Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

in the same manner as their pre- league above the mouth of the decessors had mounted the ad- Senegal, and opposite the village vanced-guard.

of Babaghe, in a part of the ri. " Five Moors placed themselves ver where its width is upwards of at the head of the troop, very

two thousand fathoms. near to each other, and repeated “ I shall terminate the accounts their shouts; the chiefs entered which I thought it necessary to the river, all the oxen immedi- give of the Moors of the Zahara, ately followed, and were at once by observing that these savages, surrounded by the tide: the inter- whose existence is scarcely known est of this view was greater than in Europe, naturally enjoy a dethe former, on account of the vast gree of information, spirit, adnumber of cattle.

dress, and authority, which ren“ Several of the young Moors ders them capable of every exeroccasionally swam amongst the tion that they may be inclined to beasts, supporting themselves by undertake. their horns: this second passage “ Their language is a gross kind listed upwards of four hours. of Arabic ; it seems, however,

“ It is thus that the Moors and that its rudeness is rather in contheir oxen cross the largest rivers, sequence of their pronunciation, and are never interrupted or im- than of the corruption of the lanpeded in the direction they are in- guage itself, since several of these clined to take.

Moors speak it in great purity, .“ In the month of January 1787, and make themselves perfectly unI witnessed a similar passage, derstood among their own country, which was performed about a men.”

DESCRIPTION of the INHABITANts and COUNTRY of BAMBOU K.

[From the same Work.)

"TI THE celebrity of Bambouk might be conceived of examining

is far beyond the know- these mines, of obtaining them by ledge which we possess of that conquest, and of securing them to country, and its gold-mines have ourselves in full possession, it is been the occasion of many splen- equally reasonable that we ought did dreams: nevertheless, Bam- not to treat these plans with too bouk ought not, like the Eldorado much indifference; and it would of South America, to be banished not be without some hopes of sucfrom the class of chimerical de. cess that we might venture to acscriptions; its gold-mines actually quire the greatest part of the gold exist; they are worked imperfectly which this rich country produces ; it must be admitted, but they pro- for, by instructing the natives in duce a quantity of gold; and if it the art of discovering and works be reasonable not to adopt with too ing the mines, we might obtain much enthusiasm the projects which whatever remains hidden in the

I 3

bowel

bowels of the mountains of Ta- ritory is in a great degree covered, baoura.

that the principle of these partial “ It is from the country of effusions must originate in the Bambouk that a part of the gold masses of the metal contained in is acquired, which is sold on the heaps or veins throughout the seBrestern coast of Africa, between cret caverns of these mountains. the mouth of the Senegal and “During my residence in Africa, Cape Paimas. All that portion I endeavoured to collect a number conveyed to Tombuctoo, Morocco, of accounts relative to the country Fez, and Algiers, l.y the caravans of Bambouk; these I partly dethat cross the great desert of the rived from the Moors and negroes Zahara ; almost all the gold which of the Senegal and the Gambra, by way of Sennaar passes to Cairo who had visited this rich country; and Alexandria; and, lastly, the from some of the English residing prodigious quantity of this metal at the Gambra, whom I several which is employed in the manu- times saw at Gilfrey, and who facture of car-rings, bracelets, furnished. me with notes and a plates, and other ornaments for number of important documents decking out the rich Mooresses and relative to this part of Africa; female negroes, and with which and I also derived some informathey also enibellish their young fa- tion as to Bambouk, from a work vourite slaves, in all the countries printed in England in the year of northern Africa, comprised be- 1782. tween the twelfth and twentieth “ Lastly, I received several me. degree of north latitude, and be- moirs of Messrs. Levens, David, tween the first and twentieth der Pelays, and Legrand ; the two gree of cast longitude from the firs of whom were directors of, isle of Ferro, is also derived from and the others employed in a civil the same source.

capacity under, the old India com“ Hence there is every reason pany in the Senegal. These gen. to believe that different parts of tlemen had visited the country of this territory contain important Bambouk during the years 1730, treasures, which have hitherto 1731, 1732, and 1744. The fol. been but superficially explored; lowing is an abstract of these difvet gold is every where percep- ferent accounts, notes, and me. tible, either in the form of sand, moirs, which may tend to throw spangles, grains, particles, or it some light on a very interesting 1s contained in ferruginous pyrites, country, little frequented by Euor in pieces of emery, with which ropeans, as well as on the goldit is always more or less combined. mines it contains,

“ Notwithstanding the numeTous ablutions to which the soils of

SITUATION OF THE COUNTRY OF the mines are submitted, they still

BAMBOUK, contain spangles of gold; in short, this metal appears with such con “ The country of Bambouk, to stancy, and in such profusion, the south of the Senegal, at a di throughout the lands and waters of tance of ten leagues from the Bambouk, and more particularly banks of that river, lies between in all the vallies of the mountains twelve degrees thirty minutes, and of Tabaoura, with which this ter- fourtcen degrees fifteen minutes

north

a

north latitude. This situation, in to the south-west, and that of Konpoint of latitude, is rather diffe- koudou to the south-east; each rent from that in the map of Dan of these three kingdoms contains wille ; but I have taken it from the gold-mines, but those of Bam. notes made by the English in the bouk are the richest, the most nu Gambra, and which agree with merous and celebrated, and are the map of major Rennell. The likewise best known. situation of this place, in point of 66 The mountains of Tabaoura, longitude, is from seven degrees which form a chain from thirtyten minutes, to eight degrees thirty eight to forty leagues in extent, minutes, east from the isle of Fer- occupy a considerable portion of -ro. The river Felemeh, which this country: these mountains háve empties itself into the Senegal at a number of rivulets, and two Tafalisga, forms the western boun- principal rivers, both of which dary of this country.

bear the name of Colez. « From the accounts I have col “ One of these rivers passes lected, it appears, that what pra- through the western part of the perly, constitutes the country of country of Bambouk, and the Bambouk is only about thirty-six other through its eastern part. The leagues in extent from north to Colez of the west, which also south, and its average breadth is bears the name of Rio d'Oro, about twenty-eight leagues, giving which it has received from the a surface of rather more than ä Portuguese, takes course of thousand square leagues.

nearly thirty direct leagues, and “ The country is divided into falls into the river of Felemeh, at three kingdoms, or three territo- the village of Naye Mow; the. ries, independent of each other; Colez of the east, which bears the these are Bambouk, Satadou, and naine of Guyanon Colez, empties Konkoudou ; each has its king or itself into the Senegal, at Bakayachief, but that part of the three koulou. kingdoms which particularly bears . the name of Bambouk, gives to its

ON THE ORIGIN OF THE INHA king a certain superiority, though this is merely honorary. He is indebted for his rank to the impor

« The inhabitants of the countance of the country of Bambouk, try of Bambouk are of Manding to the rich gold-mine of Natakon, origin. A colony of these people, which is sitaated in his territory, so well known throughout Westand to the ancient prerogative ofern Africa, conquered this rich his throne. Hence the whole country at a very ancient period, country has taken its name from and anterior to the modern discothe kingdom of Bambouk, and very of Africa by the Portuguese. Satadou, and Konkoudou, though « The natural activity of the independent, yet come under this Manding nation, their intelligence, general denomination.

industry, and language, are all “ The kingdom of Bambouk is changed amongst the Mandings of situated in a direction from south- Bambouk; the latter are torpid east to north-east, on the two and lazy, improvident, inconsidebanks of the great Colez, or Rio rate, ignorant, and superstitious ; d'Oro; that of Satadou is situated their language is a very corrupted

mixture

BITANTS OF BAMBOUK.

mixture of Manding, Jolof, Foul. but confine themselves to ravaging ha, and Moorish ; it is a barba. and plundering all the property rous jargon, in which one is much that could not be carried off: astonished to discover several Por- they also seize upon such women tuguese words. The negroes of and children as were prevented this part of Africa admit that it is from escaping by the effect of sur. a sort of country dialect difficult to prise. be understood, and in which the “ It is thus that the degenerate Manding tongue can scarcely be Mandin'ts of Bambouk suffer themrecognised.

selves to be oppressed by a horde “ The negroes of Bambouk are of savage and daring negroes, shamefully idle. Being contigu- who, gaining fortitude from the ous to a black nation of the name cowardiee, but particularly from of Kasson, which inhabit the banks the indolence of the Bamboukians, of the Senegal, above the cataract strike with dread a people who of the rock Felow, they are perpe- might easily destroy them, if idle. tually at war with them.

ress and gold had not corrupted “ These savages unexpectedly their bodies, and enervated their arrive on the country of their ene- minds. my, when they burn the villages, “ These negroes, established on steal the cattle, and carry off the a rich and tertile country, aban. women and children; and few don themselves to the most extreme years pass in which some of these indolence; and as their country invasions do not take place. It produces, to use the expression, may be imagined that the Bam- without culture, every article neboukians, who are able to raise an cessary for an easy and agreeable army of ten thousand men, would life, but more particularly, as be disgusted and indignant at the their territory affords, without la. attacks and violence of their fero. bour, that corrupting metal called cious neighbours; but these pusil- gold, they have no emulation, eilanimous people only adopt the ther for agriculture, for the first weakest means of resistance against and most valuable of the arts, for such repeated irruptions.

industry, or for commerce. “ A short time ago they formed the resolution of watching the

OF THE BENTARA. motions of the Kassons, and of preventing them, in some degree, “ In each village of Bambouk from continuing their audacity, by there is a place of meeting that retreating, at the time of invasion, beirs the name of Bentaba; it with their cattle, gold, families, consists of a large hall, formed by and valuable effects, into the de- stakes placed at the distance of ten files of the mountains of Taba. or ifrelve feet from each other, oura, the access to which is both and fifteen feet in height, which difficult and dangerous for those support a thatched roof. The who are unacquainted with the size of the Bentaba is always such, country.

that all the males of the village The Kassons, who in these · above the age of twelve, may incursions seldom exceed the num- stand under it together. ber of seven or eight hundred men, “ In this place the councils are dare not venture into these defiles, held, and all general affairs dis

cussed;

[ocr errors]

cussed ; the chiefs and elders hear of salt, a little gold, and somethe complaints, and administer jus- times an ox or sheep: the present tice. It is here also, that from which he makes to the girl consunrise numbers of negroes meet, sists of from two to four pieces of and pass whole days in smoking, cotton cloth, a few pair of Moplaying, but particularly in con. rocco sandals, or slippers, some versing and reciting tales and his- glass ornaments, yellow amber, tories; for the most absurd tales coral, cloves, some Dutch coins, and fabricated histories form the and one or two baskets of millet: greatest delight and amusement of for this price he may obtain even these men, who arrive at old age the daughter of a chief or king. without ever quitting a state of Amongst the lower classes, the childhood.

presents are less valuable. “ After sunset the women and “ When the presents have been young girls take their turn, and accepted, the parents of the young proceed to the Bentaba, where Voman conduct her to the house they devote themselves with ardour of her husband, attended by a nuto the pleasure of dancing, a plea- merous train of women, dancers, sure which consists in moving with musicians, &c. who chaunt the a sort of transport, and adopting, virtue, and beauty of the lady, and in their violent motions, the most the power, riches, and generosity of ridiculous and indecent attitudes. her intended spouse. This amusement takes place a

« On the arrival of the young midst the tumultuous and deafen- girl at the door of the house of ing noise of men and women, him who is to receive her, she with drums, instruments, and takes off her slippers, and receives clapping of hands, by which they from some of her attendants a beat time.

little calabash full of water; she “ The Mandings of Bambouk knocks at the door, and it is openare addicted to polygamy, and ed; she then finds her future hustake as many women as their si- band surrounded by the elders of tuation will enable them to keep; his family, and approaching tofor in a country which affords gold wards him, "she prostrates herself, and all the necessaries of life in and pours on his feet the water profusion, such an establishment contained in the calabash ; she aftdoes not require any great ex erwards wipes them with the lowpense, and a woman may be pro- er part of her clothing. cured for a very trivial price.

* This act of submission is the only ceremony performed at marriages. After this, the husband

installs his wife in a cottage on his “ The person who courts a land, which has been constructed young girl, solicits her consent, and prepared expressly for her use, and demands her of her parents; and where she finds every thing but this demand is a mere matter necessary for her private subsisof formality. When the lover tence. and the girl are both of a senti " It is the same in the country "ment, and matters are drawing of Bambouk as in all the western towards a crisis, he makes a pre- countries of Africa which I have sent to the parents of a few pounds visited; the first woman espoused

by

OF THE MARRIAGE CEREMONIES.

« ПредишнаНапред »