Josiah Tyler.

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the ground.

" The basin of Inenge lies at the foot of the westernmost
range of the Usagara Mountains. The climate, like that of
Runmma, is ever in extremes during the day a furnace, and
at night a refrigerator the position is a funnel, which alter-
nately collects the fiery sunbeams and the chilly winds that
pour down from the misty highlands. The halt was celebra-
ted with abundant drumming and droning, which lasted half
the night ; it served to cheer the spirits of the men, who had
talked of nothing the whole day but the danger of being at-
tacked by the Wahumba. On the next morning arrived a
caravan of about 400 Wanyamwezi porters, marching to the
coast, under the command of Isa bin Hijji and three other
Arab traders ; an exchange of civilities took place.

" On the 14th of September we left the hill-top and broke
ground upon the counter slope of the Usagara Mountains.
Next day I set out about noon, through hot sunshine temper-
ed by the cool hill-breeze. Emerging from the grassy hollow,
the path skirted a well-wooded hill and traversed a small sa-
vanna, overgrown with stunted straw and hedged in by a
bushy forest. The savanna extended to the edge of a step,
which, falling deep and steep, suddenly disclosed to view, be-
low and far beyond the shaggy ribs and the dark ravines and
folds of the foreground, the plateau of Ugogo and its Eastern


"The spectacle was truly impressive. The vault above
seemed ' an. ample aether,' raised by its exceeding transparency
higher than it is wont to be. Up to the curved rim of the
western horizon lay, burnished by the rays of a burning sun,
plains rippled like a yellow sea by the wavy reek of the danc-
ing air, broken toward the north by a few detached cones ris-
ing island-like from the surface, and zebra'd with long black
lines, where bush and scrub and strip of thorn jungle, sup-
planted upon the water-courses, trending in mazy net-work
southward to the Rwaha River, the scorched grass and with-
ered cane-stubbles, which seemed to be the staple growth of
the land. There was nothing of effeminate or luxuriant beau-
ty, nothing of the flush and fullness characterizing tropical na-
ture, in this first aspect of Ugogo. It appeared, what it is,
stern and wild the rough nurse of rugged men and perhaps
the anticipation of dangers and difficulties ever present to the
minds of those preparing to endure the waywardness of its
children, contributed not a little to the fascination of the

" Ugogo is the half-way district between the coast and Un-
yanyembe, and it is usually made by up-caravans at the end
of the second month. The people of this 'no man's land ' are
a mongrel race ; the Wasagara claim the ground, but they have
admitted as settlers many "Wahehe and "Wagogo, the latter,
for the most part, men who have left their country for their
country's good. The plains are rich in grain. The nights
are fresh and dewless, and the rays of a tropical sun are cool-
ed by the gusts which sweep down the sinuosities of the Dun-

" Before settling for the night Kidogo stood up, and to loud
cries of ' Maneno! maneno!' equivalent to our parliamentary
hear ! hear ! delivered himself of the following speech :

" 'Listen, O ye whites! and ye children of Sayyidi Majidi !
and ye sons of Ramji ! hearken to my words, O ye offspring
of the night ! The journey entereth Ugogo Ugogo. Beware,
and again beware. You don't know the Wagogo, thoy are
8 and s ! Speak not to those Washenzi pagans ; enter


not into their houses. Have no dealings with them, show no
cloth, wire, nor beads. Eat not with them, drink not with
them, and make not love to their women. Kirangozi of the
"Wanyamwezi, restrain your sons ! Suffer them not to stray
into the villages, to buy salt out of camp, to rob provisions,
to debauch with beer, or to sit by the wells.'

? At the Ziwa the regular system of kuhonga, or black-mail,
BO much dreaded by travelers, begins in force. Up to this
point all the chiefs are contented with little presents ; but in
Ugogo tribute is taken by force, if necessary. None can
evade payment ; the porters, fearing least the road be cut off
to them in future, would refuse to travel unless each chief is
satisfied ; and when a quarrel arises they throw down their
packs and run away.

" On the 30th of September, the last day of our detention
at the Ziwa, appeared a large caravan headed by Said bin
Mohammed of M buamaji, with Khalf an bin Khamis, and sev-
eral other coast Arabs. They proposed that for safety and
economy the two caravans should travel together under a sin-
gle flag, and thus combine to form a total of one hundred and
ninety men.

" These coast Arabs traveled in comfort. All the chiefs of
the caravan carried with them wives and female slaves, negroid
beauties, tall, bulky, and < plenty of them,' attired in tulip-
hues, cochineal and gamboge, who walked the whole way,
and who, when we passed them, displayed an exotic modesty
by drawing their head-cloths over cheeks which we were little
ambitious to profane. They had a multitude of fundi, or
managing men, and male slaves, who bore their personal bag
and baggage, scrip and scrippage, drugs and comforts, stores
and provisions, and who were always early at the ground to
pitch, to surround with a pai,' or dwarf drain, and to bush
for privacy, with green boughs, their neat and light ridge-
tents of American domestics. Their bedding was as heavy
as ours, and even their poultry traveled in wicker cages. This
caravan was useful to us in dealing with the Wagogo : it


always managed, however, to precede us on the march, and
to monopolize the best kraals.

" On the 1st of October, 1857, we left the Ziwa, and, after
passing through the savannas and the brown jungles of the
lower levels, w r here giraffe again appeared, the path crested a
wave of ground and debouched upon the table-land of Ugogo.
The aspect was peculiar and unprepossessing. Behind still
towered in sight the delectable mountains of Usagara, mist-
crowned and robed in the lightest azure, with streaks of deep
plum-color, fronting the hot low land of Marenga Mk'hali,
whose tawny face was wrinkled with lines of dark jungle.
On the north was a tabular range of rough and rugged hill,
above which rose three distant cones pointed out as the
haunts of the robber Wahumba ; at its base was a deep depres-
sion, a tract of brown brush patched with yellow grass, inhab-
ited only by the elephant, and broken by small outlying
hillocks. Southward, scattered eminences of tree-crowned
rock rose a few yards from the plain which extended to the
front, a clearing of deep red or white soil, decayed vegetation
based upon rocky or sandy ground, here and there thinly
veiled with brown brush and golden stubbles; its length,
about four miles, was studded with square villages, and with
the stately but grotesque calabash.

" "We were received with the drumming and the ringing
of bells attached to the ivories, with the yells and frantic
shouts of two caravans halted at Kif ukuru ; one was that of
Said Mohammed, who awaited our escort, the other a return
' safari,' composed of about one thousand "Wanyamwezi por-
ters, headed by four slaves of Salim bin Rashid, an Arab
merchant settled at Unyanyembe. The country people also
flocked to stare at the phenomenon.

" From the day of our entering to that of our leaving the
country, every settlement turned out its swarm of gazers,
men and women, boys and girls, some of whom would follow
us for miles with explosions of Hi ! i ! i ! screams of laugh-
ter and cries of excitement, at a long high trot most


ungraceful of motion! and with a scantiness of toilette


which displayed truely unseemly spectacles.

"At Kanyenye I was delayed four days to settle black-
mail with, Magomba, a powerful "Wagogo chief.

" Accompanied by a mob of courtiers, appeared in person
the magnifico. lie was the only sultan that ever entered my
tent in ITgogo pride and a propensity for strong drink pre-
vented other visits. He was much too great a man to call
upon the Arab merchants, but in our case curiosity had mas-
tered state considerations. Magomba was a black, wrinkled
elder, driveling and decrepit, with a half-bald head, from
whose back and sides depended a few straggling corkscrews
of iron gray. He demanded and received articles worth
here at least fifty dollars, and exhausted nearly two thirds of
a porter's load. His return present was the leanest of calves ;
when it was driven into camp with much parade, his son,
who had been looking out for a fit opportunity, put in a
claim for three cottons. Magomba, before our departure,
exacted from Kidogo an oath that his Wazungu would not
smite the land with drought or with fatal disease, declaring
that all we had was in his hands.

"On the 20th of October we began the transit of the
* Fiery Field ' whose long broad line of brown jungle, painted
blue by the intervening air, had, since leaving K'hok'ho,
formed our western horizon. The waste here appeared in
its most horrid phase. We halted through the heat of the
day at some water-pits in a broken course ; and resuming our
tedious march early in the afternoon, we arrived about sun-
set at the bed of a shallow nullah.

" The 22d of October, saw us at Jiwe la Mkoa. The jun-
gle seemed interminable. The shadows of the hills length-
ened out upon the plains, the sun sank in the glory of purple,
crimson, and gold, and the crescent moon rained a flood of
silvery light upon the topmost twig-work of the trees; we
passed a dwarf clearing, where lodging and perhaps provis-
ions were to be obtained, and we sped by water near the
road where the frogs were chanting their vesper hymn ; still


far, far ahead we heard the horns and the faint march-cries
of the porters. .

" On the 7th of November, 1857 the one hundred and
' thirty-fourth day from the date of our leaving the coast
after marching at least six hundred miles, we prepared to
enter Kazeh, the principal bandari of Eastern Unyamwezi,'
and the capital village of the Omani merchants. "We left
Hanga at dawn. The Baloch were clothed in that one fine
suit without which the Eastern man rarely travels ; after a
few displays the dress will be repacked, and finally disposed
of in barter for slaves. About 8 A. M. we halted for strag-
glers at a little village, and when the line of porters, becom-
ing compact, began to wriggle, snake-like, its long length
over the plain, w r ith floating flags, booming horns, muskets
ringing like saluting-mortars, and an uproar of voice which
nearly drowned the other noises, we made a truly splendid
and majestic first appearance.

" The road was lined with people who attempted to vie with
us in volume and variety of sound; all had donned their
best attire, and with such a luxury my eyes had been long
unfamiliar. Advancing, I saw several Arabs standing by
the wayside ; they gave the Moslem salutation, and courte-
ously accompanied me for some distance. Among them,
were the principal merchants, Snay bin Amir, Said bin Majid,
a young and handsome Omani of noble tribe, and Said bin
Ali el Hinawi, whose short, spare but well-knit frame, pale
face, small features, snowy beard, and bald head surmounted
by a red fez, made him the type of an Arab old man.

" The Arabs live comfortably, and even splendidly,, at
Unyanyembe. The houses, though single-storied, are- large, ,
substantial, and capable of defense. Their gardens are exten-
sive and well planted ; they receive regular supplies of mer-
chandise, comforts, and luxuries from the coast ;- they are
surrounded by troops of concubines and slaves^ whom they
train to divers crafts and callings; rich men have riding-asses
from Zanzibar, and even the poorest keep flocks and herds,"




Land of the Moon, which is the garden of Central
Inter-tropical Africa, presents an aspect of peaceful rural
beauty which soothes the eye like a medicine after the red
^lare of barren Ugogo, and the dark monotonous verdure of
the western provinces. The inhabitants are comparatively
numerous in the villages, which rise at short intervals above
their impervious walls of the lustrous green milk-bush, with
its eoral-shaped arms, variegating the well-hoed plains ; while
in the pasture-lands frequent herds of many-colored cattle,
plump, round-barreled, and high-humped, like the Indian
breeds, and mingled flocks of goats and sheep dispersed over
the landscape, suggest ideas of barbarous comfort and plenty.
There are few scenes more soft and soothing than a view of
Unyamwezi in the balmy evenings of spring.

"At eventide, when the labors of the day were past and done,
the villagers came home in a body, laden with their imple-
ments of cultivation, and singing a kind of "dulce donum"
in a simple and pleasing recitative. The sunset hour in the
" Land of the Moon," is replete with enjoyments. The sweet
and balmy breeze floats in waves like the draught of a fan ;
the sky is softly and serenely blue ; the fleecy clouds, station-
ary in the upper firmament, are robed in purple and gold, and
the beautiful blush crimsoning the west is reflected by all the
features of earth. At this time all is life. The vulture soars
with eilent flight high in the blue expanse ; the small birds



preen themselves for the night, and sing their evening hymns ;
the antelopes prepare to couch in the bush ; the cattle and
flocks frisk and gambol while driven from their pastures ; and
the people busy themselves with the simple pleasures that end
the day."

The travelers were detained at Unyanyembe for five weeks,
and though comfortably housed the delay was a long trial of
patience. Their gang of Wanyamwezi porters took their
pay out of their loads as soon as they reached Unyanyembe,
and started for their Unyamwezi homes without a word of
farewell to their late employers, and the rest of the party
considered the exploration at an end.

These Wanyaniwezi porters are cordially welcomed home
after their long walk to and from the coast. As soon as a
wife hears that her husband is about to arrive home, she puts
on all Iier ornaments, decorates herself with a feathered cap,
gathers her friends round her, and proceeds to the hut of the
chiefs principal wife, before whose door they all dance and
sing. Dancing and singing are with this tribe, as well as
many others, the chief amusements.

On the 14th of November, the rainy season set in, the
place became more unhealthy, Burton, Speke, Bombay and
many of the other Zanzibar men were taken sick, porters
could not be obtained, Said bin Salim began to " put on airs,"
and it was not till the 14th of December, that Burton started
from Unyanyembe, and even then Speke remained at Kazeh
to secure supplies.

Mr. Burton halted two days at Yambo, and soon after-
ward reached Irora, a village in Mfuto, belonging to an Arab,
who was naked to the waist and armed with bow and arrows.
He received the travelers surlily, and when they objected to
a wretched cow-shed outside his palisade, he suddenly waxed
furious, raved like a madman, shook his silly bow, and
declared himself as good a "sultan" as any other. He
became pacified on perceiving that his wrath excited nothing
but the ridicule of the Baloch, found a better lodging, sent a


bowl of fresh milk wherein to drown differences, and behaved
more like an Arab shaykh than an African headman.

On the 30th of December, the travelers reached Msene, the
chief bandari of Western Unyamwezi ; like Unyanyembe it
is not a town but a mass of detached settlements. Its Arab
inhabitants are mostly natives of the coast, with a natural
antipathy to the pure Oinani. Here the travelers were
delayed twelve days. Only two or three of the Arabs paid
them any civilities. The native sultan visited them several
times. His first greeting was : " White man, what pretty
thing hast thou brought up from the shore to me ? "

" As might be expected from the constitution of its society,
Msene is a place of gross debauchery most grateful to the
African mind. All, from sultan to slave, are intoxicated
whenever the material is forth-coming. The drum is never
silent, and the dance fills up the spare intervals of carouse
till exhausted nature can bear no more. The consequence is,
that caravans invariably lose numbers by desertion when pass-
ing through Msene. Even household slaves, born and bred upon
the coast, cannot tear themselves from its Circean charms.
The temptations of the town rendered it almost impossi-
ble to keep a servant or slave within doors ; the sons of
Ramji vigorously engaged themselves in trading, and Muinyi
Wazira in a debauch which ended in a dismissal."

On leaving Msene, the sons of Ramji lingered behind,
contrary to orders, and on appearing three days afterwards,
were dismissed and sent back to Kazeh. At Wanyika the
travelers were black-mailed by the Sultan Uvinzi, the lord
of the Malagarazi River ; afterward on arriving at the f erry,
they were told that the sultan had sold his permission to
cross, and were required to pay additional toll.

" The route before us lay through a howling wilderness,
once popular and fertile, but now laid waste by the fierce
Watuta. Snay bin Amir had warned me that it would be our
greatest trial of patience.

" We followed the southern line which crosses the Rusugi
River at the branch islet. Fords are always picturesque. The


men seemed to enjoy the washing ; their numbers protected
them from the crocodiles, which fled from their shouting and
splashing ; and they even ventured into deep water, where
swimming was necessary. We crossed, as usual, on a ' uni-
corn ' of negroids, the upper part of the body supported by
two men, and the feet resting upon the shoulders of a third
a posture somewhat similar to that affected by gentlemen who
find themselves unable to pull off their own boots. Then re-
mounting, we ascended the grassy rise on the right of the
stream, climbed up a rocky and bushy ridge, and found our-
selves ensconced in a ragged and comfortless kraal upon
the western slopes, within sight of some deserted salt-pans

" On the 13th of February we resumed our travel through
screens of lofty grass, which thinned out into a straggling
forest. After about an hour's march we entered a small sa-
vanna and presently ascended a steep hill, and halted for a
few moments upon the summit.

" ' What is that streak of light which lies below ?' I inquir-
ed of Seedy Bombay. ' I am of opinion,' quoth Bombay,
* that that is the water.' 1 gazed in dismay ; the remains of
my blindness, the veil of trees, and a broad ray of sunshine
illuminating but one reach of the lake, had shrunk its fair
proportions. Somewhat prematurely I began to lament my
folly in having risked life and lost health for so poor a prize.
Advancing, however, a few yards, the whole scene suddenly
burst upon my view, filling me with admiration, wonder, and

" Nothing, in sooth, could be more picturesque than this
first view of the Tanganyika Lake, as it lay in the lap of the
mountains, basking in the gorgeous tropical sunshine. Below
and beyond a short foreground of rugged and precipitous
hill-fold, down which the footpath zigzags painfully, a narrow
strip of emerald green, never sere and marvelously fertile,
shelves toward a ribbon of glistening yellow sand, here bor-
dered by sedgy rushes, there cleanly and clearly cut by the
breaking wavelets. Farther in front stretch the waters, an


expanse of the lightest and softest blue, in breadth A-arying
from thirty to thirty-five miles, and sprinkled by the crisp
east wind with tiny crescents of snowy foam. The background
in front is a high and broken wall of steel-colored mountain,
here flecked and capped with pearly mist, there standing
sharply penciled against the azure air ; its yawning chasm,
marked by a deeper plum-color, fall toward dwarf hills of
mound-like proportions, which apparently dip their feet in
the wave. To the south, and opposite the long low point be-
hind which the Malagarazi Kiver discharges the red loam
suspended in its violent stream, lie the bluflf headlands and
capes of Uguhha, and as the eye dilates, it falls upon a clus-
ter of outlying islets speckling a sea-horizon. Tillages, cul-
tivated lands, the frequent canoes of the fishermen on the
waters, and on a nearer approach the murmurs of the waves
breaking upon the shore, give a something of variety, of
movement, of life to the landscape.

" Truly it was a revel for soul and sight. Forgetting toils,
dangers, and the doubtfulness of return, I felt willing to en-
dure double what I had endured ; and all the party seemed
to join with me in joy. My purblind companion found no-
thing to grumble at except the ' mist and glare before his
eyes.' Said bin Salim looked exulting he had procured for
me this pleasure the monocolous jemadar grinned his con-
gratulations and even the surly Baloch made civil salams.

The travelers struck the lake a short distance below Ujiji ;
there a boat was obtained, and on the 14th of February, they
rowed along the coast to Ujiji. " Presently mammoth and
behemoth shrank timidly from exposure, and a few hollowed
logs, the monoxyles of the fishermen, the wood-cutters, and
the market-people, either cut the water singly, or stood in
crowds drawn up on the patches of yellow sand. The craft
was poled through a hole in a thick welting of coarse reedy
grass and flaggy aquatic plants to a level landing-place of flat
shingle, where the water shoaled off rapidly. Such was the
ghaut or disembarkation quay of the great IJjiji.

" Around the ghaut a few scattered huts, in the humblest





bee-hive shape, represented the port-town. Advancing
through a din of shouts and screams, tom-toms, and trumpets,
which defies description, and mobbed by a swarm of black
beings, whose ' eyes seemed about to start from their heads
with surprise, I passed a relic of Arab civilization, the ' bazar,'
where, weather permitting, a mass of standing and squatting
negroes buy and sell, barter and exchange, offer and chaffer
with a hubbub heard for miles, and where a spear or dagger
thrust brings on, by no means unfrequently, a skirmishing

" I was led to a ruinous tembe, built by an Arab merchant,
Hamid bin Salim, who had allowed it to be tenanted by ticks
and slaves. Situated, however, half a mile from, and backed
by the little village of Kawele, whose mushroom-huts barely
protruded their summits above the dense vegetation, and
placed at a similar distance from the water in front, it had
the double advantage of proximity to provisions, and of a
view which at first was highly enjoyable. The Tanganyika
is ever seen to advantage from its shores ; upon its surface the
sight wearies with the unvarying tintage all shining greens
and hazy blues while continuous parallels of lofty hills, like
the sides of a huge trough, close the prospect and suggest
the idea of confinement.

" On the second day after my arrival I was called upon by
"Kannena," the headman of Kawele, under Rusimba, the
principal chief of Ujiji. On this occasion he behaved with
remarkable civility, and he introduced, as the envoys commis-
sioned by the great Rusimba to receive his black-mail, two
gentlerhen a quarter clad in the greasiest and scantiest bark-
aprons, and armed with dwarfish battle-axes."

The announcement that the new comers were not mer-
chants or traders was received with distrust and ill-will by the
native Ujijians. "These are the men who live by doing no-
thing," they said, and lost no time in requesting them to leave
the territory. To this they objected, offering, however, com-
pensation for loss of perquisites usually received from trading


caravans. Claims were at once made and paid. Insults and
injuries followed.

" On one occasion, a young person went to the huts of the
Baloch, and, snatching up a fine cloth, which she clasped to
her bosom, defied them to recover it by force, and departed,
declaring that it was a fine for bringing 'whites' into the
country. At first our heroes spoke of much slaughter likely
to arise from such procedure, and with theatrical gesture made

Online LibraryJosiah TylerLivingstone lost and found → online text (page 24 of 51)