All this time the Otando people were busy making otaitais, or porters' baskets. The otaitai is a very ingenious contrivance for carrying loads in safety on the backs
of men. I have brought one of these baskets home, and preserve it as a keepsake.
It is long and narrow; the wicker-work is made of strips of a very tough climbing plant; the length is about two and a half feet, and the width nine inches ; the sides are made of open cane-work, capable of being expanded or drawn in, so as to admit of a larger or smaller load. Cords of are attached to the sides, for the purpose of securing the contents. Straps
made of strong plaited rushes secure the basket to the head and arms of the carrier, as shown in the picture.
- The Country of the Dwarfs
By Paul Belloni Du Chaillu
Published in 1872
Available from books.google.com
- Posted on
- Tuesday 28 July 2020
- 19th Century, Africa, Occupations