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valley in the dry season, and read so many theories with regard to its connection with the Niger on the one side, and the Tsád on the other, it was of the highest interest to me to see it at the present time of the year, when it was full of water, and at its very highest point; and I could only wish that Captain William Allen had been able to survey this noble stream in its present state, in order to convince himself of the erroneous nature of his theory of this river running from the Tsád into the so-called Chadda, or rather Bénuwé. Though the current was not very strong, and probably did not exceed three miles an hour, it swept along as a considerable river of about one hundred and twenty yards breadth towards the Tsád, changing its course from a direction E. 12° S. to N. 35° E. While the bank on this side formed a steep sandy slope, the opposite one was flat, and richly adorned with reeds, of different species, and luxuriant trees. All was quiet and repose, there being no traffic whatever on the river, with the exception of a couple of homely travellers, a man and woman, who in the simple native style were crossing the river, riding on a pair of yoked calabashes and immerged in the water up to their middle, while they had stowed away their little clothing inside those very vessels which supported them above the water; but notwithstanding their energetic labour, they were carried down by the force of the current to a considerable distance. Besides these two human beings, the river at present
was only enlivened by one solitary spoonbill (or, as it is here called, béja or kedébbu-búnibe), who, like a king of the water, was proudly swimming up and down, looking around for prey.
The following day we crossed the river ourselves. I had had some difficulty in concluding the bargain, the inhabitants, who belong to the Tebú-Zénghi *, making at first rather exorbitant demands t, till I satisfied them with a dollar; and we ourselves, camels, horses, and luggage, crossed without an accident, each camel being drawn by a man, mounted on a pair of calabashes, while another man mounted the animal close to its tail. The scenery, although destitute of grand features, was highly interesting, and has been represented as correctly as possible in the plate opposite. The river proved to be fifteen feet deep in the channel, and about 120 yards broad; but there was a still smaller creek behind, about five feet deep.
At length we were again in motion; but our difficulties now commenced, the path being extremely winding, deeply hollowed out, and full of water, and leading through the thickest part of the forest — and I had to lament the loss of several bottles of the most valuable medicine, a couple of boxes being thrown
* I do not know exactly whether the ford has been called after this tribe ; but the name Zénghiri also occurs in other localities.
† These people wanted in general nothing but cloves. I however succeeded in buying a sheep from them for eight gábaga, at the rate of eight dra each.
PROVINCE OF MANGA.
from the back of the camel. The forest extended only to the border which is reached by the highest state of the inundation, when we emerged upon open country, and, leaving the town of Nghurútuwa (where Mr. Richardson died) at a short distance on our right, we encamped a few hundred yards to the south of the town of Alaúne, which I had also passed on my former journey.
Here we entered that part of the province of Manga which is governed by Kashella Belál; and the difference in the character of this tract from the province of Koyám, which we had just left behind, was remarkable, the country being undulated in downs of red sand, famous for the cultivation of ground-nuts and beans, both of which constitute a large proportion of the food of the inhabitants, so that millet and beans are generally sown on the same field, the latter ripening later and constituting the richest pasture for cattle and camels. Of grain, Negro millet (Pennisetum typhoideum) is the species almost exclusively cultivated in the country of Manga, sorghum not being adapted for this dry ground.
The same difference was to be observed in the architecture of the native dwellings,—the corn stacks which impart so decided a character of peace and repose to the villages of Háusa, but which are sought for in vain in the whole of Bórnu Proper, here again making their appearance. The Manga call them “sébe” or “gúsi.” The cottages themselves, although they were not remarkable for their cleanliness, pre
sented rather a cheerful aspect, the thatch being thickly interwoven with and enlivened by the creepers of various cucurbitaceæ, but especially the favourite kobéwa or Melopepo. The same difference which was exhibited in the nature of the country and the dwellings of the natives, appeared also in the character of the latter, the Kanúri horseman or the Koyám camel-breeder being here supplanted by the Manga footman, with his leather apron, his bow and arrow, and his battle-axe, while the more slender Manga girl, scarcely peeping forth from under her black veil, with which she bashfully hid her face, had succeeded to the Bórnu female, with her square figure, her broad features, and her open and ill-covered breast. I have observed elsewhere that, although the Manga evidently form a very considerable element in the formation of the Bórnu nation, their name as such does not occur in the early annals of the empire, and we therefore can only presume that they owe their origin to a mixture of tribes.
Having passed the important place of Kadagárruwa and some other villages, we encamped on the 5th near the extensive village Mámmari, where the governor of the province at that time resided. *
CHAP. LIII. PECULIAR CHARACTER OF MANGA.
A small watercourse joining the komá. Monday, dugu Waúbe from the north, separates Dec the province of Kashélla Belál from another part of Manga, placed under a special officer, who has his residence in Borzári. Close on the western side of this watercourse, which is only about thirty yards across, the Manga, at the time (in the year 1845) when, in consequence of the inroad of Wádáy, the whole empire of Bórnu seemed to be falling to ruin, fortified a large place in order to vindicate their national independence against the rulers of the kingdom ; but having been beaten by 'Abd e' Rahmán, the sheikh's brother, the town was easily taken by another kókana or officer, of the name of Háj Sudáni. It is called Máikonomarí-kurá, the Large Máikonomarí, in order to distinguish it from a smaller place of the same name, and contains at present only a small number of dwellings, but was nevertheless distinguished from its more thriving neighbour by a larger supply of articles of comfort, such as a fine herd of cattle, well-filled granaries, and plenty of poultry, while the neighbouring province, which we had just left behind, appeared to be exhausted by recent exactions and contributions, the greater part of the population having even sought safety in a precipitate flight. The country, however, which we traversed on our march to Borzári was not remarkable in any way
The place Shégori, although situated within the boundaries of this province, forms a separate domain of Malá Ibrám.