Titles — the love for them, and the endless variety of designations in-
tended to express dignity — might equally be enlarged on, without the
subject being at all exhausted, while the multiplicity of fashions adopted
in dressing their woolly hair, filing their teeth, splitting their ears, o;
generally improving upon nature, will be touched, as far as so extensive
a theme admits of, in the chapters which follow. We may, however
note in this place a few singular customs, which give a better idea ol
African characteristics than more labored analyses of their mental traits.
How Wiverf Managre Husbands.
One custom said to be universal in Oriental Africa is that of a woman
tying a knot in anyone's turban, thereby placing herself under his pro-
tection in order to be revenged upon her husband, who may have beaten
her for some offence. In due time, when the husband comes to claim
her, he is compelled to pay a ransom, and to promise, in the presence of
his chief, never again to maltreat her. In nearly every village in Unyam-
wesi there are two or three public-houses, or perhaps they might be
called clubs. One is appropriated to the women, and another to the
men, though at the one frequented by the men all travellers of distinction
are welcomed by the chiefs and elders. As soon as a boy attains the
age of seven or eight years, he throws off the authority of his mother,
and passes most of his time at the club, usually eating and often sleeping
there. On the death of a Wagogo chief, the son is supposed to look
upon his father's eldest surviving brother as his new and adopted father,
but only in private and not in public affairs.
There is another point connected with the black races of Africa to
which a few lines may be devoted. The hair of most Africans — and
universally of the Negro and Negroid tribes — is short, inclined to split
longitudinally, and much crimped. In South Africa the Hottentot's hair
.is more matted into tufts than that of the Kaffir, while it is not uncom-
mon to find long hair, and even considerable beards, among some of the
tribes inhabiting the central plateau of the continent. Black is the almost
Universal color of their hair. In old age it becomes white; but accord-
ing to Walker there are cases among the Negroes of the Gaboon in
.which red hair, red eyebrows and eyes are not uncommon, and Schwein-
furth speaks of Monbuttoos with ashy fair hair, and skin much fairej
than that of their fellow-tribesmen.
It may also be mentioned that individuals with reddish hair are by no
means rarely seen among the mountaineers of the Atlas. Whiskers are
CiSi WONDERS OF THE TROPICS.
rare, though not unknown, and long beards are said to be found among
Niam-niam, and among the papers left by Miani, the unfortunate Italian
traveller, there is a notice of a man with a beard half as long as his own,
which, Dr. Schweinfurth remarks, was of " a remarkable length." The
;olor of the Negro's skin passes through every gradation from ebons-
black to the copper color.
Famous King- and Quoen.
, Speaking of the Gaboon, we must notice the celebrated king wli.
fiiiled many years in that region, ahd possessed many traits in commo5^
with the savage tribes around him. A traveller makes the following'
reference to him :
" When I was up this river a few years since, an aged king was the::
feigning, whom the English called King William and the French Ro:
Denis; a somewhat remarkable character in his way. He had made n
voyage to Europe, but his contact with civilization had no effect upon hi:3
manner of life, his liking for rum, and plurality of wives. At one time he
derived large revenue from the slave trade, the Gaboon being the river
from the mouth of which the slaves were embarked for the English.
French and American colonies; but w-hen the trade was checked hi*!
income decreased very much, and his riches then seem to have con-
gisted of an amazing number of suits of clothes, old uniforms, gaily deco-
rated coatSj and other fanciful attire, with which he decked his black
person. When I saw him with his principal wife he w^as most gorgeously
arrayed in a scarlet coat with an epaulet on each shoulder, and the breast
elaborately braided; a medal was swung around his neck, and in hi?
hand he held a cane. That was the only time I ever saw him."
The tribes on the banks of the Congo are of the most ferocious descrip-
tion, and treacherous beyond anything with v/hich African travellers
have hitherto had much experience. Mr. Stanley, with a kindly enthusi-
asm fully appreciated, proposed to call the river the Livingstone. V>\.\i a.*^
this would have been an innovation on all the established rules of gee
graphical names, it has not been adopted.
riie country on either side of the Congo is remarkably different
North of it are lagoons and swamps covered with the sickly mangrove
2nd backed by dense forests. South of the great river we come into ^
countiy covered with coarse grass, and scattered with occasional baobab-
trees, while little forest can be seen from the ocean ; and inside of feverish
5agoons we have long stretches of sandy bays, such as prevail on to the
Cape of Good Hope. But as we travel back from the shore the country
rises terrace by terrace, with corresponding changes of vegetation, th<
STANLEY AND THE CONGO. 3G5
climate getting mciistcr as the more dcnscly-clothed interior is ap
proached, until on the third and highest terrace great plains, covered with
gigantic grasses, make their appearance.
Traders and Their Wai'es.
At the mouth of the river there are several foreign trading stations, oi
fectories, established on a sandy strip of coast, called Banana. Somf
ftjrty-five miles further up are the stations of Punta da Lenha (Woo'^e
point) ; and at Em-bomma, or as the traders call it, Bomma, sixty i uc
from the mouth of the river, there are the highest of all the foreign setH:
ments. Here are Portuguese, English, French, Dutch, and St. H .ena
traders. The neighboring country is singularly sterile. According to Mr.
Stanley, it is bleak in the extreme. " Shingly rocks strewed the path
and the waste, and the thin sere grass waved mournfully on leve
and spine, on slope of ridge and crest of hill ; in the hollows it was some
what thicker; in the bottoms it had a slight tinge of green."
The six factories at Bomma are all constructed of wooden boards
roofed in the generality of cases with corrugated zinc. Business is trans
acted in the ample court-yard attached to each factory This consists i?
bartering calico, glass-ware, crockery, iron-ware, gin, rum, arms, and gun-
'powder, for palrii-oil, ground-nuts and ivory. The merchants live toler
ably comfortably. Some of them have fruit and garden vegetables, anc
little vineyards, while pineapples and limes may be obtained from the
market, which is held on alternate days behind the European settlement
In earlier times Bomma was a great seat of the slave trade; and tc
this day Tuckey's description of the people, though written more thar,
half a century ago, is still perfectiy applicable. They are as rude, super
stitious, and pagan as ever they were, the efforts of the missionaries
having as yet scarcely impressed the solid mass of primeval barbarism
They still distrust strangers as much as ever, are still as intolerant of any
innovation in their customs, and their lust after rum and idleness is a£
Tnarked to-day as half a century ago. It may be added that were slaves
jalable the Congoese would not be wanting in alacrity in obtaining them,
ijid we may be perfectly certain that barracoons for their reception, and
smart skippers for their shipment, would speedily reappear on the scene,
of the old — though it is affirmed, so far as the Portuguese and Spanish
isles and colonies are concerned, not altogether extinct — traffic.
In early days the Congo country extended far south of the river, and
in the capital of the then kingdom the Jesuits resided and reared a cathe-
dral, the remains of v^^hich still exist, and owing to the priestly influence
obtained great power throughout the country. The monarch was oftei*
WONDERS OF THE TROPICS,
ruled by females, the tales of whose ferocity were stock subjects for the
early chroniclers. The empire of Congo is, however, now a something of
the past, though in the neigborhood of Ambassi the nominal king still
exercises sufficient control over the people to be able to annoy the cara-
vans passing to and from the interior ; but a score of local chieftains have-
as much authority as he.
Though the Portuguese claim the coast from a point considerably north
ot he Congo, they have never actually occupied it north of eight degrees
of south latitude ; and here the reader must note that we are getting
GUEREZA WITH BEAUTIFUL FLYING MANTLE.
south of the equator. The elephant is not now met with in the maritime
region, but in the less populous regions antelopes, zebras, buffalos — -not,.
it need scarcely be remarked, the American bison, which is popularly
known by that name — hy?enas, jackals, leopards, and the monkey.
As for the monkey tribe, a description of the guereza must suffice.
The general color of this monkey is black. The sides of the body and
top of the loins are ornamented with long, pendant, white hairs, forming
a fringe-like mantle. The'iace is«encircled by white, and the tail ends in
a white tuft. - The guereza lives, according to Riippell, in small families,
tenanting the lofty trees in the neighborhood of running waters. It is
308 VVONDERS OF THE TROPICS.
active and lively, and at the same time gentle and inoffensive. It is the
prettiest of all the monkeys, and our illustration gives an idea of it3
striking appearance. It is an excellent climber. Formerly the skin of
the guereza was used by the natives for decorating their shields, but with
tlie introduction of fire-arms the demands for shields and for this coveted
decoration ceased, and this is undoubtedly a fact to be glad of, because
tliere exists no more instigation to hunt this beautiful and entirely harm
It has the head, face and neck, back, limbs and part of tail coverec
with, short, black velvety hair, the temples, chin, throat and a band over
the eyes white, and the sides, flanks, from the shoulders downward, and
loins clothed with white hair.
Like all the others, these monkeys are pre-eminently a sylvan race ;
they never abandon the forests, where they live in society under the
[juidance of the old males. They seem to be much attached to partic-
ular localities. Each tribe or family has its own particular district, into
which individuals of other tribes or species are never allowed to intrude,
the whole community uniting promptly to repel any aggression, either on
dieir territory or their individual right. So strongly is this propensity
implanted within them that they carry it into our manageries. Noth-
ing is more common than to see monkeys of the same species unit-
ing to defend one of their kind against the tyranny of a powerful
oppressor, or to resent any insult offered to a member of their little
These <nimals generally take up their quarters in the vicinity of a run-
ning str(-^m, and seldom approach the habitations of men, or invade the
cultivate d grounds of the gardener and husbandman. No doubt it is their
spirit of union and mutual defence which prompts them to collect round
travellers, and, by their chattering, grimace, and other means in their
power, endeavor to prevent an intrusion into the spot which they regard
as their own.
There are no domestic animals in Congo except goats, swine, dogs
cats, and a (qw sheep, with hair instead of wool. The goats are very
beautiful, but the other quadrupeds are rather woe-begone specimens of
their kind. The natives do not use beasts of burden, and the horses,
asses, mules, and camels introduced by the Portuguese have died out
The Congoese have never kept horned cattle, though they thrive well
enough in the few places on the co^st where they are reared under the
care of the whites.
The natives m some parts of the country still retam traces of the ci^il-
STANLEY AND THE CONGO.
Jzatioi. iiiJ even of the literary culture introduced among them by the
Jesuits, but south of the Coanza River the land is left ahiiost solely t'J
MONUMENT AND SKULLS ERECTED TO A CHIEF.
(vild hunting tribes, who, in their taste for the ownership of cattle, and in
».he use of the spear and war-club, resemble the Kaffir race, with whom
8?0 WONDERS OF THE TROPICS.
they live in close proximity. The country abounds in many natural re-
sources, including gum-copal, iron, and copper, and is capable of growing
coffee and many other crops.
Cannibals on the War-path.
^ Mr. Stanley describes the tribes amongst whom he ran the gauntlet
during his descent of the river as cannibals of the fiercest description,
bold, athletic, and numerous, and in time likely to furnish ample work
both for the missionary and the merchant, though, except that the ener-
getic explorer has preserved some of their names, v/e are still at sea
regarding their relationship to the Central Africans and to the tribes nearer
the mouth of the river.
The shores of both the Congo and the Aruwimi resounded with the
din of the everlasting war-drums, and from every cove and island swarmed
a crowd of canoes, that began forming into line to intercept and attack
the travellers. These crafts were larger than any that had yet been
encountered. The leading canoe of the savages was of portentous length,
with forty paddlers on each side, while on a platform at the bow were
stationed ten redoubtable young warriors, with crimson plumes of the
parrot stuck in their hair, and poising long spears. Eight steersmen were
placed on the stern, with large paddles ornamented with balls of ivory ;
while a dozen others, apparently chiefs, rushed from end to end of
the boat directing the attack.
Fifty-two other vessels of scarcely smaller dimensions followed in its
wake. From the bow of each waved a long mane of palm fibre ; every
warrior was decorated with feathers and ornaments of ivory ; and the
sound of a hundred horns carved out of elephants' tusks, and a .''Ong ol
challenge and defiance chanted from two thousand savage thrpat',. pdded
to the wild excitement of the scene. Their wild war-cry was ' Yaha-
ha-ha, ya Bengala."
The assailants were put to flight after a series of charges mo-' e deter-
mined and prolonged than usual.
In the centre of the village was found a singular structure — a temple
of ivory, the circular roof supported by thirty-three large tusks, and
surmounting a hideous idol, four feet high, dyed a bright v^ermillioti
color, with black eyes, beard and hair. Their cannibal propensities were
plainly shown in the rows of skulls that grinned from pole'i, and thv-
bones and other grisly remains of human feasts scattered *bout th<
STANLEY'S GREAT JOURNEY FROM SEA TO SEA.
S Greatest Feat on Record — Stanley's Journey Across the Continent to ^he Congo
Expedition Planned by the Dai/y Telegraph of London and the Neio YorA
Herald — Englishmen in the Party — The Barge Named the "Lady Alice"- An
Army of Followers to Carry the Outfit — Journey to the Victoria Nyanza — Specu-
lation as to the Sources of the Nile — Dangers of Travelling in the Dark Conti-
nent — Crawling Through Jungles — A Famine-stricken District — Two Young Lions
for Food — Stanley's Pity for His Famishing Men — Death of a Young English-
man—Burial Under a Tree — Discovery of the Extreme Southern Sources of the
Nile — Arrival at Vinyata — Strange Old Magic Doctor— Breaking Out of Hostili-
ties - Severe Loss of Men— Treachery of Natives — Arrival of Six Beautiful
Canoes — Stanley Receives a Royal Invitation — The Creat King Mtesa Welcomes
the Traveller — Prodigal Display of Hospitality— Great Naval Parade in Honor of
the Visitor — Uganda, the Country of King Mtesa — Startling Horrors of African
Life — Severe Punishments Inflicted by the King — Errand Boys in Picturesque
Dress — The King's Power of Life or Death— A Queen's Narrow Escape — Instru-
ments of Torture — A Powerful Despot — Review of the Warriors — History of the
Old King — Strange Tales of the Ancient Times — Marvellous Military Drill — Sin-
gular Funeral Customs — Description of King ]\Itesa in Early Life — How the King
Receives Visitors — Royal Ceremonies— Superslitious Dread of a Water Spirit —
Decorations and Mystic Symbols — Worshipping with Fife and Drum — The Afri-
can's Indolent Character — Stanley's Estimate of King Mtesa -A Doubtful Eulogy.
E now come to one of the most extraordinary, if not actually the
greatest feat ever performed in the annals of modern explora-
tion. This expedition imdertaken by Henry M. Stanley from
Zanzibar right across the African continent to the Congo, is so full of
perilous adventure, so remarkable for pluck and resolution, that it stands
out boldly upon the canvas of history as the greatest achievement of our
.Stanley's own account of what preceded his great undertaking is full
'* While reLurning to England in April, '74, from the Ashantee Wai,
^e news reached me that Livingstone was dead — that his body was on
ifei way to England ! '
" l,ivingstone had then fallen ! He was dead ! He had died by the
shores of Lake Bemba, on the threshold of the dark region he wished to
explore I The work he had promised to perform was only begun when
death overtook him !
372 WONDERS OF THE TROPICS.
*'The effect which this news had upon me, after the first shock
passed away, was to fire me with a resolution to complete his work, to
be, if God willed it, the next martyr to geographical science, or, if my
life was to be spared, to clear up not only the secrets of the Great Rives
throughout its course, but also all that remained still problematic and
lincomplete of the discoveries of Burton and Speke, and Speke and
" The solemn day of the burial of the body of my great friend arrived,
I was one of the pall-bearers in Westminster Abbey, and when I had
seen the coffin lowered into the grave, and had heard the first handful of
earth thrown over it, I walked away sorrowing over the fate of David
Soon the resolve was formed to complete, if possible, the work Living-
stone had been compelled to leave undone.
In this memorable expedition the Daily Telegraph of London and the
New York Herald newspapers were associated. Mr. Stanley was com-
missioned to complete the discoveries of Speke, Burton, and Livingstone.
His party from England consisted of Francis and Edward Pocock and
Frederick Barker. A " barge," named the " Lady Alice," was taken in
sections, besides two other boats, with a perfect equipment. When all
preparations had been completed, and the farewell dinners eaten, Stanley
left England, to begin his perilous journey, on the 15th of August, 1874.
He reached Zanzibar September 21st, 1874, and there found many former
associates of his search for Doctor Livingstone. He engaged quite a
little army of followers to ^o with him and carry the outfit. This outfit,
which consisted of a most miscellaneous collection of articles, weighed
18,000 pounds, and was, with the party, carried across to the continent
from Zanzibar island in six Arab vessels. On the morning of the 17th of
November the start was made into the interior.
"Was it the Source of the Nile?"
The first stage of this journey was to the Victoria Nyanza, which
Stanley desired to explore. The imperfect description and explanation?
of previous travellers had left much to be decided concerning this great
inland sea. " Was it the source of the Nile or of the Congo ? " " Was
it part of a lake system, or a lake by itself? " These questions Stanley
had determined to answer once for all.
The advance to the great Lake Victoria was full of adventurous interest^
Travelling in the " Dark Continent " means being at times in the wilder-
ness without a guide, or with traitors acting as guides, which is a worse
alternative. This was Stanley's fate, and he was deserted in the waste
STANLEY'S GREAT JOURNEY FROM SEA TO SEA. 373
with a small stock of food. Through the terrible "jungle" the men had
to crawl, cutting their way, guided solely by the compass, overcome by
hunger and thirst, desertions frequent, sickness stalking alongside. This
vas indeed " famine-stricken Ugogo."
While on this disastrous march he lost five of his people, who "wan«
dered on helplessly, fell down, and died." The country produced no
food, or even game, unless lions could be so called. Two young lions
were found in a den, and were quickly killed and eaten. This was the
only food for the whole expedition ! Stanley tells us how he returned to
camp, and was so struck by the pinched jaws of his followers that he
nearly wept. He decided to utilize his precious medical stores, and
wisely, for the people were faminishing: medicinal comforts for the dead
had no meaning. So he made a quantity of gruel, which kept the expe-
dition alive for eight and forty hours, and then the men he had des-
patched to Suma for provisions returned with food. Refreshed, they all
marched on, so that they might reach Suma next morning.
Death of Edward Pocock.
After proceeding twenty miles, they came to the cultivated districts
and encamped. But the natives of Suma were hostile, and the increasing
sick list made a four days' halt necessary. There were thirty men ailing
from various diseases. Edward Pocock was taken ill here, and on the
fourth day he became delirious ; but the increasing suspicions of th€
natives — who are represented as a very fine race — made departure neces-
sary, and so a start was made on the 17th January, in very hostile com-
pany. The famine in Ugogo had severely tried every man's constitution,
and all felt weak in spirit if not ill in body. " Weary, harassed, feeble
creatures," they reached Chiwyu, four hundred miles from the sea, and
camped near the crest of a hill 5,400 feet high. Here Edward focock
breathed his last. He was laid under an acacia, and upon the trunk of
this fine old tree a cross was cut deeply, in memory of a faithful fol-
Hence two rivulets run, gradually converging, and finally uniting into
3 stream which trends toward Lake Victoria. So here the extreme
>outhern sources of the Nile were discovered; but up to this point the
explorer had, as he said, " child's play," to what he afterwards encount-
ered. We have already seen what this child's play was like.
From sad Chiwyu to Vinyata was the route. After passing Mangina,
the expedition entered Iturn, and so to Izanjih, where Kaif Halleck waa
seized, with asthma. He would lag behind, and so Stanley proceeded
gently to Vinyata, where the expedition arrived on the 21st of January,
AFRICAN WARRIOR RUSHING TO BATTLE.
STANLEY'S GREAT JOURNEY FROM SEA TO SKA. 375
1875. Here a magic doctor paid Stanley a visit, and car.t longing eyes
at the stores. Scouts had been meantime sent after the man Kaif Hal-
leck, and he was found murdered on the edge of a wood, his body gashed
by many wounds.
Hostilities Break Out.
Next day, after the departure of the magic doctor, who came loff
inothei present, the natives showed hostile symptoms. One hundred
javages, armed and in warlike costume, came around, shouting and
brandishing their weapons. At this juncture Stanley, following Living-
stone's practice, decided to make no counter demonstration; but to
remain quiet in camp, and provoke no hostility. This plan did not
answer, however. The natives mistook for cowardice the wish for peace.
There were so many tempting articles too — stores dear to the native
mind, which the inhabitants coveted. No peace would be made at any
price, and the savages attacked the camp in fore-
Stanley disposed his men behind hastily-erected earthworks a.u> other
shelter, and used the sections of the " Lady Alice " barge as a citadel for
final occupation. There were only seventy effective men to defend +he
camp, but these were divided into detachments and subdivided. One
sub-detachment was quickly destroyed, and in the day's fight twenty-on
soldiers and one messenger were killed — three wounded. Stanley's met.
'lowever, pursued the retreating enemy, and burned many villages, the
men bringing in cattle and grain as spoils. Next day the natives came
on again, but they were quickly routed, and the expedition continued its