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the measure does not exceed thirty. The price of each feruwál is generally three hundred shells; but during my stay it rose to four hundred.
The market is held on the border of the village, on the bleak open ground which extends to the south; but there were very rarely more than 500 people, and in general scarcely as many as two hundred, assembled. But it is not to be denied that, taking into account the manner of living in these regions, a good deal of business is transacted in this place; and, on account of the many strangers who visit it, ready-cooked pudding, tíggera, and sour milk are offered for sale throughout the whole day. Besides salt, cotton strips, dyed cloth, Kóla nuts, corn, and asses, some copper manufactured chiefly into large drinking-vessels is also brought into the market by the people of Mósi. However, I do not think they manufacture the copper vessels themselves, but bring them from Asanti. Copper is worn by the inhabitants, by way of ornament, to a large extent; and I was greatly amused on observing that some of the young girls wore in the long plaits of their hair a very remarkable ornament made of that metal, representing a warrior on horseback with a drawn sword in his hand and a pipe in his mouth; for, with the Songhay people, smoking, although forbidden by the present ruler of the western part of the former territory of their empire, the fanatical prince of HamdaAlláhi, is, next to dancing, the chief enjoyment of their existence. Whether these small horsemen worn
DROUGHT. --- ANARCHY.
in the hair of the young damsels form an ornament without meaning, or are intended as auspicious omens as to their future husbands, I cannot say; and I must apologise to the reader for not being able, in this part of my journey, which was more beset by dangers, to enter fully into the private life of the people.
Altogether, Dóre, or as it is generally called, by the name of the whole province, Libtáko, appeared to me an extremely dry and uncomfortable place. However, this seemed to be rather exceptional, owing to the extraordinary drought prevailing that year; and it was not until the evening of the 17th of this month (July), that we had a moderate fall of rain, when nature as well as man appeared a little refreshed. The name which the Tawárek, as well as the Arabs of A'zawád, give to this place, namely Wéndu, or Winde, seems to imply quite another character, as the word means pond or lake; but, in reality, a very extensive sheet of water is annually formed close to the western side of the town, although during my stay the extensive depression was dry; and I even have ground to suppose that this sheet of water is very often, through a very considerable backwater, directly connected with the Niger.
The political state of the country, however, was at the present moment worse than its material condition. The disorder and anarchy were such as to make it appear as if there were no government at all. There were so many different factions that one pa
ralysed the other, and there is no doubt that the present misery was the immediate consequence of such a state of anarchy. There was a titular governor of the place called I'brahíma; but his mild disposition and his advanced age had left him scarcely any power at all, and I had to make my peace with all parties as well as I could. The most energetic and influential amongst the aspirants to power seemed to be a relative of the governor, of the name of Hámed ‘Aísa. Then there was an elder but weaker brother of his, of the name of Bélko, and, further, a man of the name of El Jeládi, who troubled me greatly, begging me to write him a charm, by the secret influence of which I might procure him the government of the place.
Libtáko is situated between many different tribes, with the seats of the Tawárek close to the north, from whence these restless people are continually pushing on; and this situation necessarily imbues the inhabitants with a warlike spirit. in former times, especially, they were renowned for their valour, and distinguished, moreover, by the breed of their horses, but at the present moment, owing to the severe drought which had prevailed for so long a time, all the horses had been sent to a great distance, where they were likely to find better pastures. At present, there being so many factions and no strong government whatever, and the supremacy exercised by their liege lord in Gando being a perfect nullity, no certain line of policy can be pursued, and they are one day on good
Char. LXI. POLITICAL SITUATION. -DELAY.
terms with the Tawárek, while the next day some serious fighting takes place; and thus it happened that on the 16th a party of these people, who supplied the market with the article which all the people were in want of, were plundered of the whole of their property. Even with the inhabitants of the province of Yágha, so nearly related to themselves by origin and interest, there were serious dissensions; and during my stay in the place, the latter drove away all the cattle belonging to the village of Kória. The province comprises a considerable number of villages *, and, if well governed, would be of great importance, especially as forming the western province of the empire of Gando where it borders upon that of Másina, or Hamda-Allahi.
I was peculiarly situated with regard to my new companion El Waláti, who was the sole reason of my making so long a stay in this place, while my exhausted camels, instead of having, as it was asserted, a fair opportunity of recruiting their strength for the remainder of the journey, were growing weaker every day from want of good feeding. The
* The names of the small towns and villages forming this province are as follows : Dóre, Kória, Katínga, Wéndu, Dáni, Dángadé, Sélgo, Jámga, Mámmashé, Báfadé, Pékul, Bámde, Babírke, Toródi, Pulé, Gambetí, Bedíngel, three villages of the name of Debére, Bámura, Fadambáka, Gébu, Kóla, Bombúfa, Kácheré, Kénde, Lérbu, Buré, Benbenjángo, Kullangel-páttidé, Nélba, Beresángo, Fúlgu, Bílli, Chompángu (probably identical with Kampángu), U'regáudi, Gurmáre, U'relungáwu, Táka, Kilínke, Yákutá, U'riltáso, U'ro-Bellábe, Bangatúke, Tobijágha, Dankándi, Begontigi, Kúri.
clever Arab, who represented himself as a very im. portant person in Timbúktu, and as an intimate friend of the sheikh El Bakáy, under whose especial protection I intended to place myself, at times had the power of raising my spirits by the interesting information which he was able to give me. Now and then, for instance, he described the great mercantile importance of Sansándi, or dwelt upon the great authority enjoyed by the chief, whose fame had inspired me with so much confidence in my undertaking this journey to the west, and through whose influence the former mercantile importance of Timbúktu had not only been entirely restored, but a new interest had accrued to it as being the seat of a religious chief of high authority, who exercised an influence, not very unlike that of the pope of Rome, over a very large tract of country, and extending even over the pagan tribes around, into the very heart of Mósi, that country which, as we shall see more distinctly further on, from a remote age has been the champion of paganism against Islám. But on other occasions the conduct of my companion was so little straightforward, as to fill me with serious fears. Nevertheless, I here entered into an agreement with him, giving him a fine black tobe and a black shawl, and stipulating to reward him, on my safe arrival in Timbúktu, with a present of twenty dollars and a white heláli bernús, besides buying him here a horse for the price of another tobe, three túrkedí, and a black shawl. On the whole, at that time, I was too much imposed upon by his fascinating manners to