Punch,  44 (1863), 7.

Heir-Hunting Among the West-Indians by the Author of 'A Shot from an Old Beau'



Essay, Drollery


Race, Ethnology, Gender, Superstition, Spiritualism

    Addressed to those interested in the 'curiosities of savage life', especially the 'practice of "wife-snatching among the Torokas"', the narrator describes a 'companion' custom of the 'West-Indians' in which 'a fair and bashful Maiden' of the tribe, controlled by the female chiefs of the tribe, catches her 'Heir' with a lasso. Proceeds to describe some of the customs and characteristics of the tribe, including their clubs (where heirs enjoy refuge from their female pursuers), the fact that they are 'very amiable and quite trustworthy' despite their 'predatory habits', their bartering for girls with 'trifling articles of virtú', and their talkativeness. Adds that the tribe is 'deplorably superstitious', linking slight noises, such as a 'rap on a table', to spirits.

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