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in the same manner as their predecessors had mounted the advanced-guard. “. Five Moors placed themselves at the head of the troop, very near to each other, and repeated their shouts; the chiefs entered the river, all the oxen immediately followed, and were at once surrounded by the tide: the interest of this view was greater than the former, on account of the vast number of cattle. “Several of the young Moors occasionally swam amongst the beasts, supporting themselves by their horns: this second passage lasted upwards of four hours. “. It is thus that the Moors and their oxen cross the largest rivers, and are never interrupted or impeded in the direction they are inclined to take. “In the month of January 1787, I, witnessed a similar passage, which was performed about a
league above the mouth of the Senegal, and opposite the village of Babaghe, in a part of the river where its width is upwards of two thousand fathoms. “I shall terminate the accounts which I thought it necessary to o of the Moors of the Zahara, y observing that these savages, whose existence is scarcely known in Europe, naturally enjoy a deee of information, spirit, adress, and authority, which renders them capable of every exertion that they may be inclined to undertake. “Their language is a gross kind of Arabic; it seems, however, that its rudeness is rather in consequence of their pronunciation, than of the corruption of the lan§. itself, since several of these oors speak it in great purity, and make themselves perfectly un
derstood among their own country
and Alexandria; and, lastly, the
prodigious quantity of this metal which is employed in the manufacture of ear-rings, bracelets, plates, and other ornaments for decking out the rich Mooresses and female negroes, and with which they also embellish their young favourite slaves, in all the countrics of northern Africa, comprised between the twelfth and twentieth degree of north latitude, and between the first and twentieth deree of east longitude from the isle of Ferro, is also derived from the same source. “Hence there is every reason to believe that different parts of this territory contain important treasures, which have hitherto been but superficially explored; yet gold is every where perceptible, either in the form of sand, spangles, grains, particles, or it is contained in ferruginous pyrites, or in pieces of emery, with which it is always more or less combined. “ Notwithstanding the numerous ablutions to which the soils of the mines are submitted, they still contain spangles of gold; in short, this metal appears with such constancy, and in such profusion, throughout the lands and waters of Barnbouk, and more particularly in all the vallies of the mountains of Tabaoura, with which this ter
ritory is in a great degree covered, that the principle of these partial effusions must originate in the masses of the noa in heaps or veins throughout the secret caverns of these mountains. “During my residence in Africa, I endeavoured to collect a number of accounts relative to the country of Bambouk; these I partly derived from the Moors and negroes of the Senegal and the Gambra, who had visited this rich country; from some of the English residing at the Gambra, whom I several times saw at Gilfrey, and who furnished. me with notes and a number of important documents relative to this part of Africa; and I also derived some information as to Bambouk, from a work printed in England in the year 1782. “Lastly, I received several memoirs of Messrs. Levens, David, Pelays, and Legrand ; the two first of whom were directors of, and the others employed in a civil capacity under, the old India company in the Senegal. These gentlemen had visited the country of Bambouk during the years 1730, 1731, 1732, and 1744. The fol. lowing is an abstract of these different accounts, notes, and memoirs, which may tend to throw some light on a very interesting country, little frequented by Europeans, as well as on the gold
mines it contains,
anorth.latitude. This situation, in point of latitude, is rather different from that in the map of Danville ; but I have taken it from the notes made by the English in the Gambra, and which agree with the map of major Renaell. The situation of this place, in point of longitude, is from seven degrees ten minutes, to eight degrees thirty minutes, east from the isle of Ferro. The river Felemeh, which empties itself into the Senegal at Tafalisga, forms the western boundary of this country. “From the accounts I have collected, it appears, that what pro#. constitutes the country of ambouk is only about thirty-six leagues in extent from north to south, and its average breadth is about twenty-eight leagues, giving a surface of rather more than a thousand square leagues. “ The country is divided into three kingdoms, or three territories, independent of each other; these are Bambouk, Satadou, and Konkoudou ; each has its king or chief, but that part of the three kingdoms which particularly bears ...the name of Bambouk, gives to its king a certain superiority, though this is merely honorary. He is
indebted for his rank to the impor
rance of the country of Bambouk, to the rich gold-mine of Natakon, which is situated in his territory, and to the ancient prerogative of his throne. Hence the whole country has taken its name from the kingdom of Bambouk; and Satadou, and Konkoudou, though independent, yet come under this eneral denomination. ,
“The kingdom of Bambouk is situated in a direction from southeast to north-east, on the two ... banks of the great Colez, or Rio d'Oro; that of Satadou is situated
to the south-west, and that of Konkoudou to the south-east; each of these three kingdoms contains old-mines, but those of Bam§. are the richest, the most numerous and celebrated, and are likewise best known. “The mountains of Tabaoura, which form a chain from thirtyeight to forty leagues in extent, occupy a considerable portion of this country: these mountains have a number of rivulets, and two principal rivers, both of which bear the name of Colez. “ Qne of these rivers passes through the western part of the country of Bambouk, and the other through its eastern part. The Colez of the west, which also bears the name of Rio d’Oro, which it has received from the Portuguese, takes a course of nearly thirty direct leagues, and falls into the river of Felemeh, at the village of Naye Mow; the Colez of the east, which bears the name of Guyanon Colez, empties itself into the Senegal, at Bakayakoulou.
mixture of Manding, Jolof, Foulha, and Moorish ; it is a barbarous jargon, in which one is much astonished to discover several Portuguese words. The negroes of this part of Africa admit that it is a sort of country dialect difficult to be understood, and in which the Manding tongue can scarcely be recognised.
**The negroes of Bambouk are shamefully idle. Being contiguous to a black nation of the name of Kasson, which inhabit the banks of the Senegal, above the cataract of the rock Felow, they are perpetually at war with them. “ These savages unexpectedly arrive on the country of their enemy, when they burn the villages, steal the cattle, and carry off the women and children; and few years pass in which some of these invasions do not take place. It may be imagined that the Bamboukians, who are able to raise an army of ten thousand men, would be disgusted and indignant at the attacks and violence of their ferocious neighbours; but these pusildanimous people only adopt the weakest means of resistance against such repeated irruptions.
“A short time ago they formed the resolution of watching the motions of the Kassons, and of preventing them, in some degree, from continuing their audacity, by retreating, at i. time of invasion, with their cattle, gold, families, and valuable effects, into the defiles of the mountains of Tabaoura, the access to which is both difficult and dangerous for those who are unacquainted with the country.
“The Kassons, who in these incursions seldom exceed the number of seven or eight hundred men, dare not venture into these defiles,
but confine themselves to ravaging and plundering all the property that could not be carried of: they also seize upon such women and children as were prevented from escaping by the effect of surprise. o “ It is thus that the degenerate Mandings of Bambouk suffer themselves to be oppressed by a horde of savage and daring negroes, who, gaining fortitude from the cowardice, but particularly from the indolence of the Bamboukians, strike with dread a people who might easily destroy them, if idleness and gold had not corrupted their bodies, and enervated their minds. “These negroes, established on a rich and fertile country, abandon themselves to the most extreme
cussed ; the chiefs and elders hear the complaints, and administer justice. It is here also, that from sunrise numbers of negroes meet, and pass whole days in smoking, playing, but particularly in conversing and reciting tales and histories; for the most absurd tales and fabricated histories form the greatest delight and amusement of these men, who arrive at old age without ever quitting a state of childhood. “After sunset the women and
young girls take their turn, and
proceed to the Bentaba, where they devote themselves with ardour to the pleasure of dancing, a pleasure which consists in moving with a sort of transport, and adopting, in their violent motions, the most ridiculous and indecent attitudes. This amusement takes place amidst the tumultuous and deafening noise of men and women, with drums, instruments, and clapping of hands, by which they beat time. “The Mandings of Bambouk are addicted to polygamy, and take as many women as their situation will enable them to keep ; for in a country which affords gold and all the necessaries of life in profusion, such an establishment does not require any great expense, and a woman may be procured for a very trivial price.
of salt, a little gold, and sometimes an ox or sheep: the present which he makes to the girl consists of from two to four pieces of cotton cloth, a few pair of Morocco sandals, or slippers, some glass ornaments, yellow amber, coral, cloves, some Dutch coins, and one or two baskets of millet: for this price he may obtain even the daughter of a chief or kingAmongst the lower classes, the presents are less valuable. “When the presents have been accepted, the parents of the young woman conduct her to the house of her husband, attended by a numerous train of women, dancers, musicians, &c. who chaunt the virtue and beauty of the lady, and the power, riches, and generosity of her intended spouse. “On the arrival of the young #. at the door of the house of him who is to receive her, she takes off her slippers, and receives from some of her attendants a little calabash full of water; she knocks at the door, and it is opened; she then finds her future husband surrounded by the elders of his family, and approaching towards him, she prostrates herself, and pours on his feet the water contained in the calabash; she afterwards wipes them with the lower part of her clothing. “This act of submission is the only ceremony performed at marriages. After this, the husband installs his wife in a cottage on his land, which has been constructed and prepared expressly for her use, and where she finds every thing necessary for her private subsisotence. “It is the same in the country of Bambouk as in all the western countries of Africa which I have visited; the first woman espoused by