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in mor Zin crenshecam teen pusstui Boris 14,243
hier cca an* Trno3, ma is de este eceHinta Bak,
Sulata di sice we re Sort in tónar! bgaa u b at stecke of
f a te gremer of was decer de girl: Antie 17.3 of STD EF Epicctor band taken quarte; k, i*, trie to my ool prizare. I bere a'so preferred enqarin, 2, (vize, an), turing roani tie town on the sou:h side, am a very windling and narrow passage, through dense, prickly modernurl, I pitched my tent on the west side, in the midst of an orti kiburb otsisting of several stragzling groups of huts.
The inhabitants of the village proved to be industrious and soriable, and, wa afur we had encamped, brought me several articles for sale, much as good strong ropes, of which we were greatly in want. In general, a traveler can not procure good ropes in these countries, and, for an expedition on a larger scale, he does well to provide himself with this article. The ropes made of ngillo' or the dúm bush last only a few days; and those made of hidest, which are very useful in the dry season for tying up the legs of the camels, and even for fastening the luggage, are not fit for tho rainy nonpon. We also bought here a good supply of tam
arinds, plenty of fowls (for from thirty to forty kurdí each), and a little milk. Part of the inhabitants of this village at least con. sisted of A'sbenáwa settlers; and they informed us that the army of the Góberáwa had come close to their town, but that they had driven them back.
The town itself, though not large, is tolerably well inhabited, containing a population of about 5000. It is skirted on the east side by a considerable water-course, at present dry, but containing excellent water close under the gravelly surface, and forming a place of resort for numbers of the gray species of monkey.
The approach of the rainy season was indicated by a slight fall of rain.
Monday, March 28th. The ghaladíma, whom the imminence of the danger had induced to fix his departure for the next day, instead of allowing a day for repose, had already gone on in advance a considerable way, when we followed him, and soon after left on our right a large, cheerful-looking hamlet, shaded by splendid trees, and enlivened by numbers of poultry. Extensive cultivated grounds testified to the industry of the inhabitants, who likewise belonged to a tribe of the A'sbenáwa, or rather to a mixed race of people. Having then crossed dense underwood, where the Mimosa Nilotica, here called “elkú,” was standing in full blossom, while the ground consisted of sand, we reached, after a march of about a mile, the southeastern corner of the wall of the considerable town of Zyrmi. The water-course of Búnka had been close on our left, providing the inhabitants with a never-failing supply of excellent water, which is found close under the surface of the fine gravel which composes its bed.
Zyrmi is an important town even at present, but, being under the dominion of the Fúlbe, is only capable of preserving its existence by a constant struggle with Góber and Marádi. However, the governor of this town is not now master of the whole of Zánfara, as he was in the time of Captain Clapperton, who visited it on his journey to Sókoto,* the Fúlbe or Féllani having found it more conducive to their policy to place each governor of a walled town in this province under the direct allegiance of Sókoto, in or. der to prevent the loss of the whole country by the rebellion of a single man. Some ninety or one hundred years ago, before the destruction of the capital, this province was almost the most flourishing country of Negroland; but it is at present divided into a
* Clapperton, Second Expedition, p. 150. Vol. III.—G
constant storelt a feelin. stragglin
number of petty states, each of which follows a different policy; hence it is difficult to know which towns are still dependent upon the dominion of Sokoto, and which adhere to their enemies, the Góberáwa.* The town is still tolerably well inhabited, the western more densely than the eastern quarter.
The direct road leads along the wall, and close beyond passes by the site of the former town Dáda; but, in order to water my horse, I descended into the korámma, which was here encompassed by banks about twenty-five feet high, the gradually-shelving slopes of which were laid out in kitchen gardens, where onions were cultivated. Passing then a tract thickly overgrown with monkey-bread-trees, we traversed a straggling village, the whole appearance of which left a feeling of peace and comfort rather than of the constant state of warfare which prevails in this country. But every thing in human life depends on habitude; and these poor people, not knowing any better, bear the state of insecurity to which they are exposed without uneasiness.
Numerous neat cottages were just being built; and the western end of the village especially, being adorned by several groups of the gónda-tree, or Erica Papaya, had a very pleasant appearance. Dyeing-pits are not wanting in any of the larger towns of Zánfara; and a numerous herd of cattle met our view close beyond the village.
When we again reached the direct road, the neighborhood of our friends was distinctly indicated by a very strong and not quite aromatic smell, which proceeded from the luggage of those of the caravan of native traders (or fataki) who had attached themselves to our troop in Zékka, leaving their more cautious brethren behind. The merchandise of these small traders consisted, for the most part, of those vegetable cakes called dodówa, which I have mentioned repeatedly, and which constitute an important article of trade, as the dorówa or Parkia, from the fruit of which those cakes are made, thrives in great abundance in the province of Zegzeg, while it is comparatively rare in the provinces of Kebbi and Góber. Three thousand of these cakes constitute an ass-load, and each of them in general is sold in Sókoto for five kurdí, haying been bought on the spot for one urí; so that the profit, being not less than 500 per cent., makes this commerce attractive for poor people, notwithstanding the dangerous state to which this
* For farther details on this subject, see Appendix I.; and for an outline of the history of Zánfara, see the Chronological Tables
99 road is at present reduced. The return freight which these petty merchants bring back from Sókoto generally consists of the salt of Fógha.
Our farther road conducted us through a more rugged district, intersected by numerous small water-courses with very rocky beds, and mostly covered with dense forest, only now and then broken by a small tract of cultivated ground producing even a little cotton. Thus we reached the town of Dúchi, the name of which, meaning "the rocks,” served well to indicate the peculiar nature of the place, which has a very wild and romantic appearance—a
labyrinth of rocky eminences intersected by a small ravine, as shown in the woodcut : the dwellings, which are scattered about in several groups, can scarcely be seen, owing to the prevalence of rocks. Several groups of dúm palms contribute greatly to the picturesque
character of the place. Having got inside the wall, which consisted of loose stones, we had some difficulty in finding a fit spot for encamping, and at length, having traversed the whole place, pitched our tent not far from the western gate, but still inside the wall, in the shade of a fine tsámia or tamarind-tree, and close to a small group of huts. The principal hamlet lies nearer the east side. The little watercourse contained only a very small supply of water under the gravelly surface of the bed; but on my return from the west in the autumn of the following year, a foaming brook was rushing along it. The interesting character of the scenery induced me, in the course of the night, to leave my tent and to sit down for a while on a rock, which commanded the whole interior of the town. There I had a charming prospect over the scene by clear moonlight, while people were busily employed the whole night collecting the small supply of water from the channel for their next day's wants.
Tuesday, March 29th. In order to pass the narrow gate, if gate it may be called, I was obliged to have the two posts which encompassed it on each side removed. The whole country round about is rocky, with only a slight covering of fertile soil, so that nothing but Indian millet is cultivated, which thrives very well in rocky ground. But the country was adorned with a tolerable variety of trees, such as monkey-bread-trees, most of which had young leaves, the dorówa, the kadeña, and the merké. While crossing a small rocky ridge, we were joined by a troop of people bearing large loads of cotton upon their heads, which they were carrying to the considerable market of Badaráwa. This cotton was distinguished by its snow-white color, and seemed to be of very good quality.
Beyond the rocky ridge the country became more open, rich in trees and cultivated fields; and having passed a village, we turned round the southwestern corner of the walled town of Sabón Bírni, making our way with great difficulty, and not without some damage to the fences as well as to our luggage, through the narrow lanes of an open suburb. The western side of the town was bordered by a korámma containing a considerable sheet of stagnant water of very bad quality, and fringed all round by a border of kitchen gardens, where onions were cultivated. The governor of Sabón Bírni, like that of Zyrmi, is directly dependent on the Emír of Sókoto. The name or title of his dominion is Bázay.
From hence, along a path filled with market produce, we reached the walled town of Badaráwa, which, like most of the towns of Zánfara, is surrounded on all sides with a dense border of tim. ber, affording to the archers, who form the strength of the natives, great advantage in a defense, and making any attack, in the present condition of the strategetical art in this country, very difficult. In the midst of this dense body of trees there was a very consid. erable market, attended by nearly 10,000 people, and well supplied with cotton,* which seemed to be the staple commodity, while Indian millet (sorghum) also was in abundance. A great number of cattle were slaughtered in the market, and the meat retailed in small quantities. There was also a good supply of fresh butter (which is rarely seen in Negroland), formed in large lumps, cleanly prepared, and swimming in water: they were sold for 500 kurdí each. Neither was there any scarcity of onions, a vegetable which is extensively cultivated in the province of Zán. fara, the smaller ones being sold for one urí, the larger ones for two kurdí each. These onions are mostly cultivated round a large tebki, about half a mile to the west of the town, which, even at the present season, was still of considerable size. Instead of entering the narrow streets of the town, I pitched my tent in the
* It was extensively cultivated in this province at the beginning of the sixteenth century. (Leo Africanus, lib. vii., c. 13.)