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We encamped after a march of about thirteen miles, having by mistake exchanged our westerly direction for a south-westerly one, near the well called Kagza *, and were very hospitably and kindly treated by a patriotic old man, a citizen of the old capital or birni of Ghasr-eggomo, who, when that splendid town was taken by the Fülbe or Felláta, in the year 1809, had fled to Wádáy, and had lived there several years among the Welád Ráshid, waiting for better times. This good man described to me, with a deep
feeling of sorrow, the taking of that large and ' wealthy town, under the command of the Fúlbe
chiefs Malá-Rída, Mukhtar, and Hanníma, when the king, with his whole host of courtiers and his numerous army, fled through the eastern gate while the enemy was entering the western one, and the populous place was delivered up to all the horrors accompanying the sacking of a town. What with the pleasant character of the country and the friendly disposition of our host, I should have enjoyed my open encampment extremely, if I had not been suffering all this time very severely from sore legs, ever since my return from Bagirmi, when I had to cross so many rivers and was so frequently wet through.t
* The depth of the well measured twenty-two fathoms.
† This is a complaint to which almost every European in these climes is exposed, and from which Clapperton suffered very severely. I found the best remedy to be mai-kadeña butter, which is very cooling; but in the eastern part of Bórnu it is rarely to be met with. CHAP. LIII.
Pursuing still a south-westerly di. Monday, rection, our march led us through a November 29th. district called Rédaní in regard to which, the state of the cultivation of the ground (the géro, the wealth of this country, lying in large heaps or “bagga” on the fields) and the uninterrupted succession of straggling hamlets left the impression of ease and comfort. But we had great difficulty in finding the right track among the number of small footpaths diverging in every direction; and in avoiding the northern route, which we knew would lead us to a part of the river where we should not be able to cross it, we had, by mistake, chosen a too southerly path, which, if pursued, would have led us to Gújeba. While traversing this fertile district, we were astonished at the repeated descents which we had to make, and which convinced us that these sandy swells constitute a perfect separation between the komádugu and the Tsád on this side. The district of Rédaní was followed by another, called Kan
and, after a short tract of forest, a third one, of the name of Meggi, consisting mostly of argillaceous soil, and not nearly so interesting as Rédaní. We encamped at length, near a group of three wells, where, once a week, a small market is held. In the adjacent hollow a pond is formed in the rainy season. The wells were twenty fathoms in depth.
The district through which we passed to- Tuesday, day, in a north-westerly direction, seemed Nove to be rich in pasture-grounds and cattle. It was
ovember 30th. W
at the time inhabited by a number of Tebú of the tribe of the Dáza, or rather Búlguda, who in former times having been driven from A'gadem, Bélkashi Farri, and Saw by the Tawárek, had found refuge in this district, where they preserve their nomadic habits to some extent, and by no means contribute to the security of the country. Having been warned that along the road no water was to be had, we encamped a little outside the track, near the farming village of Gógoro, where the women were busy threshing or pounding their corn, which was lying in large heaps, while the men were idling about. They were cheerful Kanúri people, who reside here only during the time of the harvest, and when that is over, return to their village Dimmarruwả. The ground hereabout was full of ants; and we had to take all possible care, in order to protect our luggage against the attacks of this voracious insect. Wednesday, We now approached the komádugu of
er ist. Bórnu, presenting with its network of channels and thick forests, a difficult passage after the rainy season. Fine groups of trees began to appear; and droves of Guinea fowl enlivened the landscape. In order to give the camels a good feed on the rich vegetation produced in this favourable locality, we made even a shorter march than usual, encamping near a dead branch of the river, which is called Kulúgu Gússum, S.E. from the celebrated lake of Múygobí, which in former times, during the glorious period of the Bórnu empire.com
Chap. LIII. GU'SSUM,-FRACTIONS OF TRIBES.
tuted one of the chief celebrities and attractions of the country, but which at present, being overwhelmed by the surrounding swamps, serves only to interrupt the communication between the western and eastern provinces. Allured by the pleasing character of the place, I stretched myself out in the shade of a group of majestic tamarind trees, while the man whom I had taken with me as a guide, from the village where we had passed the night, gave me some valuable information with regard to the divisions of the Koyám, the present inhabitants of this region east of the komádugu, which had been conquered from the native tribe of the Só. He told me that the Kiye, or, as the name is generally pronounced in Bórnu, the Kay (the tribe which I have mentioned in my historical account of Bórnu) *, originally formed the principal stock of the Koyám, together with whom the Máguni and the Fárferé constitute the principal divisions, the chief of the latter clan bearing the title of Fúgo. The Temágheri, of whom I have also had occasion to speak, and the Ngalága, fractions of both of whom are settled here, he described as Kánembú. But, besides these tribes, a great proportion of Tebú have mixed with the ancient inhabitants of this district, probably since the time of the king Edris Alawóma, who forced the Tebú settled in the northern districts of Kánem to emigrate into Bórnu. In connection with the latter
wide-spread nation, my informant described the Túra (whose chief is called Dírkemá, being a native of Dírki), the Débirí, or Dibbiri, (also spoken of by me on a former occasion), the U'ngumá, and the Káguwá. The Jetko or Jotko, who live along the komádugu, west from the town of Yo, he described to me as identical with the Keléti, the very tribe which is repeatedly mentioned by the historian of Edris Alawóma. Thus we find in this district a very interesting group of fractions of former tribes who have here taken refuge from the destructive power of a larger empire.
I took a long walk in the afternoon along the sheet of water, which was indented in the most picturesque manner, and was bordered all around with the richest vegetation, the trees belonging principally to the species called karage and baggarúwa. Further on dúm palms became numerous; and it was the more interesting to me, as I had visited this district, only a few miles further north, during the dry season. Guinea fowl were here so numerous that one could hardly move a step without disturbing a group of these lazy birds, which constitute one of the greatest delicacies of the traveller in these regions. A sportsman would find in these swampy forests not less interesting objects for his pursuits than the botanist; for elephants, several species of antelopes, even including the oryx or tétel, nay, as it would seem, even the large addax, the wild hog, besides an unlimited supply of water fowl, Guinea fowl, and