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perfect instrument was the “ nanga," of seven or eight strings; it may be called national. In one of these, played by an old woman, six of the seven notes were a perfect scale, the seventh being the only faulty string. In another, played by a man, three strings were a full harmonious chord. These facts show that the people are capable of cultivation. The “nanga” was formed of heavy dark wood, the shape of a tray, 22 by 9 inches or 30 by 8, with three open crosses in the bottom, and laced with one string seven or eight times over bridges at either end; sometimes a gourd, as sounding-board, was tied on to the back. Prince M’nanagee, at my request, sent the best player he knew. The man boldly entered without introduction, dressed in the usual Wanyambo costume, and looked a wild, excited creature. After resting his spear against the roof of the hut, he took a “nanga from under his arm and commenced. As he sat upon a mat with his head averted from me, never smiling, he sang something of his having been sent to me, and of the favourite dog Keeromba. The wild yet gentle music and words attracted a crowd of admirers, who sang the dog-song for days afterwards, as we had it encored several times. Another player was an old woman, calling herself “ Keeleeanyagga.” As she played while standing in front of me, all the song
she could produce was “sh,” “sh,” screwing her mouth, rolling her body, and raising her feet from the ground; it was a miserable performance, and not repeated.
Of wind instruments we had the fife and horn. The fife is more common with the Uganda than the Karague people. It is an 18-inch-long hollowed reed, about the thickness of a German flute, is held like a
RUMANIKA'S BAND OF MUSICIANS.
flageolet, has a slit at the top, and six finger-holes. As the Waganda walk smartly along the road, with a light load on their heads, they often while away the time with this rude instrument, out of which some of them bring soft, sweet, flute-like music. The bugle they have is shaped like a telescope, and is made of several pieces of gourd fitting into each other, and covered with cow-skin. It is 12 inches long. An expert performer on this bugle can produce a whole chord, which is varied by the thumb acting as a key.
Drums are of different shapes, according as they are beaten by the hand or by a stick. The drum made for the hand is a 4-feet-long log, hollowed out in the shape of an inverted dice-box, open at the lower end, and covered at the top, which is 1 foot across, with the skin of an ichneumon. It is slung from the left shoulder, and played by tapping and stopping with the fingers. The thirty-three drums seen ranged in line at the ceremony after new-moon were of every possible shape, except round, which they all tried to be. They were trunks of trees hollowed out, and covered over with skin. Two copper kettle-drums had found their way into the collection. The sultan had an excellent band, of its kind, composed of 16 men, who performed several tunes before us. The instruments were 14 bugles and 2 hand-drums. Three ranks, the drummers in the rear, formed in front of us, and played, with great spirit and precision, bugle music in waltz and march time. While “trooping” they advanced, swaying their bodies very gracefully to the music; and as they neared us all halted except the bandmaster, who, as he played, being an active, well-made little man, advanced to our feet, kneeling
DISPUTE ABOUT A CHILD.
nimbly on alternate knees in time to the music. The drummers were energetic, smart, mirthful fellows; and their music, sounding so sweetly among the hills, was more pleasant than any performance I had ever expected to witness in Africa. It was called Unyoro music, but at Unyoro we heard none of it in consequence of the moroseness of the king. All the time we were at Karague we saw no dance worth noting; they did not seem much given to dancing, and the war-drum was never sounded. Long may this continue! On such occasions the men take the field and the women beat the drums. An alarm of cattle having been captured was once spread, and the men rushed about in hot haste, armed each with a single spear and their faithful bow and arrows; but it proved false, and the bold Prince Chunderah was disappointed of a raid.
The only alarms we experienced were caused by the hyena or other animals stealing from us. Twice an infuriated mob came shouting into our camp, the voices of the women being above all others. A woman had a child, and two men fought for it. Each claimed it; the woman wouldn't give it up; she couldn't settle the dispute; would the white man do it? I was not for some time made aware of the circumstances; but my Seedee servant appointed himself arbiter, and, after looking at both the men and the child, decided who was the rightful father, after which they all scampered off in noisy confusion. A second case was soon after decided in the same way, but with a different result, for the man who lost the suit took his spear and threatened to stab the infant. The African, however, is more prompt in speech than in action.
RELIGION AT KARAGUE.
Of religion, the only approach to it has been mentioned in the various superstitions of the king and his brother, who made idols of horns filled with various charms. To these they appeal for aid against an enemy, for the blessing of health, for the discovery of men's inward thoughts, for rain, &c. In the event of a war or a journey, the mysterious horn was consulted as to the probable success of the expedition. Another belief is that certain animals are possessed of devils, but are in the power of soothsayers. We found that amongst the Wahuma kings it was lawful to cohabit with a brother's wife, or with his own sister.
They have no knowledge whatever of reading, writing, or arithmetic. A printed book to them was like a picture-book to a child ; its leaves were turned over one by one carefully by the most intelligent, and immediately shut up by the more ignorant. For twenty years Arabs have been amongst them, but Mohammedanism has taken no hold of the king or his people. The country presents a wide field for commerce to pave the way for regenerating an intelligent race.
On reading the ten commandments to my Mohammedan friend Jumah, who dealt in slaves, ivory, &c., often complaining that his slaves were under no control, he shook hands with me after each commandment, saying how true and excellent they were, he believed in them all. “But do you practise them ?” I asked. “Read ‘Honour thy father and thy mother, and tell me how can the slaves honour their fathers and mothers if you tear them away from their families?” “Oh, I am a father to them.” “How can you be a father? Are the affections of a parent not as strong in Africa as anywhere else ?” He felt the
DEPARTURE FROM KARAGUE.
force of the argument, asked me to desist from pressing the matter, as it was not convenient to adopt these sentiments at present. He would return to Zanzibar, never again keep slaves, study the Bible, and go to England. I wished to believe that he said this in sincerity, for the conversion of one influential man in such a land would be of importance.
By the end of March 1862 there were some hopes of my leaving Karague to join Speke in Uganda. The king had sent an officer and forty of his men to convey me up to the kingdom I so long wished to see. Rumanika had received his presents of a Whitworth rifle, Tranter's revolver, Inverness cape, cloths, beads, japanned box, a compass, pair of binoculars, &c., to conciliate him; and he had acted the part of a kind friend in giving us all the information in his power. An Unyamuezi M'ganga, or priest, named Kiengo, was to join my party, but until he had completed his arrangements the march could not take place. The Waganda who had arrived for me were clamorous to get away, but they refused to carry the luggage; and as Rumanika could provide no porters, three-fourths of it were left behind in his charge. Being unable to walk, I was placed in a wicker stretcher (April 14, 1862), and was trotted off on the heads of four Waganda. Wishing to shake hands with Rumanika, I ordered the carriers to convey me into the palace, but nothing would induce them to leave the path-it was not their duty. My adieus were therefore sent through Kukoko, his favourite son; and I left Karague, its hills, lakes, and groves, feeling intensely curious about the next kingdom of Uganda, where I hoped to rejoin my fellow-traveller.