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358

GAME-WEAPONS-EARTHENWARE OF MADI.

Their spears

The country was too open and populous for game. Along our route we saw none; but the men often wore ornaments of the wild boar's curved tusk. This was tied with a thong above each elbow, and looked very jaunty on their well-formed arms. were some inches taller than most men can stretch, with handles of bamboo and handsomely-shaped iron blades. Each was shod with a sharp point of iron, or had its end like the leaded end of an Indian hogspear. Their iron weapons were of superior construction, and were chiefly made on the spot, as there were traces of smelting.

The earthenware was very

was very ordinary; but we remarked an unusual article of luxury, a strainer actually of earthenware—the only civilised bit of crockery we had seen since leaving Zanzibar: it was chiefly used for straining beer. The perennial cotton-bush grew 8 feet high, without irrigation, close to the houses ; the pods, thick and numerous, were now ripening. Three or four bushes give sufficient cotton to each family for all the use made of it; the women dye it brown, and make their scanty dresswaist-belts and tails—of the fibre. The men practised archery a good deal, placing a number of the large seed-vessels of Kigelia pinnata on end and aiming at them at 40 and 50 yards' distance. They must be practised shots, as a villager was brought us in a sinking state with an arrow-mark in his side. The wound was covered up, and plastered all over with leaves—their remedy for everything. He had, in all probability, been struck by a poisoned arrow, as they sometimes use these in Madi.

We had very little sickness, and all were in high glee at the thought of going to Egypt in boats. Some

MANUA'S PLANS FOR RETIRING.

359

men had arrived from Gondokoro reporting that three boats were lying there; we concluded they must be those of Frith, Petherick, and De Bono, and we were delighted at the prospect of meeting Petherick. The time we were detained by the Toorkees, because they had difficulty in procuring porters to carry their ivory to Gondokoro, was occupied in botanising or gossiping with our men. Manua, the “ Man of the Moon," was forming his plans as to what he would do after he got paid for the journey. He said, very truly, that Zanzibar life would not suit him ; he could not afford it; because if he retired there, he would have to pay for water, food, drink, clothing, and house-room. His plan, therefore, was to purchase beads and cloths and take them for sale to his native land of Unyamuezia resolution which shows the mercantile nature of his

This little fellow was very intelligent, and a great traveller. He talked in high praise of his late king, Foondeekeera, and was quite in raptures when he mentioned his name. It seems that before the king's death a man and woman were suspected of baving worked an enchantment upon him, and they were slain ; but the king died nevertheless; none of his wives were buried with him, and a house was built over the grave. The chief of Wakeembwah, to the west of Unyamuezi, is laid in the bed of a small stream when he dies, and fifty living women (his wives), and fifty men, are tied to frames and drowned in the same stream to commemorate the event. Their race practise the rite of circumcision, which is exceptional in Central Africa.

Between the district of Madi and Gondokoro there is a tract of country 40 miles long, inhabited by the Bari,

race.

360

TRAITS OF SEEDEE CHARACTER.

who are the terror of all ivory-traders, as they are an independent and powerful race of people. In passing through their country we were told that our guns should always be at hand, that we should not drink any water, as it was poisoned, and, above all, that we should move across the country in a compact body, and not in procession. On seeing the nipple of Bombay's gun blown out, I inquired how he was to get through the Bari?—was the gun safe to fire in its patched state ? Oh yes, he'd fire it, because the gun was strong—it had stood the proof of three cartridges ! How was that ? “It's some time ago now; but Ubede, Abdulla, and a man who deserted, had a spite at me, and each of them put a cartridge into this gun, thinking it would blow my head off, but the nipple was only blown out." He was such an excellent little fellow that he never told us this when it happened ; and when asked whether he had suspected his enemy Baraka to have played him this trick, he generously replied, “No, I never suspected him.” One other instance of the Seedee character may be mentioned before giving an account of our travels through the Bari people. Our cook boy, M’kate, a very tall goodlooking lad, ever obliging and good-humoured, one day left a cooking-pot twelve miles behind. He was admonished by Frij, and took the matter so much to heart that he travelled back for it alone that same day and returned during the night, having recovered the old pot, which was certainly not worth the journey. It only proves what men will do with kind treatment; he was not asked to go back, and had walked by himself thirty-six miles through a strange country.

CHAPTER XV.

PASSAGE THROUGH THE BARI-POISONED STREAMS-GONDOKORO

-MEETING WITH MR SAMUEL BAKER-MR AND MRS PETHE

RICK ARRIVE AT GONDOKORO-TRADE AND TRADERS — THE NILE AND MODE OF FERRYING IT · EMBARK IN BAKER'S BOATS FOR KHARTOOM.

The Bari country was a series of gently swelling downs, sloping to the Nile a few miles to our left. The downs were covered with grass now ripe and only a foot high. During the bright mid-day sun, with a fresh, hot breeze, the grass, when set on fire, burns with alarming rapidity ; but in the darkness of night, when the air was still, it burned quietly but brilliantly, and we dined by its light: no theatrical footlights or exhibition of fireworks could compare with the brilliancy of the consuming flame. Densely foliaged tamarinds covered with ripe fruit, wild plum, sheabutter, and several other umbrageous trees scattered over the landscape, gave it the appearance of an English park, for here no palms nor other tropical genera were to be seen. We had to step over numbers of running rivulets whose channels and banks were generally of rock. In the rainy season these torrents must be difficult to cross, as they have all

362

BARI MEN AND WOMEN.

worn deep beds for themselves ; but now in fording the largest they only reached to the knee, and with bare feet we enjoyed the wading. Their waters were rather insipid and tasteless.

We dared not rest at any of the Bari villages, as the Toorkees distrusted the people; but Bookhait, the second in command of the traders, beckoned to a Bari, and he frankly joined us.

He was a tall, erect, thin man, naked from head to foot, but with all the airs of a well-dressed beau, for his body was smeared with a red clay pomade. Above each elbow he wore a massive ring of ivory, upon one shoulder he carried a diminutive stool of one piece of solid dark wood, and he had a rope-sash which possessed a five-finger-like charm; he was unarmed. Next morning he brought into camp a very fine tusk, for which he received in exchange a female goat and its kid-cheap ivory certainly. The women wore each a long apron of leather to the knee and a separate broader one of sewn leather behind : these skins they colour with clay, and they seem to wear no ornaments; however, there was not much opportunity for observation on our part, as they ran away on observing us watch them. It seems strange that these people, who for the last thirty years have been only from twenty to thirty miles distant from the Austrian mission-station at Gondokoro, should still be so wild; but the missionaries state that the ivory trade has spoiled the country for civilisation, and whenever the inhabitants see a foreigner, white or black, they look upon him as an enemy, come for no other purpose than to seize cattle or whatever else he can.

In travelling through the Bari our large caravan

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