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College of Liberal Arts 







DR. W I L H E L M J U N K E R 


A. H. KEANE, F.R.G.S. 





Mj \\\ TLp 

RicnAi.n Clay iS; Sons, Limited, 
London & IUingay. 





























Departure from the Civilized World— Corfu— Alexandria— Cairo— No News trom 
Gordon — A special Farman needed for the Journey — Rude Reception at the 
Ministry— Start for Suez and Sawakin—Feliow-travellers— Despatches from 
Gordon— Departure for Berber— Berber— Trip to Khartum— News from the 
^outh— Abu Khamsa Miyeh's Residence— Europeans in Khartum— Arrival of the 
Ismallia from the Bahr el-Ghazal. 

ON my return to St. Petersburg in September 1878, after 
my first journey to Egyptian Sudan, nothing was 
further from my thoughts than a second visit to that region. 
Yet within a twelvemonth my preparations for another expe- 
dition to Central Africa were well advanced, and on October 
loth, 1879, I found myself on board the steamer Progresso, 
bound for Alexandria. 

On the 1 6th I again landed on African soil, my immediate 
goal being Khartum, which I hoped to reach without delay by 


the Sawakin-Berber route. The heavier boxes packed in Berhn 
for the caravan transport were sent from Alexandria straight to 
Suez, and the rest despatched to Cairo. With these and other 
articles, which could best be procured on the spot, I intended 
making up some additional camel-loads in the Egyptian capital. 
Mr. Pirona again in the most obliging manner adjusted my 
instruments for takine meteorolog'ical observations. 

I also obtained from M. Marquet 
some more accurate information re- 
garding my collections, which had been 
damaged on the way to Europe in 
1878. M. Marquet, younger brother of 
the French trader at Khartum, to whom the things had been 
entrusted,^ and who had since died there, now told me that 


1 See vol. i. p. 515. 


many of the boxes had been swamped during the floods at 
Berber, that they had afterwards been abandoned by the camel- 
drivers on the road between Berber and Sawakin, and, lastly, 
that on reaching Sawakin, they had been detained by the 
authorities as presumably belonging to the elder Marquet, who 
was reported to have committed suicide. Hence it was found 
impossible to forward them to Europe till the Russian Consul 
interfered, and caused inquiries to be instituted by the Egyptian 
Ministry. Thus it was that the specimens had at last turned 
up in St. Petersburg in the deplorable condition already described. 

In Alexandria I also met Herr Maximo, who had lately 
settled as a trader in Sawakin. He was now returning to that 
place, where, on my subsequent arrival, he was of the greatest 
service in forwarding my interests. 

At Cairo I had the pleasure of renewing acquaintance with 
George Schweinfurth, who had returned to Egypt by the last 
steamer from Europe. I profited much by the advice and 
suggestions of this distinguished naturalist, in whom I found a 
true friend and instructor. 

Although much still remained to be seen in Cairo, all my 
thoughts and energies were absorbed in maturing the plans for 
my approaching expedition to the interior. Despite my anxiety 
to be on the road without loss of time, delays still intervened, 
and before anything could be done I had to procure the neces- 
sary papers from the Khedival Government. On November 
2nd the Russian Consul-General von Lex procured me an 
audience with the new Viceroy, Mohammed Tewfik Pasha, who 
had lately succeeded Ismail Pasha, and who now promised that 
the necessary orders would be issued to the Sudanese officials. 
It may be incidentally mentioned that just then Gordon Pasha 
was absent on a mission to Abyssinia, from which he was not 
expected to return for a few weeks. Hence the Khedive 
suggested that it might be well to put off my journey till the 
end of the month, when he would probably be back. This 
suggestion fell in with my own desire for another personal 
interview with Gordon before my return to the Sudan, and my 
departure was accordingly postponed. 


Meantime I went leisurely about the final preparations for the 
expedition. But when everything was ready, and there was 
absolutely nothing more to be done, we were still without news 
from Gordon. On the other hand, it was urgently necessary for 
me to reach the Negro lands before the rainy season set in. A 
steamer belonging to the Rubattino Company was advertised 
to sail from Suez to Sawakin towards the end of November, and 
unless I availed myself of this opportunity, my departure might 
be indefinitely delayed. 

I accordingly telegraphed to Khartum for tidings of Gordon, 
but at the same time learnt from another source that he had 
again returned from Galabat to Abyssinia. Hence there was 
no prospect of his return to Cairo for the present, and nothing 
remained except a faint hope of possibly meeting him in 
Sawakin. I therefore informed his Highness, at a second 
audience on November 22nd, that I had decided to start forth- 
with, and renewed my application for the viceregal farman.^ 
The Khedive informed me that, while on his way back to 
Galabat, Gordon had been obliged to return to Abyssinia by 
order of King John, and approved of my resolution. 

I had now to get the papers in all haste from the ministry, 
for the feast of Bairam was approaching, when all official work 
would be suspended for a few days, while the steamer was 
announced to sail at the end of the ensuing week. Being 
already sufficiently well acquainted with the relations in Sudan, 
I knew that a formal document, drawn up in the usual way 
and full of detailed instructions for travellers, would be of 
little service to me. Hence I had applied to the ministry for 
a paper embodying certain special provisions, such as— 

1. Free rations for myself and servants at the Egyptian 
stations in Sudan, wherever there were no markets or opportunities 
for purchasing provisions. 

2. Free supply of the necessary carriers in Negro land. 

3. Right of settling and erecting huts wherever I pleased. 

4. Privilege of accompanying, for the object of my explor- 

' Farman, ,.,Lc.i> order, decree, edict — Persian. 


ations, any expeditions organized at the stations for procuring 
ivory, or for any other purpose. 

5. Official responsibility for my safety in Egyptian territory, 
but not on or beyond the frontiers, with full permission to cross 
those frontiers at my own discretion without let or hindrance on 
the part of the authorities. 

An order containing these clauses seemed all the more 
desirable now that I was not to have an interview with Gordon, 
whose return to Khartum as Governor-General, after his 
Abyssinian journey, seemed to me more than doubtful. What 
I asked for was in reality less than what Gordon had himself 
freely granted me on my first expedition, and had promised to 
renew on future occasions. 

Those unfamiliar with the state of affairs in Sudan might 
perhaps think my demands somewhat exacting and unreason- 
able. In fact, so they appeared at first sight to the Cairo 
officials, who are themselves little acquainted with the true 
relations in those remote provinces. But under the circumstances 
prevailing in the Egyptian Sudan, it was highly important for 
the explorer to be quite independent of the local authorities, 
and in no way subject to the caprice of the governors and 
superintendents at the stations. The service required of carriers 
is compulsory, a kind of corvee without claim for compensation ; 
the corn represents the tribute of the negroes, while the flesh is 
the result of the yearly raids amongst the unreduced tribes. 
Hence my demand involved no sacrifice on the part of the 
administration, nor was it in any way a charge on the Treasury. 

Fearing, however, that there might be a difficulty in granting 
my request, I had solicited the friendly offices of the late D. Bey, 
an influential European in the Egyptian service, who was himself 
present during my audience with the Prime Minister. Never- 
theless my reception was far from courteous, the minister 
constantly interrupting the proceedings, and insisting that such 
demands were never made or granted, that there were many 
travellers to whom it would be impossible to make all those 
concessions. Thereupon my friend remarked: "But, your 
Excellency, the doctor is not going to Zagazik " (a town in 


the Nile delta, meaning thereby that I was not an ordinary 
tourist making a trip in Lower Egypt) ; " nor does he ask more 
than Gordon had already formerly granted him," and so on. 
At this I handed up Gordon's farman, which the minister at 


first refused to recognize, and then declared that it did not 
matter ; Gordon might do what he liked in his province, such 
demands could not be granted here. Then, after another inter- 
ruption, turning directly to me, he asked would I be satisfied 


with an order or recommendation drawn up in the usual way, 
and addressed to the Sudanese officials. 

Feeling hurt at the wa\- I had been treated, I answered some- 
what warmly : " Excellenc}', I must needs be thankful for any 
recommendations you may be pleased to favour me with. Even 
without an}' such official aid to m)' undertaking, I would, never- 
theless, adhere to my plan in the interest of science, and even of 
your country, by the cartographic work I propose to carry out 
in Egyptian territory. Although in the absence of distinct 
instructions to the authorities the difficulties of my journey will 
be doubly increased, I am still determined to reach my goal, 
even if I have to travel as a mendicant, seeing that a vaguely- 
worded order merely recommends me to the favour of the 
officials in Sudan." 

No immediate answer was made to these remarks ; but, 
ultimatel}', to my surprise, the minister stated in a few words 
that he would have the papers prepared according to my wishes, 
adding, however, that I would have to pay duty on my effects 
in Sawakin. But another official readily granted me exemption 
from the Custom-house charges, and my last days in Cairo were 
brightened by an unexpected meeting with Gerhard Rohlfs, 
who had just returned from his arduous journey to the Kufra 
oasis in the Libyan desert. 

Shortly before starting", I decided, on the advice of my friends, 
to engage the services of Bohndorff to help in preparing the 
zoological specimens, and in obtaining biological collections. 
Besides my servant, Farag 'Allah, he was the only assistant 
who accompanied me from Cairo, and later my only European 
companion in the wilds of Africa. 

As the vessel was to sail on December 3rd, I at once 
despatched twenty boxes of all sizes to Suez, whither thirteen 
large cases had already been sent direct from Alexandria. Our 
party followed by train on December 1st, accompanied by the 
good wishes of my Cairo friends, who had assembled at the 
station to see us off. 

In Suez there was the usual delay, and we did not get away 
till December 5th. I whiled away the time with repeated visits 


to the bazaar, picking up amongst other odds and ends an 
Indian basket-chair, which afterwards proved of the greatest 
service during my long wanderings in the interior. 

Recently the Rubattino Company had established a regular 
steam service in the Red Sea, a ship sailing every twenty-five 
or thirty days from Suez for the ports of Jidda, Sawakin, 
Massawa, and Hodeida, and returning the same way. Our 
boat, the Palestina, did not touch at Jidda, in order to escape 
the quarantine which had been proclaimed at Sawakin for ships 
from that port during the pilgrimage season to Mecca. Nearly 
all the few first-class cabins were occupied, the passengers 
including two Englishmen and a Pole going on a hunting rrs 

expedition to the interior, and the Italian trader, Conte 
Sapelli, who was bound for Khartum, and who joined our 
party at Sawakin. The deck was crowded chiefly with two 
troops of Nubians, who were returning home after having enter- 
tained the Parisian and Berlin public with their performances 
during the summer. At the last moment a Greek and a Nubian 
came on board, and were afterwards the cause of an unpleasant 
delay of twenty-four hours' quarantine at Sawakin. 

The weather, at first cool and refreshing, became oppressively 
hot during the day. But the moonlit nights were delightful, and 



on the third evening the hmar crescent, rising above the horizon 
on the distant waters, gave occasion to a perplexing optical 
delusion. The two limbs of the crescent, bathed in a flood of 
glowing light, became larger and larger, and at last seemed, as 
it were, to burst into flames. At first sight the appearance was 
curiously like that of a burning vessel seen in the distance. 

Any marked indentations in the contour-lines of the coast or 
of remote islands, or even ships or other prominent objects, often 
produce a weird effect on the observer. The visions are not exactly 
aerial phantoms in the ordinary sense, conjuring up the forms 
of some " baseless fabric " that has no existence, but are rather 


distorted views of real objects seen under peculiar atmospheric 
conditions. Such "insubstantial pageants" are doubtless the 
result of terrestrial radiation acting in combination with the 
refraction of luminous rays. Under these conditions the objects 
often stand out distinctly above the watery surface, or else their 
continuity is broken, their outlines raised, extended, distorted, 
and decomposed in diverse fantastic ways. 

On the fourth day we again sighted the western coast-line. 
The dark mountain masses of the mainland were enveloped in 
gray clouds, and for long stretches could scarcely be distinguished 
from each other. Later the banked-up clouds assumed a deeper 
gray-blue colour as they gathered round the neighbouring rocky 
headlands, while the sun shot down radiant streaks of light in 


the foreground. To all appearances it was raining on the 
coast-lands, while above us stood the canopy of a cloudless 
azure sky. 

At last the white-washed houses of Sawakin became visible 
in the distance, standing out in the glaring light of the setting 
sun. The approaches to the harbour are here endangered by 
shoals and coral reefs ; but the channel is carefully indicated by 
several piles of dazzling white coraline blocks. 

On December 8th the Palestiiia cast anchor, and received the 
customary visit from the sanitary commissioner, who, much to 
our surprise, imposed a quarantine of twenty-four hours, appar- 
ently because the names of the two last passengers were not 
entered in the captain's papers. The incident gave rise to some 
unpleasant inquiries, and a document complaining of the official's 
unwarranted action was signed by all on board. 

In Sawakin I met both Messrs. Marquet and Maximo, and 
was also agreeably surprised with a visit from Herr Kohn, the 
dealer in wild animals, whose acquaintance I had already made 
in Upper Nubia, and who was just now staying with his little 
daughter in Sawakin. I had no difficulty in getting my things 
through the Custom-house, and was soon installed in the vacant 
house of a Greek trader. 

As a convoy of gum-arabic and other wares had just arrived 
from Berber, I had my pick and choice of camels returning to 
that place, and might have started at once for the interior. But 
I was detained by the report that Gordon had reached Massawa, 
or at least was soon expected there. I telegraphed at once to 
that place, and in a few days came the answer : " Start, as my 
coming uncertain. Gordon." 

Simultaneously came an order from Gordon to the Sawakin 
officials to push forward the arrangements for my journey. I at 
the same time telegraphed my approaching arrival in Khartum 
to Herr Giegler, who had lately been appointed Gordon's 
representative in that province, with the title of Pasha. 

My few remaining days in Sawakin were fully occupied in 
getting everything ready, and securing the boxes, all of which 
were carefully sewn up in stout matting. 

Under all circumstances the traveller will do well as far as 



possible to conform to tlic local usages, especially in the matter 
of diet. Those who can thoroughly adapt themselves to the 
native food have already won half the battle, and when their 
own supply of provisions runs out or gets scarce, they escape 
many troubles and trials, such as have often proved disastrous 
even to otherwise well-planned expeditions. In the course of 
the present narrative, I shall consider it my duty to introduce 
the experiences acquired on this point during my long ramblings 
in the interior, for it too frequently happens that travellers, 
wedded to old habits and prejudices, neglect to make the most 
of the products of the land. I will even go so far as to assert 
that b}' conforming to the simple fare of the natives, the 
European may preserve his health in those regions better than 
b}' indulging in the best cuisine of civilized countries. 

The first choice entree in my bill of fare was borrowed from 
the camp life of the Sudanese Bedouins. The soft skin of a 
young goat, such as is used for the girba, or leather water-bottles, 
of the Arabs, is three-quarters filled with the very hard little 
whey-cheeses retailed at a cheap rate in the Arab markets, and 
then filled up with fresh milk, salt, red pepper, or other native 
seasoning being added according to taste. During the journey 
the skin is suspended to the saddle of a camel, by whose motion 
the contents are thoroughly and uniformly shaken together. 
In the course of days, or even weeks, the hard cheeses get 
ground down by friction, while the milk thickens, and the whey 
or watery part evaporates, this process of evaporation keeping 
at a low temperature the contents, which have gradually acquired 
the consistency of porridge. 

After a hard day's march I have constantly experienced the 
benefit derived from this refreshing mess of half-liquid cheese 
and curds taken with bread. I have often even preferred such 
a frugal meal to meat and preserves. In the Sawakin market 
I was able to procure a supply of these cheese-skins, besides 
bread, dates, and the large but mild onions, which may be freely 
consumed without risk in the form of a salad. To these dainties 
was added the long variety of Arab cucumber {Cnciunis vielo 
L. var. Khate). 


I again bought an ass for my own use, and hired nineteen 
camels at six and a half thalers each for the whole journey 
to Berber, four and a half payable in advance, and two on 
reaching that place. Since my visit to Sawakin four years 
previously, a decided improvement had taken place. At that 
time the island of Sawakin was connected with the mainland 
at Gef only by small boats ; now a wide embankment had been 
constructed, so that goods could be shipped close to the harbour. 

On December 14th my caravan set out, and was joined in 
the evening at our first camping-ground by the Italian trader, 
Sapelli, w^io was anxious to make the journey in our company, 
but whose few pack animals w^ere not ready in time for all to 
leave Sawakin together. An unexpected despatch also arrived 
from Gordon, ordering the authorities to supply me with camels 
free of charge, both for the present journey to Berber, and for 
my return in case I came back by that route. But I was unable 
to avail myself of this last act of kindness on the part of 
Gordon ; I had already paid more than half of the cost of hire 
to the camel-owners, and I discharged the rest in Berber. 

A detailed account of the journey from Sawakin to Berber 
may be dispensed with after the exhaustive description of this 
route by Dr. Schweinfurth. For this and other reasons I even 
neglected to survey the road, which I afterwards regretted, as 
in the eastern section the route followed by me differed con- 
siderably from that traversed both by Schweinfurth and Von 
Heuglin. At several difficult points and passes over the eastern 
hills the camel-track had been much improved by Gordon, and 
Marquet had also begun the construction of his carriage-road 
across the district. Thanks to these works, the Sawakin-Berber 
route would certainly have been recognized as the best for the 
export and import traffic of Egyptian Sudan, but for the 
untimely revolt of the Mahdi, and the hasty abandonment by 
England of all civilizing efforts in that region. Had a permanent 
roadway been laid down between Berber and Sawakin, it would 
have been at once chosen as the most convenient line of com- 
munication, and immeasurably preferable to that across the 
Bayiida steppe from Kerreri below Khartum to Dabbeh in 



Dongola, or across the waterless Nubian desert from Abu 
Hamed to Korosko. 

These three long-estabHshed routes are the only commercial 
highways worth discussing as at all practicable between Egypt 
and the Sudanese provinces. On my return from my last 
journey I learnt something of the track across the Bayiida 
steppe ; the Korosko road leads through an inhospitable wilder- 
ness, where water occurs at such long intervals that it is 
practicable only for small, rapidly-moving caravans. Hence it 
was never used by me on any of my journeys, and I also avoided 


the direct road from Sawakin to Kassala, by which the Red 
Sea is connected with Upper Nubia and Eastern Sudan. My 
first journey to this region, as already fully described, was made 
by the roundabout way of the Baraka Valley to Kassala. 

Since the close of the Abyssinian War commerce had resumed 
its normal course, and we now almost daily met long convoys 
of camels all the way to Berber. As previously explained, the 
carrying trade is monopolized by various tribes, which so 
jealously guard their respective districts that trespassing often 
leads to sanguinary reprisals. But the increasing traffic and a 

1 8 77?^ VELS IN AFRICA. 

better administration were gradually getting rid of these troubles, 
and camel-owners from the most diverse tribes Avith their pack- 
animals were now peacefully assembled in Sawakin. Other 
improvements in the transit trade had also been made, especially 
through the efforts of M. Marquet, who was the first to introduce 
a machine for cleansing and sorting the gum-arabic intended 
for the European market. The same trader also first adopted 
the practice of sorting ostrich feathers according to quality, 
and the uses they were meant for, thereby of course securing 
better prices for the finer kinds. 

In the eastern parts of the hilly district crossed by the route 
to Berber, the soil is sufficiently watered to yield a rich vege- 
tation, and the scenery in some places may even be described 
as charming. Here the routes of travellers often diverge in 
various directions, afterwards converging in a single track on 
the plateau. Thenceforth the path to Berber leads across a 
barren district dotted over with a few straggling acacia-trees. 
Here long, trying marches have to be made between the watering- 
places, and the road is often strewn with loose, weathered rubble- 
stones, a foot or so long, w^hich if removed, a good carriage-way 
might easily be constructed. But greater difficulties would be 
experienced farther west, where the route traverses a broad zone 
of dunes and drift-sands, which for several days before reaching 
Berber form irregular chains of hills. 

The whole region between the coast and Berber, but 
especially the eastern part, is roamed by the Hadendoas, 
whose settlements here also are met at many points along the 
route. We reached Berber on December 27th, the journey 
having occupied fourteen days, while each day's march averaged 
seven hours. 

I was hospitably received by the Mudir Mani Be}*, whose 
acquaintance I had already made in Khartum. The boxes and 
bales were at once transferred from the camels to the hold of 
a small steamer from Khartum, which had been placed at my 
service, and on board of which I also took up my quarters. 
Although suffering from an attack of ague, I was unable to 
escape an endless round of visits, some coming merely to pay 



their respects, others as patients for consultation and physic, or 
else to obtain introductions to the officials in Khartum. 

An evening- stroll about Berber revealed nothing remarkable, 
although it ranks as one of the chief Arab towns in Sudan. 
Many newly-erected little brick houses reminded me of last 
}'ear's sudden freshet and inundations, which had even sapped 
the foundations of some of the larger structures, and had also 
wrought havoc with my collections. 

On December 29th we weighed anchor for Khartum, and on 
January 4th, 18S0, reached Kerreri, 
where, eighteen months previously, 
on m\- return journey to Cairo, I had 
quitted the Nile and entered the 
Bayuda steppe. By this time the 
fever had disappeared, and I reached 
the metropolis of Sudan in the full 
enjo\-ment of my wonted health. As 
we neared the port I found that I 
had narrowly escaped being bitten 
by a huge yellow scorpion, w^hich 
had crept in amongst the bed-clothes 
in my berth. 

My further movements were now 
dependent on the reports which I 
awaited in Khartum on the state 
of affairs in the Negro lands, and 
on the condition of the communi- 
cations with the south. The sitdd, 

or grass-barrier, in the upper reaches of the Nile (Bahr el-Jebel) 
had not been cleared away, and for over a year the w^aterway 
had been closed between Lado and Khartum. For several 
months Ernest Marno had been hard at w^ork with steamers 
boats, and numerous hands trying to get rid of the obstruction. 
Yet the re-opening of the regular highway to Lado seemed as 
far off as ever, so that I had to give up the project of reaching 
jMangbattu Land from Lado, and thus connecting my explor- 
ations with my previous researches in the Makaraka country. 



In the Bahr el-Ghazal also, which afforded a water route 
between Khartum and the western regions subject to the 
Egyptian sway, the navigation had for some months been 
obstructed by grass-barriers. These, however, could be easily 
forced, so that the communications in this direction had not yet 
been completely closed, and a steamer returning from that 
quarter was daily expected in Khartum. 

During the course of the past year Romolo Gessi had 
succeeded in completely quelling Soliman Bey's revolt in the 
Bahr el-Ghazal region, where he was now residing as Governor 
of all the Equatorial Provinces, including the territory adminis- 

°l_i -'^ r Garden 

!:?i L 


*■ Garden 


tered by Dr. Emin, now promoted to the rank of Bey. I 
accordingly at once decided to make the Bahr el-Ghazal the 
starting-point of my next expedition, and to proceed thither by 
the next steamer leaving Khartum for the south. 

Anticipating a protracted detention in the capital, I forthwith 
installed myself in the house which had already been engaged 
for me, and which was well known to all Khartumers as the 
residence of " Abu Khamsa Miyeh," that is, " Father of the Five- 
hundred." This was the nickname of a former mudir, owner of 


the house, who was in the habit of awarding a " round five- 
hundred " when sentencing culprits to the bastinado. The 
structure, which lay somewhat off the river-bank between the 
Government palace and the Mudiriyeh, contained some spacious 
apartments arranged in the Khartum style, which was very 
convenient for storing or packing my effects. 

At the entrance into the court the kitchen lay to the left, 
apart from the main building. A few semi-circular steps led 
to a veranda, which ran round the living-rooms, and opened on 
the court. Every available space was soon filled with camp- 
tables and stools, angarebs (Sudanese bedsteads), hammocks, 
boxes and chests of all kinds ; straw mats were spread over the 
clay benches, and I had soon fitted up a special workroom and 
a divan or reception-room, whose windows overlooked a neigh- 
bouring garden. Bohndorff installed himself on the right of the 
veranda, while the loads prepared for the journey were all 
arranged in rows in a well-secured space on the left. 

During the ensuing weeks the veranda, which was covered 
in overhead, served as a convenient workshop during the day, 
and in the cool of the evening, when swept and garnished, I here 
entertained my friends. Of the former circle, Consul Rosset 
had died in Dar-F6r, where he had lately been appointed 
governor, and Gessi was still detained in the Bahr el-Ghazal 
province. But there remained Giegler Pasha and Consul 
Hansal, besides Dr. Zurbuchen, a Swiss physician, who had lately 
removed hither from Wadi-Halfa. There were also the Italians, 
Messadaglia Bey, Rosset's successor in Dar-F6r, whence he had 
just been recalled, and Zughenetti, who had accompanied Gessi 
to the l:ahr el-Ghazal, but had returned before the outbreak of 

Marquet still held his ground at the head of the commercial 
community, and the Catholic Mission had undergone several 
changes, fresh arrivals from Europe taking the place of others 
who had proved unsuitable for the work. 

For the period of my stay in Khartum I engaged a servant 
and a female cook, the latter afterwards accompanying the 
expedition to Negro land. Ernest Marno's official report on his 


tedious operations undertaken to clear the main stream had 
already induced me to alter my plans, and take the first 
opportunity of proceeding to the station of Meshra er-Req on 
the Bahr el-Ghazal. Meantime Gordon had arrived in Cairo 
from Massawa, and the report now came in that he would not 
return to Khartum, where he was to be succeeded as Governor- 
General by Rauf Pasha. 



News also came from Gessi by the land route, via Shekka, 
that Richard Buchta had returned to the Bahr el-Ghazal from his 
expedition to the south, and that the missionaries. Dr. Felkin 
and Wilson, had also reached the same district from Uganda. 
The two missionaries had continued their journey by Shekka to 
Khartum, while Buchta intended to leave for the north by the 
next steamer from Meshra er-Req. 


The Russo-Greek New Year's Day had now arrived, and I 
resolved to keep Sylvester-eve by inviting my friends to a feast, 
at which a great surprise was in store for them. The place was 
gaih' decorated with a Russian flag and many-coloured Chinese 
lanterns suspended round the walls. But the reader will perhaps 
smile to hear that the real surprise which I had prepared for my 
guests consisted in potatoes served up in three different ways. 
With the view of introducing the cultivation of this tuber into 
the Negro lands, I had brought a basketful all the way from 
Europe. But some now began to sprout, and after such a lapse 
of time had become useless for my purpose ; so rather than lose 
them altogether I hit upon the idea of treating my friends to a 
dainty fare, such as had never be- 
fore been seen in Sudan. First 
came a smoking dish of mealies 
c3oked in their "jackets" ; then 
some sliced "roasters" with "anise 
seed and cumin," winding up 
with a potato salad, prepared 
by myself, with a dash of sardine 
sauce and some mixed pickles 
" chopped fine." 

Giegler Pasha, to whom I was 
indebted for much assistance in 
promoting my plans, was the only 
member of the European society 
at that time settled in Khartum that I was destined again to 
see alive. The very next year Dr. Zerbuchen fell a victim to 
the treacherous climate ; Marquet died later in Cairo ; Consul 
Hansal and most of the rest perished during the horrors 
attendant on the revolt of the Mahdi. 

On January i8th we were surprised by the arrival of the 
IsniaJlia from the Bahr el-Ghazal, bringing good tidings of 
Gessi Pasha and Emin Bey. But what pleased me most was 
the announcement that within a fortnight the steamer would 
leave again for the same region. Now all was bustle and 
activity in preparation for the expedition. For several days 

horse's ornamental collar 
from dar-for. 



a carpenter had been at work in the veranda, putting together 
boxes of suitable size for the transport by carriers in Negro land- 
I had already procured in Berlin a number of long boxes adapted 
for conveyance by camels, and several of these had now to be 
broken up into two or three of smaller size for carriage by porters. 
The deal boards required for such purposes are dear in Khartum, 
having to be imported from Europe ; ordinary lengths prepared 
for the trade cost three Egyptian thalers apiece, so that on the 
former occasion the boxes needed for my collections had formed 
a serious item in my expenditure. 


These boxes and all other packages were numbered according 
to their size in white, blue, red or yellow figures, to make them 
more " legible " for my Negro servants. On some I even drew 
in distinct colours such devices as a snake, or some other animal 
or human form, which impressed themselves more vividly on the 
native mind than figures or ciphers, of which they had no clear 

During my previous journeys I had ample opportunity of 



noticing the numerous defects in the various types of boxes — 
iron, tin, or wooden — which were used by Gordon, Gessi, Lucas, 
Sir Samuel Baker, and other African travellers. In preparing 
my general outfit on this second occasion in Berlin, I accordingly 
took a new departure, introducing stout basket-work, such as is 
already common enough in Europe, covering it with the strongest 
canvas, well oiled a grayish colour, and adding movable tin 
linings. Such trunks I found most serviceable, light, yet durable, 
and in every way far preferable to the metal boxes, which, if of 
iron are too heavy, if of tin too fragile and apt to bulge and 

Travellers should provide themselves with trunks of various 
sizes and capacity, as the different objects themselves vary 
greatly in weight. For a certain number of these boxes I had 
myself adopted a definite system of packing in Berlin. The 
more indispensable articles were divided into ten equal parts, 
and stowed away in as many separate loads, so that each such 
load was made up of exactly the same quantity of the several 
articles. In other words, each box contained, for instance, an 
equal proportion of pens and stationery, of the more necessary 
medicines and supplies, such as compressed soups, tea, tobacco, 
body linen, timepieces, revolver with its ammunition, and so on. 
The advantage of this plan was obvious, for in my circular 
expeditions it enabled me to leave the great bulk of the baggage 
at head-quarters, and in case of fire or other accidents, though 
some packages might be destroyed, the risk of losing all the 
more urgently needed articles was reduced to a minimum. On 
such excursions I alwa}'s took several boxes, each packed with 
these miscellaneous contents, so that if only one escaped 
destruction in a possible disaster, I should still possess at least 
a proportionate supply of indispensables. 

My experiences were of course mainly confined to the regions 
north of the Equator, where the conditions are in many respects 
totally different from those prevailing in South Equatorial 
Africa. In the remote provinces of Egyptian Sudan, contact 
with civilization was not effected gradually, or through the 
medium of legitimate trade ; but lawless and plundering traders 


from the contiguous Arab districts rapidly overran the Upper 
Nile regions, where they developed a system of compulsory 
labour, regardless of the advantages to be derived from better 
regulated commercial relations. Even the Egyptian adminis- 
tration itself, which from the first was tainted by the evils of 
the previous state of things, had lacked the strength and vigour 
required to eradicate long-standing abuses and introduce salutary 
reforms in the Negro lands. 

These deplorable relations in the provinces about to be ex- 
plored by me were doubtless in a pecuniary sense advantageous, 
relieving me from the heavy tribute exacted by independent 
chiefs, as well as from the regular pay and support of the 
carriers, as these were for the most part supplied by the 
authorities for a few marches, and were then replaced by others. 
Nor did I require, like travellers starting for the interior from 
Zanzibar, to encumber myself with bales of cloth, glass beads, 
copper or brass wire, needed for the regular barter trade, or for 
paying hired carriers. These marketable wares I was enabled 
to replace by articles suitable for presents, or in payment of 
occasional services required on my own account from the 

It may here be remarked that owing to the general scarcity 
of manufactured wares, articles of this sort had an exceptional 
value in the Equatorial Provinces, where trade in the ordinary 
sense had as yet merely got beyond the rudimentary state. 
When mention is made of goods imported from Khartum to 
Lado or the Bahr el-Ghazal region, by this expression is to be 
understood the retail business carried on with the permission 
of the Government by private dealers occasionally visiting the 
country, and supplying the personal wants of the local Arab and 
Nubian officials ; or else the goods forwarded by the adminis- 
tration in Khartum for the requirements of the functionaries 
and troops stationed in those remote provinces. Of all such 
imports, probably less than ten per cent, in beads, cloth, and 
copper went to the native chiefs in payment of the ivory supplied 
by them. 

Thus regular trade and barter remained for the most part 


confined to the inhabitants of the Government stations. Else- 
where the Negro populations continued during my residence in 
the country to be enslaved and oppressed by statutory labour 
and other exactions to meet the requirements of the public 
service. Commodities are never imported from Khartum in 
sufficient quantities to develop a normal traffic with the natives, 
and thus the best intentions of Emin Bey and others were 
entire!}' defeated. All the more was this the case that none of 
the Egyptian officials had any interest in welcoming innovations, 
by which they foresaw that their own selfish dealings would be 
interfered with. 

Owing to these relations, the traveller in the Equatorial 
Provinces required a far smaller quantity of such wares as cloth, 
beads, and copper, all of which could be procured in Khartum. 
I was thus enabled to provide myself with considerable supplies 
of articles which, although not absolutely necessary, had never 
yet been introduced into North Central Africa, and which, how- 
ever trifling in themselves, were calculated to give the natives 
quite a different idea of our European industrial arts. I also 
hoped that the Negro, who in many respects remains a child to 
the end of his days, would be amused by the sight of such 
curious novelties, and thus brought more readily to co-operate 
in the furtherance of my plans. With few exceptions, none but 
the cheapest and worst European wares are prepared for the 
African markets. Such, for instance, are the amazingly cheap 
razors, knives and scissors, but of such vile quality that they are 
far excelled by the native cutlery, and a false impression is thus 
produced of the European industries. Consequently, besides 
the necessary and useful, I also took care to be provided with 
other articles of better workmanship, which might serve both 
as presents for the local Arab officials and as a means of 
entertaining and instructing the natives. 

Thus from Berlin I bought, besides my personal outfit, a far 
greater quantity of white and blue enamelled kitchen ware, plates 
and dishes, than was required for my own personal use, rifles of 
several different patterns, and a whole magazine of miscellaneous 
items, from needles and thread to smoothingr irons and mincing 


machines. Amongst them were dried fruits, jams, tea, a large 
supply of seeds from Erfurt, cutlery, looking-glasses, hunting- 
knives, bronze chains, retailed by the yard and afterwards found 
to be in great demand, as were also the numerous tin whistles, 
pipes, Jew's-harps, accordions, and other musical instruments, 
including a large full-toned barrel-organ, added in Cairo. There 
was also an extensive assortment of amusing or instructive toys> 
animals, ships, houses, soldiers, a railway train, pictorial illustra- 
tions of the whole animal kingdom in clear, bright colours. 


crackers, in which were cun- 
ningly concealed whole cos- 
tumes, or else frightful masks 
of human or animal heads in 

diversely-tinted tissue-paper. Then came scientific instruments 
from London ; camp-beds, hammocks, a huge umbrella, a camp 
table, and two chairs put together in pieces, from Paris. 

My " stock-in-trade " was completed in Cairo and Khartum 
by the addition of oil and vinegar in flasks, powder and shot, 
saddlery, chemicals, salt, sugar, rice, macaroni, soap, candles, 
a large supply of ship-biscuits, tubs, kettles, washing-gear, 
cotton goods, and many other things, by which my ivipedinieiita 
at last assumed formidable proportions. Hence, I already began 


to be anxious about the question of carriage, all the more that 
the difficult}- would probably be increased by the war with 
Soliman Bey, which had only just been concluded. 

Towards the end of January everything had been packxd, 
and two da}-s before the departure of the hviallia I sent on 
board about one hundred and thirty separate packages, all with 
few exceptions arranged to suit the requirements of transport 
b}' carriers in the Negro lands. A social gathering at Consul 
Hansal's was followed by a final reunion of my Khartum friends 
at my house the evening before we parted, in most cases for 
ever. None of us could at that time have foreseen the terrible 
calamities which were pending, and in which nearly all were 
overwhelmed. While a merciful Providence protected and 
guided me through countless perils back to my home, most of 
the others were swiftly overtaken by a premature death, leaving 
nothing to me but the memor\' of the pleasant da}'s passed in 
their society. 

THE Isinailia. 



On Board the Ismailia — Bohndorffs Career — High Water on the White Nile — 
Shifting Scenery — Mosquitoes and Rats— Stay in Fashoda — The Steamers 
Biirdehn and Ernest Manio — A Steppe Fire — A Grass-barrier — Farewell to 
Marno — We enter the Bahr el-Ghazal — Dreary Wastes in the Nuer Territory — 
Countless Grass - barriers — Parra africana — Papyrus — In Collision with a 
Crocodile — Turtles versus Rats — Ambatch Forest — A Colony of Darters — The 
Bahr el-Arab— Mouth of the Jur — Flooded Savannahs — Arrival at Meshra er- 
Req — Cartographic Survey of the River — Gessi's Disastrous Journey down the 
Nile — Origin of the Grass -barriers — Arrival of Gessi Pasha — The Carrier Question 

ON January 31st I sent on board all the remaining things, 
together with the three mounts and additional fodder 
for the asses. On this occasion the Ismailia was accompanied 
by the Einbdba, another Nile steamer, Avith several boats in tow, 


which were intended to bring" back to Khartum a considerable 
quantit)' of ivory, besides a number of Nubians and rascally 
Arabs, wlio had been ordered by Gessi Pasha to clear out of the 
Bahr el-Ghazal district. 

During my previous excursions on the Nile I had acquired 
some experience of the Ismallia, where the only available space 
for stowing our effects was the deck of the stern, with the 
arrangements shown on the accompanying plan. Besides the 
cabin, two side-berths, and a table, there was a saloon also with 
a long table and couches, affording sleeping room for four 
persons. Rut most of the space was so encumbered with 
Government supplies destined for Fashoda, that we were obliged 
to cram nearly all our things into the cabin, leaving scarcely 
any room for stretching our legs till a clearance was made at 
Fashoda. A great part of the steamer was also occupied by an 
upper deck, which was protected by an awning from the glare 
of the sun. 

Warned by my experience during the previous expedition, I 
had taken care to hire no Arab servants in Khartum, and besides 
Farag 'Allah I was accompanied to the Upper Nile regions only 
by a negress, my cook Saida. I hoped to find in the country 
itself young natives suitable for my purpose, who could soon 
be trained to perform their simple duties. Our trip was much 
delayed by the time consumed at the various stations in taking 
in fuel for the Isniallia and the other craft following slowly 
behind. Such occasions were utilized for short hunting expe- 
ditions along the wooded banks of the river, or with fishing with 
rod or net. Thus were captured many specimens for my 
collection, besides guinea-fowl to keep the pot boiling. 

The monotony of the journey was also somewhat relieved by 
conversation with Bohndorff, in whose account of his past career 
I naturally felt some interest. Born in 1849, at Plau in 
Mecklenburg, he had started in life as a goldsmith's apprentice, 
but soon took to wandering, passing from Hamburg through 
Cologne to Switzerland, and thence to Savoy. Here he was 
arrested during the Franco-German War as a " Prussian spy," 
and escorted in chains to the Italian frontier, and soon after 


obtained emplo}^ment in Genoa. But, yielding to his roving 
propensities, he now found his way to Tunis and Egypt. In 
Cairo he again worked some time at his trade, and in 1874 
entered Gordon's service, accompanying him to Gondokoro as 
a kind of steward or store-keeper. 

At the end of 1875, as I was about to start on my first 
expedition to Sudan, Bohndorff offered to join me ; but I was 
at that time obhged to dispense with his services, having already 
engaged Kopp as collector and dresser. Nevertheless, soon 
after my departure from Egypt, the restless adventurer set out — 
in May 1876 — ^on his own account, proceeding from Cairo through 
Dongola straight for Dar-F6r, and so on to the western parts 
of the Niam-Niam territory. Here he reached his westernmost 
point in the Nsakkara district, west of the Shinko river, at a 
temporary station founded by Rabeh, one of Ziber's captains, 
who figured somewhat prominently in the revolt of Soliman. 
In consequence of this revolt Bohndorff had to return, but was 
plundered on the way, and barely escaped with his life to Shekka, 
where Gordon happened to be staying at the time. With 
his assistance Bohndorff made his way back to Cairo shortly 
before my arrival in 1879, when, as already stated, he entered 
my service. 

It may here be mentioned, to complete the history of his 
venturesome career, that owing to constant illness requiring 
his return to Europe, I sent him back from the Niam-Niam 
country at his own request in October 1882. But owing to the 
revolt of the Dinkas in the Bahr el-Ghazal province, by which 
the route to Meshra er-Req was blocked, Bohndorff was unable 
to leave the Negro lands before December 1S83. 

After a short stay in Europe, he took service under the Congo 
State, and was for some time engaged as superintendent at the 
station of Manyanga. When the Austrian Expedition of 1885, 
under Dr. O. Lenz and Dr. O. Baumann, was preparing to 
reach Emin Pasha's province from the Congo, Bohndorff 
received permission to accompany it. Thus it happened that 
he found himself at Quillimane on the south-east coast in 18S7, 
after crossing the Continent with Dr. Lenz. Finding it impossible 


to settle down in Europe, Bohndorff was back in Egypt in the 
autumn of the same year, and has since found active employ- 
ment in the service of the German East African Company, under 
the Imperial Commissioner, Major Wissmann. His surveys in 
the Niam-Niam domain and the Bahr el-Ghazal province w^ere 
published by Dr. B. Hassenstein in Pctcriiianii's Mittcilungcn 
for 1885. 

Owing to frequent interruptions w^e were ten days making the 
trip from Khartum to Fashoda, which place we reached on 
February 9th. Compared with previous years, this section of 
the Nile presented in many respects a somewhat novel aspect. 


The river was still considerably swollen, so that its banks at 
Kaka, which formerly stood high above the surface, were still 
under water. This was due to the exceptional height of the 
White Nile during the present year. 

Other striking changes were also noticed. The masses of 
grass vegetation drifting down stream warned us of the presence 
of these obstacles on the upper reaches, where the stagnating 
waters in tracts exposed to the inundations promote a fresh 
growth of floating masses, while other parts, naturally or 
artificially detached, drift far to the north on the swollen 
current of the Nile. Thus, a few days south of Khartum, wc 



met large grassy islands, some, so to say, moored to the banks, 
others borne along by the stream. In this way the papyrus 
could now be seen floating away with other vegetable refuse far 
from its southern home. 

South of Kaka began the plague of the large gadflies, whose 
sting is extremely painful. They obliged me during the day 

to work under my mosquito-net, and I had even to protect my 
riding animals both from these pests and from the swarms of 
midges who took their place at sunset. 

But a worse plague, on board the Ismallia, were the rats, 
against whom everything had to be carefully secured during the 
night. Towards evening they generally began to run riot among 
the boxes piled up in the cabin, clambered up the ropes to reach 
objects suspended from the roof, and even went impudently 
scampering up and down the couches, and on the very table as I 
sat reading. However, I was occasionally able to restore a little 
order by a successful discharge of shot from my pocket-pistol. 

The non-arrival of the Embdba, with its string of barges, 
detained us some time at Fashoda, during which I gave my 


saddle-asses a little exercise every day ashore. We frequently 
landed, though there were but few attractions in a place which 
seemed suited for nothing but a penal settlement, for which 
purpose it was in fact maintained by the Administration. During 
the rainy season it is little better than a dismal swamp ; but 
just now we could at least get about without sinking ankle-deep 
in the mud. 

Here also a pleasant surprise awaited me. The steamer 
Burdehn, so named from a place in Upper Egypt, where the 
former Prime Minister, Sherif Pasha, had a large estate, had 
arrived unexpectedly from the south with Ernest Marno on 
board. He had come for more ropes and fresh supplies of all 
sorts for the men employed higher up in clearing away the 
grass-barriers. Although Marno had repeatedly visited Egyptian 
Sudan, and had even been my precursor in Makaraka Land, I 
now for the first time made his personal acquaintance. He gave 
me much accurate information on the present state of affairs in 
the Upper Nile regions, and I was especially indebted to him 
for useful sketches of several river valleys. Since my last visit 
the territory of the Shilluks had been made almost entirely 
tributary to the Egyptian Government, and it was stated that 
with an escort of a few soldiers a traveller might now reach a 
part of that domain called Tungu in a three days' march in a 
south-westerly direction from Fashoda. 

In Fashoda, almost on the verge of civilization, I made a few 
final purchases, such as coffee, sugar, salt, butter, soap, dates, 
and the like, which I was glad to procure from the Greek trader, 
Jussuf, settled in that place. To my stores were also added 
some fresh vegetables, a sheep, and twelve chickens, these last 
costing only one thaler. 

At last, on February 15th, the long-expected flotilla arrived 
with a full supply of fuel, and next day all the steamers started 
southwards, passing the mouth of the Sobat on the 17th. A few 
hours later we reached a new station, where some soldiers were 
at work stacking fuel for the boats engaged in getting rid of the 
sudd, or grass-barriers, farther south. The men had built them- 
selves some huts, and thus had sprung up a regular settlement. 


where the steamer Manssnm lay at anchor. Thus as many as 
four steamers, with a large number of smaller craft, were now 
assembled in this inhospitable district. 

At this season of the year the exciting spectacle of a steppe 
fire may here be witnessed almost every evening. One night 
one of these conflagrations, away to the north of Fashoda, 
assumed an aspect of terrific grandeur. Between us and the 
raging sea of flames stood the Jebel Akhmet Agha, its massive 
slopes partly concealing the all-devouring element. But as the 
night advanced the dark mountain mass stood out sharply 
against the horizon, its outlines vividly traced in gold, while 
the blazing fire flared up, and was reflected almost to the zenith 
on the overhanging blue sky. We stood spell-bound at the 
overwhelming spectacle. 

After taking in a fresh supply of fuel, we found to our amaze- 
ment that the whole breadth of the White Nile at the so-called 
Maiyeh bita Signora i was obstructed by a grass-barrier over three 
hundred yards wide. This fresh formation had accumulated 
during the last few days, for the vessels which had recently 
descended from the Bahr el-Jebel had found the river at this 
point quite free from obstruction. A few hours, however, 
sufficed to force our way through the S7cdd, which had not yet 
had time to form a dense mass, but still floated somewhat 
loosely about. 

In the evening we cast anchor in the lake-like basin of the 
united Bahr el-Jebel and Bahr el-Ghazal, the lake No of the 
older maps, now known as the Maqren el-Bahur, or " Meeting 
of the Waters." - The Mmissiira had already left us to resume 
operations at the great obstruction on the Bahr el-Jebel. She 
was soon followed by the Burdehn, with Ernest Marno on board. 
To him I wished all success in his arduous undertaking, and bid 
him a farewell, which proved to be final. A few years later 

1 A backwater so named from the intrepid traveller, Miss Alexine Tinne, who was 
tlie first to explore it. 
- From ", to join or unite, and ^,^„ sea, river, water. 


(August 31st, 18S3), he also fell a victim to the Sudanese climate, 
which he had so long resisted. 

With our entrance into the Bahr el-Ghazal began the serious 
work of the expedition. The Bahr el-Jcbel I had already 
ascended as far as Lado ; now I was to visit the second great 
head-stream whose junction with the other forms the White 
Nile. It was my intention to make a careful survey of the 
Bahr el-Ghazal, which had hitherto been neglected, whereas the 
course of the Bahr el-Jebel had been accurately traced by 
Chippendall and Watson in 1874, and again recently by Marno 
while engaged in removing the grass-barrier. For this purpose 
I had already several times taken the log of our steamer ; but 
this did not help me much, owing to the tremendously difficult 
conditions of the navigation in the Bahr el-Ghazal. Hence I 
was at last obliged to depend upon averages based on rough 

We started on February 21st, and I began at once to record 
the angle measurements of the fluvial channel, and to sketch 
any salient features in the course of the river and its immediate 
vicinity. During the rainy season the whole region of the 
Moqren el-Bahur forms an extensive lake, whereas at low water 
it is divided into two sections, which communicate through a 
channel a little over half a-mile long. Even after entering the 
river, properly so called, the observer seeks in vain for any 
conspicuous object, or even a mere bush from which to take his 
bearings. On both sides extensive tracts are permanently 
flooded ; but the river gradually narrows apparently to half or 
even a third of the lacustrine depression ; nevertheless it still 
for some hours of steam navigation maintains a clear waterway 
at least fifty yards wide. Throughout this stretch nothing was 
visible except a dry patch on the right side occupied by a 
wretched fishing hamlet, whose Nuer inhabitants led a sort of 
amphibious existence. 

A little higher up there came into view, also on the right side, 
the Maiyeh bita Komundari (the Keilak of the older maps), 
branching off like a river far into the interior. A second back- 
water followed still on the right side, and soon after the Maiyeh 



bita er-Req on the left. Smaller channels of like formation, and 
communicating with the main stream, also occur for a long way 
on both banks ; but they are so little conspicuous that it is often 
difficult to say whether they are the mouths of tributaries or 
merely backwaters. 


An apparently endless uniformity is the prevailing feature of 
the landscape, the low grassy mere scarcely broken by a few 
tall papyrus stalks. Amid the water-lilies {^Nymphcca lotus) 
and other characteristic growths of those swampy regions, the 
graceful little Parra africana may be seen daintily tripping 


about on the broad foliage of the floating plants. An open 
expanse which I noticed penetrating far into the grassy steppe, 
our re'is (pilot) told me was the Khor Dcleb. Half an hour 
be}-ond it we sighted another wretched Nuer fishing village. 
With the field-glass I could descry some ten huts, on which 
about thirty of the natives had swarmed the better to observe 
our steamer. In the immediate vicinity the main stream is 
joined by an important affluent, which would appear to be a 
northern branch of the Khor el-Arab. 

Shortly before noon we passed two Deleb palms (Borassi/s 
flabelliforniis), forming on the left side a distinct landmark near 
the mouth of the already mentioned Khor Deleb. Some scrub 
and a few old termite hills, rising above the grass on the distant 
horizon, indicate the locality where this dreary watery region 
begins to merge in more solid higher ground. The termites' 
nests are often built against such scrub ; wdien they stand 
isolated near the water they frequently look as if whitewashed 
by the droppings of the birds. Now and then a darter {Plains 
melaiiogaster) may be seen perched on one of them, preening 
itself in the sun. 

In the course of an hour we passed the third Nuer hamlet 
in this region — a group of some twenty mud- huts with straw 
roofs peeping up above the grass. The stream, which had 
hitherto presented a free surface at least fifty yards wide, now 
assumed a sudden and surprising change. The navigable open 
track seemed to trend sharply round to the right ; hence my 
astonishment when we made straight for a narrow opening in 
the grass, which would have escaped any but a sharp eye 
familiar with the locality. We thus suddenly passed from a 
broad waterway to a narrow channel, where the steamer's 
paddle-boxes grazed the herbage on both banks. This w^as the 
continuation of the Bahr el-Ghazal, whereas the apparent main 
stream turned out to be only the Bahr bita el-Arab branch. 

The open current was only fifteen, or in the broadest places 
at most fifty yards wide, and pond-like expanses were but rarely 
met. Nor was it often possible to detect the true river-banks, 
or distinguish the parting-line between land and water. The 


higher grounds, rising like islands above the grassy plains, were 
indicated more by their scanty brushwood and ant-hills than 
by their actual elevation ; while the region exposed to inundation 
stretched in many places far into the dreary waste. 

In the midst of this oppressive monotony it was a relief for 
the eye to rest on a few clumps of trees away to the south-west. 
The trip itself had hitherto been made, if slowly, at all events 
without any interruption. Now, however, began our troubles, 
floating grass getting entangled between the paddles, which had 
every now and then to be cleared, or else the whole waterway 
becoming obstructed by floating masses which required more 
or less effort either to break through or remove. Hence the 
rate of progress varied greatly, thus considerably increasing the 
difficulties of my survey. 

About three o'clock we met the first real grass-barrier, which, 
however, was surmounted in the course of twenty minutes, during 
which the ropes of the boats in tow snapped several times. 
Later followed other loose accumulations, which, though easily 
removed, still caused much delay ; one more compact mass 
especially took fully an hour to be mastered. At sunset we 
cast anchor, to give the Euibdba time to overhaul us. 

Early next day, February 22nd, I resumed my observations, 
while the puffing and snorting engine continued its struggles 
with the grassy obstructions. Now for the first time we noticed 
a stretch of woodlands near the left bank, followed later by 
another on the same side, while on the opposite bank two 
solitary trees served as clear landmarks for my calculations. 
Beyond the Ghaba Jer Dekka, a little grove close to the river, 
the stream meanders incessantly through the monotonous plains, 
nowhere relieved by a single conspicuous object. Here the 
floating obstructions thickened ; but towards noon we un- 
expectedly reached a good broad waterway, and after another 
sharp bend a large Maiych (backwater) was passed on the right, 
soon followed on the left by a large tree, grouped round which 
were a few Negro huts. 

Our experienced pilot now drew m}' attention to the new 
barriers, which had been formed since his last trip, and which 


i-cquircd considerable efforts to set aside. Those on the other 
hand which have once been pierced are ahvays more easily 
overcome, though they may have partly closed up again. But 
although the way was thus to some extent cleared by our vessel, 
the hmallia, the Embdba, with the boats in tow, found great 
difficulty in getting through the sedgy masses in our wake. 

Towards sunset I noticed in the distance one of those curious 
long-legged and " whale-headed " waders {Bal(2niccps Rex), whose 
range seems confined to these swampy regions of the Bahr el- 
Jebel and Bahr el-Ghazal. I was very anxious to secure this 
specimen, and the captain, yielding to my wish, cast anchor for 
the night. Unfortunately the helmsman, Ibrahim, who went in 
pursuit, lost his way in the swamp and tall grass, and had to 
return at dark empty-handed. 

Next day, after getting through some smaller masses, we were 
arrested for several hours by a huge barrier of a felt-like con- 
sistency, and nearly the third of a mile in extent. In the course 
of another hour's steaming through open water, we reached the 
confluence of the Maiyeh bita el-Deleb, as I was assured by the 
pilot ; he also informed me that this watercourse is joined by a 
stream from the south, presumably the Jau, which rises far to the 
south in Abakaland. 

The Maiyeh is fringed by strips of woodland, and the prospect is 
also relieved by euphorbias, which occur here somewhat frequently. 
The papyrus also grew more profusely, and in the shallower 
parts of the stream along the river-banks this reed was associated 
with a young growth of ambatch {Herminiera elaphroxylon). 
The wooded banks of the Maiyeh are occupied by the Nuers, 
whose huts were visible from the steamer. Here we had a long 
wait for the Evibdba, whose white funnel at last came within the 
focus of my field-glass. But a flag of distress was also flying 
half-mast high, and it presently appeared that the Embdba, with 
all the boats in tow, had stopped short at the last great barrier. 
They remained in this position all night, but next day all were 
got through with our united efforts. 

After forcing another extensive mass, we all ran an imminent 
risk of destruction through the heedlessness of one of our men, 


who, in spite of my warnings, had rashly set fire to some of the 
grass, which at this season of the year is quite dry on the 
surface. In a moment we were encircled by a sea of flames, 
which had to be extinguished by letting the water play freely on 
the floating vegetation lying nearest to our steamer. But this 
did not afford much help to the boats we had in tow, and even 
less to the Evibdba and its barges, which were still some distance 
behind. The fire had now reached the withered herbage on the 
left bank, and the flames, fanned by the breeze, were already 
licking the sides of the boats. Fortunately, however, the danger 
disappeared as quickly as it had sprung up, and in a few minutes 
the conflagration had burnt itself out. 

The last great barrier, some 2000 yards long, was soon followed 
by another fully as large. We anchored before it for the night, 
and here we noticed a crocodile floundering about near the 
surface, apparently injured by collision with the steamer. But 
though the men gave chase in a boat, it managed to get clean 
off, and soon disappeared in the grass. 

The sudd at which we were now arrested was of a peculiarly 
tough consistency, and being about a mile and a quarter long, it 
took nearly a whole day of combined efforts to force it. The 
barrier occupied a bend in the river, leaving only a narrow 
channel in the centre free of herbage. Some distance off stood 
a s\.dXe\y BalcEuiccps Rex, apparently sunk in deep contemplation, 
but doubtless on the watch for any passing prey. Having lately 
engaged the services of a large tortoise, I felt so relieved from 
the plague of rats that I was now able to continue my work 
till midnight. As soon as dark set in the tortoise would begin 
to potter about in the cabin, and this seemed to have the effect 
of restoring order amongst the unruly rodents ; at least I was 
henceforth far less disturbed by their boisterous riotings. 

On February 26th, after passing another sudd x\&-A.x\y 500 yards 
long, I took soundings, and found the Bahr el-Ghazal at this 
point ranging in depth from twenty to thirty feet. A little 
higher up the fluvial scenery assumed a different aspect. The 
river gradually grew wider, while the banks stood out more 
distinctly, being both higher and better wooded than lower down. 


Some native dwellings also came into view, and at one point the 
north side was fringed with a regular forest of ambatch, a plant 
which had already been passed some days previously. Here for 
the first time the observer is able to form some idea of the 
actual size and volume of the river, which in some places was 
nearly 350 yards wide be- 
tween its wooded banks. 

An interesting spectacle 
was here presented by a large 
colony of darters all living 
peacefully together. Hun- 
dreds and hundreds of the 
black, snake-headed birds, 
disturbed at the approach 
of the flotilla, suddenly rose 
on the wing and kept whirling 
in dense clouds round about 
a cluster of high, leafless 
trees ; the unfledged broods 
peeped eagerly from count- 
less nests, while the fledge- 
lings in a first attempt at 
flight came flopping down 
on the banks of the river or 
in the water. But for our 
hungry crews they proved a 
"windfall," in the strictest 
sense of the word ; many 
dozens, at all stages of de- 
\elopment, Avere knocked on 
the head and brought on 
board, some of w^hich found their way into my stock-pot, while 
others went to increasing my collections. The flesh had a 
smack of train-oil. 

At the Ghaba bita '1 Arab, on the north side, the main stream 
is joined b)- the Bahr el-Arab ; owing to the slight incline the 
confluent waters here expand into a spacious basin, which 



appears, from a communication made to me by Schweinfurth, 
to have had no existence at the time of his explorations 
(1869-71). Farther on follows another expanse of stagnant 
waters, beyond which the open channel contracts at first to fifty 
or sixty and then to a little over twenty yards. Here also the 
woods become thinner, and at last again give place to bound- 
less flooded grassy plains with patches here and there of tall 

In the narrow channel we were again delayed two hours by a 
mass of sudd about 160 yards deep, above which the stream 
broadens to fifty-five yards ; but nothing is visible except an 
endless expanse of grass and ambatch. At this season the 
stouter ambatch stalks grow to the thickness of an arm, or even 
a leg, and rise from twelve to eighteen inches above the water. 
From the top sprouts the tufty foliage, the stem proper, from 
ten to fifteen feet long, lying below the surface. 

In the vicinity of the arboreal vegetation shallow water may 
generally be expected, whereas the ambatch reed often shoots 
up from considerable depths. Just now it was beginning to 
blossom, and the tufts were already in many places covered 
with a pretty yellow flower. With the extremely light stalks 
the Shilluk negroes make their primitive river craft. The plant 
is not an annual, but lasts several years, and when full grown 
attains a height of sixteen feet. In its lower part the stem 
bulges out to a thickness of ten or twelve inches ; it greatly 
resembles the Indian Aeschynomene, which is used for making 
summer head-gear, dainty toys, house-models, and the like. 
Hence ambatch is certainly one of the future resources of 
Africa, as a material that may come into use for technical 
purposes. The tangle of felt-like root fibre growing about the 
foot of the stem is built of little bulbs or tubers, whose purpose is 
not quite evident, as they neither produce sprouts nor appear to 
increase the buoyancy of the fibrous radicles. 

Towards sunset of February 27th, we passed the confluence 
of the river Jur coming from the south-west, and next day 
brought us to the end of our journey. During the last few 
hours the Bahr el-Ghazal had in many respects again assumed 


a different aspect. Beyond the mouth of the Jur there was 
Httle to suggest a river in the ordinary sense of the term. 
The "Kit," as this section is called, presents the appearance 
of a boundless sea of grass and sedge with an open expanse 
winding away to the head of the steam navigation at Meshra 
er-Req. The real navigable channel can be detected only by 
those familiar with the locality, so sluggish is the current, though 
the Kit is joined farther south by the Molmul. This re-latively 
flat expanse, spreading out like an inland sea, is to be regarded 
as a result of the pent-up waters of the Jur, increased by the 

"rasJhseZnT .^^ 



contributions of the Molmul also from the south-west, and 
probably by a branch of the Torij, which permanently flows to 
the south-eastern part of this labyrinth of water, grass, and 

Early on the 28th I was shown the spot, indicated by no 
particular landmark, to which, and even beyond which, the 
waters had retired after the heavy rainfall of 1878. The steamer 
from Khartum had on that occasion to cast anchor at this place, 
where, the water still continuing to subside, it was soon left high 
and dry above the stream. At that time people could go all 


the way by land to Meshra from this station, which stands 
at the head of the low water navigation, and which has received 
the name of Matrak el-Vapor, or " Place of the Steamer." 

The almost stagnant expanse of the Kit is in many places 
carpeted with the superb lotus, nymphaea, and other aquatic 
plants. Of an evening the peculiar crackling sound is frequently 
heard, with which the magnificent milk-white calyx of these 
huge water-lilies bursts into bloom. Here and there the surface 
is broken by dry spots, which are partly nothing more than 
flooded termites' nests, a proof that in previous years the Kit 
had long remained free from the inundations. But some of 
these dry places are also real islands, on which the tall 
Balceniceps Rex may occasionally be seen mounting guard in 
his peculiarly motionless attitude. 

At some distance from the left bank I noticed a Negro 
village, beyond whose conic mud-huts the southern horizon was 
bounded by a semi-circular fringe of woodlands, a sure indication 
that we were at last approaching more elevated dry land. 
Presently our weary eyes were gladdened by the sight of the 
straw-thatched huts and the masts of some Nile boats grouped 
about the landing-stage. Before reaching the goal our attention 
was attracted to the right side by a herd of ten or twelve 
elephants on a scrubby island, which seemed to be connected 
by a stretch of shallow water with the mainland. On coming 
within half a mile of the spot I sent several bullets amongst the 
huge pachyderms, one of which seemed to be hit ; but pursuit 
was rendered impossible by the swampy character of the flooded 

Four hours after leaving our last anchorage below the Kit, 
we reached the new station of Meshra er-Req, a little to the 
south-east of the now-abandoned Meshra el-Tujar (" Landing- 
place of the Traders"), which was formerly the starting-point 
for all expeditions to the interior. The Ismailia cast anchor 
for the last time off a little island, on which nothing was to be 
seen except a few Government huts. Beyond it the flooded 
land still stretched away southwards to the already-mentioned 
amphitheatre of low-wooded rising-grounds. 


We had entered the Bahr el-Ghazal on February 21st, con- 
sequently we had taken nearly eight days to ascend the river, 
owing to delays caused by the numerous floating obstructions. 
In order to render possible the cartographic survey of the river, 
I estimated for the Isinailia six different rates of speed, and in 
my calculations applied this scheme according to the nature 
of the obstacles. The course of the stream, as determined by 
1 78 1 angular measurements, I found to be 214 kilometres, or 
say, 130 miles long. It maybe incidentally remarked that these 
results were found to agree in a surprising manner with a chart 
afterwards prepared by Marno, as well as with the section 
surveyed by Lupton Bey. 

Before leaving this watery domain, a {q.\n words may be 
acceptable regarding the formation of the sudd in the Upper 
Nile regions. How disastrous such obstructions may at times 
prove, was shown by the fatal issue of the voyage undertaken 
the same year by Gessi Pasha from Meshra er-Req to Khartum. 
The steamer Sasia had left Meshra on September 25th, 1880, 
taking in tow some boats with over four hundred Arabs and 
officials, leaving the Bahr el-Ghazal province after the war with 
Soliman, and the whole flotilla got completely hemmed in b}" a 
grass-barrier near the Ghaba Jer Dekka, some distance below 
the Bahr el-Arab confluence. All efforts to get disentangled 
were in vain ; provisions soon fell short ; famine and typhus 
combined swept away over half of the men ; the others lived on 
the flesh of the dead, and not one of them would have ever seen 
Khartum again, had not Marno appeared with the steamer 
BiirdcJui as an angel of deliverance on January 4th, 1881, 
bringing succour to the survivors after months of unspeakable 
horrors and misery. 

As regards the firmness of their texture, the grass-barriers 
show considerable diversity. Some are loose enough to be 
forced by a powerful steamer at the cost of much patience, toil, 
and help, while others resist all such efforts. The latter type 
is more easily developed in the Bahr el-Jebel, which abounds 
far more than the Bahr el-Ghazal in isolated or stagnant back- 
waters and lateral lagoons. Such tenacious masses are, in fact, 



more frequently formed in the Bahr el-Jebel, while the looser 
kinds are more characteristic of the Bahr el-Ghazal. 

It is abundantly evident that the vegetation itself does not 
spring up spontaneously on the spot where it becomes solid 
enough to dam up such a mighty river as the Upper Nile, whose 
breadth, depth, and current would necessarily prevent such a 
growth. Few rivers in the world have so slight a fall as the 
Upper Nile, and its western affluent, the Bahr el-Ghazal. In 
its course across many degrees of latitude, the former traverses 
a uniform level region, and in many places the current is main- 
tained merely by the pressure of the streams descending from 
the more elevated parts of the Bahr el-Jebel basin. 

Through the periodical rise of the Nile, which differs consider- 
ably in volume from year to year, being determined by the 
amount of the rainfall in the tropics, the low-lying riverain tracts 
are flooded, and these consist in many places of flat depressions 
where the Nile waters lodge after the general subsidence. Such 
depressions often continue even at low water to communicate 
with the main stream, of which they form, as it were, so many 
inlets ; or else they become transformed in the dry season to 
small lakes and ponds, which resume their connection with the 
Nile at each returning rise. These are the " old " or backwaters, 
the Maiyehs of the Arab boatmen, which are constantly changing 
their level and assuming a different aspect with the rise and 
fall of the flood-waters. They form hundreds of culs-de-sac of 
all sizes, by which the difficulties of the navigation is greatly 
increased. Such conditions do not occur in the Sobat with its 
high and regular banks, but are partly found in the section 
between the Sobat and the Moqren el-Bahur, and especially on 
the Bahr el-Jebel, as far as and beyond the station of Bor. Other 
conditions prevail in the Bahr el-Ghazal, where the Maiyehs are 
doubtless rarer, but where broad flooded expanses are more 

The periodically replenished lateral lagoons and depressions 
naturally promote a rank growth of aquatic plants, and the 
?vlaiyehs are in fact the hot-beds and nurseries of all the grass 
islands which drift away to the main stream when the com- 


munications are re-opened. But at other times the same 
stagnant waters serve to retain the masses which, being rooted 
very hghtly to the ground, gradually form floating islands. 
Such islands, continually growing in thickness and solidity, 
would in fact become stable, and in course of time fill up nearly 
the whole of the Maiyeh, but for the fact that at each periodical 
flooding they get detached from the bed of the depression and 
raised to the surface. Then they drift away before the high 

winds, and reach the Nile in various states of development. 
During our detention at Fashoda, strong north winds had 
constantly prevailed, and under their action all the floating 
masses along the northern bends of the river would be inevitably 
driven into the main stream. 

In a word, the favourable conditions for the development of 
the stidd in the Upper Nile basin are : — • 


1. A rise of the flood-waters above the normal level in order 
to bring the backwaters into free communication with the river, 
and at the same time detach and raise the floating masses to 
the surface. 

2. Favourable winds to further detach and drive these masses 
into the river, where they either drift harmlessly with the 
currents, or else coalesce together into formidable barriers. At 
the same time, the winds, as is obvious, may have a contrary 


effect, arresting as well as propelling the masses, breaking up 
as well as building up the barriers ; hence the constant changes 
that these formations are subject to through the shifting of the 
winds, as well as from the varying character of the periodical 

3. The growth of those innumerable little plants, which spring 
up in still and sheltered waters, and then drift away to enlarge 


or render more compact the tangle of the floating masses. Such 
are, for instance, the Azolla, Pistia, Aldrovandua, Lemna, Ottclia, 
Ultricularia, Ceratophylkim, Potamogeton, Naias, Lagarosiphon, 
and others. 

Put even under the most favourable conditions a protracted 
damming up of the Nile is of relatively rare occurrence, as, 
however deep the barrier may be, the current always flows 
underneath. In the opinion of long-experienced Arab boatmen, 
the prevailing relations in the forties and fifties were much the 
same as at present, though in those years the obstructions were 
never so compact as some of those occurring in recent times. 
The best known were those of 1863, at the time of Miss Tinne's 
visit; of 1870 and 1 871, by which Sir Samuel Baker's expedition 
was delayed, and which was ultimately cleared away by the 
vigorous action of Ismail Eyub Pasha in 1874; of 1878, at my 
first excursion, when the Nile rose to an unusual height, and 
caused extensive floodings in the delta. 

It may be mentioned that in the lower reaches of the White 
Nile the current is too strong to allow of any accumulations. 
Here the smaller masses, breaking away from the southern 
barriers, are carried swiftly along to and beyond Khartum. But 
very little reaches Egypt itself, most of the floating growths 
being either arrested in the recesses along the banks, or else 
becoming waterlogged and sinking to the bottom, where they 
are slowly decomposed. 

In the composition of the sudd, the prevailing element, at least 
in the Bahr el-Ghazal region, is the so-called Om-Suf, or 
" Mother of Wool " ( Vossia proccni), an aquatic grass, which, to 
the unscientific eye, looks more like a reed. It is a favourite 
food of animals, and in its midst grow patches of papyrus, but 
very little ambatch, which generally shoots up from deep water 
and enters only casually into the composition of the S7idd. 

The varying texture of these obstructions depends largely on 
the different conditions under which they have been brought 
together, on their age and general constituents. Their tenacity 
is at times so great that huge amphibia, such as the hippopotamus 
and crocodile that occasionally get entangled in their meshes, are 



unable to free themselves, and thus perish of hunger or want of 
air. As a rule they are more compact, and consequently present 
greater obstacles to navigation, in the Bahr el-Jebel and White 
Nile than in the Bahr el-Ghazal. In this river we were generally 
able to force our way through such impediments, even though 
steaming against the current. But in the Bahr el-Jebel the 
steamer alone is often helpless, and requires the aid of special 
apparatus to break through. 

In most cases the object aimed at is simply to get through, 
leaving the obstruction to close up again or not behind the 
steamer. But when systematic and continuous operations are 
undertaken to clear the waterway, the 
course adopted is to break up the 


masses piecemeal, and send the fragments into the current to 
prevent them from again coalescing, at least in the same place. 
Solid masses can be attacked successfully from the north 
side only, that is, operating against the current. In this case 
most of the work is in fact done by the stream itself, by 
carrying off the fragments as they get detached by the men 
at work on board the steamer. But were the steamer to force 
its way with the current into the tangle, the detached pieces 
could not drift away, and the ship would run the risk of being 
caught, as in the pack-ice of the Arctic regions, by the 
fragments closing in from behind. In November 1878, Emin 


Bey was thus arrested with his steamer on the journey down to 
Khartum, and being unable to overcome the obstacle, had to 
return to Lado. To the same circumstance was due the already 
described disaster that befell Gessi and his people in the Bahr 
el-Ghazal two years later. 

The usual plan is for the steamer to select a suitable point of 
attack, and go full speed into the elastic sndd, if possible through 
some opening between the shore and the barrier, where the 
elastic parts are generally more easily detached. Some of the 
crew help with long-forked poles, guiding all released masses 
stern wards, while others co-operate on the barrier itself just in 
front of the prow, pressing it down below the surface and thus 
facilitating the progress of the steamer. They work breast-deep, 
steadily moving forward or clambering up to get the higher 
parts under-water. During these operations the progress of 
the vessel is scarcely perceptible, although the paddles are 
continually kept going. 

But should all efforts fail, recourse is had to another process 
which, though tedious, aims at clearing the waterway to the 
utmost. As before, the steamer drives at full speed into the 
yielding tangle, in which, however, it soon gets hemmed in. 
Then all dead inflammable matter, such as dry papyrus stalks, 
is fired ; and when consumed two diverging cables are made 
fast to the floating mass at a distance of thirty to fifty yards 
from the prow. The ropes are secured by being wound round 
long stakes, which are driven right through the thick mass at 
an oblique angle to prevent them from yielding when the 
steamer begins to back off. After one or two efforts this 
manoeuvre generally detaches a large floating island, which 
either at once drifts away down-stream, or else is taken in tow 
by another steamer, and sent adrift at any point where the 
current is strong enough to carry it down. 

Should even this method fail, then the whole mass is broken 
up and torn away bit by bit by the steamer. Such operations 
are excessively tedious, and Marno was occupied from September 
1879 to April 1880, with four steamers and several hundred 
men, in clearing the Bahr el-Jebel. 

6o 77?^ VELS IN AFRICA. 

To these aquatic growths the White Nile, as well as many 
other sluggish streams of tropical Africa, owe their characteristic 
aspect. The White, which is the " Clear," is so named in contra- 
distinction to the Blue, that is, the " Dark " or " Turbid " river, 
which contains a large proportion of inorganic matter kept 
constantly churned up by its rapid current and eddies. In the 
White Nile, on the contrary, as well as in its numerous affluents, 
the floating vegetation acts like a filter, purifying the troubled 
flood-waters of the rain}^ season, and sending them down in 
almost a limpid stream as far as and even beyond the Blue 
Nile confluence. 

Our arrival in Meshra er-Req brought fresh trials to my 
patience. The adv^ent of the steamers was at once reported to 
the remote southern stations ; but we had still to wait for Gessi 
Pasha with the carriers required for our heavy baggage. But in 
the whole district there were absolutely no settlements, beyond 
a small station which had been founded on the mainland some 
seven or eight miles off in connection with the steam navigation 
of the river. At the present dry season there was a decided 
lack of water at that place, and I consequently resolved to remain 
on board the Ismail ia during m}' enforced stay at Meshra. 

In my report to Gessi I endorsed the opinion of the captain 
and pilots, that the grass-barriers on the Bahr el-Ghazal should 
be seriously taken in hand, and more men engaged for the 
return trip. Richard Buchta had returned from Lado after his 
expedition to the south, and was now at the little inland 
station awaiting the next steamer for Khartum. He came on 
board, and we passed several pleasant days together, looking 
over the beautiful photographs and other pictures which he had 
brought back from the IMagango and Makaraka regions, and 
numerous specimens of which adorn these volumes. 

But the heat was oppressive, and after sunset we suffered 
dreadfully from the mosquitoes. The rats and black-beetles 
were also extremely troublesome. Lock up as I would, they 
still found their way into cases and coffers, and fouled the sacks 
and baskets of biixmat, or biscuits, which I had procured in 
Khartum. It was also annox'ing to find that my mercury 


barometer, brought so far with such care and trouble, now proved 
useless. The quicksilver had become decomposed into minute, 
almost invisible, little pellets, for which there was no remedy. 

To my joy Gessi arrived on March loth. Our long convers- 
ations were unexpectedly disturbed by a fierce thunderstorm, 
accompanied by a tropical downpour, a rare occurrence at this 
season of the year. My table-top was swept overboard, and the 
steamer itself dragged its anchor. But Gessi relieved me of all 
anxiety regarding the carriers, by placing at my disposal the 
men who had brought to Meshra the ivory destined for Khartum. 
I now regretted not having brought more supplies, but with my 
remaining cash bought a fresh supply of salt and cloth from 
the ship's crew. 

On March 13th I was able to send off a first convoy of one 
hundred and five loads to the station of Jur Ghatta, our 
provisional destination. 





Fatal Consequences of the lack of a Stronghold at Meshra er-Rek— Gessi's Vigorous 
Admimstrntion—Ba/cvnia'p Rex and Chimpanzee— Departure from Meshra in a 
Dug-out— Gordon's Warning— Order rules the Universe— Dried-up Morasses— 
Nuers and Dinkas— The Flooded Lands of the Tonj River— Island Oases- 
Residence in Jur Ghattas— Westward Ho !— Jurs and Bongos— Kuchuk Ali 
Station— Wau Station— The Bari People and the Bahr el-Ghazal Tribes— 
Biselli Station— March to Ganda— Excursion with Gessi to the Dem Soliman 

OUR two steamers had brought some Government supplies 
for the Bahr el-Ghazal province, and these had to be 
conveyed to Jur Ghattas in order to be thence distributed 
amongst the stations. Since the first appearance of the Arab 
traders, this was the nearest strong post that had been erected 
throughout the wide domain of the Dinka tribes. The trading 
stations at Meshra, near the place made memorable by Schwein- 
furth's historical journey, were merely temporary refuges for the 
traders while awaiting the arrival of their convoys, and for the 
use of the few men left behind with the boats. A similar 
purpose was at present served by the little zeriba which had 
been erected a few hours inland from the Meshra landing- 


But for a great distance round about no fortified post had 
anywhere been estabhshed, although such a stronghold was 
urgentl}' needed for the control and administration of the sur- 
rounding Negro lands. The disastrous consequence of this 
o\-ersight was seen a few years later in the fate of the ill-starred 
Lupton Bey, who, even before falling into the hands of the 
Mahdists, had to carry on a desperate struggle with this very 
section of the Dinka people. Such w^as the prevailing disorder 
that at that time the road from Meshra er-Req to Jur Ghattas 
could not be traversed without an escort of 800 men, and the 
traveller Shuver, venturing forward without sufficient protection, 
was here murdered by the Dinkas. 

However, at the time of my arrival a militar}' guard was 
scarcely needed for the journey to Jur Ghattas ; but to secure 
their good-will the natives throughout the whole district had 
hitherto been exempt from the burdensome corvee as applied 
to the transport service. Trained carriers could only be formed 
in the course of years round about the fortified stations, where 
the chiefs were under the control of the administrators. 

After the transfer of the stations in the Bahr el-Ghazal region 
to the Egyptian Government, the establishment of a fortified 
settlement in the vicinity of Meshra er-Req had become more 
urgent than ever. Gessi's successful campaign against Soliman, 
son of Ziber, entailed for some time at least as regular a steam- 
boat service with Khartum as possible. Unfortunately the 
erection of such a post was neglected both during the ensuing 
short administration of Gessi, and at the commencement of 
Lupton's vigorous rule, which was so soon followed by the 
rebellion of the Dinkas. 

Lupton had the misfortune of succeeding to the government 
of the Bahr el-Ghazal after the Arab " reign of terror," and the 
sharp reaction under Gessi, who fell into the opposite error of 
making too many and too sudden concessions to the Negroes, 
w^hile pitilessly crushing the Arab system. Gessi placed an 
almost blind confidence in the Negro hordes, whom, during the 
war with Soliman, he had stirred up against everything Arab, 
that is to say, Mohammedans, Sudanese, Nubians, and the like. 


At first these Negroes naturally showed themselves extremely- 
loyal and submissive to their champion and liberator. But after 
his sudden departure, Lupton's task was undoubtedly rendered 
more difficult by the ensuing change of s}'stem, and especially 
by the introduction of the corvee, however necessary this 
institution may otherwise be in those regions. 

After the Dinka revolt, and towards the close of Lupton's 
administration, a strong garrison was at last placed at Meshra 
er-Req. But it was already too late. The Mahdists knew well 
how to take advantage of the situation, and, making common 
cause with the Dinkas, soon made themselves masters of the 
Bahr el-Ghazal province. After their irruption early in 1884, it 
was at once seen that all the heroic efforts of Gessi and Lupton 
had been in vain. These brave men could leave no lasting fruits 
behind them ; but they left a name that cannot soon be for- 
gotten, for both fought might and main in the best interests of 

As already stated, I was now able to send forward to Jur 
Ghattas most of my effects by the carriers who had arrived in 
Meshra from the south, mostly laden with ivory for Khartum. 
This and other cargo was at once put on board the steamers, 
which in a few days steamed down the Bahr el-Ghazal for the 
Sudanese capital. 

My repeated efforts to secure a specimen of Bahvniceps Rex 
were at last crowned with success. A boatman brought me two 
young birds, both of which had been shot in the neighbourhood 
of Meshra. One having been badly injured received the coup de 
grace, and went to increase my collection ; the other, which had 
only been winged, soon recovered, and both on board the 
steamer and later at Jur Ghattas proved a source of much 
amusement. I had some fish placed daily in my large bath, 
and it was curious to observe the great " whale-head " for some 
time stand perfectly still, then dart forward with his huge bill, 
and in a flash snap up a fish a foot long, which, without any 
apparent effort, vanished down his capacious throat. He 
developed a surprisingly sedate and phlegmatic disposition, 
\vas from the first far from timid, and soon allowed people to 


come near, though easily startled at any sudden change or 
noise. He would mostly take his stand in some particular place, 
as if buried in thought, and could with difficulty be driven from 
the spot. Extremely comical was his attitude towards two 
young chimpanzees, which had been captured for Gessi, and 
which evinced an unconquerable dread of the bird. This proved 

SPUK-wiNGED GOOSE {PUctopteriis gambaisis). 

to be rather convenient for us, as the anthropoids often behaved 
like unruly children, especially at meals, with their shouting, 
grinning, and biting, actually driving us from the table and then 
falling on the victuals themselves. But a check was soon put 
upon their unseemly importunities by the stern demeanour of 
VOL. II. jr 


our phlegmatic " policeman," as Gessi now insisted on calling 
him. Later, whenever the chimpanzees ventured to renew their 
pranks at meal-times in Jur Ghattas, we had only to shout 
" police," when order would be immediately restored by the 
appearance of our preserver of the peace, who would stalk in and 
assume a position of imperturbable gravity without condescend- 
ing to take the least notice of the boisterous romps. On my 
departure for the interior I left the bird with Gessi, who gradually 
accustomed it to eat flesh as well as fish. He afterwards 
informed me that it was one of the victims of the terrible 
disaster in the Bahr el-Ghazal, serving at least to furnish one 
meal for a few of his famished people. 

Another aquatic bird more frequently met on the White Nile 
and its numerous affluents is the spur-winged goose {Plectopteriis 
gambensis), so named from the powerful spurs with which its 
wings are armed. But the flesh is tough and rank, tasting of 

On March i8th, i88o, I took a temporary leave of Gessi, 
whom I was again to meet in Jur Ghattas. But it was no easy 
matter to reach this station from the little island at which the 
steamers rode at anchor. From the Meshra landing-stage, a 
shallow, swampy expanse, in parts reaching to the waist, and 
here and there concealed by reeds or aquatic plants, stretched 
some three or four miles southwards to the fringe of woodlands 
visible in the distance. To a dug-out scarcely twenty inches 
wide I could trust myself, but not my mathematical instruments, 
compass, chronometer, and the like. These were carefully 
packed and consigned to the carriers, who went off in Indian 
file, Bohndorff, servants, and all plunging with a light heart into 
the flooded morass. Then I stretched myself full length in my 
frail bark, bare-footed and bare-legged, to be ready for a possible 
capsize or other accident. The dug-out was taken in tow by a 
long-legged Dinka stripling, my servant, Farag 'Allah, and a few 
others shoving along on either side. Thus I reached firm ground 
with no further mishap beyond a pair of blistered legs, half 
roasted in the broiling sun. 

A few hours' march through a stretch of open woodlands 


brought us to the southern station, situated in an arid, waterless 
district, as if to support the reputation of Africa as the " Con- 
tinent of Contrasts." For months together we had had water 
more than enough, and now we ah'eady began to feel the pangs 
of thirst. I say now, in the dry season, for a few months later 
the torrential rains will again convert these hard-baked plains 
into an almost impassable quagmire. 

Towards sunset, however, we came upon a few water-holes in 
the open forest, where we encamped for the night. The help- 
lessness of my followers, still but roughly trained for the work 
before them, here reminded me of the warning words uttered by 
Gordon at our very first interview: "Trust in no strangers for 
help ; in these lands learn early to help yourself, if you would 
avoid continued loss or damage to indispensable things either 
difficult or impossible to be replaced." The constant complaints 
of African travellers regarding such mishaps are undoubtedly, 
in many cases, due to careless packing, combined with tlie 
temptation to leave too much in the hands of ignorant or 
indolent assistants. During my first expedition I once discovered 
a fellow hard at work trying to shorten a metal peg with a 
chisel, the result being that both peg and chisel were spoilt. 

Our southern march was resumed next morning through a 
level grassy plain, where the tamarind, Kigelia, Cordia, and a 
few other representatives of the African tropical forests, already 
began to appear. Various marshy depressions, though now 
nearly dry, were crossed with difficulty, especially where the deep 
footsteps of elephants had become hard as stone. In some 
places a little water still remained from the recent heavy rainfall, 
which for the time of year was somewhat exceptional. 

After leaving Meshra er-Req, we at once found ourselves in 
the wide domain of the powerful Dinka or Janghah nation. 
Behind us we had left the Nuer people, whose numerous but 
detached groups occupy the low-lying marshy tracts along the 
lower courses of the streams flowing to the White Nile and 
Bahr el-Ghazal, nearly the whole way from the affluent east- 
wards to the Sobat. Our route had afforded us only a few 
glimpses of these tribes, which even reach farther south to the 



districts between the Jau and the lower courses of the Rol and 
Bahr el-Jebel ; here their territory is conterminous with that of 
the Dinkas, at or about fyd north latitude. 

The broad tract between these rivers is still almost entirely 
unexplored, and but rarely traversed even by the Arab cattle- 
lifters. During my first expedition I had already come in 
contact with several of the south-western Dinka groups, where 
they border on the Moru, Mittu, and Bongo peoples. I had now 

an opportunity of observing a 

"^ . part of their western territory 

between the Tonj and Molmul 

/ rivers, which is inhabited chiefly 

by the Req group, who give their 
name to the Meshra er-Req 

t_5 West of the Molmul the Dinka 

'X. lands stretch still far to the north 

^'- .; beyond the Bahr el-Jur, bordering 

beyond 9° N. latitude on the 
nomad Arab Bagara el-Homr 
tribe. This district also still 
awaits detailed explor- 
ation, although, owing to 
their wealth in cattle, these 
Dinkas were especially 
u exposed to the raids of 
■""^'"^-^ the ivory and slave-hunters 
'■ from the first days of the 
Khartum trading expe- 
ditions. Most of the slaves 
captured at that time belonged to the various Dinka groups, 
and the yearly forays in these harassed districts had the result 
of greatly diminishing their herds. 

Our present route through Dinka Land lay in the narrow tract 
between the Molmul and Tonj rivers, a tract long traversed by 
most of the expeditions going to and coming from Khartum. 
Between Meshra er-Req and the more westerly stations formerly 


A DINKA (req tribe). 

{From a draiving by Dr. Schtveinfitrth. ) 


founded by Khartum traders, there are no doubt other caravan 
routes trending south-westwards, such as that followed in 1863 
by Miss Tinne's expedition ; but the direct, and consequently 
most frequented, road to Jur Ghatta, lay through the district of 
the Req tribe. But here, also, other parallel ways ran south- 
wards, some more to the west in the direction of the Molmul, 
others more to the east towards the Tonj. My present route 
lay to the east of that followed in 1869 by Schweinfurth. 

Good progress was made on March 19th, through an open 
level country diversified with thickets of scrub and stretches of 
park-like scenery, but nowhere presenting any conspicuous 

X- '^ 












-.■;^**^~'^*«^ ■ 


A SOUTHERN DINKA. l^FroDi a di-aiviiig by Dr. Schzueinfiirth.) 

rising grounds. A short spurt next morning brought us to 
the village of Kuj, a noted Dinka chief; and the following 
day, after passing several settlements belonging to a chief, 
Melau, we reached the station of a third Dinka princeling, 
Matiang. The park-lands and tracts under tall yellow grass, 
harbouring numerous flocks of guinea-fowl, besides antelopes, 
giraffes, and ostriches, had suddenly given place to a boundless 
low-lying region, the first sight of which showed that it was 
subject to periodical inundations. At present this depression, 
which lies within the Tonj basin, was for the most part dry. 
In some places, however, I noticed large ponds which, after the 



subsidence of the flood-waters, must contain an abundance 
of fish. 

But this region, which stretches for miles east and south to 
the Tonj, and which at high-water assumes the aspect of an 
inland sea, is especially remarkable for the large number of 
eminences rising from its bed, and often clothed with a rich 
forest vegetation. These heights, forming islands of refuge 
during the floods, had now the appearance of oases, whose tall 
umbrageous trees were in some places mirrored in the waters 



DIXKA COW. {From a dniTviiig by Dr. Schweiitfttrth.) 

of still flooded cavities. On one of them we passed the fourth 
night with Chief Matiang, and next day reached the Tonj, 
advancing in a south-westerly direction. 

At the crossing this river is joined by a small affluent, which 
drains a part of the island-studded depression, and which sent 
down a little water. Crossing to the north-west side, we at last 
reached Jur Ghattas on March 23rd ; here my cartographic 
surveys were connected with those of my first expedition, as 
I had already visited this place in the year 1877, 


Pending the arrival of Gessi, who was to come on after the 
Khartum steamer had started from Meshra, I settled down in 
Jur Ghattas, where, despite the war with Soliman, I still re- 
cognized several familiar faces. I was glad yet pained again to 
meet my old friend Atrush Bey, ex-administrator of Makaraka, 
now broken down in health and spirits, and under arrest for 
breach of discipline during the war. An affection of the lungs 
was making rapid progress, and I had at least the sad consol- 
ation of brightening his last days with a few attentions in 
return for the many little acts of genuine kindness formerly 
received from him. Gessi arriving on March 28th, I put in a 
word on his behalf, and thus was granted the dearest wish of his 
heart — leave to set out for Khartum ; 
but, as I afterwards learnt, he was re- 
leased by death from his sufferings 
and sorrows before starting from Jur 

Now, for the first time, I was able to 
mature the plans for my future oper- 
ations in Negro land. My original ,~^ 
intention was to visit the Mangbattu 

country south of the Welle ; but the "%.. 

block of the Bahr el-Jebel by the sudd 
had obliged me to make Meshra er- 

^ . r\ ^ ■ T ^ SOUTHERN BONGO. {From 

Req the startmg-pomt. Otherwise I „ drawing by Dr. Sc/nvcinfa,ih.) 
should have gone up the river to Lado, 

as on the former occasion, and proceeded thence through Maka- 
raka Land to my destination. From Jur Ghattas the most 
frequented and safer route to that region runs by Rumbak and 
up the Rol valley through the Abaka country. 

But I had already explored the whole of this region, and was 
all the more reluctant again to follow this route, that I was 
anxious to visit the Niam-Niam (A-Zandeh)^ lands on the way 
south. This project had even been facilitated by the war with 

^ A-Zandeh is tlie plural form of Zan- it thus answers to the 7va, ha, va, &c. of 
deh, a beini,' the plural prefix in many the southern Bantu idioms, as in \Ya- 
Negro languages north of the Equator ; Ganda, Ba-Lunda, &c. 



SoUman, friendly relations having since then been established 
with some chiefs in the Niam-Niam domain. Ndoruma, a . 
powerful prince in this region, had received in a friendly spirit 
the overtures of Gessi Pasha ; hence his court became the first 
goal of my expedition. 

My shortest and most direct route thither would have been 
southwards through the Bongo and Bellanda Negro territories, 
but I preferred first to accompany Gessi to Dem Soliman, capital 
of the Bahr el-Ghazal province, and then start from Dem Bekir 
for the A-Zandeh lands. The bulk of the baggage was to be 

sent with Bohndorff, and the 
servants by a shorter road from 
Ganda to Dem Bekir. In carry- 
ing out these arrangements I 
met with every assistance from 
Gessi, who also, at my request, 
sent forward a messenger to 
inform Ndoruma of my visit, and 
request him to have some of his 
people to meet me at Dem Bekir. 
Owing to various circum- 
stances connected with the late 
war, the death or disappearance 
of numerous Arab traders, the 
emancipation of a multitude of 
young slaves who scarcely knew 
what to do with their freedom, 
I had no difficulty in procuring any number of men willing to 
enlist in my service as carriers. At least a dozen of such 
young men had followed Gessi all the way to Meshra, merely 
for their food. Many were natives of Mangbattu Land, and 
on hearing of my intention to proceed thither, they offered of 
their own accord to accompany me. I was thus enabled to 
make my selection at the landing-place itself, and later required 
only to engage a few young men as assistants. Bohndorff 
also made choice of two Mangbattu boys, who were to attend 
exclusively to the collections, and help in the preparation 


{From a draiinng by Dr. Sclnveinfitrih.) 


of bird-skins. I took charge of two other Mangbattus, and a 
}'oung Niam-Niam, and throughout the whole journey we kept 
a few Negro girls constantly employed in grinding corn and 
preparing the thick porridge for our followers. 

The few days of our stay in Jur Ghattas were occupied partly 
in working up the results of the journey already obtained, partly 
in completing the preparations for our further advance.- Many 
things had to be unpacked and repacked in more convenient 
form, and there were many other things which I left behind for 
Gessi. I gave him half of the seeds I had brought with me for 
growing European vegetables at the different stations in the Bahr 
el-Ghazal province, and I also parted with the rest of the 
potatoes, which had already begun to sprout. 

Many pleasant hours were also passed in the society of our 
host, Gessi Pasha. My Balceniceps Rex, who had accompanied 
us from Meshra, kept strutting with his measured pace up and 
down the court, still a constant terror to the little chimpanzees. 
During the last few days the latter had joined the family circle, 
all the members of which continued to afford us much amuse- 
ment. Many anxious moments, however, were caused by a half- 
grown but strong and surly chimpanzee, who, like all the others, 
had been brought in a stout cage from the western Niam-Niam 
Lands. In the station a little wooden hut, with door and fasten- 
ings, was fitted up for his accommodation. But one day, as we 
sat at table with Gessi, he managed to get out, putting to sudden 
flight the servants and others in the court. Expecting to have a 
tussle with our anthropoid friend, we armed ourselves with some 
stout sticks lying at hand ; but he took very little notice of us, 
and went with surly mien moving slowly about from hut to hut. 

Meantime some soldiers posted outside hastening up, I directed 
them to empty the contents of our plates into the chimpanzee's 
house. The ruse took effect, and he at once withdrew to enjoy 
the meal we had surrendered to him. In future, however, we 
took care to keep him more securely under lock and key. 

The young chimpanzees which pass a brief and sickly existence 
in our Zoological Gardens are not to be compared with this 
specimen, for, despite their formidable teeth, they are really as 



harmless as little children. Although only half-grown, our ape 
already displayed amazing muscular power. Later I killed many 
fully-developed specimens during our wanderings in the denser 
parts of the forests. 

At last the time came to leave Jur Ghattas. Several days 
previously I had sent forward to Ganda station 130 loads under 
the charge of some dragomans, and I now proceeded to the same 



V ,,;. 

AN EASTERN BOXGO. {FroDi a drawing by Dr. Schivdiifuitli.) 

place with Bohndorfif, my newly-engaged servants, and the rest 
of the loads. But Gessi was again prevented by official business 
from accompanying us ; he promised, however, to overtake us 
later on, and then take up his head-quarters with us in Dem 

We set out on April 5th, my Dinka carriers of the Madiok 


tribe leading the van, milch goats with their kids, goats and 
sheep for the shambles, and baskets of flour following in the rear. 
The first day brought us, by a route with which I was already 
familiar, to the little zeriba Drar (Abu Gurun). At the ford we 
found the Molmul dry ; but under both banks were several large 
pools teeming with fish, which were being captured by the 
soldiers of the neighbouring station as we crossed over. The 
Negroes of this district belong to the Jur tribe, and are subject 
to a chief named Fin, whose settlements we passed next day. 
In the little station a number of invalided Egyptian soldiers had 
been assembled, awaiting the departure of the next steamer for 
Khartum. They presented a pitiful sight, scarcely with rags 
enough to cover their nakedness. 

The first light rainy season for this latitude had already begun, 
and it may here be remarked that in the region we were now 
traversing, the seasons are separated by two rainy periods, a 
light and a heavy. The former, somewhat more irregular, lasts 
from March till April, while the latter usually begins about the 
middle of May and often continues far into October. For weeks 
the weather had been threatening, but we had mostly experienced 
little beyond light showers. To-day, also, the horizon was over- 
cast, and we journeyed under clouded skies, though no rain fell. 

During my first expedition I had taken the road from Drar to 
Awet. But this station having been destroyed during the late 
war, I now made a bend to the south, passing by the villages of 
the Jur chief, Fin, to the residence of the Bongo prince, Jabai. 
The frontiers of the various Negro territories can scarcely be 
indicated even approximately, the relations having been funda- 
mentally altered by the founding of new stations and of Arab 
settlements. Thus, in this district, Dinka communities are found 
in the midst of Jur populations, while the Bongo Sheikh Jabai, 
with his followers, has become a subject of Fin. 

To show how chiefs in the vicinity of the stations may be 
satisfied with the merest trifles — for they receive next to nothing 
from the Administration — I may mention that Jabai was evi- 
dently delighted with my almost valueless gifts of an empty 
cigar-box, two biscuits, a lump of sugar, a few matches, and a 



shred of cloth, given more in joke than seriously. The Bahr 
el-Ghazal Negroes eagerly accept pieces of cloth, which they by 
no means despise, as do so many tribes on the Upper Nile, such 
as the Bari, who prefer a handful of tobacco to a strip of cloth, 
with which they might cover their nakedness. Unfortunately, 
the quantity of cloth sent by the Government to Negro land 
scarcely suffices for the most urgent wants of the officials. 
Hence only a few of the more favoured natives were now and 
then honoured with such presents. 

My people revelled to-day in the somewhat rare luxury of a 

TEACOCK-CRANES {Grus pavoitiua 

meat meal. Being by no means fastidious as to choice in this 
matter, they seemed highly to relish a peacock-crane, which we 
had knocked over. The flesh, however, of this bird, feeding 
mainly on grain, is not to be altogether despised, despite its 
blackish colour ; even in many parts of South Europe the 
common gray crane is esteemed a dainty dish. 

On the other hand, the fare to which Bohndorff and myself 
were now reduced might be described as somewhat meagre, 
compared with the well-filled flesh-pots of our hospitable friend 


Gessi in Jur Ghattas. I allowed none of the sheep or goats to 
be killed, as they were reserved for Ndoruma, and I was quite 
aware that in the Niam-Niam country we might pass years 
without tasting " butcher's meat." 

We again came upon the old track in the neighbourhood 
of the ruined zcriba Awet. The place recalled to my mind a 
little adventure of my Negro boy, Morjan, who had here been 
kidnapped by some slave-dealers, but had escaped during the 
night and found his way back to me. On the river Jur I came 
upon the first entrenchments that Gessi had thrown up in this 
district during the war against Soliman, while the rebels still 
held the station of Kuchuk Ali. From this point they were 
driven by Gessi steadily westwards from one stronghold to 
another, until at last the decisive engagement was fought at Dem 
Soliman. Here the rebels, after a resolute stand, were utterly 
routed with great slaughter, and Gessi entered Dem Soliman in 
triumph, while Soliman Bey Ziber sought safety in flight, without, 
however, escaping the fate that soon overtook him. How this 
rebel captain, son of the Ziber still interned in Cairo, was run 
to earth by Gessi, captured and shot with others of his kindred, 
are events which belong to the special history of these lands.^ 

Wading across the Jur, which was at that season only two feet 
deep, we soon reached the newly-erected station of Kuchuk Ali, 
the old zeriba formerly visited by me having also been destroyed 
during the war. 

The Jur people are still distinguished by their industry in 
smelting the iron ores and their skill in working up the metal, 
qualities already observed by the first European visitors to their 
territory. Along the route we frequently noticed the little primi- 
tive furnaces constructed for this purpose. In other respects the 
road to the station of Wau, which I had previously traversed, 
presented no new features calling for special remark. Between 
the rivers of Jur and Wau (the latter had also fallen to about two 
feet) great masses of bog-iron ore crop out. This formation, 
however, should rather be described as laterite ; at least no 

' R. Buchta, Der Sudan unter dgyptischer Herrschaft, i88S. 


difference appears to exist between the specimens of reddish 
stone from the Upper Nile and Congo basins, which are found 
in European museums. Apart, however, from their ferruginous 
property and prevaihng red colour, these ores are very diversely 

In this district a barren soil is by no means the necessary 
consequence of the presence of laterite. In deeper places, with 
rocky bottom, some moisture, and even pools of water, had 
already been collected since the rainy weather had set in. Over 
such depressions hovered swarms of bright, many-coloured butter- 
flies, a spectacle which in Africa occurs only periodically in 
certain damp localities. Here, also, the landscape was varied 
with fine woodlands and a rich growth of tall timber. 

I may take this opportunity of referring to the state of the 
water in both rivers during my first journey. At that time, the 


rainy season being well advanced, we required boats to get 
across the streams, wdiereas now we were able easily to wade 
through their shallow beds. The contributions received through- 
out the year from thousands of trickling springs and brooks are 
insignificant compared with the tropical downpours, to which the 
floods are entirely due. 

Hitherto I had enjoyed tolerably good health, but now began 
to suffer from sleeplessness. In my sleep I was disturbed by 
strange and vivid dreams, which generally brought me back to 
my native land ; on the other hand, if I sat awake over the 
nightly camp fire, I became a prey to hallucinations till again 
overcome by weariness ; then, as I dozed, dreamy visions were 
again conjured up and again dispelled as I started up to gaze 
distraughtedly on the dying embers and brood over the sober 


As the reader may remember, Gessi Pashi had the intention 
of making Wau the chief station of the Bahr el-Ghazal province. 
For this position it was well situated at a point of the river, 
whence large fiat-bottomed craft could convey goods throughout 
the year down to Meshra er-Req, and bring back the stores and 
supplies sent up from Khartum. During the floods even steamers 
might ascend as far as Wau. By such a fluvial service the 
natives would also be gradually relieved from the oppressive 
obligation of carrying heavy loads, involving a great waste of 
time, which might be more profitably bestowed on their fields 
and homes. An outlet would, moreover, be obtained for many 
products of the Upper Nile regions, such as the excellent 
timber, which could not bear the cost of transport by carriers. 

In this connection it may be remarked that in abundance of 
natural resources the Bahr el-Ghazal 
province and conterminous backlands 
far excel all the regions bordering on 
the Bahr el-Jebel. The populations 
themselves stand on a higher level of 
culture, and are both more capable 
and more eager to rise in the social 
scale than those of the White Nile. ,voodex stool of the bongos. 
The Bari people of Lado, for instance, 

are still characterized by the inherent defects of the Negro race, 
a perfect type of indolence and apathy, whereas the Makarakas 
are far more progressive, forming the transition between the 
eastern and more advanced western Negroes. 

At Wau we were overtaken by Gessi, who, however, was again 
detained by his official duties. Hence we again left him behind 
and started by an entirely new route towards Biselli. During my 
former visit to this province I had advanced a short distance to 
the west and then retraced my steps to Wau ; now, however, we 
pushed forward in a north-westerly direction to Biselli, through 
a thinly-wooded district strewn with fragments of laterite, 
and more broken than hitherto. After a moderate march we 
camped the first night at the huts of the native chief, Mediok, 
entering the zeriba next morning. 

Vol. II. G 



The Jur people, as well as the Wau tribe, which is settled in 
this district, and which gives its name to the river and the 
station, store away there winnowed grain in large earthen vessels 
several yards high, and similar in form to the bunnas, or ordinary 
water-vessels. These granaries are set up in the huts chiefly as 
a protection against mice and other animals, which are unable 
to gnaw through the clay sides of the receptacles, even though 

not hardened by the 
receptacles, which serve 
dry, are in general use 
medan tribes of the 
are usually called gngas. 
tions on the site of Troy, 
found some earthenware 
served a similar purpose, 
set apart for provisions, 
stands, in the form of 
with a Avooden grating, 
for dryingthe flesh of wild 
which is first cut into 
and then placed on the 
stand over a smouldering 
fire. The grass thatch 
and rafters of these huts 

action of fire. Such 
also to keep the corn 
amongst the Moham- 
Sudan, where they 
In his excava- 
Dr. Schliemann 
vessels which 
In the huts 
wood en 
high tables 
are set up 




acquire a dark chestnut 

or almost black colour from the smoke and heat, and the 0§ 

whole inner side of the roof shines like lacquer-work. 

The new zeriba Biselli is =^■^^2^*'" 

pleasantly situated some- , -'N5^^>^:ai^§j^*s^**^^ 
what farther north than the -'^^^^^'^^"' 

old station visited in 1871 by field mouse, merionesburtoxii a. wagx. 
Schweinfurth, whose tracks ^^'''"' "" '^''"'''"^ ^'^' ^''- Sch^d./urik.) 
I frequently followed on the journey to Dem Bekir. Before 
his time the whole district had already been explored in 
1863-4 by Miss Alexine Tinne and her companions, Theodore 
von Heuglin and Dr. Steudner. Many of her party perished on 
this occasion, amongst others, Dr. Steudner himself, whose grave 


lies towards the east near the Gitti ("Little Wau ") river. South 
of the station the view is broken by some low hills ; but northwards 
the e\'e sweeps over the Gitti valley and the fine leafy woodlands 
which reach right up to the zeriba. The district is occupied by 
a mixed Jur and I^ongo population, while west and north dwell 
the northernmost tribes of the widespread Bongo nation, which 
intervenes between the Jur, Dinka, and Mittu-Madi peoples on 
the one hand, and the Niam-Niams on the other. Some of the 
Bongo women in these parts wear enormous wooden pegs from 
an inch to an inch and a half in diameter in their undef-lip. 
Apparently to give support to this heavily-weighted member they 
often let it rest on the knee when assuming a squatting position. 

In Biselli Gessi again overtook us, though again prevented by 
official business from accompanying us at our departure. Before 
we started, Biselli was also visited from the northern station of 
Dembo by Gnaui Bey, who had inherited from his father a num- 
ber of zeribas in the north. In the remote western territory of 
the Banjia people, his kindred also maintained a series of posts, 
which had not yet been officially transferred to the Egyptian 
Administration. Gnaui was now the only Khartum trader who 
still retained possession of his stations and people as his private 
propert}\ Gessi had hitherto hesitated to take over all this 
property, because the powerful and wealthy owner had accepted 
the new order of things, and had joined with all his people in 
the war against Soliman. Negotiations, however, had at last 
been begun \\\\h the view of having all these private stations 
and their effects made over to the Government. 

From Biselli, so named from its former owner, the route 
towards Dem Soliman lay for some days almost constantly in a 
westerly direction. Soon after setting out we twice crossed the 
Gitti river, whose bed at this season contained only a few isolated 
hollows, filled with water. But indications were not lacking of the 
great size of the stream in the wet season, when it overflows into 
lateral morasses, where the water afterwards becomes stagnant. 
As we might now be overtaken at an\' time by the rains, at our 
next camping-place our people, for the first time on this journey, 
erected grass huts. But the w^eather still continued clear and 


fine. In Biselli I had unexpectedly met my old Makaraka 
friend, the Turkish officer, Mohammed Effendi (Hamdi) from 
Kabayendi, who was now serving under Gessi in Dem SoHman, 
and who accompanied us from BiselH to that station. 

Next day the road continued to traverse a wooded district, 
Avhich prevented me from getting a view of the Kosanga 
mountains, figuring on early maps to the south of our route. 

In these regions the traveller frequently meets the ErytJiropJi- 
Icmnn gnineense a middle-sized tree with acacia foliage and white 
berries, the bark of which possesses remarkable properties. This 
is the bark which is used by various Negro tribes in the western 
parts of the Continent in the preparation of their poisonous 
fetish potions. The extract {crythropJilaeiii) is said to be a most 
efficacious anaesthetic in relieving local pain. There may, conse- 
quently, be a great future for the plant as an article of the African 
export trade. 

After crossing the Pongo, an unimportant stream except when 
swollen by the rains, we again encamped in an inhospitable 
wilderness. But our sportsmen, who had previously missed a 
young wild boar and a buffalo, were now more fortunate. Ada- 
tam brought down a small antelope, and Hamdi's people bagged 
a young giraffe, so that our flesh-pots were well filled, and much 
excitement prevailed round about the camp-fires. We greatly 
relished the tongue and a cutlet of the giraffe at our evening meal. 
One of the hams I converted into jerked-meat for future con- 
sumption, by having it cut into strips and dried over the fire. 
The Arabs call flesh cured in this way sJianmit, or "shreds"; if 
properly prepared, it will keep for months together on journeys. 

Next day the route still continued for some time to traverse a 
thinly-wooded district, beyond which we entered a magnificently 
wooded country, which here and there resembled an English 
park. The land, hitherto level or slightly rolling, became more 
and more broken towards the west ; here also the laterite surface 
is more frequently interrupted by granite or gneiss masses 
cropping out above the surface. 

On the third day after leaving Biselli a short morning march 
brought us to Dem Idris or Ganda. Here also the old station 


had been destroyed in the war with Soh'man, and the new zeriba 
had been recently built a mile or so farther east. We had already 
passed from the Bongo into the Golo territory, and the district now 
traversed showed signs of good tillage, without, however, effacing 
all traces of the havoc caused by the rebellion. The numerous 
huts and rich banana plantations of the Golo chief, Kasa, in- 
spired a certain respect for the power of this Negro potentate. 
In this rolling land we enjoyed a somewhat wider prospect over 
the level depressions and wooded knolls away to the low hills in 
the distant north. The road leading to the station is skirted 
on the right by a line of bare gneiss eminences. 

In Ganda I found my loads that had been sent forward from 
Jur Ghattas. Here the route trended southwards by the Ziber 
Adlan station to Dem Bekir, whence we were to proceed direct 
for Ndoruma's. I accordingly now despatched Bohndorff with 
everything that could be spared and the greater part of my 
people straight to this station, while I continued my westerly 
journey to the Mudiriyeh Dem Soliman (formerly Dem Ziber). 
Later I overtook Bohndorff's convoy by the road leading from 
Dem Soliman through Dem Guju southwards to Dem Bekir. 

In Ganda I was rejoined by Gessi, with Gnaui Bey, and Saati 
Effendi, ex-Mudir of the Bahr el-Ghazal province, all of whom 
accompanied me to Dem Soliman. On the eve of our departure 
1 entertained a jubilant audience with the varied programme of 
my barrel-organ. Many other objects of my equipment excited 
much wonder, while a few useful little European articles were 
distributed amongst a grateful public. In the neighbourhood 
Gessi showed me over the ground where his little batteries 
had compelled Soliman to abandon his fortified lines and beat a 
rapid retreat on Dem Soliman. 

A good day's march brought us from Ganda to the river Kuru, 
which was crossed next morning, and the journey continued to 
the Mudiriyeh. On the way the caravan was, for a moment, 
thrown into some disorder by the sudden cry of " Bees, bees ! " 
raised by the people in the rear. Everybody now rushed wildly 
forward, and even we put spurs to our mounts until it was dis- 
covered to be a false alarm. Gessi later informed me that people 


had frequently been attacked and badly stung by swarms of bees 
in this district. 

At present the bed of the Kuru, partly sandy, parti}' rocky, 
had only one foot of water. One of its tributaries has received 
from the Arabs the name of Silek, from a species of tall tree 
which grows on its banks, and which has also given its name to 
several streams in the district between Lado and Makaraka. 

Beyond the Kuru we crossed the Khor el-Ghanam (" Goat 
River "J at a point where it develops a horse-shoe bend between 
steep rugged banks. It was here that Gessi inflicted his last 
crushing defeat on Soliman, afterwards triumphantly entering 
the station, at that time called Ziber Rahama, but now re-named 
Dem Soliman. To-day, also, the place was entered in solemn 
procession by Gessi Pasha, with ex-Governor Saati, Gnaui Bey, 
and numerous other officials and natives, all arrayed in their 
best attire. I had reached this provincial capital on April 17th, 
having left Jur Ghattas twelve days before. 

Dem Soliman is the most important of all the Arab settlements 
of this class visited by me in these Negro lands. Soliman Bey 
Ziber had undoubtedly greatly strengthened the place, especially 
in recent times. Around the whole zeriba runs a double and 
treble palisade, 26 feet high ; within this enclosure the several 
courts are separated by matting almost hard as boards, and 
behind them are grouped the high and spacious dwellings sur- 
mounted by conic roofs. Soliman's residence, now occupied by 
Gessi, was built in the style of a two-storeyed house in Khartum ; 
there were also several other strong brick structures, besides 
magazines well suited for their purpose. 

The day after our arrival being my birthday, Gessi honoured 
the event with a sumptuous repast, including an excellent plum- 
pudding. Next day followed another asinna, or banquet, at 
Saati's, winding up with an evening entertainment given on 
the eve of our departure by Hafifi Effendi, an officer whose 
acquaintance I had made in Makaraka. But I had a twofold 
object in visiting Dem Soliman, first to survey the district, and 
then to avail myself of Gessi's offer to place at my disposal an)' 
of the stores in that important station which might be of ser\'ice 


in my further wanderings. Having already spent all my hard 
cash in Fashoda and on leaving the steamer, Gessi made me an 
advance, afterwards repaid in Cairo, with which I now purchased 
from the Government stores soap, candles, rice, cigars, tobacco, 
percussion-caps, powder, shot, and Arab clothes. From private 
sources I also procured an excellent express rifle, with 1500 
cartridges, a smaller rifle, some other firearms, and an ass 
more inured to this climate than the animal brought from 

On behalf of Gessi I took charge of several presents for 
Ndoruma, including a big Turkish drum, an Arab burnoose, an 
embroidered shawl, and a gun with some cartouches. Before 
starting I also forwarded despatches for Khartum and Europe by 
the Shekka route. This road, which runs northwards to Kordofan 
and through Hofrat en-Nhas to Dar-F6r, was followed by the 
Arab traders from the earliest times, and by it no doubt most of 
the slaves were exported northwards. The traffic along the 
western highway had considerably increased, especially of late 
years, since the outlet down the Nile was more strictly 

A parting line between the Golo territory and that of the Krej 
nation stretching westwards from Dem Soliman, might be some- 
what arbitrarily drawn north and south at about a day's journey 
to the east of this station. I say arbitrarily, because so great a 
mixture of tribes has resulted from the Arab rule, that it is no 
longer possible to lay down accurate frontiers between the several 
populations. The Kuru river, however, somewhat approximately 
marks the eastern limits of the Krej people, who are divided into 
numerous small groups, among which are interspersed various 
other communities, some long settled in the country, and already 
subject to the dominant race, others immigrants or fugitives 
since the Arab ascendancy in the western districts. 

My stay in Dem Soliman was prolonged from the 17th to the 
23rd of April, during which my health was thoroughly restored 
under the hospitable roof and in the genial society of Gessi Pasha. 
At our leave-taking I received from him the thoughtful gift of a 
milch cow with her calf, together with a Dinka boy named Farag, 



to look after these animals and the goats. The Dinkas, being 
great cattle-breeders, understand these things, whereas the Mang- 
battus, Niam-Niams, and others not engaged in the rearing of 
live stock, make but indifferent herdsmen. But wherever cattle 
are bred in Negro land they are always tended and even milked 
by the men, never by the women. 



-- i , 




Final Parting from Gessi— Krej Huts— Relation of the Negroes to the Arabs and to 
Gessi Pasha— Forced Labour indispensable in dealing with Negroes — Unexpected 
Arrival of Ndoruma— Solemn Reception, Festivities — Departure of Ndoruma to 
prepare his People for my Arrival — Deni Bekir — Unfriendly Recei tion by Abd 
es-Sit— Ascent of Mount Du— The great Nile-Congo Divide — " Gallery " 
Woodlands— Chief Jissa— Ascent of Mount Ghasa— Ndoruma's Frontiers — 
Korumunda District — Head-streams of the Mbomu — The last Affluent of the 
Bahr el-Ghazal— Chief Gassande — Arrival at Ndoruma's. 

We made rather an imposing exit from Dem Soliman, escorted 
b\' Gessi mounted on his mule, and accompanied by many of his 
officials. Many of those who remained behind, aware of my 
intention to spend some years in wandering over the southern 
Negro lands alone and unattended by the customary bodyguard, 
doubtless gave me up for lost. All Arabs entertain the greatest 
mistrust 'of Negroes, and consequently had little hope of my 
return. At our final parting beneath the shade of a mighty 



forest-tree, this sentiment found expression in the silent leave- 
taking, a mere grasp of the hand and the usual Arab farewell 
greeting for the native officials, a warmer embrace for Gessi as a 
dear friend, and the last European it might be my fate to meet 
for many a long year. Gessi himself I never saw again. The 
days of this brave, noble-minded Italian were numbered. His 
already enfesbled health never recovered from the effects of the 
disastrous return journey to Khartum, and on May ist, 1882, 
little more than a year after our parting, he ended in Suez his 
active and useful career. 

As far as Dem Soliman we had mainly followed a westerly 

course to Jur Ghattas ; but we now 

turned southwards to Dem Guju, 

the route lying the whole way 

through a rolling country covered 

with bush, and watered by numerous 

streams flowing north-west to the 

Biri. This route was different from 

that followed by Schweinfurth, who 

had penetrated west, crossing the 

Biri, and then curving round to 

• \^ Dem Bekir, whereas I never crossed 

I \ \ \ the river, Dem Guju lying consider- 

'. ^ ^, .. -'.y^- ably more to the east. On the march 

we met a number of carriers and 

SERE WOMAN. -711 \ • r ^ 

{Frjm adrm,ing by Dr. Schxvciujurth.) ^he Zandch chief, Zemio, whose 

territory lies south-west from here, 
and who was now travelling to Dem Soliman with ivory, 
caoutchouc, poultry, honey, and other produce. Many of his 
people showed the unmistakable Zandeh type, their appearance 
reminding me of the Makaraka and Bombeh tribes. With 
Zemio, whom I here met for the first time, I entered later into 
active relations, and of all native rulers he proved to be my best 
and warmest friend. 

In the halcyon days of the independent traders, when Ziber and 
other ivory merchants of Khartum had grown powerful enough 
to impose tribute on many of the western and southern lands, 


Dem Guju was a much larger and more important place than at 
present. It was the starting-point of numerous excursions, 
which were more in the nature of plundering and slave-hunting 
raids than trading expeditions. Hence, at that time, Dem Guju 
was practically a slave-market where the Jelabas, or settled retail 
dealers, brought up the living wares for further distribution on 
their own account. 


Thanks, however, to the increased watchfulness of the authori- 
ties, these relations have in later times been greatly modified. 
But before Gordon had taken energetic measures to prevent the 
export of slaves, both by the Nile and the main caravan route 
through Shekka and Hofrat en-Nhas, the traders sent their slaves 



by the tracks leading directly northwards from the remote western 
lands beyond the Bahr el-Ghazal province. All those western 
lands and the regions to the south of them were collectively 
known to the traders by the name of Dar-Fertit, a common 
Nubian expression, which indicated no particular country with 
any definite limits. On the clandestine traffic in those days 
carried on by the Dar-F6r traders in the western districts entirely 
unknown to the officials, I shall have more to say when I come 
to describe my wanderings in the Far West. 

At the time of my visit Dem Guju was inhabited, besides the 

few Government officers, by some of the still surviving Nubian 

and Dar-F6r traders, with their female slaves. Here a little 

wickerwork industry had been developed, and a chief speciality 

were very pretty, bright-coloured baskets, 

ornamented with glass beads, and also a 

kind of substitute for a dinner service, 

worked in diverse patterns. Some of these 

I procured for my own use and for my 

ethnographic collection. 

A short march brought us ('April 26th) 
from Dem Guju to the Krej prince, Gaggo's, 
the route trending from south to south- 
south-east over the water-parting between 
the Eiri and Kuru basins, and retaining 
this direction to Dem Bekir, and in fact all 
the way to Ndoruma's. My rapid march 
through these districts, whose inhabitants have for the most part 
kept at a distance from the beaten tracks of the traders, prevented 
me from giving more than a hasty glance at the social life of the 
Negro tribes in the Bahr el-Ghazal region. But their dwellings, 
weapons, implements, and industrial products are reproduced in 
a masterly manner by Schweinfurth in his Artes AfricaiK^. 

I noticed that all the huts in these northern regions are round 
and covered with a more or less pointed conic straw roof. The 
doorways of the Krej huts are so low that they can be entered 
only on all fours. Near them are seen miniature straw roofs on 
stands scarcely a few spans high, and under these are little uten- 



sils similar in form to the large water- vessels. Such objects, which 
look like children's toys, and which are also found in diverse forms 
but of the same fundamental t}'pe amongst other neighbouring 
populations, are indications of a dim perception of mysterious 
powers. They suggest the easily formulated but difficult ques- 
tion whether the Negroes of this part of Africa really believe in 
a higher, invisible being } The Arabs settle the matter right off 
by telling us that such things are the Negroes' "Allah " or Kujur, 
that is, his fetish, who can cause good or evil. Whether we are 
justified in concluding that these objects are associated in the 
savage mind with any deeper conceptions of the supernatural, I 
shall endeavour to ascertain after a more extensive comparative 
study of all the facts. 

The next march brought us from Gaggo's to the village of 
Ganago, another Krej chief near the upper course of the Kuru. 
The source of this river lay a day's journey farther south, and is 
followed westwards by that of the Bitti or Biri. This district is 
geographically important as forming a part of the water-parting 
between the Nile and Congo, the two largest African rivers. The 
streams flow north and north-west to the Bahr el-Ghazal, south 
and south-west through the Mbomu to the Welle-Makua. 

At this season heavy dews fell every night, so that the tall 
grass, already over three feet high, drenched us nearly to the hips 
on the morning's march ; but both grass and clothes were 
soon dried by the warm sunshine. Here I found a portable iron 
bedstead very serviceable in the Krej huts with their small 
entrances, which rendered useless the larger Sudanese angareb. 
Nevertheless I passed many sleepless nights, and envied my 
little black Saida snoring away on the straw mat at my side. 

On April 29th we reached Dem Bekir, where we rejoined Bohn- 
dorff and found the loads all in good condition. On the route 
we crossed the Kuru, here ten paces wide, and beyond it two 
smaller water-courses. It was a rolling, little diversified country, 
with much bush preventing extensive prospects. As far as I 
could judge, the whole region is but thinly peopled, the recent 
wars having perhaps driven the inhabitants to quit their settle- 
ments and withdraw beyond reach of their foreign oppressors. 


The Dem Eekir zeriba lies on the little river Duro, which 
here flows eastwards through a broad grassy depression, dotted 
over with the habitations of the Golo tribe. The superintendent, 
El-Maas, had received orders from Gessi to assist us in every way, 
and he was well aware that in doing so he was consulting his own 
best interests. I had scarcely expressed my satisfaction at the 
arrangements made for our accommodation when he related all his 
wants, including diverse petitions to the Pasha, which he expected 
me to back up. In Dem Bekir I took up my quarters for a few 
days, awaiting the messengers from Prince Ndoruma, to whom my 
approaching visit had already been announced from Jur Ghattas. 

Owing to the innovations introduced by Gessi the position of 
the Egyptian Negro States and their rulers had just then entered 
on a period of transition. The Bahr el-Ghazal populations, and 
especially the Zandeh kingdom, already shaken to its foundations 
by sanguinary intestine strife, as well as all eastern and western 
lands where the Khartum traders had founded settlements, or 
organized plundering expeditions, had in the course of years 
been enslaved, and laid waste by these foreign usurpers ; the 
peoples themselves had also been largely deprived of their per- 
sonal freedom and compelled to render compulsory service to 
their new masters. The enforced contributions of corn and other 
local produce, the incessant raids on the cattle of the Dinkas, 
Nuers, and other pastoral tribes, the kidnapping of their women 
and children, and similar outrages, must have created amongst 
all the Negro populations a feeling of profound discontent, which 
under other relations would certainly have led to open revolt and 
the expulsion of the hated intruders. 

But the Negroes are incapable of either defending or recovering 
their freedom, as the case may be, for their immense preponder- 
ance of numbers is neutralized by lack of cohesion and disunion. 
Were they fused in a single nationality, or capable of under- 
standing the necessity of common action for the common good, 
they could easily withstand the few armed forces sent against 
them, and all the powder and shot hitherto expended in assailing 
and enslaving them would never suffice to save their oppressors 
from extermination. 


As it was, they now naturally hailed Gessi, vanquisher of the 
great slave-trader Ziber's son Soliman, as a benefactor. At the 
beginning of the war they had held aloof, and often even betrayed 
hostile feelings towards these new invaders, who for them 
seemed to forebode nothing but fresh misery, and who as yet 
held out no promise of better times. But after the first successes, 
and when they saw that Gessi was smiting their former oppres- 
sors hip and thigh, emancipating the kidnapped slaves and even 
calling in the natives to hunt down the enemy that had taken 
refuge in the bush, then they welcomed the conqueror with 
shouts of jubilant exultation. 

At that time mistaken notions of the new order may have 
dimly dawned on the excited brain of many natives. Some 
assuredly expected relief from the obligation of statute-labour, 
and improvement of their material condition, hopes which were 
not realized, and which under prevailing conditions cannot be 
realized, even by the mildest possible system of government. 
The efficient administration itself of a Negro province requires 
increased labour on the part of the native, and this labour he 
will not submit to freely, for after all he is mainly indolent and 
indisposed to work. The prosperity of the land and of the 
individual, the so-called " Negro culture," is impossible without 
the compulsory labour of the Negro himself According to 
European notions this may seem an infringement on personal 
freedom, and cried down by sham philanthropy as only a 
lighter but still inadmissible form of slavery ; nevertheless for 
generations to come enforced labour must remain a primary 
condition of all successful attempts to improve the condition of 
the African. 

After Gessi's successful campaign against Soliman, the remote 
chiefs and princes in the Niam-Niam country everywhere dis- 
plaj-ed a friendly spirit, spontaneously sending envoys and ivory 
to the new governor, and even presenting themselves personally 
at the stations to declare their goodwill. But this natural action 
of rulers whom he had liberated from their oppressors, inspired 
Gessi with too much confidence in certain transactions, and 
especially in the dismissal of numerous Negro soldiers who had 


served under Soliman and the Arabs. At that time he frequently 
spoke to me of his conviction that, after having as far as possible 
eliminated the Arab element, he would no longer need any great 
armaments in the province ; the Negroes, he felt assured, would 
continue to show themselves submissive, and in case of need 
readily accept military service. 

On the other hand he would be able considerably to lighten 
their burdens when the standing army was reduced to a mini- 
mum. It was accordingly his policy to maintain as few men as 
possible at the expense of the native populations. Hence he 
dismissed not only the slaves who had taken refuge with him 
and the former retainers of the Nubians, but also many young 
Negroes who had served in the war, and now desired to return 
to their homes. He went even further, and allowed many of 
these men to keep their arms. However, he still retained an 
adequate force of native troops, some consisting of young men 
recently enrolled in remote districts, others who had years before 
been torn from their homes, and who had voluntarily joined the 

But many of these disbanded soldiers took advantage of their 
freedom, not only to recover their homes, but also, with the 
truculence characteristic of Negroes, to play the part of swash- 
bucklers, ready to take service with petty chiefs for lawless 
purposes, or else undertake freebooting expeditions on their own 
account. In the interior of the country I had later many 
opportunities of noticing the insolence and overbearing conduct 
of these disbanded natives. 

For the moment, however, Gessi's policy secured the friendship 
of the Negroes and their rulers, who placed themselves freely at 
his service. Some of the fire-arms taken from Soliman he 
handed over to several of the more powerful Zandeh chiefs, such 
as Zemio, Sasa, Ndoruma, and others ; he thereby strengthened 
their hands against rival potentates, and also enabled them to 
reduce refractory tribes, and procure ivory for the Government 
by filibustering expeditions. They were also expected to bring 
tribute of caoutchouc, cereals (durra, maize and telebun), palm- 
oil, ground-nuts, honey, pulse, to the Bahr el-Ghazal stations. 



In a word, he aimed at limiting to the utmost the expeditions 
formerly organized at these stations, and despatched under 
Nubian leaders to plunder the southern lands, relying on the 
chiefs themselves whom he had furnished with fire-arms to bring 
in the ivory, but of course abstain from slave-raiding! Many of 
the old commanders of zeribas, Arabs from the time of Soliman 
or of his father Ziber, who anticipating Soliman's overthrow had 
remained neutral, or even helped Gessi, were now allowed to 

ROMOLO GESSI PASHA. {From a photograph by R. Biichta.) 

remain as administrators at their posts in the remote western 
districts. Such were Rafai, Abd Allah, Ali Kobbo, and others ; 
and this was but another proof that neither Gessi nor any other 
Governor could dispense with the Arab and Mohammedan 
elements in the administration of Negro land. 

In carr}'ing out his innovating reforms Gessi trusted to his 
lucky star, and he was anyhow actuated by the highest motives. 


In the case of chiefs such as Zemio and Sasa, he may not have 
had cause to regret his confidence in the loyalty of native 
vassals. But the disbanding of the black troops and dismissal 
of former dragomans, and especially the granting of arms to the 
smaller chiefs of the Dinka tribes, was to say the least prema- 
ture, and not justified by the circumstances. I do not go so far 
as to assert that the disastrous Dinka revolt which afterwards 
broke out under Lupton Eey was precipitated by this mistaken 
policy ; but the success of the Dinkas was certainly facilitated 
by the concession. I would here express my dissent from Gessi's 
fundamental principle, that the traffic in slaves is entirely pro- 
moted and mainly carried on by the Arabs. And as he aimed 
at the suppression of this traffic in his province, it was at least 
risky to grant the more highly-favoured native rulers the right 
of organizing distant expeditions, which, without the proper 
restrictions, were practically plundering raids. I myself later 
accompanied such native expeditions, and I can therefore certify 
that all Negroes make a more reckless use of the power en- 
trusted to them than do the half-caste Sudanese Arabs. On such 
occasions they commit many outrages associated with their 
superstitious practices, such as human sacrifices, which they 
consider themselves bound to make in honour of the dead. 
They are also more ruthless than the Arabs, and recognize no 
law except that of the strongest. 

The action of the natives in connection with Gessi's successful 
campaign acquires special interest in the light of recent events 
in East Africa, where the Germans are engaged in a similar 
conflict. It is to be hoped that they will take warning from the 
consequences of Gessi's misplaced confidence, and not allow 
themselves to be deceived by apparent successes, or by the 
passing emotions of impulsive Negroes. 

But while touching on these relations I am far from desirous 
to detract from Gessi's great merits. I am myself too well aware 
how hard it was at that time to eradicate inveterate abuses, and 
direct existing institutions to better purposes. Gessi's efforts at 
improvements, like those of Gordon, Emin, Lupton, and other 
well-meaning reformers, were thwarted by the lack of sympathy 


and co-operation on the part of his underHngs, and by the 
absence of that vigilance which was necessary to control both 
officials and subjects in the exercise of their rights and the 
performance of their duties. However, the friendly disposition 
of the Negro rulers towards the new Governor, Gessi Pasha, 
promised the best results for myself and my journeys to the 

As I had anticipated, messengers from Ndoruma arrived in 
Dem Bekir, though I was amazed to learn from them that the 
prince himself was following close behind. I hastily made 
every preparation to give him a worthy reception, and when 
he soon after entered the station, the reason of his personal 
visit at once became evident. He wanted to be certain of the 
object of my expedition, and ascertain if I had any hostile 
intentions, or was accompanied by a large force that might be 
dangerous or burdensome to his people. He could not at 
first understand my intention of visiting his country with quite 
an insignificant escort. This was even later a perpetual wonder 
to him, for strangers had hitherto traversed his territory with 
hundreds of armed men ever ready for war or attack. 

For the solemn reception my little suite had quickly donned 
their best — Russian peasant costumes, bright cotton shirts and 
trousers, of which I had brought several dozen as presents. 
With the Turkish fez, on the possession of which every Negro 
prides himself, my few followers made a brave show, as they 
drew up and presented arms, while I advanced with Bohndorff, 
the superintendent El-Maas, and others to give Ndoruma a 
hearty welcome, and lead him by the hand to a seat in the hut 
set apart for the reception. Such was my first meeting with this 
powerful Niam-Niam ruler, who had several times struck terror 
into well-equipped Arab expeditions, two of which he had nearly 
annihilated in 1871. 

On his first appearance Ndoruma presented a somewhat 
comical sight, arrayed in an eccentric costume, which he had 
apparently put on expressly for this occasion. He had squeezed 
his long muscular legs into a pair of crimson trousers which were 
far too short and narrow for his brawny limbs, and which seemed 


to have at one time formed part of a huzzar's uniform. Over 
this he wore an Arab gelabiyeh, which was also far too tight a fit, 
compressing shoulders and arms into the smallest compass, and 
leaving chest and paunch fully exposed. Yet so calm and 
dignified was his bearing, so imposing his colossal figure, that I 
soon forgot his laughable appearance and at once became deeply 
interested in this striking personality. 

He involuntarily reminded me of the Mangbattu king, Munsa, 
as described by Schweinfurth in his Heart of Africa. On the 
countenance was stamped the unmistakable Niam-Niam type — 
sharp, vigorous traits, animated eyes bespeaking a resolute spirit, 
combined with prominent cheek-bones and broad nostrils, which 
imparted a strange wildness to his Negro features. The lips, 
however, were but moderately everted, and were moreover 
relieved by thin mustachios, and a shaggy beard merging up- 
wards in a sparse growth of whiskers. The hair, arranged 
Zandeh-fashion, though somewhat carelessly, in tresses, projected 
under a tarbush round the occiput. Like all the Niam-Niam 
chiefs of the early period, Ndoruma scorned all personal orna- 
ment, his ordinary dress being the customary " rokko " which is 
prepared from the bark of a species of fig {Urostigina), and 
which is generally worn by many peoples of Central Africa. The 
Zandehs wear a comparatively small garment of this type, which 
is brought forward between the legs and fastened behind by a 
girdle, so as to spread out on both sides, and fold round the hips 
like a loose loin-cloth. In this national rocco Ndoruma's tall 
handsome figure showed to the best advantage. When seated 
he aft"ected a somewhat careless attitude, though by no means 
awkward, but on the contrary displaying a certain natural 
dignity in every movement. 

In recent years Ndoruma had been brought into frequent 
contact with the Arabs and Khartum traders, and had already 
acquired some familiarity with their language. Some eighteen 
months before our interview his independence had been broken 
in war by Rafai Agha, the Mohammedan governor of Ziber's 
former zeribas in the West Zandeh lands, a person who had 
played a leading part in the history of Egyptian Sudan. But 


though compelled to recognize the suzerainty of the Nubians/ 
Ndoruma, like the vanquished chiefs, had gladly welcomed the 
new relations growing up under Gessi's administration. Hitherto, 
however, he had apparently met no Europeans, but Egyptians 
alone. Hence I was evidently an interesting object in his eyes, 
and I was aware that he had shown great curiosity to see me. 
At first, however, despite his self-conscious attitude, he had been 
unable altogether to conceal that suspicious shyness which is 
inborn in every Negro. But the feeling soon wore off, and when 
m)' frank declarations enabled him to grasp the true situation, 
he showed undisguised pleasure at being able to put aside all 
needless fears. Every word and gesture also betrayed his 
astonishment at my appearance, and at the many objects entirely 
new to him, as well as at my expressed intention to visit his 
country and other strange lands alone and without escort of 
any kind. 

The prince had already on a former occasion visited Dem 
Bekir with a convoy of ivory, and had even been as far as Dem 
Soliman, but at a time when Gessi was absent. At present he 
was accompanied only by a small following, having, as he 
explained, started in all haste on the arrival of my messengers. 
During our interview I expressed great hope that, under the 
new relations in the Bahr el-Ghazal region, better times were 
also in store for the Negro lands. I gave him, as far as seemed 
necessary, all information regarding Gessi's good and friendly 
intentions towards the native princes and chiefs, at the same 
time communicating Gessi's personal greetings, and informing 
him that I was bearer of the Pasha's presents to himself. 

At a second interview I produced all these gifts and solemn 1}^ 
presented them to him. Each of my attendants, arranged in a 
semi-circle, advanced with one of the articles, while I enlarged 
on my proposed visit to his country, my object and friendly 
intentions, also pointing out that I would be attended by a small 

' It may be mentioned once for all that all the Moslim intruders, who had pene- 

hy the expressions Nubians, Sudanese, traled from Kliartum through Shekka or 

Sudanese Arabs, Mohammedans, Khar- Hofrat en-Nhas into Negro land, 
turners, Egyptians, are to be understood 



Government escort only as far as the frontier of his territory^ 
and merely as a protection for my numerous carriers. After 
that I should expect, as a harmless private traveller, to be aided 
and safeguarded by the native rulers, of whom he, Ndoruma, was 
the first ; in him I placed every confidence ; to his loyalty, after 
entering his territory with the few followers whom he here saw. 


I wished unreservedly to confide my safety, as well as that of 
my people and property. All this I dwelt upon in one of 
those lengthy palavers which are so dear to the heart of the 
Negro, employing all kinds of figurative language, such as 
during the course of years I had picked up from the natives 


themselves. In conclusion, I assured him of my satisfaction at 
personally greeting him here, instead of through his envoys, 
hoping thus to learn from his own lips that he was willing to 
receive me as his guest, for on no other condition should I 
venture to enter his country. 

Thereupon followed the presentation of the gifts, and as I 
had anticipated, Ndoruma gave me all the assurances and pro- 
mises that I could possibly desire. At the same time they were 
the promises of a native, which my long experiences in the Negro 
lands had taught me to estimate at their proper value. But 
even so, I was well pleased at this meeting with Ndoruma in 
Dem Bekir, the more so that we had come to a clear under- 
standing on many urgent and weighty matters. 

He was now anxious to get back without delay, in order, as he 
assured me, and as I readily believed, to prepare his people for 
my arrival, and to set their minds at rest regarding my inten- 
tions. Then I might follow in a few days with my men and 
effects, for my approaching visit was already widely known. 

I was naturally desirous to part with him on the best of terms, 
to make the most favourable impression on him from the first, 
and let him clearly see how greatly we Europeans differed from 
the Arabs in all our views and actions. My purpose was 
fully accomplished during the ensuing daily interviews, at which 
long personal conversations were carried on by the aid of my 
interpreter, Farag 'Allah. 

A little feast also, which I improvised for him on the eve of 
his departure, and at which he saw for the first time many won- 
derful things, was partly intended to give him a slight insight 
into our European ways, to impress him with a sense of our 
superiority, and supply him and his people with topics for 
discussion on their return to their homes. For this purpose I 
had unpacked several curious things, which at the evening 
entertainment did not fail to excite the wonder and amazement 
of these children of nature. Here were all kinds of musical 
instruments, illustrated books and other objects, which now and 
for years to come I found useful in amusing my black audience 
and securing the goodwill and co-operation of the natives in 



furthering my views. At dusk we arranged a little procession 
with gay Chinese lanterns, introducing with great effect comical 

and animal masks, which even 
caused momentary alarm, until a 
little reflection enabled the spec- 
tators to enter into the fun of the 
thing. Then their outbursts of 
jubilant delight were suddenly ar- 
rested by the deep notes of my 
barrel-organ ; all was hushed, while 
every ear listened to the unwonted 
strains of the Wacht am RJiein 
rolling harmoniously over the wilds 
of Africa. 

I had done my best to honour 
my newly-acquired African friend, 
the ruler of the cannibal Niam- 
Niams. He took his departure 
next morning. May 3rd, not merely 
relieved of all further anxiety re- 
garding our visit, but apparently 
now troubled only with 
the fear that we might 
not come after all. At 
our parting he promised 
on his return to have 
everything ready for 
erecting the huts and 
preparing the station for 
our accommodation ; the 
building, however, of 

y ^^,7 - - .,-«v>^^/ '««^-^=:^^=~->.,^^._-.>^ these structures was at 

A yy' ci'^z;: ^-/*'1^ii^ >.<£5»^^' my special request put 

off till our arrival. After 
this first meeting with 
Ndoruma I felt relieved 
from many cares which had hitherto preyed on my mind. But 

DURRA {Sorghum viilgare). 


in .Africa when one trouble is over another is sure to take its 
place ; nor had I long to wait for fresh causes of anxiety. 

After Ndoruma's departure the time passed c^uickly in 
preparations for the journey. My property was now increased 
by forty-five additional loads of durra {Sorg/iiiin vii/gare) and 
flour, for it appeared that not much corn was grown in 
Ndoruma's country, and although telebun {Elciisine coracand) 
could be procured, durra especially was scarce. I may mention 
that telebun, widely cultivated in tropical Africa, in India, and 
South Arabia, is a cereal with short stalk and ears disposed 
like stars. 

I also took enough corn for the period of our first stay with 
Ndoruma, in order, especially at first, not to be a burden to his 
people, and if necessary live on our own supplies. 

Dem Bekir, which we left on May 7th, after a week's stay in 
the place, was the southernmost settlement of the Arab traders 
in the Bahr el-Ghazal region properly so called. After leaving 
Meshra I had hitherto mostly followed Schweinfurth's route of 
1S71, on his return journey from Dem Bekir, north-eastwards 
to W'au. Before my expedition the vast regions stretching south 
from Dem Bekir was known only from the inquiries made by 
Schweinfurth and Th. von Hcuglin, and from the reports of the 
Arab traders ; hence its broad features alone had been roughly, 
and of course quite inaccurately, figured on our maps. No 
European had yet set foot in those lands, which comprise the 
largest section of the Zandeh domain. Schweinfurth's memor- 
able expedition to Mangbattu Dand beyond the Welle river 
merely touched a spur of those uplands considerably more to 
the east. Here, also, the Italian collector, Piaggia, had made a 
lengthy stay ; but although he was the first to bring back accu- 
rate information regarding the Zandeh nation, his cartographic 
data are worthless. 

The western districts of the Zandeh and Bangia territories 
explored by me had a few years previously been traversed by 
the Greek physician, Dr. Potagos, already notorious for his 
romantic travels in Asia. His fantastic descriptions and carto- 
graphic errors are all embodied in the first volume of his Dix 


Annees de Voyages dans I'Asie Cent rale et VAfriqiie equatoriaie, 
Paris, 1885. About the same time my present companion, 
Bohndorff, had made his already-mentioned journey beyond the 
Shinko river ; but no particulars are extant of that expedition. 

During my travels Lupton Bey, successor of Gessi Pasha as 
Governor of the province, had also traversed the western parts of 
the Bahr el-Ghazal region — a region, however, with which we are 
here scarcely concerned.^ But most of his notes unfortunately 
perished with him, for he also was one of the victims of the 
Mahdi's revolt. To these names, for the lands lying south of the 
Welle-Makua, may be added those of the Italian traveller Miani, 
of the Italian Captain Cassati, whom I met later in Mangbattu, 
and lastly Emin Bey. These exhaust the short list of those 
European travellers who have visited parts of the region ex- 
plored by me. Thus the new routes follow^ed by me during the 
next few years traversed many unexplored districts and lands 
hitherto known scarcely by name. 

On May 7th, 1880, we soon crossed the bed of the Jih, head- 
stream of the Pango, which we had already passed on our way 
to Ganda. Here it was about six yards wide, with very little 
water in its channel. The gradually ascending track leads through 
a wooded hilly district, over a saddleback of laterite, between 
Mounts Daingirri and Chito, and so on through fine, park-like 
woodlands and several small plateaux down to the valley of the 
river Katta. This stream, which despite its small size contained 
several feet of water, was frequently crossed by our route. 

Here the western horizon was bounded by chains of wooded 
hills, while the land sloping eastwards presented a broad open 
prospect. At the village of the Golo chief, Jenge, may be 
approximately drawn the southern limit of the Golo territor\', 
which is here conterminous with that of the Sere or Bashir 
people, as the Zandehs call them. Here the scene suddenly 
changes with an abrupt fall in the road. The gaze now sweeps 
uninterruptedly for miles and miles over the clumps of trees 
dotted over the low-lying region rolling away to the south. 

^ Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, 1884, p. 245. 


Our first halt after leaving Dem Beklr was made south of 
Mount Luh, at a bend of the Endese rivulet, which still contained 
some water. We found that the wooded, hilly, and mountainous 
country south of the Jih lies on the water-parting between the 
Pongo and Wau basins. The Endese itself was the first head- 
stream of the Wau ; and all the brooks crossed during the 
following days, and flowing north-eastwards, combine to form 
the upper course of the same river. 

At the camping grounds I generally set up my quarters on 
some shady spot beneath a branching tree, or on the bank of a 
wooded stream. Here were brought table, chair, books, maps, 
and writing materials, and here were posted up my daily notes, 
while the camp-fires were kindled for the evening meal. This 
supper, preceded by the always welcome cup of tea, was the 
most substantial meal of the day, for on the march we were 
usually satisfied with a little abre (thin, dry durra bread) steeped 
in water, cheese, milk and kisra (bread), Khartum buxiiiat 
(biscuits), and tea. But while writing up my diary I had to keep 
a watchful eye on the surroundings. The young hands I had 
engaged were still novices, careless and happy-go-lucky, like all 
Negroes, and needing instruction in the simplest duties. Hence 
the work would be constantly interrupted with questions and 
orders — have the animals been watered, fodder cut, firewood 
collected, the cow attended to, the goats tethered, and so forth. 
Such matters require to be constantly seen to by all travellers 
who wish to save themselves from continual losses. 

Next day, May 8th, brought us to the station of the dragoman, 
Abd Allah, one of El-Maas' sub-inspectors, who had founded 
settlements of Bongos, Diggas (Zandehs), and Seres round about, 
and whose duty it was to look after the interests of the Govern- 
ment in this district. Here was the largest stream we had yet 
crossed, the Buseri, a head-water of the Wau, which collects 
several other brooks, and which at this place is already fifteen 
yards wide. But at that season its banks, fourteen or fifteen 
feet high, contained a current not more than six yards broad 
and half a foot deep. 

The route, here as everywhere in Negro land scarcely a foot 


wide, now left the hills and entered a rolling country with alter- 
nating- stretches of bush and forest growths. By the latter 
expression (" Hochwald ") I mean close woodlands with tall tim- 
ber in contradistinction to the patches of bush or scrub, often 
separated by considerable stretches of herbage, and either grow- 
ing round some solitary forest giant, or else forming continuous 
thickets by themselves. Forests, in our sense of the word — that 
is, consisting of a single species — are rare in this region,^ where 
the woodlands are of a mixed character, the prevailing forms 
being combretaceas, caesalpinieae, and rubiaceae. 

Occasional openings through the woods afforded distant 
glimpses of the Nbia Daragiimba- away to the south ; a rising 
ground farther on also afforded a wide prospect of low-lying 
land stretching eastwards. To avoid repetition in describing the 
general aspect of the land, I may remark here once for all that a 
rolling formation is characteristic of all these regions. But the 
contour lines of such rolling grounds may be short or long, high 
or low, and are distinguished accordingly. Where the conforma- 
tion is different, or the rolling character is scarcely perceptible — 
as, for instance, the extensive grassy savannas in the South and 
Far West, or the hilly and mountainous tracts — the special 
features of the land will be described in each case. Broad open 
plains, in the strict sense of the term, are here of the rarest 
occurrence ; but characteristic of the lowlands is the alluvial 
formation traversed by the lower course of the larger streams 
flowing to the Bahr el-Ghazal. 

Here, also, the respective southern and northern frontiers of 
the conterminous Sere and Digga territories can only be approxi- 
mately drawn through the district in charge of Abd Allah. In 
these border lands, under the administration of dragomans, the 
populations of the Bahr el-Ghazal province have become so 

^ This reference is less applicable to pect and woodlands of diverse growths. 
England than to the European Continent, - In the Zandeh language )!hia means 
where extensive pine, fir, birch, oak, rock or mountain. Hence many water- 
chestnut, and other forests are common. courses bear the name of nanbia, that is, 
Elsewhere the author, like other travel- na-nbia = "on, or over, rock," in refer- 
lers, compares the African scenery to ence to their rocky or stony beds. 
that of England, with its park-like as- 


intermingled during the last ten years, that it is no longer pos- 
sible to draw hard and fast lines between the several ethnical 
groups/ The northern Diggas have long been brought into 
relations of dependency on the Government of the Bahr 
el-Ghazal province ; they now live peacefully side by side with 
the Sere, Bongo, Golo, Pambia, and other tribes, all of whom had 
formerly been vassals of the warlike Zandehs. 

At this station Abd Allah provided us with five loads'of durra, 
and some lugma (thick porridge) with seasoning was served out 
to my people, as was customary when the Arab convoys passed 
through all these stations. A tiring march brought us before 
noon next day to the settlement of Abd es-Sit, another drago- 
man subordinate to the superintendent El-Maas. [He had 
charge of the southernmost posts on the road to Ndoruma's 
territory, and had been several times at this chief's residence to 
take over the consignments of ivory. I had already met him in 
Dem Bekir, whence he had been sent forward to get everything 
ready for our reception, and to make arrangements for the con- 
tinuance of our journey ; for El-Maas had given orders that the 
carriers from Dem Bekir were to be changed here, and that Abd 
es-Sit was to personally accompany us on the next stage. 

But it soon became evident that the rascal, formerly one of 
Kuchuk All's slaves, had made no preparations of any kind. 
On my arrival he presented himself before me drunk and 
smoking a pipe, and began a rambling statement nothing to the 
purpose. So I cut matters short by first of all chucking his pipe 
into the next bush, which seemed to stagger him a little, and 
then taking the work in hand myself. A few huts were cleared 
out for our accommodation, while a dahr et-tor'^ or shed was run 
up to shelter the baggage. Later Abd es-Sit came up some- 
what dejected, protesting that he had not expected us so soon, 
that he was not himself ready to travel just yet, and had been 
unable to procure any carriers, but would arrange for those who 
had come so far to remain in my service. Though apparently in 
a penitent mood, he still asked for a day's delay, and as I was 

^ Literally an " ox-back," in reference to its sloping roof. 


anxious to scale a neighbouring mountain I granted his request. 
He did not again present himself before me, but probably sought 
consolation in the beloved merissa (native beer) for his slighted 

The inhabitants of this district are less heterogeneous than in 
the north, the indigenous element being the Diggas, a northern 
branch of the Zandehs. Their territory, bordering north on the 
Sere and Krej lands, stretches far to the west, and they still 
occupy in that direction a part of the country figuring on 
Schweinfurth's map as Mofio's, where is the Ombanga zeriba. 
But wherever the Nubians have been long established we find 
the same hopeless mixture of tribes, and here also the Diggas 
have ceased to be the dominant race. Some of their chiefs settled 
in the neighbourhood came with their people to welcome us. I 
could detect no distinctive Zandeh features in their appearance, 
and I believe that the Diggas, at least in many districts, are 
already a mixed race. 

Next day I ascended Mount Du, which lies an hour's march 
to the south-east of Abd es-Sit. On the road we crossed the 
Kommo, which rises close to the Busseri, flowing, after its junc- 
tion with that river, to the left bank of the Upper Wau. 
Although only a few hundred feet high, Mount Du commands a 
wide prospect, and gave me an opportunity of taking several 
angular measurements. It terminates in a rounded granite or 
gneiss summit, whence the eye ranges over an open bushy region 
bounded in some directions by rising grounds. 

Short as was the trip, I returned tired and languid with an 
uncomfortable feeling, which proved in a few days the forerunner 
of an attack of fever. Abd es-Sit was still sulking, while a 
chorus of complaints rose against him on all sides. The carriers 
who at his command were to continue in my service, whether 
they wished or no, were clamouring for their corn rations. So I 
sent for him, and with an accuracy of judgment rare in such 
cases, the knave informed me that he was sakrdn (" drunk "), 
again imploring me to put off our departure for a day. 
My growing indisposition obliged me to make a virtue of 
necessity, so I consented, but insisted on the men getting 


their corn, though doubtless he had Httle intention of keeping 
his word. 

Next -morning still no corn, so that I began to fear they would 
all run off, while it was rumoured that Abd es-Sit intended 
to delay our departure still longer. Enraged at the insolence 
of this lying and deceitful upstart, I had six loads of corn from 
ni\- own stock forthwith served out to our two hundred carriers, 
with the promise that come what may a start should be made 
next morning. Thereupon the men expressed their willingness 
to accompany me farther, only they hoped I would let them get 
back as soon as possible to look after their fields. 

I sent word to Abd es-Sit that, unless he wished to make the 
acquaintance of my kurbash, he was not to venture again into 
my presence, but to refund in full measure the corn which I had 
distributed to the carriers ; if this was not done at once, I should 
there and then inform the Pasha by letter of his criminal con- 
duct. This brought him to his senses, and in a twinkle five 
small loads of Dukhn (Pcnicillaria) were produced. But the 
intense irritation had aggravated my general indisposition to 
fever point ; nevertheless I personally superintended the necessary 
arrangements for our departure next day. 

I had passed a somewhat sleepless night, and still lay weary 
and feverish on my camp-bed, when Bohndorff started early on 
May 1 2th, at the head of the convoy. Pulling myself together 
with an effort, I followed in half an hour with the servants and 
the loads containing the daily requisites. Reaching camp about 
noon I laid up for the rest of the day, and after a dose of 
quinine felt strengthened for next day's march. 

Meanwhile our vigorous action had also brought Abd es-Sit 
to reason ; he followed somewhat later, and towards evening 
unexpectedly entered the camp with a number of carriers bear- 
ing loads of corn. This man was for me another instance of the 
fact that the Negro raised to a responsible position and left to 
himself often abuses his authority more than the Arab. The 
complaints of those subject to his jurisdiction plainly showed 
that his sole aim was to administer the district for his own 
exclusiv^e benefit. 



Next day's route traversed rolling ground overgrown with 
open brushwood. Along the banks of the numerous rivulets 
crossing our track, and sometimes flowing in deep beds, the vege- 
tation assumes a more exuberant character ; the thinly-wooded 
savanna was here changed to a narrow selvage of tall forest 
growths, lining the river banks. These conditions again became 
modified farther south, and the contrast was very marked a few 
da}'s' march be}'ond Abd es-Sit's. On the day after leaving 
Mount Du the edge of a new fluvial basin was reached some 
distance south of 6° north latitude. The development of animal 
and vegetable forms frequently undergoes a striking change 
about the main water-partings of great hydrographic systems ; 
for the occurrence of distinct species is often associated with the 
area of drainage of a given river, while in this connection climate, 
character of the soil, and other determining causes are natural!}- 
important factors. 

Apart from the little river Jih, w^iich had been crossed south 
of Dem Bekir, the numerous streams or brooks met along the 
next six days' line of march all belonged to the same fluvial 
basin, flowing north-eastwards, and combining to form the Wau. 
But the Wau itself is only a tributary of the Bahr el-Ghazal, and 
that again of the Nile, so that during the last few days my route 
lay about the head-waters of one of the largest Nile affluents. 
But a single day's march west of the route hitherto followed 
south of Dem Bekir leads to the great divide between the Nile 
and Congo basins. All the streams beyond this divide flow in 
the opposite direction to that already indicated — that is, to the 
south-west — and lower down constitute a section of those rivers 
that go to form the Welle-Makua-Mobangi — that is, one of the 
largest Congo affluents. 

Above the part of the divide here under consideration there 
rise, in order from north to south, the three Mounts Makamba, 
Daragumba, and Baindiri. Under 6° 45' N. the route crosses the 
water-parting, and then traverses lands belonging to the Congo 
basin. Hence this hydrographic parting-line had for me the 
greatest possible interest. During my travels in Makaraka Land 
I had for the first time crossed streams flowinsr to the Cono-o in 


the territory of the Munclu Negroes, and again also in Kalaka. 
To be sure at that time I had still no suspicion that the Welle- 
Makua ultimately finds its way to the Congo. But here in this 
western region I was already able approximately to determine 
the divide between the two great fluvial systems. During the 
following years my movements in the southern lands lay in close 
proximit}^ to this important divide, so that I was enabled to 
insert in the map of Africa the Nile-Congo water-parting in its 
main direction and nearly in its entire length. A glance at the 


map shows that it runs from about 2° N. latitude west of Lake 
Albert Nyanza north-westwards to 8° N. latitude, having a total 
length of some 745 miles.^ 

Where we traversed it, the region south of Dem Bekir is at 
present for the most part an uninhabited wilderness, except in 
the settled districts under Abd Allah and Abd es-Sit. As the 

^ A more detailed account of this Petermann's Alitteiluugcn, Supplement 
hydrogiaphic feature will be found in No. 92. 


Khartum slave-hunters advanced, the primitive populations 
were driven to emigrate in large numbers, and place themselves 
under the protection of the native rulers farther south. During 
our many days' journey to and beyond the water-parting we 
nowhere met any Negro settlements, but noticed at various points 
clear traces of former habitations. Thus a day's journey south 
of Abd es-Sit's we entered the former territory of the chief Ingo, 
who, like others, had escaped from the Arab razzias and from 
the detested corvee by taking refuge with the Zandeh prince, ]\Ibio. 

On the slight rising grounds between the rivers and rivulets 
the almost universally ferruginous soil of the wooded savannas is 
of a reddish colour. But it has not yet acquired that intense 
brown-red or brick-red hue, which is characteristic of the more 
southern lands, and from which probably the greater part of the 
surface of the Continent might be described as of laterite forma- 
tion. ^ In some places underlying the laterite are granite or 
gneiss fragments, though here and there the hard rock also crops 
out in small bare eminences. Frequently the current flowing in 
deep channels causes an underwash and polishes the rocky 
surfaces in the river bed. Between these are formed in the dry 
season little pools, which to me seemed like so many natural 
aquariums full of vigorous life. 

We always gladly rested under the shady trees of these 
wooded streams, or else pitched our tents in the vicinit}\ The 
bottom was often covered, as with a green carpet, by dainty 
water-plants, such as Lagarosiphon, Naias, CcratopJiylhim, Utriai- 
laria, Chara, and others. Little fishes an inch long could be 
seen darting about amid these plants, water-beetles diving to the 
lower depths after taking in a fresh supply of air at the surface, 
small crab-like creatures peeping out from their hiding-places, 
and there was even a real hermit-like crustacean, a longish blue 
fresh-water shell-fish, which would every now and then open ever 
so little the aperture of his abode. 

' Laterite, from later - brick, tile, is a pregnated with sesquioxide of iron, 

reddish earth derived from the disintegra- and sometimes contains ha-matite and 

tion of various rocks, hence is of various beauxite. 
constitution, but is usually strongly im- 


\\'hei-e we crossed it, the Nile-Congo divide presented the 
aspect of a broad-crested rising ground, which sloped gradually 
eastwai-ds, and which here sent its farthest little affluent down to 
the Wau. Beyond the rising ground a broad prospect was un- 
folded towards the west, and here the Badua, the first tributar\' 
of the Congo, was soon crossed. Here also the above-mentioned 
change in the physiognomy of the water-courses and in the cha- 
racter of the riverain vegetation was very striking. Probabh' it 
was due to the southern aspect of the land, which, being exposed 
to the trade winds, receives a more copious rainfall than the 
opposite (Nile) water-shed. But it may perhaps be also due to 
the steeper incline of the divide on its south-west side. This 
would produce a tendency in the streams flowing to the Congo 
to excavate deeper channels along their upper course, whereas 
the gentler slope on the Nile side would diminish the erosive 
action of those trending northwards. 

But whatever be the cause, we here again enter that marvel- 
lously exuberant vegetable world, where tropical forms, now 
intermingled with new species, display a scarcely-expected 
development along the moist slopes of trough-like dales, cutting 
deep into the ground, and where half visible streamlets flow in 
everlasting gloom along the bottom lands lined on both sides by 
perennial swampy depressions promoting a rich vegetable growth. 
Such increasingly lavish vegetation is stimulated especially by the 
formation of the deep, dank fluvial beds. Tropical exuberance 
finds its full expression along the course of these channels in the 
magnificent " gallery forests," such as are seldom rivalled farther 
north. The term " gallery," first applied by Piaggia to these 
tunnel-like woodlands lining the river banks, was afterwards 
adopted by Schweinfurth, and has since come into general use.^ 

The Badua, the first stream met on the southern water-shed, 
already shows this remarkable change in the general character 
of the vegetation. We encamped (May 12th) for the night in its 
vicinit}', and found that here the rains had set in earlier and 
more copiously than in the north. The grass was already as tall 

^ This statement is true ; nevertheless and unintelligible, is here replaced by 
"gallery forest," being both un-English the expression "fluvial avenue." — Ed. 



as a man and yielded material for roofing our temporary huts. 
Here also after a long interval game was again obtained, so that 
my Khartum cook Saida had to try her hand at the higher 
branches of the culinary art ; for our simple frugal fare was now 

varied with antelope 
cutlets and joints of 
other large game. 

On May i6th, after our 
long journeying in the wilder- 
ness, we were at last glad- 
dened by the sight of human 
habitations in the district of 
the Zandeh chief, Yissa. 
Then we crossed the Rongo, 
the first considerable Congo 
affluent, which has here a westerly trend ; its bed, which like 
all the others winds through a deep trough, was about fifteen 
yards wide, but contained a current scarcely six yards wide. 
The Rongo, after collecting the other waters of the district, joins 



the Boku, which is itself tributary to the Mbomu, the largest 
northern affluent of the Welle-Makua. 

In the development of the fluvial avenues along the banks of 
the Kongo, nature has put forth all her grandeur and magnifi- 
cence. For the first time since my journey to Kalika Land I was 
here again struck with amazement at that characteristic parasitic 
growth which clings to the huge stems of the forest giants. It 
is the Platyccrimn, a tropical African fern, one species of 
which, the elephant-ear {Elcphantotis), was first discovered by 

Some twenty minutes before reaching Yissa's settlement I 
visited a spacious cavern, the approach to which lay near our 
track. In a small circumscribed depression the vaulted entrance, 
about five yards wide, gives easy access to a large front chamber, 
from which a broad lofty passage on the left leads first down 
some steps sideways, and then along even ground forward. I 
had penetrated scarcely ten yards through this passage when I 
was arrested by innumerable large bats, which, scared by the 
smoke of our torches, whirled incessantly round our heads, and 
in their fright even clung to my clothes. I had great difficulty 
in keeping them off, while beating a hasty retreat. In the rocky 
walls of the cave I noticed many quartz veins. The natives 
are said to have frequently taken refuge in this place from the 
raids of the Nubians, which seems probable enough, for the part 
visited by me would alone afford a safe retreat to several hun- 
dreds. I had no difficulty in capturing some of the bats, and 
popping them into the flasks of spirits of wine which were 
always kept ready for such opportunities. 

Yissa had been to Dem Bekir with Ndoruma. His promise 
made in that place to have everything ready for my arrival he had 
also kept more honourably than had Abd es-Sit. At the foot of 
the northern slope of Mount Ghasa we found a large space 
cleared of grass, on which huts had been built for us, a dahr ct-tor 
for the loads, and a rekuba or awning. Here the chief and his 
people gave us a friendly welcome with their national song. 

I had every reason to be satisfied with this reception given me 
bv the southern Zandehs, who are already in this district more 


independent than their northern kinsfolk. Still I was detained 
in the place longer than I could have wished, owing to the ever- 
recurring carrier question. Those belonging to Dem Bekir now 
returned in all haste to attend to their plantations, for the 
ground had already been loosened by the late rains. Our little 
camp at the foot of Mount Ghasa was this evening for a time 
bathed in the light of the moon, whose beams struggled through 
the banked-up moisture-bearing clouds. Later it cleared up, and 
the pale moonshine was diffused over a peaceful scene, with the 
phantom-like crags of the neighbouring mountain towering 
abruptly above the plains. 

Next morning I ascended this eminence in compan}- with 
Yissa and some of his Zandeh subjects acquainted with the 
localit}-. The ascent was made from the east side, but even 
there it was so steep that in some places I had to clamber on all 
fours. In the grassy clefts of the rocky slopes we got on better, 
while elsewhere our progress was much impeded by the numerous 
weathered blocks piled up one on the other. Nevertheless, in 
half an hour we found ourselves on the rocky summit, which 
formed a table about 1 50 feet broad, and which presented an 
uninterrupted prospect in every direction. I was specially 
attracted b\- a mountain range in the east running in a south- 
easterly direction. The land in that quarter I was told belonged 
to the Digga nation, and more particularly to the Pambia tribe. 
I recorded a number of peaks with their names, and b\- taking 
the altitude of other heights, I obtained some valuable measure- 
ments for my cartographic work. 

Ghasa, like Du, has a relative height of scarcely more than 500 
feet. On the rugged terminating plateau the bursting of the 
hard rock (gneiss T), the peculiar grouping of the boulders, 
weathering and erosions, had given rise to some natural basins, 
which were again in their turn disposed in secondary divisions 
by small dams and ridges of stone. As the rain-water cannot 
here filter through, while the loss by evaporation is constantly- 
replaced by periodical rains, the summit of Mount Ghasa is 
studded with lovely little tarns, all teeming with life. After 
completing my observations, I spent some enjoyable hours about 


the margins of these natural aquariums perched on the summit 
of a rocky eminence. As in the already described basins of the 
small water-courses, the bottom was here also strewn with a 
carpet of green aquatic plants ; while the water, clear as crystal, 
was alive with insects, beetles, and other small organisms, 
specimens of which were soon transferred to my flasks. On 
Mount Du I had seen some baboons at a distance, but none on 
Ghasa, although they were said to frequent this hill also. - 


Next day, no carriers being ready, we had again an opportunity 
to practise the virtue of patience. Although we were in the 
territory of the former powerful prince Solongo, Yissa himself 
seemed to exercise authority over a mere handful of subjects. 
The remnant of the nation lives in small communities scattered 
over the bush towards east and west. According to national 
custom, Solongo had been succeeded by his eldest son, Yissa, 
some of whose brothers liad remained as superintendents of 


districts ; but two of them, unwilling" to accept the rule of the Arab 
raiders, had migrated, like so many others, southwards to Prince 
Mbio. Solongo's youngest son was in the service of El Maas at 
Dem Bekir, and Yissa himself was no longer anything more than 
a humble vassal of the Nubians. In the evening my barrel-organ 
was produced, to the wonder and bewilderment of his people. 

It will be remembered that Abd es-Sit had received orders to 
accompany us as far as Ndoruma's. But fresh complaints were 
here urged against him, while Yissa assured me of Ndoruma's 
deadh' hatred of the fellow, whose high-handed dealings had in 
fact raised up enemies on all sides against him. I was even told 
that Ndoruma had designs upon his life. All things considered, 
I was anxious to dispense with his further attendance, which had 
become very irksome ; a lucky circumstance now came to my 
aid, but for which I should have had some difficulty in getting 
rid of an underling w^ho was naturally afraid of acting against 
the orders of his superior in authorit^^ A Negro soldier unex- 
pectedly arrived at this opportune moment from Dem Bekir 
with an Arab letter, which I was unable to decipher. But the 
messenger supplemented it with a rambling account of troubles 
which had broken out in the north. The frequently-recurring 
words Arab, Shekka, Rabay, helped to throw a little light on 
his confused report, though I doubted its truth, the experience of 
years having long taught me to receive with suspicion all such 
statements, whether made by Arabs or Negroes. I may here 
incidentally remark that Rabay had at one time been the first 
and most distinguished captain of the rebel Soliman Ziber, after 
whose ov^erthrow he had turned westwards, no one knew exactly 
whither, still a powerful and dreaded warrior at the head of many 
thousand Negro troops. At least so it was reported, and since 
then rumours, inspired by the dread of his possible return with 
hostile aims, were constanth' in the air, to the effect that 
Rabay was again on the war-path. During my later wanderings 
in the north-western lands I was never able to ascertain anj'thing 
definite regarding his movements. Possibly he may have sought 
a new home with his followers in the remote regions south of 



From the messenger's verbal communications I gathered so 
much that anyhow Abd es-Sit was to return ; only he seemed to 
think that a similar command affected me also. Naturally I 
took all the less heed of this assumption that there were no 
distinct communications from Gessi Pasha. But, to my great 
jo}% I was henceforth relieved from the further attendance of 
Abd es-Sit, about whose recall there was no doubt. 

Although the carriers were not yet all at hand, I sent off Bohn- 
dorff, on May 20th, with about 200 men. The move, howe\'er, 
did not spare me much troublesome contention with those Negro 
soldiers who had been told off to escort me as far as the frontier 
of Ndoruma's territory. So I now gave them the option of 
continuing with me or going back, whereupon some decided to 
return with Abd es-Sit, while others remained a few days longer 
to guard my effects. I started next day with the remainder of 
these, and overtook Bohndorfif in the afternoon. 

On May 22nd, the united company pushed forward, and the 
same day we reached Ndoruma's frontier district, which was 
ruled by Kommunda, one of his foremost vassal chiefs. On the 
route we had passed a few wretched hovels belonging to the 
widely-scattered A-Barmbo nation, whose chief tribe we shall 
meet in the region south of the Welle river. 

The streamlets crossed by the route between Mount Ghasa 
and Kommunda's converge farther west in a single channel, 
which joins the already-mentioned Boku. Here, also, are seen 
numerous magnificent fluvial avenues, often overshadowing quite 
insignificant brooklets flowing in deep ravines. 

We had scarcely reached the first huts in Kommunda's district 
when the carriers furnished by Yissa at once laid down their 
loads, and went off in hot haste. Though the chief's residence 
was still some distance off, he soon made his appearance, and 
promised forthwith to send us some carriers to convey our things 
to his own station, in the neighbourhood of which he had 
erected our huts. He further informed us that it was Ndoruma's 
intention to come in person and bring us thence to his capital. 

South of Abd es-Sit's district — that is, in the domain of the 
Zandehs proper — my relations with the natives and carriers 


underwent a complete change. In the Egyptian provinces both 
carriers and the inhabitants generally had shown themselves 
favourably disposed through motives of fear. But the influence 
of the Administration was extremely limited in the southern 
lands, and in the Zandeh country scarcely nominal. I was 
consequently aware that henceforth I should be exclusively 
dependent on the various local rulers. Hence all my efforts 
were now directed to securing a good understanding with them. 
In my calculations I took into account the personal weight of a 
European acting justly and according to law. 

Nevertheless, both now and later I had naturally to contend 
with many prejudices, and needed all my tact and skill to open 
and keep open the way into the country, and at the same time 
to represent the interests of the Egyptian Government, which I 
felt it my duty to promote. 

Vl\ relations to the carriers were so far changed, that hence- 
forth the men, otherwise little accustomed to such service, could 
be engaged only with the sanction of their several chiefs. But 
the suspicions created by the truculent conduct of the Arabs 
were at first extended also to me. Hence the severe treatment 
hitherto occasionally required had now to give place to patience, 
forbearance, and kindness. 

Kommunda had brought with him many of his sub-chiefs 
and other persons, all eager to see me, and doubtless also 
anxious to satisfy themselves that I had not come with any 
hostile intentions. I accordingly endeavoured to convince them 
of my friendly feeling towards land and people. An excellent 
effect was produced by my solemn assurance that the military 
escort from Dem Bekir was to proceed no farther. In fact, some 
comxplaints having been made of their unruly conduct, I dis- 
missed them one and all, sending them back with Yissa's people. 
As explained in long conversations with Kommunda, I wished 
the Zandehs to see for themselves that I did not want to be a 
burden to them with so many followers ; that the Egyptian 
soldiers were not to eat up the bread of the people ; that, on the 
contrary, I desired to enter their land confidently and without 
any escort, relying on the protection of the Zandehs themselves, 


wliich I regarded as more efficient than a number of troops. 
Had I not Ndoruma's word and promise ? How, then, could I 
doubt that the hospitable Zandehs would meet my just wishes, 
and also that the carriers would cheerfully and without fear lend 
me their services ? 

For the most part my long speeches made a visible impression 
on the people, though too often my oratory remained without 
biding results. 

At Kommunda's disquieting rumours reached my ears, which 
sounded ominously for my future plans. The hostile relations 
between Mbio and Ndoruma were threatening to break into 
open war. Our visit to Ndoruma, an event already known far 
and wide, had presumably aroused deep distrust in Mbio ; nor 
could I doubt that Ndoruma's people fanned the flame of this 
distrust amongst Mbio's subjects on the border lands by lying 
statements and exaggerations of all kinds, so that false reports 
of my intentions could not fail to reach him. 

But the hostile feelings of the two most powerful Zandeh 
rulers at that time had broken into open feud, especially since 
Ndoruma, vanquished and hard pressed by Rafai's forces, had 
been fain to show himself more obsequient to the Egyptian 
Administration. In their sore distress during this war with 
Rafai, Ndoruma and his people had received neither aid nor 
protection from Mbio's subjects. Hence Ndoruma's deadly 
hatred of Mbio, a feeling which had since been fostered by san- 
guinary conflicts along the frontiers, so that it now threatened 
again to burst into open hostilities. 

Characteristic of the present situation was a bundle of twenty 
sticks which were brought to me, and which were intended to 
indicate the number of Ndoruma's people who had in recent 
times been killed by Mbio's subjects in the border lands. This 
method of representing units and higher numbers by so many 
material objects is practised by many native tribes, abstract 
reckoning being always a difficult process for the Negro. 

The fluvial avenues of this district are inhabited by several 
species of apes, amongst others the beautiful black-and-white 
long-tailed Colubus Giieresa, whose skin is worn as a striking 
VOL. II. ^^ 


and original national adornment by the Zandehs. We succeeded 
in taking many fine specimens. 

Beyond the Bamunga rivulet, crossed on the way to Kom- 
munda's, we came upon a few native huts embowered in the 
riverain gallery, which a few evenings before had been the 
scene of a tragic event. A man-eating leopard had broken 
into one of the huts and carried off to a neighbouring thicket 
a woman near her confinement. Farther on an extensive rising 
ground of laterite was followed by some broken land with 
detached hills, while sparsely-wooded savannas continued to be 
the prevailing feature between the rich vegetation lining the 
river banks. 

Near Kommunda's dwellings we noticed an open space 
cleared of its grass, on which stood several new huts apparently 
erected for our accommodation. In fact Bohndorff had already 
deposited some of the loads, and I had myself begun to settle 
down comfortably with the rest of the things, when my patience 
was again put to a severe trial. Not only was Ndoruma's arrival 
delayed for several days, but when he at last made his appear- 
ance he brought no carriers with him. Several more days were 
thus wasted, during which I had to console myself with the 
wearisome promise of " To-morrow." But this " to-morrow" grew 
into a week and more, while the wet season was advancing, and 
the increasing rains penetrating into the huts. The inquisitive 
natives, by whom we were constantly beset, found much to 
amuse them in my person and the curious foreign things lying 
about, while I sat moodily awaiting the " morrow." 

Here I for the first time made the discover}', afterwards 
confirmed by repeated experience, that with all their assumed 
despotism the Zandeh chiefs had really a very limited authority 
over their subjects. Ncloruma himself seemed enraged at the 
long delay, and I at last induced him to look up the carriers 
himself. Some of the things I had been able to send forward in 
charge of Farag 'Allah, and Ndoruma's departure was followed 
by the arrival of more carriers, with whom I started at once 
without waiting his return. Bohndorff remained behind with 
the rest of the baggage, and thus it happened that we ultimately 


arrived in three separate parties at Ndoruma's residence, to 
which he had himself meantime returned. 

Beyond Kommunda's the route still lay through broken 
ground, rising imperceptibly south of the Bada rivulet, where a 
broad prospect opened over a low^-lying region stretching west- 
wards. Here the head-stream of the Mbomu trends first to the 
north-west, then to the west, and after collecting many tributary 
waters becomes a potent affluent of the Welle-Makua. 

Although only a few head-w^aters of the Mbomu were afterwards 
crossed, the district stretching south-eastwards to Ndoruma's 
station possesses considerable hydrographic interest. All the 
streamlets hitherto met on the Congo slope of the water-parting 
flow westwards to the Mbomu, while those to the south of 
Ndoruma's go to join the Welle-Makua, but north of that station 
we again come upon a little tract which is comprised within the 
Nile catchment basin. It is drained by the Bikki (Beki), which 
flows to the Sueh (Jur) affluent of the Bahr el-Ghazal, whose 
furthest sources were thus passed by our route north of 
Ndoruma's station. The first of these sources struck by us was 
the Yubbo, flowing east through the Bikki to the Jur ; but the 
station itself stands on the upper course of the Werre, w^hich 
again belongs to the Welle-Mobangi-Congo system. 

An extensive rising ground here affords a boundless prospect 
towards the east, where a few isolated crests rose on the horizon. 
Amongst them w^ere Mounts Keddede and Nango, while close to 
our track stood a small cone, near which is the site of Ndoruma's 
former settlement. 

We reached Chief Gassande's late at night, just in time to get 
under cover from a fierce thunderstorm. But the only available 
shelter was a little barn, where the next night also had to be 
passed, while storm followed storm, one more violent than the 
other. When at last I tried to get a little sleep, we were 
assailed by millions of ants, either out on a roving expedition or, 
like ourselves, escaping from the rain. 

Our progress was now arrested by the sudden flight of several 
carriers, who, however, to my agreeable surprise, were replaced 
next day. Thus, after a toilsome march through the tall grass, 


which in swampy depressions becomes stiff and almost woody, 
we at last reached Ndoruma's on June 9th. Where the Bikki 
was crossed it was six yards wide with a sandy bed eighteen 
inches deep. Judging from the districts already traversed and 
the few scattered huts visible along the route, I concluded that 
Ndoruma's country must be very sparsely peopled. 

At the same time the absence of settlements along main 
highways gives no clue to the actual density of the population 
in Negro lands. Taught by experience, the natives generally 
keep aloof from these highways to escape requisitions and 
plunder from passing hordes. Habitations and tilled land 
became more frequent farther south, and beyond the Bikki we 
passed a number of huts belonging to Chief Sindia. Then 
followed a hilly district merging southwards in a rising ground, 
which separates the last little head-streams of the Bikki from a 
few wooded brooks flowing from the southern slope of the rising 
ground down to the Werre. Ndoruma's huts lay on the other 
side of this river, scattered over the thinly-wooded savanna. 
The new huts which were destined to serve as our first quarters 
stood somewhat nearer to the river, and here Farag 'Allah, in 
charge of the first convoy, had already stowed away some of the 
loads. The people were still at work on a large shed, so that 
Bohndorff, who arrived next day with the rest of the things, was 
also able to get under shelter. Ndoruma, informed of our 
approach, received us at our quarters accompanied by a number 
of his chiefs and retainers. 


Site of our Station — A Soothsayer— Estimate of the Negro Character 
— Termites, their Ways and Customs— The Negro Rulers — 
Attitude of Zemio and Sasa towards the Government — A Chief's 
Mbanga — The Zandeh Women— I resolve to visit Zemio — 
Cosinctoniis Spekei. 

AS the rainy season had now set in, I was 
anxious at least to get the packages and 
most of the men under Bohndorff well housed. 
During this last journey to Ndoruma's, I had 
had sufficient experience of the difficulty of 
travelling in these lands, where the natives are 
not yet accustomed to the service of regular 
paid carriers. I was accordingly strengthened 
in my resolution to select various central points 
from which in future to carry on the work of ex- 
ploration with as few impedimenta as possible. 
As I now intended founding a new station 
to serve as my head-quarters at Ndoruma's, 
similar stations could be erected from time to time 
in other places for the reception of my people and 
the heavy loads. I could thus make flying ex- 
peditions round about the different provinces, while 



Bohndorff remained at head-quarters in charge of everything. 
The erection of the central station at Ndoruma's would take 
several weeks' hard work ; but until it was completed no fresh 
excursions could be undertaken. 

The site had already been cleared and temporary huts run up. 
The position was well chosen on a piece of ground gently 
sloping northwards towards the Werre, so that the rain-water 
could be easily carried off by cutting a few drains down to the 
river. But although the few trees and bushes had already been 
cut down round about, timber for the erection of better huts was 
still wanting, Ndoruma having failed in his promise to have it 



At our first interview I spoke freely ot my annoyance at the 
worries I had already been subjected to, and especially the 
great delays caused by the constant want of carriers. As the 
promises, on the strength of which I had dismissed my escort 
on the frontier, had not been fulfilled, I expressed a hope that 
his people would at all events show a' more friendly spirit in the 
erection of the new station. 

The first and most essential point was to make the place 
secure by constructing a stout palisade, for the district abounded 
in leopards, whose nightly depredations had to be guarded 
against. I therefore marked off a space eighty paces long from 
east to west, and sixty broad from north to south, entrusting the 


four sides to the retainers of four different chiefs. Stakes, thick 
as the arm or leg, and ten to twelve feet long, were set close 
together and planted two feet in the ground and further 
strengthened with beaten earth raised to a height of eighteen 
inches on both sides. 

A few days after my arrival I consented, at the request of 
Ndoruma, to allow a Zandch binsa (soothsayer or wizard) to 
deliver his oracles to the people gathered round my huts. His 
vaticinations had reference chiefly to myself, our arrival and 
residence in the country, their general tendency being to impress 
upon his audience the advantage of our appearance in Ndoruma's 
land. In this he doubtless shrewdly calculated on my gratitude, 
and was of course not disappointed. 

But I was also personally interested in the fantastically- 
arrayed old prophet, who had decked himself with all manner 
of odds and ends, charms and amulets, crowning all with a 
Niam-Niam straw hat. The spacious dalir et-tor near my huts 
was crowded with a choice company of Zandeh chiefs, anxious 
to witness the theatrical performance of the wizard. Ndoruma 
with his attendants was of course also present, while the common 
folk found standing room in the open. 

The performer, taking his stand in the centre of the audience, 
began with a dance to the accompaniment of the never-failing 
tamtam (kettle-drum), first in slow, measured time, and off and 
on inclining his head in a listening attitude towards the ground. 
Gradually the step was quickened, becoming wilder and wilder, 
the gesticulations also increasing, until at last he exhausted 
himself in furious bounds and contortions. And he still kept 
listening for the messages from the potent underground spirits. 

But he now suddenly interrupted his frantic caperings, wiped 
the perspiration from his face, approached our circle, and began 
his speech. This was repeated after every dance, the oration 
being each time addressed to some particular person, or else 
some topic selected at random. At first he dwelt at length on 
my good qualities, announcing that all my intentions were of a 
peaceful, benevolent nature ; that, thanks to our arrival, all fear 
■of further x\rab forays would be dispelled ; that the people could 


henceforth cultivate their fields in peace and enjoy the fruits of 
their own labour; and, lastly, that the Zandehs might now confi- 
dently begin to build new huts, as no Rafai, no outlandish foes 
would again come to plunder them, since our coming had brought 
them luck and should inspire them with confidence. 

In another discourse the seer gave forth that he had heard 
from the invisible spirits that in the houses of a certain chief 
there was somebody harbouring evil intentions and entertaining 
malicious designs against certain persons. Then in another 
bombastic harangue he foretold that several persons, amongst 
others my servant Farag 'Allah, would be overtaken by sickness. 
But in all these utterances his prophetic eye seemed involuntarily 
to avoid my searching and perhaps contemptuous gaze. 

Meantime my station was progressing very slowly. Ndoruma 
had told off a number of his chiefs with their people to take in 
hand the various parts of the work. The natives are accustomed 
to such combined labour in erecting their own huts, but although 
by this plan very little work falls to the share of each individual, 
that little takes a long time to do, owing to the universal indo- 
lence and laziness of the people. Notwithstanding my constant 
vigilance, much of it was also indifferently performed, so that it 
had later to be altered and repaired. 

Pending the completion of my hut I had to take up my 
quarters in the open dahr et-tor, where exposure to the damp at 
night brought on many light but still troublesome attacks of ague. 
Ndoruma visited me e\-ery day, often several times, while I con- 
stantly complained of the people's neglect of their work, and 
at the same time communicated from letters to hand Gessi's 
expressions of goodwill towards him and his land. In reph' 
he would deplore the remissness of his subjects, who were 
unaccustomed to finer and more difficult operations, as, for 
instance, the construction of palisades. Such zeribas were 
scarcely known in the country, for the Zandeh never surrounds 
his dwelling by any enclosure. 

Before my arrival in INIeshra an ivor}- expedition, under Osman 
Bedawi, had started southwards from the Bahr el-Ghazal region, 
and had passed through Bellanda Land to Ngettua's. This 



was Ndoruma's uncle, a weak but independent chief, whose 
territory lay to the east, where it was conterminous with Mbio's. 
From -Ni^-ettua's Osman Bedawi had advanced still southwards 
to Prince Binsa's, son of the aged Prince Malingde, whose 
country borders to the south on Ndoruma's. The objective 
point of the expedition was the Zandeh Prince Bakangai's, south 
of the Welle ; but the ivory so far procured had been left under 
guard in Ngettua's and Binsa's territories, to be picked up on 
the return journey northwards. Belahl, the Arab in charge of 
the store at Ngettua's, now sent me greetings, and I, on my part, 
forwarded him letters for Osman Bedawi, which had reached me 
from Dem Bekir. 

But more important for me was a satisfactory understanding 



with Ndoruma. Since my arrival I had already given him the 
first presents usual on entering a chief's territory. He seemed 
specially delighted with a revolver in a case and a quantity of 
ammunition, and to this were afterwards added several other 
European objects. Nevertheless the days still went by while 
operations at the station were almost at a standstill. At last 
my energetic expostulations and even threats caused a general 
resumption of the work, while I went about encouraging here, 
blaming there, now and then distributing a little tobacco or a 
few cigar-stumps — in a word, doing everything to keep the men 
in good humour. 

In all this I could again notice how like children the Negroes 
are in many respects. Once at work they seemed animated by 


a sort of childlike sense of honour. They delighted in praise, 
though even a frown or a word of reproach could also excite 
their hilarity. Thus a loud burst of laughter would, for instance, 
follow the contrast between a piece of good and bad workman- 
ship. Like children they would point the finger of scorn at 
each other, and in some other characteristic features they almost 
showed themselves in a more favourable light than the civilized 
European. They are certainly less prone to those feelings of 
rancour and sullen anger which with us so often result in deeds 
of violence, crime, and murder. In this connection the preva- 
lent custom of tribal vendetta is not to be confused with the 
petty feehngs of personal vindictiveness caused by some real or 
fancied injury. The former has its raison d'etre in deeply-rooted 
traditional customs, and also assumes more the character of a 
standing feud regulated by established use. 

During the operations we had to clear away a number of 
small termites'-nests affecting the form of huts or mushrooms, 
and about the size of a man's head. Such structures, which are 
widely scattered over the interior, are so compactly built that 
they can be detached from the surface by a violent blow and 
removed in a solid block. On the march they serve the purpose 
of hearth-stones, three placed in triangular form together making 
an excellent fireplace. 

In a day or two the men again began to grow remiss, where- 
upon one morning Ndoruma had the great Zandeh war-drum 
beaten. Its rattle is distinctly heard far and wide, and according 
to the number and character of the strokes, the prince's orders 
are conveyed to the surrounding chiefs to gather with their 
people for the hunt, war, or some festive purpose. Formerly, 
when the land was more densely peopled, the men, always ready 
for war, could by this means be rapidly mobilized to the remotest 
frontiers of the state. On the present occasion, the signal being 
taken up and repeated from village to village, the people soon 
presented themselves from all quarters, ready with shield and 
spear for battle. But on learning the nature of the summons 
they burst into loud laughter, and putting aside their weapons, 
the doughty warriors went quietly to work. 


The palisade was now soon finished, and further strengthened 
against prowHng leopards by some thorny scrub along the outer 
sides. -I now carried out a long-cherished purpose, laying out a 
certain space in the interior as a kitchen-garden, taking this 
occasion to instruct the natives in the use of European spades 
and rakes. In this I was aided by Farag 'Allah, who had already 
seen such work in Europe, and in a few weeks both divisions 
of the garden were thoroughly tilled and sown with various 
European seeds. 

On the west side of the station, behind Rohndorff's quarters, 
were several small huts for the saddle-animals, and to avoid the 
risk of utter ruin by fire I had the loads distributed in several 
huts, instead of being stowed away in the large house originally 
intended for them. My private quarters, last to be finished as 
being the least urgent, stood at the southern entrance to the 
station, and I was very glad to remove to them from the exposed 
dahr ct-tor, where I had hitherto passed many an uncomfortable 

The end of June w^as now approaching, and many things still 
remained to be done ; so I plainly told Ndoruma that I should 
quit his land for ever unless everything was completed to my 
satisfaction within ten days. This had the desired effect, and 
next morning a number of fresh hands were again hard at work. 

My dwelling was constructed in the style prevalent in this 
part of Africa— round, with pointed conic roof, but much larger 
and stronger than is usual. A passage ran round the outside, 
with sloping roof, which merged upwards in the roof of the 
main building. In the accompanying illustration may be seen 
the various stages of its erection under my guidance. The first 
drawing shows the ground plan, from the centre of which two 
circles were described with a kind of compass made of a string 
attached to a pointed stake. On these circles holes a foot deep 
were sunk at regular intervals for the posts of the main wall 
and outer passage, while a deeper hole was made for the stout 
central pole, which was about the thickness of a man's thigh. 
In these holes the forked posts were so placed that all the 
prongs radiated towards the central pole, which was higher than 




/' ' '-'.III '•'{ jI^J'^'n 



the others, but, Hke them, termin- 
ated in a fork. Then a crown 
or hoop, made of long pHant rods 
bound together, was made to rest 
firmly on the forked posts, and 
at the joints were inserted long 
rafters converging, pyramid- 
fashion, on the fork of the central 
pole. The roof itself was strength- 
ened by several similar crowns, 
continually decreasing in circuit 
and made fast to the rafters on 
their inner edge. Three such 
crowns, with an outer and smaller 
hoop over a yard in diameter, and 
serving as a support to the rafters 
at their upper ends, sufficed to 
impart great firmness to the 
whole framework of the roof In 
the interstices of the converging 
rafters were introduced thinner 
laths, long pliant little saplings 
and bamboos, all similarly wedged 
into the lower crown, and on the 


outside secured on the other crowns to the apex of the roof. 
Some, however, were not carried right to the top, but terminated 
at the several crowns, this being done to avoid encumbering the 
apex with useless materials and thus giving it an irregular, 
unfinished look. In the mud walls were introduced twelve 
small round window-openings, like the port-holes of steamers, 
and closed with firmly-inserted wire grating. The wall facing 
towards the middle of the station had two doorways, -while the 
outer passage was left open except overhead, where it was 
inclosed by the roof, which rose nearly five feet above the 
sustaining walls. 

Owing to the heavy tropical rains, special care has to be 
bestowed on the grass thatching, which prevails in most Negro 
lands throughout North-east Africa. The best time for collecting 
the material is the rainy season, when it has already acquired a 
considerable growth. Amongst the Zandehs, as in many other 
regions, before being used it is bound together in convenient 
form, the bundles being then unrolled and secured to the frame- 
work of the roof. During this process the stalks are always 
disposed point downwards, and the upper layers are made to 
overlap the lower by about a third of their length, the thatch 
being thus rendered quite waterproof. For the binding work 
many materials are used, amongst others a red-brown bast 
which grows under the bark of certain trees, such as the 
baiihmia and various species of the grevia, which closely 
resembles the European linden. But the best material is the 
outer involucrum of the ratan {Calamus), collected in the green 
state, while it is very pliant and tough ; when dried it retains its 
strength and never yields, so that the binding never becomes 

In the draining operations care was taken to prevent any 
flooding of the low-lying kitchen-garden, and also to avoid 
stagnant pools. Small gutters were dug round each hut for the 
reception of the water from the roofs, and with these and other 
precautions the ground was kept quite dry. 

These round huts with conic roofs are the prevailing style 
everywhere as far as the A-Madi country in the south-west and 


the regions south of the Welle, where they are replaced by the 
square gable-roofed dwellings. The latter style I preferred both 
here and elsewhere, being more airy and allowing a better escape 
for the smoke of the fire which is kept constantly burning on 
the hearth. But they have to be made larger and stronger than 
those of the natives to meet the various requirements of the 
European, and to afford him better shelter from wind and rain. 

Those of the Zandehs, though of light structure, are often 
very elegant and clean, mostly wdth their round walls quite 
smooth, but without framework, and surmounted by a light roof 
resting on a few posts. 

The first few weeks spent at Ndoruma's gave me considerable 
insight into the character of the Negro in general, and his 
capacity for free labour, for Ndoruma himself was powerless to 
exercise any real compulsion over his people. The experience 
now acquired already sufficed to modify my preconceived views 
regarding Negro emancipation, the golden freedom of the natives, 
mild treatment, kindness, and forbearance, principles of conduct 
which can have no result except in the case of human beings 
endowed with a sense of honour. 

During those days I learnt a hard lesson, but one which later 
proved of great service to me. It enabled me gradually to 
master that impatience to which doubtless all travellers in Negro 
lands at times give way and which defeats its own object, 
whereas the native may really be guided by steadfast patience, 
and compelled in us Europeans to recognize his masters. 

It may seem strange that I should have gained this experience 
now for the first time ; but it should be remembered that the 
expeditions described in the first volume of this work were 
undertaken under totally different conditions. They were con- 
fined to regions which had for years been occupied by the 
Sudanese Mohammedans, regions where the Negro had been 
compelled through fear to accept the yoke of statute labour. 
At that time all my wants and wishes were attended to by the 
superintendents of the Government stations and their underlings. 
Those expeditions were carried out in the suite of Egyptian 
officials, or under the escort of plundering troops. 


On such journeys, as for instance from LadcS to Makaraka 
Land, later in the Bahr cl-Ghazal province, and again to Kalaka 
Land, no full and just estimate could be formed of the Negro, of 
his inclination or capacity for free labour, or of his good and 
bad qualities in general. Now, however, ample opportunity was 
afforded of studying his true character in its strong and weak 
points, though doubtless at the cost of much patience, forbear- 
ance, worry, and annoyance. The philanthropic sentiments 
inspired by love and sympathy for our fellow-men, and strength- 
ened by the heartless treatment of the natives by their Moham- 
medan oppressors, must undergo some change, when tested by 
the actual relations and in the light of the Negro's true character. 
I am far from excusing the brutal conduct of his taskmasters, 
which springs from pure selfishness and displays itself in acts 
of plunder and treachery, nor can I utter a word on behalf of 
those truculent Nubians who inflict so much wrong on the 
natives. But the Negro also has doubtless a sufficient sense of 
right and wrong so far as regards the memn et tinun, though not 
where there is a question, for instance, of domestic slavery. To 
this relation he naturally adapts himself, having grown up under 
similar conditions of dependence on his own rulers. I therefore 
repeat that for the next generations the natives can be raised to 
a higher state of culture by statute labour alone, by a well- 
regulated system of corvee kept under due control. 

After the station was completed special precautions had to be 
taken against the constant attacks of the termites. One of the 
most important duties of the servants who had daily to sweep 
the house, was to remove the galleries which during the night 
these pests constructed along the posts. Thanks to assiduous 
care and attention, I had the satisfaction of knowing that after 
years of residence my effects had escaped the ravages from this 
cause, which are the constant subject of lamentation on the 
part of most travellers. But the result can be achieved only by 
incessant vigilance in small matters and great. Thus I never 
omitted when retiring for the night to hang up my shoes or 
place them on a stool. 

The voracious termites must have a special instinct, or an 


extremely delicate sense of smell to emerge from the ground 
exactly under any object lying about and begin their depre- 
dations in the darkness. They avoid the light of day, and on 
coming to the surface they immediately begin to construct a 
tunnelled passage on any object, such as a tree or a post, which 
they wish to ascend. As the tunnel and the ascent go on 
simultaneously, they are thus always at work in the dark, and 
when the top is reached a hard crust of hollow earth is found to 
extend all along the post or stem. But what a sensitive feeling 
must they possess to go from their underground dwellings 
straight to a pair of boots, for instance, lying under the bed. 
Or, besides the fighting and working classes, can they also 
possibly have an organized "intelligence department" .-* Perhaps 
there may not be a single white ant visible 
in the whole house, yet when we go to pick 
up a shoe, we find it cemented to the ground 
by fresh earthen passages, and the sole 
already partly devoured during the night. 
It is difficult to form even an approximate 
idea of the life and habits of these tiny 
underground organisms, their prodigious 
numbers, industry, and incessant work, work 
which in the course of ages cannot fail to 
have had its effect on the slow but continuous modifications of 
the crust of the earth. A characteristic aspect is imparted to 
many regions of the Continent by the innumerable ant-hills 
strewn over the surface, and often forming the only break on the 
boundless plains. 

During those weeks I never failed, after the day's work, to 
entertain Ndoruma's people with the products of European 
industry, or else distribute trifles amongst them. The sight of 
pictures, musical-boxes, organs, and the like, was a constant 
source of attraction. In this way, and by hinting at other 
wonders not to be produced till the station was finished, I 
endeavoured to keep them in good humour. 

Some time was also devoted to more serious matters, and I 
often sat up late drawing up reports to Gessi Pasha on adminis- 


trative affairs, and on the relations in these districts. Such 
labour was not without its practical results, as, for instance, on 
the transport of ivory, which had hitherto been forwarded to 
Jur Ghattas by the roundabout way of Dem Bekir instead of 
by the direct route through Wau. This certainly brought upon 
me the wrath of El Maas, superintendent of Dem Bekir, who 
derived certain perquisites from the transit trade ; but it 
saved the Government the cost of porterage from Dem Bekir 
to Wau. 

And now my little settlement in the African wilderness, 
evanescent though it might be, as lacking all the elements of 
stability, had to be named. At that time my memory was con- 
stantly haunted by a song of the olden days, whose touching 
words would rise to my lips even while at work, but especially 
in the still evening hours, when my eyes gazed dreamily over 
the smouldering night-fire. This was Stighelli's charming song 
of the " Tears " {Lacrima), whose plaintive melody seemed at 
the time to echo all my deeper sentiments. Thus it happened 
that this lay, as it were of itself, became the name of my new 
station, the erection of which had cost me plenty of care and 
worry, and drops of perspiration also, if not actual " tears." So 
at the first hoisting of the flag I christened my station in Zandeh 
Land " Lacrima." 

Meanwhile the report of my arrival at Ndoruma's without a 
military escort had spread to the remotest confines of the Niam- 
Niam domain. Favourable accounts of my peaceful attitude, 
and of my regard for the person and property of the natives, 
had also produced the desired effect. Numerous messages 
reached me from distant princes, inviting me to visit their states 
also, their motive being the hope of my protection from the 
incessant raids of the Nubians. 

Envoys arrived from Binsa, son of the aged Prince Ngerria, 
in the south ; from Prince Wando, also advanced in years, whose 
territory lay farther east ; and from others in the west. Wando 
especially implored my protection against the despotism and 
exactions of Abdullai, nephew and successor of Abd ez-Zammah, 
the latter of whom had accompanied Schweinfurth on his 



expedition to Mangbattu, while I had journeyed with the 
former to Jur Ghattas in 1877. 

Thus all roads were open to me, except towards the east, 
where the powerful Prince Mbio still held aloof Rumours and 
whisperings constantly reached me of this ruler's hostile designs 
and intention of falling on Ndoruma's territory and seizing my 
station. But experience had taught me to receive with many 
grains of salt the reports of the natives, mostly exaggerations or 
lies, often inspired by motives of fear. 

And here a circumstance may be mentioned which, during 
my subsequent circular journeys in these lands, was to me a 

HEAD OF A ZANDEH DOG. {From a dra^viug by Schiucinfuvth.) 

source of much embarrassment and endless worries. The dis- 
memberment of the great Zandeh kingdom into a number of 
petty states had resulted in constant feuds and warfare. No 
prince any longer ventured to leave his territory through mis- 
trust of the neighbouring rulers. This mistrust Ndoruma now 
endeavoured to foster in me, obstructing my intercourse with his 
rivals by false reports, and later, when I declared my intention 
of visiting them, by exaggerated anxiety for my safety. On the 
other hand similar make-believe sentiments were expressed by 


the other potentates in regard to Ndoruma, so that none of 
them entered his territory, although at that time there were no 
open hDstihties between them. Mbio alone, Ndoruma's old 
rival, was still in recent times showing feelings of animosity, 
while Ndoruma himself, better informed on the state of affairs 
in the Bahr el-Ghazal province, had, after a useless struggle with 
the Nubians, displayed a more friendly spirit towards Gessi. 
Hence he had also given me permission to enter his state, 
whereas Mbio, badly informed as to my intentions, continued to 
regard me with suspicion. In later years, after Mbio's defeat 
and capture by the Egyptians, I was able to visit his territory 
also, and then, when it was too late, his sons admitted their 
blind stupidity, caused by their crediting all those false and 
exaggerated reports. Had they shown more wisdom I also 
should have doubtless been better prepared for coming events. 

Of the neighbouring princes Ngettua, Ndoruma's uncle, was 
alone on "visiting terms" with him. He went about accompanied 
by an old red-brown Niam-Niam hound, whose inseparable 
associate was a red-haired ape. Whenever they set out it was 
amusing to see the simian mount the back of the dog, having 
thus instinctivel}^ and without any training secured the services 
of a riding animal. 

North-west of Ndoruma's and north of the Mbomu river 
stretched the domain of the Zandeh prince Zemio, whom I had 
met on the journey hither from Dem Soliman. He had long 
been a vassal of the Arab traders, and was now a loyal adherent 
to Gessi's government. Trained to the corvee system under 
Ziber and his son Soliman, Zemio, as well as his southern 
neighbour Sasa, had obtained extensive powers from Gessi ; 
each of them possessed about one hundred rifles, and they were 
now permitted, or rather ordered, to make expeditions for ivory 
in the southern regions. 

On such occasions they plotted the overthrow of independent 
chiefs, and after procuring the ivory required by Government, 
they also looked after their own interests. I am not here 
making any formal charge against them, and it should be borne 
in mind that manv things in the dealings of such men as Zemio 



and Sasa may not seem justified according to our notions of 
right and wrong. But here we have Negro rulers seeking to 
subvert their compeers in defiance of native custom itself, and 
without treating the vanquished a whit better than the haughty 

Compared to many others Zemio at heart was a well-meaning 
person, and later proved himself a loyal friend to me. At this 
juncture he happened to be in the districts of the chiefs Palem- 
bata and Badinde, south-west of Ndoruma's, whom he had 
already reduced to a state of vassalage, and on whom he was 
again levying contributions. He was unaccompanied by any 
Arabs, but in his long intercourse with them he had learnt their 
language, and had under their instruction trained his subjects to 
the use of fire-arms. From him I now received an envoy with 
the present of a girl, and the request to visit him at Palembata's. 
His further demand for percussion-caps I was able to comply 
with, and also promised to visit him later, but sent back the girl. 
I had impressed upon Ngettua, whose district bordered on 
Mbio's, to be vigilant, and to keep us informed of any threaten- 
ing danger. We were later kept frequently in suspense by false 
alarms, to which at last I almost ceased to pay any heed. But 
Ndoruma himself was largely to blame for this, all his thoughts 
and schemes being exclusively directed towards the destruction 
of his deadly enemy Mbio. His constant hope was that at my 
instigation Gessi would send troops to take part in a joint 
expedition against him. I, on the other hand, still fancied that 
the reduction of the one remaining powerful Zandeh chief might 
be brought about by peaceful ways, nor did I give up the hope 
of later putting myself in relation with Mbio, and obtaining 
leave to visit his country from the south, that is, either from 
Wando's or Ngerria's. 

There were certainly substantial reasons for Ndoruma's hatred 
of Mbio. During the struggle with Rafai, Ndoruma had escaped 
to Mbio's territory, whence, however, he had been expelled, and 
thus obliged to come to terms with Rafai. But many of his 
subjects had at that time remained in Mbio's, and here they 
were afterwards joined by others, especially women, eager to 


escape from Rafai's exactions, and for other motives. Mbio's 
thus became in course of time a land of refuge for various 
broken- tribes and family groups, refugees not only from Zandeh 
Land, but also from other native oppressors and from the 

Meantime the days of freedom and independence were 
numbered for Mbio himself. My departure from Ndoruma's in 
January 1881 was followed by a sanguinary war, in -which he 
was vanquished by the Egyptians, and two years later I traversed 
his wasted territory. After his overthrow Mbio turned eastwards 
to Emin Pasha for help, but it was too late. His territory was 
comprised in the Bahr el-Ghazal province, which had withdrawn 
from Emin's jurisdiction. Since then the fate of all those lands 
has been shrouded in mystery. 

After getting through his other work Bohndorff was usually 
occupied with skinning birds. Every object in this region was 
still new to us, and the shady shrubwood of the Werre was 
especially alive with a rich avifauna, specimens of which could 
easily be secured. For this purpose the young men were 
instructed in the use of fire-arms, but every suitable capture 
represented a large expenditure of powder and shot. My 
collection was here enriched by the helmet-bird {CorytJiaix 
leucotis), and the horn-raven {Tmetoceros abyssiniais), a member 
of the hornbill family. The former has probably the most 
gorgeous plumage of all the larger species in this region. 

The black-and-white colubus {C. gucrezd), which inhabits the 
leafy avenues of the Werre, was also obtained, and I was always 
glad to secure the beautiful skin of this variety. Owing to a 
lingering fever, causing weariness and apathy, I had much 
difficulty in assisting at any manual labour at this time. Bohn- 
dorff also was now subject to less frequent but more violent 
accesses of ague, which rendered him at times unfit for work 
the whole day. 

At Ndoruma's vibanga (trysting-place) there daily gathered a 
number of his subjects to discuss burning questions of Niam- 
Niam jurisprudence or high politics, or else to lay before him 
their personal grievances about such matters as an elopement or 



an abduction, the theft of a few maize cobs, and similar weighty 
private or pubHc affairs. The assembly usually accompanied 
Ndoruma on his visits to me, but on such occasions the women 
never came. The wives of the Zandehs, especially in the upper 

circles, enjoy a less 
elevated social stand- 
ing than, for instance, 
those of the Mang- 
battu people. Those 
who visited me indi- 
vidually or in groups 
were always reserved, 
timid, and well-be- 

I had already given 

Ndoruma's wives all 

sorts of glass beads 

and trinkets, such as 

,' captivate the heart of 

all Negro women. 

Now I produced 

V --'^ various toys, not of 

course for Ndoruma's 

numerous olive branches, but for 

the entertainment of the parents 

themselves. The adult black, 

with a generation of years behind 

him, is still, so to say, in his teens 

so far as regards his mental capacity. His 

experiences are in fact all one-sided, and 

he has no understanding for many things 

with which our children are already familiar. 

How much more must this be the case 

with inexperienced youth itself.^ 

In point of fact I never noticed any indications of pleasure 

in the native children at the sight of European playthings. 

Hence my large assortment of toys served rather as plastic 

( Corythaix hitcotis. ) 

COLUPiUS GUEREZA. [Dra'oii by Fr. Rhcinfddcr.) 


illustrations of Western culture for their elders, and whatever I 
produced and distributed had also to be explained as in a 
kinder-garten school. These objective lessons would often elicit 
shouts of delight, and then would echo the long-draw^n-out 
akooh, an exclamation with which the Zandehs would express 
wonder and amazement if not intelligent appreciation of the 
strange things placed before them. 

At the same time the blacks, like others, are diversely endowed, 
showing various degrees of quickness in grasping the purpose of 
such novelties. They, of course, lack the training and education 
which give rise to so much difference in the mental capacity of 
our owm social classes ; nevertheless here also the higher circles, 
princes and nobles, are the most highly endowed with intellectual 
qualities. This is doubtless due to the fact that, despite his 
limited sphere of action, the Negro ruler is still compelled to 
think and act in his capacity as judge, lawgiver, and captain, 
w^iereby his cerebral activity has more play than that of the 
common folk. 

To this must be added the fluency acquired by the long 
parliamentary speeches at the mbanga, a sort of witenagemote, 
where the Avinged word, often embellished \\ii\\ simile and 
metaphor, stimulates thought and promotes readiness of expres- 
sion. The lower classes are doubtless also present at these 
assemblies, but in their slavish dependence assist only as dumb 
spectators, except when called upon to speak as plaintiff or 
defendant. Special gatherings and meetings of the commonalty 
to deliberate on any topic of general interest are unknown to 
these peoples. Every question is discussed at the place of 
assembly in the immediate vicinity of the royal residence, or at 
the inbanga of the vassal chiefs. 

But the mbanga serves also for social gatherings, which either 
precede or follow every serious deliberation, and which last the 
whole day for the convenience of those coming from a distance. 
Even the women are influenced by such festive reunions, at least 
amongst those peoples who allow them to associate with the 
men. Their superiority over the Negro women is seen in the 
case of the Mangbattus, whose women struck me as more 


capable of thought and judgment, more quick-witted, and 
altogether more cultured than their Negro sisters elsewhere. 
For instance, the Zandeh women, who hold a more abject and 
servile position, are prevented by fear from raising themselves 
above their narrow mental range, their dullness and indifference. 

Speaking generally, the black race cannot be denied those 
intellectual qualities which, under guidance and example, might 
render them capable of higher moral development. The question 
Is the Negro susceptible of a higher degree of culture.'* needs no 
answer; but the views regarding the means of raising him to a 
better social position need consideration. Competent and in- 
competent writers have theorized upon this subject ; but those 
alone who are thoroughly acquainted with the actual relations 
prevailing in Negro lands can satisfactorily deal with such 

Amongst the novelties displayed before Ndoruma and his 
people was an okarina, which took the form of a fish, and from 
which, despite my elementary knowledge of instrumental music, 
I managed to extract notes, which were received with rapturous 
applause and the ever-recurring " ako5h," expressive of breath- 
less surprise. Astonishment was also produced by children's 
penny whistles, while a large accordion caused universal amaze- 
ment. This was in later years my /z'^c^ </^ r^'j'w^^/^a', in which I 
had fortunately the assistance of another amateur, my servant 
Farag 'Allah, who really played with some skill and possessed 
an accordion of his own. 

The performance, especially of the musical-boxes, usually 
struck the listeners dumb with amazement, so that a solemn 
stillness would pervade the audience. Occasionally, when the 
soft and weird-like notes were suddenly emitted, and when I 
myself feigned surprise, looking round about the hut to discover 
the agency at work, my visitors would be overcome by an 
unmistakable sense of fear and alarm at the uncanny sounds, 
and would stealthily disappear one after the other. Most 
Africans of course firmly believe in witchcraft, and in the magic 
power of certain individuals. But a magician who never brought 
harm on any one was doubtless a new phenomenon among these 



peoples, and they soon came to be convinced that these series of 
surprises were all fair and above-board. My action thus helped 
somewhat to diminish the witchcraft craze, and I was doubtless 
the means of shaking the belief of many natives in that delusion. 
The fame of all these things went before me on my wanderings, 
so that we were often asked to rehearse our concerts along the 

HORN RAVEN. [T/netoceivs aliyssiiiicHS.) 

One night about this time we had a characteristic African 
experience in a regular attack of robber-ants, whose marauding 
expeditions we had later frequent opportunities of witnessing. 
These forays may even lead to little tragic episodes, such as 
came under my own notice. I was also at this time subject to 
some typical accesses of fever ; in the lighter attacks I abstained 
from the use of quinine, in order not to accustom my constitution 
to this remedy, and reserve it for more serious cases. x'\ll 


travellers should be warned against its too frequent use, which 
tends to diminish its efficacy, while on the other hand giving 
rise to other troubles, such as ringing in the ears and hardness 
of hearing. 

Now the aged Zandeh prince Wando again sent envoys, 
amongst others one of his brothers, to complain of shameful 
outrages and attacks on the part of the Nubians. Wando's son, 
Hokwa, had played the traitor, and for his own purposes made 
common cause with the intruders. During his expedition this 
year to Mangbattu Land, Abdu'lallahi, nephew of Abd es-Sam- 
mat, had joined Hokwa and his followers in a raid on the 
territory of Hokwa's brother, Mbittima, for Wando had already 
distributed his possessions amongst his sons, to be held by them 
in feudal tenure. The consequence was that Mbittima had been 
carried off in chains to Mangbattu Land, while Wando, in his old 
age, had escaped to the wilderness, and was now with his brother 

Abdu'lallahi was also reported to have brought away many 
slaves, girls and women, though what chiefly grieved Wando 
was the captivity of his best-loved son Mbittima. He now 
implored me to report these matters to the Pasha, and to pay 
himself a personal visit, in order to exert my influence in his land, 
where Abdu'lallahi had stationed several Arabs and soldiers to 
support the traitor Hokwa. I could just then do nothing for 
Wando beyond holding out a hope of being able soon to come 
and help him. 

I mention these occurrences to show how deeply rooted were 
the old abuses, seeing that such things could take place after 
Gessi's reforms in the Bahr el-Ghazal, where in fact his authority 
was little more than nominal. Here again his good intentions 
were thwarted by his own officials, for after the war with Soli- 
man, Abdu'lallahi had been made administrator of the eastern 
districts as far as the Rol, and was well aware of the Pasha's 
orders and wishes, but acted in direct opposition to them. It 
was his policy, by constant petty exactions, to force the native 
rulers into revolt, in order then, by misrepresenting the true 
relations, to justify himself, if needs be, with the central authori- 


ties. Amid such complications I had m}'self to play the diplo- 
matist in order not to imperil my own position ; for in my 
further wanderings in those lands I had often to reckon with 
both parties. In emergencies I endeavoured to act as mediator 
in reconciling all interests. 

The station being now completed, I fitted up a meteorological 
observatory, where I took records thrice daily. These after my 
departure were continued by Bohndorff, so that they cover the 
six months of our stay at Ndoruma's to the end of i88i.^ 

The envo\-s were now dismissed with a few presents for 
Wando. From Ndoruma, during my long residence, I received 
only an occasional piece of venison. This scarcity of game, 
both here and elsewhere, shows that the surrounding regions 
are inhabited not by hunting, but by agricultural and pastoral 
peoples. Compared with other tribes, the Zandehs themselves 
are no doubt keen sportsmen, but they by no means depend 
mainly on the products of the chase. They would be reduced 
to sore distress if corn did not form their staple food at least 
during certain seasons of the year. 

The durra and Kaffir corn of the northern regions is here 
replaced mainly by eleusine {^E. coracand), a small grain like 
flax or canary-seed. The thick, blackish porridge prepared from 
this cereal serves as the chief article of diet both for prince and 
people. About half the crop is used in brewing the beloved 
native beer, which is so nourishing that for days together a 
liberal allowance will enable them to dispense with other food. 
After poor harvests, for which the thriftless Negro is badly 
prepared, and also during favourable hunting seasons, flesh is 
certainly the chief support of the people ; it is mostly preserved 
in the dried state, and is unquestionably preferred by the Niam- 
Niam to all other kinds of food. Besides eleusine, maize is also 
everywhere grown in small quantities, and at Ndoruma's it was 
also occasionally supplied to us. 

In our own garden were sown, besides pulse, maize, theosinte 
{Eiidilcena luxurians), carrots, beetroot, celery, parsley, (S:c. 

^ See Dr. Schmidt, Fder/nanii's JSIitlciluiigen, Supplement Xos. 92 and 93, part II. 

1 62 



northern cultivated plants in tropical Africa 

However, I was not too 
sanguine of the results, 
especially as the experiment 
was confined to a single 
spot. I could have wished 
to lay out another plot in 
a more suitable locality near 
the river, but feared that the 
clearing and tilling of the 
ground would prove too 
great a tax on the energies 
of Ndoruma's people. In 
an\' case m}' chief aim was 
to instruct my men, and 
accustom them to regular 
work, while giving Ndoruma 
and his subjects 
^J '\ an insight into 

our system of 
husbandry, and 
affording our- 
selves an oppor- 
tunity of useful 
bodily exercise 
against the mo- 
noton}^ of zeriba 
life. If after that 
we also obtained 
any material re- 
sult, our efforts 
would be doubly 
rewarded, and 
fresh experi- 
ences acquired 
regarding the 
acclimatation of 
On July 15th 


we first enjoyed the pleasure of knowing that the seeds had 
germinated ; on that day the young plants were at last seen 
struggling into light in several parts of the pea and bean plots. 

More envoys, this time from Zemio. He was still at Palem- 
bata's, and also wanted me to visit him. I put him off, like the 
others, and asked him to send again in a fortnight, when I might 
be able to arrange for a journey to him. Binsa, son of the aged 
Prince Malingde, and our nearest southern neighbour; also sent 
people to greet me. Such messages were often inspired merely 
by the curiosity of the chiefs anxious to get some direct inform- 
ation regarding me, and to satisfy themselves regarding my 
harm less n ess. 

During these months (July and August) the temperature was 
very agreeable at Ndoruma's. Great heat w^as rare, and far less 
than in more northern lands, such as Egyptian Sudan, Khartum, 
or the Red Sea coast lands. During the day the glass seldom 
rose in the shade above ']']" or 78" F., falling at night to 59° or 
60°. The early morning and the evening hours especially were 
very pleasant. Thunderstorms occurred mostly in the afternoon, 
but also in the evening and at night, but rarely during the fore- 
noon. These favourable conditions are partly due to the fact 
that Central Zandeh Land stands at the greatest relative altitude 
(2440 feet), being in fact the divide where many considerable 
streams have their source, and flow in various directions. 

Ndoruma's dwellings, which lay scarcely five minutes from 
my station of Lacrima, were in no way distinguished from the 
ordinary native huts. Ndoruma himself, in accordance with the 
good old Zandeh custom, displayed the greatest simplicity in all 
things. His favourite dress was the "rokko," which had certainly 
seen better days, and which was fastened by a stout twisted bast 
cord. On his visits he was followed about by two or three boys 
carrying an old musket, the revolver I had given him, and a 
large Mangbattu tnunbnsh. 

The humble style of his dwellings was no doubt partly due to 
the fact that the Zandehs often abandon their settlements after ■ 
a few years, and remove to another place. Ndoruma himself 
had not long been here and his huts were of a temporary 


character. During Rafai's successful expedition against him, the 
land had been frequently wasted, and the former habitations de- 
stroyed or abandoned, while the fear of renewed attacks from the 
Nubians had prevented the erection of more substantial dwellings. 

It was owing to this fear that Ndoruma had come forward 
to meet me at Dem Bekir, whence he had hastily returned to 
reassure his subjects, who soon perceived that my residence 
amongst them would even afford some protection against the 
Nubians. I frequently heard them remark that they now looked 
forward to better times, and could attend to their fields and 
habitations with a greater sense of security. On my return at 
the end of the year from my first circular journey, I found 
Ndoruma's new huts even enclosed by a palisade, such as had 
never before been erected by any Zandeh tribe. Stout enclosures 
prevail mostly amongst pastoral peoples, as a protection against 
beasts of prey, and to prevent the cattle from roaming over the 
land. But the Zandehs keep neither cattle nor goats, and are 
too indolent to erect efficient barriers against the nightly attacks 
of leopards. 

During my last eastward journey through Ndoruma's district, 
three years later, I scarcely found a trace of the structures at 
my station of Lacrima ; Ndoruma also had again abandoned 
his settlement, and founded another a little farther east on the 
Werre plateau. Of his former huts nothing was visible. Thus 
everything in tropical Africa warns us of decay and oblivion ; 
but within us bides the depressing feeling that perhaps after all 
the continued efforts of Europeans may produce no fruit, and 
that these children of Nature may themselves pass away before 
any lasting improvement can be effected in their condition. 

Our household was now disturbed by the illness of my cook 
Saida, whom I had brought all the way from Khartum, She was 
a member of the Berta tribe on the Blue Nile, and had become 
somewhat proficient in Arab cookery, too much so, in fact, for 
our present simple mode of living. Hence during the long 
attack of rheumatism which now incapacitated her for work, her 
place was taken by Farag 'Allah, who knew enough to prepare 
our frugal fare under my daily instructions. 


{Dra:vn by Fr. Rheinf elder; from a photograph by R. Buchla.) 


Thanks to the friendly invitations of the surrounding princes, 
the way was now open to renew my rambhngs in various 
directions. I was aware that Ndoruma, through motives of fear 
and petty jealousy, would be unwilling to let me set out just 
yet ; the difficulties, in fact, which he threw in my way caused 
me no little vexation and annoyance. So I was determined, on 
the arrival of another envoy from Zemio, to visit him. His 
intention was to go southwards in quest of ivory, and. I hoped to 
join the expedition. 

Here I may be permitted to give a brief sketch of our quiet 
life at the station. In these latitudes daylight lasts about twelve 
hours, without perceptible difference throughout the year. The 
sun rises shortly before six, reaches the zenith about noon, and 
sets again towards six, dawn and dusk being of short duration 
compared with our higher latitudes. As day follows quickly on 
night, daylight in its turn is quickly succeeded by darkness, 
unless a more gradual transition is effected by the friendly light 
of the moon. Of the full power of this luminary in tropical 
lands our northern peoples scarcely form an adequate concep- 
tion. In our artificially lighted towns, the great majority scarcely 
trouble themselves at all about lunar phases or starry skies. But 
in the southern regions millions of Nature worshippers, under a 
dim foreboding of an all-ruling Power, choose the period of the 
full moon for mystic rites, fantastic dances, and festivities. They 
recognize the advantage of not having to pass half their lives in 
impenetrable darkness. 

Our daily w^ork began for the most part when the last feeble 
light of the moon was extinguished in the glowing rays of the 
rising sun. All had their daily appointed tasks, which constantly 
returned, and which had to be got through before anything else 
could be done. The maid-servants had their huts, the kitchen 
and its approaches to look after ; the boys had to keep the grass 
cut and cleared away, while the little Dinka lad, Farag, took 
special charge of the sheep and goats. My hut and the open 
space where we gathered in the evening were constantly watered 
and swept clean, and every morning the tunnels constructed 
during the night by the termites were carefully removed. 



In the early morning water had to be brought by the girls in 
large pitchers from the Werre, and this duty had to be again 
performed several times during the course of the day, according 
to circumstances. These porous vessels, of various size and 
mostly of round plump shape, keep the water at an agreeably 
cool temperature ; such a biuma, as the Arabs call them, always 
stood on the stem of a tree in my hut. 

After the morning work some of the young 
men went with their axes to the surrounding 
open forest to collect bundles of dry and deca}-ed 
firewood, for I always kept a fire burning or 
smouldering night and da}-. Another was also 
frequently kindled in the open before my hut, 
round which the young people were allowed to 
congregate in the evening. A blazing log is for 
the Negro almost indispensable at night, as he 
sleeps uncovered, and the temperature is con- 
siderably lower than during the da}'. 

The garden also needed constant attention, 
while the carefully-cut trenches and channels 
would require to be cleared of the mud and slush 
washed down every other day b)' 
the fierce thunderstorms. The 
natives themselves required to be 
constantly looked after, especially 
at first ; they did nothing spon- 
taneously, but had to be told over 
and over again to perform the same 
daily routine work. Their duties 
were neglected, not so much through malice or obstinacy, as 
through sheer indolence, want of training, and, in the case of the 
young people, an unlimited faculty for forgetting. The Negro 
will put off everything, and dream away the day basking lazily 
in the sun, although he knows quite well that water, fuel, and 
other necessaries have to be provided. 

My effects of all kinds were always kept under lock and key, 
and the dailv rations were distributed bv myself from the 




provision chests. Even the salt had to be thriftily doled out, for 
this important condiment cannot be procured in the Zandeh 
country. Here the natives season their food with the alkali of 
wood-ashes. Hence our kitchen salt is a great luxury, is every- 
where highly valued and eagerly devoured, like sugar by our 
children. I had consequently brought twenty "head" of salt, 
about four loads, from Khartum, and increased my stock at 

Most manual labour is left in Africa to the women, except 
when they are fortunate enough to become the favourites of 
princes or chiefs, in which case they are often exempt from all 
work. The female slaves, especially in the service of Arabs, 
whose domestic needs are greater than amongst the Negroes 
lead a far more toilsome existence than the 
men. These have, in many cases, no special 
work to perform, and in the houses of wealthy 
Arabs are often more ornamental than useful. 

Apart from field operations, the hardest 
and most time-consuming duty of the women 
is the grinding of corn in their primitive 
fashion. Meal is of course the chief article 
of food, whether taken in the form of thick 
porridge {liigvia or assida of the Arabs), or 
of viedida (thin gruel), or of thin cakes 
ikisra, or when dr\', abn') prepared only in 

Arab households ; or, lastly, in the form of solid, round little 
loaves, as in the northern Arab lands. 

But the primitive mill, universal in Egypt and amongst the 
Arab Bedouins, is found only in the larger towns of East Sudan, 
while it is absolutely unknown in the Negro lands. Here it is 
replaced by the funduk (a kind of stamping mill or trough) for 
the larger and harder cereals, which have to be first husked and 
prepared for the grinding-stone. This funduk is a hollowed 
block of wood of varying size up to three feet or so high, or 
else a thick wooden trough prepared somewhat like a dug-out, 
But in either case heavy wccdcn pestles are used for pounding 
the corn. 






In the houses of the Zandeh chiefs are seen elegant ivory- 
pestles a foot long with ornamental thick ends, and these are 
amongst the choice objects of primitive Negro art. They serve 
also especially for pounding vegetables and condiments, and for 
preparing the termite messes. Thus the time-consuming work 
of braying corn and other food for a large household requires 
a great many female hands ; and as the Arab expeditions in 
Negro lands are accompanied only by a limited number of the 
female slaves, it follows that on the march an extra share of 
work falls to the lot of the free women themselves. I have often 



seen and heard the girls laboriously pounding away at their 
grinding troughs late into the night. They have often even to 
get up in the small hours to have the kisra or assida ready 
for the early breakfast before the start on the next wearisome 
march. The ordinary proportion is one corn-grinder for every 
three mouths ; but it frequently happens that one slav^e-girl has 
to provide for as many as ten hungry stomachs. 

In Egyptian Sudan corn-grinding is left exclusively to the 
women ; but on the route to Zanzibar, south of the Equator, this 
work is done by the carriers themselves. The Sudanese Negro 


willingly undertakes kitchen work, but his self-respect requires 
him to draw the line at the mortar and pestle. He would prefer 
eating his durra uncrushed, either roasted over the fire or par- 
boiled, to the indignity of having to bray it himself. Taught by 
my former experience, and in many respects guided by the 
example of the Arabo-Nubians, with whose customs I usually 
conformed, I always engaged female hands on these expeditions. 

I soon got used to the simplest kinds of Arab -fare, and 
especially to kisra and the other kinds of bread. This was 
always prepared by the women under my inspection, and 
remained for years the chief article of my diet, greatly to the 
benefit of my health. By the exercise of a little study and 
invention, the European may here easily increase his bill of fare, 
and from the dark, bitter telebun {Eleusine coracand) I myself 
succeeded in preparing a fine, sweet, and snow-white meal, which 
tasted quite as good as wheat-meal. Maize also I found, by 
husking and reducing in size, made an excellent substitute 
for rice. 

The season when the ants take wing was now at its height, 
and the already-mentioned mess of termites was a good test 
of my power to adapt myself to native fare. At this time 
Ndoruma's contributions were limited to maize and large 
quantities of dried termites, little else being in season. These 
female termites, about a third of an inch long and of cylindrical 
shape, but varying according to the species, are very fat, and are 
boiled down in water to the consistency of a thick porridge. To 
prevent putrefaction after being gathered, they are immediately 
dried over a fire, when the long wings all fall off, and they are 
often eaten in this state. Those received from Ndoruma, about 
fifty loads in the month of June, were very acceptable to my 
people as an accompaniment to their porridge, for this food is 
not liked by the natives taken by itself Soon I had it served 
daily at our own table ; it tasted something like meat-stuffing, 
and we took it mixed either with kisra or with rice. I had it 
also cooked with beaten eggs as a termite omelette, or as a 
substitute for flesh in meat-pies, the fatir of the Arabs. In this 
dish, however, the Arabs themselves never use termites, which 


the Mohammedan detests, although he cannot regard them in a 
rehgious sense as unclean, being sprung from eggs. 

Our daily menu was varied with European provisions, such as 
lentil, pea, and bean soups, which I had brought both in the 
form of condensed tablets and dried in little bags. Julienne in 
either form may be strongly recommended to all travellers. 
When nothing else was available, it served as a welcome accom- 
paniment to the kisra, taken with a little dried game. There 
were also macaroni and rice, and tinned vegetables of all kinds, 
as well as tunny-fish, salmon, lobsters, tongue, sardines, though 
such delicacies were only produced on special occasions, and in 
small portions. Dried and compressed fruits, such as apples, 
apricots, and plums, were also a great treat in illness, and cooked 
with rice made a capital Sunday dish. On the other hand, fresh 
meat was rare, as I avoided as far as possible encroaching on our 
little stock of goats and poultry. 

At Ndoruma's we had coffee with milk and sugar every 
morning, and two regular meals during the day, but no wine, 
the little I possessed being reserved for emergencies. The sugar 
ran out in a few months ; after putting aside a little for cases of 
illness, I used up the rest freely, for it is a useless and heavy 
burden on the march, and may be replaced by honey on the 
spot. On the other hand the Khartum biscuit {biixinat) keeps 
well, and we usually took it soaked in water with our morning 
coffee and afternoon tea. Tea itself was our most refreshing 
beverage during all our wanderings, and the kettle was always 
kept simmering on the fire in the stations, the camping-places, 
the native huts, or wherever we happened to be staying. I do 
not say that it acted as a preventative against bowel complaints, 
from which I never suffered, but I do maintain that weak tea 
taken frequently (the English drink it too strong) is to be highly 
recommended to travellers ; it enables them almost entirely to 
dispense with cold water, which is often bad and charged with 
the germs of typhus or dysentery. 

Three days towards the end of July (22nd, 23rd, and 24th) 
were occupied with long palavers chiefly about Binsa, son of 
Prince Malingde, who refused to give up a store of ivory which 


had been left in his charge by Osman Bedawi, and which was to 
have been consigned to Ndoruma. Binsa w^as also accused of 
other high-handed dealings ; but after much deliberation, and 
despite the explanations of Binsa's envoys, it still remained 
doubtful where the truth lay. 

About the same time Prince Wando sent me another message 
and the gift of four fowls, with a renewed and urgent request to 
visit him at his brother Ngerria's, where he was still a refugee. 
All this helped to give me a better insight into the relations of 
the Zandeh rulers, as well as the hostile designs harboured by 
Mbio against Ndoruma and even myself. I was able, however, 
to form a more correct estimate of his reported intention to 
fall on and destroy my station, when viewed in the light of 
Ndoruma's avowed desire to break Mbio's power by the aid of 
the Government troops. At the same time I clearly saw that 
amidst all these intrigues it would be impossible to treat on a 
friendly footing with Mbio from my present residence, for it was 
reported by Ngettua's envoys that he would not receive my 

At this time Ndoruma's mbanga was attended by several 
distant feudatories, amongst others his brother, Mbima or 
Mbansuro, ruler of a south-western district on the border of 
Palembata's territory, where Zemio was just then residing. They 
came chiefly to greet me and offer me little presents, which I 
usually distributed amongst the people for themselves and their 

On those occasions the station was all astir with excitement, 
for my visitors would resolutely refuse to withdraw till they 
had seen some of the white man's marvels, the fame of which 
had spread far and wide over the land. They were specially 
interested in those magic boxes and instruments (accordions), 
from which such mysterious yet attractive sounds were emitted 
without the touch of human hand. Then they would admire 
those wonderful books and pictures, in which they recognized 
their own dwellings and weapons, their wild animals, the worm, 
the fly, the bee and beetle, the birds on the wing, the fishes in 
the water, the dreaded snakes, and their very elephants, these 


last a never-failing source of irrepressible jubilation. A painted 
cardboard marionette, about three feet high, which I had hung 
up in my hut, often gave rise to the liveliest scenes. During the 
ladies' visits, whenever I suddenly and stealthily pulled the 
string, they would rush screaming and yelling from the hut, and 
could with difficulty be won from their terror. I mention these 
things, trivial enough in themselves, to illustrate the low mental 
state of these aborigines, and to show that we must look on the 
Negro as a child, and regulate our treatment of him from this 
point of view. For instance, when I set the barrel-organ going, 
many supposed that I alone had the power of extracting the 
notes. Hence all the greater was the exultation when I invited 
one of themselves to turn the handle and produce the same 
sounds, to his own bewilderment. 

When the plants began to spring up in the numerous garden 
plots with their trim borderings and tidy walks, I took Ndoruma 
and his guests round the enclosure to show them our methods 
of gardening, and make them acquainted with some of our 
culinary plants. To the few who displayed any special interest 
in such matters, I even distributed several varieties of maize for 
their own plantations. 

Ndoruma, who intended to start with a convoy of ivory for 
Gessi Pasha, kept putting off his departure from day to day, 
solely through fear of my going to Binsa's and Wando's in 
his absence, and perhaps then open communications with Mbio 
himself He feared for my safety, as was the burden of his 
song ; but had I followed his advice I should have still remained 
long inactive at the station. Hence, for the moment, I no longer 
spoke of my own plans, but rather urged him to depart on his 
journey to the Governor. 

Soon after he actually did make a start, giving out that he 
would first of all collect the ivory from the chiefs in the northern 
part of his territory. At the same time he expressed his fear 
that after my departure Rafai might possibly return and again 
levy contributions on his people. It thus became evident to me 
that all his efforts were aimed at keeping me permanently in his 
tcrritor\-. The same troubles I afterwards again experienced 



amongst other rulers, so that it was often not only difficult to 
reach their districts, but still more difficult to get away again. 
They were always glad to retain me with them, as a protection 
against hostile neighbours and against the exactions of the 

A brood of chicks which had recently been hatched now 
began to attract the attention of predatory birds, amongst others 

the Cosmetornis Spekci, of which I was very anxious to secure a 
specimen. It belongs to the family of goat-suckers, and about 
this time I saw it for the first time sw^ooping over the station on 
several evenings towards dusk. On one occasion the winged 
termites buzzing about a neighbouring ant-hill soon attracted 
several of these long-tailed nightjars. It was highly interesting 
to observe their peculiar flight, their long flag-feathers giving the' 
impression of two small birds always flying at their side. They 


circled swiftly and noiselessly round and round the ant-hill, 
darted upwards, and then dropped as suddenly down, so that it 
was scarcely possible to get a good shot. At last I managed to 
bring one down, but it fell in the tall grass, and when it was 
recovered some days afterwards it was found to be useless as a 
specimen, having been half devoured by the ants. Meanwhile 
its companions disappeared, and were not again seen near the 

On August 2nd envoys presented themselves for the third 
time from Zemio to say that he was en the point of leaving for 
the south, but would still expect me before starting. Now I 
made up my mind, and sent the envoy back with the assurance 
that I would set out in a few days. I even retained one of his 
people at the station to act as my guide. My preparations were 
soon completed, my light equipment enabling me to dispense 
with a numerous following. It was important that I had chosen 
the road to Zemio's, where Ndoruma could not pretend to 
entertain any alarm respecting my safety. He knew that Zemio 
held a prominent position, enjoyed the confidence of Gessi 
Pasha, and was acting on behalf of the Government. 

I now gave Bohndorfif all necessary instructions regarding the 
work to be continued at the station during my absence, and 
handed him the inventory of all the effects, with duplicate keys 
of the boxes. I also instructed him in the reading of the 
meteorological instruments, which enabled him to continue the 
systematic observations during the following months. 

On August 5th all preparations were completed, and a package 
of letters addressed to the postmaster of Khartum had been 
sent off to Ndoruma, who was still sojourning in the northern 
parts of his territory. I at the same time informed him of my 
approaching journey to Zemio's, recommending to his care my 
assistant Bohndorff, and all the people left behind at the station. 

I now engaged fifteen carriers to be ready by the 7th, but 
that day and the following passed in useless waiting. Farag 
'Allah, whom I had despatched to the neighbouring chiefs, 
brought back the news that Ndoruma had plainly forbidden 
them to let me have any carriers. This I had not expected, and 


the attempted indignit}' was the last straw which well-nigh 
caused me to lose all patience. 

Later, when Ndoruma's sons with a few chiefs called on me, I 
expressed myself in the harshest and most plain-spoken language 
on the subject. In this I played the part of an injured and 
outraged person, and declared that after such an experience I 
should no longer remain at the station, but the very next 
morning should start with my servants alone for Zemio's, and 
bring back carriers from him to bring away all my things and 
leave Ndoruma's for ever. And I clenched the matter by asking 
who would dare to prevent me, adding that the Pasha should be 
at once informed of Ndoruma's high-handed attempt to oblige 
me to remain, and that all the other Zandeh chiefs should hear 
of his conduct. 

A messenger from Wando happened just then to be at 
Ndoruma's inbanga. I sent for him there and then, so that 
Wando also might be forthwith informed of the occurrence. 
But his followers were already so alarmed at my determination 
to carry out my expressed intentions, that they also now began 
to make revelations on their part. This result I had expected ; 
nevertheless I kept them long in doubt as to my action, and at 
last required the carriers to be supplied by sunset, failing which 
I should carry out my project by daylight, perhaps even go 
straight to the Pasha and return with troops and carriers from 
the Bahr el-Ghazal province. In that case I should need none 
of their carriers, but travel like all other Zandeh, Pambia, and 
Barmbo people ; anci then the lazy Zandehs, who were no men, 
but women, might stay at home with their wives. 

After these words, uttered in a towering passion, Ndoruma's 
sons and the others present hurried off, and brought the carriers 
before sunset. But the rain now set in, and after all my 
departure was delayed until August loth. 





Off at Last — Chimpanzee Hunt — Zandeh Cannibalism — Journey to Mbima's — 
Ndoruma's Vassals — Swampy Woodlands — Mbima's Territory and surrounding 
District — Zandeh Habits and Customs — Ndoruma's Arrival — Journey to Zemio's 
— Palembata's Territory — Family Alliances of the Zandeh Princes — Negotiations 
with Badinde — The Mangballa Borderlands— Nazima and his Schemes — The 
Gurba River — Bangusa — Swamps — Mbruole River — First Sight of the Welle — 
Shifting of our Headquarters. 

I HAD tarried full two months on the banks of the Werre, 
where my station of Lacrima had been founded. Our 
European garden was already clothed with verdure, and I was 
gratified by the pleasant sight of our tender seedlings springing 
into new life when the time approached to leave our comfortable 
quarters in an inhospitable land, and renew our wanderings 
through the wilderness. But I could scarcely hope to reap what 
I had sown with my own hands, although the finest deep red 
radishes were already promising to reward us for our loving care. 
When the carriers were at last obtained, they behaved in a 


pitiful manner over the com- 
paratively light loads assigned \3^ 
to them. Many even began '^''^^ 
to cry ofif, and try to escape 
the service by lies and shamming 
sickness or lack of strength. Our 
first march was a short one, and, 
to the surprise of Bohndorfif and 
the others who had remained behind, 
the same afternoon saw us back again 
at the station. This, however, was due "^-^IvJ 1 
to a lucky event, the capture in fact of \\}\\ 
a chimpanzee, which I was anxious to 
have properly preserved as a specimen by 

The chimpanzee is indigenous in the 
southern and western parts of Zandeh 
Land, or about between 25° and 28' E. 
longitude, and reaching north to 5° or 
even 6" N. latitude. Although not exactly 
rare, he is not easily met, owing to his habit 
of frequently moving from place to place ; 
nor, despite all inquiries, had I yet suc- 
ceeded in securing a specimen. Stalk- 
ing him in the almost impenetrable 
thickets or along the swampy river 
banks is a very laborious pastime. 
He dwells exclusively among the 
lofty forest trees of such districts, 
which offer him a safe retreat, so 
that his capture is mostly a matter 
of chance. And so it was with me 
on this occasion, when my good luck 
threw in my way no less than three 
of these apes, one of which was un- 
doubtedly amongst the largest repre- 
sentatives of the race. 



It happened in this wise. We had proceeded scarcely half an 
hour on our journey from the station, when we found ourselves 
surrounded by a broad swampy sheet of water. I had biought 
with me a plank, thirteen feet long, for the purpose of crossing 
such places, where a few dry spots occur at intervals round about 
the snags or roots of trees. Beyond the morass the natives 
reported the presence of chimpanzees in the neighbourhood. 
Eager to observe them in their natural environment, and possibly 
to secure a specimen, I called a halt, and followed the guidance 
of the people across bog and slush, forcingmy way with difficulty 
through bush and briar and snake-like creepers, emerging at last 
on a spot overarched by the summits of gigantic forest trees. 

The movements of the animals had meanwhile been noticed 
by some natives, who received me with the repeated exclamation : 
Yd, /id! inansnntina {'' ThcxQ, there's the chimpanzee"). But the 
indicated tree was so high that it was some time before I could 
detect him moving about in the foliage. My first shot was 
followed by an unearthly yell and a shower of good-sized 
branches, which the animals broke off and flung down at us. 
Then one of them showed itself, and I distinctly noticed a young 
one clinging to its breast. The mother again quickly sought 
cover, crouching in the fork of two huge branches in such a way 
as to shield her offspring with her body. The fifth shot brought 
her down, though I afterwards noticed that she had been hard 
hit several times. In her extremity she had at last even put aside 
the little one, which remained unharmed on the top of the tree, 
so that at first I hoped to take it alive. 

Some of the people climbed up, but before they had got half 
way returned in hot haste, reporting that the adult male was 
lurking in the tangled foliage of the summit. After in vain 
endeavouring to spot him, I at last fired a charge of heavy shot 
at random into a dark mass of leaves. I had hit the right spot, 
for the animal at once left its cover with a yell, and was then 
brought down with a few more shots. It proved, however, not 
to be the old male, but a second and smaller female. The first 
surprised me by her solid build ; although only four and a half 
feet high, she presented an enormous muscular development in the 


arms and legs. I failed to capture the young one, owing to the 
laziness of my people, who refused to climb the tree. 

The strength even of young chimpanzees is amazing. On one 
occasion I had the greatest difficulty in wrenching a stick from 
one, which was but half grown, and a suckling will cling so 
tightly to your finger that the greatest effort will be needed to 
get free. I have seen many of these anthropoids, some of which 
I have kept at the stations or carried about with me on my 
wanderings. They afforded me many an hour's distraction, and 
I shall have more to say of them later. The older it grows the 
darker becomes the ciiinipanzee's skin on face, palms of the 
hands, and soles of the feet. The face of adults is of a dark 
brown inclining to blackish, and often speckled, while the hairless 
parts of the very young are, on the contrary, of a light colour. 

Once their retreat is discovered, chimpanzee hunting is easy 
enough. They move slowly and cautiously amongst the branches, 
so that they can scarcely escape a sportsman armed with a good 
gun, as can other apes, such as the nimble Colobus, who often 
travels faster overhead from branch to branch and tree to tree 
than his pursuer can follow through the dense undergrowths. 
The chimpanzee, on the contrary, always seeks cover, and will 
even descend to the ground, where he can more easily disappear 
amid the thick brushwood. Here he will apparently even show 
fight. Such is his physical strength, and so formidable are his 
teeth, that in single combat the Negro finds him a dangerous 
foe. On the other hand, the natives, armed only with spear, bow 
and arrow, are scarcely able to bring down the chimpanzee when 
he keeps to his arboreal retreat ; hence all the greater was their 
astonishment at the range and efficacy of my rifle. 

On the march back to the station the large chimpanzee was 
brought back bound to a long plank, and received with acclama- 
tions. The specimen was at once skinned, while some of the 
carriers waited eagerly for their share of the game. Not all, 
however, for although the Zandehs are undoubtedly cannibals, 
some amongst them will touch neither man nor chimpanzee,- 
probably because of its human appearance ; at least they do not 
refuse any other kind of monkey, and also devour many other 


repulsive things. In the present instance all my carriers rejected 
the flesh of the chimpanzee, except the members of the 
A-Barmbo and A-Pambia tribes, who, as elsewhere stated, live 
scattered about in small communities amongst Ndoruma's 

Our route now trended south-westwards in the direction of a 
station belonging to Mbansuro (Mbima), a brother and vassal of 
Ndoruma, on the south-west frontier of his territory. This settle- 
ment, which was reached in a few da}-s, lay midway between 
Ndoruma's and Zemio's temporary encampment in Palembata's 

After crossing another shallow swamp by means of the plank, 
we reached a deep broad morass where this expedient proved 
useless. I had therefore to wade across over rough ground 
strewn with much underwood, and could not but secretly envy 
the well-seasoned soles of my carriers, who went steadily forward, 
slow but sure, while I floundered about, helplessly sprawling and 
stumbling at every step amid the tangle of roots and slush. 
Chief Kunna awaited us at his huts on the opposite bank, where 
I got rid of the mud and dirt while our people were being fed. 
Another short march brought us to chief Gumba's, where I 
passed the night in a tiny little hut, with no room even for my 
work-table, the top of which had to be placed on a basket at my 

Next morning the carriers were changed, which caused more 
delay, and as the rain came on in the afternoon we got no farther 
that day than the station of chief Gallia (Balia). 

All the swampy tracts between Ndoruma's and this place, as 
well as the streamlets crossed the following days, drain north- 
westwards to the Werre. Notwithstanding its low elevation 
(2440 feet above sea-level), the district about Ndoruma's resi- 
dence, lying between 4° and 5° north, 27° and 28'' east, comprises 
one of the most important water-partings of the hydrographic 
system in this part of Africa, a sort of nucleus or central point 
for the sources of most of the streams flowing south to the Welle 
for the Congo, and north to the Sueh-Jur for the Nile. 

On the route to Gallia's I"met only one small swamp stream 


[Drawn by Fr. Rhcinfddcr ; from a photograph by R. Biichta.) 


flowing in a different direction from the others, that is, south- 
wards to the Gurba, an independent affluent of the Wclle-Makua. 
During this first circular journey I crossed its lower course later 
on. In the neighbourhood of Gallia's huts, on the scarcely per- 
ceptible water-parting between the Werre and Gurba, formerly 
stood the residence of the powerful Prince Yapati, who at one 
time held sway over a great part of the Zandeh nation, and from 
whom had sprung many of the still living Niam-Niam rulers. 
His son, the aged Malingde or Bunza (not to be confused with 
Binza's father, Malingde, whose territory lies between the Gurba 
and Mbruole rivers), gave me much valuable information on the 
history of the Zandeh peoples. He and Balia were now the only 


surviving sons of Yapati. A little south of our route there also 
stood a residence of Prince Mbio, whose domain was said to have 
some decades ago reached this point. 

The hut here placed at my disposal was so small that there 
was no space to rig up my mosquito-net, so that for the night I 
was at the mercy of these pests. These Negro hovels are mostly 
crowded round the residence of some prince or chief, and between 
the groups there stretch miles of uninhabited tracts. In many 
Zandeh districts, and especially round about the much-frequented 
settlements of the chiefs, the tall grass growing eight to ten feet 
high gets completely beaten down along both sides of the narrow 
track ; but beyond this they rarely take the trouble to clear away 


the grass itself and widen the path. They even seldom resort to 
the practical method of laying the rank herbage by means of a 
stout branch or sapling held by a cord, both ends of which are 
attached to it at a third of the length from either extremity. The 
heavy stick is thus easily raised and let down and pushed along 
with the foot, a process which, aided by the weight of the body, 
effectually breaks and flattens the tall stalks, as clearly shown in 
the accompanying illustration. In such places locomotion is easy 
enough ; unfortunately they are confined to few localities, and 
elsewhere the traveller has to force his way for miles through 
the thick, sharp grass, holding his right arm in the attitude of a 
combatant to protect his face and eyes. 

The third day's march brought us to the territory of Gangura, 
another brother and vassal of Ndoruma. Here ended the imme- 
diate domain of the paramount lord, that is to say, the district 
round about his residence within which the petty chiefs and their 
subjects attend the mbanga (royal assembl}'), and consult it in 
all judicial matters. Over the more remote districts are placed,, 
as rulers, especially brothers of the prince, who as vassals yield 
obedience to his orders. The Zandeh prince is addressed by the 
title of " Bia," which is also extended to his brothers, to chiefs, 
and, in fact, to all distinguished persons. It answers to our " Sir," 
and was even used by inferiors in addressing me. " Baiki," the 
Zandeh word for chief, is not employed in conversation. 

In Gangura's district we at first followed the water-parting 
between the two already-mentioned affluents of the Welle- 
Makua. Instead of the troublesome swampy tracts and rivers, 
we here traversed many broad stretches of woodlands, which 
took the direction of the streamlets crossing our track farther on. 
In their exuberant growth and vegetable forms these woodlands 
partly display the characteristic features of the fluvial avenues ; 
but they lack the deep troughs or gorges in many places dis- 
posed in terraces, whose bed is occupied by swampy ground or 
limpid brooks. Within their limits the all-pervading moisture 
still percolates underground, appearing lower down as surface 

We passed the night with Peru, a chief subject to Gangura. 


Here also the huts were wretched, though the settlement pre- 
sented a comfortable appearance from its enclosure of magnificent 
bananas, whose fruit, a foot long, forms the staple food of the 
Mangbattu people. We also noticed some -well-tilled tobacco- 
fields, all the more pleasing to the eye that the ground under 
other crops is generally neglected after sowing-time. 

Next day we reached Gangura's settlement, having again to 
cross running waters and swampy tracts, for here the water-parting 
lay to the south of our route. The rise was scarcely perceptible 
between the streams, all of which flowed to the Werre. 

At Gangura's I was accommodated with a more spacious hut ; 
but here, as elsewhere, the door had to be secured with blocks of 
wood and boards, against the attacks of prowling leopards. 
While the hut was being put to rights, I passed the time, as was 
my wont, under the shade of a tree, surrounded by a number of 
admiring and inquisitive natives. During our stay in this place 
my rifle supplied me with a few guinea-fowl to supplement the 
ordinary diet of gourds, sweet potatoes, and maize. The chiefs, 
who furnished these provisions, received in return sundry little 
presents, such as glass beads, cheap razors, small looking-glasses, 
brass rings and bracelets, bad penknives, and in special cases 
cloth, all of which things were gladly accepted. 

Beyond Gangura's district follows south-westwards that of 
Mbima (Mbansuro), Ndoruma's most distinguished brother and 
vassal. I had already made his acquaintance, as well as that of 
Gangura and of several other chiefs whom I met on this journey, 
at my station of Lacrima. Mbima gave us a grand reception, 
coming with his people some distance to meet us. His territory 
is considerably larger and more populous than those of his other 
brothers, and forms on the west and south the border-land of 
Ndoruma's domain. Here I took a day's rest to repair the 
damage done to my clothes during our wanderings through the 
coarse, tall grass. 

In the vicinity were some extensive fields, which at this season 
yielded mainl}' gourds, yams, sweet potatoes, and maize, abun- 
dant supplies of which were received from Mbima, He also sent 
us a leg of buffalo beef, which, however, was too high for my taste, 


though rehshed by my people. I noticed a marked difiference 
between the natives of this district and those of Ndoruma's and 
the other territories hitherto traversed. Many of them were 
undoubtedly full-blood Zandehs, who are advantageously dis- 
tinguished from other tribes by their strong muscular development, 
and are also much better nourished. On the other hand, I found 
many half-famished, miserable-looking A-Pambia and A-Barmbo 
settled in Ndoruma's country. 

The unexpected report that Ndoruma was on the road hither, 
that he had already reached Kuru's, and wished to see me before 
I went further, induced me to prolong my stay at Mbima's. 
Nine chiefs, all tributary to him, are included in his territory. 
South of Ndoruma's, and separated from it by an extensive unin- 
habited wilderness, stretches south-west and north-east the land 
of the aged Prince Malingde, who, however, had at that time 
already handed over the administration to his sons. Of these, 
Bagbarro, Mange, and Mbilli were stationed south of Mbima's, 
between the middle courses of the rivers Gurba and Mbruole. 
The district of his fourth son, Sungiu, lay to the south of the 
Mbruole, while that of his fifth son, Binsa, was situated, as 
already stated, to the south of Ndoruma's residence. Mbima's 
district extends from his chief settlement about a day's journey 
to the west, where it is conterminous with that of Prince Badinde, 
who had been made tributary by Zemio. Towards the north 
Yabikumballo's land forms the boundary of the district which, in 
that direction, borders on the territory of Mbellebil, a third 
brother and vassal of Ndoruma. Eastwards follows the tributary 
state of Toto, a fourth brother of the paramount chief, while 
other brothers have their settlements farther to the north-east. 

Ndoruma's arrival was delayed for several days ; nor should I 
have waited any longer, but that I hoped through him to get 
news of the Bahr el-Ghazal, and possibly also receive some 
anxiously-expected despatches from Khartum and Europe. 
Meanwhile Mbima's mbanga was visited by many of his tribu- 
tary chiefs. They feasted their eyes on the white man, and on all 
of the marvels he had brought all the way from Europe. They 
were never weary of listening in amazement to my musical 


instruments, and contemplated with ecstasy the coloured pictures 
of the mammals known to them. So great was the commotion 
both here and afterwards in other places, that my stay at a 
prince's residence often became a source of rev^enue to him ; for 
whether ordered or not, his tributary chiefs seldom came to court 
empty-handed. Their offerings comprised corn, flour, fruit and 
vegetables according to the season, game, bananas, red, that is> 
fresh unclarified palm-oil, beer, palm-wine, honey, tobacco, and 
the like. With the abundance of such presents 
my own store of provisions waxed or waned. 

To the polygamous habits of so many 
Negro princes is due their numerous progeny. 
Amongst the Zandehs and many other tribes, 
the wives after the chiefs death become at- 
tached to one of the legitimate sons, generally 
the most distinguished of the household. Thus 
one of Aeso's numerous wives, Ndoruma's 
mother, lived with him, and the same relation 
existed between Mbima and his mother. In 
these western districts the women wear nothing 
but a bunch of fresh foliage, often replaced 
by a narrow leathery leaf. Their ornaments 
are restricted to a few iron anklets and brace- 
lets ; only a few of more distinguished position 
rejoiced in spiral iron rings wound round arm 
and leg ; copper rings also are reserved for the 
favoured few, even the cheap strings of glass 
beads of European manufacture are by no 
means common. 

The taste for these beads, as well as their 
value, varies throughout Africa according to their style and abund- 
ance, the period, the tribes, and similar conditions. Amongst the 
Negroes beads are in fact a question of fashion, and it may be stated 
in a general way that their market value tends to be depreciated 
by the introduction of other more useful or more esteemed wares. 
Thus their price has fallen considerably in regions where the 
traders have imported fire-arms, ammunition, spirits, and cloth. 



Hence in the north equatorial lands, here under consideration, 
where no trade in foreign wares has yet been developed, beads and, 
to some extent, shells, are still highly prized, their value varying, 
as stated, according to quality — that is, size, form, and colour. 

As I had taken care to provide myself with a rich assortment 
of the coloured beads, I was able to offer the natives many 
novelties. The love of adorning, in many cases one should rather 
say disfiguring, the person, is common to all Negroes. But the 
local arts and industries are quite incapable of meeting the 
demand for finery, and as most of the body is exposed, the 
natives have sought and found in the natural pigments a means 
of supplementing art. Red, black, and white colours are available 
for painting the body, and with these slender resources some 
tribes achieve great effects. Red and black are yielded by the 
vegetable kingdom ; for white many utilize hyaena droppings 
bleached in the sun, while from potter's clay is obtained a light 
gray, a favourite means of daubing the face, especially for 
masquerading purposes. 

Amongst the Zandehs both sexes show a preference for black 
and red, the latter being procured from a dyewood ground to a 
powder, which is either lightly dusted over shoulders, neck, and 
back, or else kneaded with fat and rubbed into the whole body. 
In a few days the glaring red coating scales off, leaving a beauti- 
ful light copper brown, which scarcely any longer suggests an 
artificial coloration. For the red pigment the Zandehs manu- 
facture various receptacles, of which the accompanying illustration 
reproduces a rare and artistically-carved specimen. The pulpy 
fruit of a Gardenia iblippo of the Zandehs) yields a black cosmetic 
much in favour with all ages and sexes. Those who still fancy 
that the Negro's skin is really black, may think it strange that he 
should need a black pigment. But I would here repeat that a 
decided black complexion nowhere occurs, and that it would be 
much more correct to speak of a brown, a copper, or chocolate- 
coloured, than of a black race in Africa. The black pigment in 
question is laid on in an endless variety of designs, but, compared 
with the Mangbattu patterns, those of the Zandehs are for the 
most part very irregular. They are punctured, spotted, striped, 


smeared over whole surfaces, or else the sap is simply squeezed 
on to the shoulders, back, and breast, and then allowed to stream 
irref^ularly down the bod>'. Such bedaubed figures look like 
fiends, and in fact the men try to make themselves as frightful as 
possible with this blippo, especially in battles and combats. 

The postponement of my departure from Mbima's gave Zemio 
an opportunity of sending me fresh envoys. In the meantime 
I had myself opened up relations with the sons of Malingde, who 
ruled in the southern districts, whither I had despatched messen- 
gers with small presents, to allay the fears entertained of possible 



hostile intentions on my part. New friends were thus secured, 
and the roads to those parts kept open for future use. 

Thence also came the news that Osman Bedawi had returned 
from Bakangai, and had marched farther eastwards through the 
territory of Mbilli. Messengers also at last reported the approach 
of Ndoruma, who sent me some far from pleasant tidings. Both 
of Bohndorff's assistants had decamped, while some unseemly 
bickerings had occurred in connection with my female cook from 
Khartum ; but still no news either from Gessi or from Europe. 
Ndoruma would even now have still kept me back ; but he soon 
saw that this was impossible, and had to listen to some bitter 
home-truths on the subject of his vindictive action towards me. 


After a stay of four days at Mbima's, I set out on August 
20th for Zemio's. The objective of our first day's journey was 
the settlement of the frontier chief Bani, who showed himself 
very obliging. He had prepared for our reception some large 
new huts, which we reached just as a heavy downpour came on. 
His entertainment was equally good, and included even a fowl, 
at that time a rare treat for me. 

Bani accompanied us on our route next day, evidently at 
Ndoruma's request, his object being to sound me on my further 
intentions regarding Zemio. On the road to Bani's we had 
crossed the Buye, which; after collecting all running waters of the 
district, flows like all those streams north-westwards to the Werre. 
A common feature of the rivers in this district also was their 
broad, deep, trough-like channel fringed with a rich vegetation. 
The banks are mostly swampy, although the limpid rivulets often 
flow over sandy beds. Here again Africa appears as " the 
Continent of Contrasts." 

These marches were rendered very wearisome by the constantly 
recurring difficulties with the carriers. Even when all were got 
together in the morning, one or another would try to shirk 
duty, so that we were often unable to start before ten or 
eleven o'clock. 

South of Bani's residence the route traverses an extensive 
tableland, where I enjoyed a wide prospect, a rare feature in 
these regions. On the ferruginous soil the grass fails to reach its 
full development, a fact which greatly facilitated the march. The 
rising ground forms a secondary water-parting between the Buye 
and the Grupi, which was crossed next day, and which separates 
Ndoruma's from Palembata's territory. Besides these we had 
daily to wade through numerous little streams and wooded 
brooks, often difficult and tedious to cross owing to their marshy 
banks. The whole country is an uninhabited wilderness. 

After passing the night in some abandoned huts near the 
Grupi, we crossed the Hako, which is the third largest river in 
the district, and which flows direct to the Werre. It was over 
three feet deep and thirty-three feet wide, and on its banks we 
came upon a camp abandoned by Zemio. His present camp lay 


a little distance farther south, though the rain obh'ged us to 
remain for the night in the abandoned huts on the Hako. Here 
I saw for the first time some small specimens of the elaeis palm, 
which in the southern and western regions of tropical Africa 
yields the red palm-oil so highly prized by the natives. 

Messengers had been sent forward announcing our approach 
to Zemio, whereupon he sent me the same evening his greetings, 
with a still more welcome fowl and some cooked bananas. Next 
day a two hours' march southwards brought us to his camp, 
which lay within the territory of Palembata, till recently an inde- 
pendent Zandeh chief. In the western regions the posterity of the 
formerly potent Zandeh princes had lost much of their import- 
ance owing to the general decay of the land through its distri- 
bution amongst numerous petty rulers and pretenders. The 
present rulers all descend either from Mabenge or from Tombo. 
To distinguish them from the still powerful Zandeh princes, I 
shall as a rule speak of them merely as " chiefs," though most of 
them are really sprung from noble blood. Hence the proud and 
dignified bearing of the true Zandeh race compared with the 
working classes, most of whom are conquered peoples. The 
vassal princes, vice-regents, chiefs (Baiki), and sub-chiefs are all 
exclusively of Zandeh blood. The only exception known to me is 
chief Kommunda, who holds high rank as a ruler in Ndoruma's 
territory. Although not of princely blood, he had risen to dis- 
tinction under Aeso, Ndoruma's father, and had since preserved 
his exceptional position. 

After the invasion of the Bahr el-Ghazal region by the Arab 
traders and raiders, a number of princes in the northern provinces 
of Zandeh Land lost their independence. Either driven into 
exile or slain in battle, they were replaced by dragomans, 
creatures of the intruding Nubians. Such changes were con- 
ditioned by the new relations ; but, according to the old Zandeh 
traditions, none but the princely race distinguished by the 
leopard skin had any right to be rulers of men. 

Palembata's father Balia was descended through Bogua from 
Yapati, and he again from Mabenge, founder of one of the 
Zandeh dynasties. As an instance of the family relations 


amongst these princes, I may mention that Easimbe, being 
another son of Yapati, was consequently Bogua's brother. But 
Basimbe was in his turn the founder of another line of rulers, such 
as Mbio, Malingde, Wando, Ngerria, and Aeso, who were reign- 
ing at the time of my expedition to Niam-Niam Land. Aeso 
again, being Ndoruma's father, Palembata's and Ndoruma's 
grandfathers were brothers. We thus get the subjoined 



Tombo Mabenge 

r — 1 . I 

Ngenia Ndeni Yapali 

I I 

Bogua Basimbe 

Badinde Balia Auio Aeso Mbio Malingde Wando Nirenia 

i' ' j Ndonima j ' Mbittima Hokwa Rensi (Feio) 

Bagbae Palembata Mbilli Bagbaro 

Bagbae was the only brother of Palembata that rose to 
distinction as a district administrator. North-east of this district, 
as far as the Werre, the ruling prince was Mbima's neighbour, the 
already-mentioned Badinde, an uncle of Palembata and brother 
of Balia, both of whom had been subdued by Zcmio the previous 
year. Their territories lay about midway on the route of his 
annual expeditions to the southern lands. Besides the ivory 
here collected for the Government, their reduction had brought 
other advantages to Zemio, such as feudal service, requisitions, 
and supplies for his numerous caravans, 

I have already mentioned that the ancestral land of Prince 
Zemio stretches to the north, and that of Prince Zasa to the 
south of the river Mbomu. Gessi had also given Zasa permis- 
sion to collect ivory. His yearly expeditions to the south 
traversed the lands lying more to the west, and he had conse- 
quently begun to reduce the region bordering westwards on 
Badinde's territory. This region, which lay between the Werre 
and the Welle, had already been broken up into a number of 
petty chieftaincies. A multitude of princelings, descended from 


Mabenge's brother, Tombo, had ah'cady distributed his posses- 
sions amongst themselves, and had thus in the third and fourth 
generat4ons sunk to the position of powerless chiefs. In the 
region south of the Welle we shall farther on make the acquaint- 
ance of those Zandeh princes, also sprung from Tombo, but 
through his son Ndeni, who till within recent years remained 
powerful and independent rulers. 

Zemio gave me a grand reception. I found the grass had 
been cleared all along the track from the last rivulet we had 
crossed to his present settlement ; his men — Zandehs with lance 
and shield in their war-paint — were drawn up under arms, and as 
we approached two flags were dipped in our honour, while Zemio 
himself advanced to give us a friendly if somewhat embarrassed 

This vassal of the Egyptian Government is a son cf Tikima, 
and although not more than about thirty years old, is already 
somewhat corpulent, as many Zandeh princes are later in life. 
His small uniformly rounded body supports a typical round head 
with an expression almost of kindliness and benevolence, at 
least so far as it is possible to draw a conclusion from a Negro's 
physiognomy as to his inner sentiments. His chubby oval 
countenance is lit up with the intelligent glance of large piercing 
eyes. A scanty growth of hair covers chin and upper lip, while 
the broad nostrils and prominent cheek-bones recall the Niam- 
Niam type, though his Arab garb with red shoes, tarbush, and 
cropped hair almost suggested a half-caste Negro. Even at this 
first interview he gained my sympathy, a sympathy which I was 
able to retain during long years of friendly intercourse. 

At the present juncture the political relations were somewhat 
unsettled. Palembata had reluctantly yielded him submission, 
and during Zemio's last expedition through his territory hostili- 
ties had again broken out. Palembata had, as was reported, 
refused to deliver the ivory, and had also failed to furnish sufficient 
supplies for the caravan, so that corn had to be forcibly seized. 
But Zemio had taken a lesson in prudence from the Arabs, so that 
he was at present on his guard against any possible surprise, and 
had even protected himself by a small fenced encampment. 


Within the enclosure a carefully-erected hut stood at my 
disposal, though I was unable long to enjoy its comfort. For 
several days Zemio had been awaiting me, and as his supplies 
were running short, he was anxious to continue his journey 
southwards. I at once decided to accompany him, and we all 
started the second day. 

Here, as elsewhere, my "curios" excited universal amazement. 
I presented Zemio with a white cloth, a tarbush, a knife, scissors, 
and the like ; but he seemed most interested in a number of 
percussion caps, the Government having sent an insufficient 
supply of the very worst quality of this article. 

Palembata, still a young man, had been keeping in the back- 
ground, fearing the consequences of his sins of omission against 
Zemio ; a little later, however, he came forward somewhat 
timidly to greet me. I gave him a present, advising him at the 
same time to accept the situation and submit to the wishes of 
Zemio, who had come by the order of the Government to collect 
the ivory from the native chiefs. I added that the powerful 
Pasha in the Bahr el-Ghazal province had the welfare of the 
Zandeh people at heart, and required the ivory alone, but no 
slaves as formerly did the Bahara,^ so that better times were in 
store for the people, and he also should patiently trust to the 

Eastwards the territory of Malingde's son, Mbilli, bordered on 
Palembata's hunting grounds, where Zemio's people had come 
into collision with Mbilli's followers. Hence it was now reported 
that Mbilli, fearing I might join Zemio in a campaign against 
him, had deserted his settlement and retired to the east bank of 
the river Gurba. Such is the prevailing credulity of the Negro, 
everywhere inspiring fear and suspicion, and often causing serious 
trouble to explorers. 

In Palembata's comparatively small territory I had again a 
good opportunity of observing the motley mixture of broken 
tribes and scattered populations. For here also in the midst of 

1 The current designation of the Nubians, in reference to the Bahr or "River,' 
from which they come. 


the Zandehs dwell servile peoples, differing from them in speech, 
habits, and customs. Such are the A-Madi, Bashir (Sere), Augu, 
and Marango, and in Badinde's district the A-Barmbo and 

Our next goal was the river Welle, on the road to which and 
even beyond it ivory was to be collected from the chiefs of 
Vcirious local tribes. On August 25th our long procession 
got under way, a body of men armed with rifles in the van with 
a trumpeter, the hollow notes of whose five-foot long ivory horn 
intermingled with the harsh though varied sounds of some iron 
bells. Then followed Zemio with his personal attendants, and a 
corps of musketeers, some with heavy old fowling-pieces of 
Belgian make intended for elephant hunting. The bearers of 
these were recognized by the little pads used to deaden the 
recoil, which is often so violent as to break the collar-bone. I 
fell in with my little company behind this second bodyguard. 
Farther back came the Zandeh warriors with the national shield 
and spear, and behind them carriers, servants, slaves, and of 
course the women, without whom neither Arab nor Negro ever 
sets out on a journey. The rear was brought up by the drago- 
mans, and there were also some hostages whom Zemio had taken 
from Palembata as pledges for a further contribution of ivory. 

In Palcmbata's district we passed but few huts, and these 
stood mostly at some distance from the main highway, which 
led southwards from the settlement of Palembata's brother, 
Bagbae. The station stands on the water-parting between the 
Werre and the Hokko and Gurba affluents of the Welle. Com- 
pared with the region hitherto traversed, the land between the 
smaller water-courses now assumed a somewhat more hilly aspect. 
For the first time I noticed towards the south-west a distinct 
crest belonging to the A-Madi uplands south-west of our route. 

We encamped near the huts of the A-Madi chief Robia, who 
lives here under the sway of Palembata with a small colony of 
his people, driven from their own land by intestine strife. Robia 
contributed some telebun, followed late in the evening by all 
kinds of supplies for Zemio's people. Here we were surprised 
by the arrival of Badinde, ruler of the territory north-west of 


Palembata's, with whom he was on bad terms about some dis- 
puted lands. Like Palembata, he had at first been hostile to 
Zemio, who had consequently also taken hostages from him. It 
was to redeem these that he had now come to the camp with ten 
pieces of ivory ; but partly through fear, partly through pride of 
birth, he had not sought a personal interview with Zemio. Many 
of his subjects, as he told us, had escaped northwards beyond 
the Werre, fearing that I might join wdth Zemio in attacking 
them. I had a long palaver with him, and tried by suitable 
arguments to convince him of the groundlessness of such fears. 
Being apparently satisfied he assured me that he also desired 
peace, and if the Government wanted ivory he could supply it in 
abundance. The proceedings were witnessed by many of Zemio's 
people, and ended much to his satisfaction. 

But my good offices as a diplomatic agent were not yet over ; 
for Palembata and his brother Bagbae now also made their 
appearance, and, jointly with Badinde, asked for my decision in 
some matters connected with their internal atfairs. After the 
death of Bogua (Bagbawa), father of the already aged Badinde, 
and ruler of a great part of these western lands, his son and 
successor, Auro, had been dispossessed by his brother Balia. 
After Balia's death, four years previously, Bogua's third son, 
Badinde, and Balia's sons, Palembata and Bagbae, all claimed 
equal right to the inheritance, and the appeal to the sword ended 
in the partition of the kingdom. According to the traditional 
Zandeh right, the eldest son succeeds the father ; but the dis- 
memberment of the state was a sufficient proof that this legitimate 
custom had long yielded to the law of might over right. Badinde 
was an aged princely heir, whose calm, sound judgment and 
whole character pleaded in his favour ; whereas Palembata was 
a young Zandeh fop, and arrogant withal. Yet he it was who 
now brought his complaints against Badinde, claiming by pre- 
scriptive right the paramount lordship even over Badinde himself. 
But in my capacity as arbitrator, I now awarded to uncle and 
nephew^ equal authority in their respective territories, Bagbae 
remaining as heretofore subject to his elder brother. At a subse- 
quent interview Badinde put me many other questions in civil 


and criminal jurisprudence, some of which I found it very difficult 
to answer ; but in many things he himself displayed sound judg- 
ment, as well as a sincere desire to act in accordance with right 
and justice. Some of his difficulties had reference to the victims 
of the universal belief in witchcraft, and l:e evidently seemed to 
fear that perhaps many suffered innocently. 

From Robia's to the east bank of the Gurba the road trends 
first south-cast, and then south to the Welle. The above- 
mentioned A-Madi settlement marks the limit in this direction 
both of Palembata's territory and of the inhabited land. Beyond 
it follows a wilderness through which the Pai flows for a day's 


journey to its confluence with the Gurba. It was crossed by us 
at two points, a rising ground north of the second crossing 
affording an extensive view of its course, which was clearly 
traced by the dense vegetation fringing its banks through the 

At the camping-ground on the Gurba, Zemio had provided us 
with huts, and even enclosures erected by part of his convoy, 
which had been sent forward a few days previously. In antici- 
pation of a long stay here, the camp had been carefully laid out 
at a point on the Gurba, beyond which, eastwards to the Mbruole 
and southwards to the Welle, stretched the territory of the 


Mangballe people, with whose chiefs, Nasima and Bangusa, 
negotiations had to be entered about a contribution of ivory. 
We had now left the Zandeh lands behind us, except that 


{Drawn by Fr. Rhei nf elder ; from a photo;:;raph by R. Biichta.) 

east of the Mangballe people the sons of the Zandeh prince, 
Malingde, ruled over a territory which stretched still to the 
south. West of the Gurba a stretch of uninhabited wilderness 
extended to the Welle, separating the Mangballe from the A-Madi 


lands. The Mangballe are a branch of the Mangbattu people, 
whom they resemble in their usages, style of building, arms and 
utensils ; they are also familiar with the Mangbattu language, but 
speak another amongst themselves. They are not a numerous 
people, though occupying a wide domain south of the Welle. 
North of the Welle I met them only in this district ; it was 
not their original home, but had been driven to it by war, and 
it will be seen farther on that they again left it during my wan- 
derings in those lands. My servant Adatam, a Mangbattu, now 
took the place of Farag 'Allah as my interpreter. 

Zemio was quick to see that his association with me enhanced 
his dignity and importance amongst the native princes, and 
might be useful for the purposes of his expedition. I had on my 
part recognized in him one of those rare Negroes who, of course 
speaking relatively, fully justified the confidence placed in them 
by Gessi Pasha. I was accordingly quite willing to promote his 
interests, as well as indirectly those of the Government. I could 
now no longer refuse to be present at the palavers with the 
local chiefs, especially as Zemio liked to consult me in all 
weighty matters. He was also well pleased that I clearly 
e.xplained to these chiefs his own position towards the Govern- 
ment, convinced them of the friendly disposition of the Bahr 
el-Ghazal authorities, and reminded them of their duties as 
vassal rulers. 

Nasima had arrived with his sub-chiefs, and with his numerous 
following made a somewhat imposing display of power and 
authority. Personally he was of insignificant appearance, rather 
lanky, and adorned with a long thin beard disposed in two tresses. 
The deliberations were held in a large rekuba, a kind of audience 
chamber that had been fitted up within the zeriba for the recep- 
tion of the native chiefs. Nasima gave every assurance of his 
loyalty, and promised in a few days to produce the ivory. As 
usual, the proceedings terminated with an exhibition of my 
marvels, to the great delight of the general public, who were now 
allowed to join the assembly. 

My intercourse with Zemio was greatly facilitated by his 
knowledge of Arabic. In many things he showed far more 


interest and intelligence than most other chiefs, and eagerly 
listened to my statements regarding our European relations, 
communicating in return much valuable information on his own 
lands and peoples. With his aid I was able to prepare before- 
hand a rough map of many districts, although the reports given 
even by Arabs of countries visited by themselves are mainly 
meagre and erroneous. 

To avoid damaging the Mangbattu plantations our camp had 
been pitched on the west bank of the Gurba, not far from the 
settled districts, Nasima promising on his part to supply us with 
all necessaries. Nevertheless neither the provisions nor the 
promised ivory made their appearance. Zemio's messengers 
also brought back far from satisfactory reports, and, in short, I 
was again to make the experience that the Negro is full of tricks 
and lies, and not yet nearly developed enough to be treated with 
strict legality in our sense of the word. 

I had spared neither trouble nor patience to convince Nasima 
and his people of our friendly intentions, and had, on the other 
hand, made Zemio's followers clearly understand that it was our 
determination to pass peacefully through the country ; that wher- 
ever I set foot, no blood was to be shed, so long as the natives 
showed a peaceful attitude towards us. Nevertheless Nasima 
and his brother, Bangusa, were forging other plans, and had 
already carried them so far that their people were equipped for 
war. These preparations, however, were aimed not against us, 
the design being to march with us and induce Zemio to join with 
them in a plundering expedition against the A-Barmbo tribe 
south of the Welle. 

In the afternoon Nasima himself made his appearance, accom- 
panied by his brother Bangusa, whereupon I severely rebuked 
them for their bad faith, Nasima especially, who had sent a 
wretched little elephant's tusk, though claiming to possess a great 
store of ivory, and further that they were arming against the 
A-Barmbo, who were as much our friends as were the Mangballe 
themselves. Nasima had not a word to say in reply, and I 
returned him a leopard skin which he had brought me. I then 
withdrew from the assembly, leaving Zemio to continue the 


discussion. Later Nasima implored me not to leave the Mang- 
balle behind, else he and all his people would be killed by the 
A-Barmbo ; he even promised to bring the ivory the same night, 


but this promise also was broken. I took no further part in the 
proceedings, and after two days' more palavering Zemio found 
himself just where he had begun. 

The territory of the Mangbattu prince, Mambanga, lay on the 


south side of the Welle, where it was conterminous with the 
eastern tribes of the A-Barmbo nation. From Palembata's Zemio 
had already sent envoys to Mambanga for the purpose of estab- 
lishing friendly relations with a view to facilitating the collection 
of ivory. But these envoys had not yet returned, and there was 
reason to fear that Mambanga might make common cause with 
the kindred Mangballe people. To these belonged the boats 
both on the Mbruole and Welle, which would be needed by us 
for crossing the Mbruole, and thus reaching the north bank of the 
Welle. We naturally feared that the boats might be refused if 
we opposed the wishes of the Mangballe, and we consequently 
thought it prudent to await the return of the envoys. 

Prince Bani, who held the border-land of Ndoruma's kingdom, 
had accompanied me so far all the way from Palembata's. Be- 
fore returning he now consulted the oracle on our destiny, and 
to find out whether Zemio would get the ivory from the Mang- 
balle. The consultation is effected by means of the shrub baenge, 
which yields a red powder, and this powder when mixed with 
water is given to a fowl. If the bird survives the dose, the omen 
is good ; if not, bad. Ours survived, as did a second supplied by 
me, whereupon Bani coolly suggested that the poison was bad ; 
obviously he had mentally consigned us to a hard fate. 

During these days of patient waiting I again suffered from 
fever, caused by the constant rain which confined me to my hut. 
My appetite was also impaired, and at such times my favourite 
diet was gourds and sweet potatoes. Once Zemio's people killed 
a huge python {P. Sebae) fourteen feet long. This species is 
not venomous, and is dangerous only from its size, which, even 
exceeds that of our specimen. The skin is beautifully marked 
with stripes and spots, and is used by the Arabs as a covering 
for the sheklik or girdle worn round the waist as a cartridge-belt. 
At last the envoys returned with good news, and even with 
some of Mambanga's own people. The report of the white man 
in Zemio's suite had already crossed the Welle, and the envoys 
assured us that Mambanga eagerly awaited our arrival, though 
still dreading hostile intentions, as Ave had not yet sent him any 
presents as tokens of our friendship. I may here mention that 


in the eastern parts of Mangbattu Land, first revealed to us by 
Schweinfurth's visit to the powerful king Munsa, there were 
some Government stations administered by Arabs. Mambanga 
had hitherto kept himself independent of these Arabs, but now 
thinking himself threatened by them, had sent messengers back 
with Zemio's to seek our protection against this danger. The 
natives of regions remote from the central administration were 
quite unable to grasp the idea of a single powerful government 
to which all Arabs known to the Negroes were compelled to 
yield obedience. Mambanga, in fact, could not understand that 
in the present case Zemio himself, as well as the Arabs of those 
eastern stations, had all alike to carry out the orders of the Bahr 
el-Ghazal authorities, to pursue the same policy, and not take 
opposite sides against each other. At the same time it w^as 
unfortunately only too true that in many of those remote settle- 
ments the Mohammedan officials were inclined to act independ- 
ently, and neglected to inform the native chiefs of the more 
friendly intentions of the new administration towards them, as 
they would have then to renounce their own selfish designs. 
Thus Mambanga was still under the delusion that Zemio might 
possibly become his ally ; hence he aimed at strengthening this 
friendship, thus giving events an unexpected turn in our favour. 

The Mangballe were now put off with fair words, and forty 
men at once sent forward to prepare the next encampment. 
Next day fresh messengers arrived from Mambanga, who 
informed us that our anxiety about the boats was well grounded. 
As we had expected, the Mangballe had really removed their 
boats from the crossing on the Mbruole ; but, on the other hand, 
Mambanga's people had come in their own boats to the neigh- 
bouring mouth of the Mbruole, and had ascended to the ferry, 
so that their boats would have helped us out of the difficulty. 
The Mangballe also, seeing the uselessness of their manoeuvre, 
now brought back their boats, and meanwhile an envoy from 
Bagbaro, a son of Malingde, whose district lay to the east of 
Mangballe Land, had also arrived, obviously in order to gain some 
knowledge of our intentions. On him, as on all the other 
envoys, I produced the impression of a being from the other 



world, for no European had yet visited those remote lands. I 
generally dismissed them with small presents, and thus sought 
constantly to open up new relations of a friendly character. 

Amongst the numerous envoys now constantly arriving from 
various quarters were five from Prince Yapati, son of Yango, 
whose territory lies north of Badinde's district and of the Werre. 
He is a vassal of Rafai Agha, whose extensive provinca in the 


north-west had some years previously been brought under Arab 
rule by Ziber and his son, Soliman Bey. Many of the former 
officials were even still the superintendents of the stations 
established in that region, and Yapati's messengers now brought 
complaints against one of these, named Muhammed Hassan. 
I had again to listen to the usual accounts of outrages, slave- 
hunting raids, and the grinding oppression of the Nubians, but 
could do nothing beyond giving a promise to report the state 


of affairs to Gessi Pasha, and perhaps later visit the province 

Nasima, who still withheld the ivory, now sought to curry 
fa\-our with Zemio by the present of some Mangballe girls. He 
also sent one to me with the request not to refuse her. Had I 
done so, it would only have led to fresh discussions ; so, pending 
her future disposal, I placed her in charge of my maid-servant. 
The value of such gifts is enhanced when they bring some kind 
of " outfit " with them, and our little maid had some beautiful 
ivor}' hairpins, besides a carved stool which she carried in her 
hand, and a prettily-worked basket, which was suspended on her 
shoulders by a head-band. It contained everything dear to the 
heart of a Negress, of course including the box of red powder 
for dyeing the skin. Two neatly-plaited straw mats completed 
her equipment. 

The false report that a despatch for me had reached Palem- 
bata's caused the loss of another day ; at last, however, we 
started for the south on September 5th, and soon came in sight 
of the Gurba, which lay to the right of our route, just beyond a 
stony rising ground. Here it flowed through a treeless, grassy 
depression ; but the crossing-place, which was soon reached, was 
overgrown with a dense vegetation of tall and umbrageous forest 
growths. Huge trees stretched their wide-spreading branches 
over and even on the surface, for the banks were here but 
slightly elevated, and it was now high water with a tolerably 
rapid current some forty or fifty yards broad. Some of the 
branches rising above the stream were utilized to construct a 
bridge of a very primitive type. By its means the carriers with 
their loads, and Zemio's people, got safely over ; but I availed 
myself of a long dug-out, with which, after much trouble and 
patience, I managed to land my ass on the other side. Later I 
saved myself all this labour by simply allowing the animal to 
swim across even such a wide river as the Welle-Makua, though 
at times not without some anxiety for its life. 

East of the Gurba the huts of the Mangballe lay grouped 
somewhat closely together in the midst of their banana planta- 
tions. We took about half an hour to pass them, while Nasima's 


residence stood more to the east at some distance from the 
track. Some of the huts were still of the round style, with 
pointed conical roofs, as in the north ; but amongst them were 
also some neatly and regularly constructed little houses, with 
double sloping roof, like those of the Mangbattus beyond the 
Welle. These symmetrical structures, whose walls are often 
carefully covered with bark, are provided with large convenient 
doors, and altogether give an impression of ease and comfort. 
In front the natives were seated in groups under the shade of 
their bananas, their weapons leaning against a neighbouring tree. 

The road now trended southwards over rising grounds amid 
the swampy little affluents of the Gurba in Prince Bangusa's 
territory. By this time we should have come upon the party 
sent forward a few days before to prepare the camping-ground ; 
but not finding them, Zemio stopped the march and went 
himself to see what had become of them. He soon sent back 
orders to resume the march, and in about an hour we reached 
the new camp, which had also been prepared with great care. 
Zemio intended to make it his head-quarters during his long 
negotiations with Mambanga and the Mangballe people about 
the requisitions of ivory. His return to the north was even 
made dependent on the result of these negotiations. 

But a return was the last thing I now thought of; the long- 
sought Welle was now distant not more than a good day's 
journey, and next morning fresh messengers arrived from 
Mambanga, urging me to visit him. My resolution was soon 
taken. With the returning messengers I sent my Mangbattu 
servant Adatam to procure the necessary carriers from Ma- 
mbanga, undertaking on their arrival to cross the Welle at 
once and pay him the promised visit. I could then explore the 
western A-Madi lands, and thus work round back again to 

The camp lay near the huts of Bangusa's Mangballe people, 
with whom a lively intercourse was scon opened. The chief 
himself presently arrived with his followers, bringing corn 
(eleusine), poultry, sweet potatoes, and roasted bananas. My 
wonders were of course produced, and quite a furore, mixed 


with a certain awe, was created by the matches, from which in 
an instant was obtained the fire which the natives can kindle 
only by the laborious process of friction. 

One of Zemio's envoys, who was to report on the relations at 
Mambanga's court, where he had made a long stay, now arrived 
in camp, bringing all kinds of information regarding the attitude 
of the IMangbattu prince towards his western neighbours, the 
A-Barmbo people. These are now divided into innumerable 
petty states, whose chiefs are at constant warfare with each 
other. Some were at present on a friendly footing with 
Mambanga, while others were continually quarrelling with his 
subjects, some of whom were again reported to have been 
recently attacked and a few of them killed. Nevertheless 
Mambanga did not seem at first anxious for Zemio to approach 
the Welle and make common cause with the Mangballe against 
the A-Barmbo. The Mangballe, however, were still bent on 
carrying out this project ; hence, no doubt, the arrival of 
Nasima with his followers on the third day, most of which we 
spent in palavers with Zemio. 

Next day more envoys from Mambanga, and more discussions 
about the A-Barmbo, to whv^.m Zemio had unfortunately neglected 
to send messengers. I at last induced him to do so, and his 
envoy was at the same time to be the bearer of presents from 
me to their most powerful prince. Burn. Zemio, who showed 
himself in many respects of a dilatory character, now also decided 
to start next day for the Welle, and then continue the negoti- 
ations, as Mambanga had desired. I had my suspicions as to 
his real intentions, and later events tended to confirm my im- 
pression, that but for the fear of offending me, he might at that 
time have joined the Mangballe in a raid upon the A-Barmbo. 

On September nth wj broke up camp, and continued our 
southern march, which at first followed the water-parting between 
the Gurba and the Mbruole. Later we crossed the last affluent 
of the Gurba, at a point which commanded an extensive prospect 
of the open, sparsely-wooded savanna, bounded on the distant 
horizon by the belt of forest fringing the course of the Mbruole. 
The lower course of this river was crossed next day, on our last 


march to the Welle. Meanwhile we had unexpectedly taken a 
wrong turn to the south-west, getting entangled in a swampy 
district, from which it required tremendous efforts to extricate 
ourselves. We had scarcely reached firm ground when the 
threatening rain came on. Sufficient fuel could not be obtained 
in the neighbourhood, and it was late in the evening before I 
could get a change of clothes, or the shelter of a wretched little 
hut where I sat crouching before the fire. Meantime Adatam 
had returned and followed us hither with the carriers supplied by 
Mambanga, who also sent me an ivory horn, a tnnnbash (a large 
Mangbattu knife), some dainty ivory hairpins, and two fowls, 
accompanying the gifts with the renewed hope of soon seeing me 
at his residence. 

The road we had missed led straight to the north bank of the 
Welle, at the ferry where it is crossed for Mambanga's. But the 
Mangballe apparently wanted Zemio to strike the river where 
it skirts the broad A-Barmbo domain. Next morning Zemio 
seemed still wavering, and when I wanted to send off the bulk 
of my effects with Mambanga's carriers under Adatam, he began 
to feign great concern for my safety, and even attempted forcibly 
to prevent the despatch of my things. I had not expected such 
high-handed action, and at once addressed myself to Zemio's 
people, calling on any to step forward who dared to interfere 
with my carriers. Saying this I took the lead myself, and after 
seeing the carriers through the camp and some distance on the 
road, returned to my hut without taking further notice of Zemio. 
This brought him round, and he came whining and whimpering 
to protest that he was half dead with fright. He had no ear for 
my assurances, and implored me to have my things brought 
back, as he feared for their loss and my own safet}% in which 
case he would be made responsible by Gessi Pasha. I replied 
that there was nothing to fear, that in my place Gessi would 
have acted as I did ; that, if he liked, I would give him a written 
statement exonerating him from all blame, and would not at 
once follow the carriers, but await and accompany him to the 
Welle, and even endeavour to induce Mambanga to visit us on 
this side of the river. 


The following night the migara, or great war-drum, was said 
to have been heard, which was another reason for Zemio to per- 
sist in keeping me back. Nevertheless I induced him to send 
out a party to survey the road, and ascertain whether the boats 
were ready, which the Mangballe had promised for crossing the 
Mbruolc. The messengers soon returned with the report that 
much boggy land would have to be crossed towards the south- 
west where the Mbruole joined the Welle, that the river in that 
direction could not be crossed, and that the Mangballe had 
removed their boats thither. Some fresh messengers from Ma- 
mbanga also reported that there were no boats at the proper ferry, 
and that they themselves had swum across. They added that 
the war-drum had been beaten by the Mangballe boatmen, who 
wanted to pick a quarrel with my carriers, and had refused to 
take my things over. At last, however, the boats were brought 
round to the ferry, and a few days after we crossed the Mbruole, 
and encamped on the banks of the Welle. 

The Mbruole, which was now at high-water level, was here 
about seventy yards wide, with a strong current. South of the 
river, whose upper course in the north-east I crossed two months 
later on the return journey to Ndoruma's, the country was 
occupied by the Mangballe chief Mangalima's subjects, whose 
huts were passed on our march southwards. But the direction 
was again suddenly changed, and for about an hour we trended 
nearly due west to that stretch of the Welle which flows by the 
A-Barmbo territory. 

The new camping-ground lay in the immediate vicinity of the 
Welle, not far from the Mbruole confluence, in the angle formed 
by the two converging streams. Here the Welle, a majestic 
stream some three hundred yards wide, flowed westwards, 
between banks partly fringed with a single row of tall trees, 
partly overgrown with dense scrub and woodlands, alternating 
with open sunny savannas. 

Scarcely had the A-Barmbo on the opposite side perceived 
Zemio's people, when they raised their war-cry, which was 
answered by the shouts of the Mangballe, who had followed 
close on our heels, and now gathered from all sides equipped for 


war. Nasima's lank figure in his fantastic war-paint towered 
above all, while Bangusa had completely disguised his features 
with " blippo." The rest of his body being dyed with the same 
pigment, he presented a perfectly Satanic appearance, armed with 
lance and shield, with charms and amulets, the skins of small 
animals and genette tails dangling from his girdle. 

As I lingered on the banks of the mysterious stream, whose 
westerly course was still an unsolved problem, another great 
war-cry rolled up from the west. Meantime the fully-equipped 
Mangballe fleet had dropped down from the Mbruole, and a 
somewhat imposing spectacle was presented by some fifteen 
boats, propelled by crews of from twenty to forty men, according 
to their size, all vigorously plying their paddles, churning up the 
water, yelling and shouting, skilfully manoeuvring, dashing for- 
ward or returning up stream with surprising velocity. The 
jubilation of the Mangballe was fully justified, for they had 
already scored a point by bringing Zemio to the part of the 
river over against the A-Barmbo territory, and compromising 
him to such an extent that open hostilities now seemed inevit- 
able. That he should have struck the river at this place instead 
of opposite Mambanga's district, must have necessarily caused 
surprise, and in fact soon led to wearisome discussions and 
misunderstandings, and for me to much worry and anxiety. 

Zemio's people already felt that they were on the war-path, 
and consequently became all the more obtuse to the distinction 
between vicuin and tuiiin. Ready-made straw roofs and other 
sections of Mangballe huts were seized, and a spacious camp 
rapidly constructed, in time to afford shelter from the threaten- 
ing rain. The little Mangballe huts with their pitched roofs can 
easily be taken to pieces and re-erected on another site, and 
such a house was now fitted up for me, which, however, afforded 
room only for my bed and some basket boxes, so that the work- 
table had to remain outside. The relations had taken such an 
unfavourable turn, and the season was now so far advanced, that 
I had to give up the proposed journey through A-Barmbo 
Land westwards and then through A-Madi Land northwards to 
Ndoruma's. Instead of this I hoped to pass later from Ma- 


mbanga's eastwards, and thence north of the Welle through 
Wando's district, and so reach my Lacrima station by the 
beginning of the dry season. 

On September 15th fiesh mes- 
sengers arrived from INIambanga, 
who, as I had expected, expiessed 
his surprise at Zemio's change of 
route. I had quite deteimmed to 
start for Mambanga's that very day, 
when he sent word through another 
messenger that he would place his 
people at my service foi the wai, 
evidently suppos- 
ing that the raid 
against the A- 
Barmbo had been 
planned with my 
knowledge and 
consent. Pre- 

sently there ar- 
rived hundreds of 
armed men, who 
took up a tem- 
porary position 
outside the camp. 
I was convinced 
that in thus offer- 
ing to join in the 
fray Mambanga 
was aiming at 
some personal 
advantage ; but 
his territory being 

witn tnat 01 tne messenger with unfavourable oracle. 

A-Barmbo I now 

felt that it would be safer for the present to bide with Zemio 


and watch the course of events from the north side of the 
Welle. I now despatched Adatam to explain the real state of 
the case, and meantime experienced a fresh annoyance in the 
return of my envoys to the A-Barmbo chief, Buru, bringing back 
the presents which he had refused to accept. Later, when I 
entered into close relations with this aged prince, the contretemps 
was explained. 

Zemio now openly avowed his intention of fighting the 
A-Barmbo, and began to make preparations for crossing the 
river. The air was full of warlike sounds, and a bullet went 
hissing over our camp, for it appeared that the A-Barmbo were 
in possession of some fire-arms. But I had now a pleasant sur- 
prise in the receipt of despatches from Europe, which had been 
sent on by Ndoruma. As I opened the package my inquisitive 
audience kept exclaiming with astonishment : "Kitab, waranga " 
(book, paper), Arabic words generally uttered by the natives 
with a feeling of awe. 

Meanwhile messengers cam.e pouring in one after the other 
from Mambanga, followed at last by his own brother, who in a 
long oration gave full expression to the prince's suspicions. He 
seemed to be under the delusion that all measures taken in the 
camp were directed by me. Hence, in order to ascertain my real 
intentions, he had consulted the oracle, and as this time the 
baenge got the better of the fowl, the answer was " guilty," that 
is to say, it confirmed Mambanga's assumption that I was 
harbouring evil designs against him. When this result was 
announced to me after a long palaver with Zemio, I lashed the 
whole assembly with words of withering contempt, that my 
pledged word was more to be trusted than all their " baenges " 
and "mapinges" (another kind of oracle), and all their blood- 
sucking (this last touch was in reference to a process of blood 
brotherhood that had just been performed between Zemio's and 
Mambanga's people). Anyhow, I went on to say, there was no 
need of many more words, for the bird having died, I might die 
also were I to enter Mambanga's land ; so I should simply return 
without even crossing the river. These last words they had 
apparently not expected, and all sorts of objections were raised 


against them ; but I was obdurate, and closed the proceedings 
with the remark that they might henceforth carry on their idiotic 
baenge with the " Bahara " (Arabs), but not with the " whites," 
who were quite differently constituted. 

From these oracles, for there were several, Mambanga had 
concluded that I intended crossing the river here and attacking 
the A-Barmbo, but would perish in the war. Hence he sent me 
an urgent message warning me against this course, and asking 
me rather to visit him. And so the mystifications went on, 
rendering all discussions fruitless, exhausting my patience, and 
disgusting me with this first visit to the Welle. 

I had asked Mambanga to send back some of the thino-s 
which his carriers had taken over, and which I greatly needed. 
He had not done so, but sent word to say that he would return 
them by night, lest his people, and especially the v/omen, should 
see them, w^hich would cause great fear and alarm. But nothing 
came, and next day I had another long palaver with Mambanga's 
brother, in which I had to beg for my own property. I showed 
him that I lacked oil for my lamp, soap for washing, and many 
other indispensables ; but all in vain, and all I could get was 
some salt and tobacco, besides some corn and poultry. 

We had now been four days on the Welle, and Zemio still 
hesitated to attack. Hitherto both parties had confined their 
operations to a war of words, shouting abusive terms at each 
other across the river. In the still night such wordy strife 
sounds comical enough, especially as the combatants are never 
interrupted till they have their say out, so that not a single word 
of scorn, taunt, or sneer is lost on the hearer. 

At last Zemio decided to make an attack, so to say, by way 
of experiment. A number of men in the Mangballe boats (large 
dug-outs) approached the opposite bank under cover of the 
rowers' shields, in order to see how the enemy and the crews 
themselves wouki behave under fire. Several A-Barmbo having 
been reported hors-de-coinbat, the attack was brought to a close, 
presumably to the satisfaction of Zemio's party. 

A landing on the south side had now become more difficult, 
for the A-Barmbo had not been idle, but wherever the bank was 


unprotected by trees they had erected regular ramparts of hewn 
timber and earth, as a protection against the hostile bullets. 

Meanwhile I had at last got back two of my boxes, while 
fresh envoys from Mambanga had brought about a change in 
the situation. They were the bearers of two tusks in addition to 
a contribution of ivory already sent in, and they communicated 
Mambanga's reiterated desire for the camp to be moved up to 
his side of the river. Zemio agreed to this, and on September 
19th we began to retrace our steps, re-crossing the flooded 
grassy depressions, and then taking a south-easterly direction, 
which in half an hour brought us again to the north bank of the 
river, near which a new camp was erected. 

On the opposite side of the Welle the little river Akka forms 
the boundary of Mambanga's territory towards A-Barmbo Land, 
but the ferry lay still about half an hour's march higher up. In 
the neighbourhood of our new camp there were also some 
Mangballe settlements, which, however, w^ere all subject to 
Mambanga's jurisdiction. Our removal to this place was con- 
sequently reported to him by a messenger, and I afterwards 
learnt that Mambanga himself had also changed his quarters, 
removing from his old residence, which stood higher up and 
farther inland, to the place where the river was crossed by the 
ferry. He again sent greetings to Zemio, with an elephant's 
tusk and a message announcing his intention of passing the 
night on the banks of the Welle, in the hope of next morning 
receiving a visit from me. 

The messengers who had brought my last despatches from 
Ndoruma and Palembata, now returned with letters from me to 
Bohndorff. The Mangballe, who were still eager to do battle 
with their A-Barmbo foes, appear to have been induced by 
Zemio to defer the attack for the present. Meanwhile they 
continued to send marauding parties round about, though many 
had doubtless already returned home. 

As regards Zemio's action on this occasion, I may here state 
in palliation of his conduct that later his character appeared in 
a more favourable light. His apparent vacillation was mainly 
due to the need of acting unjustly in my presence and according 


to our ideas of right and wrong, and as the matter would also 
doubtless be reported by me, he naturally feared to incur the 
censure of Gessi Pasha. As he afterwards himself confessed to 
me, he felt himself hampered by these considerations, and but 
for them his action would doubtless have soon brought on a war 
with the A-Barmbo. He was, on the other hand, full of suspicion 
and prejudiced against Mambanga, whence, according to his 
mode of reasoning, also arose his concern for my safety. 

In our new encampment I only passed two more nights. 
After parting with Zemio at this place, I made a long and half- 
compulsory stay with Mambanga. This doubtless gave me a 
fresh opportunity of learning much regarding the social life of 
the Negro ; but my patience was also sorely tried before I was 
at last able to continue my journey eastwards. 





Across the Welle— Meeting with Mambanga— Parting with Zemio— Landscape south 
of the Welle— Peculiarities and Disposition of the Mangbattu— Mambanga's 
Effrontery— War Game and Dance— Tattooing and Painting— Head-dresses- 
Deformation of the Skull in Childhood— Arms— Pottery— Divining Apparatus— 
Thieving— Lynch Law— Cannibalism— End of my Detention with Mambanga— 
Junction of my Itinerary with Schweinfurth's— Station on the River Gadda— 
Changed Political Relations— Tangasi Station— Arab Spies— Projected Southern 
Journey thwarted— Return to the Gadda. 

THE long-expected interview with Mambanga at last took 
place on September 20th, the morning after our arrival at 
the new camping-ground on the Welle. I started betimes for 
the ferry, accompanied only by Farag 'Allah and Adatam, and 
felt that I was now plunging into the enemy's camp, for 
Mambanga, having hitherto closed his land to the Arab expedi- 


tions, was regarded by Zemio and his people as hostile to the 
Government. As we went along they gazed at us in silence, 
and many doubtless thought me -foolhardy and gave me up as 
a lost man. Zemio himself did not appear, but soon sent us an 
escort of a dozen men. 

Half an hour's march up stream in the direction of the north- 
east brought us to the crossing-place. Here I quietly but firmly 
warned the escort not to approach the river, for had they been 
seen from the other side, Mambanga might have hesitated 
through fear and mistrust to send over a boat to fetch us. Then 
I emerged from the tall grass, and stood on the steep bank, here 
several yards high, whence we descried hundreds of natives on 
the opposite side. Amongst them Adatam was at once able to 
single out the prince, who, on seeing us, had also approached 
nearer to the river. We were soon ferried over, our party con- 
sisting, besides myself and two servants, only of one of Zemio's 
messengers, already known to Mambanga. As we pushed off 
the escort betrayed signs of fear and alarm, some of them 
perhaps fancying till then that I was not in earnest. It took 
scarcely ten minutes to get across, and on landing we were 
immediately surrounded by hundreds eager to get sight of the 
wonderful white man. 

Curiosity strained to the utmost was stamped on the features 
of Mambanga, who awaited us close to the shore. I advanced 
with outstretched arms, an attitude of friendly feeling which is 
doubtless rightly interpreted in every zone. We ascended the 
bank hand in hand, and silently approached the neighbouring 
huts, the pressing throng respectfully parting to right and left as 
we advanced. But they immediately closed in behind, forming 
a compact circle round us as we took our seats on one of 
those daintily-carved benches in the decoration of which the 
Mangbattus display so much taste and skill. 

Mambanga was of tall stature, and at once distinguished by 
his much lighter bronze complexion from his darker copper- 
coloured subjects. The careless bearing so often noticed in tall 
Negroes of the belter classes was here betrayed, especially in a 
decided stoop, which caused him when seated to bend his head 


well forward. He was still a young man, with almost beardless 
face, which bore an expression of unbridled sensuousness, 
heightened by his large, prominent goggle-eyes. In other 
respects he scarcely differed outwardly from the rest of his 
tribe, and like them wore the national bark costume, though of 
better texture, and of light brown cigar colour. His hair was 
arranged in form of a high chignon, inclined backwards, and 
surmounted by a basket-shaped hat, which was secured by 
means of a long ivory pin. 

Some chiefs and other distinguished persons were also seated 
on benches ; others were squatted on the ground, but the 
majority stood in a circle round us, while many swarmed up 
ant-hills and the nearest trees to see the sight. My interpreter, 
Adatam, stood by my side, and when I began to speak, silence 
was called on all sides. 

I gave the prince to understand, my words being interpreted 
sentence by sentence, that I was heartily glad to have at last 
been able to visit him, which I should have done long ago but 
for the circumstances known to him. I was sorry he should 
have doubted my good-will towards him, but in my land people 
had but one tongue, one word, not like the " Eahara " and 
" Turk " (Arabs and Egyptians), The rejection of my presents 
by the A-Barmbo was the cause of the delay ; but now that I 
was convinced of his friendship, and relieved by his assurances 
regarding the peaceful dispositions of the A-Barmbo, I had 
sought the first opportunity of redeeming my pledged word ; it 
was a great pleasure to see the prince, and personally assure 
him of my friendship. 

My words were listened to in deep silence, and clearly 
interpreted by Adatam for the audience; they gave general 
satisfaction, which was expressed by loud applause, after which 
order was again called. Mambanga replied that, having seen 
me, his heart felt more at ease, his people also were appeased, 
and fear would also depart from his women, so that they could 
sleep in peace. 

Thus was the palaver protracted with flattering assurances and 
fine words, after which the interest of the public seemed to be 


transferred to my personal appearance and belongings. The 
greatest amazement was created by the mechanism of my rifle 
and revolver, and much admiration was also bestowed on my 
laced boots, watch, lucifers, and the like. Meanwhile word was 
sent, at my request, to the neighbouring A-Barmbo chiefs, 
announcing my arrival and my desire to see them here. Some 
came a little later, but they seemed timid and anxious, as if 
not quite confident of peace. I requested them to inform their 
people that I intended next day removing to Mambanga's, and 
at the same time urged them to stop the nightly drum-beating 
and keep quiet, if they themselves were really desirous of peace. 

On returning to camp I allowed the boat to drift a little with 
the current, and gave myself up to the quiet contemplation of 
the mighty stream, which rolled away to unknown lands and 
peoples in the Far West. I was all the more pleased with the 
turn things had taken, that Mambanga had already promised 
me the carriers for my eastward journey. But I had once more 
to learn by bitter experience how little the Negro cares for 
words and promises. 

On September 21st I finally quitted Zemio's camp ; he 
accompanied me part of the way, and many pressed round to 
take a last farewell. The two asses and all my effects were got 
safely across in the boats, v/hich, though only dug-outs, are 
unusually large. The material is furnished by the tall trees of 
the riverain forests, and they are of very clean build, the 
Mangbattus being particularly skilful at all kinds of woodwork. 

Mambanga was one of the still-surviving representatives of 
the old Mangbattu dynasty, which had lost much in power and 
unity since the death of King Munsa, whose court had been 
visited both by Schweinfurth and Miani. Mambanga was the 
son of Munsa's brother, Sadi ; but owing to the civil discord 
stirred up by the Nubians, he had been compelled to take refuge 
with a small band of followers in this district south of the Welle, 
where he had hitherto maintained his independence, ruling over 
fragments of the Mangballe and A-Barmbo tribes as well as 
some scattered Zandeh and Bissanga groups. 

The last-mentioned are themselves distant relations of the 


Mangbattu, although speaking a distinct language and forming 
a widespread nation. In the districts east from Mambanga's, 
I met their representatives only in small isolated communities, 
whereas south of the river Bomokandi I frequently hired them 
as porters jointly with the local A-Barmbo. The Embatas, 
some of whom dwell in Mambanga's territory on the banks of 
the Welle, are also akin to the Mangbattu, though speaking a 
different dialect. They occupy the banks and islands of the 
Welle far to the west and are the exclusive owners of all the 
river craft. 

A march of scarcely an hour brought us to the residence of 
the territorial chief. Yet in this short space the botanical 
aspect of the land had undergone a distinct change. Here, 
south of the Welle, extensive banana groves make their appear- 
ance, imparting in some places a different aspect to the scenery. 
The cultivated species {Musa sapientiuDi) certainly occurs in 
the northern districts, and is even common in the southern and 
western parts of the Zandeh territory, but only in small patches ; 
we shall see farther on that the Arabs penetrating southwards 
have successfully replaced it by cereals, especially maize and 
sorghum, which undoubtedly yield better returns. 

In many places the oil-palm {Elaeis giiineensis) also plays its 
part in producing the changed appearance of the landscape, 
which is further modified by the character of the streams, no 
longer flowing in deep troughs with terraced forest growths, but 
in shallow beds where the vegetation spreads out more on both 
sides. In the cultivated districts I everywhere noticed huge 
trunks of trees, which often lay, just as they had been felled, 
right across the narrow track, obliging us either to scramble 
over or walk round them, 

Mambanga's residence also presented some novel features, the 
group of huts and other structures forming a regular stronghold, 
such as is rarely seen in non-Mohammedan Negro districts. 
The whole place, some 600 or 800 yards in diameter, was 
encircled by a trench several yards deep with vertical sides, and 
further strengthened by a palisade on its inner side. Yet the 
whole stockade lay in the midst of a dense thicket, where the 


enclosure was fringed b-y great forest-trees, ever}'\vhere affording 
excellent cover for an attacking party. On the other hand, all 
the timber had been carefully felled within the enclosure, where 
the earth excavated from the trench had been thrown up in 
irregular heaps, and not utilized for the construction of an inner 

A bridge on the west side (see plan, a) formed the only 
approach leading to the place of assembly, which occupied a 


central position on a carefully-levelled and well-kept piece of 
ground. It comprised a kind of arbour (/) tastefully constructed 
with branches and foliage for the prince and his women, besides 
two long crescent-shaped passages (/") diverging right and left 
from the arbour ; each of these was about seventy yards long, 
open on the sides, and covered with a horizontal awning of 
banana leaves, which rested on four rows of posts. Mambanga's 
private huts, with those of his chief wives, occupied a special 


enclosure \b), not far from another group of enclosed huts (/), 
which had been placed at my disposal, and which included one 
very large structure of the typical round form, serving in wet 
weather for small gatherings, and for Mambanga's evening 
entertainments. Behind the arbour stood a very pretty little 
structure (/'), whither Mambanga doubtless withdrew at intervals 
during long assemblies. 

The four walls of the Mangbattu huts, with their pitched roofs, 
may be taken to pieces, like the houses which children build 
with a pack of cards. Each wall is formed of successive layers 
of banana leaves, pressed together between thin boards like the 
laths used in plastering. All the boards correspond on both 
sides, and are firmly stitched together. The roof is prepared in 
the same way in separate sections, which are adjusted at the 
proper angle to form the ridge. The Mangbattus have an eye 
for regularity and symmetry, such as I have met amongst no 
other Negro people. 

Another spacious structure {d) was set apart for a peculiar 
kind of divination practised only by the Mangbattus. But, 
besides these larger buildings, interspersed amid the numerous 
little earth heaps, were dozens of huts, some isolated, some 
disposed in groups, all with conic roofs, and occupied chiefly by 
Mambanga's women and slaves. The defensive works were 
planned not so much against hostile Negro tiibes as against the 
Nubians, whose sudden attacks the natives had only too much 
reason to dread. 

My arrival was awaited by hundreds of people, whose demean- 
our was quite different from what I had hitherto been accus- 
tomed to amongst pagan Negro populations. The women 
enjoyed many privileges, such as the right to take part with the 
men at public gatherings. Hence, unlike their Zandeh sisters, 
they betrayed little shyness even towards me, and even brought 
forward their little children to see how the youngsters would 
behave in my presence, their indications of fear or alarm causing 
general shouts of laughter. Later their boldness and impor- 
tunity increased to such an extent that it was very late before 
I could get rid of my inquisitive \'isitors. Nor did they leave 


me long' to m\'seir, for at the break of day, almost before I 
could wash the sleep from my eyes, I was again beset, especially 
by the women, who of course brought their babies and their 
beautifulh-'Carved stools, making themselves perfectly at home 
in my " private apartments." I showed them all sorts of curious 
things, and had also to ride-a-cock-horse with a very dusky 
little "olive branch," to the great delight of an admiring 
audience. No European child could have acted more becom- 
ingly, tugging at my beard, grasping my shirt-studs or any 
other bright object within reach. 

Altogether I had a better opportunity amongst the Mang- 
battus than elsewhere to study the sociable aspect of the 
Negro character, whose tender side is often unjustly called in 
question. They may doubtless now and then lack a genial 
temperament, as is too often the case with civilized peoples ; but 
it would be premature to deny such qualities in the untutored 
children of nature. At all events, I satisfied myself that the 
Negro takes pleasure in his little ones ; he kisses their dumpy 
little hands, and the women fondle them without reserve in the 
presence of the men, which, however, I noticed more frequently 
amongst the Mangbattus than others. 

In other respects also, and especially in their higher artistic 
faculty, the Mangbattus show a marked superiority over many 
other Negro peoples ; yet they otherwise stand at the lowest 
stage of culture — at least, if cannibalism is decisive on that point. 
This practice is more widespread amongst them even than 
amongst the Niam-Niams. But it cannot serve as a final 
test in estimating the relative position of uncultured races, as 
determined by their general capacity and mental qualities. 

Why some of these more highly-gifted races should be 
addicted to anthropophagy remains an unsolved riddle, but the 
fact is beyond dispute. The inhabitants of the equatorial region 
within the Congo basin are also more or less cannibals ; yet they 
take a high position amongst the riverain populations in respect 
of their intellectual faculties. The same impression was pro- 
duced on me in comparing the various races in the regions com- 
prised within the sphere of my explorations. Thus the Bari of 


the Bahr el-Jcbel can hardly be compared, from the intellectual 
standpoint, either with the Zandehs or the Mangbattus ; yet, 
like all other Negroes dwelling in the eastern and northern 
provinces, they hold human flesh in abomination. The practice 
earned for the Zandehs the nickname of " Niam-Niam," just 
as their easternmost tribes, the Idio and Bomba, are known 
as "Makaraka," both terms having the same meaning of 
" man-eaters." 

Mambanga gave us a supply of durra, a grain which I had not 
expected to meet in this district, though it is extensively culti- 
vated by the A-Barmbo farther west. The variety here produced 
is very similar to, if not the same, as the red kind raised in 
the north. But I was still more agreeably surprised by the gift 
of a fine black buck-goat, one of the few found in the country. 
They come, in fact, from the Far East, for the Mangbattus them- 
selves are not stock-breeders. Mambanga, who had reached the 
station soon after our arrival, received in return various gifts, 
besides a dagger, sundry pieces of cloth, and scissors, which I 
had already sent him. I now gave him some white and coloured 
cloth, a turban, a scarf, a Russian peasant's costume, beads, and 
other trifles. He was soon strutting about in his new suit, and 
doubtless found everything so far excellent ; but somehow he 
was not quite satisfied, for he still aspired to the possession of 
a rifle. I explained, however, that the two he saw in my 
possession were all I had, and of course I could not trust 
myself in the wilderness with one alone. 

Now he seemed quite appeased, and even sent me something 
for my ethnographic collection. Hence my surprise and indig- 
nation were all the greater at his sudden change of manner 
a few days later. He came as usual with some of his " cabinet 
ministers," but behaved in an offensive, insolent way, hoping 
thus to browbeat me. On entering my hut, he planted himself, 
not on the chair, as hitherto, but on the ground, and when I 
requested him to take the chair, he answered gruffly that he 
was angry because he had not yet received any fine present 
meaning a rifle, the attendants nodding approval. 

This was nearly too much for my equanimity, so I shouted 




for Farag 'Allah, so that he as well as Adatam might hear my 
reply. It was to the effect that I was neither a Nubian nor an 
"Abu Turk," nor one of his kindred, with lies always on their 
tongue. I had already told him I had only two guns, both 
indispensable for my protection, and for hunting, so they might 
kill me before I parted with either of them ; but if he thought 
he could claim a gun for the knife he had sent me, he might 
have his knife back again, saying which I ordered the tnuiibash 
to be placed before him. And, I continued, as I saw what his 
professions of friendship meant, I should return that very day to 

My vehement speech produced the desired effect. Ma- 
mbanga yielded the point, promising never again to speak of the 
rifle, and begging me not to return to Zemio's, and also to keep 
his presents. I graciously acquiesced, w^arning him, however, 
that nothing could be extorted from me by threats, but that he 
should have more presents, amongst others some percussion-caps 
for a dozen old muskets in his possession. This was an unexpected 
and welcome offer, and so the subject of the rifle was dropped. 

My ordinary work was now much interrupted by the inquisi- 
tive crowds prying about at all hours. Envoys were also 
continually arriving from the A-Barmbo chief Burn, reporting 
his desire to visit me after Zemio's departure. On the other 
hand, Mambanga lived in constant dread of the Eg}-ptian 
officials in the eastern parts of Mangbattu Land. At his request 
I sent messengers to ascertain the state of affairs in those parts, 
and report my approaching arrival there. 

Meanwhile Mambanga entertained me with the spectacle of a 
sham fight, winding up with a dance in which several of the 
notables, and even the prince himself, took part. The surround- 
ing inhabitants were summoned to the feast by much horn- 
blowing and drum-beating. Most of them brought their light 
benches and took their seats in rows along the semi-circular 
passages of the trysting-place. The open space between these 
was the scene of the war-game, at which Mambanga looked on 
from his arbour, surrounded by a number of his women. Here 
also, I took up my position seated on my own chair. 


Then the warriors, armed with shield and spear, advanced in 
groups and began their characteristic and highly-entertaining 
sham fight against the invisible foe. Rushing furiously from 
Mambanga's arbour into the open space, they hurled their 
spears into the air, vying with each other in their efforts to 
throw them as far as possible, and holding the shield with a feu- 
reserve spears in their left hand. While standing or advancing 
they endeavoured to protect themselves from the hostile darts by 
various rapid manceuvres, springing to one side, starting back, 
crouching behind their shields, and continually moving the 
shields themselves in all directions. After the first group had 
exhausted its round of tactics, it was succeeded by a second, 
and so the game was kept up for hours together, being varied 
now and then by interludes of imaginary single combats. 

Later a small but select group of dancers assembled in the 
open space near my huts. But instead of all joining in a 
numerous band, as is usual amongst other Negro peoples, the 
more distinguished or more accomplished members of the 
company went through the performance alone. Mambanga was 
again surrounded by a circle of his women, painted either a 
black or bright red colour, and seated on their little stools by 
his side. As I entered the dance had already begun, and was 
kept up with little intermission by a number of performers 
succeeding one another as each became exhausted. Then the 
prince's brother, Yodi, executed d. pas sc2il to the accompaniment 
of several drums, varied now and then with a kind of rattle 
made of wickerwork and filled with pebbles, not unlike those 
in use amongst our children. At intervals the dancers were 
encouraged b}' a chorus of singers, the burden of whose chant 
was " long drawn out," and really harmonious, reminding one 
of the swelling notes of the Russian peasant songs. 

But the spectacle of the evening was yet to come, when the 
prince himself stepped forward to exhibit his terpsichorean 
skill. In order to heighten the effect, he had been freshly 
greased and painted while his brother Yodi was performing, the 
folds of his rokko smoothed down, and a finishing touch given 
to his toilet by a tall hat and enormous feather planted on his 



already-ele\"ated chignon . But the most important and indis- 
pensable adornment was a number of wild cats' tails which were 
attached in bunches both to the left upper arm and to the 
abdomen. Decorated in this fashion, Mambanga capered down 
a row of women, who applauded with hand-clapping and bend- 
ing of their heads from side to side, thus keeping time to 
the tam-tamming and vocal music. The dancing was thus kept 


up, the prince filling up the few short intervals with speeches, 
in which he referred to current topics, such as my arrival, the 
universal joy caused by the event, and so on. 

About this time I had an opportunity of making some 
interesting observations on the complexion of the Negroes. 
During my previous excursions I had already been struck by 
their endless gradations of colour, and in these districts south of 
the Welle my attention was drawn to the same phenomenon. 


It confirmed my own impression, and that of other travellers, 
that the colour of the skin is an absolutely unreliable criterion for 
tribal distinctions. I, of course, here exclude the extreme cases 
of peoples separated by great distances, as, for instance, the 
intensely-dark Shilluks compared with the much lighter Mang- 
battus and Wagandas, who may doubtless be grouped according 
to colour. But amongst kindred tribes, such as the dark 
Zandehs, I have met people with very light, almost }-ellow, 
leather skins; and, on the other hand, very dark people amongst 
the Mangbattus and other southern tribes. But assuming a more 
extensive intermingling of races in this region, we should expect 
to find such great diversity in the complexion. In the direction 
from the Nile westwards, the general tendency appears to be 
from dark to light, though the numerous displacements and 
migrations have given rise to many exceptions in the more 
westerly districts, and the same law holds good for the regions 
stretching from the north towards the equator. 

The Negro colour-scale is, in fact, endlessly diversified, ranging 
from the rarely-occurring deep black to a dark iron-gray, dark 
chocolate or roasted coffee-berry, light cigar, the yellow-brown 
of dressed leather, cafe-aii-lait, and, in exceptional cases, even 
the fair colour of the Malays. But the intermediate shadings 
are the commonest, and these may be reproduced with tolerable 
accuracy by mixtures of sepia, Indian-ink, red, and \"andyke- 
brown, and especially with raw or burnt sienna earth. Albino- 
ism is as rare as amongst Caucasic peoples. I met altogether 
from six to eight cases amongst children and adults ; their hair 
was kinky or curly, and the colour of flax or tow, the skin of a 
light washed-out leather yellow. Like all Albinos, they avoided 
the light, screening their eyes with the fore-arm, as with us. 
Red hair occurs both amongst dark and light peoples, and, by a 
peculiar sport of Nature, the dark pigment is occasionally absent 
in various parts of the body. This feature is met even amongst 
the lighter Nubian tribes, the individuals so affected presenting 
various types of piebald skins. They reminded me of the hair- 
less, dappled American greyhounds ; but the phenomenon is not 
always congenital, being sometimes the result of diseased or 



distempered conditions, causing partial loss of the black 

Tattooing, especially on the chest and stomach, rarely on the 
face, is practised by many of the southern populations visited 
by me. The designs are often extremely varied, and take years 
to execute, fat being rubbed in after each operation to reduce 
the inflammation. As amongst the Zandehs, the Mangbattus, 
and many other tribes south of the Welle, also paint themselves 
with the dark sap of the blippo {gardenia), and with the red 
powder of brazilwood, either 

dry or mixed with fat. Two «^2. 

pots of blippo and red are the 
most indispensable articles of 
the Mangbattu ladies' toilet. 
The favourites of the chiefs, 
in fact, have little else to do 
but have themselves painted 
over from head to foot by pro- 
fessional painters of both sexes. 

Both men and women also 
devote much attention to the 
r(?/^//;v, which, when completed, 
remains untouched for days 
and even weeks together. A 
part of the head-dress peculiar 
to the Mangbattu and kindred 
tribes, as well as to the A- 
Barmboand theA-Madi dwel- 
ling within the great bend of 
the Welle west of Mambanga's, 

is a fillet made of numerous black threads about the thickness 
of knitting-needles, and from two to four inches wide, which 
covers the whole forehead from the glabella above the root 
of the nose upwards. The threads, v/hich are brought close 
together, converge on both sides about the region of the 
temples, forming behind the ears and back of the head-gear two 
broad superimposed twists which run out in strings, by means of 





which the whole superstructure is made fast to the head. Such 
fillets are also used as bandages round infants' heads, whereby 
the form of the skull becomes considerably modified. Hence, 
amongst the Mangbattu children, I noticed a striking deforma- 
tion of the cranium, which, owing to the continued pressure, 
assumed an abnormal pointed form upwards and backwards. 
Amongst adults, also, many such abnormally pointed skulls are 
doubtless concealed beneath the towering chignon, on which the 
men wear a high straw-hat. 

Experience, however, shows that the mental faculties are in no 

w?.y impaired by such arti- 
r 'A ficial deformation, at least so 

.^ long as the brain-pan and 

its contents are allowed free 
development in a given direc- 
tion. Thus the Mangbattus 
themselvesstand undoubtedly 
at a higher level of culture 
than many Negro peoples 
to whom such practices are 
unknown. They excel the 
Zandehs, for instance, in their 
oratorical powers, which in 
parliamentary and judicial 
proceedings are developed 
to a perfectly amazing de- 
gree of fluency. 

The prince assists in his arbour at their frequently-recurring 
trials of rhetorical skill, his chiefs and lieges occupying the semi- 
circular passages on both sides. When the discussion turns on 
a point of law, the plaintiff does not address himself directly to 
the prince, but, advancing a few steps from the passage, pours 
out a torrent of eloquence on his antagonist, who is often seated 
from fifty to seventy yards off, and in this way the whole! 
assembly becomes cognizant of the matter in dispute. His 
figurative and elevated flow of language is accompanied by 
confirmatory and theatrical gesticulations, by an expressive play 




{From a draiving by Schiveinfiirth. ) 


of features, a nicely-balanced intonation, sudden studied pauses, 
and even pantomimic illustrations, enforcing the argument, for 
instance, and making numerical statements clear by bits of sticks 
or reeds or leaves thrown forward one by one. Such displays of 
eloquence occasionally verge on the ludicrous, exciting the 
hilarity of his audience, by whom, however, he is never inter- 
rupted until his speech is concluded, and the defendant rises 
to reply. 

On one occasion a man brought a complaint against the 
wooer of his daughter, that he had not yet paid over the 
customary number of spear-heads. After listening for a mortal 
hour to the aggrieved father's exposition of the case, I left the 
assembly, for the deliberations threatened to be interminable. 
In such contests the contending parties vie with each other in 
volubility, the man who holds out longest remaining master of 
the situation, and doubtless usually wins his case. Still the 
prince has the last say, and from his decision there is no appeal. 
The Mangbattus are equally long-winded in their ordinary 
intercourse. Every question or announcement is followed by a 
cloud of words, rendering all dealings with the natives extremely 
dilatory, and often obscuring the point at issue. 

During my stay at Mambanga's, I could not but recall the 
name of Miani, for the Italian traveller presumably traversed 
this district at the time of his visit to Prince Bakangai in the 
summer of 1872. But owing to the uncertainty of the few data 
collected by him, and embodied in the map issued by the Italian 
Geographical Society in 1875, I was now anxious to procure 
some further particulars regarding the route followed by him in 
company with an Arab trading caravan. To my surprise, how- 
ever, I was able to get very little information, for the simple 
reason that, as I afterwards discovered, his route lay considerably 
more to the south. But all accounts agreed that Miani died 
at King Munsa's, and not north of the Welle, as had been 
supposed, and as appeared from the map. 

IVIy previously-arranged six days' visit to Mambanga was 
more than completed on September 28th, when I asked for the 
carriers to continue my journey to the east. The supplies 


hitherto sent us by Manibanga also began to fall off. Still he 
would not hear of my departure, at least until I had used my 
influence to induce Zemio to break up camp and return home. 
The negotiations were also impeded by the absence of my 
interpreter, Adatam, who, on one pretext or another, was now 
constantly kept at a distance. I stormed, and even threatened 
to start without my effects, which could afterwards be brought 
away by the soldiers from the eastern stations. This startled 
him, and he seemed more accommodating, though still putting 
me off till " the day after to-morrow." 

Meanwhile messengers fortunately arrived from the Nubians 
stationed in the eastern districts, bringing a Remington cartridge 
as a token of recognition, and declaring that they were in- 
structed to await my departure. But Mambanga now discovered 
that the route was crossed by a deep river, which would have to 
be bridged over, and a camp constructed for me. Although 
suffering in health from the monotonous diet, and subjected to 
other annoyances, such as the pilfering of knives and other 
articles, I felt that resistance would be useless, and that I must 
still possess my soul in patience. The Nubian envoys also had 
again quitted Mambanga's territory, apparently through fear, as 
they belonged to the unfriendly A-Mazilli tribe. 

On October 3rd it rained all day long, a somewhat rare 
phenomenon in tropical Africa, where even in the wet season 
the thunderstorms and downpours are usually of short duration, 
though recurring constantly after the midday heats. 

Amongst the customs which I noticed during these days of 
enforced idleness was a peculiar game which is very popular 
with the children and even with adults, and which is played in 
the following manner. Two of the party squat down on a strav/ 
mat with a pile of twenty or thirty pebbles between them. 
Each then takes a handful in turn without counting them, and 
gives either all or some to his partner, or else restores them to 
the heap. The action is repeated with a rapidity that reminds 
you of the performances of a conjurer, and when the whole heap 
has passed to one of the players, he wins the game. The little tufts 
of feathers worn by every Mangbattu in his hat serve as stakes. 



"T')^' i^ 

The relatively high position taken by Mangbattu v/omen was 
shown, amongst other incidents, by the fact that they were able 
now and then to act as my interpreters. One of Mambanga's 
wives, who understood the Zandeh language, displayed much 
intelligence in this capacity during the frequent absence of 
Adatam. Amongst other tribes I often received unintelligible 
answers from my own female attendants, who would then turn 
aside, as if to conceal their confusion. Not so the Mangbattu 
women, who approached me without the least fear or embarrass- 
ment, and often paid me long visits seated on their stools. 
They were usually painted 

in a highly artistic style, ^ ^ 

with alternate broad and c^"'^^' ' ' *^^i 

narrow black lines converg- „^ '" ,-| 

ing on a central line in such 
a way as to inclose square 
patches of the natural skin 
which are coloured a light 
bronze with the red pigment 
and urease. Across the face 
is drawn from ear to ear a 
band two fingers wide, which 
is also coloured with blippo. 

Unlike the men, the Mang- 
battu women wear no hat 
or other covering on their 
heads, or rather their chig- 
nons. But, like them, they 

have their long curly hair elaborately arranged in a long super- 
structure inclined backwards and kept together by means of 
long ivory hairpins, the ends of the hair being turned inwards 
to line the toupee as in a nest. Hence the great demand for 
these pretty hairpins, varying in size and form, which also serve 
as combs, and which are worn by both sexes. Like the Zandehs, 
the Mangbattus use for the same purpose long, slender iron pins, 
the heads of which present a great variety of designs. 

But the artistic faculty of this nation culminates in the 


( Front, a drazmng by Schweinfurth. ) 



preparation of iron weapons, amongst which specially noteworthy 
is the sickle-shaped triimbash, a kind of knife unsurpassed for 
the beauty and originality of its numerous forms. Their spear- 
heads also present an amazing variety of types in the size and 
shape of the barbs, teeth, and tips. The bow and arrow are less 
common, though some are procured from the kindred Maedye 
tribe, or obtained by barter, or taken in battle from the Momsu, 
Maigo, and other hostile peoples. 

The large wooden shields are made of a single piece of wood, 
and are often ornamented with light iron and even copper studs 
and bosses. Copper has not yet been discovered in any of these 
regions, but being in great demand has long been introduced by 
the Khartum traders. Like the Zandehs, the Mangbattus use it 
for making bracelets and anklets, and various other ornaments, 
besides spear-heads and blades for the trumbashes, and such-like 
costly arms. The Mangbattus also display surprising technical 
skill in the artistic treatment of diverse wooden utensils and 
earthenware vessels, which, as in all these Negro lands, are 
turned out without the aid of the potter's wheel. 

Beside the baenge, or divination by birds, the Mangbattus 
practise a more comprehensive oracular system known as 
vmpiiige, for which regular temples are erected, administered 
by priests, and equipped with all manner of apparatus. At 
Mambanga's, the mapinge was a spacious house with pitched 
roof, like the Sudanese dahr-et-tor. As it stood near my huts, 
I was daily entertained with the noisy performances and awe- 
inspiring utterances of these African augurs. The apparatus 
consists of a smoothly-barked banana-stem, several yards long, 
resting horizontally on low pedestals. On this the priests 
very carefully arrange numerous highly-polished little rods, 
about the length and thickness of a cigar ; they are disposed in 
threes at certain intervals, so that, according to the length of 
the stem, there may be from twenty-five to thirty-five of these 
nicely-balanced little piles. 

The number of such apparatus varies, and at Mambanga's 
there were as many as five, usually attended by two priests. 
When any one desires to consult the oracle, these augurs place 


the little rods in rows along the banana-stem (sec illustration, 
p. 224), and then set up a sufficient commotion to cause some 
of the rods to fall to the ground. The more that thus topple 
over, the worse the response ; and should a large number be 
displaced, it is regarded as highly unfavourable. Thus if any 
one lies under suspicion of a crime, his guilt will be established 
beyond question if the majority of the rods tumble down. During 
the commotion caused by their shouting, singing, and hand- 
clapping, the performers keep jumping in a crouched attitude 
up and down the banana-stems, but must not actually touch 
the rods. 

It was now the 5th of October, but not a word about the 
bridge that was to be erected for my convenience. To my 
energetic remonstrances, Mambanga now replied that he would 
send a boat to cross the deep river, and as soon as it was ready 
I might really set out. Meantime, I had been informed of 
another serious difficulty, for it now appeared that his subjects 
flatly refused to carry my loads through the extensive wilderness 
stretching eastward to the Government stations. To meet this 
opposition, I proposed that all but a few indispensable things 
might be forwarded in the boat up the Welle, under Farag 
'Allah's charge. This suggestion was gladly accepted by 
Mambanga, who promised that everything should be at once 
got ready for the start. 

About this time we were much tormented by a little winged 
pest scarcely visible to the eye, which, strange to say, I met at 
this season only in Mambanga's district, where it swarmed in 
myriads about dusk. Its sting left a strong irritation on the 
back of the hand, though it was some time before I was able to 
trace the effect to its real cause. 

As the pilferings still went on, I now threatened in aloud voice 
to protect myself with my gun, Mambanga being evidently 
powerless to prevent the depredations. He replied that he had 
no objection to my shooting the offenders ; but at a private 
interview I explained that I should never think of firing on his 
subjects, and had spoken thus only to frighten them. At the 
same time, if things did not mend, I should certainly shoot 


myself, as was customary in our country when people were 
driven mad by their tormentors. This I said in a highly 
theatrical manner, and with all the suitable gesticulations, at 
which I had already become quite an adept. I even went so 
far as to thrust the muzzle of the revolver into my mouth, 
adding that this had all been previously arranged between my- 
self and my brother, the Pasha, who would thus understand the 
kind of treatment I had met with wherever I happened to blow 
my brains out. I may here remark that the threat was all the 
more startling that suicide, an outcoir.e of our Western civiliz- 
ation, is extremely rare amongst Negro populations. All my 
inquiries on the subject brought to light only a solitary instance, 
that of a girl accused of witchcraft, who, to escape a worse fate, 
had hanged herself. 

Mambanga, being seriously alarmed, now suddenly discovered 
that the boat was quite ready, and that the things should be at 
once brought down to the Welle, which was scarcely half a mile 
off. Then I could myself start next day by the land route. 

But a violent storm caused a further delay, during which I 
acquired some experience of the extreme cannibalism of these 
populations dwelling south of the Welle, who even eat members 
of their own tribe, as well as everybody condemned to death. 
According to the universal belief, nobody dies a natural death, 
but the viapinge soon discovers the author of the crime ; so 
that amongst the Mangbattus there is an unfailing supply of 
human flesh. A kinsman of Mambanga's having just died, the 
oracle denounced as the criminals two young men, one of whom 
escaped in time to the A-Barmbos, while the other fell a victim 
to the popular superstition. 

Although the proceedings had taken place in my immediate 
vicinity, I had no suspicion of the occurrence until informed by 
Farag 'Allah that the youth, who wanted to take refuge with me, 
had been gagged and then led away to execution, after which 
he would be eaten by the people. In the hope of rescuing him, 
I at once sent Farag 'Allah, laden with gifts, to the prince, who 
promised to bring him round in the morning. I soon learnt, 
however, that he had been lynched on the way to the place of 




execution, and that some female slaves were now preparing the 
porridge for the cannibal feast. Thus the gruesome deed was 
performed while the thunder rattled and the blue-black clouds 
discharged a tropical deluge. 

That morning the rolling of drums and blowing of horns, 
repeated at intervals for hours together, summoned the whole 
of Mambanga's warriors to parade before me. Under other 
circumstances I should have felt a lively interest in the gay 
spectacle ; but in my impatience to get away, 
I now looked on at the barbaric scene almost 
\\'ith indifference. The day was well advanced 
before all the chiefs had led their bands from 
every quarter of the compass to the central 
rallying-place, where some arrived at quick 
march, some went through their war-game and 
other manoeuvres, while the various groups took 
up their position round about. Mambanga's 
women, freshly painted and greased, sat on 
their little stools two or three rows deep on 
either side of the arbour, where Mambanga 
himself appeared in princely state with a huge 
straw-hat towering above his head. 

His rokko of bark fibre was of the favourite 
light-brown cigar colour ; the shades of this 
national garment pass to a deep red-brown, 
while the cheaper kinds closely resemble thick 
gray blotting-paper. Some of the exceptionally 
large specimens, such as are worn by a few 
Zandeh princes, consist of several pieces, not artistically sewed 
together with banana-thread as amongst the Wanyoro and 
Waganda peoples, but glued one over the other to a finger's 
depth by means of fresh white caoutchouc sap. 

When all were mustered they numbered probably several 
thousand, including representatives of many kindred tribes 
subject to Mambanga — A-Barmbos, Mangballes, and even some 
Zandehs and A-Bissangas. The few retainers of Mambanga 
who were armed with guns took part in the manoeuvres, which 



were varied with dancing and long harangues by the prince, 
always received with rapturous applause. 

Zemio, who still lay encamped on the opposite side of the 
river, had meanwhile made peace with the A-Barmbo, and even 
contracted blood-brotherhood with their chief, Buru. 

On October 8th, Farag 'Allah was at last able to start with 
the loads for the boat, though even for this short distance we 
could not procure a sufficient number of carriers. It also 
presently appeared that the boat itself had not yet reached the 
appointed landing-place, and much haggling about more glass 
beads had to be got through before a start could be made. 

I was now reduced to a few of the most indispensable things, 
and had even to do my own cooking, for the little Saida supplied 
nothing but the kisra and cooked bananas. Besides Adatam, I 
retained Morjan and a young Zandeh, who had recently joined 
our party. 

October 9th at last brought my redemption, after my proposed 
six days' visit to Mambanga had expanded to fully a month. 
P^ven now there were not sufficient carriers for my few personal 
effects and the provisions for the uninhabited wilderness we 
should have to traverse during the next few days. It was 
significant of his little influence over his own subjects that 
Mambanga was obliged to procure me a few extra hands from 
amongst the Zandeh retainers of Mbittima, who, after the capture 
of his father, Wando, by the Arabs, had taken refuge with Ma- 
mbanga. As it was, I was obliged still to leave several things 
behind, such as the plank for crossing swampy places, a 
Mangbattu angareb (couch), presented to me by Mambanga, 
and some of my reserved stock of provisions. But some of 
these things were brought on afterwards by the prince himself, 
while a few beads procured me a fresh supply of sweet potatoes 
and yams on the frontier. 

Notwithstanding all the troubles and annoyances I had 
endured at Mambanga's, I was able to make allowance for the 
shortcomings of the Negro character, and we parted good 
friends. I now followed the carriers with a light heart until we 
began to plunge into the intricacies of an exceedingly difficult 


route, everywhere beset with felled timber and swampy tracts, 
soon followed by stretches of laterite, A two hours' march 
brought' us to chief Bali's, the last settlement in Mambanga's 

Here a delay was caused by Adatam, who had the misfortune 
to get bitten in the foot by a snake while passing through the 
tall grass. The usual symptoms of poisoning soon set in, and 
having nothing better at hand, I gave him a double dose of 
quinine, which threw him into a long and deep sleep. On 
awaking he felt much better, and next day was well enough to 
continue the march with us. Here also walking was very toil- 
some over some ground freshly reclaimed for planting bananas. 
Beyond it the narrow track entered the uninhabited wilderness, 
trending this day and the next in an east-south-east direction at 
a short distance from the Welle. 

After a long day's inarch we encamped beyond the river 
Kliwa, the seventh we had crossed, all swollen by the rains and 
flowing through swampy land to the Welle. The ground 
between these rivers is but slightly undulating, and the reddish 
laterite formation everywhere crops out amid the sparsely- 
wooded savanna, while the river banks are fringed to a consider- 
able depth by tall and dense forest growths. In one of these 
thickets we met a number of people, who at sight of us took to 
their heels, and were followed by my carriers. But we soon 
discovered that they were also some of Mambanga's subjects 
who were bringing bark and the fruit of the oil-palm from 
the river Kliwa. They had made off because they had taken 
us for some of the still independent and warlike A-Bissanga 
tribe, who dwell to the south on the water-parting between the 
Welle and Bomokandi basins. 

The Kliwa was the formidable stream over which Mambanga 
had spoken of throwing a bridge. But it was now forded by 
the carriers, while I scrambled over by means of a huge snag 
and some smaller branches and foliage. The flooded banks 
were everywhere so beset with thorny scrub, snags, roots, and 
felled timber, that a boat could have scarcely got through. 

Although we were now in the inhosoitable wilderness south of 



the Welle, it was here in the Kliwa valley that I first met the 
stately oil-palm {Elmis gnimensis) growing in large patches. 
The bunches of fruit, which grow to a length of two feet, and 

MANGBA'i'TL' vvu.MAN. {Diaioii by /'r. Rlw'.nfclder ; jroiii a photograph by R. Bitchta.) 

yield the deep red palm-oil of commerce, consist of innumerable 
clusters of berries about the size of a plum, naturally round, but J 


reduced to a somewhat irregular, angular form by mutual 
pressure. The disproportionately large kernel is embedded in 
a mass of cinnabar-red pulp, which, when chewed, has a decided 
taste of fat. 

The next day's route also traversed a flat country in the 
broad depression of the Welle, where a few rising grounds 
afforded glimpses of the riverain vegetation ; but the aspect of 
the land remained otherwise unchanged. Although the selvage 
of fluvial avenues is missing along these shallow water-courses, 
the vegetation itself is quite as exuberant and even more varied 
than in the north. The luxuriant plant life greatly increases 
the difficulties of the march, especially in marshy and flooded 

After crossing eight finely-Vv'ooded river valleys, of which the 
Wawua was the most important, we reached the first settlements 
beyond the uninhabited wilderness. Having been drenched to 
the skin by a heavy downpour, I was glad to accept the hospit- 
able welcome of the friendly Mangballe people, whose huts were 
here scattered over the banana groves of the plains watered by 
the Welle. They formed a recently-founded colony under 
Dsumbe, brother of Nasima and Bangusa, and they recognized 
the jurisdiction of the small Government station on the south 
bank of the Gadda at its confluence v/ith the Kibali, whither I 
was next bound. 

We were here detained by the incessant rains, and next day 
I received a visit from Ali, administrator of the station, with 
whom we continued our journey on October 14th. The route, 
which trended mainly to the east, crossed six streams near their 
mouths, and in some the current was so strong that boats were 
required to get over. Here the river banks are so thickly 
peopled that small groups of huts were passed every twenty or 
thirty minutes. 

From the Mangballe territory the settlements of the Dai 
people aie soon reached. Although a branch of the Mangbattu 
nation, the Dai speak a peculiar dialect. They keep entirely to 
river banks, and are the fishers and boatmen along these eastern 
reaches of the Welle, as are the Embatta people farther down 


west of Mambanga's. Near the station on the Gadda, besides 
the Mangbattu half-breeds, there are some colonies of the 
Niapu tribe, whom we shall again frequently meet in other 
districts. They are widely separated from the Mangbattus, 
being related to the A-Madi, who dwell in the western region 
north of the Welle. 

The last march brought me to a district that had already 
been explored, so that after long wanderings I was again able 
to make use of my maps. Dr. Schweinfurth had been the first 
European to cross the river both west and east of the station 
on the Gadda, on March 19th and April 13th, 1870. To him 
we are consequently indebted for the first definite account of 
the great river traversing this part of tropical Africa, as well as 
of the peoples dwelling on its southern banks. Under the escort 
of the ivory trader, Abd es-Sammat, he at that time reached the 
court of King Munsa, sole monarch of the Mangbattu nation.^ 

Scarcely ten years had passed since Schweinfurth's visit, but 
what profound changes had taken place in that short interval. 
King Munsa, with many other members of his dynasty, had 
been slain by the Arabs, and the A-Bangba, a tribe akin to 
the Mangbattus, had come to the front, so that at the time of 
my expedition the A-Bangba chief Niangara was ruling over 
Munsa's personal estate. It may here be further mentioned 
that the Mangbattu lands were now also included in Gessi 
Pasha's province. 

Mula Efifendi, a relation of Jussuf es-Shellali and his successor 
in the R61 province, had, during my stay in Jur Ghattas, been 
entrusted by the Pasha with the mission of restoring order in 
these lands. For this purpose he was to make a tour of inspec- 
tion in Mangbattu Land, and I fully expected to meet him here. 
Unfortunately I was disappointed, and my hopes of continuing 
my explorations in this region under a regular Government were 
thwarted, for I found the state of affairs even worse than could 
have been foreseen. I may add that Mula never came at all, 
M'hich, as it turned out, was all the better for the people, as 

1 Schweinfurth always writes " Monbuttu," Imt to my ear tlie word always sounded 
" Mangbattu." In the same way I write " A-Bangba " for " A-Banga." 


he proved to be a ne'er-do-well, and had later, at Emin Bey's 
instance, to answer for his misdeeds in Khartum, Emin himself 
liad meanwhile been made independent of Gessi Pasha as 
governor of the Hat el-Estiva (Equatorial Province), and his 
jurisdiction was extended to Mangbattu Land, which had 
formerly been included in the R61 province. Thus it happened 
that no orderly administration was established in the Mangbattu 
territory till the year after my first residence in the region south 
of the Welle, when Emin sent his officials thither. Hence I had 
still to experience all the vexations of arbitrary native rule, and 
consequently resolved to make my stay as short as possible. 

The few Nubians at Ali's zeriba were a thoroughly corrupt 
and beggarly lot. I had scarcely arrived when they beset me 
with all kinds of begging requests. Ali alone showed some 
kind of moderation, and even provided in a friendly way all 
my wants. 

Farag 'Allah had made the trip up the Welle without accident, 
and I found all my effects intact at the station. This place, 
which was distant only a few minutes from the Gadda, had 
been recently founded after Abdu'lallahi's war with Prince 
W'ando. The chief settlement of the Government officials, 
which I was next to visit, lay farther south. After vanquishing 
Wando, Abdu'lallahi had been charged by Mula Effendi to look 
after Mangbattu Land, and had already started on a tour of 
inspection — in other words, a plundering expedition — to the 
eastern districts ; but I hoped before returning northwards 
again to meet him, for I had already made his acquaintance 
during my first journey, when we travelled together from Jur 
Ghattas to the R61. 

On October 17th, after discharging Adatam, who had become 
very troublesome and apparently wished to remain with his 
Mangbattu friends, we started south-eastwards for Tangasi, the 
chief Nubian station south of the Welle. We encamped for 
the night about half-way, at chief Bongwa's, and I found all 
the streams so far flowing north-east to the Gadda. Beyond the 
Anakaba, which has a sandy bed ten yards wide, the ground 
rises perceptibly to a broken, hilly district, which, beyond the 



third stream, merges in gneiss and granite rocks of slight eleva- 
tion. As a rule, however, the broad-ridged plateaux between 
these little water-courses present the usual laterite formation. 
Abd el-Min, former administrator of the Tangasi station, but 
now superseded by a certain Muhammed weled Abdu, had 
come as far as Bongwa to meet me, with a raggedy rabble of 
Nubians, mostly from Dongola, and a large number of natives. 


But the rascals had not come to do me honour, as they would 
fain have me believe, but, as soon became evident, to place me 
under a kind of surveillance, and prevent all intercourse with 
the natives. All their tactics were aimed at this one object, for 
they greatly feared that some of the people might bring me 
complaints of their shameful misrule. At Bongwa itself, a 
native, who had of his own accord accompanied me from Ali's 


station, rendering me many little services on the way, had been, 
unknown to me, so severely thrashed by order of Abd el-Min, 
that some days later he was still unable to proceed farther. 

The illustration will best show how this terrible punishment 
is inflicted with a lash made of hippopotamus hide. This is the 
most general mode of chastisement throughout Egyptian Sudan 
and Negro land, wherever the Nubians have penetrated. It is 
occasionally varied with the bastinado on the soles of the feet, 
and then the victim is held in a somewhat different position. 
Many even of the native chiefs under Egyptian control have 
already adopted the practice ; nor will I deny that, applied in 
moderation, it is the most effective means of putting down crime 
and maintaining order amongst the Negro populations, destitute 
as they are of all sense of personal dignity. It may even be 
regretted that the lash has been altogether removed from the 
penal code in certain colonies on the west coast of Africa. 

Next day we entered Tangasi, after crossing six streams, of 
which the first four alone flowed to the Gadda. Then followed 
a broad-ridged water-parting between the Gadda and the Bomo- 
kandi, largest southern affluent of the Welle ; to it were 
tributary the last two streams which we forded before reachino- 
the station. The land between all these brooks and water- 
courses gradually acquires a more undulating and hilly aspect, 
while the streams are concealed from view by their hio-h, 
wooded banks. But any attempt to describe the luxuriance 
and variety of this fluvial vegetation must fall short of the 

In the river valleys impenetrable thickets are formed by the 
raphia-palm, parts of which are used by the southern popula- 
tions for making their comfortable and extremely light benches. 
Its foliage also plays an important part in the construction of 
the symmetrical Mangbattu huts and spacious assembly-halls, 
which are here grouped on the wooded slopes, surrounded by 
plantations of various cultivated plants, and embowered in the 
soft green of banana groves. Above all towers the oil-palm, 
whose sap, besides oil, yields also an eff"ervescing and intoxicat- 
ing drink. Here, also, are everywhere seen well-tilled fields of 
VOL. II. c 



manioc {Maniliot iitilissiuia), sweet potatoes, gourds, maize, 
besides small patches under tobacco. 

But no increase in the number of settlements was noticed till 
we reached the region south of chief Bongwa's station, where 
at that time were dwelling Mangbattu people with colonies of 
Niapus and fragments of other tribes, all under the rule of the 
A-Bangbas. At one point we seemed, as it were, to enter 
historical land — King Munsa's district and residence visited by 
Schweinfurth, which lay beyond the Duto rivulet on a gently 

MUNSA, FORMER KING OF MANGBATTU LAND. {From a dnxiviiig by Schu'einfurtJi.) 

sloping rising ground, not far from our route. But no vestiges 
were any longer to be seen of a royal capital ; even the large 
assembly-hall described by Schweinfurth had vanished, and my 
glance wandered in vain over the grassy surface in search of 
some slight traces of this former busy centre of Mangbattu 
power. Miani's grave also lies on the slope, for he died alone 
and after much suffering, at Munsa's court. Munsa himself was 
shot by a Nubian soldier while endeavouring to seek shelter in 
the woods from the northern invaders. 


At Tangasi I was received by Muhammcd with the customary 
round of musketry, and the throng of curious spectators was 
soon joined by the local prince, Niangara, with his chiefs and 
followers. My relations with the Arabs were thus of a friendly 
character ; nor did they omit the usual rights of hospitality, 
sending us supplies of maize, poultry, and even tomatoes, which 
were successfully introduced some years ago by the Nubians, 

But next morning already brought a change in their 
demeanour. Muhammed came to my hut and asked to see my 
papers with a haste to which I had never before been subjected. 
The notary, a fellow of sinister, gallows-looking aspect, also 
appeared, and spent some time poring over the documents. 
Thereupon Muhammed declared in a scornful tone that the 
paper signed by Saati Bey, Mudir of the Bahr el-Ghazal 
province, was invalid, because Mangbattu Land belonged to the 
Rol province ; Gessi's letters also were addressed to "the above- 
mentioned," by which words Mula was doubtless indicated. 

A greater impression was produced by the firman from Cairo, 
apparently more on account of the ministerial seal than the 
contents, for these half-educated Sudanese notaries are not 
always able to decipher the script of the Egyptian divan. The 
firman from Khartum also was handled with a certain degree of 
respect, though these Sudanese officials, with the " hokuma " 
(Government administration) constantly on their lips, as a rule 
trouble themselves little about that remote centre of authority. 

Later, when I paid a visit to Prince Niangara, whose residence 
stood on a neighbouring eminence, I was still followed by a 
crowd of Nubians, with Muhammed at their head. This strange 
conduct was opposed to the customs of the Arabs themselves, 
and I therefore requested the people quietly but firmly to stand 
back. Thereupon all but a few of the more importunate with- 
drew; but at Niangara's Muhammed again presented himself 
with his whole rabble. He took the prince aside, and, as I after- 
wards learnt, reproved him in a threatening tone for having 
occasioned my visit. 

I thus remained under the constant surveillance of these jail- 
birds, many of whom had fought under the rebel Soliman Ziber 


and had then escaped to these parts from the arm of justice. 
Under the circumstances, I was glad that I had not brought all 
my effects with me, for everything would assuredly have been 
devoured by these needy and greedy officials and their retainers. 

Being determined never to return to this district, I collected 
as much information as possible about the surrounding lands. 
From Niangara's women, who also visited me, I gathered some 
particulars regarding Prince Sanga, whose territory lies south 
of the river Bomokandi. Like Mambanga, he had hitherto 
maintained his independence, and kept out the Nubians ; but 
he would have gladly received a visit from me, and have even 
sent me carriers, as Niangara's people assured me with bated 
breath. I accordingly at once decided, despite my incomplete 
equipment, to continue my journey to Sanga's, and return by 
another route to the Welle. 

But this plan also was frustrated by Muhammed, who, on my 
asking for a few carriers, assured me that Sanga's lay ten or 
fifteen days off. Happening casually to remark that I should 
also like to make the acquaintance of the little Akka people, 
this accomplished hypocrite suddenly asked, with an air of 
friendly interest, whether I should not also like to bring one 
away. Scarcely had I unguardedly answered Yes, when he 
turned round and asked in a peremptory tone whether I was 
not aware that this was forbidden.^ adding that he would require 
to be paid for the carriers. Now it was my turn to lose patience, 
so I plainly told him I had had enough of him, and withdrew 
to my huts. 

Meanwhile Farag 'Allah had delivered my message to Nian- 
gara that I intended, under the circumstances, marching back 
next day. In the evening, as I sat before my hut, the Arabs 
again swarmed round, Niangara being also present. After an 
interval of silence, Muhammed asked whether and why I had 
sent Farag 'Allah to Niangara's that day. I replied, to pay my 
respects to the local prince, as I intended returning northwards 
next day, he having sent me word that the carriers were engaged. 
Muhammed doubted whether that was the real reason, adding 
that Farag 'Allah was heard to say that I was enraged with the 


Arabs, and wanted to c^et back in order to induce Gessi to 
despatch troops to Gurguru (Mangbattu Land). He still insisted 
on the carriers being paid, insolently remarking that he was 
there to protect the interests of the " hokuma." I made a long 
reply, concluding with a demand for a written statement of the 
charge for the carriers, which should be paid forthwith, although 
it was made in direct contravention of the firman. The speech 
was not without effect, and Muhammcd himself came later to 
my hut, offering me, amongst other things, a young Akka. 
This offer I declined, at least " for the present," leaving them 
under the prevailing impression that I might make them another 
visit from Ndoruma's, which they seemed to desire, but which I 
had no intention of doing. 

Despite all Muhammed's efforts to prevent any communica- 
tions with the natives, many secret complaints reached me on 
the lawless rule of the Arabs, and from Niangara himself I 
gathered much information on the subject indirectly through 
Farag 'Allah. There could evidently be no question of any 
further exploration of this district, and I w^as heartily glad to 
get away on October 22nd. I had effected nothing in Tangasi, 
and my urgent expostulations had even failed to mitigate the 
hard fate of Mbittima, eldest son of Wando, who was still kept 
in fetters at the station. 

Equally useless were my objections to a contemplated 
expedition against Mambanga, though I was destined later to 
play an active part in this business. The Arabs were evidently 
much relieved at my sudden departure, and made no offer to 
accompany me beyond the station. On the other hand, I was 
escorted a long way by the unhappy natives, who were reluctant 
to let me go, and implored me to return. It was pitiful to see 
the women, especially, showing by pantomimic action the cruel 
scourgings to which they were subjected, all the while stumbling 
over ploughed ground and stubble-fields along the track. I 
tried to console them with the prospect of my return, at which 
they broke into shouts of delight. Many, especially of the 
3'oung, wanted to come away with me altogether. 

Lieht attacks of fever and the desire to gather all the 



information possible regarding the region, on which I had been 
obliged to turn my back, detained me a few days at the station on 
the Gadda. On hearing how I had fared at Tangasi, the aged 
administrator Ali was all the more friendly, and did everything 
in his power to please me. The other Arabs were also more 
civil than before, fearing I might report them to the Pasha. Ali 
even asked me for a written certificate that he had not acted 
like Muhammed, but had shown himself obliging in all respects.. 
In exchange for sundry presents of scissors, needles, beads, 
mirrors, and the like, I here received a supply of maize, flour, and 
a buffalo ham, which was speedily converted into "sharmut" or 
jerked beef. These things were intended chiefly for my followers, 
who thrived on their coarse regular fare, often reminding me of 
the saying that "the lion starves where the ass grows fat." 






Gadda and Kibali Rivers — In the Wilderness — Mere Hostilities — Supplies fall short — 
Muhammed Kher's Station — Aspect of the Land — -Meeting with Hokwa — 
Zandeh cultivated plants — Arrival of Fero — Upper Course of the Mbruole — Peace 
Negotiations with Wando — Mbio's Hostile Attitude — Locust Diet — Ngerria's- 
Territory — War Rumours — Binsa's Arrival — Ndoruma to the Rescue — Upper 
Course of the Gurba — Arrival in Lacrima — Horticultural Results — Bohndorffs 
Departure with Kipa — Projected W^ar against Mbio — Insect Plague— Meteoro- 
logical Relations — My dog " Lady " — Christmas, i8So. 

LEAVING All's station on October 27th, I crossed the 
Gadda and encamped for the night on the Kibali. Both 
rivers converge a little farther west, the united stream taking the 
name of Welle. At this time they had reached their highest 
level, which varies, according to the seasons, about twenty feet 
between vertical banks. The Gadda was here seventy-five and 


the Kibali over one hundred and fifty yards wide/ and both 
were fringed with mighty forest growths widely overshadowing 
the stream. 

The flat peninsula at their confluence is inhabited by the 
A-Bangba branch of the A-Baginso tribe. These are the 
boatmen and fishers of the district, and they also acted as iny 
carriers for two days in the uninhabited steppe stretching north 
of the Kibali. Although I had passed the last few weeks close 
to the Welle, I could get nothing except now and then some 
smoked cat-fish. This was due to the fact that the natives use 
nothing but traps, for which low water is most suited, so that 
scarcely any captures are made during the floods. Hence at 
this time you can get nothing but what is caught and cured in 
the fishing season. 

On the Kibali we had a nocturnal scare from a prowling 
hyaena, from which my buck-goat had a narrow escape. Our 
repose for the rest of the night was destroyed by a marauding 
expedition of ants, which regularly invaded the camp. We 
defended ourselves with brands, destroying millions and putting 
the rest to flight, thus gaining the victory, but losing our sleep. 

On October 28th we crossed the swollen Kibali in boats, 
leaving Mangbattu Land behind us, and again plunging for two 
days into the uninhabited wilderness. During the first day's 
march the route trended north-eastwards through a fluvial 
depression, with little timber but much tall reedy grass, with 
laterite cropping out here and there, but no rising ground of any 
kind. While crossing this flooded tract I was overtaken by a 
severe attack of fever, which so exhausted me that I was quite 
prostrate when we reached the little river Bua, where we passed 
the night. 

However, I soon rallied, and next day was able to continue the 
march, which still followed in a north-easterly direction through 
an uninhabited wilderness. But the broad riverain depression of 
the Kibali was now succeeded by a wooded savanna with m.uch 
low bush and stunted growths. Here the tall grass had already 

1 Schweinfurth, who crossed them farther east, gives 155 Rhenish feet for the 
Cadda, and 325 for tlie Kibali. 


been fired in many places, and the ground quite cleared round 
about the settlements, which we reached towards sunset. During 
the march we crossed no less than eight streams, the last of 
which, called the Kapili, was the largest, receiving all the others 
and itself flowing to the Kibali, Although for the most part 
merely wooded rivulets, they had almost without exception 
broad swampy banks. The shallow channels of the slightly 
undulating land favour the development of these riverain 
swamps, which are often filled with a gray mud, or laterite in 
process of formation. 

After our two days' journey through the wilderness, we gladly 


greeted the scattered settlements of the Zandeh chief Ngerria, 
son of Tombo, who is not to be confounded with Prince Ngerria, 
son of Basimbe (Basinde). Yet fresh vexations here awaited me. 
for the carriers had to be changed at this station, and it 
presently appeared that nearly all the adult male population, 
including some A-Baginsos and A-Madis, as well as Zandehs, 
had been summoned to the war in the north. It was therefore 
necessary to re-engage the present carriers, who, however, bolted 
to a man during the night, thus causing me a delay of several 
days, till fresh hands could be procured from the north. In this 
direction a new station, which was my next goal, had been 


founded after Abdulallahi's expedition and during the hostili- 
ties with Wando ; so I at once despatched messengers to the 
local administrator for more carriers. 

That the people had all gone on the war-path was owing to 
the still unsettled differences between the rebellious Hokwa and 
his aged father, Wando, whose former territory we had entered 
on reaching Ngerria's inhabited district. The land assigned to 
Wando's eldest son, Mbittima, extended from this point east- 
wards along the lower course of the Kibali and Duru. The 
middle course of the same rivers, which lay farther north, 
Wando had ceded to Hokwa, while he had himself retained at 
least nominal possession of the northernmost section with his 
youngest son Rensi, or Fero. But since the captivity of 
Mbittima and the occupation of his share by Hokwa, Wando 
found himself hard pressed, and even at times compelled to seek 
safety in flight, though not yet conquered by Hokwa and his 
Arab allies. (See Genealogical Table, p. 194.) 

Such were the relations when I entered this region, and fresh 
measures were now being taken to reduce Wando ; hence the 
muster of Ngerria's people, though no actual conflict had yet 
taken place. I learnt all this from some of Wando's subjects, 
who also told me that negotiations were still pending between 
Wando and the Nubians. One of Wando's men, who had been 
sent to Mangbattu Land for some bacnge with which to consult 
the oracle, now remained with me, having received instructions 
to act as a guide to Wando, who was anxiously looking forward 
to a visit from me. 

Meanwhile our supplies were running short. There was, to be 
sure, an abundance of provisions in the numerous settlements scat- 
tered round about; but in the absence of the chief nothing could 
be had, the women especially protesting that they were powerless 
in the matter. Wc managed, however, to capture a few guinea- 
fowl, and Farag 'Allah obtained some sweet potatoes and manioc. 

Fortunately the messengers returned, on November ist, with 
the carriers, and we were able to resume our march next day. 
This time I had even a superabundance of hands, and utilized 
some of them to get me through the swampy tracts. 


The route ran, not to the north as I had expected, but east- 
wards, and even south-eastwards ; but during the last stage of 
the day's march it trended round to the north-east, having 
passed numerous settlements, chiefly of the A-Bangba people. 
We had to cross no less than twelve marshy rivulets, besides the 
Gongo, which might be called a river, being some ten yards 
wide and four feet deep. All the streams crossed on this and 
the next day flowed south-eastwards to the Duru, which, like the 


Kapili, flows independent to the Welle. It is the fourth 
northern affluent of that river, going from Ndoruma's up stream 
eastwards, the others being the Gurba, Mbruole, and Kapili, of 
which the first two are by far the most important. 

We passed the night at chief Ndoruma's, though the ants and 
mosquitoes, with an interlude of another visit from a hyaena, 
prevented me from getting any sleep. November 3rd brought 
us to the new station in Hokwa's territory, the route trending 


north-east through numerous settlements chiefly of the Embomu 
(Zandeh) tribe, who dififer in no respects from the kindred Idio 
and Bombeh groups in the north-west. 

The aspect of the land also remained unchanged, everywhere 
presenting a gently undulating surface without any deep fluvial 
beds and fringing avenues, though the broad, marshy river banks 
were overgrown with a rich tropical vegetation. Wherever these 
swampy tracts prevail, the path itself often disappears, and even 
shifts its course with the seasons. In some places the wayfarer 
sinks to the hips ; but so far as my experience goes there are no 
very deep or dangerous quagmires, the tangled roots of the 
forest growths generally presenting a safe footing against the 
bottomless swampy ground. 

On the march to the station we had again to cross eleven such 
boggy river valleys, in one of which we had a little mishap with 
an ass, from whom they had neglected to remove the saddle. 
The girth getting torn, everything turned over and got 
thoroughly saturated with muddy water and slush. 

Here, also, some of Hokwa's people had been marched off; 
but Muhammed Kher, administrator of the station, had made 
every provision for our reception. This little post in a hostile 
district was defended by a double row of stakes, the inner 
enclosure containing about a dozen huts for the Nubians, the 
outer and stronger leaving ample space for the huts of the Negro 
troops. In talking over the present political relations, Muham- 
med Kher displayed an exceptional degree of intelligence. He 
was a native of Kassala, and had been only a few years in Negro 
land, where, as he emphatically remarked, he had nothing to do 
with the infamous slave-dealers. 

In former years, and at the time of Schweinfurth's visit, 
Wando's territory had been limited north and east by the 
districts of several petty Zandeh chiefs, all of whom had 
already been reduced to a state of vassalage by the Khartum 
ivory-trader, Abd es-Sammat, during his expeditions to Mang- 
battu Land. Some strong Nubian stations had even been 
founded in the country, though they had fallen to decay after 
Abd es-Sammat's death. Since then Mangbattu Land had 


been visited by representatives of Jussuf cs-Shellali, Mudir of 
the R61 province, by routes which took a more easterly course 
through Abaka Land. Recently, however, Jussuf's successor, 
]\Iula, had re-opened the old routes, after Hokwa had rebelled 
against Wando, and sought the alliance of the Nubians. 

Hokwa had thus possessed himself of Mbittima's district, 
accepting the position of a vassal chief under the Arabs, as he 
Y/as now hankering after the land of his younger brother, Rensi, 
and even aimed at the expulsion of his aged father, Wando. 
I now learnt that after I had left Ndoruma's Wando had sent 
me his ivory at that station, thus acting in contravention to the 
official regulations. He at the same time again protested that 
he would have nothing to do with the stations, which in fact had 
been founded in the district for the very purpose of collecting 
the ivory ; for a second station, which I was next to visit, had 
just been erected two days farther north in the district of Rensi, 
who had taken refuge with his father, Wando. 

When my arrival in the country became known, all negotiations 
and hostilities were suspended, and envoys from both sides daily 
despatched to me. Wando sent me word that on my arrival in 
the northern station he would like to come and visit me, but 
was afraid that Hokwa might capture him, as he had captured 

I all the more willingly complied with Muhammed Kher's 
request to stay a few days at the station that he kept a good 
table. At our departure, on November 7th, he also sent some 
provisions for the journey, including a basket of gourd-seeds, 
which, when ground and cooked, make an excellent accompani- 
ment to the native porridge. When eaten raw the seeds of the 
pumpkin {Cncurbita uiaxinia) may be dangerous for the stomach, 
though taken as a remedy against worms. 

Muhammed Kher also showed me a practical method of 
dyeing the white Dongolan dainur cloth a brown-red, a process 
apparently first introduced into this part of Africa by Sir Samuel 
Baker. We started late, and made a march of only three hours, 
accompanied by Muhammed Kher. For several days our route 
now trended north-north-westwards to Wando's temporary 


station. After leaving Hokwa's zeriba on our right, we crossed 
a few streams, which here also flow east to the Duru, but which 
are fringed by a less exuberant vegetation than the more 
southerly water-courses. 

During our first night's encampment all our carriers made off, 
and before their place could be supplied the unexpected news 
arrived that Hokwa v/ith his men was approaching. He arrived 
about noon on November 8th, accompanied by Bibi, the future 
Arab head of the northern station. After some discussion on 
the state of affairs, in which I aimed at reconciling all parties, 
v^-e all continued our northern journey next day, crossing in 
succession the three last sluggish affluents of the Duru and the 
scarcely-perceptible water-parting between that river and the 
head-streams of the Kapili. Then the Kapili itself was forded 
at a point where its sandy bed was ten yards wide and three 
feet deep. 

Farther on only one tributary of this river was met, after 
which another uninhabited tract was traversed before reaching 
our night quarters. The main upper course both of the Duru 
and Kapili, which we had now left behind us, flows from the 
east, while their source lies in a hilly district culminating in 
Mount Baginse with its southern offshoots, Banduppo, Nagongo, 
and Yambeli. 

In this region maize is everywhere grown, though in insufficient 
quantities for general consumption. Durra and dukhn {Sorghuui 
and Penicillaria or Pennisetuni) are almost unknown, their places 
being taken by telebun {Eleusine coracand). From the whole 
meal of this corn is made a dark chocolate-coloured porridge 
and kisra of like appearance, which is very gritty to the taste. 
Here are also cultivated sweet potatoes and various kinds of 
gourds, and, to a less extent, yams, bananas, and manioc. Of 
the last-mentioned there are two varieties in Zandch Land : the 
sweet, which whether boiled or roasted is harmless, and the 
bitter, which, owing to the presence of prussic acid, has to be 
steeped for a whole day in running water before being ground 
and cooked. But even this manioc-flour may be greatly im- 
proved and made palatable to Europeans by mixing it in due 


proportion with other meal. The Zandehs also j^row sesame, 
using it, like the gourd-seeds, as an accompaniment to their 
porridge, and they have a variety of Colocasia [C. aiitiquoruvi)^ 
greatly superior in flavour and much whiter than the Egyptian 
variety. I was also agreeably surprised again to meet the bamia 


'{^Hibiscus csculaitits), which here grows to a much larger size 
than in the Nubian lands. '' 

Poultry is reared in all the Negro lands visited by me ; fctut 
the fowls are everywhere very small, except one variety foutid 
in a region far to the south of the Welle. The plumage is as 



varied as with our domestic species, though the eggs, which are 
never eaten by the natives, are comparatively smaller. Most of 
the birds are reserved for divining purposes, but occasionally 
also eaten. 

In this district my fowling-piece yielded a more plentiful 
supply of guinea-fowl than elsewhere. They are boiled down 
with gourds or sweet potatoes to the consistency of a thick 
soup, which I found much improved by adding a slice from the 

For the successful issue of my arbitration between the con- 
tending parties, it was 
important that I should 
have an interview with 
Wando and Fero apart 
from Hokwa and the 
Arabs. I accordingly 
remained behind with 
chief Bendi, and when 
the rest had moved 
forward to the new 
station, still an hour's 
march distant, I sent 
at once for Fero, who 
presented himself on 
November loth, and 
stated that Wando was 
too fat to walk any 
great distance, but that 
my route to Ndoruma's passed near his residence, where he 
would await me. He assured me that he yearned for peace, 
but that Hokwa had for years been hostile to him. 

At this interview I again discovered that much of the trouble 
was due to Fero's failing to understand the nature of the altered 
political relations. The native chiefs residing in remote districts 
still supposed that there existed, as formerly, various independent 
trading companies ; and that, for instance, Abdu'lallahi, Osman 
Bedawi, and others were engaged in the ivory business on their 

{From a drawing by Schweinficrth.) 


own account. On the other hand, Fero and Wando were aware 
that Ndoruma sent his ivory straight to the Pasha, hence was 
exempt from the presence of the hated Nubian soldiery, and re- 
ceived arms, ammunition, and other things from the Government. 
So Fero had concluded that it would be best for him to send 
his ivory to Ndoruma. But I now explained the true situation, 
pointing out how foolish this would be, as Ndoruma could give 
him no compensation, whereas he would receive beads, cloth, 
copper, and the like at the station. I also laid stress on the 
fact that henceforth the Government would tolerate no strife 
or discord, and no longer desired any slaves, like the former 
companies, but only ivory, caoutchouc, and such things. 

I wanted soon after to resume the journey, but a delay was 
caused by the unexpected arrival of Hokwa with Bibi and 
Muhammed Kher. Then began fresh deliberations, Hokwa and 
Fero pledging themselves in future to preserve the peace, and 
to regard the river Kapili as the boundary between their terri- 
tories. The proceedings concluded with an exchange of presents 
and the usual blood-brotherhood to cement the reconciliation of 
both parties. 

Our route on November nth led by chief Bendi's huts nearly 
due north to Wando's, where we arrived late in the afternoon. 
On the road we crossed the upper course of the Mbruole, which, 
like the Kapili and Duru, comes from the east, and lower down 
flows partly through Ngerria's, partly through the districts of 
Malingde's sons; its lower course in Mangballe Land has already 
been described. 

On this march the last stream crossed by us belongs to the 
Jubbo, consequently to the Nile basin, for the Jubbo flows 
north to the Sueh, which is the lower course of the Jur, and this 
again, after its junction with the Wau, falls into the Bahr el- 
Ghazal. As we approached Wando's the settlements became 
more numerous, so that from each successive group of huts the 
next was visible. Neither the Zandehs nor the inhabitants of 
the other districts we had passed form villages or communes, 
but the families live apart, distributed in small groups over the 
territory of their respective chiefs. 


At one of these groups of huts were several hundred Zandehs, 
amongst whom I was at once able to single out the aged Wando 
by his corpulent figure. Like all members of the old Zandeh 
dynasty, he despised princely adornments, and even his rokko 
was no better than those of his surrounding followers. His 
hand also grasped, not a warlike assegai, but a peaceful fly-fan! 
Our friendship was soon sealed, though he remained for some 
time absorbed in thought, u^hich perhaps w^as natural enough, 
seeing that facing him sat his rebellious son, Hokwa. Wando's 
resentment was doubtless fully justified ; still I was interested 
in bringing about a better state of feeling with as little delay as 
possible. After a turn at the music-box, which w^as now every- 
where in constant requisition, I exhorted Wando to let bygones 
be bygones, as Hokwa had at last come to him in a repentant 
mood without waiting for Wando at the Arab station, I told 
him of the satisfactory conclusion of negotiations between Fero 
and the opposite side, and now invited him to declare his wishes, 
so that everything might be peacefully arranged. 

The traitorous Hokwa was doubtless little edified at my 
remarks, for he was evidently aiming at the supreme power over 
the whole land, and would have gladly seen father and brother 
annihilated on the spot. But Wando replied in a long speech 
that he had nothing more to say ; he was now old, and had left 
his land to his three sons, claiming for himself and his retainers 
only a little plot of ground, where he could live in peace, and 
not be compelled every moment to escape to the desert from 
night attacks and sudden surprises. When his sons were 
thoroughly reconciled, and the relations established on a footing 
of permanent peace, he would also return to his former residence 
on the Duru. 

I had certainly not expected a thorough reconciliation between 
father and son, but at least so much was effected that a few 
friendly words passed between them on this and the following 
day, when Hokwa took his departure. 

I stayed several days with Wando, awaiting the return of the 
messengers sent to Ngerria and Binsa, through whose districts 
lay the road to Ndoruma's. They had also taken letters for 


Bohndorff, announcing my approach. The temptation was 
certainly great to attempt a visit from this place to Prince Mbio, 
whose territory stretched north of the river Yubbo. Both Wando 
and Fero also held out some hope that Mbio might receive me, 
so I at once sent messengers to his court. But every effort to 
open relations with this last absolutely independent Zandeh 


ruler proved futile, 
for his answer was 
not only a refusal, 
but a threat to attack and kill us 
on the road to Ndoruma's. How- 
ever I might despise his menaces, 
it was still necessary to take pre- 
cautions, and the western route 
through Binsa's now seemed the safer. 

Wando, who passed much time in my hut, showing great 
interest in my belongings, received several gifts of blue cloth, 
scissors, knives, mirrors, beads, and the like. The Zandeh 
women also gradually overcame their shyness, and often went 
away rejoicing in their glass beads. Wando much appreciated a 



few glasses of sherry and the empty bottle, the only one I 
possessed, and sent in return some of their favourite "batossi," 
a beer brewed from telebun {Eleiisine coracaiia). Compared 
with the merissa prepared from durra, it comes much nearer to 
our European beer, and though often cloudy, is both strong, 
very palatable, and nourishing. 

Wando and Fero kept us on such short commons that my 
people were glad to join the natives of an evening, when they 
went with lighted torches locust gathering. This was done not 
through any absolute want of food, but because of their prefer-^rxJ^ 





enceboth for locusts and termites, which, however, do not by any 
means form a common article of their diet. In Central Africa I 
only once saw a large harvest, though in Tunis it was of frequent 
occurrence. I soon overcame my repugnance to such fare, 
which, in fact, I found very palatable. The insects were very fat, 
and when roasted without wings and legs, looked like little fish 
or shrimps. 

Meanwhile the messengers had returned from Prince Ngerria, 
who sent word that he not only expected me, but would 
later himself accompany me to Binsa's. I had been now a 


Aveek at Wando's, from the 12th to the 18th of November, 
and therefore urgently pressed for the carriers. But, in the 
evening, while the people were again collecting locusts, the 
report was suddenly spread that Mbio and his warriors were 
approaching. I did not credit the rumour, and Fero, who had 
<:ome back with some soldiers from the station, went some 
distance north to ascertain the truth, and returned with the 
news that it was a false alarm. 

Next day Fero promised to go himself and procure some 
carriers, but I soon found that he had a very different object in 


view. He marched off with the men from the station, not, as I 
supposed, to collect provisions, but to compass the destruction 
of his vassal chief, Biko, who had deserted him and gone over to 
Hokwa's side. Fero now fell suddenly on his huts, carried off 
everything movable, the women included, and brought back 
Biko himself in fetters. The unhappy chief was prevented by 
his guards from escaping to me, and in the evening I heard 
some firing in the neighbourhood, after which Farag 'Allah came 
to say that Fero had just had Biko shot. 

After all this I was right glad to get away on November 20th. 


The route, which had hitherto run northwards, now trended 
almost due west. Within Fere's district, which extended still a 
day's march and a half in the same direction, we crossed a 
number of streamlets, all flowing north to the Yubbo. The land 
was here also thickly peopled, numerous A-Madi colonies being 
settled amongst the Zandehs. Many of these, on whom chief 
Biko had levied contributions, had gone southwards, but had 
since returned, and their huts were now picturesquely grouped 
on the flat reed-grown banks of a sluggish stream. Here and 
there this broad valley was broken by rising grounds, and even 
hilly formations, often commanding an uninterrupted view 
towards the north, where the smoke visible on the distant 
horizon was said to rise within the limits of Mbio's territory. 
These A-Madi, now under Fero's rule, had migrated hither 
owing to the civil strife prevailing in their distant western, 

The w^estern frontier districts of Fero's territory, which we 
were now traversing, were even more broken than the plains 
hitherto passed, presenting in some places continuous chains of 
hills, which culminated in Mount Saba, with a relative altitude 
of scarcely si.K hundred feet. The water-courses also assumed 
another aspect, for here the deep troughs fringed with forest 
growths again prevailed. 

Besides Zandehs, the border-lands are occupied by some 
A-Madi settlements. These border-lands between Fero's and 
Ngerria's territories also form the parting-line between the 
tributaries of the Yubbo and the streams flowing south-west to 
the Mbruole. I consequently here again crossed the Nile-Congo 
divide, as for several of the following days the rivers met along, 
our route all belonged to the Mbruole (Congo) system. Farther 
on this common political and hydrographic parting-line took 
a south-westerly course to our first camping-ground at chief 
Makaru's, in Ngerria's territory. 

Here another day, November 22nd, was lost for lack of 
carriers, although Makaru did his best to procure fresh hands. 
There were plenty of loafers about, but they were attracted 
solely by curiosity to see the white man ; so after an expenditure 


of much useless eloquence, I fetched one of the louts within 
reach a sound box on the ear, and told the lot to be off. Then 
they offered to lend a hand, but I scornfully declined their 
proffered aid, adding that their prince, who had invited me to 
visit him, would also provide me with carriers. I had, in fact, 
already applied to Ngerria, with the result that the same 
evening a number of men arrived in camp. 

Our route next day still lay mainly to the west, though often 
deflected to the right or left by the numerous settlements which 
here lined nearly all the water-courses. Between these water- 
courses the surface was broken by broad-ridged eminences, one 


of which afforded a distant prospect towards the south, where a 
long line of tall trees marked the course of the Mbruole. 

Soon after noon we reached Ngerria's mbanga, where the 
prince with a numerous company awaited me in a spacious 
gable-roofed open hall. Ngerria, brother of Wando, Mbio, 
and Malingde, resembled Wando, but was younger and less 
corpulent. In the mbanga messengers had already arrived 
from Binsa, to say that he expected me to visit him. Then 
Ngerria accompanied me to the huts which had been specially 
built for us, and which were of unusually large size. Here also 
I had to produce my raree-shows, for the talismanic words 


kundi (" music ") and kitab (" book ") had already preceded us 

Ngerria's subjects were in the habit of daily assembling at 
his mbanga, which had long stood in the same favourable 
position, undisturbed even by the early trading or plundering 
expeditions of the Nubians. Hence, unlike the temporary 
places of assembly of Ndoruma, Wando, and Fero, Ngerria's 
residence presented the stamp of the old traditional usages of 
the Zandeh nation. A large open space carefully cleared of 
grass lay a little apart from the huts, and in the centre stood 
a wide-branching tree, under whose shade the meetings took 
place. Near it was the hall, which, however, was little used 
•except in bad weather. 

Specially noteworthy are the frameworks of timber, usually 
set up on two sides of the mbanga, and consisting of posts 
■connected by horizontal spars, which are disposed at regular 
intervals one above the other. Thus is formed a kind of large- 
meshed latticed structure, on which the visitors hang up their 
shields and rest their spears. As the Zandehs mostly go about 
with their arms, such places assume a peculiarly characteristic 
aspect, especially at large gatherings. 

The Mangbattus, scorning to sit on the ground, bring their 
stools and benches with them ; but amongst the Zandehs the 
Bin (prince) alone sits on a stool, while his subjects squat on the 
ground round about, the chiefs on their antelope skins or mats, 
the rest on foliage or a piece of wood from the neighbouring 

Ngerria showed much interest in my curiosities, and was 
specially pleased with the gift of a blue-enamelled metal jug 
for drinking merissa. Only he had great difficulty in under- 
standing that between the outer blue and inner white enamel 
there was an iron body, until I convinced him of the fact by 
pointing to some damaged parts. 

Besides their large earthen vessels for water and merissa, the 
Zandehs make others of somewh'at similar form, but smaller, 
some no bigger than a small coffee-cup. These, with the various 
wooden porringers, complete their stock of household utensils. 


The upper rim, especially in those of medium or smaller size, 
often projects upwards, and is outwardly carved, so that the 
vessel, when filled with eatables, may be covered over with a 
few large leaves. 

In the houses of the chiefs there are also found clay drinking 
vessels in great variety of form, used especially for beer. The 
accompanying illustration shows one of these beer-pots, about 
eighteen inches high, which is remarkable for its double neck. 

y'z ^*y ,itv x^ ' 

!^ V 


Less frequent are the small earthen water-bottles, in shape and 
size exactly like our flat, bulging decanters used for sherry and 
port. It serves to offer the chief a drink of water, and in after 
years I used it for keeping liquid honey or cheese-milk. 

I was detained at Ngerria's some time, partly by lying 
reports, amongst others that Mbio had sent a bundle of spears 
to Binsa. This is the Zandeh method of inviting a neighbouring 
prince to an offensive alliance against a third party, which, in 
the present instance, of course meant myself Although fresh 



messengers from Binsa denied the report, it had all the same to 
be threshed out in a long palaver, and after all Ngerria still 
remained suspicious. Then came the rumour that Binsa was 
coming in a friendly way to bring me away, which caused a 
fresh delay to await his arrival. Another postponement was 
caused by the surprising tidings from Bohndorff that (the report 
of hostilities having also reached Ndoruma) that prince wanted 
to march to my assistance. 

All this made Ngerria undecided how to act, while I kept 
urging him to despatch messengers to stop Ndoruma's "armed 

intervention." At last 
this was done, the mes- 
sengers being instruct- 
ed, in case Ndoruma 
had already set out, to 
request him to return, 
as Ngerria would him- 
self escort m.e, not, how- 
ever, through the terri- 
tory of Binsa, against 
whom he continued to 
harbour suspicions, but 
by another route. Other 
false rumours, that I 
had been completely 
plundered at Ma- 
mbanga's and even thrown into prison, and so forth, had got 
about, and as I afterwards learnt, had even reached Khartum, 
and thus found their way to the European newspapers. 

Amid these constant vexations I managed as a rule to keep 
my equanimity ; but at times the strain was too much for my 
nerves, and then Ngerria could think of nothing better than his 
own panacea, merissa, which he plied me with liberally. He 
also presented me with two large and four small tusks, which, 
however, were useless to me, ivory being a Government mono- 
poly ; so, for lack of carriers, I simply left them behind when 
we at last made a start for Ndoruma's on November 28th. 


{From a drawing by Schzveinfitrth.) 


Here the route again changed, sweeping in a great bend round 
to the north, through an undulating wooded savanna, poorer in 
running waters than the region hitherto traversed. In fact, we 
crossed only one stream, an affluent of the Tau, which, however, 
was a respectable river some ten yards broad and seven feet 
deep. A huge tree lying athwart the swirling current served as 
a primitive bridge ; but, as was so often the case, I found it 
impossible to keep the unruly 
carriers in order. They scram- 
bled over anyhow, and then 
started off in different direc- 
tions; but to the honour of the 
Zandehs be it said, I never on 
such occasions lost a single load. 

Ngerria, who had lingered 
behind, overtook us next morn- 
ing in the camp, where Binsa 
was again reported to be ap- 
proaching, though with friendly 
intentions. His district lay to 
the north-west of the camp, 
whereas Ngerria proposed con- 
ducting me by a different road 
from this point straight to 
Ndoruma's. This time the 
rumour proved true, Binsa 
presenting himself before we 
could get away, and thereby 
obliging me to take the route 
through his district. Ndw came 
the news that Ndoruma had 

pitched his camp on the north frontier of his territory, where he 
awaited me. I at once again sent him envoys, in order as far as 
possible to clear up this comedy of errors, and avoid hostilities 
on the frontier. 

Binsa, son of Malingde, was still a young man, but lacked the 
dignity of the elder Zandeh rulers, and was in fact the prototype 




(From a draiving by Schweinfiirth.) 


of the genuine Zandeh dandy of the rising generation. Many 
of these lordlings apply a large assortment of native products 
to the embellishment of their person. 

The hair especially is treated with amazing care, and, at an 
expenditure of much time, built up in a great variety of head- 
dresses. The triumphs of our European dames in this respect 
are far surpassed by the rich diversity of these elaborate 
coiffures. The towering toupees, or the arrangement of narrow 
tresses clinging close to the head and falling in wreaths down to 
the shoulders, are often decked with cowrie shells, glass beads, 
little copper plates, and other trinkets. A favourite adornment 
of the forehead is a string of dogs' teeth or of small wild 
animals', while the neck is encircled by diverse fine copper, iron, 
or bead rings, and the like. But the most costly and highly- 
prized is an ivory ornament falling low down on the breast, and 
consisting of thirty or forty cylinders from one and a half to 
two and a half inches long, strung together according to their 
size, and terminating in a point downwards. The cylinders are 
supposed to represent the teeth of predatory animals, especially 
lions, which are very difficult to procure. Throughout the 
Zandeh lands the lion compared to the leopard is very rare, 
whereas in those regions where lions are numerous, leopards are 
seldom seen. These ivory ornaments, whose preparation with 
their primitive tools involves an amazing display of skill and 
patience, belong properly to an earlier, one might almost say a 
classical, period of native art, and are now possessed only by a 
privileged few. 

The toilet of the Zandeh fop is not complete without the 
little straw hat, which, as far as the form of the chignon allows, 
is set jauntily on the crown, and decked with a tuft of cock's 
feathers slit up through the quills to let them wave more lightly 
on the breeze. The whole effect is also often heightened by 
smearing the body with powdered red dyewood, or painting it 
with the juice of gardenia. 

The route to our next encampment on the Tau led north- 
west to the Makussa, which, after joining the Tau, goes to feed 
the Mbruole. But Ngerria's inhabited domain is limited by the 


Makussa, beyond which river a desolate wilderness stretches 
away to the west. It took several hours to reach the first 
settlements of Binsa's people, and next morning, November 
30th, we entered his station. Here the country was uniformly 
flat, but intersected by a large number of rivulets, all flowing 
to the Makussa. The rains had long ceased, and the grass on 
the more elevated ground was already burnt up by the sun. 
Crowds gathered to see us and to gaze in astonishment on the 
ass, a phenomenon unknown in those parts. 

On the road I was met by two of Ndoruma's chiefs, who at 
sight of me at once returned to report that they had seen me 
in the flesh, some doubts being still entertained of my existence. 
They left word that the warriors would be all sent back, and 
that Ndoruma with a few of his lieges would come and meet me 
at Binsa's. 

To understand what follows, it should be remembered that 
Osman Bedawi, leader of the Nubians, had left some of his 
people and ivory at Binsa's on his way southwards to Bakangai. 
Complaints had already been made regarding the high-handed 
doings of Malingde's son ; but Osman Bedawi, who had in the 
meantime returned home with the ivory, had nevertheless left 
Avith Binsa a i^w Negro soldiers with fire-arms and several loads 
of goods, especially beads, for next year's expedition south- 
wards. Later Binsa had deprived the soldiers of their fire-arms, 
ostensibly because of their disorderly conduct and plunderings, 
whereupon they had gone off with their complaints to Ndoruma. 
Binsa was also reported to have appropriated the goods left 
with him by Osman Bedawi. 

All this I had learnt before my interview with Binsa, and it 
was chiefly owing to these events that neither Ndoruma nor 
Ngerria had any faith in the peace made with Binsa, and even 
feared for my safety. At our first meeting I had shown him 
my displeasure, without, however, touching on these events. 
But at the mbanga Binsa himself soon referred to them for the 
purpose of justifying himself, and even asked me to take charge 
of the fire-arms taken from the soldiers, which, however, I firmly 
refused to do. Binsa denied that Osman Bedawi had left any 


goods with him, and this in the teeth of the strongest evidence, 
his own women being bedizened with beads and copper rings 
to an extent that I had never seen before or since. 

In the evening I was agreeably surprised by the arrival of my 
faithful Mangbattu servant, Dsumbe, who had been left behind 
invalided at Lacrima. He entertained me with a detailed 
account of the occurrences at Lacrima during my absence, 
culminating with an adventure which had nearly cost him his 
life, and of which he was not a little proud. One evening, as he 
was strolhng along the Werre with the Mauser rifle, a magnificent 
buffalo suddenly emerged from the thicket. Dsumbe was struck 
dumb with fright, but somehow the rifle, without even being 
aimed, went off of its own accord, and the animal fell dead at 
his feet. 

On December ist, a twelvemonth since my departure from 
Cairo, I renewed acquaintance with Ndoruma, who arrived early 
in the morning at Binsa's, and was visibly rejoiced to find me 
alive. Then an assembly was held at Binsa's mbanga, where he 
again vowed that his intentions had never been hostile, and also 
that the charge of making common cause with Mbio was a 
gross calumny. He persuaded Ndoruma to take over the rifles 
and forty cartridges, and so once more all ended happily. 

In the evening my little cook, Saida, having also arrived from 
Lacrima, we prepared a sumptuous repast for Ndoruma. To do 
honour to such a successful issue of serious complications, I 
uncorked the only bottle of brandy I had brought with me on 
this journey, leaving, however, the lion's share to Ndoruma, who 
shared a little with his lieges. The empty bottle went to Binsa, 
who had bid for it. 

Binsa's residence stood on the scarcely-perceptible water- 
parting between the Gurba and the Mbruole, whose affluents we 
had just left behind us. Nine tributaries of the Gurba were 
crossed before the Gurba itself was reached on our last day's 
journey. But they presented few such difficulties as we had met 
on the rivers farther south. For weeks no rain had fallen, and 
we found many swamps already dried up. 

The route to the Lacrima station now ran north, with a point 



to the west, first through an inhabited tract, then across a dreary 
steppe, and again on the border of Binsa's district through some 
cultivated land. Shortly before reaching this district we crossed 
the shallow, sandy bed of the Buole, which was here ten yards 
wide. Beyond this largest affluent of the Gurba we encamped 
for the last time at the last settlements in Binsa's territory. For 
our evening meal we luckily captured a harnessed antelope, 
which I enjoyed all the more that it was accompanied by some 
of the produce of our garden. The thoughtful Saida, besides 
preparing some of the excellent tomatoes for future use, had 
brought a few to the camp, and these made a delicious relish 
with our roast antelope, I had also to thank Bohndorff for 
some cigars, which helped to gladden the last evenings of this 

Meantime we had been overtaken by one of Osman Bedawi's 
men, who had recovered from an illness which had detained him 
at Binsa's. He told us that during our stay at that place he 
had been watched, evidently to prevent him from revealing 
anything about the beads. He now confirmed the charge of 
misappropriation brought against Binsa. After our departure 
he managed to escape, and remained the following months in 
my service. 

More rejoicings were occasioned the last evening by the feast 
of the new moon, which, according to Mohammedan usage, was 
greeted with a round of musketry. As in the whole of the 
Moslem and a great part of the Negro world, all eyes were 
strained to catch a glimpse of the scarcely-perceptible silver 
crescent in the firmament ; with it begins the new month for all 
followers of the Prophet. 

During the dry season the temperature falls considerably in 
these latitudes. Soon after sunset the glass stands at about 
62° F., and the body being no longer accustomed to such a 
moderate degree of heat, an uncomfortable chilly feeling sets in, 
so that at night I often shivered under my woollen coverlet. 

After an absence of nearly four months, I re-entered my 
station at Lacrima on December 3rd. During the march we 
had traversed an extensive, uninhabited, frontier wilderness, a 


monotonous, slightly undulating, steppe region, where we were 
again much impeded by the tall, dry herbage. Ndoruma had 
issued special orders that the grass, which afforded cover for 
the game on his preserves, was not to be fired till later in the 

About noon we crossed the sandy bed of the Gurba, here 
twelve yards wide and still eighteen inches deep. Although the 
umbrageous fringing vegetation invited to repose, after the sun- 
burnt steppe, we pushed forward, all being eager, and I not the 
least, to reach their homes. Along the rest of the route through 
the steppe we met nothing but a swampy stream, flowing from 
the north to the Gurba, after which followed the water-parting 
between the Gurba and Werre basins. I had thus so far deter- 
mined the upper course of the Werre, though its farthest sources 
lay more to the east in an extensive frontier steppe land on the 
water-parting which here separates it from the rivulets flowing to 
the Yubbo, that is, to the Nile system. But the Gurba-Werre 
water-parting crossed by our present route lay entirely within 
the territory of Ndoruma, whose first settlements were now soon 

Meanwhile our van had arrived at the station of chief Helvva, 
who was already known to me, and who had made all prepara- 
tions for our reception, even entertaining our hungry people 
with porridge and merissa. Then, after a short rest, the several 
groups hastened forward to their own huts, while we had still to 
cross the last swampy streamlet, the only one v/hich in this 
district flows north to the Werre. This brought us near the 
station by the road which four months before had led us to 
Palembata's. Here I got a glimpse of our buildings at Lacrima, 
which I entered the same afternoon with mingled feelings of 
relief and proud self-consciousness. 

Bohndorff, now in good health, had come forward to welcome 
us, and in the station I found everything in the best order, the 
only cause of regret being the death of our ass from Khartum. 
I was at once attracted to the garden, where I saw with delight, 
and also learnt from Bohndorff 's further communications, that 
the labour bestowed on this horticultural experiment had not 


been in vain. The evening was passed in pleasant conversation 
over a bottle of wine, followed by the luxury of a comfortable 
night's rest on my Sudanese angareb. On the journey I had 
used a narrow iron camp-bedstead, so lightly constructed that 
its thin iron laths often sank in the loose soil, and the thing had 
to be " shored up " before I could get any sleep. 

Next day, December 4th, I was again in the garden, where 
much agreeable time was now constantly passed in reaping 
the fruits of our former sowing. In fact, the harvest season 
was already well advanced, as Bohndorff had only managed 
to keep a few things growing against my return. But two 
months before the ground had been clothed with a bright 
vesture of ripe vegetables, although everything had not suc- 
ceeded equally well. Thus of the many varieties of maize, 
for which the site was very unfavourable, only a few had ripened, 
and even those scarcely recalled the fine cobs grown at Erfurth, 
The different kinds of cucumbers also, after efflorescence, fell off 
during the rainy season, though I had still the pleasure of 
raising a few in December. The cauliflowers had run up to some 
height without forming a head ; but, on the other hand, both 
beans and peas had yielded excellent returns, supplying Bohn- 
dorff's table for weeks together. I found a quantity still on 
hand in the dried state. 

The tomatoes continued to ripen even in December, while the 
curly endive still filled some beds, and when cut down went on 
sprouting vigorously during the dry season, so that it was daily 
cooked as a vegetable for the servants. The still surviving 
cabbage-stumps had already run to seed, but this did not 
prevent me from sending some to keep the pot boiling. The 
radishes were over-ripe, and had grown to a monstrous size, hence 
were naturally hard ; yet when cooked were quite palatable. As 
long as my stock of oil and vinegar held out, the beet-root 
supplied an unfailing ingredient for an excellent salad. I also 
found red cabbages, swedes, and other things still growing, so 
that we were able to draw supplies from our garden during the 
rest of my stay at Ndoruma's, that is, to the end of December. 
Although some of the vegetables were over-ripe, old and woody, 



consequently, according to European notions, tasteless, I valued 
everything too highly as a relief from the endless monotony of 
batatas, yams, and bananas, that I would have nothing lost or 
wasted. Even the turnip, radish, and coarse lettuce-leaves 
were often cooked as vegetables, and a fresh supply was thus 
constantly available for the household. 

Anyhow my vegetables had thriven during my absence better 
than some of my servants. Immediately after I had set out, 
two of Bohndorffs assistants had gone off, and he now informed 


me that, owing to her obstinacy, he had been obliged to dis- 
pense with the services of Saida, and do his own cooking. 
Later, however, Osman Bedawi, when passing through from 
Ngattua's, had visited Lacrima and left him another servant, the 
Moru negress, Halima. Saida had also taken other liberties, 
appropriating Farag 'Allah's mosquito-net, which she exchanged 
for tobacco and merissa ; she had even managed to become 
possessed of two female slaves, so that I now found the house- 
hold increased by three new maid-servants. In my presence Saida 
still continued to show herself willing and industrious ; never- 


theless I took her seriously to task, threatened on the next 
occasion to dismiss her, and at once sent off the two girls 
purchased by her. Halima, however, remained in the station 
and continued for years in my service. 

About this time we managed to take a leopard with our 
large iron springe. The beast had killed a native in the vicinity 
of the station, whereupon Bohndorff had the snare set up on the 
same spot, using as a bait the arm of the victim. So next 
evening, when the leopard returned, he was caught in the springe, 
which had been secured by a heavy chain. Here he was found 
and despatched by some of our people next morning, though 
not without damaging the skin. 

The smaller gins had also proved useful, capturing several 
rodents for my collection. Bohndorff had also explored the 
.surrounding district for birds, and with the aid of the servants 
had filled many of my spirit flasks with all kinds of insects. 
But he complained of the difficulty he had in preserving the 
large specimens, whose skins, instead of being stretched and 
dried, had been sewn up like bellows, whereby the skin of the 
large chimpanzee was quite ruined. 

My journey with Zemio had become widely known throughout 
Zandeh Land, and since then all the chiefs and rulers wanted 
me to visit their states. The first to announce himself was 
Prince Zassa, whose ancestral land lay south of the Mbomu. 
As already stated, his attitude towards the Government was 
similar to that of Zemio, and as Zemio had done with Palembata 
and Badinde, he had in recent times endeavoured to secure for 
himself the position of a vassal amongst a number of powerless 
chiefs, between the middle course of the Werre and the Welle. 
Meanwhile, to safeguard his interests, he had stationed a younger 
brother, Kipa, in that western district ; Kipa was also now 
instructed to visit me at Ndoruma's, and invite me to his 
territory, where my influence over refractory chiefs might be 
very useful to him. 

Thus it was that on my return I found Kipa and his people 
already awaiting me at Lacrima. Zassa himself was just then 
with Gessi Pasha about some differences between himself and 


Rafai's officials. Finding from my personal experiences that 
the relations were not favourable for a long stay in Mangbattu 
Land, I had already made up my mind to shift my head- 
quarters from Ndoruma's to the residence of the powerful 
Zandeh prince, Bakangai. Years before the Nubian trading 
expeditions had penetrated to his domain ; but although willing 
to exchange his ivory for their wares, Bakangai had never 
permitted them to found any settlement in his country. 

The rapid growth of his power had, so to say, become pro- 
verbial, and I hoped to receive a friendly welcome from him. 
Hence my plan was, despite the difficulty of procuring carriers, 
to remove after December with most of my effects, and all my 
people, temporarily to A-Madi Land. So there now remained 
only a few weeks for rest, for sifting and arranging the results 
of my previous expeditions, and for many urgent personal 
matters. Hence I was fain to decline Kipa's invitation, but 
arranged to substitute Bohndorff, in order to open up new 
relations, and collect further particulars about those lands. 
Before moving southwards I intended also leaving in some safe 
place a part of my effects as a reserve against unforeseen 

Kipa had the ten required carriers ready, so that Bohndorff 
could start at once and be back again by the end of the month. 
He set out on December 7th, and as he took a few of the 
servants with him, it was now very quiet at the station. All the 
more busy was I, taking stock of the goods, and especially 
inspecting such things as were likely to suffer damage during 
the rainy season. Leather ware is most liable to injury; hence 
it is always best to stow away these things loosely, so that they 
may be easily unpacked, examined, exposed to sun and air, and 
cleansed. Thanks to my constant care, I found everything in 
good condition ; even the blocks of salt, which easily crumble 
away in damp weather, were perfectly dry, thanks to the 
precaution of wrapping them in straw and then sewing them up 
in canvas before stowing them away in boxes. 

From my trip I had brought back a choice collection of native 
products, amongst which Ndoruma specially admired the fine 


Mangbattu knives. He would have given anything for one of 
these objects, but I was all the more obdurate, that he again 
gave me reason to complain of his conduct. During the rumours 
of threatening troubles with Binsa and of my imprisonment, 
Bohndorfif had yielded to his urgent request for a loan of some 
of our fire-arms, and a hundred bullets with powder. But no 
ammunition had been expended, except as Ndoruma pretended, 
against buffaloes ; so I dem.anded at least half of the bullets 
back, but could recover only about forty, after much higgling 
and the threat of my serious displeasure. 

I could not waive my claim, partly because I was myself short 
of supplies, partly because it is always best to act on the principle 
of leaving as little powder and shot as possible in the hands of 
the natives. The Nubians were wise enough always to act on 
this principle in Egyptian Sudan, and there were also standing 
orders against the introduction of fire-arms and ammunition for 
trading purposes in the Arab lands. 

As the time for leave-taking approached, I was anxious in 
a substantial way to testify my gratitude to Ndoruma for his 
undoubtedly valuable support. To twenty-five of his chiefs 
chosen by himself, I promised as many costumes, which in the 
eyes of the natives have as much value as perhaps twice the 
quantity of material required to make them. The Negro 
soldiers and the servants of the Nubians soon learn to sew ; I 
therefore fitted up a regular tailor's workshop, where in a few 
weeks they turned out about a hundred complete suits. So 1 
was able to keep my word with the chiefs, giving them also 
some sewing-thread with needles of various sizes for stitching 
their bast cloth. 

Ndoruma received a finer costume with a bright-coloured scarf, 
fez, and turban, further a Russian peasant's dress, some plain 
cloth {th'ga and tnivibd), a European shirt and stockings, red 
slippers, a dagger, and other trifles. In return he supplied me, 
off and on, with eleusine corn, a little maize, occasionally 
bananas, more termites and sesame, which was now ripe, and 
from which I had some oil extracted for my lamp and the 


It was now the hunting season, and Ndoruma soon sent me 
a buffalo's leg-, while Farag 'Allah brought in a harnessed 
antelope and guinea-fowl ; the old birds were sent to the stock- 
pot; the young, stuffed with rice, were excellent roasted. The 
tough buffalo flesh I passed through the mincing-machine, and 
then made into large meat dumplings, which were occasionally- 
served with genuine truffle-sauce. Saida's art did not reach the 
level of this recherche cuisine, so I had to play the chef myself. 
We even got milk again, our little flock of goats having been 
increased by a kid during my absence. 

Thanks to this nourishing diet and my comfortable quarters at 
the station, I rapidly recovered my full strength, and even '■ the 
stoutness which I had partly lost on the journey. A young 
chimpanzee captured about this time greatly interested me. 
At the capture he had been wounded with a spear in the hand 
and head; but the wounds gradually healed, with the loss of the 
little finger. He mostly remained in my immediate vicinity, 
and his human, childish ways were often really affecting. He 
watched me at work with the curiosity of a child, and whenever 
a box was opened he toddled up, peeped in, smelt and tasted 
the various contents. Then at other times he would sit still, 
contemplating his wounded hand, with the other brushing away 
the flies with a perfectly human gesture, and with his index 
finger-nail removing the pus and the insects from the sore. 

But one day he suddenly disappeared, presumably reminded 
irresistibly of his native woodlands by the dense vegetation of the 
Werre. Here began the search, and here he was soon descried 
in the fork of a tree. The hue and cry was now raised ; a 
number of people swarmed up the tree, hanging Hke apes from 
the pendant boughs. At last he was again captured, and 
brought in triumph back to the station. To punish him and 
make a second escape more difficult, I had a stick tied round 
his neck ; in fact a milder form of the " shebba," a yoke used in 
Sudan to prevent slaves from escaping. Nevertheless he soon 
made a second attempt, making for the station, and every now 
and then anxiously looking round to see that he was not 
observed. As he could not get along very fast, I quietly 



watched him for some time, and then had him brought back, 
pretending to be very angry and striking at him with my 
handkerchief. For a moment he seemed ashamed, then raised 
his hand screaming against me, but presently crept back and 
remained quite still. 

Another distraction was afforded by an Arab mendicant 
monk, apparently from Mecca, who had come to Ndoruma's 


shortly before my return, and often accompanied him on his 
visits to me. He knew by little conjuring tricks how to play on 
the superstition of the natives to his own advantage, and 
Ndoruma himself was sufficiently afraid to yield to the holy 
man's demands for slaves. The "miracles," which he at- 
tributed to the assistance of Allah, were accompanied with the 
distribution of certain consecrated remedies. For instance, he 


pretended to extract drops of water from the point of a knife, and 
wanted to press this upon me, as well as some oil and cotton, 
as an efficacious imbrication against all kinds of affections. 
Through special respect for me he was also willing to sell me a 
bead from his rosary. To strengthen the people's faith in his 
miraculous powers, he had recourse to such simple yet persuasive 
devices as the undoing of nine firmly tied knots. 

But these essays of the miracle-monger interested me less 
than some samples of wild rice {Oryza punctata) which came 
from Bellanda. The wild rice, which in north tropical Africa has 
a wide range, reaching as far as Senegambia, scarcely differs 
specifically from the cultivated varieties. In those northern 
regions it springs up abundantly during the rainy season ; yet 
the natives are unable to make any use of it. The specimen 
shown me was of a dirty gray colour, and we failed to boil it 
quite soft, though it tasted well enough. 

No fresh news had arrived about Mbio, whose threats brought 
to Wando's had not been carried out. No attack was made on 
us along the route to Ndoruma's, which was traversed without 
any disturbance. On the other hand, a report came from the 
Mudir Saati Bey in the Bahr el-Ghazal province (Gessi Pasha 
had already started on his disastrous voyage down the Nile to 
Khartum) that the project was being seriously entertained of an 
attack on Mbio with Government troops. Ndoruma himself 
was to come to the Mudiriyeh, and at the same time provide a 
store of corn for the soldiers. Ndoruma, however, still dreading 
an invasion of Mbio's people, thought of only sending his 
brother Mbima to Saati Bey. 

Meanwhile Bohndorff wrote me that Kipa's territory was 
much farther off than we had supposed, so that he could not 
get back till after the New Year. This decided me to hasten 
my departure, and march with all my effects towards Bohndorff 
in the direction of Ndoruma's south-westerly border-lands. I 
could not afford to lose the favourable dry season ; and on the 
other hand I was afraid, after the arrival of the soldiers for the 
war against Mbio, of getting entangled in fresh complications, 
and finding great difficulty in procuring carriers. 


Ndoruma, who now looked forward to the reahzation of his 
cherished hope of breaking Mbio's power, made no objection 
to my departure, and even promised me carriers as far as 

On December i6th I expected a lunar eclipse ; but when the 
moon rose above the trees, the phenomenon was nearly over. 
I continued to record the meteorological observations to the end 
of the month. In the dry season, and especially in December, 
•cast and north-east winds prevailed during the day, being 
followed by calms in the evening. The temperature rose at 
noon to 90° or 91° F. in the shade, falling at night, and especially 
before dawn, down to 59° F. At night heavy dews often fall ; 
but dense mists were rare, though on December 8th the morning 
was so foggy that I could not see thirty yards ahead. 

At this season the sunsets were indescribably beautiful, and I 
would often gaze in rapture on the glorious scene till the glow- 
ing firmament was veiled in the shades of night. I would then 
retire late to my evening meal, where I was awaited more or 
less impatiently by the company. This consisted of the chim- 
panzee and my dog " Lady," who during the following years 
proved herself the dearest and truest companion of my solitary 
hours. The little thing was a cross between a European and a 
native breed, which I had picked up in Khartum as they were 
about to throw her into the dust-heap. On my return from the 
circular journey I did not expect to be recognized by my little 
friend, being so young when I set out. But she welcomed me 
back with a delight which was really touching. She was now two 
feet high and quite strong, with somewhat woolly black hair, 
white on breast and brown on lower jDart of the legs. Her fame 
spread far beyond Ndoruma's frontiers, and many would like to 
have had her, for the Zandehs are very fond of dogs, not merely 
because often partial to their flesh, but also platonically for 
their own sake. Their own smooth, ruddy-brown breed, with 
short curly tail and pointed nose (see p. 150), are all of medium 
size, thick-set build, and inclined to put on fat. 

Hence my slim, long-legged, black-haired pet naturally 
■excited lively interest, and later many chiefs bid hard for her 


possession. But we could not part company, and she seldom 
left my presence. At table also she was well-behaved, far 
different from the unmannerly chimpanzee, whose forwardness 
and greed were irrepressible. His relations with my Negro 
people were always somewhat strained, raising a plaintive cry at 
their approach, and even pursuing them with uplifted arms, so 
that the young servants generally gave him a wide berth. 

Towards Christmas about a hundred loads, all repacked, were 
ready to be sent off, and others followed during the next few 
days. But the last twelvemonth had made a considerable 
inroad on my stock. The numerous loads of corn from Dem 
Bekir, the Khartum biscuits, the heavily-weighing sugar and 
many other things had been used up, so that I now required 
fewer carriers than hitherto. Most of the loads I sent on 
straight to Mbima's, intending to proceed thither later by a 
roundabout route through Ndoruma's north-western districts. 

On Christmas Eve Ndoruma paid me a visit, and I was 
induced to treat him to another bottle of cognac. He had 
enjoyed the " fire," as he called it, at Binsa's, and he and his 
suite now soon disposed of this second bottle. For myself this 
evening differed from others in that my thoughts turned more 
frequently homewards. I also indulged in a light novel, with a 
bottle of red wine, followed by a midnight meal of cold, 
Dutch cheese, dates, and English biscuits. 

On Christmas Day, to give my household some idea of what 
a merry feast it is at home, I distributed a liberal allowance of 
rice, macaroni, and the like, to which were added three fowls 
stuffed with rice, finely sliced dates (instead of raisins), and 
ground nuts (instead of almonds). This choice and varied fare,, 
served in the evening, was certainly the most sumptuous repast 
ever placed before them. 

On December 29th the carriers started with the reserve loads, 
under the escort of some native chiefs. With them I also sent 
wo of my maid-servants, and Farag 'Allah, with instructions and 
an inventory of the goods for Bohndorff. Ndoruma's orders 
were that the things were to be taken without change of carriers 
straight to Bani, the frontier chief in his territory. I was so 


rejoiced at seeing the bulk of my eftects at last on the road, that 
in my overflowing gratitude I presented Ndoruma with sundry 
other gifts, such as a large folding-chair, the buck-goat, a cock, 
and so on. 

But my generosity was somewhat premature, for the very next 
day I was disgusted at the sight of many of the carriers, who 
had taken their loads no farther than Gangura. Ndoruma him- 
self was enraged, and went out to arrest the refractory carriers. 
He brought back fifteen of them with two chiefs, and had the 
sJicbba (yoke) immediately placed on the necks of five, whom 
he intended sending to the Mudiriyeh in the Bahr el-Ghazal 
province for further punishment. I may here mention that 
Mbima's proposed journey to the Mudiriyeh was put off, 
Ndoruma having decided after my departure to proceed thither 
himself. At my request he now promised to take the prisoners 
only as far as Bellanda, and there dismiss them. 

The last day of the year 1880 was spent in writing letters to 
far-off friends, for with the new year I was to leave Ndoruma's, 
and again plunge into the unknown wilds of Central Africa. 





Zassa's Arrival — Through Toto's, Yambo's, and "\'abil<umbaIlo's to Mbima'.s — 
Bohndorff's Return and Departure for the Norih wiih the Reserved Stores — 
Second Trip to Palembata's — Death of the Cliimpanzee — Envoys and Presents 
from Mambanga — To A-Madi Land — Chief Masinde — Historical — Malingde — 
Ascent of Mount Lingua — The Embatas on the Welle— Shelterless in the 
Wilderness — With the Zandeh chief Mambanga in A-Barmbo Land — Trip to 
Bakangai frustrated — Critical Situation— Strange Growth of ]Mushrooms — 
Termite Gathering — Arrival of Bohndorff — ^Desperate Position — Secret Message 
to Zassa — Reports of our Murder — Tremendous Tropical Thunderstorm- — Zassa's 
Arrival at the Welle — Increased Alarms — Sleepless Nights — Eventual Escape- 
In Zassa's Camp — Parting from Zassa and Bohndorff 

MY intended departure from Ndoruma'.s on January ist, 
1 88 1, was delayed by the unexpected arrival of Prince 
Zassa from the Mudiriyeh. He had been induced to return by 
the report of Bohndorff's and Kipa's movements, and he now 
hastened still farther west in order personally to arrange matters 


in his vassal lands. Zassa, brother of Zemio's father, Tikima, 
had for years maintained active relations with the Nubians, was 
familiar with Arabic, and, like Zemio, had adopted the Arabo- 
Nubian dress, so that his features alone recalled his Zandeh 
nationality. He was considerably older than Zemio, had a 
dignified carriage, and inspired confidence by his outward 
appearance and courteous manners. 

I was all the more pleased to meet him now that it was still 
my intention to leave my reserve stores in charge of Kipa in 
Zassa's territory, at which he seemed well pleased. I gave him 
a friendly welcome, and placed Bohndorff's quarters at his 
disposal for the night. He took much interest in many things, 
admired the garden, and gathered some seeds with his own 
hand. Both Bohndorff and myself had already collected con- 
siderable quantities of various kinds, especially that of teosinthe, 
an American plant, said to make excellent fodder for cattle. I 
proudly presented Zassa with a huge pumpkin and a {q.\\ radishes 
that still lingered on. 

Next morning Zassa was off betimes, making straight for 
Mbima's. I soon followed, but in a north-westerly direction, to 
the district of Ndoruma's brother, Toto. Ndoruma saw me some 
distance on the way, and then we parted the best of friends. I 
did not at that time foresee that I should have again to traverse 
his territory almost as a fugitive. 

Just before leaving Lacrima, I also received tidings from 
Ngettua about Mbio, who was reported to be mustering his men 
for the purpose of invading Ndoruma's territory ; but this now 
troubled me little, and I was more affected at the thought of 
our beloved station, the fruit of so much toil and anxiety, which 
would now rapidly revert to a state of nature. 

The road to Toto's lay a little to the west of that which I had 
followed from Kommunda's to Ndoruma's. The Bikki, which 
torms the boundary between Ndoruma's personal domain and 
Toto's district, was crossed nearer to its source ; here the eye 
was again gladdened by the sight of some small banana groves, 
as well as fields of durra, a cereal so little cultivated in the more 
southerly Zandeh lands. Few streams were met, though this 


district is the source of some large rivers, such as the Mbomu in 
the north-west, the Bikki in the south, and in the west the 
Duma, largest affluent of the Werre. Toto's settlement lay just 
on the water-parting between the Bikki, which belongs to the 
Nile basin, and some northern tributaries of the Werre ; but 
during the following days all the streams crossed by us flowed 
to the Werre. 

From Toto's we struck south-west to Baliagi's, and for the 
last two days due south to Mbima's. A good day's march 
brought us from Toto's to chief Yango's, whence Baliagi's was 
reached next day, January 5th. The second half of the route 
lay through a broken, well-watered tract, where swamps alter- 
nated with limpid wooded streams. At Baliagi's I unexpectedly 
met my servant, Dsumbe, who had been sent forward by Bohn- 
dorff from Badinde with unfavourable reports for my future 
plans. The territory nominally under Zassa's rule lay far to 
the west, wdiere the numerous petty chiefs had meanwhile 
disowned the authority of his lieutenant, Kipa. Dsumbe further 
reported that only a part of the loads had been brought from 
Ndoruma's to Mbima's, that much was still on the road, where 
the carriers were causing much trouble to Farag 'Allah, These 
tidings induced me to hasten straight to Mbima's, without 
visiting Ndoruma's brother, Mbellebil, as I had intended. 

Dsumbe was accompanied by a native, who, in accordance 
with the Zandeh penal code, had lost all ten fingers for seducing 
a woman. Such punishments were formerly far more frequent ; 
but several instances of similar mutilations were from time to 
time brought under my notice. Theft is so punished, with the 
result that it is of rare occurrence ; I myself never lost anything 
in Zandeh Land, but did not escape pilfering amongst the Mang- 
battu and A-Barmbo peoples. Though the chopping off of 
fingers is the commonest form of mutilation, the ears also as well 
as the nose, and even the lips, are occasionally cut away either 
as a punishment or through revenge. 

A short march through Yango's district between Toto's and 
Mbellebil's brought us to Baliagi's, whence, on January 6th, we 
reached Yabikumballo's. Next dav, after an hour's march south- 


wards, \vc struck the Werre, a mere rivulet at Lacrima, but here 
a considerable stream about fifteen yards wide and a few feet 
deep. At one point, in fact, it was deep enough to have drowned 
one of my female servants, had not a carrier come to the rescue. 

South of the Werre followed an extensive uninhabited tract 
with long, stony rising grounds, which, however, nowhere de- 
veloped into hills. Thus the land continued to maintain its 
characteristic undulating appearance, and the whole region was 
everywhere far less thickly peopled than Wando's and Ngerria's 
territories. The streamlets crossed during this last day's march 
to Mbima's flowed through swamps and depressions north-west 
to the Werre. 

Yabikumballo's carriers returned about half-way, but were 
immediately replaced by fresh hands for the rest of the route to 
Mbima's. In this respect I had no cause to complain throughout 
Ndoruma's domain, though some of them had carried their loads 
of reserved wares somewhat wildly up and down the land. A 
part of these things were still missing, and Bohndorff himself 
had gone from Mbima's to Peru's to collect the scattered loads. 
He got back with everything on January 8th, and his verbal 
account of his experiences with Kipa confirmed my resolution 
not to send the thirty reserved loads to Kipa's, but to some 
northern station, either Raffai's or Zassa's, south of the Mbomu. 

The road thither led from Badinde's through Yapati's 
territory northwards; with both I had entered into friendly 
relations, either personally or through envoys, and therefore 
expected there would be no difficulty in forwarding the things 
through their districts. But it was arranged that Bohndorff 
would see to this, while I adhered to my original plan of pro- 
ceeding with most of the effects to Bakangai's, where Bohndorff 
could join me after carrying out his part of the programme. I 
had instructed him in surveying work, so that the routes followed 
by him alone might be made available in the construction of 

Bohndorff's excursion to Kipa's led from Zemio's first camp in 
Palembata's, marching for eight days in a southern bend farther 
west to the Werre. I thus became aware at that time that this 


river could not possibly reach theWelle-Makua anywhere east of 
26° E. long, of Greenwich ; but the more accurate determination 
of the confluence had to await a later expedition to the Makua. 
Bohndorff's route crossed streams mostly flowing from the 
south to the Werre, though its southernmost section also crossed 
some direct tributaries of the Welle-Makua. The water-parting 
presented several continuous ranges of hills, and of the numerous 
Zandeh chiefs, mostly living at feud with each other, I will here 
mention the names only of Sirro, Remundua, and Farielle. 

Ndoruma having already set out for the Mudirtyeh, the troops 
destined for the war against Mbio might soon arrive ; while, on 
the other hand, Mbio himself might take the offensive at any 
moment. In cither case Mbima would have at once to march 
eastwards, whereby my further movements would be long 
delayed for want of carriers. Hence I was all the more anxious 
to get away, and meanwhile sent off messengers to Palembata 
and Badinde with presents and a statement of my plans. At a 
meeting of Mbima's chiefs, the number of carriers to be supplied 
by each was agreed to, and it was settled that Bohndorff should 
first set out with forty loads and my servants, Dsumbe and 
Morjan. But many days still passed before he got away. 

Then came my turn, but so many hands were needed that 
with the best intentions Mbima and his chiefs found it impossible 
to get them together. I threatened to go off" and leave everything 
behind, in which case the Government soldiers would come and 
fetch the things, and I should also report the matter to the Mudir. 

Dsumbe had started for Badinde's on January 14th, with 
thirty loads, and Bohndorff" on the 17th with the rest. The same 
afternoon my servant Belal left for Palembata's with twenty 
loads. During this delay at INIbima's we had made a consider- 
able inroad on our own provisions; but some, such as the macaroni 
and Khartum biscuits, were getting damaged, while plenty of 
supplies could now be had on the spot, the crops after the rainy 
season having already been garnered. Amongst them was 
Hyptis spicigera, an oleaginous plant resembling our poppy, 
which grows two or three feat high, and is much cultivated by 
the Zandehs for culinary purposes. 


The nights were ah'eady cool enough to require a second 
coverlet on our beds. It is amazing how susceptible northerners 
are to these changes of temperature in hot climates, though all 
are not uniformly affected. The water kept cool in the leather 
bottles produced the same effect on my hands as iced water in 
Europe ; the skin immediately turned red as a boiled crab, and 
this was often followed by a burning irritation like that of 

Now came the false report that the aged Prince Malingde, 
with his sons and also Ngerria, wanted to take sides with Mbio 
in the war against the Government troops and Ndoruma. How- 
ever, my plans were not disturbed by these rumours, and on 
January 19th I was able to send off thirty loads, following myself 
with the rest two days after for Palembata's. I was attended on 
this journey by Farag 'Allah, a newly-engaged Zandeh named 
Rensi, the little Dinka, Farag, and Belal, who had joined me at 
Binsa's. We followed the same route to Palembata's as in 
August the year before ; but I again surveyed the ground, and 
was pleased to find that both results harmonized. 

Our little chimpanzee had been ailing with a bad cough, just 
like that of a human being. My instructions to protect him in 
his basket with some matting from the rays of the sun had been 
neglected, and he died on the second day's march. The same 
day I had the mortification to find that some of the men had 
left their loads in the wilderness and bolted, conduct of which 
the Zandehs are rarely guilty. The things were soon missed 
and recovered ; but to prevent a recurrence of the mishap, I 
formed the convoy in closer order, made a great show of loading 
the fire-arms, and threatened mercilessly to shoot the first man 
who attempted to make off. That told, and all went smooth as 
an oiled wheel for the rest of the journey. 

At Zemio's first camp in Palembata's we diverged from the 
road followed on the former occasion. From this point Bohn- 
dorff had taken a westerly course to Badinde, while I now struck 
south to reach Palembata's residence. Along this last stretch 
all the rivulets flow to the Hako tributary of the Werre, whereas 
those met on the route to the A-Madi went straig-ht to the 


Welle. Thus Palembata's present residence lay on the water- 
parting between the Werre and the Welle-Makua. 

I reached the camp in a somewhat sorry plight. My ass 
having suddenly stuck in a bog, I had hastened to his aid and 
was trying to get a fore-leg out, when he completely extricated 
himself with a single strenuous effort. Being unprepared for 
such a display of energy, I was thrown backwards into the slush 
before there was time to get out of the way. 

Meanwhile my departure from Ndoruma's had been bruited 
about, and envoys from distant chiefs already awaited me at 
Palembata's. Yapati's messengers were again full of complaints 
against Rafai's officials ; the A-Madi chief also, whom I intended 
next to visit, had sent to complain of internal troubles, urging 
me to come without delay. 

But the greatest surprise was an embassy from Mambanga, 
headed by my former interpreter, Adatam, bringing rich offer- 
ings, such as a bundle of twelve new and choice Mangbattu 
spears, four finely-wrought trumbashes, a shield richly orna- 
mented with copper, a gray parrot, and so on. Mambanga 
Avanted me back again, for he was still, not without good reason, 
haunted by his dread of the Nubians. Though unable to accede 
to his request, I sent him numerous return gifts with the promise 
again to communicate with him from Bakangai's. 

But while so highly honoured from without, I found myself 
sadly neglected by my host, Palembata, who had made little 
provision for my reception. The accommodation in the little 
huts was wretched, and the second day passed without any 
supplies. He pretended he had no corn on hand, and it was 
only after a sound rating that the young fop sent some telebun 
and sweet potatoes. 

While still smarting under the indignity of this inhospitable 
welcome, I had already ordered the nugara (big drum) to be 
beaten to summon the carriers ; presently the whole neighbour- 
hood was alive with the ringing of bells and trumpet-blowing, 
which soon brought Palembata on his knees. His dejection 
lasted long enough for me to get the greater part of the loads 
5cnt off on January 24th and 25th to A-Madi Land. Belal 


again conducted the first convoy, and the leader of each follow- 
ing convoy was supplied with a bundle of rods corresponding 
with the number of loads entrusted to him. In this way every- 
thing was controlled and verified at the end of the journey. 

Before I could start myself the news came that Mbio had 
really invaded Ngettua's district, and that Mbima had already 
marched eastwards. He had heard of Mambanga's presents to 
me, and now wanted me to let him have five of the spears, 
which I flatly refused. 

At last, on January 30th, I started for A-Madi Land, and after 
two good days' march towards the south-south-west, reached 
chief Masinde's. The district traversed differed little from the 
northern region, but was here and there more undulating and 
even hilly. Some isolated low mountains were visible on both 
sides of the route, though the eye was chiefly arrested by the 
more elevated crests rising on the southern horizon in the 
A-Madi country. 

The whole district was well watered, the first rivulets beyond 
the Werre-Welle water-parting flowing to the Siri, which runs in 
a rocky bed eight yards wide eastwards to the Gurba ; others 
follow a south-easterly course straight to the Welle. The last 
head-streams, met on the second day, go partly to form the 
Hekke, which flows south-west and west also to the Welle. Al- 
though the country itself is uninhabited, there was at that time a 
colony of Sheres (Bashirs) settled a few hours' south of Palem- 
bata's residence, so that I again met in the Far South a fragment 
of that people who are so widely scattered over the north. Their 
settlement marks the western terminus of Osman Bedawi's 
expedition to the A-Madi, and some traces of his last encamp- 
ment were still visible. 

With Masinde's district began the highly-favoured domain of 
the A-Madi, a distinct ethnical group differing in speech as well 
as in usages from the surrounding Zandehs, Mangbattus, and 
A-Barmbos. Their territory is bounded east, south, and west 
by the Welle, which, under the twenty-seventh meridian east of 
Greenwich, describes a vast bend to the south. The land is 
mountainous and copiously watered, with a productive soil 


yielding an abundance of valuable plants, which elsewhere 
occur only south of the Welle, and even then only in certain 
limited districts. 

All these advantages must have long attracted the envy of 
foreign peoples, so that the history of A-Madi Land is a record 
of incessant wars and forays. Here the evils of war were in- 
tensified by the partition of the country from time immemorial 
into a number of petty states, whose chiefs were always fighting 
with each other, thereby giving more easy access to foreign 
enemies. Thus it was that several districts were now possessed 
by Zandeh and A-Barmbo princes ; the Nubians also preferred 
to follow the A-Madi Land route on their southern expeditions, 
while Osman Bedawi had even founded a small station there 
garrisoned by ten Negro soldiers of the Bongo tribe under the 
Nubian, Mahmud. 

A few years previously the A-Madi had been hard pressed by 
Zassi, who had stationed his dragomans at the residences of 
some of the southern chiefs for the purpose of collecting ivory. 
These powerless chiefs, always at feud with their neighbours, 
were often glad enough to have a few foreign muskets at hand 
with which to fall at the right moment on their rivals. 

Owing to these internal dissensions, whole tribes of the 
A-Madi nation had either voluntarily migrated elsewhere or 
been forcibly expelled from their lands. Thus we found the 
Niapu living under the protection of the Mangbattus, while 
others had founded new homes amongst the eastern Zandehs 
ruled by Wando. At the time of my visit the most distinguished 
A-Madi chiefs were Mbittima (not to be confounded with 
Wando's son of that name) and Masinde, who, however, was a 
Zandeh by birth, brother in fact of Badinde. He had reduced 
to a state of vassalage the northern A-Madi about Mount 
Malingde, while Mbittima ruled over another branch of the 
nation in the central district of Mount Lingua; in the southern 
districts were other independent chiefs at enmity with Masinde 
and Mbittima. 

After Osman Bedawi's departure these two princes also fell 
out, and at the time of my arrival they were ready to come to 


blows. Hence endless palavers, at which I was entertained with 
their mutual wrongs and grievances. Masinde also endeavoured 
to prevent me from going south, describing the route as very 
unsafe. But to this I paid no heed, but at once sent Belfd and 
Farag 'Allah to Bedawi's agent, Mahmud,at Mbittima's. There- 
upon Mahmud came to see me with his dragomans under the 
guidance of my servants, for they would not have now ventured 
alone into ]\Iasinde's district, where I was meanwhile amusing 
the public in the usual way with my " stock-in-trade." 

From ^Nlahmud I learnt, what most concerned me, that the 
southern route was open, and that south of the Welle I should 
doubtless have no difficulty in getting carriers for the journey to 
Bakangai. A brother of Mbittima had come with Mahmud, and 
later followed another interminable palaver with IMasinde on 
their internal affairs. I admonished all to keep the peace, 
warning them that, should hostilities break out, Osman Bedawi 
would soon return and punish the delinquents. I had especially 
to restrain Masinde, who was indulging in some warm language ; 
but his intelligence and frank disposition otherwise enlisted my 
sympathies, and I was later brought into close and lasting 
relations with him. 

On February 2nd a few heavy showers warned us of the 
approaching close of the dry season. Soon after I ascended 
Mount Malingde, the summit of which was reached by a 
circuitous route in about an hour. Although Malingde and 
Lingua are the highest eminences in the country, neither of 
them attains the relative altitude of one thousand feet. About 
half-way up we came upon a broad plateau marking the upper 
limit of the laterite formation, which in A-Madi Land is specially 
characterized by an intense yellow-red colour. Strata of a very 
hard reddish sandstone must here somewhere crop out, for 
although none was visible, I often noticed large slabs of this 
rock used as grindstones. I do not, however, pretend to deter- 
mine the exact nature of the formation, for such rocks, apparently 
belonging to the sandstone group, also occur between deposits of . 
real gneiss. 

The upper part of the mountain consists of gneiss and granite 


masses of a blackish brown colour, presenting a great diversity 
of outlines caused by much weathering. Amid these rocks is 
a broad sedge-grown depression, where the A-Madi were wont 
to take refuge from sudden attacks of the enemy. The weather, 
which had been cloudy during the ascent, now cleared up, 
affording distinct views of the glassy waters of the Welle at 
three widely separated points towards the south-south-east, the 
south-west, and west-north-west. I had thus ocular demonstra- 
tion of the already-mentioned great semi-circular bend here 
described by this river. 

Southwards, at about two hours' distance, the gaze fell on 
Mount Lingua, and beyond it, but a little to the east, I detected 
far off Mount Angba ; south of the narrow but still visible 
thread of the Welle the horizon was bounded by Mount Majanu 
in A-Barmbo Land, while to the right of Lingua another emi- 
nence could be descried in the extreme distance. But specially 
characteristic of an African landscape was the rolling and hilly 
tract extending from our immediate vicinity away to Mount 
Lingua. Here the broad undulating valley, stretching from 
mountain to mountain, was intersected by narrow belts of dark 
green vegetation, marking the winding courses of rivers and 

The broader patches of woodlands at the head of these long 
fringing avenues indicated the sources of streams and brooks 
which here take their rise. From the summit of Malingde the 
observer thus obtains a clear view of a highly-intricate h\-dro- 
graphic system, and marvels at the abundance of running waters 
increasing southwards in this favoured region. Here, also, I 
enjoyed the pleasant picture of peaceful life in a fertile and culti- 
vated part of Negroland. At the very foot of the Malingde 
slopes, the habitations of the natives were embowered in the rich 
foliage of banana groves varied with clumps and even thickets 
of the stately oil-palm. 

After taking my topographic observations on Malingde's 
breezy crest, I returned by a more easterly road, passing several 
A-Madi dwellings, some with pitched roofs and gables like those 
ot the Mangbattus, others merely straw huts with conic roofs. 


But the settlements were everywhere enclosed by luxuriant 
banana plantations, showing that this valuable plant supplies 
the A-Madi with their staple food. 

On Februar}' 4th I continued my journey to Mahmud's 
station, which was only two hours' distant. 
The route trended southwards through a 
valley enclosed on the east by the spurs 
of Malingde, on the west by a line of low 
hills. Half an hour's march brought us 
clear of the mountainous district proper, 
though beyond it followed hill after hill, which, 
in the neighbourhood of the Lingua group, again 
merged in ridges of considerable elevation. 
Here the road lay over hill and dale, opening 
up wide prospects now in one, now in another, 
direction. Even the difficult swampy tracts 
along the wooded banks of the streams and in 
the bottom-lands were now and then relieved 
by open sunny stretches of wooded savannas. 

Masinde's carriers, a somewhat unruly though 
harmless gang, had stopped half-way, as had 
been arranged, and now Belal hastened forward 
to fetch fresh hands from Mbittima's station. 
Here we were overtaken by Farag 'Allah with 
the rest of the loads ; but I missed an iron stand, 
which is stuck in the ground and used for 
hanging clothes, hats, guns, and the like. It is 
a very serviceable article, much in vogue with 
the Nubians on their journeys through Negro- 
land, and at each halting-place mine was always 
set up close to my chair. Not wishing to lose 
it, I quietly took from the last carriers five 
spears as a pledge for its return ; by this stroke 
I recovered it in a few days, and then Masinde got back his 
spears. The new hands arriving late in the afternoon, it was 
dark before we entered Mahmud's (Mbittima's) little station. 

Several of the dragomans at this place had taken part in the 



previous expedition to Bakangai's, and from them I got a 
detailed account of the route. On that occasion Osman Bedawi 
had employed Bongo carriers from the north, and in two good 
days' marches had covered the distance from the Welle south- 
wards to the Bomokandi, beyond which river Bakangai's territory 
begins. But I had to depend on the A-Barmbos, and in order 
to get carriers would have to traverse the inhabited districts. 
Hence my route lay more to the west, where I was also informed 
that about a day's march west of the Welle a Zandeh colony 
was settled under a chief Mambanga, not to be confused with 
the Mangbattu prince of that name. From him I was most 
likely to get carriers, as he presumably held the surrounding 
A-Barmbos in subjection. 

I should have gladly sent envoys from this station to Bakangai, 
but the people were too much afraid of the A-Barmbos dwelling 
south of the Welle. A few of their chiefs on this side of the 
river were subject to Mbittima, and they gave me hopes of 
obtaining men for the journey to the Zandeh chief, Mambanga. 
I had little trust in their assurances, and wanted first to go alone 
to Mambanga's without any baggage ; but they made me all 
kinds of promises, and at last I yielded, trusting to my luck to 
pull me through. Thus, in a few days, after arranging with the 
Embata boatmen for crossing the river, I started with all my 
effects for the Welle. 

From the local chiefs I had received supplies of bananas, 
poultry, palm-oil, batatas, manioc, a little telebun and maize. 
I made several successful experiments with the bananas ; the 
green, unripe fruit may be treated in various ways like our 
potatoes. Sliced and roasted in all stages of maturity, they 
make an excellent dish. But they may be also grated in the 
raw state, and then fried in batter like pancakes, and so on. 
The natives prepare a banana-flour, which, however, is greatly 
improved when mixed with grated tubers or with various kinds 
of corn-flour. The Zandehs call the banana hira, the A-Madi 
abitggo ; but there are so many varieties that several different 
words are required to express them. The badingo of the 
Mangbattus, that is, ripe bananas dried over the fire or in the 


sun, will keep for months together, and when sliced and cooked 
in pahn-oil make a savoury dish. 

Palm-oil itself I soon got accustomed to, so that it gradually 
entered into the preparation of nearh' all kinds of food. In 
these parts the natives have an original method of packing and 
carrying it. The jar when filled is lightly covered with strips of 
fresh banana leaves, from which the raised mid-rib has been 
removed. Over this is placed a second covering of long strips 


made from the outer dry bark 

of banana-stalks, which, when 

withered, are as firm as bast; thus several 

layers of such strips crossed one over the 

other form a hermetical covering. The 

vessel is then tilted over and wrapped 

round its sides with the long, over-hanging 

ends of the strips, and this envelopment 

gathered together in a bunch at the 

bottom of the jar; a plaited loop of the 

same material is now passed through the 

bunch to serve as a handle, by means of which the vessel is 

slung on the shoulder and carried mouth downwards. 

On Februar)- Sth I ascended Mount Lingua ; owing to the 
rugged character of its craggy western slope, it must be 
approached from the north side, at whose foot the little river^ 
Oggae flows in a deep wooded bed. Amid the banana and 
oil-palm groves were scattered the dwellings of the A-Madi, 



who, in accordance with national usage, brought us the produce 
of their soil, and even laid some spears respectfully at our feet. 
The highly-cultivated ground extended sonrie distance up, and 
from the point where all cultivation ceased it took us still half 
an hour to reach the upper plateau, from which the supreme 
rocky cone rose to a height of about eighty feet. This fissured 
crag could be scaled only on the north side, and on top presented 
room for scarcely a dozen men. Here some overhanging ledges 
formed little caverns, and one far-projecting rock when struck 
with a stone loudly reverberated like a huge gong. 

Although the prospect was clouded, we could still descry the 
Welle at several points, while Mount Angba was more con- 
spicuous than when seen from Malingde. South-eastwards Lingua 
is separated by a broad saddleback from the slightly more 
elevated Balimassango, whose rocky walls fall in some places 
precipitously southwards. Balimassango is itself connected with 
a third eminence, Mount Girro, so that the whole system forms 
a continuous range. 

Towards the north Malingde masked the view, which in this 
direction was confined to the broad valley extending between 
the mountain groups and to the northern hills visible from 
Lingua. But on either side a wide prospect was commanded of 
the distant prairie, where my followers detected a dark line of 
men crossing the distant plane. These proved later to be the 
people of a remote chief who were coming to welcome me. 

The steep southern flank of Lingua led down to Mbittima's 
settlements, beyond which the track wound along the foot of 
the mountain through some brushwood, where the natives had 
laid some snares for genettes. These consisted of long, low 
enclosures of cane-stakes, interrupted at intervals by passages 
scarcely a foot wide, but seven or eight feet long, which were 
fenced by double rows of similar stakes. Over the passages 
were lightly poised heavy beams to fall upon and crush the 
animals as they crept through. 

In Mahmud's station two Bongo dragomans had died during 
the last week. So the others fancied they also might be 
bewitched by the A-Madi, and consequently wanted to be 


allowed to return home. I pointed out the folly of such 
superstition, and thus induced them to remain. 

The loads were now again forwarded in batches to the Welle, 
which river I reached on February loth. The route ran for 
several hours south-westwards through IMbittima's territory, 
then westwards through the district of the A-Bangbaras, an 

A-Barmbo tribe. The land was again uniformly undulating, 
without any chains of hills or mountains, which are confined to 
the northern part of A-Madi Land. Soon after leaving the 
station we crossed the Oggae, which, like all others within the 
bend of the Welle, is an unimportant stream ; rising in the 
enclosed tract, they have necessarily a short course to the 


Welle. Nevertheless, in the rainy season they are swollen by 
the mountain torrents, and become themselves impetuous 
mountain streams, rushing through gorges and deeply excavated 

The Welle, whose swollen stream had excited my admiration 
on the journey with Zemio, was now at low-water mark, and 
many rocky ledges appeared above the surface. Its bed, about 
eight hundred and thirty feet wide, was confined between steep 
banks, and very deep towards the south side. Here a pole 
twenty feet long failed to reach the bottom, although the water 
had subsided fully to that extent and even more, for during the 
floods it overflows its highest margin. 

The section of the Welle here visible, a stretch of about two 
and a half miles, had a northerly trend. My position on the 
river was for the moment all the more critical that I could get 
no news of the Zandeh chief, Mambanga, who, the reader will 
remember, had been represented to me as ruling over a section 
of the A-Barmbo nation. A person had also presented himself 
at Mahmud's station, pretending to have come from Mambanga, 
who wanted to know why we delayed our visit to him so long. 

At the time I believed all this ; but now that I had reached 
the Welle, and not a soul was to be seen on the opposite side, 
my suspicions were again awakened, and I at once despatched 
Farag 'Allah to the Zandeh chief To be sure the Embata 
people suggested that perhaps the A-Barmbos had not arrived 
because they lived a long way from the river. 

As a relief from my brooding thoughts, I occupied myself 
with the Embata fishing-folk, for whose methods of capture the 
low state of the river offered favourable conditions. I tried my 
hand at the primitive process, but wuth little success. The use 
of nets being unknown, they set up strong traps along the banks 
and amongst the ledges of rock in mid-stream. But though little 
is taken in this w^ay, the Welle undoubtedly abounds in fish, and 
should have many surprises for the specialist. I obtained from 
the Embatas some cat-fish, and another peculiar fish about a foot 
long, distinguished by a fleshy underlip four inches long. 

Meantime Mahmud and Mbittima arrived with the last loads. 


while Farag 'Allah returned with far from satisfactory tidings of 
Mambanga. From his report it became evident that all the 
statements made about this Zandeh chief were false, and that 
he had not so much as heard of me, much less of our intended 
visit. Regarding his person, I learnt that he was doubtless sprung 
of a princely Zandeh line, which had formerly ruled over all 
the A-Barmbo tribes, but that at present he had only a few 
adherents, and was powerless in the land. He would, however, 
have some huts erected for us, and expressed himself very eager 
to see us as soon as possible, though unfortunately he had no 
carriers for so many things, and I would have to forward the 
loads by the A-Barmbos. In support of this invitation he had 
sent a few of his people with Farag 'Allah. 

I had already secured the good-will of the Embatas by 
presents, and it was now all-important to induce them to act as 
carriers. But while I was treating with Senu, one of their local 
chiefs, about getting my things across the river to the nearest 
A-Barmbo huts, Bassansa, an A-Barmbo chief from beyond the 
Welle, presented himself, and volunteered to forward the loads 
to Mambanga. In reply to my question whether he had suffi- 
cient carriers, he laughed, and with his hands made the usual 
gesture signifying " many." 

In their calculations the native scarcely gets beyond 10, and 
even then has often recourse to gesture language. He expresses 
10 by raising both hands; for 15, if standing, he grasps the 
right leg, if seated, the foot with both hands, by which he means 
to add 5 toes to the 10 fingers. For 20 he grasps a leg or 
a foot \vith each hand, thereby expressing 10 fingers plus 10 
toes=20. To indicate the intermediate numerals, he first of 
all expresses by pantomimic action the basal numbers, 5, 10, 
15, 20, and then supplies the required digits by grasping a 
corresponding number of left fingers with the right hand. Forty 
is indicated by placing the hands twice on the thighs ; 60 by 
touching the legs three times, which makes 20 + 20 + 20, and 
so on. The numeral 100 already implies a scarcely-intelligible 
quantity, involving the concept " many," " m.ultitude." at which 
his mental efforts and powers of calculation begin to flag; 


hence he has recourse to rapid and frequent clapping of hands 
on legs, thus giving expression to an indefinite number, 
something for him unlimited. 

As this was Bassansa's pantomimic reply to my question, I 
was fain to conclude that he had sufficient hands at his disposal, 
all the more that he offered to have them ready next m.orning. 
I thereupon unsuspiciously sent over one hundred loads across 
to the south side the same evening. As there were no huts to 
house them, I had them carefully covered and left in charge of 
three of Mahmud's Bongo dragomans. 

We followed next day with asses, goats, and the rest of the 
things. But it was hours before we got over, for the Embatas 
had removed their boats, and their attitude now pointed at 
extortion. In all this Senu professed to desire nothing more 
from me ; but he had unquestionably instigated his people and 
those of another Embata chief, Bamadsi, to clamour for more, 
so that many pressed round and had to be " tipped " before they 
would take us across. 

But this was not all. Many others, who had followed with 
their Avives and children in boats, now became very importunate, 
while I began at once to distribute the loads, regardless of 
their obstreperous conduct ; for Bassansa had presented himself, 
though with only forty-five carriers, but assuring me that the 
rest would follow without dela)^ Then occurred an incident 
which had well-nigh ended in a disaster. One of my maid- 
servants detecting a theft, hailed me just as the pilferer Avas 
making for his boat with a small load of salt. Enraged at the 
sight, and also in order to overawe the mob, I seized my rifle 
and advanced a few steps in a threatening attitude. Thereupon 
the whole rabble took to their heels, rushing helter-skelter down 
the steep bank to their boats, many women, children, and others 
tumbling into the v/ater. Perceiving the danger, I at once 
stepped back to allay the panic, while Senu restored confidence. 

Soon after Belal went off with Bassansa and forty-five loads ; 
later I sent forward a few more A-Barmbo chiefs with convoys 
of ten and fifteen loads, but had myself to remain behind with 
nearly half of my effects. I parted from Senu and his boatmen 


on friendly terms, informing them of Bohndorff's approaching 

In the evening some Embatas, chiefly women, came over to 
collect termites, which were now expected to take wing with the 
beginning of the rainy season. But I had to tace a shelterless 
night in an African wilderness, for no sign of human habitations 
was visible far and wide. After vainly awaiting the promised 
carriers, I placed the loads by a small ant-hill, where my few 
people, Farag 'Allah, the young Dinka (Farag), and the maid- 
servants, encamped for the night. A frugal meal was soon con- 
sumed, and twilight was quickly followed by darkness, the 
nearly full moon being concealed for the first hours by the 
banking-up rain-clouds. 

Presently, as I was seated moodily on my angareb, my little 
dog began to give tongue, darting round the ant-hill, where some 
loads were also heaped up. After some more yelping "Lady" 
trotted quietly back, and I, without suspecting anything wrong, 
ascended the hill and then took the road leading from the river 
southwards. I had gone a few steps when I stood still, more 
mechanically than for the purpose of prying about. In the 
immediate vicinity some fresh grass had sprung up in the midst 
of the withered herbage, and just where the track reached this 
spot my gaze fell upon a shadow ; but, at that moment, the 
moon, which had shone out later in the evening, again dis- 
appeared behind the rain-clouds. I now approached a little 
nearer, when a figure suddenly started up scarcely ten paces 
from where I stood, and beat a hasty retreat in a stooping 
attitude. I thought it might be one of the women engaged in 
collecting the termites, but who had been scared by the barking 
of the dog. So I told Farag 'Allah, who had hastened up, to 
call out and disalarm the fleeing shadow. But I was soon 
disabused of this idea, for on searching the grass we found one 
of my boxes on the spot where the figure had been crouching. 

Being convinced that we were surrounded by thieves, I took 
extra precautions, and for the rest of the night mounted guard ■ 
on the ant-hill armed with two rifles. But nothing further 
occurred, and next morning Belal brought the unpleasant news 


that a box was missing from the things sent off the day before. 
Similar reports came in later, whereupon the Embata carriers 
were charged with stealing. Meanwhile, other A-Barmbo chiefs 
presented themselves with more men, and as there was no alter- 
native, I had to accept them, taking the usual precaution to note 
their names. 

I now opened negotiations with the Embata, temporizing 
with Senu, well knowing him to be accessory to the pilferings. 
I had induced him to come over by the offer of various presents, 
promising many more on his recovering the stolen goods for me. 
Thereupon he went straight up the river, returning in a couple 
of hours with a tin box which had been forced open, and . 
from which Bohndorff's clothes and linen were now missing. 
The thieves, however, had left the boots and shoes and other 
things useless to them, but indispensable to Bohndorff. 

On the promise of more presents, Senu soon brought back 
another box, mostly containing objects used by Bohndorff in 
collecting specimens. Thus passed the second day with the 
dismal prospect of spending another shelterless night on the 
inhospitable shores of the Welle. In the evening the firmament 
became overcast, dense masses of vapour and black clouds 
gathering from all quarters, and at last discharging a heavy and 
continuous downpour, which left us in a miserable plight. 

Next morning the sun refused to shine, and we remained 
shivering for hours in our wet clothes. But towards noon 
Mambanga arrived with about twenty-five men of his tribe, and 
fifteen loads were at once sent forward. But the others refused 
to lend a hand, until the rain coming on again they consented to 
take up the loads, and so we at last got away from our dreary 
camping-ground on the Welle. 

The route ran westwards through a slightly rolling district, 
leading in an hour's march to the first A-Barmbo huts. Their 
settlements now followed in quick succession at intervals of 
fifteen or twenty minutes along the track. We were beset with 
swarms of yelling women and children, but few of the loafers 
about the huts were willing to relieve our Zandeh carriers. By 
sunset we reached our goal, an isolated group of wretched cabins 


standing at some considerable distance from Mambanga's 
residence. Here, again, the first tidings were about more pilfer- 
ings ; but I was too weary to interest myself in anything, and 
sank supperless and exhausted on my couch. 

Next morning an inspection showed a load of salt and some 
ammunition missing, while from a box that had been forced 
they had abstracted our whole stock of arsenic required for 
preserving skins, besides the metal handle of the large barrel- 
organ. The rascals had also by sheer force raised the thin lids 


of several of the Berlin tin boxes, and thus without breaking the 
locks taken out linen, clothes, cloth — in fact, whatever could be 
hastily abstracted. 

The original home of the A-Barmbo people is inclosed by the 
Welle and Bomokandi rivers, though even south of the Borno- 
kandi A-Barmbo tribes are found as far west and east as the 
Makongo and Pokko rivers respectively. On the south bank of 
the Welle they are conterminous eastwards with the territory 
of the Mangbattu prince, Mambanga. They are a numerous 


nation, whose strength has been frittered away by the chronic 
state of strife prevailing amongst their countless petty chiefs. 
Thus they were reduced to a condition of vassalage by the 
Zandehs, and the A-Barmbo tribes south of the Bomokandi 
were now subject to Prince Bakangai, while the northern groups 
had again asserted their independence. 

But the Zandeh colonies, which were still settled under their 
own chiefs north of the Bomokandi, had migrated thither at the 
time when the Zandeh prince, Kipa, Bakangai's father, ruled 
over the whole A-Barmbo nation. Thus the Zandeh prince, 
Mambanga himself, was the son of Ingimma and grandson of 
Kipa. He had managed to maintain his independence amid 
the numerous little A-Barmbo chiefs, but possessed no power 
over them, and lived, as he himself confessed, in constant fear of 
his life. 

Similar relations prevailed amongst the Zandeh colonies which 
were settled in the western parts of A-Barmbo Land. They 
were ruled by Bandia, Bangatelli, Nbasso, Baggi, and Kamsa, 
either sons or more distant kinsmen of Kipa. But none of them 
displayed any power except Kamsa, whose residence lay near 
the Bomokandi-Welle confluence. 

My mistrust of the A-Barmbos was now sedulously fostered 
by the young and inexperienced Mambanga, who informed me 
that the surrounding A-Medio, A-Badunga, and A-Bukunda 
tribes, who were chiefly professional carriers, had been guilty of 
the recent pilferings. It may be mentioned that our nearest 
neighbours were the A-Bangele, while farther east were many 
other tribes, including the A-Mesima, through whose territory 
lay Osman Bedawi's line of march to Bakangai's. 

But Mambanga also warned mc about my next journey to 
Bakangai's, and pretended to know^ that the A-Barmbo intended 
to plunder me on the two days' march through the wilderness 
to the Bomokandi. He even feared I m.ight be poisoned, and 
cautioned me especially against drinking merissa. However, my 
mistrust did not go so far ; nor did I care to deprive my house- 
hold of this nourishing beverage. So to remove their fears I 
would myself take a glass with them. 


Prudence, however, warned me to await the arrival of Bohn- 
dorff, with whom our further plans could be more easily carried 
out. Hence I anticipated a lengthy stay at this place, and as 
the two huts assigned to us afforded insufficient accommodation, 
I provided for better shelter. In this I had the ready aid of 
Mambanga's people, while the A-Bangele lounged about without 
moving a finger to help us, I should have sent messengers to 
Bakangai, but for the fears entertained by the people, and I 
only too soon became cognizant of other reasons which prompted 
Mambanga to oppose the expedition. 

The sullen attitude of Bassansa and the other A-Barmbo chiefs 
naturally surprised me, and awakened the suspicion that they 
really harboured some sinister designs against me. So the days 
went by in constant care and watchfulness, while the Zandehs 
themselves seemed to have struck work ; the huts remained 
unfinished, and my things, goats and asses, and guards at night, 
continued without shelter against the weather. 

On February 20th, five days after our arrival, the report was 
spread that a stranger had arrived at the Welle, but the Embatas 
refused to supply the boats to cross over. Thinking it was 
Bohndorff, I sent off Farag 'Allah, who reported that the news 
was false, but that the stolen things would be returned. At 
last one of the A-Bangele chiefs called on me, and I left nothing 
unsaid to show him how foolish it was of the natives to hold 

About the same time there arrived an ostensible envoy from 
Basingebanno, an A-Mesima chief, announcing that Bakangai 
had been inquiring of him about us. The same person soon 
after presented himself again, requesting to know whether 
Basingebanno might send messengers to Bakangai in my name. 
Though giving no credit to all this, I still wished no chance to 
be lost, so sent presents also to this Basingebanno. Later I 
learnt that those messages were all lies and inventions. 

Now Mambanga gave out that he had heard from a female 

slave that the A-Barmbos wanted to kill me ; hence, fearing for 

his own life also, he beseeched me not to associate with the 

people unarmed, and to forbid too numerous visits at the same 

VOL. II. z 


time. But I had my own suspicions of Mambanga's motives, 
and in the meantime sent Farag 'Allah and Belal with presents 
to the surrounding chiefs, in the hope of opening up friendly 
relations with them. It now appeared that my suspicions were 
not groundless, and that Mambanga was really scheming to 
keep the A-Barmbos alienated from me. They thought I 
intended supporting his pretensions to sovereignty over them, 
as he had himself declared that my soldiers would soon be here. 
Nor could I even later dispel this fear, for it was assiduously 
fostered by the Zandeh chief 

All the greater w^as my surprise when one day a bundle of 
clothes reached me, which, as I was now told, had been abstracted 
from the boxes by the A-Badungas. Many were soiled by the 
red laterite earth, but otherwise intact, except the metal buttons, 
which had all been cut off from the trousers. The restitution 
was very welcome, as showing that the numerous designs against 
my life and property w^ere all phantoms of Mambanga's brain, 
and based on his own fears. 

The huts being at last finished, I took possession of my new 
home on February 25th. About this time I noticed a most 
remarkable natural phenomenon. One morning on leaving my 
hut I saw a somewhat yellowish white mass thrown up like 
little mole-hills in many places that had been cleared of the 
grass. When examined it was found greatly to resemble fresh 
whey-cheese passed through a sieve, but contained some hard 
round white grains like tapioca. The whole was the product of 
a species of termite, and I even found a few little insects 
embedded in the white substance. Whether the grains were 
eggs, as seemed probable, I must leave undecided, for then the 
question would arise, why they should have been brought to the 
surface and thus exposed to destruction. Or could this be taken 
as an instance of " cussedness " in nature } 

Meantime my servants had enclosed the places with bits of 
stick and covered them with foliage, assuring me that something 
good to eat would soon appear. Then followed the most 
singular phase in this puzzling process. The upper surface of 
the little heaps, which had been steadily enlarged by accumula- 


tions from within, appeared in a few hours overgrown with tiny- 
white mushrooms, distinctly formed, though scarcely a millimetre, 
say the twenty-sixth part of an inch, in size. These little fungi 
now began to shoot up on graceful slender stems, and next day 


were already from one to two inches high, and were then eaten 
as dainty morsels by the natives, ever on the look-out for 
eatables. I had a dish of them prepared for myself, and found 
them excellent. After their removal the little heaps began to 
shrink, and at last crumbled away to dust. 


I have already remarked that with the commencement of the 
rainy season, the natives also begin to gather certain species of 
termites. Weeks before the " harvest," the people mark off those 
nests which seem most suitable for their purpose. Here they 
dig a round hole a foot wide and several feet deep, whereby the 
place is at the same time set apart for a certain person and left 
untouched by the others. Like everybody else, my servants had 
done this, and also prepared a quantity of long bundles of dry 
grass, which here take the place of the resinous torches elsewhere 
in use. 

Rainy days and excessive moisture are unfavourable condi- 
tions for the appearance of the termites, which may be safely ex- 
pected on fine evenings following sunny days. Then the people 
may everywhere be seen with their flaming brands squatting down 
each at the hole which he had dug at the foot of the hill reserved 
for him. The female termites creeping out go straight to the 
fire without actually rising on the wing ; others soar into the air, 
but also partly wheel round towards the light, while the rest fly 
away. Those approaching the hole are all swept in with tufts 
of foliage. Many lose their wings, and most of them are in a 
dazed state, so that they are afterwards easily transferred to 
baskets, sacks, or pots. The termites for the most part take 
wing during several successive days, or else at intervals in bad 

To my great relief, Bohndorff's anxiously-awaited arrival took 
place on February 27th. " Lady" was the first, late one evening, 
to announce his approach by a friendly whimper, while he was 
still a long way off. Presently Dsumbe entered and told me 
they had crossed the Welle without accident, and readily found 
carriers for their few effects. Bohndorff remained for the night 
on the way, while Dsumbe hastened forward to report the news, 
which caused great rejoicings amongst our people. Early next 
morning he returned with Farag 'Allah and Belal to Bohndorff, 
who soon after made his appearance in excellent health, and with 
the glad tidings that his mission had proved successful. 

I will not here touch upon the geographical results of his 
expedition, as I had later to visit the same northern region 


myself. I ma}' state, however, that he carefully surveyed the 
route, and the working up of his materials occupied several 
hours of my time during the following weeks. He had gone, as 
arranged, from Badindc across the Werre and through Yapati's 
district to the Deleb zeriba, the chief Nubian settlement in 
Rafai's domain. But Rafai himself was absent, and his people 
were too mistrustful to take charge of my things, so that 
Bohndorff, according to arrangement against this contingency, 
pushed on three days farther west to Zassa's, and consigned the 
reserved loads to his care. Thereafter Bohndorff returned by a 
more westerly route southwards to the Werre, and so on to the 
Welle through Zassa's vassal lands, where his present itinerary 
was connected with that of his previous expedition to Kipa's. 
The next stretch brought him eastwards to A-Madi Land, 
where exaggerated reports of my losses by pilferings induced 
him to hasten forward to our trysting-place. 

Hitherto no change had taken place in our relations with the 
A-Barmbos. Hearing nothing further from the A-Mesima 
people or from Basingebanno, on March 3rd I sent thither 
Dsumbe and Belal with more presents. Their report confirmed 
my suspicions that Basingebanno had never sent us any 
messengers. My servants were also badly received, the A- 
Mesima threatening even to put them to death should they ever 
again venture to show themselves there. Thus vanished my 
last hope of perhaps getting through with a few loads to 
Bakangai's by the aid of the A-Mesima, I was also frustrated 
in my intention first to send most of the things back to the 
station in A-Madi Land. Yet some place of safety had to be 
found for the loads before I could carry out any other plans. 

Mambanga himself now began to betray his real motives. 
He openly complained of my wishing to return, his main hope 
being that help would after all come from the north, and that 
perhaps men with fire-arms might be stationed with him, in 
which case he would make short work of the A-Barmbos. At 
the same time he regretted, while wishing to keep me, that he 
had not sufficient supplies for all of us, suggesting, however, 
that I might send the A-Barmbo chiefs as many rods as I 


wanted bunches of bananas from each, that being the way 
paramount lords dealt with their vassals. Such a step, which in 
any case would have had no result, I of course declined to take, 
being particularly anxious to avoid everything that might cause 
offence to the A-Barmbos. 

Yet, at this juncture, my sorest trouble was undoubtedly the 
food question. Bohndorff had replaced the servants who had 
run off at Ndoruma's, with three other lads, so that we had now 
nine servants and five girls to provide for. There was still a 
good store of dried bananas, and sweet potatoes were also pro- 
curable. Every day the girls also gathered some of the wild 
meluchia {Corchorns olitorhis), the boiled leaves of which form 
a favourite accompaniment to the native porridge. I preferred 
the wild meluchia (pimpernel, or " Jews' mallow ") even to the 
variety cultivated by the Nubians ; it also grows to a much 
larger size, especially in moist depressions, and might serve as a 
valuable article of. the export trade. But we were running short 
of our staple food — corn — so that I could only allow a little 
maize and telebun to be baked every other day for myself and 

Meanwhile our people had erected another hut for Bohndorff 
and a few smaller ones for themselves, and I also had a spacious 
verandah constructed for my work. But all was open to the 
wilderness, at some distance from any settlements, plantations, 
or banana groves, and close to our huts the prairie grass was 
now already several feet high. The absence of any enclosures 
produced an uncomfortable feeling of insecurity, although the 
traveller gradually learns to regard with indifference what may 
at first have seemed dangerous. 

There was some justification for Mambanga's assumption that 
help must come from the north, and I was myself driven to 
look in that direction for aid, after all my efforts had failed to 
bring relief. There was a probability of Osman Bedawi's passing 
this way on his expedition to Bakangai's ; but many months 
might pass before that happened. On the other hand, Zassa 
was soon to visit his vassal states, when he would come to the 
Welle. Hence I relied exclusively on Zassa and his people to 

^ i 


rescue us from the snare into which we had fallen. But he also 
might postpone his expedition, unless informed of our critical 
position, and I therefore decided at once to send him messengers. 
I despatched Dsumbe for one of his dragomans stationed with 
the A-Barmbos north of the Welle, and on his arrival I learnt 
that but for Zassa's support the Embatas would cause me 
much trouble. This w^as another reason for communicating with 
Zassa, so the dragoman went back on March 9th, accompanied by 
Dsumbe. I kept the matter secret, and gave out that Dsumbe 
was gone to fetch a long-expected postal despatch from 
A-Madi Land. 

By a lucky coincidence what was stated merely as a pretext 
proved a reality, for Dsumbe actually brought some letters from 
Europe when he returned on March 12th, with several drago- 
mans from Mbittima's station. Since September of the previous 
year, when I was encamped with Zemio on the Welle, no home 
news had reached me ; but the feelings awakened by such 
incidents are of too personal a nature entirely to enlist the 
reader's sympathies. 

A despatch from Gessi caused some anxiety, for it brought 
the first news of the terrible disaster on the Bahr el-Ghazal, with 
the certainty that the work begun by him would have to be 
continued by other hands. I learnt at the same time that the 
administration of Mangbattu Land had been transferred from 
Gessi to Emin Bey, governor of the Equatorial province. 
Dsumbe further reported that my dragoman had continued his 
journey from Mahmud's station to Zassa's. Still, according to 
every calculation, it would take at least a month before the 
expected aid could reach me. 

Meanwhile our commissariat difficulties increased. The 
attempts to purchase supplies failed chiefly because the natives 
had no standard whereby to determine the value of their 
produce, hence made such absurd demands that our enraged 
servants mostly returned empty-handed. Having too large a 
household for present requirements, I sent off four boys and 
two girls with Farag 'Allah to Mahmud's station. They were 
followed later by my cook, Saida, whose intolerable attitude 



towards the natives had often annoyed me, and who was now a 
confirmed invahd. 

So passed weeks of weary expectation, their monotony 
broken only by fresh rumours and diverse trifling episodes. 
Repeated reports came of Zassa's arrival at the Welle, where, 
however, he could get no boats from the Embatas to cross over. 
The A-Barmbos doubtless suspected that I was expecting his 
arrival, as on former occasions also he had reached the Welle. 

Once Dsumbe fired at an antelope, whereupon all the Zandehs 
ushed up fully equipped for war, supposing we had already 

i ^i''^' 


come to blows with the A-Barmbos. Amongst the A-Madi it 
was even given out that we had already been " eaten up," the 
rumour circumstantially adding that I had been simultaneously 
pierced by four assegais. Farag 'Allah, who at the time was 
staying at Mahmud's, was terribly startled, and at once hastened 
with four dragomans to the river, whither he was to be followed 
by Mbittima, and even by Masinde, to take the field against the 
A-Barmbos. Later he learnt that it was all lies, and on March 
2 1st came to tell me all about the scare. 

As I have already remarked, the rainy season begins in these 
southern lands much earlier than in the north. Here a short 



interval of several fine days in the first half of March was 
followed by frequent and heavy thunder-showers. Such tropical 
storms as I often witnessed in A-Barmbo Land seemed to me 
overwhelmingly grand, for Nature here revealed herself in her 
full might and majesty. The massed clouds, ranging from 
gray-blue to deep black, roll up menacingly, and are often 
preceded by a light foggy wall of dense vapour, which seems to 
press sheer upon the spectator ; and this lighter mass of haze 
drives incessantly before the storm Fury, whose approach is 
heralded by a wild roar. Then, without an instant's delay, I 
would call upon our people to quench the camp-fires ; for my 
long experience in tropical lands had taught me how urgent 
was the danger, and how easily at these times the huts may be 
enveloped in flames. 

But the gale, nearly always from the east, has already rent 
the light volumes of vapour, and then fall the first heavy rain- 
drops, or else the tempest rolls away to the west without 
discharging any rain. But soon the whole firmament is again 
overcast with the darkness of night, the hurricane whirls round, 
streaks of lightning resembling strings of pearls flash from 
every quarter, the storm rolls back, the peals of thunder grow 
louder, and at last the lowering welkin discharges a torrential 

During the last days of March the chase yielded us an 
abundant supply of meat. Farag 'Allah and Dsumbe had 
taken to hunting, and one day returned late, with the aid of 
some natives, dragging along sundry parts of a young buffalo. 
The capture had nearly cost Dsumbe his life, for the beast had 
knocked him over in the tall grass of a depression, and was 
about to make for him again, when a lucky shot from Farag 
'Allah arrested its career. A part of the spoils had been given 
to the A-Barmbo in return for their help, though this did not 
prevent them from stealing more on the way back in the dark- 
ness. Still there remained a good supply, of which I reserved 
for myself the brain, the tongue, and the feet. Some was also 
bartered on reasonable terms for corn, the natives evidently 
estimating flesh at a higher rate than my wares. 



In case Zassa should come to the rescue with carriers, I 
intended to send most of the things with BohndorfF back to 
Zassa's, and then await the arrival of Osman Bedawi in A-Madi 
Land, in the hope of still reaching Bakangai's under his escort. 
In the hope of getting tidings of Osman and Zassa I again sent 
Dsumbe to the A-Madi ; but all he brought back was the 
unpleasant threat made him by the A-Barmbos to cut ofif our 
road to the river. 


Thus our troubles were daily increased, my own people adding 
to my worries. Even Farag 'Allah disappointed me, though he 
had been years in my service. I had given him Saida as a wife 
at their joint request, and conferred many privileges upon him ; 
yet he was often so troublesome that I had even threatened to 
discharge him. 

For a change I seized the opportunity of trying to throw out 
a feeler in the direction of the south. One day Mambanga 


introduced a person ostensibly as an envoy from Bakangai. I 
may incidentally mention how this Zandeh lordling attempted 
to maintain his dignity on the occasion of this visit. I had on 
principle for some time back discontinued offering him a chair ; 
so one of his lieges had to serve the purpose with his lap, 
on which Mambanga gravely took his seat. The envoy now 
represented that Bakangai knew nothing of our being here. 
Thereupon I showed him some of my things, remarking that 
many were intended for his prince ; I even gave him a few 
trifles for Bakangai, although attaching little credence to his 
statements. Anyhow this last attempt to open communication 
with the south was no more successful than the others. 

At last, on April loth, came the welcome news from Mahmud's 
station that Zassa had reached the Welle. But my anxiety was 
at first rather increased, for what I dreaded had actually 
happened. On the one hand, the Embatas refused Zassa's 
people the boats to cross over ; on the other we were threatened 
by the A-Barmbos, who feared that Zassa intended invading 
their territory. Their ill-feeling was at first directed against 
my servants, whom I had at once sent off to bring about con- 
certed action with Zassa. They blocked the way to the Welle, 
and were so menacing that my men had to return in all haste, 
although escorted by some of Mambanga's Zandehs. 

Mambanga himself was highly delighted at Zassa's arrival, 
hoping that all his ambitious plans would now be realized. 
Thus we stood between two, or rather three, fires, and we felt 
that our rescue depended entirely on a wise and resolute action 
on the part of Zassa. Any rash movement, such as an attempt 
to force the passage of the river, might have the consequence of 
exposing us to the full fury of the A-Barmbos. I trusted, 
however, that their well-known dread of our rifles and revolvers, 
a common topic of conversation amongst the people, would 
prevent them from openly attacking us. All available fire-arms 
were now produced and kept loaded for any emergency, and on 
inspection I found that we had over one hundred and twenty 
shots at our command to meet a sudden onslaught. 

While I was meditating a personal visit to Zassa, two 


messengers unexpectedly arrived from him. They had been 
allowed to pass through without molestation, whereas it was 
reported beyond the river that my servants had been killed. I 
immediately sent back the messengers to warn Zassa against 
any rash step, and not to cross the Welle without the consent 
of the A-Barmbos. Fresh envoys now arrived from the river, 
amongst them the son of Senu, with whom Zassa had meantime 
made blood-brotherhood. They wanted to know whether Senu 
was to ferry over Zassa's people or not. This was, of course, 
merely a way of asking for presents, which they received with 
instructions on their return to explain to the A-Barmbos that 
Zassa's people were coming only to bring away my effects, and 
would not cross the river against their wish. Zassa himself, 
however, secretly asked for a supply of percussion-caps, which 
I sent him, so that he might be ready for any contingency. 

Fresh alarms were now started by Mambanga, who pretended 
to have positive information that the A-Barmbos, who had been 
watching Zassa's movements from their side of the river, had 
withdrawn with the intention of falling upon us. Consequently, 
we all kept vigilant watch throughout the night of April 13th, 
which, however, passed without any disturbance. 

Next day more messengers from Zassa brought us some 
bananas, as it had been reported to him that we were in great 
straits for food. On Zassa's arrival at the Welle, the Embatas 
had crossed with their boats to the opposite side, and Senu's son 
alone plied to and fro in a small boat as intermediary between 
both parties. It was evident that the Embatas were acting in 
concert with the A-Barmbos. But a decided change for the 
better occurred on April 14th, when another messenger from 
Zassa arrived, in company with many Embatas and Senu him- 
self, who reported that the A-Barmbos were now willing to 
convey my loads to the Welle. But I demurred, having already 
been warned by Zassa against this course. I spoke very firmly, 
pointing out that my life might be sacrificed, but the A-Barmbos 
should understand that Osman Bedawi would soon arrive, and 
also that a brother of mine was on the way down stream, and 
then they would all be ruthlessly destroyed. This last pill 


A 7.ANDEH. {Draivu by Fr. Rheinf elder, from a photograph by R. Buchia.) 


was aimed specially at the Embatas, who were somewhat over- 
confident in the possession of their boats. 

Meanwhile, Zassa had ventured to send me thirty of his 
carriers accompanied by a party of Embatas, all of whom passed 
through unmolested by the A-Barmbos. A day or two after 
their arrival, Bohndorff got away with a first convoy of thirty 
loads, returning next day from Zassa's camp. After they had 
started, many A-Barmbos came and also offered to act as 
carriers to the river. But I again flatly declined their services, 
and in a long speech made their mouths water at all the fine 
things they had lost by obstinately avoiding me, either through 
senseless fear or evil intentions. 

Then out came all the musical instruments, but only a few 
tantalizing notes were doled out from each, while I kept up a 
running commentary on what they had missed, particularly in 
the way of presents which I had brought specially for them, but 
were now forfeited through their ill-advised action. Then I told 
them how amongst other Negro peoples even the women 
approached me fearlessly, how their children sat on my knee 
and received shiny beads ; this was for the benefit of a number 
of A-Badungas who had gathered round with their wives and 
children, while I was holding forth. 

The somewhat crestfallen people now began to collect from 
all quarters, even swarming up the trees to get a sight of me. 
Many assured me that had they known and heard all this before, 
they should certainly have visited me ; nor did they harbour 
any hostile intentions at all, but on the contrary were rather 
afraid of me. Next day more came squatting round, making 
themselves comfortable while satisfying their curiosity with all 
the wonderful sights. 

On April 17th I managed to send off another batch of 
fifty-two loads, and this was for me the pleasantest way of 
celebrating the feast of Easter. Two days later more carriers 
from Zassa enabled me to forward all that remained. But at 
this peaceful issue Mambanga presented a doleful picture ; for 
him it meant the shipwreck of his amicable views with regard 
to his A-Barmbo neighbours, and he could now only hope that 


perhaps Zassa might be persuaded by me to leave him the 
protection of a few soldiers. 

April 20th saw my final release ; yet it was with mingled 
feelings that I quitted the inhospitable place, where I had passed 
over two months in a kind of imprisonment. It was pleasant 
enough to get away from these frail huts, which threatened to 
collapse with every storm, and leave behind me all cares and 
troubles about our daily bread and ev^en our very lives. But, on 
the other hand, it was bitter to reflect that this enforced retreat 
thrust further and further into the background my cherished 
hopes of visiting Bakangai. During this very retreat the A- 
Barnibo still held aloof, only a few here and there venturing a 
stealthy glance as we passed. Yet a time was coming when we 
were destined to become better friends, and till then a detailed 
account of this people may be deferred. 

The aspect of the Welle had much changed since February. 
The flat rocky ledges at that time showing above the surface 
had now vanished beneath the swollen stream, which during 
the last few days had risen ten feet, I crossed rapidly over and 
rejoined Bohndorff in Zassa's camp, where I now gave myself 
up to the repose so much needed after the strain of late events. 
The very star-lit sky seemed brighter, and Bohndorff seemed to 
think that the air was really better than in A-Barmbo Land. 

My servants, who had been temporarily stationed with 
Mahmud, were already returned. I now learnt that Morjan, 
who had all along caused so much trouble, had abstracted 
several things, such as knives, scissors, and presents for the 
chiefs, all of which were hidden away at the station in A-Madi 
Land, As a warning to others he got a sound thrashing, and, to 
prevent his bolting, a yoke was placed on his neck until Zassa 
could hand him over to the authorities at Dem Soliman. 

Saida, being quite incapacitated for further work, received a 
grant of money with recommendations to Khartum. But 
having later recovered her health, she preferred remaining in the 
Bahr el-Ghazal province, where, thanks to her culinary skill, she 
obtained a good appointment. Some arrangement had also to 
be made with Farag 'Allah, who had been heedless of repeated 



warnings, and who, as a married man, aspired to the ambition of 
founding a home amongst his Mondu kindred in Makaraka 
Land. So he received his discharge with one hundred and 
fifty-two dollars, and I at the same time dismissed Belal, thus 

reducing my establishment 
to the Mangbattu (Dsumbe), 
the Dinka (Farag), and the 
Zandeh (Rensi), besides my 
maid-servant Halima. 

All the other young persons 
of both sexes accompanied 
Bohndorff to Zassa's land, 
where he was to found such 
another station as that at 
Ndoruma's. I still adhered 
to my plan of waiting in A- 
Madi Land for a favourable 
opportunity of visiting the 
southern regions. Farag 'Al- 
lah and Belal, who wanted 
to make their way through 
Ndoruma's to the Bahr el- 
Ghazal, continued with me 
as far as A-Madi Land. 

I was grieved to part with 
Farag 'Allah ; but here again 
I saw how loose after all 
were the ties by which the 
Negro was bound to the white 
man ; how easily he loses his 
balance, if prematurely ad- 
vanced to a position of trust 
above his fellows. I was later informed that Farag 'Allah 
bitterly regretted his rejection of the conditions on which I would 
have consented to retain his services. He had learnt the cares of 
housekeeping. Nor did he even long enjoy the sweets of freedom. 
Instead of going to Makaraka Land, he remained in the Bahr 


FRO}r xdorumjvs through a-madi land. 355 

cl-Ghazal province, where two }'ears later he perished with so 
many others at one of the stations surprised by the rebels during 
the Dinka revolt. 

Zassa had full claim to my gratitude ; but for his aid we 
could not have escaped, and I now rewarded him with diverse 
gifts. At his request I also willingly made some presents to 
the follow ers of the new vassal chiefs, Berissango and Ngabia, 
who had accompanied him. 

With Bohndorff I made all necessary arrangements for a long 
separation, and left in his charge the greater part of the loads, 
retaining only about fifteen for myself. On April 24th I 
continued the return journey to A-Madi Land, while Bohndorff 
and Zassa a few days later struck northwards for Berissango's. 

Towards the end the Embatas avoided us, and Senu, who had 
not shown himself when I crossed over, could not be persuaded 
to \'isit me. I did not then foresee that I should be again 
brought into contact with these people, and should later even 
recover some of the stolen things. 




Mahmud's Station — Intercourse with the Natives — Mbittima's Jealousy — Removal to 
Alazindeh's— Intercourse with him — Ancient History of the A-AIadis — Harvest 
time and produce of the countiy — Chimpan^ee hunt — Oracle apparatus — Dancing 
of A-Madi Women — Comparison of A-Madis with otlier Tribes — Letter from 
Casati — ^Journey to Hawash Station — Eastern A-Madi Territory — Welle Scenery 
— Arrival at Hawash Station. 

AFTER parting with Zassa and Bohndorff, I arrived at 
Mahmud's station on April 24th by the road traversed the 
previous February. I was in good spirits, having got rid of my 
chief worry — the forwarding of my bulky baggage This was 
purchased at the sacrifice of every comfort, and I certainly did 
not foresee that I should be sixteen months without my things. 
My business for the moment was to wait, in order not to miss 


Osman Bedawi's expedition to the A-Madis. So I waited and 
waited in vain for months, until it appeared, to my no small 
disgust, that on account of recent occurrences no expedition 
would be sent that year to Bakangai. I made arrangements for 
a prolonged stay at the station, and hoped to obtain news of 
Osman Bedawi through messengers; but the timid Bongos, 
whom this zeriba life had made very lazy, refused to go to 
Ndoruma. Farag 'Allah and Belal also remained for weeks at 
the station for want of travelling companions. For me a period 
of stagnation set in, though by no means one of quiet, the 
screaming of the babies rocked on the knees of their affectionate 
Bongo fathers, and the quarrelling amongst the people made 
itself painfully evident. The few soldiers in the station were 
always grumbling at the stay amongst the A-lMadis and under 
Mahmud, of whom they often complained to me, though they 
themselves were constantly getting into mischief. They set fire 
to the dwellings of the intimidated and defenceless chiefs for the 
merest trifles, and even carried off their wives and children, who 
w^re kept as slaves to the Bongos if not released at a high 

The number of our soldiers was increased by one whom Zassa 
had left with Mambanga-Zandeh at his earnest request, and who 
speedily took refuge with us for fear he might be murdered by 
the A-Barmbos, some of the dragomans quartered with different 
A-Barmbo chiefs north of the Welle to look after Zassa's interests 
having lost their lives. Yango, Mangu, and others of the southern 
A-Madi chiefs, who had formerly endeavoured to maintain their 
independence against Mbittima, also came to me and provided 
m.e abundantly with the produce of their district — for instance, 
maize, which being sown early in the damp valleys, was already 
ripe, and the first gourds. So many guinea-fowls were shot near 
our camp that Mahmud and Mbittima got some of them, not 
to speak of my own people. A buffalo, which had been shot by 
Dsumbeh, and found later, formed a further addition to our 
larder, and its dried flesh kept a long time. 

]\Iazindeh, whose relations with Mbittima continued strained, 
had sent me honey and other provisions, and offered to despatch 


a messenger to Osman Bedawi. This strengthened my resolu- 
tion to quit Mahmud's station and await the still-expected 
arrival of Osman with Mazindeh, for the disorders in Mbittima's 
district soon disgusted me. My attitude to him was once 
for all cool, and my friendly intercourse with all his rivals 
aroused his jealousy. When sufficiently well provided, it 
was a pleasure to entertain the chiefs who had come to me 
from a distance, a hospitality which the pride of the Nubians 
towards the natives forbids them to exercise. Consequently the 
chiefs considered it a distinction, and greatly appreciated it. 
On such occasions I sometimes, went so far as to sacrifice a box 
of sardines, or such like, that they might taste our dainties, and 
such an event became the current topic of conversation through- 
out the district, especially as the favoured ones often asked to 
take some to show their wives and others. 

About this time Zemio appeared again on the Welle, and even 
crossed it, staying in the territory of Buru, the friendship with 
whom he had strengthened. Hearing the uncertain reports of 
my sojourn with the A-Madis, he sent a messenger to me. He 
returned again to the north, after arranging his affairs with the 
A-Barmbos, but this time the business did not go off without a 
skirmish ; Zemio assisted in an attack on som,e of the tribes 
at enmity with Buru, many of whom took refuge with the 

The /th of May was a memorable day in the monotony of my 
life ; it transported me to my home, where I took part in spirit 
in a family festival ; it was also the occasion of a happy event 
close at hand, the appearance of two fawn-coloured kids, followed 
the next day by a second pair. Unluckily an ass trod on one of 
our nurslings and killed it, but the other three got on famously ; 
and later I got milk from the goats, a welcome change in my 
unvarying diet. Every morning for the next month I enjoyed 
the veritable luxury of a glass of hot milk over a dish of lugma 
or Kisra bread. 

A great dispute arose with the chief, Nangu, before I left 
Mbittima's, brought about by a frequent cause of hostilities 
amongst the natives, a " Rape of the Sabines." Mbittima was 




the aggressor, and Nangu asked me to mediate. Whilst the one 
was making up his story the other attacked him. There was 
great excitement at the 
station, and no means of 
shutting out the tumult 
and noise. I kept my- 
self out of it though, 
especially as the first raid 
was unsuccessful. But 
soon the dragomans 
sallied forth again, re- 
turning at night laden with 
spoil, and relating with 
loud cries that some of the 
natives had been shot. The 
bandits had kidnapped 
some children and driven 
them bound together to 
the station, and they had 
brought away whatever 
they could carry — maize, 
spears, knives, small 
benches, and other house- 
hold utensils, even nets for 
trapping game. When I 
gave vent to my indigna- 
tion, Mahmud contented 
himself with remarking 
that the persecuted negroes 
were, as a matter of fact, 
fias batalhi, a bad lot. 

Disgusted at this spec- 
tacle, I determined to go 
over to Mazindeh, who had 
often sent me provisions, 
and who was delighted that 
I was now to be his guest. 

OIL-PALM {Ehcis). 


Mbittima and the people at the station did everything they 
could to keep me back, but in vain. My few possessions were 
soon packed, and the 2ist of May, on the arrival of ^Nlazindeh's 
carriers, I set out in spite of the pouring rain. 

Although it had rained frequently in A-Madi territory during 
the last few months, we were spared a soaking on this day, and 
I arrived at Mount Malingde by the old road ; this time, how- 
ever, going round its eastern side to Mazindeh's instead of taking 
the shorter road west of it. So we were obliged to spend the 
night at the foot of its southern slope, and went round the 
mountain next day, through the thickly-populated country of 
the North A-Madis, who are mostly subject to Mazindeh. Rich 
cultivated tracts, banana thickets, and oil-palms, v/hich I had 
noticed from the mountain heights, surrounded the huts of the 
natives in this district. I was now able closely to inspect these 
leafy retreats, for our way led us from one enclosure to another, 
situated often on a slope at the edge of a precipice, or 
bordering a noisy forest brook which runs round the hill for 
some way in a deep ravine to the right. I found Mazindeh's 
huts transplanted ten minutes' walk further away on the north 
bank of the Hekka stream. He came a long way to meet me, 
and I took up a temporary abode with him, having determined 
to superintend the construction of the new huts myself Mah- 
mud had accompanied me by Mazindeh's desire, to inspect the 
ivory collected for Osman Bedawi ; this business led to another 
long discussion, for the Zandeh chief had fresh complaints to 
lodge against Mbittima's subjects. K shield pierced by a spear 
was produced as corpus delicti, and a man appeared who had 
been surprised on the boundary of the two rival chiefs by 
Mbittima's people and wounded in the shoulder. 

The new settlement of Mazindeh and his relatives was situated 
on the gentle slopes descending to the Hekka, and there I also 
found a suitable place for building my huts near some shady 
trees and thickets, not far from the thickly-woven fringing wall 
of river vegetation. Everything needful was already at hand, 
and soon busy hands were at work under Mazindeh's personal 
superintendence, and in a few days I, with my people and 


animals, were established under a roof of our own. The trouble- 
some work of an enclosure was omitted, for I was always hoping 
that Osman Bedawi would arrive and our journey continued, 
but the space in front of the huts was cleared of high grass, and 
all around lay the new fields of the A-Zandehs, extending to 
the edge of the river. Near my hut was a small thicket, out of 
which I cut with my axe a natural arbour, a pleasant retreat 
from the sun's rays, in which I spent many a delightful hour 
alone. I found here three elephants' tusks, which Mazindeh had 
hidden. The chiefs often conceal their ivory in this way to keep 
it safe in case of attack, and also because they prefer bartering 
it piece by piece to parting with it all at once to the Nubians 
passing through. When they want to make quite sure they 
bury it in marshy spots. 

It soon spread to the western and northern territories under 
the chiefs subject to Zassa that I had taken up my quarters with 
Mazindeh. They were all dissatisfied with Zassa's government, 
and the two chiefs, Zirro to the north-west and Berissango 
on the west bank of 'the Welle, sent envoys to me. The 
former offered me ivory, and the latter proposed leaving his 
territory to emancipate himself from Zassa's jurisdiction. Thus 
these petty chiefs still laboured under the delusion that the 
object of the collection of ivory was to pay for the caravans 
passing through. If the ivory had been all, they would gladly 
have borne Zassa's rule, but all such expeditions were occupied 
with their own individual interests, and although Zassa and 
Zemio made their excursions independently of the Nubians, 
they were invariably the occasion of lawless acts of violence, 
the natives being robbed or even carried away, for Zassa also 
was quite alive to the value of acquired slaves. In short, it fell 
to my share to explain more fully to these messengers, and to 
others from different provinces who applied to me for protection, 
the administration of the Bahr el-Ghazal province, and to comfort 
them with the prospect of better times. Of course I did not in 
any instance accept of the ivory offered to me. 

At this time I received tidings of Bohndorff. He had reached 
his destination in safety with his luggage, and was engaged in 



laying out the station and a kitchen garden. Zemio had in the 
meantime quitted the Welle, and was staying with Palembata. 
Finally, Mazindeh sent messengers thither and further on to 
Ndoruma and Osman Bedawi, for there were rumours that 
Osman Bedawi was taking part in the war against Mbio ; as to 
whether this scheme was put into execution and what happened 


further I heard many contradictory stories, but nothing certain. 
]\Iy late servants accompanied the messengers to Ndoruma, 
though Farag 'Allah repented of his obstinacy on arriving at 
Palembata's, and would willingly have returned to me uncon- 
ditionally, as I was afterwards informed by Zemio. Dsumbe 
gave me every satisfaction, although he had only been in service 
a year ; he did his work far more carefully than Farag 'Allah. 


At this time, though without my knowledge, recourse was 
had again to the fowl oracle, and on my behalf. Mazindeh had 
an irresistible desire to gain in this manner unquestionable 
certainty as to my future fate. So the bcuiigc was adminis- 
tered to a hen who carried her malevolence towards me so far as 
to depart this life. Mazindeh was inconsolable, and hesitatingly 
informed me that my fate was sealed, and it was unfortunately 
beyond all doubt that I should lose m}^ life whilst with him, 
though, as the oracle had testified, not by the hand of his people, 
but through Zirro's or Berissango's. He and all his kin were 
bewildered when I made fun of this solemn warning and their 
superstition, and asked them rather to make me a present of 
their hen than to put life in danger at my cost, and then I should 
at least be sure not to die of hunger whilst with them. 

Many apes of different species made their home in the wood 
bordering the Hekke, baboons, Cercopithecus, and the Colobus 
Guereza ; one kind, with a blue face and white hair on its nose 
and cheeks, was very prettily marked. From my hut I often 
watched them springing from bough to bough in merry parties, 
or making daring inroads on the adjoining maize fields. The 
Negro boys would try to scare them with shouts, but there were 
always several who had managed to fill their pouches with the 

As soon as I had, with the aid of my followers, comfortably 
established m}-self in the new home at Mazindeh's, I supplied 
my servants with regular and useful emplo}-ment. I showed 
Dsumbe how to prepare skeletons, and after a time we success- 
fully mounted, not only specimens of small mammals, but also 
of the larger species of tropical birds. I endeavoured, too, to 
preserve the skins of mammals, though I had to be very sparing 
in the use of sodium arsenite, having had the greater part stolen 
by the A-Barmbos. So the skins were carefully cleansed from 
any remains of fat, and rubbed for hours with porous stone. I 
sent my followers out insect and butterfly hunting, and got 
together a good collection. Alas, the work and trouble were 
lost, for of all these things nothing reached Europe. 

Mazindeh often came to see me. He showed much interest 


on all subjects, and I used to tell him stories of civilized lands. 
His pertinent inquiry as to why we wanted all the ivory led to 
my telling him how the " Turk " Government 'the Egyptian 
Government is called " Turk " here) sold all the ivory to western 
lands, where it was made into all kinds of things ; and I showed 
him small articles made of ivory and horn, knife-handles, fittings 
of a workbox, &c. He was delighted with these valuable results 
of our industries, especially with my small collection of dififerent 
knives, in the bright blades of which he could see his reflection. 
On such occasions I always gave him something to keep, there- 
by repaying the gifts of my newly-acquired black friend. I 
also taught him other things within his comprehension, the way 
we till the soil, and that with us nearly the whole land is under 
cultivation, and that stones, roots, and weeds are carefully re- 
moved from the fields ; that in our woods no trees are felled 
without a purpose, and further explained to him the hunting and 
fishing regulations. Mazindeh listened to all this with the 
greatest interest, and often by his questions opened the way to 
the discussion of other points. I also endeavoured to extend my 
knowledge of the land and people, helped by Mazindeh and the 
A-Madi chief Burn, who must not be confused with the 
A-Barmbo chief of the same name. He was a rival of Mazin- 
deh's, only nominally subject to him. The relations between 
them were very strained, and Buru often complained of the 
government of a stranger. Mazindeh was feared rather than 
beloved by all the A-Madis, and soon after I left his rule in this 
part of the country came to an end. 

Buru often visited me, and I learned from him the following 
details of the former history of the country. The most ancient 
supreme ruler over the A-Madis of whom there was any account 
was Zilabi. He was followed by his son, Batinnepaleh, who was 
succeeded by Dundaleh, the contemporary of Bazimbeh, the 
grandfather of Ndoruma, it was by Dundaleh that the A-Madis 
were brought under the foreign rule of the A-Zandehs. The 
Mangbattus also attacked the little country at this time, and 
through internal dissensions a part of it became subject to the 
A-Madi chief Runsa. This man was still living in my time, 


though very old, but Kanninga had wrested the government from 
him ; and after that the internal feuds went on without interces- 
sion, while the inroads of aliens became a yearly visitation. But 
this belongs to more modern history, and has already been 
related by me. Let it suffice here to note that Buru was a son of 
Keaminga's. Two sons of Runsa, Ngurra and Bani, and a few 
other chiefs were still living in some state, but they stood like 
Buru, in a \acillating subjection to Mazindeh. The A-Madis, like 
the A-Barmbos, are sub-divided into a number of septs, which 
are often only distinguishable by their names. 

Thus passed the month of May. In the first days of June a 
tedious congress took place to decide the degree of punishment 
to be inflicted on an A-Madi for seducing a woman. The form- 
alities of the government officials of the criminal court were 
unenders. IMazindeh wished to punish the man according to 
A-Zandeh law, by cutting off a finger ; but Buru and the others 
appealed to me against this decision, and I decreed, as the 
superior court, that a number of spear-heads should be delivered 
to the owner of the woman, which atonement was willingly 
accepted. Just at this time I saw a man who had been punished 
a year previously by the loss of his finger and of another import- 
ant member. I examined the wounds and found only small 
scars — nature had proved a good healer, the sole remedy used 
having been hot water. The m.aimed man, who belonged to the 
territory ruled by the sons of the A-Zandeh prince, IMalingdeh, 
told me he knew about twenty men who had been similarly 

Shortly after this trial, I was myself the innocent cause of a 
punishment customary in the country. Mazindeh came to me 
one day in a great state of excitement, and declared himself in 
anxiety for my safety, as there was a magician in the neighbour- 
hood who bore me ill-will, but that he would have him found and 
put to death, for the monster had laid a spell on one of his 
women and seduced her. Before long this terrible wizard was 
discovered in the person of a wretched }-outh, hardl\- past 
boyhood. He hastened to me asking for my protection and 
protesting his innocence. Of course I took his part, and even 


threatened Mazindeh, but the youth lived in constant terror, and 
finally fled from the country. 

One of the most remarkable customs still practised among the 
A-Madis and the Mangbattus living on the Welle, is that of 
circumcision. My informant, Buru, could give no reason for it, 
and said that they had inherited it from their fathers. This 
custom is not observed by the A-Zandehs and the other northern 

These monotonous and uneventful days afforded me leisure 
for writing and sketching maps ; and I also sent letters to 
Europe, but my despatch from A-Madi Land of over one 
hundred pages was lost on the way. 

The one excitement was the false reports of all kinds which 
sometimes told of war. Occasionally the nugara was heard in 
the distance, but the enemies were mostly imaginary, or a 
quarrel had broken out, and after some noise among the men, 
was favourably settled. One night we were awakened by loud 
cries in the neighbouring huts. It was said that a leopard had 
broken in amongst the people. But it soon appeared that there 
was nothing more alarming than a family dispute in which some 
blows were given. The cry was raised on one occasion that the 
A-Barmbos from the Welle were marching against Mazindeh, 
and that some of them had been seen in the neighbouring 
wilderness. The war-drum was beat to collect the fighting popu- 
lation, who then marched about in Mazindeh's mbanga with 
many war-hoops. I had to be prepared, and passed the night 
fully dressed on my bed holding the instrument of death in 
readiness. At daybreak a few A-Barmbos of the A-Boddo tribe 
made their appearance certainly, but they were terrified fugitives 
who had concealed themselves in the wilderness, and now be- 
sought shelter. They brought us confused rumours of an inroad 
•on Prince Mambanga, who had been attacked by the Nubians 
in the eastern stations. Further they told us that the rest of 
their tribe had marched to Mambanga's aid, that they had 
refused to go with them, and that the A-Boddo women and 
children were now left defenceless. This was quite enough for 
Mazindeh ; he declared that the A-Boddos had kidnapped some 


of his relatives some time before, and marched with his troops 
that very day to make a raid on them. 

His departure enabled me to see something of his wives. 
These ladies lived in great awe of their lord, but as soon as his 
back was turned they came and settled themselves near me, at 
the same time assuring me that the chief killed any man with 
whom they were found. As a matter of fact, many an A-Zandeh 
pays not only with his finger but with his life for a trivial remark 
to the wife of a chief. 

Under the circumstances Mazindeh's raid was naturally very 
profitable, and the men returned next day with full hands. This 
success was celebrated in the chiefs mbanga with a great merry- 
making and dance. I must confess that I had my share of the 
blood-stained booty. Mazindeh knew my passion for collecting, 
and that I used to bargain for skulls of the natives. He there- 
fore had some of the heads of the A-Boddos who were killed in 
the onslaught prepared, and they were added to my collection of 
typical skulls, but I accepted only those about the origin of 
which there could be no doubt. I was not always successful in 
such quests, and the skull of a man who was lynched for a murder 
escaped me, his corpse being quickly disposed of by his relatives. 
The chief fruits of the raid were girls and women with their 
children. Mazindeh sent me about twenty of them next day, 
thinking I should be greatly delighted with a present of a very 
light-coloured Barmbo girl. Her skin was the shade of dark 
leather, which made the dirt on it the more perceptible. I kept 
the poor creature with my woman servant a few days to avoid 
mortifying my patron, but afterwards sent her back. 

Among those petty tribes of the black race which belong to no 
large community, such raids are innumerable ; and afford the 
best proof of the value of large states. They show also that 
kidnapping is not only practised by the Nubians, but that the 
catching and enslaving of their fellows is an old and deeply- 
rooted custom of the blacks. In such districts as have come 
permanently under their jurisdiction, the Nubian Arabs have 
exercised a good influence ; and, in their own interest, put an 
end to one of the chief miseries of Central Africa. In the centres 


inhabited by them, they have compelled the half-exterminated 
native tribes to live at peace with each other. In INIakaraka, for 
instance, such deeds of violence on the part of a single chief are 
unknown. Naturally the kidnapping of the women and their 
frequent voluntary flight are the chief subjects of discussion in 
the mbanga, and the occasion of endless strife and quarrels. 
Buru often complained of Mazindeh in this respect, and at the 
same time made similar raids himself on the pretence of re- 
covering runaway women. 

June had passed without bringing tidings of Osman Bedawi. 
The rainy months had brought all kinds of field produce to per- 
fection ; and afforded a variation in the monotonous banana diet 
of the Negroes. The maize (called mbaya by the A-Zandehs, 
a'bundo by the A-Madis, and endo by the Mangbattus) was 
nearly all ripe and gathered in ; being sown in different months, 
the time of harvest, seventy days after seed-time, varies. I often 
had half-ripe maize boiled and crushed, and then made into flat 
cakes of bread, which were thus rendered light and delicious. The 
sheaves of ripe maize are bound together with the outer leaves 
and hung in rows on large frames, thus forming high walls, 
which, being exposed to the air and sun, are thoroughly dried 
and protected from white ants. Smaller quantities of maize are 
hung in bundles on high trees and kept there to provide grain 
for the next sowing. In these parts the inhabitants appear only 
to cultivate one small species of maize ; the cobs are different 
sizes, sometimes streaked and sometimes entirely red. To the 
south of the Welle we shall find a tribe which cultivates a species 
of maize equal to our largest and best. 

Maize is one of the staple foods in the rainy months, and the 
Eleiisine comcana, the other grain chiefly cultivated in the 
southern lands (the telebun of the Sudan Arabs, monlu of the 
A-Zandehs, a'girro of the A-Madis, nyetyimbo of the Mang- 
battus) is sown in July, and cut after the rainy season with small 
iron rings, fitting the top of the right hand thumb and sharpened 
on one side. The durra {Sorghum vulgare) and dukhn {Peni- 
cillaria or better PenniscUnn iypJioideuvi) of the northerly and 
easterly districts, are not cultivated by the A-Madis. Hence, 


after the chief harvest, when the improvident Negroes have con- 
sumed the Elciisine corn, a period of famine sets in, until the new 
rains provide other nourishment. The chief resource then is the 
banana, which ripens more or less all the year round. There are 
other substitutes for corn — sweet potatoes, manioc (the a'bangbc 
and bavra of the A-Zandehs), and pumpkins. Three kinds of 
the latter are cultivated for food. The seeds of three other 
kinds are freed from husks and crushed to be eaten with the 
porridge. The smallest and one of the nicest kinds (A-Zandeh, 
bisanda) closely resembles our small rough melon, the pulp is 
of an orange colour, sweet, and when boiled mealy, not watery 
as in the larger kinds (bokko and nbellibo), which somewhat 
resemble our water-melons.^ The pumpkins all ripened in the 
rainy season, and the A-Madis had them in June or earlier. 
Though not so wholesome as vegetables, I learned to value them 
highly, as they were not repugnant to me when I was poorly or 
had lost my appetite, and they agreed with me, whereas bananas 
often caused flatulency. I generally had these pumpkins cut in 
thin slices and fried in fat, or stewed with chicken, guinea-fowl, 
or meat, or crushed and mixed with chopped meat, which was 
then made into rissoles and fried. My attempt to preserve 
pumpkins like the Julienne vegetables, by cutting them into 
small pieces and then drying them, was only partially successful. 
The preparation was fit for food, but not palatable. The other 
three kinds of pumpkins fdetiro, bogumbe, and pago in the Zan- 
deh dialect) were left in the fields till the seeds were collected 
sometime after the rainy season ; the seeds are sometimes large, 
with a rough gray husk ; sometimes small, smooth, and of a 
whitey-yellow tint. It takes a long time to free even a small 
quantity from the husks ; the women do this with their finger- 

' It may be mentioned that the genuine Upper and Lower Guinea. Schweinfurth 
water-melon {Cilriillits vulgaris) grows descril^es the fruit as sometimes oval, 
wild in several parts of tropical and South sometimes round, and as large as two 
Africa, though the fruit is jwor. Dr. fists. It is of a pale leather colour or 
Schweinfurth met with a gourd allied to quite white when ripe, with a smooth 
the water-melon, cultivated in banana thin hard rind. The white pulp is taste- 
thickets by the A-Zandehs and Mang- less but not bitter. The seeds when 
battus, the Citcmjieropsis edulis cogn. mixed with tobacco are said to produce 
which is also found on the Niger and in stupefaction when smoked. 


nails. Besides the kinds already mentioned, there are in all dis- 
tricts other gourds of every shape which are made into household 
utensils. Sesame (nbigpalla, of the Zandehs) is in this latitude 
sown in June, is in the blade in July, and is harvested after the 
rains. The A-Madis also cultivate ground-nuts {Arachis hypo- 
gcea, in Zandeh, wanda), and another kind of earth-bean ( Voan- 
dzeia siibte7-ranea, in Zandeh, a'bondu), which, however, is not so 
tender and palatable, and does not yield any oil. Here and there 
the lofty bamia {Hibisats esailaitus, A-Zandeh, mboyo) was 
cultivated, and this vegetable of the Hindoos and Arabs is indi- 
genous to most districts of tropical Africa ; at least it has 
not recently been introduced by the Nubians. The oil-fruit, 
Hyptis spicigera (A-Zandeh, ndakka), and the wild melochia^ 
(molumbidda, Corchorus olitorius and C. capsularis) should also 
be mentioned. The Hehnia hdbifera (A-Zandeh, menne) is a 
creeper which clings to the tree trunks. The tuberous roots and 
large air-balls attached to the base of the leaves are edible, and 
in taste and structure resemble our potatoes. The thick yams 
(^Dioscorca alata, A-Zandeh, mbarra) are also grown here, and 
the A-Madis distinguish them by different names according to 
their white or red colour. The bulbs and young leaves of the 
Colocasia are eaten. The Portulaca okracea (Arab, rijel ; A-Madi, 
asesera) grows wild like the Corchorus olitorius (Arab, melochia), 
and I often enjoyed it as a vegetable. 

The pulse variety most cultivated here is the Vigim sinensis 
(Nubian, lubia ; A-Zandeh, a'bagpa). This dwarf-bean has thin 
pods, four inches long, with small round gray-green seeds. The 
young pods can be prepared like kidney beans, and I ate them 
whenever I could get them. The lubia, so much cultivated in 
Egypt, varies but little from the tropical variety. Other beans 
are grown and distinguished by the A-Zandch as a'manzenzi, 
a'urro, and a'bangwa. The first two grow in low bushes and 
have russet and black beans ; the third (Phaseolus iunains), with 
black beans, is a creeper. The sugar-cane also grows in A-Madi 

^ It may here be mentioned that one to the SfercriliacccF, was chosen by Linne 
of the commonest marsli plants of tropical as the type of a genus, and the name may 
Africa, Melochia corchorijolia, l^elonging give rise to some confusion. 


Land. The hard covering^ is peeled off, and small pieces bitten 
from the inner part are sucked. The wax, with the white larvae 
often still in the cells, is eaten by the natives with the honey. I 
got some from the A-Madis in this state, and the honey had a 
bitter taste after it was boiled and cleansed. 

We come now to the tobacco plant {Nicotinua tabaaiiii, 
A-Zandeh, gundo). All the Negro races known to me cultivate 
tobacco more or less, though not all of them smoke. Only about 
a dozen plants are grown with great care in raised beds close to 
the huts. Large fields are not laid out, as the cultivation entails 
constant watching and great trouble, yet it is so highly prized 
that often before they are ripe single leaves are broken off, dried 
at the fire and smoked, generally with a mixture of charcoal. 
Thus, in these parts, one seldom finds a store of tobacco, Avhereas 
the people on the Rol, in Kalika, Latuka, and especially in 
Unyoro and Uganda, cultivate it largely. There it served as an 
article of barter, and sufficed to supply the Egyptian stations. 
During my sojourn among the A-Barmbos the tobacco I had 
brought with me dwindled down to the small quantity kept 
among my reserve stores. I had mixed the last of it with Negro 
tobacco, and from this time there was no other source from which 
I could procure the needful luxury. 

During my stay in the mountains with the A-Madis, I noticed 
amongst other things a frequently-recurring detonation, a long 
single report like the firing of a cannon, for which I found no 
explanation. Livingstone also remarks on this. The natives 
knew nothing about it, and, during my stay among the A-Barm- 
bos, they attributed it to the report of my gun. They innocently 
believe that a shot can be heard several days' journey off; 
Zemio's people, for instance, insisted that they had heard the 
shots in Soliman's war with Gessi at a distance of eight days' 
journey. This acoustic phenomenon invariably occurred at sun- 
set, when the sky was clear and no thunder-clouds were about ; 
the bare stone of the mountains often showed clefts, which 
appeared to have been made suddenly, and not to have been 
formed gradually, and the rapid change of temperature and 
sudden cooling of the stone may account for this and explain 



these detonations. This naturally brings to mind another 
sounding stone in Africa, the statue of Memnon. 

The dark river forests of A-Madi Land are inhabited by the 
chimpanzee also. I persuaded Mazindeh to get up a hunting 
party to catch the young ones alive with the help of nets, and 
after two days' search traces were found of a colony of eight or 
ten chimpanzees. The men laid nets all round the spot and then 
withdrew and beat the nugara drum in the distance. The apes 
took fright at this, and climbing down from the trees, took to 


flight. They were clever enough to raise the nets and slip 
under them ; and almost all escaped in this manner. One old 
female alone left a young one close to the net ; she came back for 
it, but at the approach of the men f^ed to her nest in a tree, and 
Dsumbe and Mazindeh, who sent some dozen shots after her in 
vain, declared that she was bewitched. The young one, a male, 
was handed over to me ; he was only a few days old. The pro- 
portions of the body were those of a human foetus of six months ; 
the features like those of a very old man, a peculiarity of young 


chimpanzees. The hair was much thicker on the head than on 
the body, and the breast and stomach quite bare. The httle 
thing kept stretching its hmbs to find its mother and seeking for 
nourishment. When held in my arms it was quiet enough, but 
whined and cried the moment it was put down. I tried to rear 
it with one of my goats, and it soon took greedily to her milk, 
and afterwards would sleep day and night wrapped up in a cloak 
in a basket. Little Tom, as I called him, took plenty of milk, 
so that I hoped to rear him ; but he died in the second week. As 
the last work of affection, I with my own hand prepared his 
skeleton for the collection. 

I now resolved myself to watch the chimpanzees in their 
hiding-places, and sent out scouts to discover their new retreat. 
Next day, receiving satisfactory intelligence, I set out immedi- 
ately with the guides for the place, which lay to the north. 
After following a narrow footpath for an hour, we turned off to 
pursue the course of a stream through the pathless underwood of 
a lofty forest. The luxuriance and strangeness of some parts of 
this wilderness defy description ; it is quite different from the 
ordinary primitive river forest. In some places, for instance, the 
high growing trees entirely disappear, or the forest is replaced 
by thicket and bush, out of which single giant trees rise here and 
there, such spots being covered with a thick impenetrable web of 
creepers. This mass of vegetation stretches out horizontally, in 
large waves occasioned by the varying height of the bushes and 
trees, a labyrinth of green hills and moist valleys. This wide, 
continuous, half- hanging carpet of Nature's weaving stretches 
from the crown of a tree over the undergrowth to the ground, 
rising again in a wavy line to the next bush, falling once more to 
climb by the help of undergrowth and rotten tree trunks until 
it covers even lofty trees. Only single threads cf this wonderful 
carpet reach the crowns of the forest giants, from which isolated 
creepers appear to strive literally to reach the sky. One may lie 
down on this hammock without any fear of its giving way ; 
its elasticity and durability are proved by the difficulty of break- 
ing through it on the march. It only spreads in the open damp 
spots on the bank of the river ; in the eternal twilight under high 


trees standing close together, it lacks the light necessary for its 
growth. Here, also, strange types of vegetation like thick ropes 


climb to the high tree tops and approach to the light, but with 
offshoots or foliage, until, in the air and sun, they gather 


strength to cover the boughs with a dense green mantle. These 
small arbours in the tree-tops are the favourite resorts of the 
chimpanzees. Lower classes of animal life also divert themselves 
in these airy heights. Many kinds of ants climb to the very tops 
of the trees, and their nests, skilfully constructed of clay or of 
leaves and lime, and looking like imitations of small barrels^ 
hang on the boughs in all sizes. 

Passing on under the high trees and through the brushwood and 
undergrowth of this river forest, we at length arrived at the last 
halting-place of the chimpanzees. But they had already made 
their escape, although the men had surrounded them during the 
night with watch-fires ; only one old male had hidden himself in 
a natural arbour in the tree-tops and could hardly be seen. How- 
ever, with a happy shot I brought him down several yards, but he 
caught hold of the lower branches, trying to hide again, and was 
only brought to the ground after several shots, the last having 
pierced his heart. 1 he nests of the chimpanzees are woven of 
broken branches and foliage in the tops of the highest trees in 
spots sheltered from the rain, from which it may be concluded 
that they are not covered in at the top. A favourite food of the 
chimpanzee is the round brown fruit, as large as a head, of an 
enormous tree of the bread-fruit species {Treculza, A-Zandeh, 
pusso). It contains one thousand seeds the size of a bean, and 
the apes carry it on their heads walking upright. The men had 
not succeeded in finding the escaped animals, and so I hastened 
back before nightfall. The specimen we shot was a full-grown 
male, a very old one, as could be seen by the grizzled hair on the 
lower part of the back ; only the head was still quite black. 
The colour of the hair enables us to tell the age of the animals, 
but it doubtless accounts for the native idea that there are white 
chimpanzees. When dissecting him I was struck by the extra- 
ordinary size of the gall-bladder. The flesh taken from the 
bones was consumed in Mazindch's mbanga, but I preserved the 
skin and skeleton. 

Towards the middle of July some messengers came to me from 
the leader of a government expedition south of the Welle, who 
had heard that I was staying with the A-Madis. I asked him to 


send men who understood Arabic, that I might hear more about 
the expedition, and on the 23rd of July these arrived with a nu- 
merous following. I now heard of all that had been going on in 
Mangbattu Land during the past months. I will merely mention 
here that war had been made on the Mangbattu chief Mambanga, 
and that Hawash Effendi, an Egyptian officer, had, with the 
regulars from Makaraka, founded a station close to the A-Barmbo 
chief, Buru. The campaign against Mambanga was not yet 
concluded, and knowing my relations with the chief, Hawash 
asked me to come and use my influence with him. I was told 
further of the arrival in Mangbattu of the Italian traveller, 
Captain Casati, and of the rumours that an expedition was coming 
up from the south, and on its way making war on the Akkas. 
Hawash's embassy consisted of a dozen armed dragomans and 
forty A-Barmbo soldiers, led by a certain Nezim. Its approach 
having been previously announced to me, I asked the chiefs to 
have provisions in readiness for these guests. The excitement 
in A-Madi Land was naturally great, and the distrust still greater. 
This, however, soon gave way to curiosity, and when the messen- 
gers made their ceremonious entry, the elders of the A-Madi 
were present with their kin, and Mazindeh paraded his entire 
armed force, himself leading his little band, which marched 
seveial times in a circle round the guests. Then followed a great 
assembly with addresses and national songs, each party trying 
its best in friendly rivalry to outdo the others in screaming. 
The songs of the A-Barmbos were solemn and melodious, and 
whilst singing, one would spring to another, giving him a 
brotherly hand-shake. 

I could not accede to Hawash Effendi's request that I should 
join his people forthwith, for I was still hoping for the return of 
the messengers despatched to Osman Bedawi. In the meantime 
I sent him word that I should probably visit the station later. 
During this visit there w^ere often tedious discussions with 
Mahmud and Mazindeh about the station at Mbittima's. The 
Bongo dragomans were continually bringing some fresh accusa- 
tion against the chief, many of which were doubtless to be 
ascribed to foolish fear, suspicion, and superstition ; but the 



people were kept breathless with unfounded reports of planned 
attacks, quarrels, poisoned drinking-water, disputes about stolen 
and runaway women, &c. &c. Mazindeh fanned the flame 
aeainst Mbittima, and urcjed Mahmud to remove the station to 

him, partly to oblige Osman Bedawi, and still more to get the 
control of the A-Madis into his own hands ; however, finally 
things remained as they were. 

I must here say something about the way in which justice is 


administered here. First of all, an explanation of the Bcnge 
poison so often mentioned, by means of which fate was ques- 
tioned. Whilst with Mazindeh I saw the experiment of giving 
the Benge to the person suspected of witchcraft instead of to 
a hen. He died of it, and was found guilty in accordance with 
the popular belief; if he had lived it would have freed him from 
the imputed crime. The accompanying cut shows the apparatus 
which, despite its harmless appearance, holds the balance between 
life and death. It resembles a plaything of our children, in 
which a number of small wooden bars cross one another in such 
a manner that by pressing two of them together, the length of 
the whole is increased. The bars of this portentous plaything of 
the Niam-Niams are attached to each other by threads, so that 
it is never steady, but when held perpendicularly, inclines to one 
side or the other. An imperceptible movement of the hand 
suffices to give this small wooden trellis the wished-for inclination 
towards the right or left ; and on this depends the sentence of 
fate, " guilty " or " not guilty." The A-Zandehs call this appar- 
atus " Bagara muyeh" (Come, little wood). The rascal who 
manages this instrument pretends that he incites it with this 
appeal ; it is astonishing that there should be faith in this hocus 
pocus, the fraud being so clumsy and palpable. Another divining 
apparatus of the A-Zandehs and the A-Madis, the Ifna, consists 
of two pieces of wood ; the upper, having a handle, is rubbed on 
the lower, which is shaped like a small bench. The surfaces are 
planed very carefully, and the sentence of the accused depends 
on whether they are made to adhere or not by rubbing them 
together and pressing out the intervening air. 

The July rains were now over, and the end of the month was 
so far satisfactory that it brought me fresh tidings of Bohndorfif, 
and with his letter a dispatch from Khartum and Europe — the 
third since I had left Khartum. But I waited in vain for news 
of Osman Bedawi that would enable me to make my journey to 
Bakangai. Remaining for a long time at one place may be fatal 
to a traveller ; for it weakens his energy and injures his health. 
Most of my attacks of fever and illness have occurred in the 
pauses between the journeys ; whilst on the march I was gener- 


ally well and in good spirits. Protracted spells of idleness in 
one place make one prone to useless brooding and fancies ; at 
such tiirres my mind would be haunted b}^ the most paltry trifles 
and my brain would follow out every foolish detail. Memory 
sometimes took me back to the earliest years of childhood, and 
even in sleep my brain busied itself with things that never before 
occurred to me. 

Meanwhile they had been at work in the fields, and later in 
Mazindeh's mbanga. New ground was prepared for cultivation 
close to the old, many of the subjects taking part in this work 
according to custom. And these tasks completed, the ruler 
invited his people to the usual merry-making, in which dancing 
and singing with much feasting and more merissa-drinking were 


{From a drawing by Schweinfurlh.) 

kept up for several days. The women busied themselves brew- 
ing the ever-popular Negro beer from telebun malt ; the men 
went hunting to provide meat, if it might be, for the feast. The 
hunt, with nets laid in the high grass, was certainly not very 
successful, but a few of the small yellow antelopes {A)iti/ope 
madoqud) were brought back, and in the absence of anything 
better, many other kinds of meat, more easily obtained and of 
questionable origin, found their way to the pot of the careful 
housewife. I do not positively assert that the merry-makers 
were rejoiced by partaking oi Jiovia sapiens (though the A-Madis 
are cannibals on occasion), but there were certainly any number 
of small monkeys in the neighbouring wood, and rat and mouse 
catching is a favourite and profitable pastime of the masculine 


youth. The boys employ for this purpose small ingenious traps, 
which are in use far around. They are about a foot long, with 
large meshes, the opening being the size of a mouse's hole and 
gradually diminishing to a point. Small thorny twigs are set on 
the inner side of this funnel, the thorns being pointed towards 
the thick end. The mouse runs in without hurting itself, but 
cannot get back as the thorns stick into its skin. A small rodent 
of wide range, the Golunda barbara, occurs here also. It abounds 
chiefly in the Atlas, and seems to have spread from Kordofan, 
where Brehm discovered it, over the Nile region and to Central 
Africa. The trunk is four inches long, the tail about four and a 
half, the beautiful skin of a golden brown colour with regular 
stripes of a deep brown running the whole length. I collected a 
large number of these field-mice, stretching their skins on small 
boards to dry. 

The festivities in Mazindeh's mbanga lasted several days, and 
the last was celebrated with special solemnity, several chiefs from 
a distance being present. I contributed by making all sorts of 
small presents to Mazindeh and his followers. The dancers, 
among whom women and children mingled, were the centre of 
the merry-making. The dances of the A-Zandehs differ in 
rhythm from those of the A-Madis, so that they were executed 
alternately and in separate groups. What most struck me 
in the dancing of the A-Madi girls, which consists merely in 
tripping round in a circle, was the way they threw their head.s 
backwards and forwards by turns, the muscles of the neck being 
entirely relaxed, and this with such rapidity and zest that I was 
astonished alike at the suppleness of their necks and that the 
girls did not fall down from giddiness. The heads of the A-Madi 
women have certainly more to do in the dance than the legs. 
Some old women certainly contented themselves by keeping 
time with their feet, but the young ones rivalled each other in 
madly twisting their necks about. The old gentlemen sat round 
meanwhile in groups and ladled the quickening draught out of 
an enormous earthenware bowl with small calabashes. This bowl 
was replenished from time to time from peculiar reservoirs which 
seemed to contain an inexhaustible fountain. These wonderful 



beer-troughs, ov^cr a yard hii;h and considerably exceeding half 
a yard in diameter, would hold their own with barrels of stately 
proportions, and yet were made merely of a piece of bark with 
a wooden bottom, and looked not unlike hollow tree stumps. 
The join of this large bark cylinder is sewn, and the bottom is 
attached in the same way, the crevices being stopped up with 
pitch. These large vessels have to be filled and emptied where 
they stand to prevent their falling to pieces. The natives make 
similar objects in all sizes and with lids to them, reminding one 
of the bark snuff-boxes of the peasants of northern lands. They 
serve instead of chests and drawers, and are used as travelling 
trunks by the chiefs. I had some of them in my African 

As time brings the different races more into communication, 
the more striking differences in their manners and customs 
disappear, and the wars and nomad tendencies help to do away 
with any contrasts among the black races. Despite their differ- 
ent origin, their way of thinking and feeling and the instinct of 
self-preservation are almost identical, so that any differences are 
rubbed down and only few individual traits remain to distinguish 
the various tribes. This is the case with the A-Madis. Out- 
wardly they are in many respects the same as the surrounding 
tribes, and in build and colour are akin to the A-Zandehs, but 
lack the strong muscles of their northern neighbours. The 
A-Barmbos are a shade darker. The manners and customs of the 
A-Madis are influenced by the A-Zandehs on the one hand and the 
Mangbattus on the other. I have already pointed out that their 
huts are built with conical roofs and with gables. Many of them 
wear the head-circlet of the Mangbattus, whose w^eapons and 
armour, especially the large wooden shields, are also used, together 
with the simpler weapons of the A-Zandehs. The A-Madi wood 
and ironwork is certainly inferior to the Mangbattu, but this is 
accounted for by their having been constantly at war. Thus, in a 
few generations, the A-Madis have lost most of their individual 
traits, and often the colour, build, expression, mode of dressing 
the hair, and even the shape of the skull are insufficient to dis- 
tinguish the races. Their dialect is the most trustworthy guide 



in classifying them correctly ; it shows the degree of relationship 
between the different races. There is one other token which 
often suffices to characterize a race when other distinguishing 
features have disappeared, namely, the national ditties, which are 
retained longer by a people than any other peculiarity ; and 
these also afford a good standpoint from which to determine 
and classify the black races. The native ditties of the Africans 
are certainly far from being songs in the ordinary sense, but the 
few constantly-recurring and often melodious strains, the recitative 
rhythm and cadence, are so distinctive, that the difference in the 
ditties of separate races strikes the ear. This individuality is 

often stamped on the Negro dances also. 
At the first glance the dances of different 
races seem often much the same, but 
closer observation shows that they differ 
much in rhythm and beat, and in the 
attitudes and motions of the limbs. 
Thus a comparison of the races in 
question, A-Zandehs, Mangbattus, A- 
Barmbos, and A-Madis, shows that in 
these respects the differences are con- 

Mazindeh had at this time been mak- 
ing raids on some A-Barmbo tribes 
living near the Welle. Ever eager for 
gain, he took advantage of every loophole, and was always ready 
with what he considered a sufficient pretext. For instance, on 
hearing that the Embata chief, Bamadsi, was wearing a coat that 
had previously been stolen from me, and that a locked tin box of 
mine was also in his possession, Mazindeh was anxious to march 
against him, but I prevented this. The chief used to do as 
seemed good in his own eyes, and afterwards try to justify these 
expeditions to me. But he was open-handed, and distributed the 
booty and the captured women and girls amongst his subjects and 
the dependent chiefs. This is customary, and the men are there- 
fore ready to take part in these marches. A raid of this kind 
was undertaken in the second half of August, and the spoil of 

A-MADI. {From a drarving 
by Schiveinfiirth.) 


women, girls, and children was divided in a general assembly. 
Here again I emphatically assert that such acts are committed 
here and .elsewhere without any incitement from the Arabs and 
Nubians, and that the common idea that the Arabs alone prac- 
tise slave-stealing is mistaken, and can only arise from an ignor- 
ance of the state of things in Central Africa. To attack this 
undeniably sad state of affairs with the weapons recommended 
of late by those at a distance, and unfortunately adopted by 
credulous philanthropists, is a grave error, and impedes the civiliz- 
ation of Africa. It is quite clear that a custom which has been 
deeply-rooted in the black races for centuries is not to be done 
awa}' with in a moment by fire and sword. Although at present 
the Arab element is the only one attacked, it will be found in 
executing the scheme that it is impossible to keep it separate 
from the African, since both are alike guilty. The blow will fall 
most heavily on the Negro, who is incapable of comprehending 
sudden innovations, such as the abolition of slavery. He will 
require considerable education before he can see that under 
happier conditions he may lead a more comfortable and worthy 
existence by abstaining from enslaving others. Until he is more 
familiar with European culture, these hasty measures will only 
awaken his distrust and increase the distance between him and 
the white man. To pave the way to such improvements, it 
will be necessary first to occupy the land permanently with mili- 
tary stations belonging to civilized states, such as those of the 
Congo State, and meanwhile to permit house-slavery and make 
vassalage compulsory. Of course I am not advocating the ex- 
port trade in slaves, the suppression of which would gradually 
put an end to house-slavery. In a word, the bought slave should 
be confiscated, but the relations of the natives to their chiefs 
should not be interfered with, and work should be compulsory in 
Africa as military service is in other lands. Complete freedom 
ought, as I think, to be the crowning of the work of culture in 
Africa, and granted to the Negro only after he has passed through 
an intermediate educational stage. Every experienced African 
traveller will say the same. 

My comfort had not been increased by the departure of my 


Khartum cook, Saida, and I ceased to look for culinary works of 
art. Halima, who now held my fate in her hands, showed more 
good-will than knowledge of the noble art of cookery. So I had 
to give her lectures in gastronomy and illustrate these with 
experiments, sometimes taking an active hand in the preparation 
of dishes, and thus in time she came to be a modest substitute for 
the incomparable Saida. In one matter only she was a born 
genius, she knew how to make excellent flat bread cakes (kisra), 
and this was always the foundation of my table. This kisra 
bread tasted especially good among the A-Madis, as I ate it 
soaked in hot milk early in the morning. 

The prospect of proceeding with my journey had become more 
hopeful. The messengers I had despatched to Bedawi had not 
returned, and I had received no news of him from any other 
source, and had at length sent Dsumbe with fresh messengers 
to Ndoruma, where he was, who were also to bring tidings as to 
how the war against Mbio had been proceeding. But a few days 
after his departure more envoys came from Hawash Efifendi, 
bringing a letter from Captain Casati, who was in Tangasi, and 
who expressed the hope of meeting me at Hawash Station. This 
decided me to depart, the more so as Hawash pressed me to 
come, and the messengers said that Mambanga was still at war 
with the garrison ; besides, I had given up hoping in Osman 
Bedawi's journey to Bakangai for that year. Dsumbe was to 
follow us on his return, and Hawash's messengers, a soldier 
named Dembeh-Dembeh, who accompanied me on some of my 
journeys later, and some of Buru's A-Barmbos, remained with me 
till I set out. Of course Mazindeh and the A-Madis bewailed 
my determination, for I had become for them a supreme tribunal 
and an umpire to whom they brought their small differences for 
settlement. The chiefs would often come to me and ask for "a 
good saying " and " sweet words," and then listen eagerly to my 
advice and carry out my injunctions. At my instance the main 
roads in the district were cleared of high grass, and intercourse 
was made easier for the people. They feared that when I had 
left fresh disagreements would arise with Mbittima, and even 
that Zassa, who had formerly made war on them, might attack 


thcni again. I calmed their fears with the promise that I would 
return, and left some things in Mazindeh's charge, part of my 
collection, bleached skulls, bones, and skeletons, ethnographic 
objects, and seeds of indigenous plants. The beetles and butter- 
flies I took with me to keep them aired. My pair of goats I 
entrusted to Mazindeh, and was obliged to take farewell of my 
ass from Sawakin for ever. He was worn to a skeleton and 
devoured by vermin, and so perished. I had him washed with 
tar-soap and even shaved in vain. As a rule asses are not 
attacked by vermin, and are free from the ticks which infest dogs 
and attach themselves to the hairless parts of goats. Possibly 
the mischief was caused by poorness of blood, resulting from un- 
suitable food ; he had served a long time under conditions foreign 
to his nature. 

My small amount of baggage was soon in readiness, and on 
the 28th of August, 1881, I took my departure after three months' 
residence with Mazindeh, taking on this occasion a south-easterly 
route that I might see the eastern part of A-Madi Land. I 
touched on the Welle several times, and made acquaintance with 
the A-Barmbo tribes situated north and east of it. Some of their 
chiefs were on friendly terms with Mazindeh, and had heard of 
my journey. Our goal, Hawash Station, lay due east of Mazin- 
deh's ; but a direct route would have led me through large tracts 
of uninhabited country, w^hereas the circuit towards the south 
took me through cultivated land. 

After leaving the familiar ground on the southern slope of 
the Malingde mountain, we passed through the territory of a 
number of small chiefs, and reached our halting-place at the 
A-Madi elder's, Bakkara, in the afternoon. In our march we 
crossed the upper part of the Tong, probably the most important 
stream in A-Madi Land, and its confluent, the Ha. Although it 
was some distance from their confluence with the Welle, they 
were ten yards broad and very high owing to the rainy 

Mazindeh and the A-Madi chief, Buru, accompanied me to 
Bakkara's, who had recently been a vassal chief of Mbittima, but 
nevertheless now swore allegiance to Mazindeh's standard. At 


Mazindeh's request I remained the following day, to allow his new 
subjects time to give us greeting, his chief anxiety being that I 
should strengthen his new authority by showing him distinction, 
and praising his powers and virtues in the presence of his subjects. 
I gratified him, thus lengthening my stay by several days. The 
men were at variance, too, as to our further route, but an end was 
put to this by the arrival of the A-Barmbo elder, Manda, of the 
A-Mangli tribe, on the Welle, who gave me an invitation, and so 
I asked to take my leave. But first the high grass on the path 
had to be cleared away, and so my departure did not take place 
till the 1st of September. 

Bakkari's district lay on the border of A-Madi Land, and our 
way to the next halting-place at the A-Mangli chiefs, Bau, laj- 
through a wilderness, which surrounds the A-Madis with a broad 
girdle and separates them from the A-Barmbos who live on the 
Welle, where it makes a bend to the north, the A-Madis confining 
themselves to the hilly centre of the territory. Gradually the 
ground assumed the character of the broad undulating plain 
through which the water flows south-west towards the Tong. 
Mount Lingua vanished from our sight, and Mount Angba to the 
south became more distinct. The streaming rain drenched me to 
the skin, and we had to wade breast high through a brook that 
had overflowed its banks, so that on arriving at Bau the rest of 
the day was spent in drying our clothes. 

Curiosity brought many visitors next day ; and I made an 
excursion with Manda to his district, although it took me out of 
my way, and I had to come back to Bau again. But I was 
repaid for my trouble, for I saw a magnificent river landscape, 
such as one seldom meets in Central Africa. An hour and a 
half s march southwards brought us to Manda's huts. The river 
district is thickly populated by the A-Mangli division of the 
A-Barmbos, and many people joined our march. I thought of 
the miserable, solitary life I had led in the midst of the East 
A-Barmbos ; but their conscience did not trouble them, and after 
the first diffidence had worn off, I saw more of them than I 
cared for on this journey. 

On the further side of Manda's huts the ^round rises consider- 


ably until, close to the Welle, it falls precipitously at an angle 
of 45°. The precipitous banks are here surrounded by a girdle of 
lofty trees, and the thicket and brushwood extend down to the 
foot of the cliffs, which rise 150 feet above the water and 
afford a fine view. The stately river flows towards the south- 
west, and the islands in its course make its breadth considerable. 
The largest island visible from here, called Tota, is in the middle 
of the stream, and from above one can see the Welle beyond 
its southern bank. The second island, Paali, joins it on the 
south-west, and another small one extends from Tota towards 
the north-east. These islands rise like emeralds above the silver 
surface of the magnificent stream, the further bank of which was 
also bordered with stately trees. Various shades of green shim- 
mered in the shrubs and groups of trees on Tota and Paali, the 
bananas with their large and beautiful leaves being lightest, and 
cottages and huts showed picturesquely amid the dense verdure. 
A sunny heath stretched over the A-Mubanga district on the 
other side of the river, the monotony of it being relieved by the 
winding Hues of vegetation bordering the brooks and small 
streams. The view was closed in the south by the tabular 
mountain Madyanu, and the distant A-Barmbo Land, which dis- 
appeared in the horizon. The view to the east and west was 
shut in by the trees of the precipice, which made a picturesque 
frame for the sunny prospect which long held me enraptured. 
The islands and banks of the Welle are populated by the Emba- 
tas, and one of their elders, Erruka, governs Paali. Some 
A-Mazillis also live on the banks and have boats. Erruka left 
his isle of paradise on my arrival and crossed over to me. The 
interview took place near Manda's huts, and I obtained a good 
deal of information about this part of the country. The absorb- 
ing topic of the day was the newly-founded Government station, 
and Erruka had sent messengers to Hawash Efifendi to intimate 
his friendly disposition. 

It may here be mentioned that the high shooting bamia 
{Hibiscus esailentus) is largely planted here, and I had a con- 
siderable quantity of it collected whilst staying with Manda, 
another proof that this vegetable is cultivated in districts not 


subject to Arab influence. The people also brought me presents 
of tobacco, sesame, &c. 

Heavy rains surprised us on the return march to the Bau, and 
the forest morasses and dripping trees did their part towards 
drenching us ; but on the excursion I had found good points for 
taking angular measurements of the mountains lying behind, and 
these data had been of practical value in constructing the maps. 

The A-Manglis offered to clear our further route of grass, so I 
decided to lengthen my stay at Bau, especially as the daily rains 
prevented the roads and grass from drying. I had a visit from 
another chief from the " Islands of the Blessed," as I am tempted 
to call them, for the inhabitants of the Welle islands are happy 
above others, and as safe as a mouse in its hole. Few besides 
themselves possess boats, so that they are in little danger of being 
attacked, and are protected even from the wild animals. The 
narrow limits of their home keeps them more united than the 
tribes on the mainland ; they can shut themselves in and lead a 
life free of care. This makes them arrogant to their neigh- 
bours on the mainland. I learned from the island chief, Nyeki, 
that between Bau, whose huts were at some distance from the 
river, and Erruka, there was another group of inhabited islands, 
Kisakeddi, Bugge, and Manziggo, and that there were no other 
islands further up the stream except Mabangi, the little one to 
the north, at the place where I had twice crossed the Welle. 

Whilst thus extending my knowledge of geography, my 
thoughts often flew northwards ; for the last papers had an- 
nounced that the third International Geographical Congress at 
Venice was to be opened in those first days of September, and 
I loneed more than ever to be in the cradle of transmarine 
enterprise, where so many of my friends and colleagues were 
now assembled. 

The continuous rains delayed our departure from Bau till the 
6th September at midday, when we took our course towards the 
north-east. Now and again we caught glimpses of the Welle, 
until we finally lost sight of it, together with the last A-Mangli 
habitations. We now came to the dwellings and cultivated land 
of the A-Boddo division of the A-Barmbos, but many of their 


huts were forsaken, having been phmdered shortly before by 
Mazindeh, as the reader will remember. The small streams we 
crossed were all tributaries of the Welle ; we encamped on the 
last of these, the Burwa, in the ruined huts of the A-Boddos. I 
stopped in the open, as was my habit when we spent the night 
near dirty, tumbled-down huts, for as soon as the natives leave 
them all kinds of vermin take up their abode there, and some- 
times serpents make their nests in the roofs. Only the rain 
drove me under cover. I never used a tent in Equatorial Africa* 
as a solitary traveller can always make friends with the natives 
and use their huts at night. There is plenty of building material 
too, so that huts can at any time be made more easily than in 
other parts of the continent. A well-made Negro hut is prefer- 
able to the best tent, the straw-roof affording greater protection 
against both rain and heat. 

News from Hawash of a fresh attack on the station by Ma- 
mbanga, which was repulsed with a heavy loss among the natives, 
caused me to hasten my march in the hope of inducing Ma- 
mbanga to make peace. We reached the Welle next morning, 
but the owners of the boats had fled owing to the troubled times, 
and we could not cross till Erruka's men, who happened to be 
near, lent us their boats. We had great difficulty in getting my 
ass across ; the boat and the animal swimming close to it were 
both driven to another difficult landing-place. Then we had to 
wait for the porters, and finally starting again, we had a tiring 
piece of work to get across the floods left by the Welle in the 
midst of a thick wood, where our path was hemmed by old tree 
stumps, roots, and branches. 

Hawash Station lies due east of the river. The more direct 
way led through unfriendly independent tribes, so that I was 
obliged to make a great detour to the north, following a bend of 
the Welle through the A-Bondus, A-Bangos, A-Megos, and 
other tribes already subject to the station. In this thickly-popu- 
lated district the dwellings were close to the road, and often 
large and well constructed, with gables like the Mangbattu huts. 
The news of my approach preceded me everywhere like a beacon ; 
the people streamed together and accompanied me from one 



homestead to another. I spent the night and the next day at 
Nieballo's, instructing the assembled crowd in their duties to the 
new Government, and exhorting them to keep peace and to 
devote themselves to agriculture. Some Arabs and soldiers 
came from the station to meet me, and I reached my temporary 
goal on the 9th of September, without any foreboding that the 
course of events would detain me there. From Nieballo's our 
way lay to the north-east. The streams were inconsiderable, but 
the last but one crossed before we reached the station boasted a 
small waterfall. Then followed a treeless grassy tract, where was 
an old earthw^ork of Zemio's, who had a few months before been 
besieged by the A-Barmbos, and being cut off from water, had 
caused a deep ditch to be cut to collect rain-water. Burn rules 
over a large portion of this territory, and Zemio and Hawash 
Effendi had made friends with him. Buru was a man of mark 
among his equals, many of the A-Barmbo tribes having recognized 
him as their leader ; and I remembered having exchanged presents 
with him when at Mambanga's. He now sent his forces to meet 
me with tokens of submission, and at the head of this numerous 
company I reached the station, the crescent banner waving a 
greeting to me from the flasf- staff. 




Reception at the Station — War with Mambanga — Hawash Effencli — Situation of the 
Station — Meeting with ^Mambanga — Return to Station — -At Mambanga's As- 
sembly — " Mapinge " — A-Barmbo chief, Bobeli — Casati's Arrival — Negotia- 
tions unsuccessful — Return to Station — Dsumbe's news and letter from Emin 
Bey — Casati leaves — Further negotiations with Mambanga — The Vulture Guinea- 
fowl — The Flattermaki — Mazindeh's Arrival — Mambanga declines Peace — Bahit 
Bey's Arrival — Mambanga's Flight — Entry of Troops — Preparations to leave 

I WAS received at the station with great honours ; the soldiers 
stood to arms, salutes were fired, and the curious of the neigh- 
bourhood waited just outside the settlement. After the first 
greetings, I was soon seated in the reception-hall, drinking honey 
water with abreh (dried kisra in water or water sweetened with 
honey is always offered by the Nubian Arabs to a traveller on 
his arrival), and once more enjoying sweet coffee. The hearty 


reception and clean, well-arranged station made a favourable 
impression on me, and I was glad to speak once more without an 
interpreter. Important events had taken place meanwhile in 
this tiny corner of Mangbattu which interested me more than 
any political revolutions in the civilized world. The story was 
as follows : — 

After my departure from Tangasi, the authorities in the 
Mangbattu zeribas had, in spite of my warnings, made prepara- 
tions for war and attacked Mambanga. The war had not yet 
broken out when Mambanga sent messengers and presents to 
me at Palembata's, but his spies had probably informed him of 
the intentions of the Arabs. Shortly afterwards Mambanga was 
attacked and driven from his barricade, where the administrators 
Abd-el-Min and Abd Allah established themselves. Elated by 
their victory, they soon made a sally and were struck down at 
the head of their men by Mambanga's troops. Only a few 
regained the barricade, and Nezim,the dragoman whom Hawash 
had sent to me at Mazindeh's, led them under cover of night 
back to Tangasi. Mambanga had captured about forty guns, 
and the Government had lost others in an attack on the Momfus 
in the East. The governor, Emin Bey, in whose jurisdiction the 
province Mangbattu had been for a year, now sent Captain 
Hawash Efifendi to restore order with full authority and forty 
regulars. Hawash Effendi Montasir was an Egyptian officer, 
who had lived for years in the Negro lands, and was well up in all 
the matters of the Upper Nile, the Rol, and Makaraka Land. His 
orders were to recover the guns taken by Mambanga and to 
bring him into subjection to Egypt. Mambanga, however, 
managed to evade him, and in following him up Hawash came 
into A-Barmbo territory and even as far as Mount Madyanu, 
soon after I had, with Zassa's help, left the western district. Then 
came dissensions among the leaders, and some of the troops 
returned to Tangasi, but the A-Barmbo chief, Buru, had already 
been won over to the Government. A station was founded at his 
residence, and some of the A-Barmbos brought into subjection. 
As at this time those western districts were nominally also under 
Emin Bey's jurisdiction, Zemio received warning from Hawash 


that he was not to extend his expeditions beyond the Welle, 
which was probably looked upon for the time as the boundary 
line for the raids of the Bahr el-Ghazal and the Hat el-Estiva 
(Emin's equatorial province) governments, though there were no 
official instructions. The mistakes which naturally arose often 
led to arbitrary measures on the part of the officials, who fre- 
quently had to act without directions. But after Zemio left, 
the Mangballes, whom the reader will remember from my first 
journey to the Welle, retained their friendly disposition to 
Hawash. Their boats were of great service in establishing com- 
munications by water with Ali Station at the confluence of the 
Gadda and the Kibali, for Mambanga had in the meantime 
returned to his territory and cut off land communication with 
the eastern stations. He was well supported by the A-Barmbo 
tribes allied with him, amongst whom the chief Bobeli, a rival of 
Buru's, held a prominent position. Buru had removed with his 
men to the immediate neighbourhood of the station for safety. 
Many A-Barmbos lived there in wide-spreading villages, and 
joined in the attacks made by the soldiers at the station, the 
women and children with their goods and chattels taking refuge 
on such occasions behind the barricade. All this time Hawash 
limited his action to the defensive, his object being to come to a 
friendly understanding with the A-Barmbos, and in this he had 
in a measure been successful. But many of the tribes were 
influenced by Bobeli and held with him to Mambanga. Matters 
remained thus until, a few days before my arrival, Mambanga, 
with Bobeli and about fifteen smaller A-Barmbo tribes, made his 
attack upon the station. The enemy made many charges of a 
varied character with great boldness during the day. Some 
tried to get close to the station with firebrands, others dragged up 
a heavy wooden hook with a rope attached to it, hoping to find 
a favourable moment for pulling down the barricade with this 
instrument. I found this product of Negro ingenuity preserved as 
a trophy. Some incidents connected with Mambanga related to 
me showed a strange mixture of feeling and brutality. Shortly 
after I had left him in the previous year a boy with a very light 
skin was born to him and was called Hawaja (" Stranger," or 


better " trader," the common designation for all Europeans in 
Eo-ypt and the Sudan), because I had often been so called by 
the Nubian Arabs and my servants. This boy was Mambanga's 
favourite child, and he was so unwilling to have him out of sight, 
that in the last attack he had the child carried by his side 
exposed to the balls of the soldiers, so that at the worst he 
mio"ht die with his own flesh and blood. Less feeling is dis- 
played in the following act. After the massacre of the governors 
of the station, he sent Abd el-Min's head to the independent 
Mangbattu chief, Sanga, south of the Bomokandi, and one of his 
hands to the chief Niangara, to mark his triumph and as a proof 
of his having completely cleared the land of the detested Arabs. 
His attack on the station was not successful, and although the 
foolhardy men ventured in numbers close to the barricade, they 
withdrew in the evening. During the day 1800 cartridges were 
fired from only forty Remingtons, without counting muzzle- 
loaders. The guns in the hands of Mambanga's people had 
not much effect, as the Negroes did not understand how to use 
them and had no shot, so that the soldiers had few wounded, 
whilst the enemy lost over 200 warriors. The women and 
children from Burn's camp had been completely protected in 
the station during the fight. Some of the killed were dragged 
away, and others devoured by Burn's force in accordance with 
the custom of the country, proof enough that the A-Barmbos 
also are cannibals on occasion. 

The relations to Mambanga remained unchanged after the 
attack. There had been no fresh onsets, but peace was still a 
long way off, and it seemed to me useless to attempt negotia- 
tions through messengers. So I formed the plan of myself 
seeking out Mambanga on the strength of my friendly rela- 
tions with him, and of the faith he had already expressed in my 
ability to help him. I did not think there was any danger for 
me personally, though under the changed circumstances that was 
not impossible. Hawash consented to my scheme. The con- 
ditions to be offered to Mambanga were agreed upon, and a 
messenger found to carry my presents to the chief, and ask if he 
would confer with me. In that case I would come half-way to 



his camp to meet him accompanied by one servant and an 

Whilst awaiting his answer, I settled down for a long stay at 
the station, and in unpacking distributed among my neighbours 
many useful little articles. I even rejoiced them with some 
palm-oil, which in default of butter is, with sesame-oil, greatly 
prized by the Arab officials. The elaeis palm, which yields it, is 
only found in East Mangbattu Land ; it was scarce in Ma- 
mbanga's territory, and only occurs here and there further west. 
For this reason the palm-oil is sometimes imported carefully 
packed, and I had brought some from A-Madi Land to give to 
Hawash Effendi and others. 

I now also closely inspected the station. It was carefully 
planned and solidly carried out, standing on a broad flat height 
and surrounded by a strong palisade. At the four corners were 
projecting towers which commanded the sides. High covered 
balconies over the gates, east and west, served as posts for the 
sentinels. The ammunition was protected from fire in a ditch 
covered with hides and sheltered from the rain by a light straw 
roof which could easily be removed in case of fire. In the 
middle of the station was a large, well-constructed building for the 
daily meetings of the men. Burn and the A-Barmbo chiefs used 
to bring their benches thither to hear what Hawash had to say 
and receive his commands. He was very patient in his inter- 
course with the natives, and though a strict ruler, he knew how 
to gain their confidence. The space round the hall was free, and 
from it the soldiers' quarters extended to the palisade. The 
slopes outside the station were cleared of wood, and thus could 
be covered by fire from the walls. The weakest point was to 
the south-west, but here the temporary huts of Burn's men were 
erected at a distance of 200 yards. A lively and varied picture 
v/as offered by the small dirty huts closely huddled together, 
surrounded by the silent forest, which in places branches out 
from the river belt to some distance south of the Welle. 
Clearings have to be made in this wood for the huts and fields, 
and those made by Buru's A-Barmbos extended some distance. 
The wood shut out the more distant view from the hill ; I could 
VOL. II. D I) 


only see the mountains of A-Madi Land, but not the Welle, 
which flowed by, two miles to the north, at the very spot where 
I had first seen it on the journey with Zemio. 

The messengers to Mambanga returned next day, the I2th 
September, the chief sending with them some of his men, 
amongst them my former servant Adatam, who had brought me 
his presents to Paiembata's. Mambanga sent me a trumbash as 
greeting, with the message that he would come half-way to meet 
me as I had proposed. I sent my assent immediately, appoint- 
ing the desert between two streams as the rendezvous. Adatam 
and the messengers remained to accompany me next day. 
Many voices were now raised to warn me of my certain destruc- 
tion at the meeting with Mambanga. Burn had questioned his 
oracle, the " mapinge," and the answer was unfavourable to me. 
Even Hawash expressed his fears for my safety and tried to 
delay the meeting. I would not listen to any of them, and was 
ready at the hour appointed. It was ver}^ lively in the station. 
Hawash held long audiences every day, and after my arrival the 
crowd pressing to his assemblies was even greater, for everybody 
wanted to stare at me and my wonders. Buru and his colleagues 
gave expression to their joy at my arrival in the usual long-winded 
speeches, and in games and wild rejoicings. 

On the day of the meeting the looked-for messenger made his 
appearance and announced that Mambanga was on his way. 
The excitement was great, the people standing in hundreds on 
the hillside, but not a sound was heard as we marched off to- 
wards the east, and soon disappeared from their view. A mes- 
senger went on in front to tell Mambanga that I had started. 
His vanguards met me on the way, but turned back at once, 
evidently to tell their master that they had seen me advancing 
with their own eyes without any escort to speak of, and that 
there was no danger in approaching. At last I saw Mambanga's 
escort marching towards me in a long winding line. As soon as 
I reached them they lined the way, and I proceeded through their 
ranks greeted with demonstrations of joy. I noticed, however, 
that a number of the men went further, probably to see that 
no ambush was lurking near. Many an old acquaintance 


greeted me from the thick ranks of spears, and at last I stood 
bi'fore the dread ruler himself. I greeted him as an old friend, 
but he seemed ill at ease at first. It is difficult to say what he 
was thinking, but he at once expressed his surprise at my com- 
ing, and indeed, under existing circumstances, it was probably 
entirely beyond his comprehension. We sat down on the road- 
side, his escort surrounding us in a circle, with the guns taken 
fiom the Arabs bristling high above their heads. But the sun 
was already setting, and I proposed that we should spend the 
night there together. Mambanga would have preferred taking 
me to his hut, but he consented to my proposal, and prepara- 
tions for camping there were made whilst I sent to the station 
for bread and a blanket. But now Mambanga had a fresh fit of 
distrust and wanted to return to his hut. I represented to him 
how undignified his conduct was, and said : "Very well, he would 
not see me again ; " and shutting up my chair turned to leave, in 
spite of the heavy clouds and the thunder already grumbling in 
the distance. Then he gave in, and even went the length of send- 
ing all but a hundred of his men back to guard those left behind. 
Now the critical moment was over for me, and I looked on in 
peace at the men working at the temporary huts of banana 

Such a shelter was soon put up, and fully answers as 
a protection from the rain. First the framework of a gabled 
hut is made of small trees. The rafters going lengthways are 
supplied by the tendrils of creepers, and cross ones are unneces- 
sary. The banana leaves have to be arranged like tiles, so that 
the rain may run over them. A diagonal cut is made in the 
lower third of the leaf, and they are by this means hung sideways, 
one over the other on the liana lines, beginning with the lowest, 
the leaves thus filling up the space between one line and the 
next above it, the bottom third of the leaves on each line over- 
lapping the tops of those beneath. At the top of the gabled 
roof the leaves are bent in the middle so as to hang down on 
either side, and the loose leaves are kept from blowing away by 
liana lines stretched over them. 

Once safely under cover, the discussion with Mambanga as to 

recent events began. I tried 
to make him understand the 
advanta!:7-es of combination 
with the Government. I 
showed him how great the 
change for the better had 
been in recent times in the 
provinces, that the Nubians 
would stop plundering, that 
the Government would look 
after the interests of the 
natives, and that Hawash 
Efifendi had been sent to see 
that there should be fair 
play. I laid particular stress 
upon the condition that Ma- 
mbanga would not be pun- 
ished for the death of Abd 
el-Min and Abd Allah, but 
would continue to rule in his 
territory, and that his power _ 
and influence would be in- I 
creased, as with the help of 
the Government he could 
bring under his sway many 
of the A-Bisanga and A- 
Barmbo tribes at present in- 



dependent. To all this Mambanga replied again and again there 
was nothing he so ardently desired as peace, and that he would 
willingly deliver up the fire-arms and submit to the new Govern- 
ment, but — and to this he always came back — his fear and distrust 
was too great. He was afraid he would one day be assassinated, 
like so many of his relations, or that he would be kept in con- 
finement like Wando's son, Mbittima, who, however, had already 
been freed by Hawash and was now staying with him. 

The innate distrust of the Negro had in Mambanga's case 
been kept alive by frequent breaches of faith on the part of the 
Nubian Arabs, so that it was vain to hope that I could allay his 
fears in a few hours, though I left no means untried. The chief 
point was to persuade him to visit the station. I even offered to 
remain with his people as hostage during his absence. Then I 
proposed that we should enter into blood-friendship according to 
the native custom, and this certainly was hailed with enthusiasm. 
These negotiations went on until late in the night ; then Ma- 
mbanga went to sleep, while his men kept watch by turns. I 
spent an almost sleepless night on my chair tormented by a 
burning thirst, after the five hours' discussion, for no one had 
provided water. 

My first meeting with Mambanga was so far successful that he 
promised to go with me to the station later, on condition that I 
remained with him first for some days to allay the fears of his 
wives, as he said. Though laying little weight on his promise, 
I would not destroy this faint hope, and consented to his terms, 
first returning for one night to the station to make the necessary 
preparations. The extent of Mambanga's timidity and cunning 
may be seen from his having, on some pretext, sent messengers 
to the station on the night of our meeting to keep watch lest an 
attack should be made on him. Before parting, my friendship 
with Mambanga was sealed with the ceremony of blood-brother- 
hood. The chief sat opposite me. One of the men made a 
scratch on each of our chests near the heart, and squeezed out a 
drop of blood. We wiped this off one another with a piece of 
sugar-cane which we then chewed, afterwards blowing the fibres 
partly over the wound, partly down the neck, each at the same 



time repeating the points which led him to contract the blood- 
friendship, and which were to be kept sacred. At the end of 
each clause w^e solemnly repeated, " If thou dost not hold to this, 
may my blood destroy thee ;" a third person giving additional 
strength to this utterance by beating on some object with a 
stone. Mambanga spoke first, making a long string of con- 
ditions, after which I came to mine. My chief point was that 
neither Mambanga nor his people should make any fresh attack 
on the station. 


The extraordinary iormalities of friendship with a vein of 
diplomacy were carried out with fitting solemnity, and proved to 
me that the Negro is capable of theory, though his practice 
hardly carries it out. The conditions made were by no means 
of a material nature, but touched more or less on the ideal. But 
I felt the temptation to flavour all this earnestness with a touch 
of humour, and raising my voice, I spoke my last condition : 
" Great ruler, if I am to be content when I come to you to-morrow, 


grant my request for a basket of tobacco ; if you do not do this, 
well — you will be but a poor friend." My words were received 
with acclamation, for the unexpected turn from serious demands 
to a trifling request highly delighted the people. No further 
concessions could be expected from Mambanga for the present, 
so I returned to the station, where the men who had witnessed 
my departure in fear and silence received me with loud expres- 
sions of joy. Curiosity brought hundreds to see me; many of 
them pressed round me, and old Buru's face shone with delight 
as he pressed my hand. I ordered the A-Barmbos to go at once 
and clear some of the road of high grass for the next day. 

As I was relating my interview with Mambanga to Hawash, 
the signal w^hich sounds for war was suddenly heard at the place 
where the men were clearing the way. It is made by uttering a 
cry and at the same time tapping with the fingers against the 
opened mouth. The remaining A-Barmbos hastily stormed down 
the hill with their shields and spears, whilst the soldiers were 
called out and posted in front of the station. I angrily com- 
manded the men to be quiet, and declared it was a false alarm, 
bringing one of the busybodies who ran to announce an attack 
to reason with a sound box on the ears. The A-Barmbos soon 
returned laughing, and told us that Buru had raised the war-cry 
in order to effectually bring up the idlers who had loitered 
behind to help in clearing the way. 

I sent information of the peace that was being negotiated to 
the eastern stations, so that no untimely measures might be 
taken, and enclosed a letter for Captain Casati. This despatch 
was sent later from Mambanga's to Ali Station by road. 

On my setting out to return to Mambanga, the people were 
seized with a fresh panic, and Buru again foretold a catastrophe, 
having consulted his " mapinge," which maintained its ominous 
views as to my end. I went to meet my fate with a very small 
escort. My servant Dsumbe had not returned from Ndoruma, 
Farag and Halima the cook were suffering with swollen legs, a 
common and tedious complaint amongst the Negroes, and were 
disabled for weeks. But a small A-Madi, named Binza, had 
accompanied us on the last journey. The boy showed aptitude 


for his work, and accompanied me in all my journeys until I 
reached Zanzibar. H. M. Stanley took him with him from 
Zanzibar on the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition, with which he 
returned afterwards to the coast. Renzi and Binza were my 
only servants at that time, and Dembeh-Dembeh, who had often 
come to me at Mazindeh's with messages from Hawash, acted as 
interpreter at Mambanga's, 

This chief had now established himself about four hours' march 
south-east of the station, and three hours' march south of his 
settlement in the previous year. We crossed three brooks on the 
way, the dwellings of his subjects beginning on the further side 
of the last. Mambanga came to meet us, and offered me another 
beautifully-worked trumbash by way of welcome. I spent the 
night in a small gable-roofed hut, but the following days with the 
ch'ef, mostly in an open hall. And now the endless negotiations 
began again, the same old story in different words. Mambanga 
hardly spoke of anything but the doings of the hated Arabs, 
and gave small attention to my earnest warnings. He did not 
positively refuse any proposal, but would at first make no 
definite statements, and the question dragged on from day to 
day, while he pursued the veritable Negro policy, which does not 
know what it is aiming at. He often interrupted the discussion 
to speak of the most trivial matters or ask me for presents. 
Then I would tell him in plain words that his conduct was 
undignified and threaten him with the gravest consequences, but 
made some allowance for his bragging and recklessness and did 
not press him beyond a certain point. When he raised too 
many objections I would propose that we should divert ourselves, 
and after he had aroused the enthusiastic plaudits of his subjects 
by his grotesque springs as an accomplished cancan dancer, and 
I had joined in the flattering cries of " Mokua viviiiiii . . . ! " 
(Great and mighty Ruler) matters would go on smoothly once 

But he would renew his old requests, which were often foolish 
and utterly undignified. For instance, he had, in the last attack 
on the station, seen an Egyptian with a very light skin, which 
the people locked upon as something highly remarkable. This 



man's name was Omar, he had been punished for all kinds 
of offences, had served as a soldier, and was now a clerk. 
Mambanga insisted on entering into blood-friendship with 
liim. In vain I represented to him that this was entirely 
beneath him, and that, as a prince, he ought to enter into 
blood-friendship with Hawash Effendi only; he stuck to the 
point, and I finally sent to the station to appease his longing. 
This instance is proof that the native looks upon a white as a 
being of a superior nature. I was repeatedly asked to show 
them my feet and legs, and on this occasion I yielded to 
Mambanga so far as to allow the men to touch the soles of my 
feet, which appeared to them of such marvellous whiteness. 

The private hut of the chief lay hidden in the wood, at the 
edge of which a circle was formed by about twenty huts for his 
wives. Within this was the council hall, and the games were 
held close by. Mambanga generally disappeared into his 
hiding-place at sunset, and I remained for some time by the fire 
in the hall talking to his subjects, and learned in that way that 
he still retained a little son of Abd el-Min's, some female slaves, 
an angareb with covers and cushions, and other things as spoils 
of war. One evening some of Mambanga's wives and his sister 
came and sat with me round the fire. Some of them had been 
slaves among the Nubians and spoke a little Arabic. It is a 
custom of the Mangbattu rulers to keep one of their sisters con- 
stantly by them, who remains unmarried and looks after her 
brother's interests. That evening Vv^e laughed and chatted and 
the women clumsily smoked some cigarettes I rolled for them, 
listening now and again for fear of being surprised by their stern 
lord. Suddenly Mambanga's long figure appeared in the dusk 
and he gave the woman nearest him a slight blow on the shoulder. 
In a moment they had all disappeared, followed by Mambanga. 
Only his sister remained, saying that in such matters her brother 
had no authority over her. I prepared myself for a scene and 
the jealous reproaches of an aggrieved husband ; but Mambanga 
soon came back, saying he was only angry with his wives because 
he had sent three times for his dinner and not got anything. 
Whether he wished to conceal jealousy or fear of my growing 


influence, I do not know. In any case the men are strictly 
forbidden to speak to the wives of their chief, and he once half 
laughingly reproved me when I ventured to address them at a 
feast. Thereupon I described to him how at home we whirl the 
wives of others round in a dance, walk arm in arm with 
them, &c., illustrating it, to the great delight of the people, by 
taking the arm of the mighty ruler himself. 

To push matters on, I got Mambanga to convoke a great 
assembly of his subjects and the A-Barmbos allied with him. 
Horns and drums were sounding on the i8th of September from 
an early hour, and soon the troops began to appear. It was past 
midday when the last of the A-Bisangas and A-Barmbos from a 
distance arrived ; and until then the chief was invisible, having 
himself decorated and his hair dressed. On ordinary days this 
operation sometimes took place in my presence, he meanwhile 
stretching himself full length on a bank, whilst several women 
worked in turns at his wool with long ivory sticks. 

In the meantime those who had arrived collected branches 
and grass to make arbours or shady roofs, which formed to- 
gether a wide circle, and with the thousands of warriors presented 
a bright and curious picture. The proceedings were of the same 
nature as I have already described, only on this occasion there 
were more long-winded speeches than processions and games. ■ 
Bobeli, the dread chief of the A-Barmbos and Buru's rival, was 
also present, a long gaunt form, light in colour for an A-Barmbo, 
with a gray wrinkled face. 

By Mambanga's desire I made the first speech, standing on 
the clear space in front of the arbour, and uttering one sentence 
at a time, which v/as then immediately translated in a loud and 
distinct voice by Dembeh-Dembeh. I described my efforts to 
bring about peace, and represented the advantage of friendly 
relations between the natives and the Government. Then I 
invited them to come in peace and confidence to Hawash 
Station, assuring them that no one would be called to account 
for what had already occurred. 

Before the last words were out of my mouth, Mambanga had 
placed himself at my side and begun to demonstrate his side of 


the question, A long-winded story about Munza's time and how 
he with his brothers and relations had fallen in war with the 
" Dongotawi " (Dongolans, a common name for all Nubian 
Arabs) and " Bahara," and many had been murdered ; he never 
wearied giving vent to his bitterness against the intruders, at the 
same time declaring that he did not wish for further hostilities, 
but that Hawash had allied himself with Buru, who was now his 
slave. The one definite request he made was that the station 
should be removed to his territory ; all the rest was nothing but 
empty phrases to fill up the time. If, notwithstanding, his 
speech interested me, it was owing to the comic setting. All the 
time he was speaking a policeman sprang with the agility of an 
ape all over the place, commanding silence, though not a mouse 
was stirring, sometimes gabbling parrot-like the last words of a 
long sentence, or giving w^eight to the utterances of this illus- 
trious Demosthenes by a grunt. Other servile auxiliaries busied 
themselves unceasingly about their ruler, overwhelming him with 
small attentions. In the pauses of the speech were heard the 
far-sounding signal-horns, made of elephants' tusks, artificially 
lengthened to about three yards, and the cracked booming of 
large iron bells. 

Then some other chiefs spoke, Bobeli emphatically denying 
that the hostilities were any fault of his, and declaring likewise 
that he wanted no more war. The speeches were followed by 
war dances, in which Mambanga took part, hurling spears at an 
invisible ioz amid the acclamations of his people. The sham 
fight with the guns was still more effective and very comical. 
The men threw and caught the guns like sticks, pretending to 
fire now with the left hand and now with the right, and when 
some of the guns were really shot off, a dozen men near them 
fell flat on their faces, evidently in involuntary recollection of the 
bullets with which they had recently become acquainted in front of 
the station. I could not help laughing outright, and Mambanga 
stormed not a little at the cowardice of his people. War games, 
dancing, and speech-making thus continued alternately till the 
evening. Then a closing conclave of the chiefs took place in 
the obscurity of the wood near Mambanga's huts, at the spot 


dedicated to the " mapinge " oracle. I was also called to this 
special meeting, but my hopes that at last something was to be 
settled were not realized. The only point on which they were 
unanimous was that they would not continue warfare or make 
further attacks on the station. This was something gained, if 
they only kept word, for Hawash was short of ammunition ; but 
I made a strong effort to persuade them all, especially the morose 
Bobeli, to come to the station. 

Meanwhile my messenger returned from Hawash, bringing 
word that he would contract blood-friendship with Mambanga 
instead of Omar, and meet the chief half-way for this purpose, 
as I had done. But the Negro prince could not overcome his 
distrust, so nothing came of it. I was vexed, and pressed him 
for some definite decision, as I wanted to leave, and was tired of 
sacrificing, for his sake, everything I required, and forcing myself 
to eat the same food as his people, which I often had to beg for 
into the bargain. He was disconcerted and tried to keep me 
back, promising that he would then accompany me to the 
station. I asked him to give me pieces of wood to denote the 
exact number of days I should have to wait, and when he 
hesitated I broke off the discussion and left him. This brought 
him up to the mark, and he sent me two bits of wood, but I 
was sure when the time came he would break his word. 

On the 19th of September I was surprised by the intelligence 
that Captain Casati was in a boat, on the way from AH Station 
to Mambanga's. He had heard that I was staying with the 
chief, and was coming to see me there. I at once requested 
Mambanga to send carriers to bring him from the landing-place, 
and in a discontented mood delayed my journey ; for this was 
the first day I had spent in Africa without anything to smoke. 
Tobacco was a necessity, for it often served as a substitute for 
food, or at least stilled my hunger. In the evening one of 
Mambanga's wives took pity on me and brought me some 
tobacco leaves, which I immediately dried over the fire, and then 
drew in the delicious fumes whilst waiting for my guest in the 
great hall. It was late at night before he arrived, accompanied 
by Mambanga. 


Captain Casati is an Italian, and was for a long time with the 
Bcrsaglieri in Sicily and Calabria. Shortly before returning to 
Khartum, Gessi Pasha had asked him to the Bahr el-Ghazal, and 
he had soon after made his w^ay to Mangbattu through the Rol 
province and Abaka Land. We heartily greeted one another as 
fellows in sympathy and suffering. I soon found him to be a 
brave and open-hearted man, entirely unassuming, unselfish, just. 


and fearless. He had been ill a long time among the Abakas, 
and had taken too much quinine whilst unconscious from fever. 
He had recovered at Mangbattu, and was now quite well. We sat 
talking late into the night, though my Italian was rusty for want 
of practice, and I involuntarily mixed up Arabic words with it. 
I learned that Mambanga's men had already robbed him on the 
march ; his servants' beads had disappeared. I at once raised a 
hue and cry about this, and did not rest until the chief restored 


the stolen treasures. Bohndorff was brought to my recollection 
by his two runaway boys who were in Casati's train, having joined 
him in the Bahr cl-Ghazal province on his journey to Mangbattu. 
He had another relic of Gessi Pasha, a small bright little Dinka 
boy ; this small " Wekil" (administrator) afterwards enjoyed an 
important position ; and was treated by his master like an 
adopted son, Casati was soon informed of how matters stood 
with Mambanga, and he endeavoured in his turn to win over the 
suspicious chief to the Government. But Mambanga was on the 
look-out for valuable presents from his new guest ; above all he 
coveted the Vetterli gun, and did not scruple to say that he 
would exchange the ass he had taken from Abd el-Min for 
"much" powder, and this in the midst of our endeavours to 
conclude peace. He quite overlooked having repeatedly prom- 
ised, without any express demand on my part, to restore to the 
station the guns he had taken. I took him to task severely for 
his double-dealing and his shameful behaviour in general, which 
he actually carried to the point of leaving me without tobacco. 
And I stuck so steadily to the tobacco that finally Mambanga 
went himself to order that a basketful should be gathered 
for me. 

So the latest day for departure arrived, and Casati said he 
would go with me to Hawash Station. Of course Mambanga 
now brought his heaviest guns into play to detain us, promising 
to consult the "mapinge" next day, and that we should witness 
with our own eyes the revelation made by the oracle. That cer- 
tainly was a great temptation, so I stayed to look on at this fraud 
once more. Next day everything was in readiness, and I heard 
that one of the problems to be solved was whether I was really 
friendly to Mambanga. This time fate showed discretion, and 
the oracle fell out well for me, i.e. none of the bits of wood 
moved, and the long row was not disarranged. The other partj 
of the apparatus was to pronounce whether it would be safe fori 
the ruler to go to Hawash Station. Here too the bits of woodi 
lay in an orderly row, the augurs began their clapping, yelling, 
and jumping, and lo, one of the little heaps fell down, at which} 
the deceitful soothsayer jumped as if a snake had bitten him. 


And as if this fearful omen were insufficient, the pieces of wood 
from another block began tumbling about to corroborate the 
untoward - prophecy. Of course I was powerless against the 
" mapinge." I longed to get away from this idiotic business, and 
warned IMambanga once more to take my advice before it was too 
late, or I should not be able to guard him from war and certain 
ruin. I was really sorry for the poor prince who shrouded him- 
self in this mantle of distrust, for a great part of the blame 
rested on his people, who were constantly misleading him with 
their nonsense. He confessed as much, and said that for the 
present he would keep up frequent communications with the 
station and later come himself. 

My seven days' stay with Mambanga had brought me closer 
to him and his people ; and I could at least rely on their not 
attacking the station so long as I was in it. On the 22nd of 
September Casati and I reached the station. During my 
absence Dsumbe had returned from Ndoruma, and he gave me 
the latest intelligence of the northern provinces. What con- 
cerned me most nearly was the certainty that Osman Bedawi 
was not going to Bakangai this year, being engaged in the war 
against Mbio. To my astonishment he had not yet commenced 
operations, and was only just collecting the troops for that pur- 
pose. He had been conducting some Government property from 
Meshra er-Req, and the messengers sent from Mazindeh's had 
followed him thither, hence their long absence. Dsumbe told 
me further that Ndoruma was expecting a box for me from the 
north, and would forward it directly it arrived. 

We were received at the station with all honours. The 
garrison stood to arms, and Buru was also present with his men, 
though I chaffed him by saying his ''mapinge" was no good, for 
I was still pretty much alive. Hawash had also been in some 
anxiety on my account, as it had been rumoured that my servant 
Renzi had been killed by Mambanga's men. The general rejoicing 
at my return was unfortunately interrupted by a sad accident. I 
had not yet entered my hut, and was standing outside telling 
Hawash about our stay at Mambanga's, when a shot fell close 
to us, and immediately afterwards we heard that a woman had 


been killed through carelessness. I was much grieved when I 
heard that my gun had caused the accident. Dsumbe had 
taken it with him on his journey to Ndoruma ; on his return 
Hawash Effendi had wished to look at it, and it had been laid, 
whilst still loaded, in the hut on my box. Renzi had probably 
been meddling with it, and it had gone off, and after piercing 
several straw fences had first gone through the woman's breast, 
and then through a boy's hand. To all appearances my con- 
sternation was greater than that of the woman's master, a 
soldier, who was evidently very well satisfied when I gave him 
some stuff to make good his loss, and Hawash promised to find 
another wife for him. The boy's hand soon healed, again 
showing how easily the Negro recovers from wounds when 
nothing unfavourable intervenes. 

Amongst other matters of interest awaiting me was news from 
Lado, a letter from Emin Pasha, which delighted me the more 
as he gave the prospect of a speedy journey to Mangbattu. But 
he also sent me the sad tidings of Gessi Pasha's death. Thanks 
to his wiry frame and strong will, he had got as far as Suez after 
his severe accident in the Bahr el-Ghazal, but there his fate 
overtook him, and he died alone, without seeing the dear ones 
for whom this resolute man had shed tears of longing. I 
recollected him with mingled affection and regret ; all the happy 
associations of our frequent intercourse during many years were 
awakened, never to be effaced from my memory. 

I passed many pleasant hours with Casati, in which we bore 
one another company in visits to our respective homes, and this 
brought us closer together. Some good Gedaref tobacco had 
been sent to him in a packet from Khartum, and this comfort 
enhanced the enjoyment of the agreeable time we spent together. 
The men who had escorted us to the station returned to 
Mambanga's on the following day, but I persuaded Hawash first 
to let them see the garrison at drill, that they might carry to 
their ruler a vivid description of the readiness of the soldiers and 
their superiority to the natives. Thereupon followed a kind of 
national feast, in which the A-Barmbos took part with their war 
frames, dances, and songs ; and a dragoman went so far as to 


dance the favourite /^rj-jYV// of the Mangbattus with much skill ; 
speeches referring to the peace were not wanting, and all of this 
the messengers were to relate to Mambanga. 

Casati's luggage had been left behind at Tangasi, so his stay 
with us was but a short one. His departure was fixed for the 
25th of September. But the course of events necessitated my 
prolonging my stay at the station for an indefinite period. The 
chief reason was the universal dread and discontent which mani- 
fested itself in the garrison. The soldiers expressed themselves 
so strongly on passing events that Hawash sent them to me, 
whereupon they complained of Casati's departure and expressed 
the fear that I should leave too. This was very flattering for us, 
but I was angry nevertheless at their conduct, which was nothing 
less than a punishable demonstration, culminating in the avowal 
that as soon as I left they too would forsake the station and the 
enemy's country. Of course I reprimanded them severely, and 
told them that if they had dared to behave thus in our country, 
every fifth or tenth man of them would have been executed 
without grace, for that they stood in open insubordination to 
their commander Hawash ; if they wished me to remain in the 
station they should have refrained from threats, for these would 
certainly not keep me longer than I meant to stay. They with- 
drew discomforted, and Hawash told me that they had long been 
discontented and wished to return to Makaraka ; for there were 
no meat rations among the A-Barmbos, only banana flour, and 
they did not dare to leave the station on the small foraging 
expeditions so dear to them. They feared, too, that if I left, 
Mambanga would attack them again, and there were but three 
thousand Remington cartridges remaining, and an insufficient 
supply of percussion-caps. I had already distributed one hun- 
dred of these from my private stores. So, to ward ofl" the 
possible catastrophe, I decided to remain at the station until 
either Emin Bey or reinforcements of men and ammunition 
arrived, and informed Emin and the soldiers of my resolution. 
Casati, however, left us, and we saw on this occasion how little 
ready the friendly A-Barmbos really were to do any one a service, 
for though Buru and his men idled away hours at the station, we 


could not find five carriers even for Casati, and Hawash had the 
few light bundles taken to the Welle by his own men. We often 
had renegades from the hostile A-Barmbos. They longed for 
order to be established that they might return to their huts and 
fields ; but nevertheless hung about in the wilderness. The most 
obstinate was Bobeli, who thus led the others astray. Communi- 
cation with Mambanga was for a time after my return main- 
tained by delegates. Dembeh-Dembeh was first sent to him, 
and afterwards others. If by any chance the messengers 
remained away for a few days, the wildest fears were again 
entertained, to be again allayed by the return of the courier with 
presents from Mambanga to Kawash. 

In their manners and customs the A-Barmbos most resemble 
the Mangbattus, but the difference in their dialect is very marked. 
Their implements, both for war and household use, were often the 
same, but the industries, like those of the A-Madis, were of a 
lower order. The union of small states under ore ruler endured 
longest in Mangbattu, and this gave them a good start in the 
protection of their arts. In general, industry declines with the 
breaking up of large states into smaller ones, and in this respect 
Mangbattu has now also passed its prime. A few more decades, 
and in the struggle for existence, the beautiful, carefully-executed 
original art pottery in these lands will have given place to the 
production of bare necessaries. Among the peculiarities of the 
A-Barmbos, their women denote mourning for their lord and 
master by a thick bast-rope wound several times round their 
aprons. Other tribes have other signs ; in Makaraka they 
bestrew themselves with earth and ashes, and throw off their 
garments. The Mangbattu women, with whom the hair is an 
important ornament, cut it off close when their master dies, until 
they have another suitor ; and this sacrifice of hair is widely 
practised as a mark of grief and mourning for the dead in other 
parts of Africa. Fashion, too, is keeping pace with the times 
among these children of nature — for instance, during the war 
with Mambanga, the brass cases of the discharged Remington 
cartridges were soon in great demand as articles of fashion and 
barter ; and the native dandies would certainly have had diffi- 


culty in find:n;j^ a more suitable ornament for the round holes 
in their ears than these bright metal coverings. The aristocratic 
fashion of long finger-nails is also in observance among the 
A-Barmbos, amongst whom I often saw nails two inches long ; 
indeed, Mambanga's sister wore a rare necklace of long finger-nails 
threaded on a string. 

During the last week of September, heavy thunderstorms were 
of daily occurrence, and on the 29th we had the first hailstorm I 
experienced during my second journey in Central Africa. 

I had sent messengers to Mazindeh to look out for the box 
promised by Dsumbe, but they turned back, because a rumour 
was afloat in the Welle district that war had broken out again in 
A-Madi Land, and Mazindeh's huts had been burnt. I received 
this with the same incredulity as all rumours, and sent the men 
back with Dembeh-Dembeh to reconnoitre, and of course the 
intelligence proved to be false and exaggerated. 

October was introduced in the station by festivities to celebrate 
the newly-formed alliance between the chief Bobeli and Hawash. 
On such occasions, as in all cases where natives assembled in 
large numbers, the precaution was taken of not admitting every 
one to the station, and those who entered had to give up their 
arms while within the walls. In times of peace many Mang- 
battus replace their lances with long prettily-patterned sticks. 
Old Buru supported himself on one of these in his daily visit to 
the station. He was a pleasant sociable old man, with enough 
youthful v'gour left to wield a spear with good effect. His long 
gray beard had assumed a ruddy tinge from the red paint on his 
hands and body. It was remarkable how many old people I 
met at this place. Buru's father, an aged shrivelled-up mannikin, 
often made us merry with his humorous gestures and imita- 
tions of dances. It is probably a matter of chance that the 
A-Barmbos live to so great an age, for in general the Negroes 
in these parts lose their life in their best years. 

As usual the progress of the peace negotiations was hindered 
by the endless gossip and lying rumours of Mambanga's hostile 
intentions. The A-Bisingas were said to have told the Mang- 
ballas that Mambanga had only contracted the blood-friendship 


with me out of policy to put us off our guard, and that he 
intended to descend unexpectedly on the station, massacre 
everybody, and then fly over the Bomokandi to Sanga. Such 
reports always found many among the Arabs and black soldiers 
to %\v& them credence, especially as the half-breeds, who are fast 
held in the toils of their own superstitions, gladly adopt those 
of the Negro, including the " mapinge " and " benga." They 
imagined that I also must have some method of divination, and 
pressed me to show them my " mapinge." They often interpret 
our writing and printed matter or manuscripts as an oracle, or 
divining apparatus. 

But Mambanga did nothing to conciliate them. He certainly 
sent delegates occasionally to Hawash with protestations of his 
friendship, but always the same men, and never any of those 
nearly connected with him, as he had expressly promised. 
Besides, his demands were often childish and silly, so that they 
could but serve to arouse dissatisfaction on our side. For 
instance, he requested Hawash to send him a good gun and 
powder, though he said not a word of giving up those he had 
taken from the Arabs, as had been agreed. And yet on every 
occasion I sent serious warnings by Adatam. Soon there came 
another report, to the effect that Mambanga intended to flee over 
the Welle northwards to Malingde's, and so the Mangbattus had 
to keep watch on the river. Fresh renegades joined us, among 
them the A-Zandehs who had previously fled to Mambanga 
when Mbittima w^as taken prisoner by the Arabs. They went 
back to their old master in the neighbourhood of the station. 

I was glad to turn from these political events to the zoological 
discoveries which I made from time to time. I saw for the first 
time a new kind of guinea-fowl, the existence of which in these 
parts had been unknown to me. Its beautifully-marked plumage 
resembles that of the vulture guinea-fowl {^Niiuiida vuliiirind). I 
had already noticed the beautiful purple-black feathers, spotted 
or striped with white, in the caps of the Negroes. It was Dsumbe 
who brought me a pair of these birds, the plumage of which, shot 
in parts with ultramarine, confirmed the existence in Central 
Africa either of the vulture guinea-fowl hitherto only met with 


on the coast of East Africa (?), or of some other bird closely 
resembling it. A ruffle of black velvety quills goes round the 
neck from ear to ear, and gives the head of the fowl that faint 
resemblance in which its name originates. I met with single 
specimens afterwards in my Welle journeys to the Far West, 
chiefly on trees in the shady river forests. The A-Zandehs call 

it timbombo, the Mangbattus kinge, the name for the ordinary 
guinea-fowl being Korandya. 

Among the A-Barmbos I obtained another animal, little 
known as yet, the Flattermaki (G^a/^-^/zV/^m/^), a kind of furred 
flying creature, of which I had already procured a few skins. It 
is about the size of a small cat, and is distinguished by a 


wing membrane extending from the neck to the fore-legs, back- 
legs and tail, which serves as a parachute, and by means of 
which it flutters from tree to tree. The skin consists of two 
layers, which can be divided from one another ; the upper dis- 
appearing into the skin at the back and upper side of the tail is 
covered with thick gray hair, the lower running down the middle 
line of the breast and stomach to the lower side of the tail, is 
bare at the edges and covered with light gray hair in the middle. 
The whole skin is fawn-coloured, very silky and soft, by far the 
most beautiful fur I ever met with in Africa. One peculiarity is 
a small bare place about two inches long on the under side of 
the tail near the root, covered with a kind of scales, which shows 
that it often comes in contact with branches, so that probably 
the tail helps to support it in some of its movements. The toes 
are armed with small sharp hooked claws; the eyes are large and 
brown. It is very difficult to catch this animal alive without 
damaging its skin, for it lives during the day in the trunks of 
hollow trees, and only comes out at night uttering a wailing cry. 
Its hiding-place has often an opening top and bottom, and the 
natives take advantage of this in catching the animal, by stop- 
ping the upper hole with basket-work and making a fire in the 
lower. The heat and smoke finally drive the terrified creature 
into the basket, but its feet and skin are often singed in the 
process, and in one case some of the claws dropped off, which, 
however, did not prevent the animal from fighting hard and 
biting one of my servants severely in the hand with its sharp 
long brown teeth. The native names for the Flattermaki are : 
A-Zandeh, nguyu ; A-Madi, andupa ; Mangbattu, nambuma. 
I carefully prepared the skeleton and beautiful skin. My collec- 
tions of insects and butterflies were greatly increased at this time 
by the boys. I availed myself of part of this tedious leisure to 
make a fair copy of a map of A-Madi Land. 

On the 14th of October the station was greatly enlivened 
by the arrival of Mazindeh from A-Madi with his A-Zandeh 
followers. The messengers despatched thither returned with him, 
but without the package I was awaiting, which had not y&t reached 
Mazindeh's ; however, messengers were on the way to Palembata 


to sec about it. And Mazindch by no means came empty- 
handed ; he brought three elephant tusks for Hawash Effendi in 
addition to fowls and palm-oil. My black friend soon won over 
tl;e Egyptian and his men by his lively and intelligent conver- 
sation, and Hawash laughingly acknowledged the effect of my 
four months' stay in A-Madi Land, for Mazindeh endeavoured 
to prove himself a good servant of the State. It was great fun 
to hear him in his picturesque manner setting forth to the 
A-Barmbos at their great festival next day their duties to the 
" Hokuma " (Government^. I heard my own oft-repeated in- 
junctions retailed word for word from his lips. It may here be 
remarked that the princes and chiefs of the A-Zandehs in 
general, once won, are more loyal vassals than the other black 
tribes, as may be seen from Zemio, Zassa, and the Makarakas ; 
and short as was the time that Ndoruma had been subject to 
the Government, I am convinced that he, as well as Badinda, 
Japati, Mazindeh, and others, would have been powerful supports 
under a good rule. It is evident that the bold scheme of trying 
to persuade the people of Central Africa to acknowledge a 
settled and ordered Government is not everywhere so difficult 
and impossible of execution as might at first sight appear. 

Mazindeh came with the ambitious idea of attaining, with 
Hawash's help, to a firm and important position, probably the 
sole rule of A-Madi Land. But his immediate object was to 
lodge all kinds of complaints, especially one of fresh inroads on 
the part of the South A-Madi chiefs into the country of his allies, 
the A-Manglis. He also hoped, by Hawash's intervention, to 
regain some of his daughters and female slaves, that had been 
taken from him in former raids of the A-Barmbos settled in the 
neighbourhood. His most ardent desire, however, was to obtain 
a few of the soldiers in the station to give support to his 
ambitious aspirations. 

During the discussion as to whether this request could be 
legally complied with, the main question of the boundary line 
cropped up. Did A-Madi Land belong to Emin Bey's province 
or to the Bahr el-Ghazal t This vexed question, which had 
hitherto never been raised, led to misunderstandings harmful 


alike to the Government and to the natives. A-Madi is the best 
example of this. On the one hand Osman Bedawi had stationed 
his men there, and they demanded not only ivory, but other 
things in their own private interests, and, to call a spade a spade, 
made excursions for the purpose of robbery. On the other hand 
were Zassa's dragomans, who were by no means behind the others 
in arbitrary measures, and now the small territory was to be 
inflicted with a third category of leeches. In territories thus 
violently taken possession of by different authorities, who for the 
most part consider that they have a right to unlimited plunder, 
misunderstandings and differences are inevitable. Hawash 
Effendi had forbidden Zemio to extend his expeditions south of 
the Welle in future, but he himself had probably no authority to 
extend his jurisdiction over the A-Madi territory, at all events so 
long as the Bahr el-Ghazal administration was represented there. 
This evil was aggravated by the prevailing rivalry between the 
high officials and commanders of the stations to procure the 
largest quantities of ivory and to extend their field for plunder- 
ing expeditions. In the former case they gained the acknow- 
ledgments of their superior officers and of the governor of the 
province, and the extension of their hunting-ground by increas- 
ing their power added to their personal interests. Personally I 
should have been pleased to see Mazindeh's tributary rule 
strengthened and supported, for it promised to be of service to 
the Government ; but I could not in justice approve Hawash 
Effendi's acceding to Mazindeh's request by handing over the 
soldiers to the chief whom he made answerable to himself, 
thereby increasing the rivalry between the A-Madis, and adding 
a fresh cause of dissension to those already in existence, without 
bringing about a better and more enduring state of affairs. For 
if the commanders were in doubt as to the boundary line 
between the two great administrations, and I also was in the 
dark, it was of course impossible for the chiefs to tell to which 
flag they owed allegiance. And thus it happened that rulers 
to the north of the Welle, who had previously delivered their j 
ivory to Osman Bedawi, now declared themselves under tribute 
to Hawash Effendi, and sent him ivory. This was done even 


by the old chief Mahngde. This was of course encroaching- on 
the rights of the Bahr el-Ghazal officials, whilst in other districts 
the matter was reversed. These remarks are not intended to 
convey a reproach to the officials, but only to confirm the fact 
that up to that time no one had thought of providing each chief 
with a kind of certificate to which he might attach som.e import- 
ance, and which would have had effect in his hands. And finally 
neither Hawash Effendi nor his colleagues were entrusted with 
articles of value to provide the customary return offerings for the 
presents sent to him by the vassal chiefs. Thus it became the 
ruling principle that the end justifies the means. Hawash took 
freely in order to give more freely. A shield, a spear, a knife, or 
some other native article, either presented to him or otherwise 
procured, would serve his turn as a complimentary present. 

The A-Madi chief, Mbittima, would not be behind Mazindeh, 
and so arri\^ed in his turn at the station to take part in the 
political squabble over this little land. In this case again, over- 
hasty measures were decided upon which could not be carried 
into effect. I did not conceal my opinion, but beyond this I 
would have nothing to do in the matter. Hawash Effendi was 
certainly obstinate, and often took excessive and arbitrary 
measures, a tendency which, as he acknov/ledged, often drew upon 
him the censure of his superiors, and was the cause of his after- 
wards temporarily incurring Emin Bey's displeasure. But his 
untiring energy and tact in dealing with the natives were merits 
which placed him far above many of his colleagues in office. 
The Sudan official must be measured by a special standard, and 
being much sinned against, must be pardoned many transgressions. 
All of them are culpable, and this was just the difficulty that 
Gordon, Gessi, Emin Bey, and Lupton had to contend with : 
they had to entrust the execution of their instructions to officials 
who would not restrain their inherent corrupt tendencies. 

Hawash's name will often occur in the history of the next few 
years ; he proved himself under the circumstances a good 
serviceable officer, and later reached the coast and Egypt with 
Emin Pasha. 

The new alliance with Mazindeh gave rise to the thought, on 


the part of Hawash, of again attacking Mambanga with the help 
of the A-Madi ; and for this purpose the A-Zandeh chief was to 
return later to the station with his men. I could not consent to 
this scheme either. It did not come to anything, the plan being 
thwarted by a rumour from Tangasi that Bahit Bey was on 
his way with soldiers from Makaraka, to re-open the war with 
Mambanga. On the 22nd of October a letter from him put the 
matter beyond all doubt. The reader will remember Bahit Bey 
as Mudir of Makaraka, from my first journey ; Gessi Pasha had 
since suspended him from office, and now he was again reinstated 
in Makaraka by Emin Bey. Bahit announced his arrival from 
Hokwa's (Wando's son) together with Abd Allah Abu Sed, the 
administrator of Rimo in Makaraka, and a numerous troop ; and 
desired that as large a number of boats as possible should be in 
readiness at the confluence of the Kibbali and the Gadda. 
Mambanga had without doubt also been informed by spies of 
the approach of his enemy, for we soon heard that he was 
preparing for flight. 

The news of the arrival of the troops was so far satisfactory to 
me that it would enable me soon to continue my journey without 
let or hindrance ; but at the same time it annoyed me that 
Mambanga, having rejected all my advice, should be hunted in 
the wilderness and probably finally perish there. It may be 
easily understood that I should gladly have seen the obstinacy 
of the chief yield to peaceable measures, and should have been 
glad for Hawash to have had the satisfaction of recovering the 
guns before Bahit Bey's arrival. 

At this hour of Mambanga's greatest need, I determined to 
make one last attempt to save him, and in conjunction with 
Hawash, sent envoys to him. They took him a present from 
me, warned him of the approaching danger, and were instructed 
to earnestly enjoin him to come to the station and deliver up the 
guns. I sent word that I would even go so far as to meet him 
next day, but that he must hesitate no longer, for the danger 
was near at hand. If he came and delivered up the guns, 
Hawash would at once send him a bugler and ten soldiers to 
guard him from hostilities on the part of the troops from the east. 


The next twenty-four hours passed in great suspense, for 
]\Iambanga's fate hung on his answer. It came on the 23rd of 
October, and destroyed every hope of a peaceful issue. His 
message was full of contradictions ; the only one thing clear was 
the old story of distrust and fanaticism. Hawash's intentions 
were certainly not favourable to him, he said, or he would have 
sent envoys more frequently ; but if his welfare was really of 
consequence to me, I was to come to him and remain with him. 
My proposal that he should meet me in the neighbourhood 
appeared to him a snare ; he himself knew no fear, but his people 
considered that his life would be endangered. The messenger 
informed me privately that Mambanga wished for hostilities, 
and said that he would wage war on the Turk for years to come, 
for he had many brave warriors and allies in reserve. I was 
distressed at his blindness, but could not really be angry with 
him, for he was otily defending his hereditary rights, his own 
and his people's hearth and country. The suspicion he nourished 
against me personally certainly vexed and wounded me. A 
large number of A-Barmbos and the chief Zurunga, formerly an 
ally of Mambanga's, with his men, were present when the 
message arrived. Zurunga had that very morning visited the 
station for the first time, and other chiefs afterwards followed his 
example ; they assured us that they would not quit their dwell- 
ings at the approach of the soldiers. But the headstrong Bobeli 
and others held to Mambanga. So I had my answer translated 
by the interpreter in loud and decided tones that no one could 
fail to understand ; this had been my last attempt to save Ma- 
mbanga from certain destruction, and now my part as protector 
was at an end, and he must look after himself. I had repeatedly 
advised him and held cut to him a saving hand in vain, but I 
had no intention whatever of complying with his useless sum- 
mons to join him. He would now lose his home and country, 
and be hunted in the wilderness like a wild animal. And this 
was in fact my last message to Mambanga, for the terrible events 
I had foretold were only too soon to overtake him. 

But efforts in another quarter had been successful. Burn with 
some fire-arms undertook a sally to the west, and brought back 


thirty A-Barmbos as hostages. As frequently happens in such 
cases, their kinsmen came to ransom them, and this invariably 
affords the best opportunity for disarming their ill-will. These, 
too, became tributary. 

Hawash had a number of huts put up for the expedition from 
Makaraka, and with the aid of the A-Barmbos a considerable 
village soon sprung up at the foot of the eastern slope. 

On the 26th of October we heard suppressed nugarra tones 
from the south-east, the direction of Mambanga's settlement ; all 
sorts of conjectures were raised, and it was even whispered that 
Mambanga was about to attack the station. The soldiers were 
enjoined to keep a strict watch, the number of sentinels was 
increased, and Burn's men were sent out to scout at night ; but 
the enemy kept at a distance, the anxiety subsided and gave 
place to gaiety, which Buru's people carried so far as to organize 
a dancing festival outside the station. On this occasion foLir 
fantastically-clad prophets distinguished themselves by a wild 
dance, in the pauses of which they prophesied the future fate 
of some of the spectators — exactly the same performance I had 
already witnessed at Ndoruma's. At all such festivals among 
the Mangbattus and A-Barmbos the jester plays an inportant 
part. His office was originally to keep the flies off the 
chief; he is the court dwarf, or "merry councillor"; but at 
popular festivals the comical little fellow is the w^ag of the whole 
throng. It was really highly diverting to watch him pursuing 
imaginary flies, pretending to catch them with great ease, dashing 
them angrily to the ground, and then in great triumph at his 
successful chase proceeding to kill them with the air of a con- 
quering hero. To whom does this not recall the similar feats of 
heroism performed by the circus clown ! But in these lands the 
fly catchers are held in far higher esteem than among us ; they 
alone are privileged to mingle with the grandees and to 
accompany them into their dwellings. One of these Jack 
Puddings would frequently follow me also like my own shadow, 
waving his fly-catcher in the air. 

The communication with the eastern stations had until now 
been maintained only by th^ boats of the Mangballas. Their 



chiefs, Naxima and Banguza, whose acquaintance I had made on 
my journey with Zemio, had been unfortunate in Manibanga's 
war with the Arabs ; Banguza had fallen, and Nazima had been 
shot in the foot. The Mangballas assisted in the transport of 
Bahit Bey's troops over the Welle, and on the 29th of October 
the last of the men from Ali Station were conveyed to the south 
bank. The first to bring us certain tidings was Nezim, the same 
man who, three months previously, had come to me at the 
A-Madi station as Hawash's messenger. He had then been 
despatched to Emin Bey at Lado, and was now returning with 
the expedition. 

A few minor events at the station may here be recorded. 
First of all the attempt to transport six cows, which were 
waiting to be conveyed from the north bank of the Welle to the 
soldiers at Tangasi Station, where for six months nothing had 
been killed. This attempt was unsuccessful, for the district 
inhabited by Malingde's sons lay far inland, and there were no 
roads near the river. Then there was an elephant hunt, to which 
the A-Barmbos were summoned en masse. A herd of these 
animals had unexpectedly made their appearance in the neigh- 
bourhood of the settlement ; but the pachyderms soon saw that 
something was wrong, m.ade their way to the Welle, and simply 
swam across. Then messengers arrived again for Hawash from 
Mazindeh, with six elephants' tusks and a young chimpanzee. 
And then, by way of variety, there were further tedious dis- 
cussions with the A-Madi chief, Mbittima, who was still at the 
station, and the weal and woes of the little mountain country 
always had its place on the orders for the day. 

I was able also to make new studies of the punishment by 
flogging. Having already described how it is carried out in the 
Nubian and Negro lands of this district, I will here say a word 
of another method, the bastinado. This mode of punishment 
was up to the last few years much practised in Egypt, but was 
only inflicted in exceptional cases by the Egyptian officials in 
the Sudan. To keep the feet fast, a long thick stick is used, to 
the middle of which a loop for the feet is attached. The culprit, 
lies flat on his face, with his legs bent upwards from the knees, 


so that the soles of the feet are uppermost. Then the feet are 
secured in the loop and two men hold the ends of the stick, twist- 
ing it so that the loop is drawn up and the feet pressed close 
together. Then the heavy whip of hippopotamus hide comes 
into play with such serious effect as often to cause death. The 
flexible whip frequently curls round the foot so that the thin 
skin of the instep and the bones near the surface suffer most, 
and inflainmation and dangerous mortification often set in. I 
once saw a boy, the skin of whose instep had been entirely 
destroyed, perish after months of suffering. In Egypt there 
certainly are people who can bear an astonishing number of 
blows on their soles without detriment to their health. But 
there the bastinado is carried out with a leather strap two 
inches broad, instead of the whip of hippopotamus hide, 

I seized every opportunity of obtaining information as to the 
features of these southern districts, of which I always made a 
rough map. Later I travelled through the district and was able 
to revise these first impressions. But long before I myself 
visited the northern portion of this immeasurable forest, which 
has since been traversed and described throughout its entire 
breadth by H. M. Stanley, I had heard of it, and learned that 
it was inhabited towards the west by the large tribe of the 
A-Babuas, who cover their heads with clay. 

So October came to an end amidst new plans and hopes, and 
the 1st of November brought round the great Arab festival 
" Id-el-kebir." Quite early in the morning the buglers were 
already on their round from hut to hut, with the customary 
request for a small present. Every one possessing holiday attire 
donned it for the occasion, but the best part of the festival to 
the people was wanting, namely, the feast, for it was not possible 
to kill a sheep or goat for the occasion in accordance with the 
Arab custom. 

Day after day we awaited the arrival of the expedition, but 
as it happened, Bahit Bey had first turned off to Tangasi, and 
November had half gone before he appeared. Hawash Effendi 
was by no means overjoyed at the prospect of a superior officer 
in his neighbourhood, and often gave vent to his discontent in 


foolish and unwarrantable terms. It vexed him to play second 
fiddle, to be under orders to another, and to see both his prestige 
and gainings curtailed. For this reason he tried once more, of 
course in vain, to effect a reconciliation with Mambanga But 
from Tangasi Bahit Bey had already put himself into communi- 
cation with the chief, and sent back one of his sons, who had 
previously been taken by the Arabs. Thereupon the chief 
reciprocated by sending some of the guns so frequently men- 
tioned, but Bahit's advances had no further result. On the 
contrary, Hawash's spies announced that Mambanga had sent on 
his wives and all his goods and chattels into Bobeli's territory, 
though he himself still kept near the huts with his troops, in 
order to provide for his people. Thereupon a raid on Bobeli's 
camp to capture the women was undertaken by our A-Barmbos, 
the Mangballes, and dragomans of the station ; they hoped to 
take Bobeli by surprise, for his A-Barmbos had to make long 
excursions to procure provisions. But this cunning scheme was 
not successful, for they were unable to find the camp. 

At last positive tidings came from Bahit Bey that the expe- 
dition would start during the next few days in several divisions, 
so as to prevent Mambanga's escape. Abd Allah and the 
administrator Bashir were to take a southern route from 
Tangasi through the chief Bauli's territory to cut off Ma- 
mbanga's flight in this direction, whilst the dragoman, Mabub, 
with his contingent, was to go down the stream from All 
Station and prevent the chief crossing the river, and Bahit Bey 
intended to march into the enemy's country by the direct road. 

Mazindeh and Mahmud arrived from Osman Bedawi's station 
at the same time as this intelligence, and were ordered by 
Hawash to turn back and see that, on the approach of the 
expedition westwards, the A-Barmbos did not escape along the 
north bank of the Welle to the A-Madis. 

On the 15th of November it was announced that the three 
divisions of the expedition had left Tangasi. Mambanga had 
learned this from his spies sooner than we did, for he too left his 
territory with his warriors, though the Mudir's march was so 
rapid that, on the 17th of November, the first messengers sent 
by Bahit Bey from Mambanga's territory arrived at the station, 


bringing the news of the chief's flight and the possession of the 
huts by the troops. A permanent station was to be founded 
there, from which Hawash rashly concluded that Bahit would 
himself conduct the pursuit of Mambanga from that spot. This, 
in addition to the jealousies and scandal of all kinds to which 
Hawash gave his ear, incited him to further unwarrantable out- 
bursts against Bahit Bey. He was at the same time unpopular 
with his troops, both on account of his severity and because he 
was unable to accede to their often unreasonable requests. I saw 
that evening to what all this would lead, for the news of Bahit's 
arrival at Mambanga's gave rise to a scene such as is only 
possible among the undisciplined soldiery of those countries. A 
sergeant forced the gate of the station that evening after it had 
been closed for the night, and armed with his gun rushed swear- 
ing into the dark to lodge a complaint with Bahit Bey against 
Hawash Effendi. As soon as it was known, pursuit was given, 
but he had already disappeared. The remarkable thing was that 
instead of being punished for this offence by Bahit, the culprit 
openly boasted of his impudent act. Over-severity and mis- 
placed indulgence were exercised alternately according to the 
momentary situation, and this of course was bound to bring its 
punishment in its train. I always treated such conduct very 
seriously, and once when a sergeant spoke disrespectfully to me, 
I insisted on his being punished, and he was put in the pillory 
and only released when I interceded for him. 

In Mambanga's territory, where Bashir Saleh's contingent had 
joined Bahit's forces, a strong settlement was founded with sixty 
soldiers ; the former ruler, who, as has been said, had fled to 
the south, was deposed, his lands forfeited, and Wando's son 
Mbittima put in his place. He continued to rule there with his 
A-Zandehs after the return of some of Mambanga's subjects, 
who camie back later. 

In the meantime, before taking steps to pursue the fugitives, 
Bahit Bey came alone to the station, and was greeted by me as 
an old acquaintance. Years before I had made the journeys 
from Lado to Makaraka and back as well as in the Bahr 
el-Ghazal province in his company, so there was plenty we 
could talk about in common. The intercourse between the two 


representatives of the Government was less friendly. Rahit and 
Hawash made mutual recriminations, both true and untrue, and 
their discussions were often conducted with the utmost violence 
to the detriment of the matter in hand. These battles of words 
were witnessed by many of the men, who might thus have taken 
example from their leaders. I kept myself out of it as much as 
possible, but often had to witness these scenes. Bahit's demeanour 
was certainly quieter and more sensible ; Hawash's temper was 
almost beyond his control. The only thing that I could approve 
of in all this tumult was the address in which Bahit energetic- 
ally represented to the troops the impropriety of their behaviour 
and demands. Not until they had given full vent to their anger 
did they go on to the chief matter in question, the pursuit of 
Mambanga and the acquisition of the A-Barmbo territory further 
westward for the Government. 

The troops made their formal entry into the station on 
November 21st. Hundreds of A-Barmbos had assembled to 
witness this spectacle and to wonder at the forces which kept 
coming up from the distance. The officers walked at the head 
of their men with waving banners to the sound of the nugarra, 
the blowing of signal horns, and the rattle of all kinds of sound- 
instruments. On coming up to the station they made the circuit 
of it, drawing up for a short time in front of the awning erected 
for us, and were finally directed to their quarters on the slope of 
the hill. First came the regular troops with about fifty Reming- 
ton guns, under the command of a black Sudan officer ; then 
the garrison of Rimo Station in Makaraka, led by Abd Allah 
Agas Abu Zed, who was also well known to me during my travels 
in Kahka ; further, over a hundred auxiliaries with the notorious 
Bashir Saleh, of whom I shall have more to say later, at their 
head ; Niangara, Munza's successor, with his Mangbattus ; 
A-Bangba, Niapu, and other warriors arm.ed with spear and 
shield, or bow and arrows ; the A-Zandeh chief Bauli, from the 
Bomakandi in the south-west, with his forces ; and bringing up 
the rear of the endless procession, my black friend Ringio, from 
Kabayendi in Makaraka, whom the reader will also recollect in 
my first journey. He led up his sturdy Bombehs and Maka- 
rakas with great confidence to the clear sound of bells and the 


blare of long ivory horns to receive Bahit Bey's instructions with 
the others. The number of these different contingents was 
further increased considerably by carriers, women, servants, and 
slaves ; for, in addition to the ammunition required and the 
personal effects of the officials, Government property had also 
been conveyed. 

Another animated picture was soon afforded by the con- 
struction of huts for this mass of people, those erected by the 
A-Barmbos being quite inadequate for their accommodation. 
The life in the station was also active ; the officials and clerks 
had work enough, for the loads were unpacked, the property 
given over and entered, and the greater part of it distributed at 
once among the soldiers and officials and debited against their 
allowance. Stuff's, tarbushes, shoes, soap, provisions, &c., were 
to be had in such abundance that many discontented spirits felt 
overwhelmed wnth earthly possessions. Active hands were busied 
at the quern and in the kitchen, making ready to entertain the 
guest and to meet the demands of many hungry mouths. 

The greatest interest was aroused in the station by the new 
equipment which had been decided upon in Cairo for the Sudan 
army. Thousands of these uniforms had been sent to Khartum, 
and several dozens now found their way to this remote corner of 
the world. The uniform consisted of white knickerbockers, 
long white gaiters with innumerable fastenings, a full blouse of a 
kind of gray calico, and a large turban of the same, which was 
worn over the tarbush and secured with thick cords like those 
of the Bedouins. It was certainly very imposing. Unfortunately 
most of these things are only an encumbrance to the soldier in 
Negro countries. The assembled A-Barmbos were certainly 
greatly impressed by a parade of the men in their bran-new 
masquerade, but the soldiers were as little at home as a yokel in 
evening dress. The turbans were soon put to a practical use as 
aprons, and probably the sapient business w^as but of short 
duration, at least I do not remember seeing any such uniform in 
use at the stations later. 

The chief matter for me was a despatch from Emin Bay. He 
wrote again that he was coming shortly to Mangbattu, and a 
box with which he surprised me was full of all kinds of things 


for my use and enjoyment, which he had selected with careful 
forethought for my bodily and mental comfort ; lentils, coffee, 
soap, candles, matches, sardines, &c., a packet of the " Neue 
Freie Presse," even two bottles of Chartreuse, mixed pickles, 
and a box of golden Turkish tobacco. In my delight I gladly 
sacrificed some of these as a contribution to the public supper 
given by H awash Effendi. The bottle of Chartreuse made the 
round several times and found great favour among the less 
scrupulous followers of Mohammed. 

Halima and my Dinka man, Farag, were obliged to remain 
behind on my departure from the station on account of their 
swollen legs, but another girl was given to me as cook, and I 
still had Dembeh-Dembeh as dragoman. This time letters and 
tidings for Europe were sent by Lado, in company with a 
temporary map of those southern districts I had made for Emin 
Bey. I had awaited in vain a despatch from Ndoruma, which 
reached my hands later. I received many visits from old Maka- 
raka acquaintances, and Ringio had much that was interesting 
to tell me. It only remains for me to mention a prima ballerina 
such as I had never seen before. She was an A-Barmbo virago, 
a masculine giantess, who enjoyed the reputation of being the best 
soothsayer, and who danced one of the Mangbattu men's dances 
with such remarkable vigour and gestures as to impress even me. 

The weather was now favourable for our setting out. During 
the first week in November there had been daily rains, which 
had become less and less frequent, until finally a short rainless 
season set in even in this latitude. So, on the 25th of November, 
the combined march began, led by Bahit and Hawash. A 
garrison with seventy fire-arms remained at the station, but our 
ranks were increased by a numerous train of A-Barmbos. Mabub 
descended the river at the same time with thirty boats with 
Mangballes under Nazima, and twenty boats with armed forces. 




Mount Madyanu — At Magaragare — Landscape on the Welle — Mambanga pursued — 
His Troops dispersed — ^Spoils of War — Partition of A-Barmbo Land — Remarkable 
Giant Beetle — Rainy Season — Ringio — Parting of the Expedition — Amongst the 
Thievish A-Barmbos — Arab Raiding System — Vandalism — Negotiations with the 
A-Barmbos — Lynch Law — My Stolen Effects Recovered — Recall of the Ex- 
pedition — Envoy to Bakangai — Parting from Hawash — Stormy Night in tlie 
Wilderness — Scenery on the Bomokandi — We enter the Great Forest — Reception 
by the Prince — At the Goal. 

BAHIT BEY had greatly facilitated my journey by providing 
me with fifteen Makaraka carriers, who, being well drilled 
in their duties, took up their burdens with a will and v/ithout any 
of the noise and disturbance to which I had for months been 
subjected. We set out several thousand strong, but were con- 
tinually brought to a stop during the first hour until the 
disordered mass formed itself in the usual single file. These 
delays and irregularities on the march interfered greatly with our 
advance, for every stoppage and variation in the rate of progress 
had to be taken into account and noted down. 


For the first two days, and until we had left Mount Madyanu 
behind us, we proceeded in a south-westerly direction. The 
wide undulating country was covered here also with low woods 
interspersed with grass reaching to the neck, and sometimes 
already turning quite yellowish. 

We now left Buru's territory and entered that of the 


A-Banya branch of the A-Barmbos, the A-Mayalas lying to 
the east of our route. All the huts— even those of Bobeli— 
were deserted, and the fields abandoned to be pillaged by our 
advancing hordes. Towards noon we crossed the river Kibongo, 
twenty yards wide and very full of water, and shortly afterwards 


pitched our camp on the further side of the Konsala brook 
about half an hour's march from the Welle, on a level elevation 
gently sloping down to the river. Once more camp life with 
so large a company, to which I had long been unaccustomed, 
exercised its charms upon me ; and in the day-time the sight of 
hundreds of busy hands working at the huts riveted my atten- 
tion, and in the evening countless camp-fires throwing up flames 
between the huts reawakened in me the old feeling of comfort. I 
was, moreover, just in the state of mind for such feelings, and once 
more new districts and new experiences lay before me. In a more 
material sense, too, my journey opened well, for a Kala antelope 
{Antilope leucotis) had fallen into the men's hands, and the more 
highly-favoured amongst us were able to have some meat, for it 
is the custom to bring all game captured to the leader of the 
expedition, who can divide it as he pleases. 

The following day we had a hard march southwards, past 
Mount Madyanu, and made considerable progress. At first we 
encountered only low grass on the steppe, so that the multitude 
could march several columns abreast until this was prevented 
by the high grass and the difficulties presented by the ground. 
The chief body of water crossed on that day was the Tota, 
twenty yards broad and four feet deep, which bears the same 
name as the island under Erruka's sway, situated just before its 
confluence with the Welle, from the northern bank of which I 
had previously seen it. It was now, however, out of sight, as 
the Welle had been since our first encampment. It took us over 
an hour to cross this rapid river, and it required all my exertions 
as well as those of Bahit Bey to preserve order and prevent 
accidents. The women and children were carried and supported 
by the men. South of the river lay the land of the A-Bondus, 
and beyond them came the A-Mazungas, whilst the A-Mubangas 
dwelt on the hilly land at the foot of Mount Madyanu. During 
the latter half of our march we passed over undulating and even 
hilly land, stretching all round Mount Madyanu and far away to 
the south, characterizing this part of A-Barmbo Land for several 
leagues round. Madyanu forms indeed the still distinctly 
prominent southern spur of a pre-existing mountain range 


running from south-east to north-west, as still most clearly 
evidenced by the mountain group of Angba, Lingua, and 
Malingdeh in A-Madi Land ; and the hilly south of Mount 
Madyanu points probably to other southern offshoots of this 
once great mountain chain. As to the east, so to the west of 
Mount Madyanu, the hilly character of the land, gradually 
vanishing after several leagues, gives place to the predominant 
formation of the country. 

In the immediate proximity to the mountain we crossed the 
Sano, a river fifteen yards wide, and so deep that, besides placing 
a tree-trunk athwart the stream, we were forced, on account of 
our large numbers, to erect a temporary bridge higher up. On 
the opposite side extended the cultivated fields and huts of the 
A-Barmbos, which, however, were likewise deserted and left to 
their fate. The order to encamp there for the night being given, 
each man looked to his own wants, and all kinds of food were 
soon brought in, besides whole huts, roofs, wood, grass, cooking 
utensils, pots, and gourd dishes of all sizes. The main body of 
the expedition was to remain in this neighbourhood for some 
days whilst hunting out Mambanga, for here, thanks to the well- 
cultivated fields, means of subsistence were plentiful. But a 
still more advantageous spot was found, and the camp moved 
thither next morning, the 27th of November ; here we were 
situated on a hill, surrounded by the chief Magaragare's huts. 
Although the site had not been chosen from any aesthetic con- 
siderations — for neither Arabs nor Negroes are susceptible to 
the charms of Nature — yet in all the surrounding country I 
could hardly have found a more delightful spot, with the sole 
exception of Mount Madyanu itself. The view from Mount 
Magaragare over the country to the north was quite an African 
piece of scenery, no less than that landscape, Erruka's " Isles of 
the Blessed," which I have attempted to describe. A mile away 
flowed the majestic river, winding down the valley in a curve 
slightly turned towards us, while here and there on its bosom 
reposed inhabited islands. From its southern end, lying nearest 
me, three islands were visible between the lofty stems of the 
forest bordering its banks. Their lord was the chief Goggi. 


To the east the Welle was hidden for a short distance, soon, 
however, again appearing in the north, to disappear eventually 
behind the spurs of Mount Madyanu, where, hidden away from 
me now, were Erruka's islands. The western part of this small 
curve stretched away to the north-west for a mile or two in a 
broad sheet of water, where it likewise encircled a long island of 
irregular shape called Apuka (the tenth important island down 
stream), belonging to the Embata chief, Nendika. Far behind, 
the Welle curves round to the west, and is lost to view. There, 
however, lies the group of islands belonging to the chief 
Kaimba. Behind the visible portion of this western reach, 
forming a background, are the A-Madi mountains, and nearest 
the spectator Mount Angba. To the east of it is situated 
Mount Lingua, and still further to the east Mount Malingde 
shuts off the horizon. A small peak visible in the bluest distance 
must lie in the wild tract extending to the north of A-Madi Land. 
The country immediately to the north of the Welle is hilly, and 
there, too, a rich vegetation followed the course of the small 

Moreover, the view from Mount Magaragare enabled me to 
take important angular measurements, which afforded me a new 
basis for the triangulation of A-Madi Land. To the south, at the 
water-parting of the Welle and Bomokandi, lay the country of 
the A-Zandeh chief Gansi, a son of Kipa. Ever since the 
more prosperous times of his father he had held some of the 
A-Barmbo tribes (A-Nguyas, A-Meferres, &c.) under his sway, 
just as the Zandeh prince Mambanga did in the west, and also 
Bangatelli, Kamsa, and other sons and relations of Kipa. 

Suddenly news came from Gansi telling us that Prince 
Mambanga and his followers were in the neighbourhood, and 
asking us to come with all speed. Accordingly, on the 25th 
November, Abd Allah and Bashir with about one hundred and 
sixty soldiers and Ringio with his Bombeh's, as well as Bauli's 
people, were despatched to look for Mambanga, whilst I remained 
behind in the camp with Bahit Bey, Hawash, and about an equal 
number of armed men, besides the A-Barmbos and Niangara's 
men, and all the women, servants, and carriers. Meanwhile the 



Mangballes under Mabub had been sacking and burning on 
their journey up stream, and I saw the flying Embatas making 
their escape in boats. It was said they had lost about forty 
boats and several men, and that Erruka's islands had unfortu- 
nately been also looted, whilst the chief himself had taken refuge 
with his father, Kaimba, and that all the islands in sight had 
been deserted beforehand by their inhabitants. We then 
received the news from the opposite bank that Mazindeh had 
carried out Hawash's commands, and was actually keeping a 
look-out. In the camp all went merrily, for articles of many 
kinds were brought in without much trouble. The telebun-corn 
was not yet fully ripe, it is true ; but when beaten and ground it 
could be winnowed, and many then prefer it to bananas. We 
could also obtain manioc, sweet potatoes, and small quantities of 
maize, sesame, tobacco, &c. As to the red durra, I may remark 
that it is grown here, though only in small quantities, as I had 
already noticed when with Prince Mambanga. 

Of course all sorts of utensils were also picked up by our 
men, and they were well pleased to find the Rokko-tree growing 
near all the settlements, and even pieces of the dry, peeled-off 
bark lying ready to hand in the huts, so that many of them 
could without more ado change their old Rokko rags for a 
fine new garment. But first of all, of course, it had to be 
"woven," z. e. the piece of bark had to be m.etamorphosed 
into a web-like material, a process which was accomplished 
with proportional rapidity. Far into the night one could 
hear on all sides the noise of the hammers busily at work 
upon the Rokko bark. For this purpose the natives of the 
district make use of antelope horns attached to small elephant 
tusks, about a foot in length, a net-work of deep grooves 
being then cut into the cross section, which has a circumfer- 
ence of one or two inches. The damp bark is then placed on 
a block of wood and stamped and beaten until the fibres are 
separated and the mass made thin and flexible. At a pinch, 
however, this can also be managed with round stones, and the 
Wagandas and Wanyoros use large well-made mallets for the 
same purpose. 


The Embata chiefs soon came into the camp, and foremost 
among them Erruka himself, followed by Kaimba and the rest, 
bringing all kinds of provisions, including baskets of fowls, as a 
token of submission. They were told to collect their people and 
return without fear to their homes, and to submit peaceably 
henceforth to the commands of the Government. Many received 
a long red cotton shirt as a mark of their subjection. 

Many and well-founded were the complaints raised on this 
occasion— as had often happened before— by Bahit Bey and 
Hawash as to their lack of presents and peace-offerings for the 
Negroes, and of sufficient quantities of objects to barter in ex- 
change for ivory. For this reason it was indeed often very difficult 
to form a lasting bond between the Government and the natives, 
whose reconciliation might really be effected at so small a cost. 
Only a small portion of the value of the ivory delivered was 
returned in the shape of merchandise, hardly enough to meet 
the requirements of the officials. 

On the evening of the 29th of November, news was received by 
a letter from the Secretary of the success of the expedition sent 
against Mambanga ; his forces had been dispersed, and a great 
deal of booty taken, but the chief and Bobeli had again made 
their escape. On the 3rd of December, another letter announced 
that the expedition would return on the following day. I then 
received further details from Ringio — that Mambanga had been 
relying on help from the Zandeh chief Gansi, who had, however, 
betrayed the fugitive's retreat to Bahit Bey. When our men 
advanced, Gansi's A-Zandehs and Ringio with his Bombehs 
composed the vanguard, and were therefore not recognized by 
Mambanga's people as enemies until the Nubian Arabs, the 
soldiers armed with rifles, and the colours came in sight. Then 
ensued a general panic, and many, to run the better, threw away 
their large wooden shields and even, as is the wont of Negroes, their 
Rokkos, which might have impeded their flight. Quantities of 
these shields were afterwards thrown on the camp-fires, for the 
warriors found more valuable booty in the numerous other 
discarded weapons, and the Bombehs did in fact return with a 
fine assortment of Mangbattu knives (trumbashes), lances, &c. 


Ringio and Gansi pursued the enemy nearly as far as the 
Bomokandi, where tracks at length diverged in so many 
directions that the right one was lost. Meanwhile Abd Allah 
and Bashir established themselves in Mambanga's deserted 
camp, where they feasted off many of their slain enemies. 
Some of Mambanga's personal property reached our camp, 
besides about a hundred women, two of his sons, and little blonde 
Hawaja and the mother of Mambanga's sons, who were brought 
in as prisoners of war. 

Mambanga and Bobeli had escaped with most of their men ; 
but each day many deserters came in, and on one occasion 
two of Bobeli's grown-up sons, Vv'ith a few hundred of their 
A-Barmbos. One hundred and fifty lances and seventy-five 
shields were taken from them as being legally due to the victor, 
and they returned to their homes as Buru's men. What most 
disgusted me in the whole of our dealings with Mambanga was 
the treachery of the Negroes. He had been betrayed, not only 
by Gansi, who thought to increase his importance by keeping 
away from him, but even Bobeli's sons made most eager offers 
to betray their ally, pledging themselves to lure him into the 
desert with nugara cries, and then bring him in as a prisoner. 
This dishonourable plan was, however, unsuccessful, for the 
hunted chieftain found means to escape by secret paths, event- 
ually, with a few of his comrades, reaching the independent 
Mangbattu chief, Sanga Popo, to the south of the Bomokandi. 
He was not indeed spared the tragic fate of his predecessors ; 
but further details on this point belong to a later period. 

The neighbouring A-Barmbo chiefs and Magaragare having 
now returned and sent in their submission, we were able to 
make a further advance ; and Hawash Efifendi resolved, with the 
help of the Government troops, to bring the whole of A-Barmbo 
Land by degrees under the dominion of Kipa's successors, the 
A-Zandeh chiefs, who were already settled in the district. I 
acknowledge having supported this plan, for it was the best 
means of consolidating the numerous small A-Barmbo tribes ; 
Buru, of course, continuing even later to hold sway over the 
eastern district. As to Bobeli, he wandered about for a long 



time even after this, with a few faithful followers, until at length 
fate overtook him also. Gansi, on the other hand, was entrusted 
with the central portion of the A-Barmbo territory, and soon 
afterwards a station was founded on Mount Magaragare. The 
next step was to gain possession for the purposes of the Govern- 
ment of the western district also, if possible as far as the confines 

of the Zandeh chief Kamsa, 
where the Bomokandi flows 
into the Welle. I of course 
pursued my peaceful avoca- 
tions apart from these warlike 
occurrences. Mabub, who had 
just returned with some Mang- 
balle and soldiers from a re- 
connoitring expedition down 
the river, informed me that 
there were about ten more 
inhabited islands on this side 
of the Embatas, whom I had 
previously visited. At Ma- 
garagare I also had the great 
satisfaction of enriching my 
collection with a rare creature. 
It is true it was only a beetle, 
but of such a size that in sober 
earnest it would have been 
more appropriate to that period 
when our earth was still like 
some fabled world, inhabited 
by giant beasts. Just as we 
are accustomed to look upon 
the elephant as a descendant of far larger pachyderms, so also 
my A- Barmbo beetle resembles one of the giants surviving among 
the coleoptera. When the creature whizzed over our heads, for 
the moment I ideally took it for a bird ; but recognizing my mis- 
take the next moment, with the help of my men began an 
exciting chase. The beetle luckily settled on a tree close by, and 

GIANT BEETLE. {GoUatkiis Atlas.) 


was then easily captured. The wing-cases were brown, and on the 
black thorax there were broad white bands converging towards 
the head, while the sides of the abdomen and the legs were of a 
dark olive green colour. The body was ten cm. long by four 
and a half wide. Unfortunately this specimen of GoliatJins Atlas 
Avas lost with the rest of my collections. The accompanying copy, 
about two-thirds natural size, is taken from a specimen in the 
Imperial Natural History Museum at Vienna. At Magaragare 
I also obtained the skin and skeleton of a young otter for 
my collection, besides a curious bracelet made of a number of 
thoraces of large weevils strung together, and some queerly- 
constructed wooden amulets. These wonder-working pieces 
of wood are worn by the A-Zandehs, as well as by many 
other Negro tribes, as a safeguard in battle or to invite or 
prevent rain. 

The rainy season meanwhile had really come to an end in 
the second half of November, but we had thunderstorms from 
the east nearly every day, and some showers even in December. 
It may be remembered that the rains began in February with 
the western A-Barmbos, so that in that latitude the rainy period 
lasts nearly ten months, and, as will soon be seen, I myself 
experienced some heavy showers on the Bomokandi even at the 
end of December. But there the vast forest commences which 
stretches away to the south. This heavy rainfall, extending 
through the greater part of the year, is one of the chief factors 
in causing the fertility of the soil. As at the commencement of 
the rainy season, the wind during the last month blew pretty 
strongly from the north-west between the hours of eleven and 
four. I had foretold an eclipse of the moon for the 4th of 
December, and when it occurred the greatest surprise at my 
omniscience was expressed. 

At this time I received frequent visits from Ringio, who had 
been in the service of the Arabs and the Government for nearly 
a quarter of a century, and had a better knowledge of the radical 
abuses than any one else. He was chief dragoman to the 
Makarakas and Bombehs, of whom the greatest services were 
required as being the most reliable amongst the tributary tribes, 


and in this official position he was the first to suffer from the 
unwarranted demands made on his people. In former times he 
had often complained to me of the state of affairs, and now 
assured me once more that there was no improvement, the 
people were disaffected, and so his position as intermediary 
between them and the Government was most onerous. Having 
spent his whole life with the Nubian Arabs, he was thoroughly 
imbued with their manners and customs, repeating his prayers 
daily as they did, and he always impressed me as a true and 
faithful servant of the Government, although as intermediator it 
was perhaps not always possible for him to fulfil the heavy 
obligations imposed on his people. I have noted my opinion of 
him quite impartially in this place, because it was here that I 
saw him for the last time, and I shall briefly relate his ultimate 
fate in due course. 

About this time I was again reminded of that infamous 
impostor who made my stay at Tangasi so disagreeable. While 
returning from the Rol this scoundrel was lately caught in 
possession of some slaves, whom he had passed off as the 
property of sixteen Arabs in Mangbattu Land. Emin Bey now 
ordered all of those inculpated in this slave traffic to be sent to 
Lado. This will serve to show how all were in principle still 
devoted to the slave trade. Exportation to the north had 
become much more difficult, but the slave traffic was carried on 
all the more vigorously at home. 

Unfortunately there was no improvement in the state of 
feeling between Hawash Effendi and Bahit Bey, and this was 
probably the reason why the former suddenly changed his mind 
and retreated with half the men — to wit, the Makarakas — 
nominally to continue the search for Mambanga. I then joined 
Hawash and Bashir, and, following the original plan, we resumed 
our journey on the 9th of December. We were reinforced by 
Gansi with his men and many A-Barmbos from the new district ; 
Burn, on the other hand, returning home with his people. We 
still had a considerable force collected at the foot of Mount 
Magaragare, and, the order being given, marched forward with 
closed ranks, for it was reported that the western A-Barmbos 


were going to attack us. Leaving the territory of the A-Mii- 
bangas with its noticeable mountainous character ah'eady 
described, we found a narrow stretch of desolate country, and 
then passing the A-Balas, encamped in the land of the A-Gandas. 
During the first few days we made a devious course westwards 
away from the Welle. Here, too, and farther on, the natives had 
fled, but did not venture to attack us. 

The second day v/e crossed the Warra river, about twenty 
yards wide and five feet deep, and were forced to use tree trunks 
for the passage. We concluded from the many dwellings and 
extensive fields that there was a considerable population, though 
here again the populated tracts were small in comparison to the 
whole district, and are always separated by the desert country 
and found only near the river ; while the water-parting of the 
Welle and Bomokandi is almost entirely uninhabited. It was 
a good time of year for the march of a large number of men, 
for the tclebun corn was mostly cut and gathered into the 
granaries. Our men, unfortunately, were not content with stealing 
what they required for food, but the numerous camp-followers 
carried their vandalism so far as to set fire to many of the corn 

Leaving the territory of the A-Gandas, we passed through 
another short stretch of desert and reached the A-Mezimas, 
where we caught sight of the Welle once more, about twenty 
minutes' walk from our second night's encampment. Between 
Kaimba and the A-Mezimas the islands for the most part lie 
in groups. 

My black friends, Bamadsi and Senu, the thieves and receivers 
of stolen goods who had treated me so badly, were in hiding 
further to the north-west, and many islands in the river lay 
between us and their country. Amongst the A-Mezimas I 
therefore again came in contact with the A-Barmbos living in 
the district of the Mambanga-Zandehs. It was these very 
A-Mezimas, under their chief Bazingebanno, who had formerly 
threatened Dsumbe. 

After a short march we reached our temporary destination on 
the nth of December, the third day of our journey, and from 


this spot, the peace negotiations which now took place were 
carried on. The robbery and plunder committed by our men 
certainly did not indicate a mission of peace, but it is always the 
custom of the Arabs to impress the Negroes with a sense of 
their power and to harass and starve them into subjection. It is 
certainly not my wish to defend this system of pillage, although 
I must confess that the Negroes are often by no means inclined 
to compliance until they have learnt to recognize the full force 
of their adversaries, and have been tamed by the severe disci- 
pline of war. The gradual spread of European influence in the 
colonial territories finds indeed sometimes other conditions, and 
the high reputation of Europeans, their omnipotence, and, it is to 
be hoped, also their humanity, will pave the way for better times, 
and decrease the necessity of war. But it may be that powder 
and shot are in certain cases the best means of attaining the 
end in view. 

As soon as we reached the A-Mezimas, every one hurried away 
in search of food, for the timid and indolent get only the 
wretched gleanings. I, too — "in for a penny, in for a pound " — 
had to let my men join in the plundering. Dsumbe prowled 
about after fowls and tobacco, whilst Dembeh-Dembeh returned 
with a basket of sesame, and my carriers came laden with maize 
and such like. It was vain to try to stem the tide of destruction, 
and whole groves of bananas fell in a few minutes under the 
blows of the trumbashes. Then the men, taking five or six 
trunks, placed them so as to form a conical structure, and by 
covering them over with leaves, had their quarters for the night 
ready. The felling of these fruit-trees is deplorable under any 
circumstances, as they are of great importance to the owners. 
It is of no avail to urge by way of excuse that new branches 
would compensate in a few months for the trunks which had been 
hewn down ; nor did the end justify the means, for how many 
hundreds of branches were cut down on the march from mere 
love of destruction ! However, I must do that justice to Hawash 
Effendi that he gave his men orders to abstain from all deeds of 
violence against the natives themselves. He also sent offers of 
peace to the chiefs, some of whom did not long delay coming 


into the camp, bringing their ivory with them. And these same 
men who had formerly been moved by the weight of a bad 
conscience, or by fear, or ill-will to keep away from me, were now 


brought to subjection by real fright and stern necessity, for they 
well knew that otherwise they would have to face the collective 
forces of the " Turks." 


Accordingly, I again soon saw Senu, who brought in his tribute 
of ivory with cringing obsequiousness ; hkewise that very Basansa 
under whose conduct it was, as had been proved, that out of 
forty loads several cases had been stolen on a previous occasion. 
He probably thought I should not spy him out of the throng, 
and, to further his disguise, had actually changed his name, but 
I recognized him even at a distance by his slight stoop. Basin- 
gebanno presented himself also, but his utterances were now in 
a much humbler strain than the message which he had sent me 
by Dsumbe. 

I generally kept away from the long discussions between 
Hawash and the A-Barmbos. There were many complications. 
Many of the A-Barmbos had escaped at our approach to the 
north bank of the Welle, where, however, fresh enemies were 
already in wait for them. There were soon complaints that 
Mazindeh, the A-Madi Mbittima, the dragomans from Osman 
Bedawi's station, and other chiefs on the further bank, had taken 
the women who escaped thither. This naturally provoked 
Hawash again, and he sent a division across to rescue the 
victims, and if possible to bring in Mahmud and the Bongo 
dragomans as prisoners ; and the men really brought back 
twelve slaves from the station, seven of whom, mere children, 
had already been marked as slaves, with three newly-made cuts 
in each cheek. Mahmud, Mazindeh, Mbittima, and most of the 
Bongo dragomans had managed to hide before the arrival of 
the soldiers. 

The immediate result of this expedition of rescue was a 
counter-cry that our troops had in their turn been robbing and 
plundering. In a word, there were fresh evils even amongst the 
A-Madi, without, as we shall see farther on, any plan being 
carried through. Not all of the A-Barmbos of the district had 
submitted ; on the contrary, many of them were in hiding 
after concealing their property on the islands. So that very 
peremptory measures had to be taken, and there were 
skirmishes between the A-Barmbos and our people, who often 
went out in small parties, in which sometimes blood was shed. 
Dsumbe, for instance, on being surprised by the A-Bukundas 


when he was sent soon after our arrival with a few soldiers 
to Mambanga-Zandeh, shot one of the natives and brought 
back the pierced shield as a trophy. Mambanga was naturally 
overjoyed in this way to get nearer the goal at which he had 
long been aiming, and once more recover his authority over 
the A-Barmbos. 

In this chaos of constant negotiations, complaints, processes, 
capture and exchange of women, despatch of skirmishing parties, 
and infliction of punishment, still further aggravated by the din 
and tumult of camp-life, the days passed noisily away. One 
specially abominable and deplorable scene occurs to my mind. 
One day the soldiers thought they recognized amongst the 
A-Barmbo rabble a man who had once during a sally from the 
station (Hawash) killed one of their own men ; mad with rage, 
they rushed in a body on the luckless yet innocent man, be- 
labouring him with the butt-ends of their guns ; whenever he 
attempted to escape, his tormentors raised a yell of triumph, and 
once more felled him to the ground. Before I heard of the 
occurrence and could intervene, the victim of this cruel treat- 
ment had breathed his last in the midst of the infuriated mob, 

I experienced a greater sense of justice in the diligent search 
which resulted in the return of some of my stolen property. 
The receivers, indeed, denied having anything still in their 
possession, but the goods were found hidden away on an island 
with other articles, including four boxes of English powder, some 
linen, and many other sorts of things, some of which I now gave 
away as presents. So Scnu and Bamadsi had still further com- 
promised themselves by their denial ; the former managed to 
escape just in time, whilst his accomplice was punished by being 
put in the pillory. I must allow that I now demanded, as 
some compensation for the inconvenience and vexation the 
rascals had once caused me, that Hawash should order the cul- 
prits to give me ten trumbashes and thirty lances. My demand 
was complied with, and I felt a certain malicious pleasure in 
dividing the implements amongst my Makaraka carriers and 
the subalterns. 

Of course I was still more rejoiced by the arrival at last of the 


long and anxiously-expected box from Khartum, of which 
Dsumbe had already received intelligence at Ndoruma's. At 
first sight I thought it contained provisions, but the contents 
were far more precious, consisting entirely of printed matter — 
bundles of newspapers, one volume of Petermann's Mitteiliingen, 
the lately published maps of my first travels, and best of all 
these good things, a charming little budget of letters ; but my 
enjoyment was again clouded by sorrow, for my letters brought 
sad intelligence from home. 

Orders arrived about this time from Bahit Bey, who was at 
Tangasi, that Hawash should return in order to start for Maka- 
raka in accordance with Emin Bey's commands. The real cause 
of the order lay in complaints made as to certain arbitrary pro- 
ceedings of Hawash when at Tangasi, against Niangara. The 
consequence of this sudden recall of the expedition was, unfortu- 
nately, that the work begun in the A-Barmbo territory remained 
incomplete, and neither now% nor, as events will show, at a later 
period, did the injured natives receive indemnification by a settle- 
ment of their affairs and assurance of peace. I did not allow 
myself to be thwarted by the retreat of the whole band, which 
shortly ensued, but seized this opportunity to carry out an old 
plan, namely, the undertaking of a solitary journey to Bakangai. 
Basingebanno did not refuse any longer to provide me with 
messengers and even carriers, and so I immediately despatched 
some men to Bakangai, sending Dsumbe with them to antici- 
pate any possibility of false intelligence. 

Meanwhile I made an excursion on the Welle, gaining thereby 
a new landmark on the river, which would be useful as a connec- 
tion between my present journey and that to be undertaken in 
February. It was about forty minutes' march from, our camp to 
the river, and about the same distance thence in a north-westerly 
direction to the point where I had previously crossed on the way 
to Mambanga-Zandeh's. Numerous rocky ledges here rose 
above the clear water, for the Welle had by this time, the 19th 
of December, already sunk six feet. A number of hippopotami 
disported themselves in the river, exposing their huge heads 
above the surface, but never for more than a minute. It is often 


useless to hunt them, for, when badly wounded or killed, the 
animals drift far away down stream and are lost to the sports- 
man, while it is pure chance if they fall into the hands of the 
natives. When shot by a good marksman their unwieldy 
body rises suddenly out of the water, only to disappear with 
the same rapidity. If slightly wounded they hide in the 
thick grass on land, where they can breathe more freely than 
in water. 

Even before the order to retreat had reached the expedition, 
messengers had departed westwards with some of Mambanga- 
Zandeh's men to Bakangai's brother, Kamsa ; they now re- 
turned with a few of his people, bringing ivory, to express their 
chief's delight at the determination of the Government to 
enhance his power amongst the A-Barmbos, and to state that he 
was now awaiting Hawash Effendi. My messengers also soon 
returned with good tidings ; they were accompanied by envoys 
from the chief, who were to present me with a chimpanzee and 
three elephant tusks, and to escort me to him with all speed. 
Meanwhile I had already made all necessary arrangements for 
my departure, even to finishing my letters and reports for 
Europe, and was thus able to start next day without any delay. 
Hawash at the same time moved his camp farther back to the 
east, where he was to await news of my arrival at the Bomo- 
kandi and safe passage over the river with Basingebanno's 
carriers. The first orders sent to Hawash had been quickly 
supplemented by a second, conveyed by thirty soldiers from 
Tangasi, so that now the return of the expedition appeared 
still more urgent. 

The Embatas had meantime refused the troops the use of their 
boats, but the opportunity was taken to seize ten of them ; and 
the ivory and other goods besides were for the first time trans- 
ported by water from those western districts to the station on 
the Gadda, thus proving beyond all doubt that the whole 
distance of about one hundred miles is free from rapids and 
quite navigable. I also took this opportunity of sending my 
chimpanzee and newly-made collections up the river. I 
intended to make my way to the east again by another and 



more southerly route from Bakangai, and so sent my invalided 
servants, who had been left behind at the station with Buru, as 
well as the packages which had remained there, to Tangasi. 

Thus on the 26th of December, my long-cherished wish was at 
length fulfilled, and it was in a most contented frame of mind 
that I followed my small company of fifteen A-Barmbo carriers 
to the south. My retinue was strengthened on this journey by 
the accession of the dragoman Dembeh-Dembeh and a small 

A NIGHT IN THE FOREST. {Draivn by L. H. Fische7\) 

maid, besides a girl whom Dsumbe had procured from 

During the next few days, and beyond the Bomokandi as far 
as Bakangai's, our way led constantly southwards with few devia- 
tions. Shortly after our departure we pas.sed by Basingebanno's 
huts, and traversing the country of the A-Mezimas, reached 
Ngillima's abode. We were delayed some hours by the neces- 
sity of procuring supplies^ for a wild desert stretches away to the 


south from this place. Farther on in the same direction succeeds 
a hilly district which parts the rivers falling into the Welle-Makua 
from the tributaries of the Bomokandi, its southern affluent ; 
the divide reaches its greatest elevation, an hour's walk to the 
east, in the Bongotu mountain chain running south-south-east and 
north-north-west. Behind it lay the route to Bakangai, which 
Osman Bcdawi had taken the previous year. The first stream that 
flows into the Bomokandi is the Gadsi, ten yards broad. I was 
obliged to recross it the following day at a point where there was 
a bend to the south-west. All the smaller streams found their 
way to it during the first half of our journey from the east, and 
afterwards from the west. The road from the A-Barmbos as far 
as Bakangai's had been very little used, and was completely con- 
cealed by the grass which rose above our heads, so that we found 
it easier to strike through the tracts of forest, which gradually 
increased as the woodlands bordering on the small rivers became 
more dense. The first night we encamped in the depth of the 
forest ; but the men being too lazy to build a hut, and there 
being little likelihood of rain, I settled myself as best I could 
under the leafy crests of the huge trees. 

The moon was in the second quarter, and now and then its 
beams burst through the rifts of the majestic forest dome, which 
resounded with the merry shouts of the men. I, too, was in a 
happy frame of mind, and eagerly devoured the simple evening 
repast of kisra with chicken and manioc root, and afterwards, 
indulging in a cigarette, unconsciously counted the cheerfully 
glowing camp-fires, while my thoughts were in reality hurrying 
on to my long-desired goal. But soon the mirth and laughter 
around grew silent, and weariness quickly succumbed to sleep. 
I alone was unable to sleep, and in its place came the forerunners 
of fever. 

I had neglected for several days to dose myself against its 
attack with quinine, and had to bear the consequences. I lay 
under my woollen blanket with my teeth chattering; then this cold 
fit was succeeded by one of heat, until the gentle, monotonous 
sough of the wind in the leaves so far lulled me that I fell into a 
light sleep, in which, however, my excited fancy found no real rest.. 


I had not long enjoyed this doze, when I was suddenly awakened 
by a loud rustling and crackling as the trees swayed to and fro 
in the wind, for a storm was approaching. Things looked dismal 
enough. Masses of black cloud rolled up, smothering the light 
of the moon save for a few gleams which died away in the glare 
of the southern heavens shining like a sea of fire beyond the 
narrow limits of the forest. A raging fire had evidently broken 
out in the far-distant steppes, which was being driven on by the 
fury of the storm. 

There was little time for meditation, every moment was 
precious, for the thunderstorm might burst upon us any minute. 
The wind was already rushing madly through the trees, hurling 
foliage and dry branches down upon us, and in another second 
we felt the first heavy raindrops. I hurriedly took measures to 
roll up the rugs with all speed, and to put them in the waterproof 
cover, placing the feet of the angareb on some boxes, and 
protecting the whole with a piece of oilcloth. I then crept 
underneath to seek shelter against the drenching rain. The 
glare in the sky soon vanished, for the rain quickly quelled 
the flames ; our camp-fires went out too, and, while the moon 
was hidden by the heavy clouds, the pitchy darkness of night 
reigned supreme, save when for a moment the dense darkness 
was illumined by flashes of lightning crossing one another in 
all directions, and causing trees, men, and all other objects 
to appear suddenly like ghosts and again vanish. Thunder 
drowned the rustling of the trees, and there was often a 
crackling sound above us like that of grape-shot, all the more 
terrible since I again momentarily experienced the suddenly 
increased pressure of the atmosphere, as I had done before 
during many similar thunderstorms. Besides all this, the rain 
rattled down incessantly on the foliage of the trees, deluging 
us poor mortals below. However, in half an hour's time all was 
at an end ; the ashes of the fires were speedily kindled again, 
and whole mountains of wood piled upon them, so that the 
Negroes were enabled thoroughly to warm their stiffened limbs, 
whilst I dried my soaked clothes, and, finally wrapped in my 
cloak, snatched a few hours' more sleep. 



In the early twilight of the next morning all were ready 
again, awake and gathered round the fires, for a heavy day's 
march Jay before us ; so making an early start, we reached the 
Bomokandi on the same day, the 27th of December. Next day 
we crossed the Gadsi, later on one of its lesser tributaries, and then 
another small stream which flows directly into the Bomokandi. 
In places there are broad ridges of high rising ground, and from 
one of these I saw Mount Mandyema, to the south of the 
Bomokandi. This day our way still led constantly through deep 
tracts of forest, where our advance was much hampered and 
often only possible by stooping. It would have been almost 
impossible to make any progress had it not been for the foot- 
paths which are to be found here as in most other parts of 
our route, and where these are occasionally blocked, there is 
certainly no lack of obstacles. Often these ways are only the 
tracks of animals, of which, however, men too are glad to make 
use. The roads continually led again from the thin woodland of 
the steppe into dense tracts of forest, where the natives some- 
times hunt for things which are not to be found in the former 
region, such as roots, fruits, honey, &c. ; but the search for 
certain species of termites is carried on even in the most remote 

But it is specially the great hunts which attract whole troops 
of natives into the least inhabited parts, and hence the foot- 
paths originate. Sometimes huts of refuge are erected in these^ 
places, and one of them was very serviceable to us on this 
very occasion, for in the afternoon another thunderstorm burst 
over us before we reached the Bomokandi. Most of the carriers 
hurried on, the rest remaining behind with me to seek shelter 
from the rain. In spite of this we reached the Bomokandi long 
before sunset, but there were no boats for the passage, though 
notice of our approach had already been given by messengers 
despatched on the previous day. So we had to spend another 
night on the damp ground which had been flooded by the river, 
for the northern bank was flat and showed traces of the water, 
whilst the southern bank still rose six feet above the level of the 
river. The breadth was about two hundred yards, and both banks 


were bordered by a broad belt of forest, as along the smaller 
streams. In this respect also the Bomokandi differs essentially 
from the Welle, whose steep banks have but a narrow fringe of 
trees. A splendid picture, set in a beautiful, appropriate frame, 
was that offered by the calm, clear expanse of water, from which 
arose two little islands ; the nearest one, indeed, consisted merely 
of a single mass of rock with one solitary tree, but the other was 
fully a hundred yards long and thickly wooded. The main 
course of the Bomokandi here is to the north-west, and near 
Kamsa's it joins the Welle. There was a bend to the south a 
little below the point where we crossed, and the view across to 
the east was narrowed. We were again threatened with rain 
at night, but it did not fall ; my sleep was, however, disturbed 
by cramp in the legs, caused by the weariness of creeping 
through bush and forest. Although December cannot be in- 
cluded in the rainy season, the last few days had shown me that 
in these latitudes heavy rains may occur even in this month, for 
such was my experience in the year 1881, on the 9th, 13th, 26th, 
and 27th of December. 

On the following morning, whilst waiting for the boats, we 
tried to catch some fish which were at play under the shade of 
the bank. At last the baggage was carried over the river, and 
in an hour's time we reached the settlement of an A-Barmbo 
chief. I could not proceed farther for want of carriers, so the 
natives soon came to stare at me, and by way of a change I was 
able once more to entertain a dusky tribe with music and 

The land south of the Bomokandi is inhabited by numerous 
A-Barmbo tribes. Their territory reaches westwards to the 
Makongo, a tributary of the Bomokandi, and is there bounded 
by the A-Babuas. In the east they cross the Pokko, also a 
southern tributary of the Bomokandi, but there only form 
solitary colonies amongst the A-Zandehs. In Bakangai's 
domains, however, conditions were reversed, the A-Zandehs 
forming colonies amongst the A-Barmbos, all, however, being 
vassals of Prince Bakangai. The A-Bayas and A-Mbarandis 
live near the ferry, and to the east follow the A-Mokubios, 

ZAXDEH WARRIORS. {Drawii by Fr. Rlicinfcldcr, from a photograph by R. Buchta. 


A-Miaros, &c. ; to the west are situated the A-Mangalcs, 
A-Beliforos, A-Bahs, and a whole succession of other tribes. 

Messengers from Bakangai continually arrived, requesting me 
to come to the prince as quickly as possible ; they were easily 
recognized at a distance as messengers from the chief by the 
loud jingle of bells. My first requirement was to have carriers, 
but they were not easy to obtain, in spite of all the shouts and 
noise of bells calling down the wrath of the prince on all who 
proved refractory. However, some of my A-Mezima carriers 
had returned to Hawash Effendi with the news of our arrival at 
the Bomokandi ; the rest accompanied us to Bakangai under 
my protection, in return for which they willingly acted as 
carriers. We managed to obtain the remaining carriers somehow 
from the A-Barmbos on the spot. 

Shortly before our departure on the 29th of December more 
messengers arrived, bringing with them as a present from the 
chief an Akka boy, from the dwarf race living in the south. He 
was called Akangai, and remained with me for a few years. 

The land we now passed through on our way southwards is in 
part undulating and in part a tableland, well watered by streams 
flowing westwards chiefly into the Zeseh, a tributary of the 
Bomokandi. The forest now increased in denseness, so that 
our march lay more through the characteristic fluvial avenues 
than in the open wooded steppe. The high grass, still green in 
parts, was another proof that December may be counted among 
the rainy months south of the Bomokandi, The country was 
thickly populated, with settlements occurring every ten or fifteen 
minutes ; first came the A-Bayas, then the A-Mappurus, and 
then the A-Banyas. The A-Zandehs are chiefly concentrated 
round about their ruler, and during the last few hours of our 
march, till we reached the prince's abode, we met with their 
settlements exclusively. 

Up to the very end of my journey, Bakangai kept on sending 
messenger after messenger to meet me, and as they always re- 
turned in the greatest haste to inform him of my approach, I was 
all the more disappointed by my reception at his place of abode. 
I had expected to be led straight to the place of assembly. 


whereas I was simply escorted by his people to a couple of 
wretched huts, which they gave me to understand were assigned 
by Bakangai for my residence. In my indignation I determined 
to have my baggage put down under a neighbouring tree, and a 
camp pitched there, but received information that the prince 
himself would shortly appear on the scene. He did actually 
approach immediately, surrounded by his notables. Contrary to 
my custom, however, I remained sitting mute on my chair, while 
the chief established himself at some distance on his stool. Some 
minutes of perfect silence followed, but, when the prince seemed 
on the point of breaking it by speaking to his attendants, I 
interrupted him, saying that, " It was unseemly for him, an 
absolute ruler, to come to me, especially to these half-ruined 
huts, instead of receiving the stranger in his own mbanga, which 
was the proper and customary course. As for the huts which 
he had assigned to me, they were not good enough even for my 
servants, and for this reason I preferred to encamp in the open 
air under yonder tree. Moreover," I added, "he was not to 
take me for a ' Dongolawi,' an Osman Bedawi, an Ali, or a 
Mayo." (It was with the two last-named Arabs that Miani 
had made his journey to Bakangai.) " Nevertheless I would bear 
him no grudge on this account, as he was not yet sufficiently 
acquainted with us 'white men.' Therefore, having now said 
as much as was necessary, I saluted him as the all-powerful 
sovereign of his country." With these words I rose, and going 
up to him, gave him a hearty shake of the hand. Bakangai was 
evidently embarrassed by my speech, and, pleading ignorance 
as to the badness of the accommodation, gave instant orders 
for the erection of a large new hut. By the co-operation of 
many hands this was actually accomplished by the evening, 
while the day after an awning was put up for me, besides other 
huts for my people. 

Thus at last, almost at the end of the year 1881, I attained 
the goal at which I had been aiming for a year past, viz., the 
domain of Prince Bakangai. It is true that a long space of 
time had elapsed between my first unsuccessful attempt and its 
present issue, and besides that, the material which I had obtained 


for my maps was but small in comparison with the extent of the 
regions which had been explored ; but, as a set-off to this, a 
long stay at various places had afforded me a deeper insight 
into the customs, way of life, and whole activity of the tribes in 
those parts, so that T might venture to say, " This year has not 
been lost." 



Abd Allah, settlement under, 109, iii 

Abd el-Min, 256, 257 

Abd es- Set, settlement under, III, 127 

Adatam, 225, 244, 251, 255 

Akka tribe, 26n, 469 

Albinos, 240 

Ali, 253, 264 

Animals, 69 

Antelopes, 293, 3S1, 442 

Apes, 129, 363 

Baboons, 123 

Bats, 119 

Buffaloes, 290, 347, 357 

Chimpanzees, 65, 179, 300, 313,374 ; 
nest of the, 377 

Dogs, 151, 305 

Elephants, 431 

Flattermaki, Caleopithecus, 423 

Goat, buck, 234 

Golunda Barbara, 382 

Hippopotami, 45S 

Leopards, 130, 297 

Mouse-catching, 381 - 
Arab monk, 303 
Arabs' treatment of the Negroes, 453, 454 

Nubian, 229, 255, 256 

reception from the, 394 

services of the, 369 

wisdom of, 299 
Arithmetic, negro, 329 
Artes Africana:, 94 
Atrush Bey, 71 


Bahr el-Ghazal, province of, 81, 361, 

populations of, 94, 96, no 
Sec River. 
Bakangai, Prince, 298 ; with, 469, 470 

Bakit I'ey, 42S, 433, 452 
Barometer, 61 
Bastinado, 431, 432 
Beer, negro, 278 
Berber, road to, 18 

town of, 19 
Birds, 69 

Bahvniccps Rex, 45, 46, 64, 75 

Cosmetornis Spekci, 175 

Darters, 43, 47 

Niintida vidtiirina, 422 

Parra Africana, 42 

Peacock crane, 78 

in the vicinity of the Werre, 153 

Poultry, 273, 274 

Spur-winged goose, 66 
Blood brotherhood, ceremony of, 405 
Bohndorff, 9, 294, 298 

excursion near the Werre, 311, 341 

his career, 33 
Botanical notes — 

ambatch, 45, 48 

Baniia, 391 

bread-fruit tree, 377 

Durra, 107 

Eleusine coraeana, 107, 161, 272, 278 

ErythrophlcEuvi gjiincense, 84 

European plants at Lacrima, 161, 

forest, no, 117 

in x\-Madi lands, 370, 373, 375 
indigenous plants, 15, 42, 1 13, 116, 
119, 145, 161, 190, 271, 309, 312 
Meluchia, 342 
mushrooms, 338 
palms, 43, 193, 252, 257, 401 
rokko tree, 447 
south of the 'XVelle, 230 
water plants forming the sudd, 57 
wild rice, 304 
Buchta, Richard, 22 



Cannibalism, 233, 24S, 39S, 449 

Carriers, negro, 267 

Casati, Captain, 414, 419 

Christmas Day, 306 

Collections, fate of, 3 

Commerce, 17 

Congo, characteristics of the, 117 

affluents of the, the Welle, &c., 114, 
199. Scd River. 
Copper, 246 
Cri[ninal punishments amongst tlie 

negroes, 257, 310, 353, 365 


Dar-Fertit, 94 

Dem Bekir, zeriba of, 95, 107, 115 

Dem Guju, 92, 94 

Dem Soliman, 79, S5, 86, 92 

Divination amongst the negroes, 137, 

206, 220, 246, 363, 3S0, 402, 407, 416 
Drar, zeriba, 77 
Dress, negro, 163, 226, 241, 245, 249, 

288, 447 
Drum {luigara), beating the war, 140, 

217, 314, 366 
Dry season, temperature in the, 293, 305, 


Ghaba Jer Dekka, 44 

Giegler Pasha, 21, 23 

Gnaui Bey, S3, 85 

Gordon, General, 3, 14, 16, 22, 67 

Government economy, 78, 448 

Grass lands in Zandeh, 1S5 

Grass thatching, 145 

Gugas, or granaries, 82 


Hadendoas tribes, 18 
Halima, 296, 386 

Hawash Effendi, 378, 3S6, 393, 396, 417, 
426, 432,434, 452, 

recalled, 458 
Hawash station, 393, 416 

mutiny at, 434 
Hints for travellers' food, etc., 15, 84, 89, 
109, 171, 300, 306, 323, 324, 339, 342, 
347, 35S, 370, 37 1> 386, 393, 447 

frequent source of illness, 380 

packing goods, 27 

packing salt, 298 

useful stores, 24, 105, 154, 16S, 352 
House, author's, in Khaitum, 21 

at Lacrima, 143 
Hunts, 180, 377, 465 
Huts of banana leaves, 403 

El Maas, 96 

Embata tribe, 324, 32S-334, 350, 44S, 

Emigration, negro, 116 
Emin Bey, 255, 418, 438 
Equatorial provinces, trade in the, 28 

Farag Allah, 33, 105, 34S, 353, 362 

Farman, 4 

Fashoda, 35-37 

Fire on the steppe, 38, 46, 462 

Fish in the Welle, 328 

Forests, 117 

in the A-Madi Land, 375 

Gadda, station on the, 253 
Ganda station, 84, 85 
Gangura, territory, 186 
Genealogy, royal negro, 194 
Geological notes, 79, 116, 120, 321 
Gessi, Romolo, 20, 22, 60, 71-76, 83-89 

death of, 92, 418 

policy, 63, 151, 160, 304, 42S 

triumph of, 79, 81 

Id-ei.-Kebir, 432 

Industries, negro, 94, 266, 285, 420, 447 

Insects, notes upon — 

annoyance from insects, 247, 269 

gadflies, 36 

harvest, 340 

locust gathering, 278 

rare beetle, 450 

robber ants, 159 

termite, 140, 147, 171, 333, 338 
Islands in the Welle, 391, 392, 443 
Isnta'ilia, on board the, 32-46 

rats on the, 36 
Ivory, 138, 151, 200, 209, 214 

ornaments, 288 


Jabai, Sheik, 77 
jur Cihatta, 61, 70-76 
Jussuf es-Shellali, 271 


Kaka, 35 
Khartum, 19 

old friends in, 21, 23 

leavincr, 31 



Khedive, audience with the, 3 
Khor Deleb, 43 
Khor el- Arab, 43 
Khor el-Ghanam, S6 
"Kit," 49, 50 
Kohn, Herr, 14 
Kommunda, 1 27 
Kuril, 85, S6 

geographical importance of the, 95 

Lacrima, station of, 149 

life at, 143, 167, 290 

return to, 293, 294 
Lado, 81 
Lupton Bey, 63, 100 


Mahdists, 64 

Mahmud, 321 

Maiyeh bita el-Deleb, 45 

Maiyeh bita Komvindari, 41 

:Maiyeh bita Signora, 38 

Marno, Ernest, 19, 37, 53 

Marquet, M., 2, 16, 18, 21, 23 

Maximo, Herr, 3, 14 

jNIbanga, negro meetings, 157, 188, 281 

Meshra er-Req, 49, 50, 60 

need of a station at, 62 
Miani, Italian traveller, 243, 258 
Mill, negro, 169 
Missionaries, 22 
Mohammed Effendi, 84 
Moqren el-Bahur, Lake, 38, 41 
Mount Angba, 322, 326, 38S 

Baginse, 272 

Baiimassango, 326 

Du, ascent of, 1 12 

Ghasa, ascent of, I20 

Girro, 326 

Keddede, 131 

Lingua, 321, 388 
ascent of, 325 

Madyanu, 391, 441, 442, 443, 465 

Magaragare, 443, 450 

Majanu, 322 

IMalingde, ascent of, 321, 360 

Saba, 280 
IVIountain group, 442 
^ludir ]\Iani Bey, 18 
Muhammed Kher, 270, 271, 275 
Muhammed weled Abdu, 256, 259 
Mula Effendi, 254 

Negro, forced labour from the, 7, 64, 97, 


tribute paid by the, 98 

industries, 79, 94, 246, 447 

slave trade by, 93, lOO, 209, 369, 384, 

human sacrifices, 100 
dress, 163, 226, 241, 245, 249, 288, 

447 , , 

abuse of authority by the, 113 

capacity, 154, 155 
characteristics, 140, 173, 233, 419 
treachery, 449 
superstitions, 366, 451 
suicide amongst the, 248 
messengers from the, 149 
native government, 157 
dissensions amongst the, 160, 213, 
279, 286, 318, 335, 336, 358, 366, 
383, 393, 421 
variations of skin amongst, 239, 369 
dances, 237, 384, 408, 430 
festivities, 382 
songs, 384 
Negro tribes, unimportant, 244, 266, 327, 
336, 338, 352, 391, 392, 393, 441, 453 
A-Bisangas, 249, 251, 421 
A-Barmbo, 127, 204, 217, 222, 226, 
324, 433, 443, 456 
land of the, 334 
inhospitality of the, 337-35°' 397, 

customs of the, 420, 449 
singing of the, 378 
tribes included in the, 466 
Bassansa, chief, 329 
Boboli, chief, 412, 420, 448, 449 
Burn, chief, 220, 237, 250, 394-407 
Manda, chief, 388 
A-lNLadi, 199, 280 

land of the, 317, 321, 325, 346, 424 
government, 426 
Burn, chief, 364, 387 
Fero, chief, 268, 274-279 
Mazindeh, chief, 359-388 
at Hawash station, 424 
A-Zandeh, 71, 92, 96, 107, 1 20 
huts, 146, 164, 170 
customs, 189 
princes, 193, 280 
industries, 282 
alliance, 285 
honesty, 287 
criminal code, 310 

loyalty, 425 ■ , , r ,1, 

summer temperature in land ot tne, 


Abdu'lallahi, Prince, 160, 255 
Binsa, chief, 277, 287, 293 
Hokwa, 160, 271, 275, 276 
Mbittima. 160, 263 
Mbio, 129, 151 



Nasima, chief, 203, 209, 218 
Ndoruma, chief, 72, 129 

reception by, 132 

mbanga under, 153 

parting from, 174 

return to, 269, 290, 309, 313 
Ngerria, chief, 278, 281 
Palembata, chief, 193, 197-201, 313 
Wando, Prince, 160, 270, 274, 276 
Zassa, Prince, 297, 30S, 342, 349-355 
Zemio, Prince, 92, 151, 396 

reception by, 197, 203 

leaving, 229 
Bongo, 77, 83, 85 
Dai, 253 
Digga, 110-112 
Dinka, 62, 67, 68, 90, loo 
Embatas, boating tribe, 230, 253 

fishing by tiie, 328 

extortions by the, 330, 335, 337 ; 

355. 447. 459 
Golos, 85, 108 
Jur, 77, 79, 82 
Krey, 89, 94, 95 
Mangballe, 202, 207, 209, 210 
preparing for war, 217, 218 
boats, 221, 397, 430 
Mangbattu, 203, 205, 225 
huts, dress, 241, 244 
debates, 242 
weapons, 246 
customs, 366, 411 
history during my absence, 396 
Mambanga, chief, territory of, 205, 
206 ; 213, 217, 220, 229 
meeting with, 225 
my residence with, 230-253 
presents from, 314 
his duplicity, 341, 342, 348, 351 
war made upon, 378, 396 
my overtures to, 398, 401, 403 
council of subjects, 412 
his cupidity, 416 
obstinacy, 422 
danger, 428 
defeated, 448 
Munsa, King, 254, 258 
Niam-Niam, 71, 97 
type, 102, 233 
New moon, 293 

New Year's day in Khartum, 23 
Nile, afHuents of the. See River. 
Nile basin, 275 

Nile-Congo basins, 114, 117, 131 
Nile, the Blue, 60 
the White, 35 
obstructed by sudd, 38 
origin of name, 60 
Nuer, 43 


Optical delusion, marine, 13 
Osman Bedawi, 138, 191, 296, 318, 342, 
417, 426 


Pakstina, on board the, 10 

Palm-oil packing, 325 

Papers, useful, 4, 259 

Pirona, M., 2 

Prime Minister, audience with the, 7 

Python, 206 


Rabay, 124 

Rainy seasons, 77, 244, 392, 439, 451, 

Rauf Pasha, 22 
Ringio, dragoman, 437, 451 
River Congo system — 
Akka, 222 
Anakaba, 255 
Badua, 117 
Boku, 119, 127 

Bomokandi, affluent of the Welle, 
257, 335. 450, 453. 461-466; two 
tributaries— Gadsi, 461; Zeseh, 
Bua, 266 

Duru, affluent of the Welle, 269, 272 
Gadda, affluent of the Welle, 254, 

257, 265 
Gurba, 185, 199, 204, 213, 269, 290, 
294, 317; Buoli, affluent of the, 

Ilekke, affluent of the, 317, 360 
Kapili, 267, 269, 272 
Kibali, source of the Welle, 265, 266 
Kibongo, 441 

Kliwa, affluent of the Welle, 251 
Mbruole, 213, 217, 269, 280, 281, 

Mombo, affluent of the Welle, Ma- 

kua, 119, 131 
Rongo, 118 
Tau, 287, 288 
Tong, 3S7 
Tonj, 69 

Tota, affluent of the Welle, 442 
W^elle, affluents of the, 217, 257, 

265, 269, 317, 322, 327, 32S; 334, 

353. 393 • 

river valley of the, 253 

islands in the, 391 
Welle Makua, 119, 131, 1S5, 186, 
312, 314 

affluents of the, 461 



Welle-MaUiia-Mobangi, 114 

Wana, 453 

Werre Welle, 313, 317 
River Nile system, 114 

Balir el-Gliazal, 1 14, 131 
affluents of the, 275 

Bahr el-Jebel, 41, 53 

Bikki, 131, 309, 310 

Buole, 293 

Buseii, head water of the Wau, 109 

Duma, 310 

Dure, 96 

Gitti, 83 

Jih, 108, 114 

Tubbo, 275 

jur, 49, 50, 79, 80, 275 

Hako, affluent of Werre, 192 

Mbomu, 131, 310 

Swamps draining to the Werre, 1S2 

Pai, affluent of the Gurba, 201 

Sueh, 275 

Wau, 79, 109, 114, 275 

Werre, 294 

Yubbo, 280, 294 
Route between Egypt and the Sudan, 

to Korosko, 17 

Sawakin and Berber, 16-18 

to Kassala, 17 

from Jur Ghattas, 71 

from Wau to Biselli, 82 

to Dem Soliman, S3, 84 

the Shekka from Dem Soliman, 89 

from Dem Soliman, 92 

from Dem Guju, 94 

by the Buseri, 109 

value of shorter, 149 

in the depression of the Welle, 253, 

to Tangasi, 255, 257 
through Hokwa's territory, 269 
to Bakangai, 324 
from the Werre to the Deleb, 341 
to the south, 460 
Rubattino Company of steamers, 10 


Sawakin, 14, 16 
Schweinfurth, 102, 254, 258 
Slave trade, 29, 93, 100 
Snake, 251 
Sobat, 54 

Soliman Ziber, 79, 259 
Solongo, 123 
Sounding stone, 373 
Storm, sudden, 61, 347, 465 
Sudan officials, 427 

Sudd, the grass barriers in the Nile, 19, 
37, 38,44-46,48, 53, 55 

Tangasi, 259, 452 
Tobacco, 373, 414 
Topographical notes, 322, 360 
Traps for animals, 297, 326, 424 
Travellers who preceded the author, 107 
Troops enter Hawash station, 437 


Uniform of the Sudan army, 438 

War between Mambanga and the govern- 
ment, 396 
Wau, 79, 81 
Wizard Zandeh, 137 
W'oman — A-Barmbo dancer, 439 

A-Madi, 382 
W^onien, mourning of African, 420 

Bongo, 83 

]Mancbattu, 2' 


Saati Effendi, 85 
Saida, 33, 296, 345, 353 
Salt, 169 

dress of the, 245, 41 1 
Zandeh, 154, 158, 169, 189, 

Yapati, 208 

Zandeh land, grass in, 1S5 
Zassa, 345, 348, 361 
Zeriba Awet, 79 


KiCHARD Clay & Sons, Limited, 
London & Bungay. 


DURIXG THE YEARS 1875—1878. 


With 38 Full-page Plates, and 125 Illustrations in the Text. Trans- 
lated from the German bv Professor Keane. Demy 8vo, 2\s. 

From the WORLD. 

"The excellent translation from the German by Mr. Keane, 
F.R.G.S., ought to receive a hearty welcome. Since Dr. Schwein- 
furth's big (and great) book there has been no such good reading of 
an all-round kind upon Africa. In the exhaustive German way Dr. 
Junker studied everything; his Egyptian chapters are full of interest 
and (strange as it may seem) novelty; he writes summarily of the 
things everybody is supposed to know, and adds a great deal not to 
be found in other books, especially in his chapter on the Blue Nile. 
No more interesting caravan journey has yet been described than Dr. 
Junker's in his explorations in Makaraka Land ; it is given like a 
panorama raisonne. The further journeys are full of adventure and 
observation. There is a good deal about Gordon in this book, and 
nowhere is a more heartfelt, appreciative, unaffected, and unbom- 
bastic eulogium of that good and great man to be found than this 
twelve years' old testimony of the German explorer." 


" The account of the author's excursion to the Siwa Oasis and 
Natron Valley will be found interesting. His survey of the Baraka 
watercourse furnishes further explorers with much valuable inform- 
ation, and the narrative of his journey through Makaraka Land and 
the neighbouring regions will be found as refreshing to the memory 
of the African traveller as they are stimulating to the reader who has 
never been out of Europe." 


" Dr. Junker, who first brought home word of Emin's desperate 
condition, is an explorer after the Pasha's own heart. His ' Travels 
in Africa,' translated for the English public by Mr. Keane, is full of 
matter of the deepest interest to the student of African natural history 
and anthropology. It covers a great extent and variety of ground — 
from the Libyan Desert and the Natron Lakes, west of the Pyramids, 
to the fountains of the Welle in the Congo Forest. Gordon, Lupton, 
Emin, Zebehr, a host of chief actors in the Soudanese history, appear 
in his pages, and along with them come swarms of pigmies and can- 
nibals, 'beetles and butterflies.' To many intelligent eyes there will 
appear respects in which it is to be esteemed above Mr. Stanley's 
book as a revelation of strange things and strange doings in Africa ; 
and the illustrations are vastly better." 


"Dr. Wilhelm Junker has made a distinguished name as an 
indefatigable African traveller, and a translation of the German 
volume, giving an account of his explorations from 1875 to 1878, will 
be, especially at the present time, thoroughly welcome. ... Of the 
geographical and ethnological discoveries made by Dr. Junker it 
would take too long to speak ; but it is enough to say that to him we 
owe the determination of the course of the great river Welle, dis- 
covered by his compatriot, Dr. Schweinfiirth. . . . The story of 
Dr. Junker's travels is rich in varied interest, and is a valuable 
contribution to our fast-increasing stores of African knowledge." 

From the SCOTSMAN. 

" Dr. Junker's book, competently translated from the original 
German by Mr. A. H. Keane, attains a high place among works of 
African travel, alike for matter and for manner, for scientific care and 
solidity, and for picturesque literary style. . . . The variety of interest 
is as remarkable as the extent of the ground covered. . . . The illus- 
trations call for special praise; they are numerous, and all of them 
are vivid and most of them highly artistic pictures of African life and 



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