A Lunch with the Druzes
James M Ludlow
Ethnography, Race, Religion, Menageries, Human Species
Records a rare visit to the land of the Lebanese Muslim Druze [or Druse] tribe, who 'twenty years ago drenched the valleys of the Lebanons with the blood of Christians' (429). Reflects that the 'typical Druze['s] [...] racial character is a conglomerate of the worst and some of the best features of human nature' (431). When examining their Western guests, the Druze express 'childish glee' and 'stand grunting in groups', while their predominantly American visitors play 'the part the caged animals take in the entertainment of the menagerie' (431–32). Describes how a group of 'fifty yelling half savages' are taken up by an 'undignified mania' and attempt to steal their guest's possessions, but comments that the 'comicalities of the situation at once make us feel kin. Man is the animal who laughs. This is the mark of the unity of the race, and the mutual laugh drives all fear from our hearts and all wrath from theirs' (432).
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