Page images

about the same distance from Mabruk, but this place was deserted a few years ago, on account of the well Bú-Lanwar, which is stated to have had a depth of forty fathoms, having fallen to ruins. The hilleh was situated in the “batn" or valler at the northern foot of a black rocky chain of hills called “Ellib el Hejar.” To the north is another chain or ellib east of the hilleh; but on this side, still in the bath, is a locality called “El Mádher," with good pasturage for horses. Other wellknown localities thereabout are Shirshe el Kebíra and Shirshe e' Seghíra.

Of the wells of A'zawád, the following are the most notorious: first, in the southern part of the district, toward Tagánet, M'amún, different from the place of the same name; E'nnefís, a copious well, two hours S.W. from M'amún, and situated in a hilly district, thickly clad with underwood, and containing quarries of a beautiful black limestone, from which the Tawárek manufacture their heavy arm-rings or áshebe; Meréta, Makhmúd, Shiker, Gír, Kartál, a very copious well, 'En-filfil, and others. Farther to the N. and N.W. are the wells Halúl, El Hóde, Shebi, Tomandórit, Tékarát, Aníshay, A'shorát, a well where the Sheikh Ahmed el Bakáy. in the early part of his life, resided for a long time, A'nnazau, to the north of Mabrúk; Alibáda ('Alí Bábá ?), Bu el Meháne or Bel Mehán, the well mentioned in the itinerary (vol. iii., p. 310) as distant about ten miles from the hilleh, Belbot, S. of Bel Mehán; I'rakshiwen; Merzáhe, $. of the latter; Megágelát, two days S. of the hilleh, and others.

The most famous wells in the district called Tagánet are Wén-alshin, situated at the distance of four days from Timbuktu and three from the hilleh, where Mohammed e' Seghír, El Bakay's elder brother, usually encamps part of the year; Tin-tatís, half a day S.W. from the former; 'En-óshif, I'mmilásh, 'En-gibe, 'En-séek, 'Enodéke, a weil where Bábá, a younger brother of El Bakáy, has his encampment, three days south from M'amún, four days N.E. from Timbuktu; A'menshór, Arrazaf, 'Arúk, El Makhmúd, different from the well of the same name mentioned above; Igárre, Mérizík, Twil, Waruzíl.

Toward the north, the district of A'zawád is separated from the dreary and waterless desert known by the general Berber name of Tanezrúfet (meanings arid hammáda") by the two small districts called “ A feléle(meaning the little desert, or "afélle"), and north of it Ahrér. Afeléle is a highly favored region for the breeding of camels, and contains some famous valleys, or "wádián," such as Tekhatímit or Teshatímit, Afúd-énakán or Afúd-n-akán, Tadulilit, 'Abatól, Shánisin, Agár, and others. A'herér, likewise, is considered by the Arabs as a fine country, diversified by hill and dale, with plenty of wells, and even temporary torrents. This is the district in one of the valleys of which, “Wádí A'herér," Major Laing was attacked and almost killed by the Tawárek.

Toward the east, the districts of Afzawad and Tagánet are limited by several smaller ones, where the Arab population is greatly mixed with the Berber or Tawárek element, especially the I'foghas. At the same time these districts separate A'zawad from A'derár, the fine hilly country of the Awelímmiden, which is excellent not only for the breed of camels, but also for that of cattle. These intermediate districts are I'm-eggelála, a district of about two days' extent in every direction, consisting of black soil, and furnished with shallow wells; E. and E.N.E. of Tagánet is Tilimsi, a district rich in food for the camel; E.N.E. of the hillet e Sheikh el Mukhtár is another district called Timitren, with many wells and a few villages; and E.N. E. of the latter, the district called Tiresht, or Tighésht, bordering on A derár.

Of Arab tribes in A'zawád and the adjoining districts I have first to mention sereral sections of the great tribe of the Kunta, who are distinguished by their purer blood and by their learning above almost all the tribes of the desert. The Kunta are divided into the following sections :

The Ergágeda, who were formerly regarded as the Welaye, or the holy tribe.
The Welád el Wáfi, at present the Welaye, with the Sheikh Ahmed el Bakáy

as Welí, while his elder brother, Sidi Mohammed, exercises great authority
over the whole of A'zawad. The Welád el Wáfi cultivate the friendship of
the Hogár, while the Welád Sídi Mukhtar are the deadly enemies of the lar-
ter. They are subdivided into three divisions, called

El Mesádhefa, Welád ben Haiballa, and Welád ben 'Abd e' Rahmán.
The Welád Sídi Mukhtár.
El Hemmál.
The Togát also are said to belong to the Kunta.


The Berabish (singl. Berbúshi), a tribe less numerous than the Kunta, mustering about 260 men armed with muskets, and 180 horsemen, and not spreading over so wide a tract, being concentrated in the district between A'rawan and Bu-Jebéha.

They pay a tribute of 40 mithkál of gold to the Hogár, and are molested by continual incursions of the Welád ‘Alúsh. The Berabísh, who probably are identical with the Perorsi of the ancient geographers, have migrated southward since that time, and are of very mixed blood. They lived formerly in El Hódh, and are mentioned by Marmol Carvajal, who wrote in the seventeenth century, as visiting the market of Ségo; in the beginning of the sixteenth century they lived still farther to the west, and visited especially the market of Jinni.* The Berabísh are divided into two groups, the principal of which is ruled by the chief Hámed Weled 'Abéda Weled Rehál, and consists of the following sections :

The Welád Slímán, the Shiúkh, that is to say, the tribe to whom the sheikh belongs, and who have based their power and wealth upon the ruin and spoil of the Welád Ghánem. The Welád 'Esh. The Welád Bu-Hinde. El Gwanín el kohol. El Gwanin el bédh. Welád Ahmed.

These are the free tribes of this group; the following are the degraded and servile tribes, the "lahme” or “khoddemán:" the Yadás, the Ládim, or rather only a small portion of that tribe, the A'rakán, the Ahel 'Aísa Tajáwa, El U'ssera.

The second group of the Berabish as a whole, bears the remarkable name of “Botn el jemel,” on account of its being composed of heterogeneous elements, brought together by chance, just as is the case with various kinds of food in the “stomach of the camel." It is ruled by a chief of the name of Hamma, and consists of the following tribes : Welád Relán; Welád Derís, originating from Tafilélet; Welád Bú-Khasíb; Welad Ghánem; and the Turmus, the latter being the tribe of which I have spoken on a former occasion.

E. Route from Bóne or from Hómbori, by way of Konna, to Hamda-Alláhi. Dalla, the chief place of the province of the same name, is of considerable size, and the residence of a governor. Módi Bóle, who was a man of some note, died a short time before the period of my journey. The place is mostly inhabited by Tombo, only a small portion of the inhabitants being Songhay. The mountains are inhabited by the Sána, probably a section of the Tombo who have still preserved their independence. The town of Dalla is two good days' journey from Hómbori, and one from Bóne. 1 day. Dwentsa, a considerable place, said to be as large as Kúkawa, and impor

tant as a market-place. The road traverses a mountainous region, described as being supplied with running streams (in the rainy season ?), and to be richly clad

with trees. 1 day. Dúmbará, large place, seat of a governor, but destitute of any handicraft.

Country mountainous. 1 day. Nyimi-nyába, a middle-sized place. Country a little mountainous. 1 day. Boré, a large town, seat of a governor. Country mountainous, intersected

by channels for irrigating the kitchen gardens. Cotton, rice, and corn are culti

vated. All these appear to be very long days' marches. 2 days. Timme, a large town, seat of a governor. On the road you see the Dhiú

liba, or rather its floods, on your right, at least during part of the year. Cultiva

tion of rice exclusively. 2 days. Karí or Konna (as the Songhay call it), seat of a governor, and important

as a market-place. All the black inhabitants of the town speak the Songhay language. The town is also called Benne-n-dugu or Bana-n-dugu, the tribe of that name, the Benni, having probably extended much farther to the north in former times. See Caillié, ii., p. 16. 2 days. Niakóngo, seat of a governor of the name of Háj Módi, brother of Háj

Omár. After the rainy season the floods of the river closely approach the town. I day. Hamda-Alláhi.

F. From Timbúktu by Gundam to Yowaru, and from Yowaru to Hamda-Alláhi. Day. 3d. Gúndam. There are no settled halting-places between Timbuktu and Gún* De Barros, i., iii., c. viii., p. 220, Genná. "Concorriam a ella os povos que lhe eao mais vizinhos : assi com os ('aragolees, Fullos, Jalofos, Azaneges, Brabaxijs, Tigurarijs, Lunda yas." See the chronological tables at the end of this vol., p. 670.


dam. People generally perform the distance in two days and a half. The following is a list of the names of localities between these two places : TE shak, Finderiye, El Hándema, Aristoremék, Egéti, Tin-getán, Tin-Teg. Timbarágeri, two villages of the name El Meshra, Takémbant, Tenkerire, Naudis, Gámmatór. Gundam is a walled town (ksar or koira), the chief place of the district Aússa, and of considerable size, its population consisting of Songhay, Rumá, and Fülbe or Fullán. The town has a suburb on its W. side, where live the Tóki, a tribe of the Fullán, and another suburb on the water-side, where live the Erbébi. On the N. side there is a black hill, full of fernán. Also to the S. an eminence is seen presenting the same appearance. The town is situated on the N. side of a large khalij or rijl (branch of the river) coming from Dire and turning toward Rás el mi, the celebrated “head of the waters," distant from here two days, either by land or by water, W. a little N. Another creek runs from Gundam to Ká bara : but during the highest level of the inundation the whole country presents almost one uninterrupted sheet of water. On the east side of Gúndam is a dry creek called Aráshaf, one day long and half an hour wide. At its eastern border, E.S.E. from Gundam, is the place called Waye e' se

men, with a creek adorned with the tree called táderes. 4th. A walled village (koira) of Imóshagh and Songhay on the trunk of the river,

having passed in the morning the branch on which Gúndam is situated. 5th. Arabébe, a village inhabited by Fülbe. 6th. Nyafúnke, a large village, inhabited in former times by Imóshagh, but at

present peopled by Fülbe. 7th. I'ketáwen. Having passed in the morning close behind Nyafúnke, a large

branch of the river, halt at noon in a village called Sherifikoira. 8th. A'tará, a large village of Fulbe, on the east side of a considerable branch of

the river going to Gasí Gúmo. 9th. Fadhl-Alláhi, a Fulbe village. 10th. Yowaru. Yowaru is one of the two chief places of Fermágha, and although

consisting entirely of reed huts, is said to be little inferior in the number of its inhabitants to the town of Timbuktu. The importance of the place is clear enough from the annual amount of tribute which it pays, amounting altogether (zek'a and modhár taken together) to 4000 head of cattle. During the inundation, Yówara lies at the border of Lake Debu, which at that season extends from S'a to Yowaru, but during the dry season it is about one mile distant from the small branch. Close to the latter lies a suburb where the Surk or Kórongoy, a degraded section of the Songhay, dwell.. In Yowaru and the neighborhood live a great number of Fülbe or Fullán belonging to the following tribes : the Sonnábe, Yalálbe, Feroibe, Yowarunkobe, and Jawámbe or Zoghorán or Zoromáwa.

G. From Yowaru to Tenengu. 1st. Urungiye, an important place. 2d. Máyo, a village so called from a small creek, the Máyo Sórroba, on which it

lies. Between Urungíye and Máyo seem to lie the villages Séri and Nya

mihára, the former inhabited by Songhay, the latter by Fulbe. 3d. Ganga. 4th. Kógi or Jógi, having passed several hamlets, one of them called Ginnewó, a

hamlet of cattle breeders, with a ksar, then Dokó, Ngudderi, Jóñeri, Saba

re, and Burlul. 5th. Kora. 6th. Konna. 7th. Tenéngu. The distance between Urungiye and Tenéngu can, however, be

performed in two days' good traveling Between Urungiye and Móbti lie the following places : U'ro-Módi, Káram, a Songhay village ; Rogónte, a hamlet of Fülbe; Yerére, a hamlet inhabited by slaves of the Fulbe; Wálo, on the Mayo Fenga; Kaya, a village inhabited by Aswánek;

• I have not been able to make even a short vocabulary of the idiom of these people. I only me. ceeded in making out two terms which they use, ** úmbay" ("how are you !"') and "ina(* wel. come").




and, finally, Sáre-méle and Sáre-bele, the river probably forming a great bend near Wónyaka, so that these latter towns are touched at in coming from both sides, either the N, or the S.

H. From Yowaru to Hamda-Allahi. Ist. Dógo, on a small creek. 2d. Shay, probably meaning the place of embarkation, on the N.W. side of the

river, which is very wide in this spot. Pass on the road one or two branches of stagnant water, which you must cross in a boat. Perhaps one of these

branches is the same on which the village Máyo lies. 3d. Encamp on the bank of a smaller creek (Máyo dhannéo?). 4th. Niakóngo. 5th. Berber, a very short march. 6th. Siye, in the morning. 7th. Hamda-Alláhi, the capital of the kingdom of Másina. I. List of towns and villages situated along the bank of the chief trunk of the River I'sa

bére or Máyo-mangho, from Dire upward to Sansándi. This branch is the northwesterly one ; the other, which Caillie navigated, is the southeasterly, and is called Bara-I'sa.

Dire, a very important place, one of the oldest settlements of the Songhay in this quarter, situated at the point of junction of two branches which have separated from each other in the lake Debu.*

Tindírma, one of the original seats of the Songhay, by some regarded as the original seat of the whole tribe. That portion of them called Sáhena were especially settled here. It is now principally the residence of the Chóki, who formerly were settled in Gundam. With regard to its importance in former times as the capital of the province of Kúrmina, see vol. iii., p. 290. A little distance from the bank of the river lies Gitigátta, and on the island in the river the locality called “Al Mohalla," probably from having been once the spot where part of the Mohalla, or the army of the Moroccains, remained encamped. At Tindírma the branch of Gúndam separates from the main trunk of the river.


Sibo. This is evidently the town Seebi where Mungo Park is said to have mad some stay on his voyage from Jenni to Timbuktu. (Clapperton's Second Journey, • Appendix, p. 334.)

Dháhabi-koira, called after a sherif belonging to the family of Múláy el Dhéhebi.

Yowaru. In crossing from Yowaru the next branch, and leaving Gúram on one side, you reach Zinzo, or Jinjo, or Gíjo, as it is called, in four or five hours. This is another of the oldest seats of the Songhay, and probably the place from whence Islám spread in this quarter, there being here the sepulchre of a venerated saint called Mohammed el Káberi, belonging to the Idaw el Háj. It is not impossible that this is the place of pilgrimage to which Scott, the sailor, went as a captive by way of the Giblah, crossing the lake.t In the neighboring hamlet, Togga, also is the tomb of a holy man called Morimána Báka. There is another tradition current in Zinzo of a saint of the name of Elfa Zakkaríyá, who is said to have visited this place at a time when no village existed, nothing but a cavern being then inhabited.

S.E. of Zinzo, at some little distance from Lake Debu lies A'wi. The Debu is so

* From Dire, down the river toward Timbuktu, my informant indicated several places which nei. ther I myself nor Caillié have mentioned on our passage down the river: Búram, a large village (Kóra, Danga), Semsáro (Koiretágo), Lenga, all on the south side; Segaliye, on the north side of the river ; an adabay or hamlet, belonging to Buram, E'luwa, on an island; Hendibángo.

+ Edinburgh Philological Journal, vol. iv., p. 35, et seq. There is no such district hereabout ag "El Sharray," but I have not the slightest doubt that this name is nothing but & corruption of the term "e sherk," with which the Moors of that region indicate the south. There are some inaccuracies in Scott's account, which might cause suspicion of his sincerity; and among these is the circum. stance that he mentions as living on the lake the Moorish tribes of the Ergebát and Sekarna, both of which live in the northern districts. But it is very remarkable that he should call that tomb by the name of " Saidna Mohammed."


shallow during the dry season that the native boats can only proceed with great difficulty along the main channel, and often stick fast entirely. In the dry season the natives ford it by wading through the water. Where the main branch, caled by the Fülbe Máyo balléo, reaches the lake, at least during the rainy season, it divides into a net of smaller branches, thus increasing the difficulty of the navigation. On the contrary, the advantage of the smaller branch, the Bara-I'sa, or River of Bara, called by the Fülbe Máyo dhannéo, consists in preserving one unbroken volume of water. This was the reason probably why the party with whom Caille went down the Niger from Jinni followed this branch. Besides the Mayo balles and dhannéo, the chief creeks which join the Debu are the Máyo Píru and the Máyo Jóga, not inconsiderable during the rainy season, but very small during the dry one.

The lake, besides fish, contains numbers of that curious animal called aru (e


From the lake upward there lie along the principal branch of the river the following places : Búri; Bánghida; Waládu ; Ingárruwe; Mányata ; Kossanánna; Tánnare; Bówa; Kirrínkiri; Gánde-Táma; Sarbére ; Kára, an important place, after which the river is sometimes called “the River of Kára;" Ingánshi; Dággads; Kumáy, a place of some importance, distant two days from Yá-saláme, * wlich is about three days from the considerable market-place Tenéngu (p. 688), both west from the river; Júgi; Nyásu; Kóliñango; Sabáre; Búrruwé; Fenga, a middlesized place, after which this whole branch of the river is also called “ Máyo Fenga," about two hours E. from Tenéngu, and one good day's march from Fáfarák.

We now proceed along the southeastern shore of the Debu, and along the Maro dhannéo.

Gúram, a considerable place, situated round a large rocky eminence, kódia, as the Arabs call it, or “haire," as it is called by the Fülbe, who celebrate it highly as the “haire maunde Gúram.” The mount is so conspicuous in the flat alluvial level that it is visible from Yowaru. Caillié saw it at the distance of three or four miles (ii., p. 18), and again farther on, where he calls it St. Charles' Island (ii., p. 20). The village is separated into three distinct groups, one of which is called Gúram Fülbe, lying at the northern foot of the kódia; the other, Gúram Hábe, inhabited by Songhay; farther on and finally, Gúram Súrgube, inhabited by (degraded ?) TAwárek or Surgu.

Méro. Poth in

Both inhabited by Kórongoy.

Sórroba, situated at the foot of another smaller rocky eminence called “haire Sórroba," lying opposite to Gúram on the S. side of the river, which seems to make here a great bend. It is mentioned by Mohammed el Másini (Appendix to Clapperton's Second Journey, p. 331). Caillié gave it the ridiculous name of " Henry Island."

Jantaye, a considerable place.
Máyo Tína, a place close to the former, inhabited by Tawárek.
Kóbi. (Compare Caillie's account, ii., p. 16.)

Sáyo, distant half a day's journey from the Batamáne, towns close to the bank of the river becoming here more rare.

Wánaka, where the two branches unite, being joined besides by a small westerly creek, called by some Máyo Fenga.

Hombólbe, the principal seat of the Kórongoy or Surk, who constitute the chief inhabitants of the places Ngárruwe and Toy.

Neménte, and not far from it inland the village called “rúgga Bóde."


• I here add a short itinerary from Yowaru to Yá-saláme : lat. Hasi Jolláb, with a settlement of Zuwaye Sombánne. 20. A well, 3d. Yá saláme, a place of about the same size as Y6waru, on backwater at & considerable de

tance from the chief river. From Basikonnu to Yá-saláme, four daye.

« PreviousContinue »