thumbnail of Ways of mankind II; Lion bites man
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
They hold a large lion creeping through the grass. Shaking my spear I advance upon it. A lion ready for some way. I throw my spear when it strikes. T. Yes it falls short and strikes into the ground. But the next spear strikes and he comes from the side cut between the ribs. So he calls my arm the spear is hitting him. Cut cut cut. Over and over again he rose over and die and I can put my eighth pot on my roof. Lion bites man. A program in the serious ways of mankind presented under the supervision of Walter Goldschmidt anthropologist of the University of California Los Angeles by the National Association of educational broadcasters a series designed to show how human beings live together in different times and places. Lion bites man is one of a series of six programs prepared to show you how the universal problems of law and justice are met by different peoples throughout the world.
In this case the tribe who live in Northern Rhodesia in the heart of Africa lion bites man. Several times during the night I awakened and worried about this case. I had not slept well. I was scorpion Ken was in a dispute with the zebra clan and when things are in dispute. No man knows how they will turn out. No. So I did not improve matters by sitting outside my hut and watching the sun come up without thinking to spit and see Mr. disperser has come out. You see we people of Northern Rhodesia know that if a man forgets to carry out the proper behavior it may bring him bad luck or any kind of trouble. Yes so even early in the morning while the mist was still hanging low over the fields. I knew this was going to be a bad day a difficult day in the distance one of the elders called to the boys about the cattle. Oh you.
All do open the doors of the houses among us by cattle I wealth and we keep valuable Cubs in our houses during the night so that they will not catch cold. Moreover we so admire the great beauty of fine cattle that every man knocks out his top front teeth for cattle have no such teeth. In this way a person will avoid hearing reproaches thrown out. What are you going to have your top front teeth knocked out. Do you intend to spend your life going around looking like a leopard. Yes I heard such a thing said to one of the lads that very morning as I walked over to the fenced in place for the cows where already the elders were beginning to gather warming themselves by a little smudge fires of Kettle Chips. I went to where there were other elders of the scorpion clan and was greeted by them friend or husband of the mother of kindness.
Thank you who are not to be looked at by a wild animal for the one who looks at you falls dead. Have you seen about two yet this morning. Not this morning. I have not yet warmed my stomach with breakfast. Be of good comfort. Here comes my chief wife with thick partridge and gravy. As we grow older we find the morning chill fastens deeper and deeper into the bone. Yes there is no question no greetings as you are seeing you are seen woman. I have brought porridge and meat relish everything is hot so eat it once it will keep you warm for the day. And we do have a hard day today doing what talking. We have no more mealies for tomorrow and some of the women must walk several miles to fetch more. No complaints please. Each has his proper work to do and should take pleasure in doing it. But before I can go my sister is suffering from a headache and she wants me to cut some blood from her well.
Here we are meeting with the zebra clan this morning and this is true. It is this affair between a Klansman about you and that fellow shackle of the zebra clan. Who is making the complaint. Shaka least. I think we should have difficulty making a case persuasive to the zebras our clan is strong. When a man is in a dispute he is entitled to have the strength of his clan behind him. Look about you look at the huts of our land. Nearly all have pots on the roof to show how many lions The man has killed. Nearly all had sticks thrust out from the patch to show how many spears the man has war to decide in battle. Look at the clench into and be of good good. Our friend would be better if you had not insulted him by addressing him by name. Did I. Yes I did for this I must beg my pardon
and never mind. Time will come to you for proper restitution on this matter. My mind was on the quote we have this morning. I understand mine was too. I forgot to speak when the Senate rules. None of us is wise this morning. No the elders are troubled when a dispute is in hand. I myself passed people on the path earlier on and I got to speak to them and give them the proper courtesies. What must they have thought of me has started badly for the Scorpions. Yes yes. Perhaps it would have been better if not but two were in shock or had not put this matter to their claims. Perhaps that would have been better. Perhaps it would. But this was their right. When two of us buy get into a dispute as very often happens for we are men like other men. Then they may ask that the matter be taken up by their respective clans
and each man's clan sends forth its elders to argue and try to agree at some just decision. If they preferred it they may take their quota directly before the chief of the village who will sit in council with the head men and sitting as a court. He would hand down his judgment and that would be the settlement of the case before the whole tribe. So either the case might be settled privately by argument between the two men each backed by his clan or else the case might be settled publicly by going before the chief of the village and causing him to give his judgement. Their way might be chosen or even both for Sometimes men will first try to settle a case privately and then if they're not satisfied they will take the matter onto the chief and have it settled publicly. So much then for what might be done by the time the sun might fall on a man's forehead. We elders of the scorpion clan walked over to the elders of the zebra clan with our spears in hand.
Greetings elders of the Scorpion you are seen you too seen elders of the zebra clan. As to the spears Where may I stand them. You may stand them in the house. This particular house is not forbidden to Spears. Who is this man you have with you. What is his name. May I tell a man your name. Do so. His name is number two. He is of the scorpions and his quarrel is here taken up by his great and powerful clan. Where is the man who is complaining against him. He was here. May I tell these people your name. You may name a shako. And here's a veritable porridge cool on the surface but blazing hot beneath. High praise. But no bar to stretches his legs out across the road so that even brave men have to step over them. Furthermore. He talks like a heap of demons. When I add that he is the most
ingenious and accomplished liar known to me you will understand why his whole clan so willingly stands behind him. The same may be said for our fellow Klansmen Chuckles who is so often here by the name of he who roars at people and also let him who eats with him not forget his fierceness. Let the dispute begin. State your case to these men of the scorpion clan. This case is self-evident. All that is needed is for payment to be made is that the whole case. OK no. See the scar. This is the scar of the bite of a lion. I am a brave man and have killed many lions. A pot set on my roof as tokens of my courage and proficiency. But this lion mauled me. No it was not my fault. No it was his fault. No but whose fault is no bow to a lion that he should call your arm Wait wait wait wait wait. You have heard only the beginning of what I have to say. And one day is not enough to write a dead
elephant. There is more to come. Let me explain. One day this man about to drop his herd of cattle out onto the plane. That moon had already lost a cough to a lion so he asked me to go with him. Taking spears and a shield and help protect his herd of cattle from the lions. Well sirs it is well known when I walk among my friends I am greeted by the name of he who is stirred to pity by the sight of distress so I agreed. Then behold a large lion creeping through the grass. Shaking my spear. I advance upon it. A lion reaps away. I throw my spear but it strikes me. Yes he it falls short and strikes into the ground. But the next spear strikes him. Full in the side between the ribs. He turns and rushes at me. I crouch behind my shield and fall to the ground like a sack of flour with a lion
on top of me. But still I am stabbing with my spear and though he crosses my arms the spear is hitting him over and over again. He rolls over and dies. And I can put my eighth part on my roof. But behold my arm mauled and mangled grievously bitten. And on defending this man's cattle he asked me to do it. I agreed for anything that happens to me is his hope let him pay me three cobs. All finished. Tell me this child of indecency. Where am I supposed to be while you're in this line are tearing holes in one another. You you stick out to me as if you were going to have twins. You musta been hiding behind a tree. But soon as a lion appeared you vanished. No wonder your cat will be eaten you were losing all your wealth. What do you say to all this.
This man shackle thinks himself a great liar but in reality he is so bad that he might as well do nothing but tell the truth all the time for all the good his imagination does him. You have something different to say. Not so very different. Only that I have fought the lion not he I do not run away from lions. He has a patch on his roof. How many he has really and I cannot of course a countryman though you whose teeth are spaced out like the keys of a badly made piano. But this I can say I have 10 points and I truly earned every one of them by killing 10 lions. I am greeted by the proud name of the person sleeping sickness who kills animals and men. It was I who attacked the lion. It was I who drove it away again into the bush and as it fled running for its life. You know that took a certain man by the name of Shaka who was also running like a college kid. And as it passed him it may have taken some small bite at him and spat it out again at once. Even a fleeing lion cannot stomach grown so clever could use it to the point of a spade. You have
grown so clever can you make out the windows in an egg you have grown so coveted is secure enough. It is plain that shako has no case. How long ago was all this. Look at his arm. It was healed long since. Does time make a wrong into a right. Shock is in need of some wealth. He thinks this feeble and a half hearted lie about a lie and will serve his turn and get him what was it. Three calves from the bow to. Scorpions are not taken in so easily nor are we. All a village shako to be a great lion hunter. Are we that we are to believe this inferior lie about him running away and being overtaken by a wounded lion. Is this the behavior that has earned him the title of he who does not seek shelter but stands in clear space facing the enemy. Let's consider the matter again and so it went on for a very long time.
Which of the two was telling the truth. Was either telling the truth. Or what did it matter. We think it much worse to say something inappropriate than it is to tell a lie. Still it was important to find out what had really happened in specially since our case contained a fatal flaw. I had seen it all our elders had seen it but shackle had not noticed it nor had any of the zebra elders. So we just kept quiet and allowed the argument to continue. They became nervous after a while. I saw a shot go accept some food with one hand only. This is very rude and thoughtless. A man always takes a gift with both hands to show how large he considers it. But to point of etiquette is not a point of law. If it were we should have been on trial before the day was over here. Well finally we began to press them down. We frequently mention the great wealth of our clan and the plausibility of our story.
And the zebra elders were giving way. But alas I noticed it too. And suddenly he sprang to his feet and said. Son I am an injured man. I call upon my client to support me and help me get what I am owed from the bottle. We have talked for a long time and if I am any judge of what is happening things are not going right. The Sculpin clan is too powerful and too noisy. I shall not get justice if this affair is settled privately as a private dispute between myself and the bottle and between our two clans. So I cut it off. It just finished. Now I make this into a public case to go before the chief and his head men in the public court. Why are you doing this. Why not. I am perfectly entitled to. I could to choose which way I want my complaint against you to be settled. It's not being settled right this way. So now I choose the other way. And not only that. But when we come before the chief ice I'll not speak myself.
I shall engage one of our elders to act as my representative and his words will occur in my case. Of course we all protested but our hearts were not in it. He was right and he could do that. If the case did not work out as a private case and certainly from his point of view it was not working out. He could make it public. Oh yes we have the two ways of doing it and it was all right. It was even alright for him to hire a representative to speak for him before the chief. But personally I do not think it a good idea. No I have known too many cases where the representatives fees have eaten up all that the man has won for his client. And more besides. And I expect you know of such cases too. Oh yes well we had tried it one way. Now it was to be tried the other way before the chief. I sincerely hoped he wouldn't notice the weak spot in about two skates elders and you
are seeing us you know chief for your pipes and sit upon your stools. We are required to pass judgement upon a case at law. There is waiting for you. Let it wait. Chief is to be a slave. He was to be ready to do what the citizens want. Move the story to the side of the house get the pipe slit quieten down those women outside and let us get on with the case. Who is doing the complaining. Somebody tell me his name his name is shako and I am speaking for him as his representative. Very well you I know. Against whom is the complaint being made against me. Somebody tell me his name. Now about two elders in headman. This complaining against about two this men make your complaint. Here stands before you shackle the slayer of lions. He who does not allow sickness to keep him in bed when there is anything exciting going on. He has seen the hole his arm clawed by a lion.
We see his eye. Yes it is not a man untitled a compensation for such a wound as that. Possibly. Continue. Then I know that this great wound was inflicted by the lion while Jackal was helping the ball to defend his cattle defend whose cattle. It was cattle not his own catalog jackals cattle on the contrary he was held up. Much more explanation and will be quite unable to understand the case now but to Chicago to come and help look after his cattle. Yes and therefore a shark was wounded in doing something foreign about 2 is that your position that is our position. And it is wholly the truth to which choco here is willing and indeed anxious to swear he had better be. We should cause this evidence to be sworn and sacred things upon the funeral fires upon the white clay with which mourners paint their bodies and upon the great God himself I am willing to take all those hopes.
Everything this wise old man has said is true as I have told it to him good. Here is the swear upon it by the ash I swear that all that was true. And here the clay by the smear on themselves. I swear that all that was true and swear by God by the great God Himself I swear that all that was true I spit upon the floor. I have not a calamity for hearing a purchased one in my presence. This of course must be in a bar too. Oh right I said there is this terrible man how do you come before the chief. I tried to get cattle for me for all the wisdom scars and a steady pull of deceit. You spit in pieces and your burst asunder you never see the sunset the food you eat come back you'll know if I live another die. Why does my father and my mother like us all my family I will not have this. I put my spear between you. How do you come to my house the house of the chief and stand upon my floor before me and all the elders and keep me from my dinner and then lose your tempers and curse your own families to show your rage with one another.
If you behave like this before us you curse us. You insult us now then. Let no but to say what he has to say. Somebody bring me some honey be my soldiers crack crew shouting down you fellows. I swear by the great God himself and by the back of my head which I shall never see that Chaka said a thing that was false. So now I spit upon the ground to avert the calamity of overhearing a plated oath dispute such as these are very trying. We had tried to settle it privately between the scorpion clan and the zebra clan but endless time was being eaten up and making no progress. So we have brought it to you a river of wisdom. If a man is accused of a crime our duty is clear. It is not to convict the accused. No it is to convict the offender. Who ever he may be whether he be the accused or not. And when two men dispute
together it seems to me our duty is still clear. Yes it is not to give the verdict to the man who swore first nor to the man who swore the most finished and complicated. No it is to give it to the man whose cause is just where Indos know but to say the charcoal light when for instance he says that as soon as the lion appeared I vanished and hid behind a tree. Did I hear you say that. No it was said before during the dispute between the clans. But it was not sworn before this court. No. Then why not. We must hear the whole story. Forgive me but this is not necessary and I am very glad to hear that. Why in matters such as this the law is clear the precedents are for. When a man asks another man to help him at any task then the first man is responsible for any injury that may be fall the second man while engaged on that task. Such is the way cases are always decided.
That is quite true. Such is indeed the way cases are decided. Yes. It does not matter how long the incident is past. It happened and you compensation was not paid then the injured person may open proceedings whenever he sees fit. Such is the way cases are always decided. I agree is right there. Then it is of no consequence that the scar is always are. True. Nor is it of consequence what actually happened during the battle with the lion. But. I asked not to swear to two things. Ask him to swear that shako did not get that scar defending about his cattle against the lion. Will you swear that he did not get that scar defending your cattle. Not exactly. Do you swear it. You see the situation where it is wrong to force you to swear it.
No this is my first point. The scar was got defending that man's cattle. Now. Ask him to swear that he did not ask for help. Will you swear that you know this is my case. He asked for help. He got the help. The helper was injured giving it. Let him pay. You have made your case. But he lied when he said I ran away as other things true. I suppose they are and this elder is fortunately right when he says we do not need to hear the rest of what happened. The point is properly taken. The case is proved. I assess the damage of three cars or two cabs if they have a regular and twisted horns. And what if I refuse to pay. What if you insult me curse me by refusing to pay. You cannot force me to. Can I not. Do you not fear the way to understanding of my chief to. Do you not fear the weight and
standing of my elders. Do you not fear the RAF and frowning of the people. We are a people fond of going to law. We are rapacious before the law but we are fond of the law being given weight. Do you defy our people. Three carves three calves of which my share shall be two to sort through a case that virtually proved itself it didn't prove itself and we would never employ a representative. No he may get more out of the case than you do. The fearsomeness of the entier is the long grass upon it. It may hide a leopard. No man knows what he will find in the law until he steps into it. As you hear the zebra can perceive the loophole in our case and brought it publicly before the chief. But before that the disputed proceeded between one plan and the other as a private quarrel.
But we who live in Northern Rhodesia have two ways of settling disputes by private law and by public law yes. This should not be hard for you to understand. Surely you also know from the law we can look two ways. There is a law based on FUD in the direction of strength. Which is most often found among the world's more primitive people. And there is the law of courts that is generally found among society organized into political states. I don't want to give the impression that the Bible is stand in some sort of evolutionary position between the two. Like long faces and were the first to develop political systems. Hardly. But just because the Bible or do have both systems they show us one of the more important contrasts in the development of the law. The clan among a large group whose members feel related by blood or
by us a man's prosperity is out of his clan because if you're in trouble he can go to his clan for help. By pleading his case or when necessary by a show of force. You noticed that the Scorpions were the stronger clan and had the zebras on the run. But you'll also have a system of courts the chief with a council of men acted as judge. He was the man selected by the tribe because of his ability and his wealth and his family background standing behind his judgment is the whole community. Even a court must have force behind it but not the force of warfare. Rather it is the regularized in peace for a constituted power of the community. It seems to me proper to consider this a more advanced form of legal procedure. Since it is less dependant upon strength and more responsive to the issues of the case as these are seen in terms of the people's own ideas of right and wrong. There
are many points of similarity between the modern legal systems. You noticed for instance the clear difference between matters of custom and matters of law. Did you notice too that the concept of liability was clearly a matter of law. On the other hand I don't have a statute of limitations. A case is always open until it has been properly settled. Precedent is an important principle in bio law as in ours. Even the use of Proverbs frequently used to argue a case among the Bible can be thought of as the citing of precedent for proverbs capsule based upon past experience. The right to counsel is also recognized. And admired so expensive there as he is with us. The court has religious sanction and swearing and witnesses on sacred symbols. Just as we do in our courts. Justice usually involves an appeal to religious
sentiment. So the show was the contrast between the two modes of legal settlement. The institutionalized feud and the use of courts. And these particular courts contain most of the major elements found in modern legal systems. Dr. Walter Go2Net of the department of anthropology and sociology of the University of California Los Angeles. Has concluded lion bites man. A program in the series ways of mankind. Lion bites man one of six programs prepared to show you how the universal problems of law and justice are met by different people throughout the world was written by Lester Sinclair and produced by Andrew Allen in the studios of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Toronto. Dr. E. Adams unhopeful professor of anthropology at the University of Utah is special consultant for the series on Law and Justice. These programs are presented by the National Association of educational broadcasters and are made possible under a grant from the
fund for adult education. An independent organization established by the Ford Foundation. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Ways of mankind II
Lion bites man
Producing Organization
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-ks6j540p).
Episode Description
This program, "Lion Bites Man," focuses on the Ba-I-La tribe of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and their concepts of law and justice.
Series Description
This series is an exploration into the origin and development of cultures, customs and folkways in various parts of the world. The second series of Ways Of Mankind is concerned with a specific subject area and with two specific cultures.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Funder: Fund for Adult Education (U.S.)
Producer: Allan, Andrew, 1907-1974
Producing Organization: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Sarrel, Philip M., 1937-
Writer: Sinclair, Lister
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 53-36-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:24
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Ways of mankind II; Lion bites man,” 1964-04-02, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “Ways of mankind II; Lion bites man.” 1964-04-02. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Ways of mankind II; Lion bites man. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from