Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

a

a

At sunrise we again made sail, and however, there is some inland traffic. after long sighting a conspicuous sea- Caravans, to which the Wadigo and mark, the two high hummocks called Wasegeju savages serve as porters, the “Peaks of Wasin,” in three hours start from Wanga and other little entered the deep narrow sea-channel, Bunders on the coast, make the which, running due east and west, Waknafy and Masai countries in separates Wasin Island from the twenty days, remain there trading mainland. Northwards, this bank three or four months, and return of coralline, about two and a quarter laden with ivory and a few slaves miles long by one in breadth, is de- purchased en route. fended by diminutive cliffs and ledges, My companion and I landed at upon which the blue wave breaks its Wasin, and found the shore crowded force. The southern shore is low, and with a mob of unarmed gazers, who rich in the gifts of floatsom and jet- did not even return our salams : we som : here the tide, flowing amongst resolved in future to keep such greetthe mangrove forests and under shady ings for those who deserve them. crags, forms little bays by no means After sitting half an hour in a shed unpicturesque. To windward lies the called the Fenzeh or Custom-house, Wasin Bank, with four or five pla- we were civilly accosted by an old teaus of tree-tufted rock emerging a man, whose round head showed him few feet from the crystal floor. The to be an Indian Abd-el-Karim led main island is thinly veiled on the us to his house, seated us in chairs leeward side by a red argillaceous upon a terrace, and mixed a cooling soil, which produces a thick growth drink in a vase not usually devoted to of thorny plants, creepers, and para- such purpose. As the “Riami” was sites. Eastward, where the mould discharging cargo, we walked into is deeper, there is richer vegetation, the jungle, followed by a ragged tail and even some stunted cocos. of boys and men, to inspect some old

The only settlement occupies the Portuguese wells. As we traversed centre of the island's length on the the village, all the women fled, northern shore, opposite the coast. proof that El Islam flourishes. After It contains three mosques, long, flat- struggling through a matted thorny roofed rooms of lime and coralline, jungle, we came upon two pits sunk fronted obliquely to face Mecca ; little in solid rock : Said bin Salim was huts and large houses of mangrove bitterly derided whilst he sounded timber tied with coir-rope, plastered the depth (forty feet); and by way of with clay, and in some cases adorned revenge, I dropped a hint about with whitewash. The sloping thatch- buried gold, which has doubtless roof already approaches in magnitude been the cause of hard labour and the disproportion of the Madagascar severe heart-aches to the churls of cottage. Huge calabashes spread Wasin. There is no game on the their fleshy arms over the village ; island or on the main. In the evening and the abodes of the dead, as at we quitted the squalid settlement Zanzibar, are built amongst the habi- without a single regret. tations of the living. Water must Our Nakhoda again showed sympbe brought from the main : it is toms of trickery; he had been allowed brackish, but not unwholesome. The to ship cargo from Mombas to Wasin, climate, doubtless aggravated by the and, Irish-like, he thereupon founded graveyards and the cowries festering a right to ship cargo from Wasin to in a fiery sun, is infamous for fevers Tanga. Unable to disabuse his mind and helcoma. The population is a by mild proceedings, I threatened to bigoted and evil-minded race, a col- cut the cable; and thus once more, the lection of lymphatic Arabs, hideous will of Japhet prevailing over that of Sawahili, ignoble half-castes, and Shem, we succeeded, not without aid thievish slaves. The Sazzid of Zan- from an Oman craft, in drawing up zibar maintains no garrison here. our ground-tackle about an hour after Banyans are forbidden by their law noon. The wind was high and the sea to trade in cowries, and native mer- rough, the old “Riami” groaned in chants find few profits at Wasin. At every timber as she shaved the reefs, the beginning of the wet monsoon, and floated into the open. We then

[ocr errors]

:

*

sped merrily over waves which could the S.W. winds blow, it is all but imhave alarmed none but Said bin possible to leave the harbour without Salim. The little man busied him- accidents. The bay is embanked self with calculating the time it with abundant verdure, and_surwould take to round the several pro- rounded by little villages. It remontories. As the water became ceives the contents of two fresh-water smoother under the lee of Pemba, he streamlets; westward, the Mtofu; and made bold to quote these martial Mtu Mvony from the north-west : the lines,

latter at several miles from its mouth “I have backed the steed since my eyes must be crossed by a ferry. The saw light,

hippopotamus is found in small numAnd have fronted Death till he feared my bers at the embouchures of both

sight, And the riving of helm and the piercing of these streams. I defer an account of mail

our sport till we meet that unamiable Were the dreams of my youth--are my pachyderm upon the Pangany river. manhood's delight !”

Tanga—“the Sail”-like all the The coast is concealed by a high towns of the Mrima,* or Mountain, thick hedge of verdure, over which is a patch of thatched pent-shaped peer the heads of a few cocos. Its huts, built upon a bank overlooking background is the rocky purple wall the sea, in a straggling grove of coco of Bondei, here and there broken by and calabash. The population numtall blue cones. After two hours of bers between 4000 and 5000 souls, brisk sailing we were abreast of a including twenty Banyans and fifteen point called by our crew Kwalla, Belochies, with the customary conbounding the deep bay and islets of sumptive Jemadar. The citizens are Jongoliany. Approaching Tanga, a homely-looking race, chiefly occuwe shortened sail, or we might have pied with commerce, and they send made it at 4 P.M. But the entrance twice a-year, in June and November, is considered intricate; and as we had after the great and little rains, tradno pilot, our captain of the hen’s ing parties to the Chhaga and the heart preferred hobbling in under a Masai countries. The imports are jib which the crew, now wasted by chiefly cotton-stuffs, brass and iron sickness, took a good hour to hoist. wires, and beads, of which not less At last having threaded the “báb," than 400 varieties are current in these or narrow rock-bound passage which lands. The returns consist of camels separates the bluff headland of Tanga and asses, a few slaves, and ivory, of Island from Ras Rashid on the main, which I was told 70,000 lb. passes we glided into the bay, and anchored through Tanga. The citizens also in three fathoms water, opposite, and trade with the coast savages, and about half a mile from, the town. manufacture hardwares from im

Tanga Bay extends six miles deep ported metal. The hard, red, and by five in breadth. The entrance is yellow clay produces in plenty holpartially barred by a coralline bank, cus and sesamum, cassava, plantains, the ancient site of the Arab settle- and papaws. Mangos and pine-apples ment. This islet still contains a are rare ; but the jambi, an Indian small square stone fort and scattered damson, the egg-plant, and the toddyhuts. It is well wooded, but the water tree, grow wild. Of late years Tanga obtained by digging in the sand is has been spared the mortification of scarcely potable. It is an imperfect the Masai, who have hunted and harbreak during the N. E. monsoon; and ried in this vicinity many a herd. It when a high sea rolls up, vessels must is now, comparatively speaking,

a anchor under the mainland : whilst thickly inhabited.

Mrima,” at Zanzibar, denotes the continent generally, in distinction to the island. Properly, it applies to the highlands between Tanga and Pangany. A diminutive form, also synonymous with the French Mont in composition (as Mont Blanc), is Kilima; a word entering into many East African proper names : Kilimanjaro (I have heard it prounced Kilima-ngao, the umbo or shield-boss); Kilimany, the river “in” or “round the mountain ;" and Wakirima, or Wakilima, according to dialectthe “ mountaineers."

We landed on the morning of the were burned in readiness for rain, 27th January, and were met upon the and the peasants dawdled listlessly, sea-shore, in absence of the Arab go- patting the clods with bits of wood. vernor, by the Diwans or Sawahili At last we traversed a khor or lagoon, head - men, the Jemadar and his drained by the receding tide, and, Belochies, the collector of customs, walking over crab-holes, sighted Mizan Sahib, a daft old Indian, and our destination. From afar it resemother dignitaries. They conducted bled a ruined castle. Entering by a us to the hut forinerly tenanted by M. gap in the enceinte, I found a paralErhardt; brought coffee, fruit, and Telogram two hundred yards long, of milk; and, in fine, treated us with solid coralline and lime, in places torn peculiar civility. That day was spent by trees that have taken root there, in inquiries about the commerce and well bastioned and loop-holed for geography of the interior, and in musketry. The site is raised consihearkening to wild tales concerning derably above the country. It is conthe Æthiopic Olympus, Kilimanjaro. cealed from the sea-side by a screen Here Sheddad built his city of brass, of trees and the winding, creek, that and encrusted the hill-top with a sil- leaves the canoes high and dry during ver dome that shines with various the ebb-tide : full water makes it an and surpassing colours. Here now island. In the centre, also split up

, the Janu, or fiery beings, hold their by huge creepers, and in the last court, and baffle the attempts of stage of dilapidation, are the remains man's adventurous foot. The moun- of a Mosque, evidencing vestiges of a tain recedes as the traveller advances, rude art. I was shown, with some and the higher he ascends the higher pretension, a “writing,” which proved rises the summit. At last blood to be the name of a lettered Sawahili bursts from the nostrils, the fingers perpendicularly scratched upon bend backwards, and the most adven- stuccoed column. The ruins of houses turous is fain to stop. Amongst this are scattered over the enceinte, and a Herodotian tissue of fact and fable, inasonry well, eight feet deep, sunk ran one fine thread of truth : all in the underlying coralline, yields a testified to the intense cold.

sufficiency of earthy water. The In the evening we were honoured thatched huts of certain Wasegeju with the Ngoma Khu, a full orches. savages, who use the ruins as pens for tra, for which a dollar was a trifle, their goats, asses, and stunted cows, if noise be of any value. And we attest the present degradation of the took leave for the night, provided land. Near a modern village of with a bullock and half-a-dozen cadjan - hovels, and tree-palisades goats, with fruit and milk, by the upon the bank of the creek, I Diwans. These head-men, who pre- was shown another old well about fer the title of Sultan, are in the eight feet deep, and bone dry. None proportion of a dozen per village, of the present tenants could relate each omnipotent within his own a tradition of the ruins. The Arabs walls. The vulgar may not sit on who accompanied me, however, dechairs, carpets, or fine mats,-use clared them to be of the Zurabi, the umbrellas or wear turbans in their dynasty preceding the present rulers presence ; moreover, none but the of Oman. If so, they may date from head - man dances the Pyrrhic on one hundred and fifty years.

I solemn occasions. Said bin Salim turned in time to witness a funeral. described them as a kind of folk who The mourners were women, with wish to eat-mere beggars. They blackened faces, dressed in variouspromised readily, however, to escort coloured clothes. They keened all me to one of the ancient cities of the that day, and the drum paraded its coast.

monotonous sounds until dawnstreakSetting out at 8 A.M. with a smalled with pale light the cold surface of party of spearmen, I walked four or the eastern skies. five miles south of Tanga, on the The people of Tanga hold at AmTangata road, over a country strewed bony, a neighbouring village, every with

the bodies of huge millepedes, fifth day, a golio or market with the and dry as Arabian sand. The fields savages of the interior. Having as

re

sumed an Arab dress-a turban of brook in its palmiest days, takes portentous circumference, and a long place, knobstick and dagger being henna-dyed shirt—and accompanied used by the black factions freely as by Said bin Salim with his excalibar, fast and shillelah are in civilised lands. by the consumptive Jemadar, whó We returned at noon over the sands, sat down to rest every ten minutes, which were strewed with sea-slugs, and an old Arab, Khalfan bin Ab- and in places with chrelodins lying dillah, who had constituted himself dead in the sun; the heat of the our cicerone, I went to inspect the ground made my barefooted compascene. Walking along the coast, we nions run forward to the shade, from passed through a village of huts and time to time, like the dogs in Tibet. cocos, filled with forges, which were Sundry_excursions delayed us six already at work, and a school of days at Tanga. Our visit ended young hopefuls stunning one another. with a distribution of caps and mus. After two miles, we crossed some lins, and we received farewell calls muddy tidal creeks, corded over with till dark. After a sultry night, varied creepers and tree-roots, a sandy inlet, by bursts of rain, which sounded like and the small sweet surface-drain, buckets sluicing the poop, at 5 A.M., Mtofu, which had water up to the on the 2d of February, we drifted out waist. Another mile brought us to to sea, under the influence of the Behemoth River, a deep streamlet barri or land-breeze. Five hours of flowing under banks forty, or fifty lazy sailing ran us into Tangata, an feet high, covered with calabash and open road between Tanga and Panjungle-trees. Women were being gany. Here we delayed a day to inferried over; in ecstasies of fear, they spect some ruins, where we had been hung down their heads, and hid their promised Persian inscriptions and faces between their knees till the other wonders. danger passed. The savages of this After casting anchor, I entered a coast are by no means a maritime canoe, and was paddled across the race; they have no boats, rarely fish, waters of a bay, where, according to and, unable to swim, are stopped by local tradition, a flourishing city had a narrow stream. Having crossed been submerged by the encroaching the river, we traversed plantations of waves. The submarine tombs, howcocos and plantains, and, ascending a ever, though apparent to the Sawasteep hill, found the market“ warm," hili eye, eluded mine. We then enas Easterns say, upon the seaward tered a narrow creek, grounding at slope. The wild people, Washenzy, every ten yards, and presently reachWasembara, Wadigo, and Wasegeju, ed an inlet, all mangrove around and armed as usual, stalked about, whilst mud below. Landing at a village their women, each with baby on back, called Tongony, we followed the -its round head nodding with every shore for a few paces, turned abruptmovement of the parental person, ly to the left over broken ground, yet it never cries, that model-baby, – and sighted the ruins. carried heavy loads of saleable stuff, Moonlight would have tempered or sat opposite their property, or the view ; it was a grisly spectacle in chaffered and gesticulated upon knot- the gay and glowing shine of the sun. ty questions of bargain. These hard- Shattered walls, the remnants of used and ill-favoured beings paid toll homesteads in times gone by, rose, for ingress at a place where cords choked with the luxuriant growth of were stretched across the road. The decay, and sheltering in their desert wild people exchanged their lean shade the bat and the night-jar. In sheep and goats, cocos and plantains, an extensive cemetery I was shown grain and ghee, for cottons, beads and the grave of a wali or saint-his very ironware, dry fish, salt, intoxicating name had perished--covered with a liquors, spices, needles and thread, cadjan roof, floored with stamped hooks, and blue-stone. The groups earth, cleanly swept, and garnished gathered under the several trees were with a red and white flag. Near a noisy, but peaceful; often, however, spacious mosque, well-built with cola lively scene, worthy of Donny- umns of cut coralline, and adorned

a

by age.

[ocr errors]

with an elaborate prayer-niche, are The existing settlements are probably several tall mausolea of elegant con- modern ; none of them appear in our struction, their dates denoting an an- maps and charts. Here we took leave tiquity of about two hundred years. of Khalfan our guide, an old man, Beyond the legend of the bay, none but still hale and vigorous.

No could give me information concerning Oman Arab is, I may remark, worth

I the people that have passed away : his salt until his beard is powdered the tombs bore the names of Sawahili; but the architecture proved a At 5 A. M. on the 3d February we superior race.

hoisted sail, and slipped down with In a mausoleum, the gem of the the tepid morning breeze to Panplace, appeared a chipped fragment gany, sighting Maziny Island, its of Persian glazed tile, with large azure outpost, after three hours' run. It was letters in the beautiful character call- necessary to land with some cereed Rukaa; the inscription was im- mony at a place which we intended perfect, and had probably adorned to make a starting-point. Soon after some mosque or tomb in the far north. arrival I sent Said bin Salim, in all It was regarded with a superstitious his bravery, on shore with the Sazzid reverence by the Sawahili, who de- of Zanzibar's circular letter to the clared that Sultan Kimwera of Usum- wali or governor, to the jemadar, to bara had sent a party of bold men to the collector of customs, and the bear it away; nineteen died myste- different diwans.

All this prepararious deaths, and the tile was there- tion for a mere trifle ! But we are upon restored to its place. A few in Africa. Even in Europe it is not muslins had a wonderful effect upon always found easy to march into an their fancies : I was at once allowed enemy's country. My companion and by the Diwans, although none of I landed with our Portuguese serthem would bear a hand, to remove vants and luggage in the cool of the it.

afternoon. This purchase concluded, we re- We were received with high hoturned to the “Riami,” followed by nour. The orchestra consisted of the head-men, who, after tasting dates, three huge drums, trunks of cocos, sweetmeats, and coffee, naturally be- covered with goat-leather, and beat came discontented with the promised with fist instead of stick; sina, or amount of “hishmat.” They begged

They begged bassoons of black wood, at least five me to return, and assist them in dig- feet long; a pair of edge-setting zuging for sweet water. There were mary, or flageolets; and the instrufour or five carefully-built old wellsment of dignity, an upatu, or brassin the ruined city, but all had been pan, whose bottom is performed upon exhausted by age, and the water pro- with sticks like cabbage-stalks. The duced by them upon the low grounds diwans pyrrhic'd before us with the was exceedingly nauseous. As a rule, pomp and circumstance of drawn these people readily apply for aid to swords, whilst bare - headed slaveEuropeans; such is their opinion of girls, with hair à la Brutus, sang and the wazungu, or “wise men;" and Happed their skirts over the ground, if showers accompany the traveller, with an affectedly modest and downhe is looked upon as a beneficent cast demeanour. A crowd of negroes being, not without a suspicion of and half-castes stood enjoying the white magic. We spent the remain- vile squeak of the pipes and the der of the day and night at Tangata, “bom-bom" of the monstrous drums. fanned by the north-east breeze, and After half-an-hour's endurance, we

cradled by the rocking send of the were led into the upper-storied house Indian Ocean. Two low and distant of the wali-merikoa freedman of islands imperfectly define the bay; the late Sazzid Said, and spent the the country around is fertile, and á evening in a committee of ways and mass of little villages studs the shore.

a

means.

« ZurückWeiter »