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This coast, extending 7 or 800 miles, is represented as consisting of sand hills, and destitute of trees or water. A tribe of savages, called Cimbebas, range over the interior, clothed with ox hides, and find their chief employment in tending large herds of cattle which consti. tute their wealth. They are described as a barbarous, superstitious race, though decent in their appearance, and disposed to punish severely the crime of theft.
What are the boundaries of Cimbeba? Of what length? Where is the northwest point? What capes on this coast? What kind of soil? What tribe of savages in the interior? How are they clothed and employed? How is their character represented?
Caravan of Nigritia.
Under this head we include Soudun, or Nigritia, Darfur, and Lower
SOUDAN, OR NIGRITIA.
Extent 1,000,000 sq. ms.-Pop. about 20,000,000.-20 per sq. m. This country extends from Senegambia to Darfur, in length about 2,000 miles, from west to east, and 500 in breadth. It is bounded on the north by the Great Desert Sahara, and on the south by the mountains of Kong, by the territories of Guinea, and the unexplored regions of Lower Ethiopia. It is extensively watered, and rendered fertile by the Niger, which runs an easterly and then a southerly course, having passed through the lake Dibbi, and receiving the river Shary, or Tchadda, from the large lake Tchad. The aspect of the country is
highly luxuriant. Vegetation assumes all the verdure and rankness common in a well watered tropical region. The trees are unrivalled for loftiness and majesty.
It sustains a numerous population, partly Moors, but principally negroes, who in general are of a mild and inoffensive character, and more intelligent and civilized than in most other regions of Africa. Soudan is divided into a number of kingdoms, or states, some of which have been visited by the celebrated English travellers, Park, Denham, Clapperton, and Lander, but which still remain in a great measure unexplored.
Bambara is an extensive, rich and populous kingdom in the vicinity of lake Dibbie. The Niger runs through it to the east. It abounds in vegetable productions. The butter tree is one of the most remarkable. Goora nuts are found in large quantities, and are esteemed a great luxury. Salt is extremely scarce, and purchased only by the rich. Sego is the capital, and is said to contain above 20,000 inhabit ants. Jenne is the centre of an extensive commerce. The city is two and a half miles round, with streets too narrow for carriages, and houses well built of sun burnt bricks. Pop. 15,000.
The large kingdom of Tombuctoo lies east of lake Dibbie, but we have little definite knowledge concerning it. The city of Tombuctoo, its capital, is represented by M. Caille, the French traveller, as situa. ted about eight miles from the Joliba, or Niger, and in the midst of a region of barren sands. It is about the size of Jenne, and being supported chiefly by commerce, is dependent on Jenne, and other neighboring districts, for provisions. The trade is chiefly in the hands of Moorish merchants, who trade extensively with the caravans from Barbary, and other parts of Africa. Salt is here an important article of commerce, and is brought to this city in large quantities from the mines of Taudeny on the north-west. Here are seven mosques, and many large houses of the Moors, blended with the conical straw huts of the negroes. Cabra, on the Niger, is the port of Tombuctoo. The caravans coming from North Africa are exposed to great dangers from the ferocious and troublesome Tuaricks.
Houssa is situated east of Tombuctoo, and is a fertile, rich, and pow. erful kingdom. The country is variegated and beautiful, and well cultivated, abounding in the luxuries of life. The villages are numerous and present an interesting appearance. The people are intelligent, and have some knowledge of arts and manufactures. Kano, the capital, is described as a spacious city, surrounded by a high wall.
Kassina is situated east of Houssa, and under its government. Bornou is east of Kassina, in the region of lake Tchad, is one of the most extensive, flourishing and powerful states in the interior of Africa. It is a plain country, well watered and productive. Indian corn flourishes, and is in common use. Cotton and indigo are abundant. The rich pastures sustain immense flocks of sheep and goats, with herds of cows, oxen and horses. The country swarms with bees, and honey is a common luxury. Here is plenty of game in the woods, and a full
variety of fish in the sweet waters of the lake; while many rare and valuable water fowl skim over its surface.
The inhabitants of Bornou are principally negroes, but blended with numerous Arabs, or Shouahs. The emperor has at his command an army of 60,000 cavalry. Bergoo and Begharmi are districts tributary to him. The government is arbitrary, and the laws very strict. The towns in general are well built, and encircled with earthen walls 30 feet in height. The Mahometan religion prevails. The capital is Kouka. A great trade is carried on with the merchants of Fezzan. European and India goods are imported. Gold, ivory and slaves are the exports.
The Fellatas, a brave and warlike tribe, are widely diffused over Nigritía, several cities and districts being under their power. They are of a copper complexion, and make a handsome personal appearance. Sackatoo is the seat of their empire and the residence of their chief. It is a populous and well built town on the Niger. Here Clapperton, the traveller, on his second tour, died with sickness. Zeg-zeg is a distinguished and beautiful Fellata country, one of the finest in Africa, and resembling the richest and fairest portions of England. It is variegated with hills and valleys, and overspread with verdant pastures, and plentiful crops of rice; while rows of lofty trees, like the gigantic poplar, adorn the hills. Zaria, its capital, as described by Clapperton, was of large circumference, exhibiting fields of grain, with the tops of houses just rising above them, yet containing a population of at least 50,000.
The city of Yaoorie, on the Niger, some distance below Sackatoo, is noted as the place where Mungo Park was killed. This place was recently visited by the Landers, in 1830, where they obtained a volume of Watts' hymns, which formerly belonged to Dr. Anderson, one of Park's companions. From this place they descended the river in a southerly course, passing by a large city called Boosa, in lat. 10 deg., and afterward the city of Funda, till ultimately they came to the sea, by the Nun, one of the mouths of this great river, emptying into the Gulf of Guinea, or Benin. They descended the Niger about 900 miles, and were amicably treated by the natives in the remote interior. The present year (1833) an expedition with two steamboats, headed by Richard Lander, has succeeded in ascending the Quorra, 400 n iles. They met with a favorable reception from the natives, and 10 tons of ivory were purchased for a trifling compensation. On one occasion they were obliged to make use of earnest entreaty to restrain a native king from sacrificing two human victims, in token of his cordiality and veneration toward the welcome strangers.
What countries are included in Central Africa? What are the boundaries of Soudan, or Nigritia? Of what length from west to east? What mountains on the south? What rivers rise in these mountains? What great river waters Soudan? What lake does it pass through? What large tributary stream does the Niger receive from the lake Tchad ? Where does the Niger empty? What is said of the
aspect of the country of Soudan? Of the vegetation? The trees of the forests ? Of the population? How described? How is Soudan divided? What travellers have visited it? What is the situation of Bambara ? How is it described? What remarkable tree is mentioned? What is the capital, and how described? On what river is Jenne, and what is said of the city of Jenne? Where is the kingdom of Tombuctoo? How is the city of that name situated? How large, and how supported? Who are the chief merchants here? What great article of commerce is mentioned? From what mines is the salt procured? Where is Cabra, the port of Tombuctoo? What ferocious tribe endangers the caravans from the north? Where is Houssa, and what kind of a kingdom? What of the country and villages? What is the capital and how described? Where is Kassina situated? To whom is it tributary? Where is Bornou? What large lake is in this region? What kind of a country is Bornou ? What are its products and animals? What of the bees, game, fish, and water fowl? What are the inhabitants? What of the emperor ? What districts are tributary to him? What of the government? The towns? The religion? The capital? What merchants trade here? What imports and ex ports? What is said of the Fellatas? What their complexion and personal appearance? Where is Sackatoo their capital, and for what noted? How is Zegzeg described? How is it variegated and overspread? What of Zaria its capital? Where is the city of Yaoorie, and for what noted? By what travellers was this city visited in 1830? What other two cities did they pass in descending the river? Where does the Niger terminate, according to their discoveries? Did they find the natives generally peaceable?
Darfur is that part of Central Africa which lies between Soudan or Nigritia, and Abyssinia and Nubia. It is a fertile country, watered by the Baheel Aliad, a branch of the Nile. Wheat and millet are cultivated. The growth of rice is spontaneous and abundant. The sovereign is despotic in his government, and distinguished for his enterprise as a merchant. The people trade largely with Egypt and Mecca; exporting slaves, camels, ivory, ostrich feathers, and hides of the rhinoceros and hippopotamus. Their capital is Cobbe. Pop. 5000. The inhabitants are ignorant, superstitious, and thievish Mahometans.
Lower Ethiopia is a name sometimes given to that vast, unexplored central region, extending from the Gibbel Kumri, or Mountains of the Moon, to South Africa, in length nearly 2,000 miles. It is supposed to consist in a great measure of elevated deserts, or table lands.
What are the boundaries of Darfur? What kind of a country and by what river watered? What crops are common? What is said of the sovereign? To what parts do the people trade and what do they export? What is their capital? The character of the inhabitants? What region is sometimes called Lower Ethiopia ? Of what length? Of what is it conjectured to consist?
SAHARA, OR AFRICAN DESERT.
Extent 2,500,000 sq. miles.
The name Sahara is of Arabic origin, and signifies sea or ocean. It may be applied in a large and general sense, to the whole of that vast desert region or ocean of sand which extends across the continent, about 3000 miles in length, from the Atlantic to the borders of Nubia and Egypt. Its breadth is 800 or 1000 miles. It is divided into the
eastern and western Sahara, by a line passing through the fertile dis trict of Fezzan, from Tripoli to Soudan.
This immense tract, in general, has a surface of moveable sand, driven and rolled about by the wind, like the waves of the sea. Here and there, a well watered verdant spot is found, called an oasis, resem. bling an island in the midst of the surrounding sands. These oases are often some hundred miles apart, and the fountains of water which they afford, are inconceivably refreshing to thirsty, weary travellers. Fezzan is the most extensive and remarkable of these fertile tracts, and for a considerable distance divides the eastern from the western part of the desert. The prevailing winds which sweep across the Sahara, blow nine months from the east, and only three months from the west. From this cause, the sand in Eastern Sahara is observed to be more thinly spread and more gravelly, and the surface of this part is more diversified with rocks and sand stone hills, and exhibits a greater number of oases than Western Sahara.
By the prevalence of easterly winds, the sands in a great measure have been driven off from the parts toward Egypt, and accumulated and deepened in the parts toward the Atlantic. In Western Sahara the sands are finer and deeper, and more uniformly and extensively spread over the surface. Springs are extremely rare. Fertile spots, or places for the refreshment of caravans, are very seldom found, and the scenes of this part of the desert are more universally desolate and gloomy. The desert shore along the Atlantic, is diversified with mountainous peaks, cliffs of rocks, sand hills, and many enormous sand. banks. The coast is imminently dangerous to mariners. Multitudes have been shipwrecked upon it and perished; while others, still more unfortunate, falling into the hands of the Arabs of the desert, have been hurried away into merciless captivity.
The appearance of the sky and atmosphere, over this immense waste, is red and fiery, the rays of the sun are oppressive, and the sands blis. tering to the feet. At other times the sun and sky are shrouded, and the air filled by clouds of fine burning sand hurled about in every direc tion by the wind. Thus the eyes of travellers are inflamed, and their progress, for a while, rendered difficult or impossible. Pillars of sand, suddenly raised by whirlwinds to a vast height, have been seen moving over the desert plains with inconceivable swiftness and majesty. Great numbers of human beings, it is supposed, have been buried and lost in these sand storms and billows. And still greater numbers, probably, have sunk down and perished, under the combined influence of hunger, thirst, and fatigue.
Hordes of wandering Arabs, and large caravans of Moors and other merchants, with camels and slaves and various merchandise, are continually traversing these wilds in every direction.
They carry water in leathern bottles, which they expect to replenish at every oasis. And whenever they arrive at a wonted watering place and find no water, as is sometimes the fact, a great mortality often ensues; especially of the miserable slaves. Innumerable human