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At sunrise we again made sail, and after long sighting a conspicuous seamark, the two high hummocks called the "Peaks of Wasin," in three hours entered the deep narrow sea-channel, which, running due east and west, separates Wasin Island from the mainland. Northwards, this bank of coralline, about two and a quarter miles long by one in breadth, is defended by diminutive cliffs and ledges, upon which the blue wave breaks its force. The southern shore is low, and rich in the gifts of floatsom and jetsom here the tide, flowing amongst the mangrove forests and under shady crags, forms little bays by no means unpicturesque. To windward lies the Wasin Bank, with four or five plateaus of tree-tufted rock emerging a few feet from the crystal floor. The main island is thinly veiled on the leeward side by a red argillaceous soil, which produces a thick growth of thorny plants, creepers, and parasites. Eastward, where the mould is deeper, there is richer vegetation, and even some stunted cocos.
The only settlement occupies the centre of the island's length on the northern shore, opposite the coast. It contains three mosques, long, flatroofed rooms of lime and coralline, fronted obliquely to face Mecca; little huts and large houses of mangrove timber tied with coir-rope, plastered with clay, and in some cases adorned with whitewash. The sloping thatchroof already approaches in magnitude the disproportion of the Madagascar cottage. Huge calabashes spread their fleshy arms over the village; and the abodes of the dead, as at Zanzibar, are built amongst the habitations of the living. Water must be brought from the main: it is brackish, but not unwholesome. The climate, doubtless aggravated by the graveyards and the cowries festering in a fiery sun, is infamous for fevers and helcoma. The population is a bigoted and evil-minded race, a collection of lymphatic Arabs, hideous Sawahili, ignoble half-castes, and thievish slaves. The Sazzid of Zanzibar maintains no garrison here. Banyans are forbidden by their law to trade in cowries, and native merchants find few profits at Wasin. At the beginning of the wet monsoon,
however, there is some inland traffic. Caravans, to which the Wadigo and Wasegeju savages serve as porters, start from Wanga and other little Bunders on the coast, make the Waknafy and Masai countries in twenty days, remain there trading three or four months, and return laden with ivory and a few slaves purchased en route.
My companion and I landed at Wasin, and found the shore crowded with a mob of unarmed gazers, who did not even return our salams: we resolved in future to keep such greetings for those who deserve them. After sitting half an hour in a shed called the Fenzeh or Custom-house, we were civilly accosted by an old man, whose round head showed him to be an Indian. Abd-el-Karim led us to his house, seated us in chairs upon a terrace, and mixed a cooling drink in a vase not usually devoted to such purpose. As the "Riami" was discharging cargo, we walked into the jungle, followed by a ragged tail of boys and men, to inspect some old Portuguese wells. As we traversed the village, all the women fled,—a proof that El Islam flourishes. After struggling through a matted thorny jungle, we came upon two pits sunk in solid rock: Said bin Salim was bitterly derided whilst he sounded the depth (forty feet); and by way of revenge, I dropped a hint about buried gold, which has doubtless been the cause of hard labour and severe heart-aches to the churls of Wasin. There is no game on the island or on the main. In the evening we quitted the squalid settlement without a single regret.
Our Nakhoda again showed symptoms of trickery; he had been allowed to ship cargo from Mombas to Wasin, and, Irish-like, he thereupon founded a right to ship cargo from Wasin to Tanga. Unable to disabuse his mind by mild proceedings, I threatened to cut the cable; and thus once more, the will of Japhet prevailing over that of Shem, we succeeded, not without aid from an Oman craft, in drawing up our ground-tackle about an hour after noon. The wind was high and the sea rough, the old "Riami" groaned in every timber as she shaved the reefs, and floated into the open. We then
sped merrily over waves which could have alarmed none but Said bin Salim. The little man busied himself with calculating the time it would take to round the several promontories. As the water became smoother under the lee of Pemba, he made bold to quote these martial lines,―
"I have backed the steed since my eyes saw light,
And have fronted Death till he feared my sight,
And the riving of helm and the piercing of mail
Were the dreams of my youth-are my manhood's delight!
The coast is concealed by a high thick hedge of verdure, over which peer the heads of a few cocos. Its background is the rocky purple wall of Bondei, here and there broken by tall blue cones. After two hours of brisk sailing we were abreast of a point called by our crew Kwalla, bounding the deep bay and islets of Jongoliany. Approaching Tanga, we shortened sail, or we might have made it at 4 P.M. But the entrance is considered intricate; and as we had no pilot, our captain of the hen's heart preferred hobbling in under a jib which the crew, now wasted by sickness, took a good hour to hoist. At last having threaded the "báb," or narrow rock-bound passage which separates the bluff headland of Tanga Island from Ras Rashid on the main, we glided into the bay, and anchored in three fathoms water, opposite, and about half a mile from, the town.
Tanga Bay extends six miles deep by five in breadth. The entrance is partially barred by a coralline bank, the ancient site of the Arab settlement. This islet still contains a small square stone fort and scattered huts. It is well wooded, but the water obtained by digging in the sand is scarcely potable. It is an imperfect break during the N. E. monsoon; and when a high sea rolls up, vessels must anchor under the mainland: whilst
the S.W. winds blow, it is all but impossible to leave the harbour without accidents. The bay is embanked with abundant verdure, and surrounded by little villages. It receives the contents of two fresh-water streamlets; westward, the Mtofu; and Mtu Mvony from the north-west: the latter at several miles from its mouth must be crossed by a ferry. The hippopotamus is found in small numbers at the embouchures of both these streams. I defer an account of our sport till we meet that unamiable pachyderm upon the Pangany river.
Tanga-"the Sail"-like all the towns of the Mrima,* or Mountain, is a patch of thatched pent-shaped huts, built upon a bank overlooking the sea, in a straggling grove of coco and calabash. The population numbers between 4000 and 5000 souls, including twenty Banyans and fifteen Belochies, with the customary consumptive Jemadar. The citizens are a homely-looking race, chiefly occu pied with commerce, and they send twice a-year, in June and November, after the great and little rains, trading parties to the Chhaga and the Masai countries. The imports are chiefly cotton-stuffs, brass and iron wires, and beads, of which not less than 400 varieties are current in these lands. The returns consist of camels and asses, a few slaves, and ivory, of which I was told 70,000 lb. passes through Tanga. The citizens also trade with the coast savages, and manufacture hardwares from imported metal. The hard, red, and yellow clay produces in plenty holcus and sesamum, cassava, plantains, and papaws. Mangos and pine-apples are rare; but the jambi, an Indian damson, the egg-plant, and the toddytree, grow wild. Of late years Tanga has been spared the mortification of the Masai, who have hunted and harried in this vicinity many a herd. It is now, comparatively speaking, 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 27th January, and were met upon the sea-shore, in absence of the Arab governor, by the Diwans or Sawahili head-men, the Jemadar and his Belochies, the collector of customs, Mizan Sahib, a daft old Indian, and other dignitaries. They conducted us to the hut formerly tenanted by M. Erhardt; brought coffee, fruit, and milk; and, in fine, treated us with peculiar civility. That day was spent in inquiries about the commerce and geography of the interior, and in hearkening to wild tales concerning the Ethiopic Olympus, Kilimanjaro. Here Sheddad built his city of brass, and encrusted the hill-top with a silver dome that shines with various and surpassing colours. Here now the Janu, or fiery beings, hold their court, and baffle the attempts of man's adventurous foot. The mountain recedes as the traveller advances, and the higher he ascends the higher rises the summit. At last blood bursts from the nostrils, the fingers bend backwards, and the most adventurous is fain to stop. Amongst this Herodotian tissue of fact and fable, ran one fine thread of truth: all
testified to the intense cold.
In the evening we were honoured with the Ngoma Khu, a full orchestra, for which a dollar was a trifle, if noise be of any value. And we took leave for the night, provided with a bullock and half-a-dozen goats, with fruit and milk, by the Diwans. These head-men, who prefer the title of Sultan, are in the proportion of a dozen per village, each omnipotent within his own walls. The vulgar may not sit on chairs, carpets, or fine mats,-use umbrellas or wear turbans in their presence; moreover, none but the head1-man dances the Pyrrhic on solemn occasions. Said bin Salim described them as a kind of folk who wish to eat-mere beggars. They promised readily, however, to escort me to one of the ancient cities of the
Setting out at 8 A.M. with a small party of spearmen, I walked four or five miles south of Tanga, on the Tangata road, over a country strewed with the bodies of huge millepedes, and dry as Arabian sand. The fields
were burned in readiness for rain, and the peasants dawdled listlessly, patting the clods with bits of wood. At last we traversed a khor or lagoon, drained by the receding tide, and, walking over crab-holes, sighted our destination. From afar it resembled a ruined castle. Entering by a gap in the enceinte, I found a parallelogram two hundred yards long, of solid coralline and lime, in places torn by trees that have taken root there, well bastioned and loop-holed for musketry. The site is raised considerably above the country. It is concealed from the sea-side by a screen. of trees and the winding creek, that leaves the canoes high and dry during the ebb-tide: full water makes it an island. In the centre, also split up by huge creepers, and in the last stage of dilapidation, are the remains of a Mosque, evidencing vestiges of a rude art. I was shown, with some pretension, a "writing," which proved to be the name of a lettered Sawahili perpendicularly scratched upon stuccoed column. The ruins of houses are scattered over the enceinte, and a masonry well, eight feet deep, sunk in the underlying coralline, yields a sufficiency of earthy water. The thatched huts of certain Wasegeju savages, who use the ruins as pens their goats, asses, and stunted cows, attest the present degradation of the land. Near a modern village of cadjan - hovels, and tree-palisades upon the bank of the creek, I was shown another old well about eight feet deep, and bone dry. None of the present tenants could relate a tradition of the ruins. The Arabs who accompanied me, however, declared them to be of the Zurabi, the dynasty preceding the present rulers of Oman. If so, they may date from one hundred and fifty years. I returned in time to witness a funeral. The mourners were women, with blackened faces, dressed in variouscoloured clothes. They keened all that day, and the drum paraded its monotonous sounds until dawn streaked with pale light the cold surface of the eastern skies.
The people of Tanga hold at Ambony, a neighbouring village, every fifth day, a golio or market with the savages of the interior. Having as
sumed an Arab dress-a turban of portentous circumference, and a long henna-dyed shirt and accompanied by Said bin Salim with his excalibar, by the consumptive Jemadar, who sat down to rest every ten minutes, and an old Arab, Khalfan bin Abdillah, who had constituted himself our cicerone, I went to inspect the scene. Walking along the coast, we passed through a village of huts and cocos, filled with forges, which were already at work, and a school of young hopefuls stunning one another. After two miles, we crossed some muddy tidal creeks, corded over with creepers and tree-roots, a sandy inlet, and the small sweet surface-drain, Mtofu, which had water up to the waist. Another mile brought us to Behemoth River, a deep streamlet flowing under banks forty or fifty feet high, covered with calabash and jungle-trees. Women were being ferried over; in ecstasies of fear, they hung down their heads, and hid their faces between their knees till the danger passed. The savages of this coast are by no means a maritime race; they have no boats, rarely fish, and, unable to swim, are stopped by a narrow stream. Having crossed the river, we traversed plantations of cocos and plantains, and, ascending a steep hill, found the market" warm,' as Easterns say, upon the seaward slope. The wild people, Washenzy, Wasembara, Wadigo, and Wasegeju, armed as usual, stalked about, whilst their women, each with baby on back, -its round head nodding with every movement of the parental person, yet it never cries, that model-baby,carried heavy loads of saleable stuff, or sat opposite their property, or chaffered and gesticulated upon knotty questions of bargain. These hardused and ill-favoured beings paid toll for ingress at a place where cords were stretched across the road. The wild people exchanged their lean sheep and goats, cocos and plantains, grain and ghee, for cottons, beads and ironware, dry fish, salt, intoxicating liquors, spices, needles and thread, hooks, and blue-stone. The groups gathered under the several trees were noisy, but peaceful; often, however, a lively scene, worthy of Donny
brook in its palmiest days, takes place, knobstick and dagger being used by the black factions freely as fist and shillelah are in civilised lands. We returned at noon over the sands, which were strewed with sea-slugs, and in places with chrelodins lying dead in the sun; the heat of the ground made my barefooted companions run forward to the shade, from time to time, like the dogs in Tibet.
Sundry excursions delayed us six days at Tanga. Our visit ended with a distribution of caps and muslins, and we received farewell calls till dark. After a sultry night, varied by bursts of rain, which sounded like buckets sluicing the poop, at 5 A.M., on the 2d of February, we drifted out to sea, under the influence of the barri or land-breeze. Five hours of lazy sailing ran us into Tangata, an open road between Tanga and Pangany. Here we delayed a day to inspect some ruins, where we had been promised Persian inscriptions and other wonders.
After casting anchor, I entered a canoe, and was paddled across the waters of a bay, where, according to local tradition, a flourishing city had been submerged by the encroaching waves. The submarine tombs, however, though apparent to the Sawahili eye, eluded mine. We then entered a narrow creek, grounding at every ten yards, and presently reached an inlet, all mangrove around and mud below. Landing at a village called Tongony, we followed the shore for a few paces, turned abruptly to the left over broken ground, and sighted the ruins.
Moonlight would have tempered the view; it was a grisly spectacle in the gay and glowing shine of the sun. Shattered walls, the remnants of homesteads in times gone by, rose, choked with the luxuriant growth of decay, and sheltering in their desert shade the bat and the night-jar. In an extensive cemetery I was shown the grave of a wali or saint-his very name had perished-covered with a cadjan roof, floored with stamped earth, cleanly swept, and garnished with a red and white flag. Near a spacious mosque, well-built with columns of cut coralline, and adorned
with an elaborate prayer-niche, are several tall mausolea of elegant construction, their dates denoting an antiquity of about two hundred years. Beyond the legend of the bay, none could give me information concerning the people that have passed away the tombs bore the names of Sawahili; but the architecture proved a superior race.
In a mausoleum, the gem of the place, appeared a chipped fragment of Persian glazed tile, with large azure letters in the beautiful character called Rukaa; the inscription was imperfect, and had probably adorned some mosque or tomb in the far north. It was regarded with a superstitious reverence by the Sawahili, who declared that Sultan Kimwera of Usumbara had sent a party of bold men to bear it away; nineteen died mysterious deaths, and the tile was thereupon restored to its place. A few muslins had a wonderful effect upon their fancies: I was at once allowed by the Diwans, although none of them would bear a hand, to remove it.
This purchase concluded, we returned to the "Riami," followed by the head-men, who, after tasting dates, sweetmeats, and coffee, naturally became discontented with the promised amount of "hishmat." They begged me to return, and assist them in digging for sweet water. There were four or five carefully-built old wells in the ruined city, but all had been exhausted by age, and the water produced by them upon the low grounds was exceedingly nauseous. As a rule, these people readily apply for aid to Europeans; such is their opinion of the wazungu, or "wise men :" and if showers accompany the traveller, he is looked upon as a beneficent being, not without a suspicion of white magic. We spent the remainder of the day and night at Tangata, fanned by the north-east breeze, and cradled by the rocking send of the Indian Ocean. Two low and distant islands imperfectly define the bay; the country around is fertile, and a mass of little villages studs the shore.
The existing settlements are probably modern; none of them appear in our maps and charts. Here we took leave of Khalfan our guide, an old man, but still hale and vigorous. No Oman Arab is, I may remark, worth his salt until his beard is powdered by age.
At 5 A. M. on the 3d February we hoisted sail, and slipped down with the tepid morning breeze to Pangany, sighting Maziny Island, its outpost, after three hours' run. It was necessary to land with some ceremony at a place which we intended to make a starting-point. Soon after arrival I sent Said bin Salim, in all his bravery, on shore with the Sazzid of Zanzibar's circular letter to the wali or governor, to the jemadar, to the collector of customs, and the different diwans. All this preparation for a mere trifle! But we are in Africa. Even in Europe it is not always found easy to march into an enemy's country. My companion and I landed with our Portuguese servants and luggage in the cool of the afternoon.
We were received with high honour. The orchestra consisted of three huge drums, trunks of cocos, covered with goat-leather, and beat with fist instead of stick; sina, or bassoons of black wood, at least five feet long; a pair of edge-setting zumary, or flageolets; and the instrument of dignity, an upatu, or brasspan, whose bottom is performed upon with sticks like cabbage-stalks. The diwans pyrrhic'd before us with the pomp and circumstance of drawn swords, whilst bare-headed slavegirls, with hair à la Brutus, sang and flapped their skirts over the ground, with an affectedly modest and downcast demeanour. A crowd of negroes and half-castes stood enjoying the vile squeak of the pipes and the "bom-bom" of the monstrous drums. After half-an-hour's endurance, we were led into the upper-storied house of the wali-meriko a freedman of the late Sazzid Said, and spent the evening in a committee of ways and