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Mr. Burckhardt was led to imagine, a proper name, but a word signifying city' in the language of the country. Hadji Hamet asserts that Grand Cairo is not so large as Bornou; and that to pass from one gate to another in a direct line, would take from morning till night. He adds that, in his journey to Mecca, he first went to Kanem, which is seven days journey to the eastward of Bornou, the stages between them being, 1. Bismillah; 2. Widu; 3. Beledonanby; 4. Sibdifafa; 5. Rigrigzime; 6. Fume; 7. Kanem. Kanem is about the size of Tunis. The great river, which is called Tshadi at Kano (or Gano) is called Birum in the country of Kanem, and flows to the south-eastward. It is never dry, and during the summer months overflows the neighbouring country. The name of the river in Bornou is Kamadkoo;* it passes to the eastward about half a day's journey to the south of the capital; at this place is a town or port called Gambarroo, where a young virgin, richly dressed, is precipitated into the stream every year at the period of its inundation; and it is firmly believed that if the victim selected were not a virgin, the town would be swept away. Burckhardt obtained the same information in Egypt.
At Gambarroo are still to be seen the remains of the castles and houses erected by the Christians, who, tradition reports, lived there many ages ago; and copper coins in use among them are said to be frequently dug up. Before the river reaches this town it flows through the country of Soudan. Hadji Hamet was at Gano, which is twelve days journey to the west of Bornou, and close to the river, there called Tshadi. Five days to the westward of Gano is Kashna, where the river is as broad, he says, as the distance from the gate of Tripoli to the bazaar on the sands (about one-third of a mile). It is here called the Gulbi. He had been at Timbuctoo when young, and believes the distance from Kashna to be about twenty-eight, and from Bornou about forty-five days. The places on the road are Goobur, Zamfara, Nyffé, Zegzeg, Melli and Foota, but he does not know their respective distances from each other. At Nyffé there is a large sea which is not salt but sweet. The river Tshadi comes out of this sea and flows on till it arrives in Egypt: he does not know whether the river of Timbuctoo runs into it or not. Wangara lies to the south between this sea and Timbuctoo. Kashna and all the neighbouring countries are at present in subjection to Bello, the Fellata chief, the son of Hatman
on the west side of which the city of Birney is said to be built. The name of the lake is Nou, and from it the country derives the name of Bornou, or the land of Nou.'Burckhardt, App. No. 1. p. 477.
* Kamadkoo appears from the vocabulary of the Bornou language, in Mr. Burckhardt's work, to be the general name signifying river.' It is applied to the river at Bernou in Faden's map of Africa.
Danfodio, who overran the whole of that part of Africa some years ago. Bello's place of residence is Kashna.
The intelligence procured from the next person carries us somewhat farther to the eastward. It is from Sidi Mousa, a Tripolitan merchant who was just returned from Wara, the capital of Waday, (called also Dar Saley and Bergo,*) a journey of about forty-five days of the caravan, or about the same length as that from Bornou to Mourzouk. This man travelled from Waday, through Begharmi, to Bornou; he was twenty days in going from Wara to Begharmi, and ten from the latter to Bornou; which he describes as several times larger than Tripoli. The people of Bornou and of Waday live chiefly in huts of clay covered with grass, but those of Begharmi in houses of two stories high.
Waday,' says Mr. Ritchie, is a country which has been represented to me as one of the most considerable in the north-eastern parts of Africa. It was for a long time governed by a prince whose name was Abdel-Kerym, but more commonly called Saboon el Fakir, (literally, the poor man's soap,) a title which he took from the extent of his charitable actions. Since the death of this sovereign two of his sons have successively reigned. The present king is said to be very young, and the kingdom has consequently fallen into a state of civil confusion. I am told that a very large river flows through some districts of Waday, called the Batta, which my informant supposed to be the same as that of Bornou called the Tshad. Waday is a kingdom which no European has hitherto visited.'
The Nile flows both through Bornou and Begharmi, and passes to the eastward at the distance of four days journey south of the capital of the latter country, where it is nearly a mile broad and very deep. The direction which it there takes is to the southeastward. Sidi Mousa does not know where it goes after passing Begharmi, but he has always understood it to be the same river as the Nile of Egypt. There are vessels upon it at this place, but not very large.
Such is the substance of the information obtained from three intelligent Africans relating to the Niger and the neighbouring coun
Dar Saley is the name used by the natives; the people of Darfoor and Kordofan give to it the name of Bergo. Their northern neighbours of Bornou and Fezzan, and the Moggrebyn merchants, call it Waday.'-Burckhardt, App. No. 2. p. 484.
The King of Saley, Abd el Kerim, nick-named Saboun,' soap,' is, next to those of Darfour and Bornou, the most potent prince in the eastern part of Soudan, and has conquered several of the neighbouring states'-Burck. App. No. 21. p. 480.
Again. Next to Bornou and Darfour, Dar Saley is the most important country in eastern Soudan. It is said to be a flat country, with few mountains. In the rainy season, which usually lasts two months, large inundations are formed in many places, and large and rapid rivers then flow through the country. After the waters have subsided, deep lakes remain in various places filled with water the whole year round, and sufficiently spacious to afford a place of retreat to the hippopotami and crocodiles which abound in the country.'-App. No. 2. p. 484.
tries; and the remarkable coincidence of most of it with that procured by Mr. Burckhardt in Egypt, stamps on it an additional value. Indeed Mr. Ritchie says, I have made many desultory inquiries of other persons from the interior; but I have never found them to contradict their testimony in any material point; they have in general fully confirmed it.'
It appears singular that the country situated immediately to the eastward of Timbuctoo, as far as Kashna, should be more imperfectly known to the Moorish traders than the rest of central Africa; but it is in some measure accounted for by the information of Mr. Burckhardt. Among the negro tribes,' says this celebrated traveller, is the great tribe of Fellata, of whom those who dwell in the neighbourhood of Bornou are Mussulmans; while others of the same tribe, who live farther west, are still pagans. This nation of Fellata appears to be in great strength throughout Soudan; they have spread across the whole contineut, and I saw one of them at Mekka, who told me that his encampment, when he left it, was in the neighbourhood of Timbuctoo. The Fellata have attacked and pillaged both Bornou and Kashna, and the latter town is said to be at present half ruined. They are mostly horsemen. They fight with poisoned arrows, as do in general all the pagan tribes of this part of Soudan; the arrow is short, and of iron; the smallest scratch with it causes the body to swell, and is infallibly mortal, unless counteracted by an antidote known amongst the natives.**
Mr. Ritchie was not able to meet with any person who could assure him, from his own knowledge, that the river, which is called Issa, at Timbuctoo, is the same which, crossing the fresh water lake at Nyffe, flows through the kingdom of Kashna, where it acquires the name of Gulbi, and after washing successively Gano, Bornou, and Kanem, turns to the southward through Begharmi, where all authentic evidence of its course ceases. The general belief of every person with whom I have conversed,' says Mr. Ritchie, is, that they are one and the same river; and the concurrence of several persons on this point, when connected with the evidence furnished by Park and Hornemann, affords a rational presumption that this opinion is correct, and ought to overbalance any hypothesis founded on the insulated testimony of an individual.'
Mr. Ritchie observes that the position of Wangara, a name unknown to those natives of Bornou and Waday who furnished the information collected by Mr. Burckhardt, must be materially altered in our maps according to the notices which he received respecting it; so likewise must that of Bornou. Of the position of
the latter there can now be very little doubt;* and Mr. Ritchie thinks we shall come pretty near the truth in assigning to the capital of that country 16° north latitude, and 16° of east longitude from the meridian of Greenwich; a position which differs several degrees from that which it occupies in the latest map of Arrowsmith. The city of Kanem would appear also to be very erroneously laid down; by placing it in latitude 18° 11', and longitude 17° or 18° east, we shall perhaps approach much nearer to its real situation.
Wangara was not at all known to any of Mr. Burckhardt's informants, and was vaguely described to Mr. Ritchie; if it exists at all, therefore, it must lie somewhere between Kashna and Timbuctoo, in those countries which are now in possession of the Fellata. It would seem also that Haoussa is not a city, but a district in the same tract; and that Soudan, properly speaking, is comprehended between Timbuctoo and Bornou: and it is not improbable that the Bahr el Soudan, on which Nyffe is situated, or some part of the low swampy country to the southward of it, is the Wangara of Edrisi. It should seem,' says Burckhardt, that the negroes themselves (not the slave-traders, who call the whole of the Black country, Soudan,) give this name (Soudan) to the countries west of Baghermi.
It appears from Mr. Burckhardt's information that several rivers flow from the northward into the Niger towards the eastern part of its course. One of these in particular is said to join it between Bornou and Baghermi.
'Betwen Katakou and Bahr el Ghazel,' he observes, 'flows the great river called Shary, in a direction, as far as I could learn, from N. E. to S. W., towards Baghermi, but its source was unknown.' (This must be a typographical error, and ought to be, from what follows, from N. W. to S. E.) From the limits of Bornou to Baher Shary is fifteen days slow march, in the direction of the Kebly (that is of Mecca.) The route from Bahr Shary to Bahr el Ghazel is in the same direction.' He adds, The Bahr el Ghazel is a wide extent of low ground, without any mountains: it is called Bahr, (sea or river) and also Wady, because tradition reports that, in ancient times, a large river flowed through it.'
It is pretty obvious that this river, Shary, is the one or probably both of those called Bahr el Gazel and Misselad in the charts: of these, the former is not merely a river, but a country inundated during the rains, and intersected by numerous streams† and lakes;
I have been constantly assured that Bornou is more to the westward than due north of Bagerme, which agrees likewise with what Hornemann heard at Fezzan; namely, that Bornou lies south of Fezzan.'-Burckhardt, App. 2. p. 488.
Speaking of the principal of these rivers, Mr. Burckhardt says, According to a very general custom in Soudan, of giving to the same river different
names, it is also called
the latter was altogether unknown to Burckhardt's informants. It is probable however that the upper part of the Shary occupies the place of the Misselad, and that it flows out of the marsh of Kouga or Fittre, instead of running into it, as described in the charts. If this were not the case the Kouga would necessarily be salt, whereas all the Arab authorities make it fresh water. When Brown was told, in Darfoor, of a large river running N. W. his informant might have meant, as we believe is not uncommon with the Arabs, not the direction of the stream, but the geographical line in which the bed proceeded from the place of the observer. Thus, in sailing up the Nile, an Arab would say the Bahr el Abiad flowed to the S. W., meaning thereby that it branched off in that direction, though its current runs to the N. E. 'The place,' says Burckhardt, nearest to the Shary in the Bahr el Ghazel, is Kanem, four days distant. From Kanem to Fittre is a journey of eight days, and from Fittre to Dar Saley three. The Arabs Beni Hassan, in the Bahr el Ghazel, turn their faces towards Dar Saley when they pray.'
From these materials, collected by two such intelligent travellers on nearly opposite sides of Africa, and according so well with each other, we should venture to suggest a correction in those parts of the charts of North Africa, through which the Niger flows, something like the annexed sketch, leaving perhaps undecided that portion of the river from the point south of Dar Saley or Baghermi, as far as the supposed course of the Bahr el Abyad, (about 250 miles,) till further inquiries can be instituted; though after bringing it thus far, and after so many testimonies of its identity with the Nile of Egypt, it is difficult to conceive in what manner it can be disposed of but by a junction with the White river. The reason why the further course of the river is lost sight of at Baghermi or Dar Saley, may be, that the route of all the caravans, whether of traders, or pilgrims on their way to Mecca, lies through Dar Saley, Darfour, and Kordofan; and thence to the Red Sea or Abyssinia, by Sennaar, or to Egypt through Dongola. The country through which the Abiad passes, either from its low swampy soil or savage inhabitants, seems invariably to be avoided; as all the itineraries yet collected across central Africa turn to the northward at Baghermi or Dar Saley. It appears, however, that its shores are inhabited.*
called Djyr, which in the Egyptian pronunciation, sounds Gyr, and may perhaps be the Gir of Ptolemy.'-App. No. 2, p. 484.
A second branch of the Nile is the White Nile, (Nil el Abyadh), a river coming from the western parts, of a deep white colour, like milk.-" I have inquired (says Selym) of Moggrebyns, who have travelled in Soudan, respecting the Nile of their country, and its colour, and they stated that it rises in mountains of sand, and that it collects in Soudan into large seas-both sides of the Nil el Abyadh are inhabited.” ’— Burckhardt, App. 3. p. 498.