthest watering-place that Hans and I had explored. Now we had to trust to the guides, whose ideas of time and distance were most provokingly indistinct ; besides this, they have no comparative in their language, so that you cannot say to them, " Which is the longer of the two, the next stage or the last one ? " but you must say, " The last stage is little ; the next, is it great?" The reply is not, it is a "little longer," "much longer," or " very much longer ; " but simply, " it is so," or " it is not so." They have a very poor notion of time. If you say, " Suppose we start at sunrise, where will the sun be when we arrive ? " they make the wildest points in the sky, though they are something of astronomers, and give names to several stars. They have no way of distinguishing days, but reckon by the rainy season, the dry season, or the pig-nut season. When inquiries are made about how many days' journey off a place may be, their ignorance of all numerical ideas is very annoying. In practice, whatever they may possess in their language, they certainly use no numeral greater than three. When they wish to express four, they take to their fingers, which are to them as formidable instruments of calculation as a sliding-rule is to an English schoolboy. They puzzle very much after five, because no spare hand remains to grasp and secure the fingers that are required for " units." Yet they seldom lose oxen: the way in which they discover the loss of one, is not by the number of the herd being diminished, but by the absence of a face they know. When bartering is going on, each sheep must be paid for separately. Thus : suppose two sticks of tobacco to be the rate of exchange for one sheep, it would sorely puzzle a Damara to take two sheep and give him four sticks. I have done so, and seen a man first put two of the sticks apart and take a sight over them at one of the sheep he was about to sell. Having satisfied himself that that one was honestly paid for, and finding to his surprise that exactly two sticks remained in hand to settle the account for the other sheep, he would be afflicted with doubts; the transaction seemed to come out too "pat" to be correct, and he would refer back to the first couple of sticks, and then his mind got hazy and confused, and wandered from one sheep to the other, and he broke off the transaction until two sticks were put into his hand and one sheep driven away, and then the other two sticks given him and the second sheep driven away. When a Damara's minp is bent upon number, it is too much occupied to dwell upon quantity;