James Bryce Bryce.

The book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 6) online

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the natives ; but subsequently matters
took a more satisfactory course.

The new competition for the possession
of African territory was raised to fever
heat by the advance of Germany ; but
the first steps in this direction were made
by France ; she very cleverly employed
the several coast stations which she had
long possessed as bases for a bold advance
into the interior, and advanced systematic-
ally towards the realisation of the dream
_ of a great French empire in

lch r Africa. The first step was the

Dream of r ,, j- . u

c . further extension of the pos-

sessions in Senegambia. The
British territory on the Gambia and that
held by Portugal on the Rio Grande
were soon so surrounded by districts under
French protection that their further
development . was impossible ; the left
bank of the Senegal was entirely under
French supremacy, and an advance to
the Upper Niger was seriously determined.
As early as 1854 the governor Faid-
herbe had succeeded in checking the
advance of a dangerous Mohammedan
army which had been collected by the
marabout Hadji Omar. Faidherbe raised
the siege of Medina in 1857, defeated
Hadji Omar, who retired to his capital
of Segu-Sikoro on the Niger, and subdued
the larger part of Upper Senegambia.
Colonisation on a large scale began con-
siderably later, and is nearly contem-
porary with the events on the Congo, to
be related subsequently. In the year 1878
Paul Soleillet made his way to the Upper
Niger, and found a friendly reception ; a
year later the French Assembly voted
funds for the building of a railroad from
Medina to Bammako, which was to connect
the Upper Senegal with the Niger and thus

attract all the traffic of the Western
Sudan to Senegambia. The work of con-
struction was vigorously begun, labourers
were imported from China and Morocco ;
but in 1884 only some forty miles had been
completed, and this at a cost of 30,000,000
francs. The enterprise was thereupon
abandoned for the time and has only
_ .. recently been resumed. Mean-

, ay . while Joseph Simon Gallieni


had advanced to the Niger in

1880, and had concluded a
treaty with the sultan Ahmadu Lamine of
Ssgu, the son of Hadji Omar, whereby the
valley of the Upper Niger as far as Timbuktu
was placed under French protection in
1881 ; Kita, an important point between
the S n?gal and the Niger was fortified. In
the next year a second expedition defeated
the bold guerrilla leader Almamy Samory,
the son of a Mandingan merchant of
Bankoro, who was born at Sanankoro in
1835 ; this action took place on the Upper
Niger, and a fort was built on the river
bank at Bammako. Several smaller move-
ments kept open the communications with
the Senegal and drove back Samory,
until he eventually placed himself under
the French protectorate in 1887. The
resistance of Ahmadu, who declined to
fulfil the obligations of the treaty which
he had made, was not broken down until
April 6th, 1890, when the town of
Ssgu Sikoro was captured. In the same
year Louis Monteil started from Segu,
ani went eastward to Kuba in Bornu,
making treaties at every point of his
journey, and returning by Tripoli to his
native land. The French also made a
successful advance into the interior from
the Ivory Coast. Dahomeh, which was
subdued in 1892, was a further possible
starting point for expeditions into the
Sudan districts. Great Britain had pre-
viously agreed with France, on August
5th, 1890, that a line drawn from Say on
the Niger to the north-west corner of

Lake Chad should, form the
a ives boundary line of their respective

Ousted i J , n TO

. P spheres of influence. In 1893,

Samory, the ruler of Bissandugu,
Kankan, and Sansando was forced to
abandon his kingdom of Wassulu to the
French, and to retire upon Kong, which
lay to the south-east. In the middle of
the year 1898 he was driven from this
district and fled, accompanied as usual
by a numerous body of dependents, to
the hinterland of the Liberian republic.




There he was defeated on September gth,
1898, and twenty days later was driven
back upon the sources of the Cavally by
the advance of Captain Gouraud, and
taken prisoner ; he died in captivity on
Juns 2nd, 1900. From that date the
supremacy of France in the west of the
Sudan has gained in strength. The vast
project of uniting the north
coast and the Western Sudan
* nto a reat Franco-African
empire has been overshadowed
by the yet more comprehensive plan of
extending French Congoland to the
Central Sudan, and thus uniting into
a compact whole all the French possessions
in Africa, with the exception of Obok.
From the time when Pierre Savorgnan de
Brazza transformed the humble colony of
Gabun into the huge " Congo Francais,"
between the years 1878 and 1880, France
has made unceasing attempts to extend
her territory on the north and north-east.
In this connection, the Fashoda incident
has been referred to elsewhere. The German
colony of Kamerun has, among others,
been shut out from further expansion by
the French movements. The destruction
of Rabah, as previously recorded, has
removed the chief obstacle to the main
French designs, and so a great compact
French colonial empire is practically

The British have made use of their
position on the Lower Niger to advance
into the interior, and have succeeded in
bringing the Hausa states under their
influence, with the exception of the
greater part of Adamawa. Events have
developed slowly, and, comparatively
speaking, upon a sound basis, for the trader
has preceded the politician a process
exactly reversed in most of the French
colonies. The fact that Britain has
been able thus opportunely to secure the
monopoly of the Niger trade and of the
products of the Hausa countries is due
_ to the low estimation in which

Africa was held by the Euro-
Monopoly on -n , -i i , ,i

the Ni er P ean Powers until late in the

nineteenth century. The Niger
in particular, the only waterway to Cen-
tral Africa navigable by ships of great
draught, was practically unused until in
1832, 1854, and afterwards, the Scotchman
Macgregor Laird made numerous journeys
up stream while trading for ivory.
However, it was not until 1870 that
the first factories were built upon the

river. One of the chief retarding cause*
was the conformation of the Niger delta,
which offers many obstacles to naviga-
tion, and is inhabited by hostile tribes.
Indeed, at an earlier period no one had
supposed that these numerous arms were
the estuary of a great river. For this
reason, again, the first important settle-
ment of the British in this part of Africa,
the town of Lagos, was not made upon
the delta, but upon the lagoons further
to the west.

In the 'seventies a number of small
companies were formed, each of which
attempted to embitter the existence of
the others, until in 1879 the general agent,
Macintosh, succeeded in incorporating
almost the whole number into the United
African Company. In 1882 this under-
taking was renamed the " National
African Company," and extended its opera-
tions ; on July loth, 1886, it received a
charter from the British Government,
and has since taken the title of the Royal
Niger Company. Two French companies
now turned their attention to the Niger,
but succumbed in 1884 before the com-
petition of the British traders, who now
entirely monopolised the Niger
ihe KOJ trade Britain strengthened her

political influence, not so much
Company ,

by military operations as by

dexterous handling of the native chiefs,
who have been very ready to accept
yearly subsidies.

Under the deed of transference, executed
on June 3Oth, 1899, which became operative
on January ist, 1900, from the territories
of the Royal Niger Company, together with
the Niger Coast Protectorate, two new
protectorates were formed Northern and
Southern Nigeria. The frontiers were
determined as follows : Southern Nigeria
extends to the Niger coast of Ogbo to the
Cross mouth, is bounded on the west by
Lagos, on the north by the sister protec-
torate, on the east by Kamerun. The
chief commissioner has his residence in
Old Calabar. The other chief towns are
Benin and Akassa. Northern Nigeria is a
much larger district, and is bounded on the
West by French Dahomeh, on the north
by the French Sudan, on the east by the
hinterland of the German Kamerun ; thus
it embraces the old Fulbe and Hausa
States Sokoto, Nupe, Ilorin, Saria, Baut-
shi, and Muri parts of Borgu and Gando,
and also of Bornu, as far as Lake Chad.




"THROUGHOUT the south-western part
* of Africa the negro is not the aboriginal
inhabitant. Where he has established him-
self, he has done so by conquest, expelling
or in part absorbing his predecessors. Of
these earlier yellow-skinned peoples two
racial groups can be distinguished : the
nomadic Hottentots, and the Bushmen,
who are wandering hunters. The Hotten-
tot is of medium stature, the Bushman
dwarfish. Their languages appear at first
to be related, but display many points of
difference, as also do their respective at-
tainments in civilisation. However, their
relationship can be confidently asserted
upon anthropological grounds. It can be
seen in the formation of the head, in the
fair colour and rugosity of the skin, and in
other points of physical similarity, and in
the number of clicks used in their respec-
tive languages.

In modern times, light-skinned dwarf
races, forming a third group, have been
discovered at numerous points of Central
Africa, usually dwelling in the seclusion of
the primeval forests, and, like the Bush-
men, belonging to such primi-
tive types as " garbage-eaters,"
" hunters of small game," or
" unsettled peoples." In respect
of language, most of them have adopted
the Bantu speech of the neighbours round
them ; but their anthropological charac-
teristics, to which may be added, in the
case of the Akka, who have been more
carefully examined than any others, the

Races of

rugosity of the skin, leave no room for

doubt that we have here also relations of

the Bushmen and Hottentots, aijd that

consequently the fair South African races

and the dwarf peoples belong to a common

race. In order to understand the course

of the early history of the

iscov Hottentots and dwarf peoples,

we must briefly examine their
Hottentots , , ,.,.

settlements and mode of life,
as they appeared when European inquiry
first shed light upon them.

At the time of their discovery the
Hottentots, or Koi-koin as they called
themselves, inhabited most of the modern
Cape territory. Upon the east, fronting
the Kaffir territory, the Kei River formed
their boundary. Further northward
the Hottentot district extended in an
easterly direction to the western part of
the Orange River Colony. Even at that
period scattered tribes lived north of the
Orange River in German South-west
Africa, so that no definite northern boun-
dary of the race can be fixed. The people
that dwelt in these districts were shepherds
by profession, rich in cattle, sheep, and
goats, knowing nothing of agriculture or
pottery-making, though well acquainted
with the art of smelting and forging iron.

It was quite otherwise with the Bush-
men, or San. Their districts partly corre-
sponded with those of the Hottentots, for
little bands of nomad Bushmen wandered
about almost everywhere among the Hot-
tentot settlements, in some cases carrying


on the profession of cattle-breeding, though
they were more generally hated and per-
secuted as robbers and cattle-stealers.
Similarly upon the east of the steppe dis-
trict to the bordering mountain ranges,
San tribes mingled with the South African
negroes, especially with the Bechuanas.
The Kalahari desert as far as Lake Ngami
is pure Bushman territory.

stealin " The Bushmen are an unsettled
people, collecting the poor

possessions of their homes by
constant wanderings, hunting the game
upon the plains, and also spoiling the
herds of the shepherd tribes, and in later
times of the European settlers ; low in
the scale of civilisation, but extremely
hardy and simple in their wants.

Races similar to the Bushmen are also
found further north. Such are the Mucas-
sequere, a light-coloured race of hunters,
living in the woods in the interior of
Benguela, near the negro Ambuella, though
they do not approach or mingle with this
agricultural people. As regards their
mode of life, physical characteristics, and
civilisation, they are very similar to the
real Bushmen.

The dwarf peoples in the narrow sense
of the term inhabit a broad zone stretching
obliquely through Central Africa, which
corresponds very nearly with the area of
the dense forest, and is interrupted only
where the forest is replaced by the more
open savannah land. In East Africa there
is one remarkable exception in the tribes
of the Wanege and Wassandani, first dis-
covered and described by Oscar Baumann.
The Wanege are a hunting people of dimin-
utive stature, wandering over the plains
to the south of the Eyassi Lake ; but the
Wassandani, a name which perhaps echoes
the national title of Sin, are a branch of
the sace which has settled in one spot.
Both tribes speak a special language of
their own, full of clicks, and utterly unlike
the Bantu the negroes of South Africa
belong to the Bantu races
. t . ar l* dialects ; but in other respects,

of Darkest ..' ,, .

Af . especially in their form of

civilisation, they have been
greatly influenced by their environment.
Yet in such matters as their burial
customs they strongly remind us of the
customs in use amcni; the Hottentots.

At the same time, it has been shown that
there are in Equatorial Africa tribes of the
Bushman type who hunt in the plains and
are not entirely confined to the forests ;


the dwarf peoples have also been found
in the lake district. But the larger por-
tion of the dwarf race appears to cling
to the forest, and has entirely conformed
to this environment. In some cases they
are in subjection to their agricultural
neighbours, or to a certain extent upon
common terms with them. Here and
there a complete fusion has taken place,
the traces of which are still visible. But
in no case do the dwarfs form tribal com-
munities by themselves, for their character
does not incline them to this course, and
still less does their mode of life. They draw
their sustenance from the resources of wide
poverty-stricken districts, and thus tend
invariably towards isolation.

Of these dwarf peoples the first group is
that on the north-east, the Akka. They
live about the sources of the Welle,
or Ubangi, ani, spreading southward,
form a junction with the dwarf inhabi-
tants of primeval forest on the Armvimi,
where Stanley first discovered them ; in
fact, dwarf population of unusual density
appears to inhabit the country from
the Upper Aruwimi to the western
lakes at the source of the
Nile, while scattered colonies
only are found further south
as far as Tanganyika. A
second great group is that of the
Watwa, or Batwa, in the southern part of
the Congo basin, especially in the district
of the Baluba. ' A third group inhabits
the rainy forests which cover the rising
ground from the coast to the West
African tablelands that is to say, the
Kamerun and Gabun interior. People
of extraordinarily small stature have been
found inhabiting the primeval forest
district behind the Batanga coast, not
living in settlements as village com-
munities, but existing in the woods by

Apparently there is another dwarf
people, the Doko, living in the forest
district south of Kaffa that is, north of
Lake Rudolf, in East Africa. Although
their exi tence, or at any rate their
relationship with the Akka and Batwa
has not as yet been definitely proved,
there is no reason to doubt the veracity
of the native accounts of them. At the
present time the Doko seem to be the most
northerly outpost of the African pygmies.
Our knowledge of the racial movements
up to the period of present-day discovery
clearly shows us that the fair-skinned

by Stanley


races of South Africa as a whole, together
with the dwarf of the forests, are' on the
downward grade, or at best are merely
holding their own.

In the seventeenth century the
Hottentots retreated to the Fihh River
before the Kaffir or Bantu invasion, and
the remnants of Hottentot races left in
Natal showed how large a district had
even previously been taken from them
by the energetic Kaffir race. The dwarf
peoples found their territory greatly
dimini hed by the advance
of agricultural tribes who
penetrated into the prim-
eval forests. Many of them
were absorbed by inter-
marriage with their numer-
ous negro neighbours.
Thus, in a general sense at
least, the problem of the
disruption of this racial
group is solved ; their early
unity was broken by the
advance of other peoples ;
they are the remnants of a
population, at one time of
wide distribution, which
inhabited Central and
Southern Africa.

Their migratory charac-
ter, however, inevitable in a
nomadic hunter race, for-
bids us to infer, from their
presence in a given district,
that they, and not nee roes,
were its primeval inhabit-
ants. We must be content
to presume that the South
African steppes developed a
special race in the dwarfs,
who have simply accommo-
dated themselves to the
conditions of their new


home, the tropical forests, Awomanofth ,
whither they were driven
when the negroes became

Now, as compared with the Bushmen,
the Hottentots ihow sundry affinities with
the negro races. Their clothing and that
of the Bantu peoples of South Africa,
especially their chief garment, the kaross,
is entirely similar. The wooden vessels
of the Hottentots, in the manufacture of
which they ^how great dexterity, resemble
those of the Kaffirs so closely in shape and
ornamentation as to be easily confused
with them. The same remark applies to
their musical instruments. Both races
breed the same animals and
upon very similar principles.
Both understand the art of
forging iron. The civil con-
stitution of the Hottentot
races corresponds to that of
the neighbouring negroes in
its main details.

As all the ; e implements
and institutions are no-
where to be found among
the Bushmen, we may
reasonably conclude that
the higher civilisation of the
Hottentots has been derived
from the neighbouring negro
races, e pecially the Kaffirs.
If this tran ference of
civilisation followed upon
an infusion of negro blood,
we have a complete explana-
tion of the anthropological
difference between Hotten-
tot and Bushman, and, in
particular, of the greater
stature of the Hottentot.
Moreover, in East Africa a
small admixture of Semitic
blood may not be wholly
inconceivable. At the same
time, the Hottentots have
not merely taken what
the Kaffirs have to give ;
they also exerted an
influence in their

a tribe discovered by H. M. Stanley
negroes became *" the dense forests of Central Africa.

an agricultural people and occupied all Certain figures of Kaffir mythology are
the ground available for cultivation ; with undoubtedly- derived from Hottentot
such resources the negroes naturally multi- legends, as is proved by the phonetic
plied far more rapidly than the dwarfs, changes of words ; the custom of muti-
who had to rely upon Nature's bounty. lating the fingers for superstitious reasons
The process of expulsion was not carried arose in this way, for, generally, when two
out without a struggle. It has even been
suggested that the wars between the
pygmies and the cranes mentioned by
Homer refer to a contest between the
dwarfs and the swamp-dwellers of the

Upper Nile, the Shilluk, Nuer, and Dinka.

races come into contact, the weaker is con-
sidered as possessing greater magical
powers, and thus influences the intellectual
life of the stronger.

On the other hand, the point which
differentiates the Hottentots from the



cattle-breeding negro races is not any one
characteristic, a repetition of which may be
sought in far North Africa and West Asia ;
it is a point of primal and original differ-
ence, common to Hottentot and Bushman.
Above all, the Hottentot is not a cultivator,
like the Kaffir ; he procures his scanty
vegetable diet as the Bushman does, by
_, grubbing up edible roots

with a stone - weighted
Carelessness . , A , ,

of the Hottentot Stlck " ,4? am > he h f ^
none of his passion lor the

chase, by which he often procured his chief
food-supply, as, like most nomads, he could
rarely bring himself to slaughter one of his
cattle. His weapons combine the arsenal
of the Bushman and the Kaffir. The great
intellectual characteristic of the race, a
fatal and yet invincible carelessness, makes
the final link of the chain uniting Hottentot
and Bushman, and has been handed down
to him from his unsettled and uncultured
ancestors, who abandoned their destinies
to the sport of chance and accident.

The transformation of the Hottentots
to a shepherd people probably took place
in East Africa ; perhaps the relatively
better physical development of the race
may be explained by their stay in this
more fruitful district. The Bantu peoples,
who first instructed them, soon drove them
out. Even within historical times, rem-
nants of the Hottentots were to be found
in Natal, though the larger part of the
race were then living beyond the Kei
River, and were soon forced back as far
as the Great Fi:h River. The Hottentots
retreated in some cases northward across
the Orange River, while others invaded
the western part of the Cape ; this district,
previous to these migrations, had been in
the possession of the Bushmen, who even
at the time of European colonisation were
wandering about the country in numerous
bands, and were constantly involved in
bloody wars with the Hottentots. Such
were the respective conditions of the
_,. Hottentots and Bushmen

lr . when, in 1602, the first Dutch

l * colonists set foot upon South

south Africa . , . ., _, f . , . ,

African soil. These formidable

European adversaries now appeared upon
their western flanks, while in the east
the Kaffirs continued their advance, in-
flexibly, though for the most part in
peaceful fa c hion.

Before the year 1652, when Jan van
Riebeek founded a Dutch settlement in
Table Bay, the Hottentots had come into


only temporary and generally hostile
contact with Europeans. The first Portu-
guese viceroy of the Portuguese Indies,
Don Francesco d'Almeida, had paid with
his life for a landing on the Cape at
Saldanha on March ist, 1510. Misunder-
standings also took place with the new
Boer settlers, which speedily resulted in
open war in 1659. Gradually the Dutch
succeeded in driving back their opponents.
The fickleness of the Hottentots and the
hostility of the separate tribes proved the
best allies of the Dutch ; thus in the year
1680 a war broke out between the Namaqua
and the Griqua, in which the latter were
defeated and sought the protection of the

The history of the war between the
Hottentots and the Dutch settlers is not
rich in striking events ; the Hottentots
were not destroyed at one blow ; we see
them gradually retreating and dwindling
in a manner more suggestive of fusion and
absorption than of extermination. But as
the Hottentots retired, and the settlers
with their flocks advanced, a new enemy
appeared, who considered the Dutch cattle
E quite as well worth plundering

Wars f as t ^ lose f t* 16 na tive shepherd
* r l. tribes ; the Bushmen did not

the Dutch . , ' . ,, , ,

vanish as rapidly as the
Hottentots, in whose territories they had
lived as predatory, hated enemies, but
maintained their ground. They soon
brought upon themselves the hatred of
the colonists. The Dutch had their deal-
ings with the Hottentots, and lived on
peaceful terms with them from time to
time ; but a ruthless war of extermination
was waged against the Bushmen. Thus
in a comparatively short time the fate of
these related peoples was decided in the
Cape itself ; the Hottentots were reduced
to poverty, their unity was broken, and
they intermingled more and more with the
settlers, whereas the Bushmen were ex-
terminated or driven northward across
the Orange River.

Relations between the Hottentots and

Online LibraryJames Bryce BryceThe book of history. A history of all nations from the earliest times to the present, with over 8,000 illustrations (Volume 6) → online text (page 15 of 60)