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Erin Mercer History of Civilization 102-41 Dr Daniel C Vogt February 12 2001 Equianos Boyhood in Africa Olaudah Equianos early childhood experiences took place mainly in Africa before he was sold into slavery He lived in the fertile province of Ebo within the Kingdom of Benin He grew up far from the capital of Benin and was mainly familiar with the government order customs economy and family life of his and neighboring provinces The chiefs and elders primarily conducted government in Ebo Chiefs and elders were well respected and had a mark on their faces called an Embrenche An embrenche was a mark that distinguished the leaders from the rest of the village The leaders skin was cut across the forehead and was rubbed until it shark into a weal The chiefs elders judges and senators decided disputes and punishment for crime in usually short sessions The law of retaliation was usually ruled in most cases meaning that the person who was violated could carry out the punishment Adultery was punished by death in most cases and the institution of marriage was very important however men were not held to the same standards as women in such affairs A number of traditions were present in the Ebo land Marriage was a ceremony with a lot of elaborence Marriages were arranged by parents The bridegroom declares that the bride should be looked on as his wife among their friends The bride is brought to the bridegroom by her parents and given blessings The bride wears a cotton string made from goose-quill and then the dowry is given After those festivities a festival begins consisting of four separate dances representing the scenes of life Men Though marriage was important in society men were not expected to remain faithful as were the women The economy of the Ebo village involved all those in the village Women were known for spinning and weaving cotton
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