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missionaries, who teach and insist on The future colonization and developclothing amongst races accustomed to ment of Bechuanaland is dependent on the nudity by heredity are responsible for question of water, pure and simple. If three evils : firstly, the appearance of luog artesian wells can be sunk, if water can diseases amongst them; secondly, the be stored in reservoirs, something may be spread of vermin amongst them; and done; but, at present, even the few inhabthirdly, the disappearance from amongst itants of this vast territory are continually them of inherent and natural modesty. plunged in misery from drought.
It had been arranged that on our depar- North of Palapwe we met but few inture from Palapwe we should take twenty- habitants, and, after passing the camp of five of Khama's men to act as excavators the Bechuanaland Border Police at Macat the ruins of the Great Zimbabwe. One loutsie, we entered what is known as the morning, at sunrise, when we were just " debatable country " between the terrirising from our wagons, and indulging in tories of Khama and Lobengula, and our matutinal yawns, Khama's arrival was claimed by both. It is, at present, uninannounced. The chief walked in front, habited and unproductive, flat and uninterdignified and smart, dressed in well-made esting, and continues as far as Fort Tuli boots, trousers with a correct seam down on the Shashi River, after crossing which each side, an irreproachable coat, gloves, we entered the country which comes under and a billycock hat. Khama is a neatly the direct influence of the Chartered Com. made, active man of sixty, who might pany, the vaguely defined territory which easily pass for twenty years younger; and now rejoices in the name of Mashonaland. at the same time he is a dandy, a vice
J. THEODORE BENT. which has developed considerably in his son and heir, who cares for little else than clothes ; his face sparkles with intelligence; he is, moreover, shrewd, and looks carefully after the interests of his people,
From The New Review. who in days scarcely yet gone by have MASHONALAND AND ITS INHABITANTS, been wretchedly cheated by unscrupulous During the four months of our sojourn traders. Behind him, in a long line in what is now called Mashonaland, we walked the twenty-five men whom he pro- had ample opportunity for studying the posed to place at our disposal, strangely race which now inhabits it, as well as the enough dressed in what might be termed ruins of a past civilization, inasmuch as the “transition style.” Ostrich feathers we employed over fifty of the natives duradorned all their hats. One wore a short ing our excavations at the great Zimbabwe, cutaway coat, which came down to the and during our subsequent wanderings we small of his back, and nothing else. had them as bearers, and we were brought Another considered himself sufficiently into intimate relationship with most of garbed with a waistcoat and a fly whisk. their chiefs. They formed a curious collection of hu- The proper name for this race, the name manity, and all twenty-five sat down in a which they call themselves, is " Makarow at a respectful distance, whilst we langa,” or “children of the sun;" they parleyed with the chief. Luckily for us are a branch of the Abantu race, and three our negotiations fell through owing to the hundred years ago, when the Portuguese difficulties of transport; and, on inspec. Father Dos Santos wrote, they were there tion, I must say I felt doubtful as to their then. He writes : "The Monomatapa capabilities. Away from the influence of and all his vassals are Mokarangas, a name their chief, and in a strange country, I which they have because they live in the feel sure they would have given us endless land of Mokaranga, and talk the language trouble.
called Mokaranga, which is the best and We left Khama and his town with regret most polished of all Kaffir languages which on our journey northwards. A few miles I have seen in this Ethiopia.” Couto and below Palapwe we crossed the Lotsani Father Torrend, in his late work on the River, a series of semi-stagnant pools, Abantu languages bear testimony to the even after the rainy season. The water same fact, and by changing 1 for r, as the percolates through the sand, which has Portuguese always do, you have the same almost silted it up, and a little farther on name exactly. Mashona is a term un. we came across what they call a “sand- known in the land, invented doubtless by river." Not a trace of water is to be seen some traders; by rights it is Makalangain the sandy bed, but, on digging down a land, and the inhabitants are undoubtedly few feet, you come across it.
the descendants of the rather fabulous, but apparently powerful people who formed | nesses fatal to cattle in this region, and the the empire of Monomatapa, which split up, natives hovered round him like vultures as all Kaffir communities do after a gen- till the breath was out of his body; they eration or so, into a hopeless state of dis- then fell on him and tore him limb from integration. Each petty chief still has his limb, and commenced their detestabie high-sounding dynastic name, like the orgy. As one watched them eat, one Monomatapa or the Pharaoh of his day. could imagine that it is not so many genChibi, Umtegaize, Gambeedje, and counterations since they emerged from a state less lesser names, are as hereditary as the of cannibalism. chiesdoms themselves, and each chief as We found it a tough climb to the vil. he succeeds drops his own identity and lages through the luxuriant verdure of takes the tribal appellative. Such, briefly, cactus-like euphorbia, indiarubber-tree, is the political aspect of the country we the castor-oil, and acacia with lovely red are about to enter.
pods. At an elevation of five hundred This is a strange, weird country to look feet above our wagons were the mud huts upon, and, after the flat monotony of of the people, and up here every night Bechuanaland, a perfect Paradise. The they drive their cattle into extraordinary granite hills are so oddly fantastic in their rock stables for safety. Perched on the forms; the deep river-beds so richly luxu. rocks are countless circular granaries, riant in their wealth of tropical vegeta- constructed of bright red mud and thatched tion; the great baobab-trees, the elephants with grass. One would think that a good of the vegetable world, so antediluvian in storm of wind would blow them all away, their aspect; here one would never be so frail do they seem. surprised to come across the roc's egg of Rounding a corner of the hill we came Sindbad, the golden valley of Rasselas ; across a second village, nestling amongst the dreams of the old Arabian story. stupendous boulders, and ascending again tellers here seem to have a reality. It a little higher we reached a third by means was immediately on crossing the Lundi of a natural tunnel in the rock, fortified, River, the threshold of the country as it despite its inaccessible position, with palwere, that we were introduced to the first isades. of the long series of ancient ruins which The natives were somewhat shy of us, formed the object of our quest. By dili- and fed to rocky eyries from whence to gent search amongst the gigantic remains contemplate us, seated in rows in all sorts at Zimbabwe we were able to re-people this of uncomfortable angles, for all the world country with a race highly civilized in far like monkeys. They are utterly unaccus. distant ages a gold-seeking race, who tomed to postures of comfort, reclining at occupied it like a garrison in the midst night time on a grass mat on the hard of an enemy's country. Surely Africa is ground, with their necks resting on a a mysterious and awe-inspiring country, wooden pillow, curiously carved and and now in the very heart of it we are able closely resembling the head-rests for the to find work for the archæologist, almost dead found in Egyptian tombs; they are the very last person a few years ago who accustomed to decorate their hair só fanwould dream of penetrating its unknown tastically with tufts ornamentally arranged interior.
and tied up with beads that they are afraid Our first real intercourse with the na- of destroying the effect, and hence these tives was at a lovely spot called Inya. pillows. Further north, in Gambeedje's maoda, where we "outspanded” on a country, their heads are decorated with small plain surrounded by domed granite curious grass erections dexterously woven, kopjes, near the summit of one of which giving them the quaintest appearance. A is a cluster of villages. Here we unpacked Makalanga is by nature vain, and particuour beads and our cloth, and commenced lar about the appearance of his nudity; African trading in real earnest; what the ladies have fashions in beads and money we had we put away into our boxes, cloths like our ladies at home, and before and never wanted it again during our visiting a fresh kraal our men used to love stay in the country. The naked natives to polish themselves like mahogany, by swarmed around us like flies, with grain, chewing the monkey-nut and rubbing their ficur, sour milk, and honey, which com- skins with it, good-naturedly doing each modities can be acquired for a few beads; other's backs and inaccessible corners. but for a sheep ihey want a blanket, Somehow they know what becomes them, for meat is scarce enough and valuable too, twisting tin ornaments made from our amongst this much-raided people. We meat-tins into their black hair. They lost an ox here by one of the many sick. I would have nothing but red beads, which show off well agaiost their dark skin, and, I reed walls which shut off the forge from though it seems somewhat paradoxical to the outer world. say so of naked savages, yet I consider At Umlali, too, we were first introduced no one has better taste in dress than they to the women, who have their stomachs have until a hybrid civilization is intro-decorated with many long lines or cicaduced amongst them.
trices. Between thirty and forty of these From many of the huts in loyamanda lines run across them, executed with sure were hanging their dollasses, wooden prising regularity, and resembling the furcharms on which are drawn strange fig- rows on a ploughed field. In vain we tried ures. Each family possesses a set of to photograph and count them. On one four tied together by a string. On the occasion I succeeded in counting sixteen evening of the new moon they will seat furrows, when the bashful female rao themselves in a circle, and the village away, and I think I had done about half. witch-doctor will go around, tossing each This is the favorite pattern in Chibi's. man's dollas in the air, and by the way country and with the neighboring petty this turns up he will divine the fortune of chiefs for female decoration, and they ad. the individual for the month that is to mire it so much that they put it also on come. Some dollasses are of wood, some their drums, on their granaries, and on of bone, some of ivory, but the patterns their pillows, and, as I have said, on their thereon are conventional and the same all forges-“the breast and furrow" pattern, over Kaffirland.
one might technically term it, and I fancy Never shall I forget the view from the it has to do with an occult idea of fertility. summit of Inyamanda rock over the coun- At Umlali, too, we saw the blind witchtry ruled over by the chief Matipi ; the doctor of the village, dressed in all his. horizon is cut by countless odd peaked quaint toggery. Small gourds, with seeds konjes, grey and weird, rising out of rich inside to rattle, were tied to his calves, vegetation, getting bluer and bluer in the a buck's horn with chaio hung round his far distance, and there is always something neck, with which he made a hideous noise. indescribably rich about the blueness of Quaint chains of beads and hair resplenan African distance.
dent with feathers completed the fantastic We spent a long and pleasant day at an appearance of this poor blind man, who other village called Umlali, also perched danced before us unceasingly, and made on a rocky eminence in Chibi's country, such hideous noises that we were obliged where many objects of interest came be- to beg him to stop. fore our notice. Here, for the first time, The pass through which the road leads we saw the iron forge in which the natives up from the river country to Fort Victoria smelt the iron ore they obtain from the is now called “ Providential," by reason neighboring mountains. This is a great of the fact that the pioneer force of the industry in Chibi's country, where whole Chartered Company did not know how villages devote all their time and energies to get over the range of hills rising to the to iron working, tilling no land and keep- north of the Tokwe River, until Mr. ing no cattle, but exchanging their iron- Selous chanced to hit on this gully beheaded assegais, barbed arrow-beads, and tween the mountains leading up to the field tools for grain and such domestic higher plateau. Its scenery, to my mind, commodities as they may require. The is distinctly over-rated. It is green and native forge is a curious object to look luxuriant in tropical vegetation, with the upon. It is made of clay, and made to bubbling strean Godobgwe running down represent a seated woman in form; the it; the hills on either side are fairly fine, head is the chimney, decorated with eyes, but it could be surpassed easily in Wales nose, and mouth, resting on shoulders; and Scotland, or even Yorkshire. In point the legs are stretched out and form the of fact, the scenery of Mashonaland is sides of the furnace, and to complete the nothing if not quaint. Providential Pass picture they decorate the front with is distinctly commonplace, whereas the breasts, and the tattoo decorations usually granite kopje scenery is the quaintest form found on female stomachs. They beat of landscape I have ever seen. the charcoal in the furnace by means of Fort Victoria has no redeeming point of air pumped out of goat-skin beilows beauty about it whatsoever, being placed through clay blow.pipes fixed into the on a bare, flat plateau, surrounded in the embers. It is a quaint sight to see them rainy season by swamps. Nearly everyat work, with all their commodities, pil- body was down with fever when we got lows, krives, and assegais, fixed on to the there; provisions were at famio: prices; and the melancholy aspect of affairs was watch the fire to keep off wild beasts, and enhanced by the hundred and fifty saddles theo when morning comes they pack their placed in rows within the fort, which had belongings, their treasures of bark, mice, once belonged to the hundred and fifty and caterpillars, and start off along the horses brought up by the pioneers, all of narrow path in single file at a tremendous which had died of horse-sickness.
pace, silent for a while, and then bursting From Fort Victoria our real troubles of forth into song, looking for all the world progression began. It is only fourteen like a procession of black caterpillarsmiles from there to Zimbabwe ruins by the themselves. parrow Kaffir path, and active individuals These forests around Zimbabwe are have been known to go there and back in lovely to wander in, with feathery fes. a day. It took us exactly seven days to tooos of lichen, like a fairy scene at a traverse this distance with our wagons. pantomime; outside the forests are long The cutting down of trees, the skirting of stretches of coarse grass, towering above swamps, the making of corduroy bridges, our heads in many cases, which were just were amongst the hindrances which im- then in seed, and like our harvest-fields at peded our progress. For our men it was home. Fioe trees, perched on the summit a perpetual time of toil, for us it was a of colossal aothills, cast a pleasant shade week of excessive weariness.
around, and if by chance we were near a By diving into the forests and climbing stream we had to be careful not to fall into hills we came across groups of natives the game-pits, deep, Darrow holes hidden who interested us. It was the season just by the grass, dug in the ground, into which then in which they frequent the forests – the natives drive the deer and antelope, the “barking season,” when they go forth so that they get their fore legs fixed in them to collect large quantities of the bark of and cannot get out. All around here is certain trees, out of which they produce far too well watered to be pleasant; long so much that is useful for their primitive stretches of unhealthy swamps fill up the lives. They weave textiles out of bark, valleys, rivers and streams are plentiful,. they make bags and string out of bark, and the vegetation consequently rich. they make quivers for their arrows, bee- Our camp close to Zimbabwe ruins was hives for their bees, and sometimes gran- for over two months a busy scene in the aries out of bark; in fact, the bark midst of the wilderness; there were the industry is second only to the iron smelt- two wagons in which we slept; the Indian ing amongst the Makalangas.
terrace, a construction of grass and sticks At the correct season of the year they in which we ate, our tent being the draw. go off in groups into the forests to collect ing-room; and in addition to these there bark, taking with them their wives and were the kitchen and the men's sleeping their children, carrying with them their room, cleverly constructed out of the sails assegais and fine barbed arrows, with of our wagons with walls of grass. In the which they shoot mice, a delicacy greatly centre was an erection for our cocks and beloved by them; they take with them hens, but even from here the jackals ocalso bags of mealies for food, and collect casionally contrived to steal one or two. bags of caterpillars, brown, hairy cater-Around the whole ran a skerm, or hedge, pillars three inches long, which at this which latter adjunct gave a comfortable season of the year swarm on the trees. and concentrated feeling to it all. These they disembowel and eat in enor. Umgabeh is the dynastic name of the mous quantities, and what they caonot eat petty chief whose territory includes the on the expedition they dry in the sun and Zimbabwe ruins; he recognizes the suzetake home for future consumption. Their rainty of Chibi, but is to all intents and only method of making a fire is by rubbing purposes a free ruler. He arrived on the two sticks dexterously together until a day after our arrival to visit us and then spark appears, with which they igoite we were introduced to the Makalanga cussome tinder carried in a little wooden box tom of hand-clapping. The mysterious attached to their girdles. At night time meaning attached to this hand-clapping I they cut down branches from the trees and was afterwards able in a measure to make a shelter for themselves from the fathom; on the arrival of a chief or grand wiod. It is curious to see a set of natives induna the hand-clapping is a serious asleep, like sardines in a box, ope black, undertaking and has to go on incessantly baked lump of humanity; if one turns or uptil the great man is seated and bids disturbs the harmony of the pie they all them to stop. Umgabeh was glad to see get up and swear at him, aod settle down us, he said, and had no intention of interagain. One man is always told off to rupting our proposed work, provided only:
we agreed to one thing, and that was to she in disgust had to throw away the best leave his women alone. As for ourselves part of her treasure. and our white men we answered that he Frequently Ikomo would try to interneed have no fear, but as for our negro rupt our work, and so frighten our black workmen we would not hold ourselves re- diggers from other villages that they ran sponsible, but suggested that as they away, and we had to collect a fresh team. would all be his subjects he must see to On one occasion, whilst digging upon the that himself.
fortress we disturbed a large rock, which Umgabeh is a huge fat man, tall and slipped. On it was perched one of their dignified, though naked ; around his neck granaries, which promptly fell to pieces, he has a chain of huge white Venetian and the contents were scattered far and beads of considerable antiquity; in his wide. In vain we offered to pay for the hand he carries his iron sceptre, the badge damages done; almost in no time we were of a chief, and his battle-axe is lavishly surrounded by a screaming crowd of angry decorated with brass wire. Amongst his men and women, with Ikomo at their men we saw many of varied types, some head, brandishing'assegais and other ter. distinctly Arabian in features, and I am rible weapons of war. For a moment the bound to say the Kaffir type amongst them affair looked serious ; all our blacks Aed was the exception and by no means the in haste, and we, a small band of white rule.
men surrounded by the foe, were doubtful From the many villages on the heights what course to pursue. At length we dearound Zimbabwe came every day crowds termined to stand their insults no longer, of natives, bringing provisions for sale, and, seizing whatever was and we held a regular market in our camp. spade, pick, or shovel - we rushed at By this means we got as many cocks and them, and forth with Ikomo and his valiant hens as we wanted, eggs, milk, honey, and men fled like sheep before us, clambering sweet potatoes; then they would bring us up rocks, chattering and screaming like a tomatoes, the largest I have ever seen, cagelul of monkeys at the Zoo. Sir Joho chillies, capers, and monkey.nuts. Some Willoughby and one or two men from of these, I am told on excellent authority, Fort Victoria chanced to come over that are distinct products of the New World, day to visit us, and on hearing of our adthe seeds of which must have originally venture he summoned Ikomo to a palaver, been brought by Dutch, Portuguese, and and told him that if such a thing happened Spanish traders and given in exchange for again his kraal would be burnt to the the commodities of the country; and now ground and his tribe driven from the hill ; they form an integral part of the diet of and the result of this threat was that these people and prove to us how the ends Ikomo troubled us no more. of the world were brought together long Ikomo's kraal occupies a lovely situabefore our time.
tion on Zimbabwe Hill, hidden amongst These daily markets were times of great the rocks, from the top of which lovely excitement for us, for besides giving us an views can be obtained over the distant insight into their ways and life, we found Bessa and Inyuoi ranges, on the one side it an excellent time to acquire for a few over the Livouri range, over Presidential beads their prettily carved knives, their Pass on the other, and to the south over a souff-boxes, their weapons, and the many sea of rugged kopjes leading down into the quaint things they hang about their per- Tokwe valley. From this point the stratesons. As for Umgabeh himself, his chief gical value of the hill is at once grasped, kraal and residence was six miles away, rising as it does sheer out of a well-watered and we saw but little of him after the first plain, unassailable from all sides, the most excitement of our arrival had worn off, but commanding view in all the country round. his brother Ikomo, the induna of the The village is festooned with charming kraal on the hill behind the ruins, often creepers, begonia and others, then in full came down to see us, and was a constant flower ; rows of granaries decorate the source of annoyance, seeing that his summit
, and in the midst are some of friendly visits had always some ulterior those quaint trees which they use as lard. motive of getting something out of us. ers, hanging therefrom the produce of On one of these occasions my wife had their fields neatly tied up in long grass collected a beautiful bowl of honey; the packages, which look like fat German rascal Ikomo first eyed it with covetous- sausages growing from the branches. ness and then plunged his hand into the On one of the few flat spaces in the very midst thereof, and enjoyed his fingers village is kept the village drum, or “tom. complacently for some time after, whilst tom,” constantly in use for dances. One