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|The crocodiles of Nbugabo|
|Ahmed bin Ibrahim -- The first...|
|"Moles" in Uganda|
|Notes on the Kumam|
|The giant freshwater perch...|
|Extracts from "Mengo Notes"...|
|Scientific supplement: Annotated...|
|Index to Volume 11, Nos. 1 and...|
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|Table of Contents|
Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Table of Contents
The crocodiles of Nbugabo
Ahmed bin Ibrahim -- The first Arab to reach Buganda
"Moles" in Uganda
Notes on the Kumam
The giant freshwater perch of Africa
Extracts from "Mengo Notes" - IV
Scientific supplement: Annotated and illustrated keys to the known fleas of East Africa
Index to Volume 11, Nos. 1 and 2
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
THE JOURNAL OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY
VOLUME II, No. 2 SEPTEMBER 1947
The Crocodiles of Nabugabo By E. A. TEMPLE PERKINS 69
Ahmed bin Ibrehim-The First Arab to reach Buganda
By S R JonN MuLNER GRAY 80
"Moles" in Uganda By G. H. E. HopKmIs 98
Notes on the Kumam By TmE REV. FATHER C. I. WALSHE 101.
The Giant Freshwater Perch of Africa By E. W. GUDGER 106
Extracts from Mengo Notes "-IV - - 110
Mother Kevin By NELsoN F. M. KusAMBIZA 123
More about H.M.S. Uganda 123
An Anglo-German Agreement relating to Traffic on Lake Victoria, 1890 124
Delmd-Radcliffe's Movements in 1899 By H. B. THOMAS 126
Dr. "Jack" Cook By ALBERT R. CooK 127
"Livingstone's Last Journey" (By Sir Reginald Coupland)
By G. B. MASEFTELD 129
Annotated and Iljustrated Keys to the Known Fleas of East Africa
By G. H. E. HOPKrNS 131
Index to Volume 11 of The Uganda Journal 191
Published on behalf of
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
AMEN HOUSE LONDON E.C.4
Price Shs. 7:50 (7s. 6d.)
Dr. W. J. Eggeling
The Hon. Secretary
The Hon. Librarian
The Hon. Editors
Mr. A. J. Braganza
Mr. V. M. Clerk
Hon. R. G. Dakin, O.B.E.
Mr. C. W. L. Fishlock
and Treasurer Mr. E. M. K. Mulira
Miss H. M. Neatby
Miss A. Nicol-Smith
Mr. L. M. Sendagala
Mr. E. G. P. Sherwood
Mr. H. B. Thomas, o.a
Mr. E. F. Twining, c.
R. A: Tito Winyi II, c
Sir A. R. Cook, KT., C
Mr. E. J. Wayland, c.
Dr. H. H. Hunter, c.B.
Mr. H. Jowitt, C.M.G.
Major-General Sir H.
Mr. J. Sykes, O.B.B.
Saben & Co., Ltd, Ki
I.E. Mr. E. B. Haddon
M.o., M.B.a. Mr. Mark Wilson
.B.N. Mr.-Norman GOdinho, M.B.E.
.M.G., O.B.E. Mr. N. V. Brasnett
B.B. Captain C. R. S. Pitman, D.S.O., M.C.
E., LL.D. Mr. S. W. Kulubya, M.B.E.
Mr. E. A. Temple Perkins
R. Hone, Mr. R. A. Snoxall
, M.C., K.C. Dr. K. A. Davies, O.B.E.
Mr. G. H. E. Hopkins, o.n.E.
ampala The Hon. Editors
Mr. R. A. Snoxall
Mr. 0. S. Keeble, A.C.A.
Honorary Secretary and Treasurer: Honorary Librarian:
Mr. T. Parry, Mrs. B. Saben
Dr. W. J. Eggeling
Mr. R. M. Bere
Y i'. i". :
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
SUBSCRIPTIONS.-The annual subscription (expiring 30th June) for
ordinary members and institutional members is Shs. 10. A double subscription
of Shs. 15 entitles two members of a family to all the rights and privileges of full
members, except that they receive one copy only of. each issue of the Society's
periodical. Any member who has reached the age of 55 can become a life
member by paying a lump sum equal to the amount of ten annual subscriptions.
A member who has not yet reached the age of 55 can join for life by paying the
same sum plus the number of subscriptions by which the age falls short of 55.
The annual subscription for associate members is Shs. 2/50. Associates are
admitted to lecture meetings and may use the library; but are not entitled to
receive the periodical, to vote, or to borrow from the library.
Bankers' Order forms may be obtained from the Secretaries. Completed
Bankers' Orders should be sent to the Society in the first place, not direct to
Members are requested to keep the Secretaries fully informed of changes of
PUBLICATIONS.-The Uganda Journal, the organ of the Society, is pub-
lished half-yearly, in March and September. Back numbers of most issues of the
Journal, and of certain other publications of the Society, can be supplied as
advertised on the back cover of the current issue.
The chief aim of the Journal is to provide a medium for the publication of
historical, literary and scientific matter relating to Uganda and its peoples.
Material offered for publication should be sent to the Honorary Editor at the
Society's address. Contributions in the form of short notes or records, as well as
longer articles, are invited. Authors will receive twenty separate copies of their
contributions free of charge: additional separates may be obtained at a cost of
ten cents a page if ordered at the time when the manuscript is submitted. The
Editor can arrange for manuscripts to be typed.
The Society is ready to consider entering into arrangements with other
institutions for exchange of publications.
MEETINGS.-Meetings, at which papers are read by members or visitors,
are held periodically in Kampala. Notices of meetings are sent to those members
living in or near Kampala and Entebbe; and to other members by request. A
member wishing to read a paper should communicate with the Secretaries. The
Society reserves the right to publish, in whole or in part, any paper read at a
LIBRARY.-The library contains over 1,600 books and periodicals, chiefly
on African subjects, with a number of English newspapers and reviews. It is open
to members: Monday to Friday-12.30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.;
Sunday-10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Books may be borrowed against a deposit of
Shs. 20, not more than two volumes being taken at one time. Members resident
away from Kampala can borrow by post, on application to the Honorary Librarian.
ADDRESS.-The Society's Rooms, which include reading and lecture rooms
and the library, are situated in the old Sikh Barracks, at the corner of Nakasero
and Kyagwe roads, Kampala. The postal address, to which all communications
should be addressed, is:
THE UGANDA SOCIETY,
Rules for the use of the library are as follows:
1. The library is open to ordinary members and associate members for
reading at the hours announced in the Journal and on the Notice Board.
2. Books should not be returned to the shelves after use. They should be
left on the table by the door.
Ordinary members are entitled to take books on loan under the following
3. A member wishing to borrow books from time to time is required to
pay a library deposit of Shs. 20, to be retained by the Society until the member
signifies his wish to discontinue borrowing. The money will then be refunded.
4. Deposits should be paid to the clerk in the office (or posted to the Hon.
Librarian); a receipt will be given.
5. The Librarian is authorized to prohibit altogether, at his discretion, the
removal of certain valuable books, or books in constant use. Such books will be
clearly labelled. Current unbound periodicals are on no account to be taken away.
6. Books taken on loan by Kampala members may be retained for not
longer than two weeks in the first instance (three weeks will be allowed for members
who live more than twenty-five miles from Kampala). An extension of this
period may be granted by the Librarian at his discretion.
7. Not more than two volumes may be taken or retained by a member at
8. The catalogue number of the book, the name of the author, and the name
and address of the borrower must be entered in the loan book by, or in the
presence of, the clerk.
9. Within reasonable limits, the cost of outward postage to up-country
members will be defrayed by the Society.
III. LOSS OR DAMAGE
10. A member who loses or damages a book will be expected to defray the
11. A member who fails to make good the loss or damage of a library book,
or to return a borrowed book after a second reminder, will forfeit the whole or
part of his deposit, and also his right to borrow further books from the library
until his full deposit is renewed.
The library is open to members at the following hours:
Monday to Friday .. 12.30 p.m. to 2 p.m.;
5 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Sunday .. .. 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Nearly 500 books have been added to the library since the library list was
published in 1945, so that the Society's collection now totals about 1,600 volumes.
It is hoped to bring out a new library list shortly.
It is encouraging to find that so many of the Society's reciprocating members
are now able to supply the back numbers of Journals printed during the German
occupation of their countries. To the list printed in Volume 10, No. 2, of the
Uganda Jburnal should be added the following names of Journals available for
members' reference in the library:
Arquivos de Angola.
Brousse," Les Amis de l'Art Indigene du Congo Beige.
Bulletin Agricole du Congo Belge.
Bulletin du Centre d' tude des Problames Sociaux Indigenes.
Bulletin de l'Institut Franfaise d'Afrique Noire.
Journal de la Socidtd des Africanistes.
Le Monde Orientale.
Owing to the kind assistance of Mr. S. J. K. Baker of Makerere College, the
Society's map collection has now been indexed. It is available in the library.
So far, the member responsible has not yet returned the book by Fairfax
Downey, Burton: Arabian Nights' Adventurer, New York (Society No. 841).
It is urged that members should check through their bookshelves for this volume,
since it is extremely difficult to obtain another copy of this work to-day.
The Honorary Librarian would welcome suggestions from members of library
additions; and those who have collections for disposal are asked to, give the
Society first refusal.
The Society is much indebted to Sir John Gray for his gift of the Rev. H. W.
Duta's book, Engero Za Baganda; also to Messrs. Maneckji N. Dhalla, G. H. E.
Hopkins, A. S. Thomas and the Trustees of the King-George V Memorial Fund,
for further gifts.
The Honorary Librarian has received from the Empire Information Bureau
of the Royal Empire Society a copy of its cyclostyled Information Paper No. 8-
Notes on Conditions in Uganda, Autumn 1946.
The paper, which is dated February 1947, covers five foolscap pages and
contains useful information for intending visitors or newcomers to Uganda.
Conditions in the Protectorate are dealt with under such heads as Restrictions
on Entry," Health," Transport and Communications," Hotels and Boarding
Houses," Housing," Supply (and Cost) of Goods," Domestic Servants," Cost
of Living," "Educational Facilities," "Climate," "Medical Services," "Amuse-
ments," Taxes," Currency," and General Comments."
Members of the Uganda Society may be interested to know that files giving
similar information on living conditions and cost of living in nearly every part of
the British Empire are held in the Bureau, which is situated at The Royal Empire
Society, Northumberland Avenue, London, W.C.2. These information files, which
are kept as up to date as possible, are available for consultation by all inquirers
between 9.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, and 9.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m.
ACCESSIONS TO THE UGANDA SOCIETY'S LIBRARY
1ST JULY 1946 TO 31ST MARCH 1947
1479 ABRAHAMS, Peter. Song of the city-a Novel. 1943.
1504 ALLEN, J. A. "Primates collected by the American Museum Congo
Expedition-Article IV." 1925.
1500 ANDERSON, Harold G. Flying visit: A tour of the C.M.S. front in Africa
and the Near East. 1946.
1408 BAKER, Sir Samuel W. Eight years in Ceylon. 1890.
1409 BAKER, Sir Samuel W. The rifle and the hound in Ceylon. 1898.
1475 BASKERVILLE, The Rev. G. K. and G. L. Pilkington. The Gospel in
1493 BELL, Sir Hesketh. Glimpses of a Governor's life: From diaries, letters
and memoranda. (Undated.)
1494 BERKELEY, Comyns. On safari": A chat to the Medical. Society of the
Middlesex Hospital. 1910.
1468 BOURDILLON, Sir Bernard. The future of the colonial empire. 1945.
1399 BRADLEY, Mary Hastings. Caravans and cannibals. 1926.
1460 BRIGGS, J. H. In the East Africa war zone. 1918.
1519 BRIXHE, A. Les lotissements agricoles du Nord-Sankuru. 1945.
1505 BRODE, Dr. H. British and German East Africa: Their economic and
commercial relations. 1911.
1426 BURT, Mrs. F. Swahili grammar and vocabulary. 1917.
1418 BURTON, Isabel. A E l-Arabia, Egypt, India: A narrative of travel. 1879.
1515 BuXTON, Prof. P. A. "Notes on birds from Northern Nigeria." Reprint
from The Ibis for January 1935.
1401 CAMPBELL, W. W. East Africa by motor lorry. 1928.
1497 CHAPIN, James P. "The birds of the Belgian Congo." Bulletin of the
American Museum of Natural History. 1939.
1480 CLOETE, Stuart. African portraits: A biography of Paul Kruger, Cecil
Rhodes and Lobengula, last king of the Matabele. 1946.
1439 CLOSE, Etta. A woman alone in Kenya, Uganda and the Belgian Congo.
1402 COBHAM, Sir Alan. Twenty thousand miles in a flying-boat: My flight
round Africa. 1931.
1462 COILLARD, Francois. On the threshold of central Africa. 1902.
1485 COLONIAL DEVELOPMENT AND WELFARE ACT, 1945.
1449 COMYN, D. C. E. FF. Service and sport in the Sudan. 1911.
1393 COOK, A. R. and G. L. Pilkington. Engero za Baganda (Luganda proverbs).
1503 COPLEY, Hugh. Wonders of the Kenya seashore. 1946.
1509 CORSON, J. F., Charles Wilcocks and R. L. Sheppard (Compilers). "A
survey of recent work on Trypanosomiasis and Tsetse flies, based on
reports and papers published during the period 1932-1944." Bureau of
Hygiene and Tropical Diseases Review Monograph No. 1. 1946.
1417 COUPLAND, Sir Reginald. Wilberforce. 1945.
1507 COUPLAND, Sir Reginald. India: A re-statement. 1945.
1457 CRAN, Marion. The garden beyond. 1937.
1391 CROCKER, W. R. Nigeria. 1936.
1450 CROWFOOT, Grace M. Some desert flowers collected near Cairo. (Undated.)
1448 CRAWFORD, D. Thinking black. 1913.
1421 CTrrING of the first sod of the foundation trenches of the new higher
college by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, K.G., K.T., K.P.,
P.C., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.o., at Makerere, Uganda, on Thursday, 3rd Novem-
1523 DHALLA, Maneckji Nusservanji. Our perfecting world: Zarathushtra's way
of life. 1930.
1524 DHALLA, Maneckji Nusservanji. History of Zoroastrianism. 1938.
1415 DRAKE-BROCKMAN, R. E. The mammals of Somaliland. 1910.
1514 ELLIOT, Daniel Giraud. A review of th'e primates. 1913.
1526 ELWIN, Malcolm. The life of Llewelyn Powys. 1946.
1412 FENDALL, Brigadier-General C. P. The East African force 1915-1919: An
unofficial record of its creation and fighting career ; together with some
account of the civil and military administrative conditions in East Africa
before and during that period. 1921.
1435 FrrzsiMoNs, Vivian F. The lizards of South Africa. 1943.
1511 FoRD, E. B. Butterflies. The new naturalist. A survey of British Natural
1502 FREMONT, Isabelle. Some birds of East Africa. 1946.
1467 GARLICK, Phyllis L. Uganda contrasts. 1927.
1441 GARSTIN, Sir William. Despatch from His Majesty's Agent and Consul-
General at Cairo, inclosing a report upon the basin of the Upper Nile."
Egypt. No. 2 (1904). 1904.
1495 GATrI, Attilio. South of the Sahara. 1946.
1440 GORDON, Major-Gen. C. G. The journals of Major-Gen. C. G. Gordon,
C.B., at Kartoum. Printed from the original MSS., and edited by
A. Egmont Hake. 1885.
1472 GRACE, H. M. Our colonies : A challenge. 1944.
1484 GUDGER, E. W. "The giant freshwater perch of Africa." Reprint from
The Scientific Monthly, April 1944, Vol. LVIII, pp. 269-272.
1458 HALL, Henry L. The Colonial Office : A history. 1937.
1453 HANNINGTON, Bishop James. Peril and adventure in central Africa: Being
illustrated letters to the youngsters at home. (Undated.)
1474 HANNINGTON, Bishop James. The Victoria Nyanza Mission and Bishop
1414 HARDING, Lt.-Colonel Colin. Far bugles. 1933.
1455 HATTERSLEY, C. W. The Baganda at home. 1908.
1517 HAYMAN, R. W., R. E. Moreau and G. H. E. Hopkins. "The type-
localities of some African mammals." Reprinted from Proc. Zool. Soc.,
Vol. 115, Parts III and IV, pp. 387-447. 30th April 1945.
1404 HODSON, Arnold W. Trekking the great thirst. 1913.
1406 HODSON, Arnold.. Where lion reign. (?)1928.
1517 HOPKINS, G. H. E., R. E. Moreau and R. W. Hayman. "The type-
localities of some African mammals." Reprinted from Proc. Zool. Soc.,
Vol. 115, Parts III and IV, pp. 387-447. 30th April 1945.
1451 HTrrCHESON, Rev. Chas, W. and Rev. W. B. Stevenson (Editors). Kikuyu:
1898-1923: Semi-jubilee book of the Church of Scotland Mission,
Kenya Colony. 1923.
1483 HUTCHINSON, John. A botanist in Southern Africa. 1946.
1394 HUXLEY, Julian. Africa view. 1936.
1420 INTER-TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATION IN EAST AFRICA. Colonial Office Paper
No. 191. 1946.
1413 JOHNSON, T. Broadwood. Tramps round the Mountains of the Moon and
through the back gate of the Congo State. 1912.
.1516 JORDAN, Dr. Karl. Dr. Karl Jordan's expedition to South-West Africa and
Angola." Reprint from Novitates Zoologicae, Vol. XL, pp. 17-152.
1487 KAGWA, Sir Apolo. Ekitabo kye mpisa za Baganda (The customs of
Baganda in the Luganda language). 1934.
1489 KAKEMBO, R. H. An African soldier speaks. 1946.
1433 KEESING, Felix M. The south seas in the modern world. 1942.
1463 KELTIE, J. Scott. The partition of Africa. 1895.
1446 KNox, Collie. It might have been you. 1938.
1398 LIGHT, Richard Upjohn. Focus on Africa. 1944.
1469 LILLINGSTON, Kathleen M. E. Glimpses of Uganda. 1934.
1470 LIVERSAGE, V. Land tenure in the colonies. 1945.
1459 LLOYD, The Ven. Albert B. Dayspring in Uganda. 1921.
1396 LLOYD-JONEs, W. K.A.R.: Being an unofficial account of the origin and
activities of the King's African Rifles. 1926.
1425 MADAN, A. C. English-Swahili dictionary. 1902.
1429 MARTIN, Percy F. The Sudan in evolution: A study of the economic,
financial and administrative conditions of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
1430 MAWJEE, Purshotam Vishram. The imperial durbar album of the Indian
princes, chiefs and zamindars. 1911.
1481 MANSFIELD, T. C. Shrubs in colour and cultivation. 1946.
1498 MANSFIELD, T. C. Alpines in colour and cultivation. 1945.
1499 MANSFIELD, T. C. The border in colour. 1944.
1512 MANSmIELD, T. C. Roses in colour and cultivation. 1946.
1513 McDoNALD, D. R. Enemy property in Tanganyika, including a catalogue
of enemy properties. 1946.
1492 MELLAND, Frank H. In witch-bound Africa: An account of the primitive
Kaonde tribe and their beliefs. 1923.
1400 MERKER, M. Die Masai: Ethnographische Monographie eines ostafrikan-
ischen Semitenvolkes. 1904.
1447 MoIR, Fred L. M. After Livingstone : An African trade romance. (?)1942.
1517 MOREAU, R. E., G. H. E. Hopkins and R. W. Hayman. "The type-
localities of some African mammals." Reprinted from Proc. Zool. Soc.,
Vol. 115, Parts III and IV, pp. 387-447. 30th April 1945.
1444 MOUNTENEY-JEPHSON, A. J. Emin Pasha and the rebellion at the Equator :
A story of nine months' experiences in the last of the Soudan Provinces.
1424 THE NEW CAPITAL TO COAST ROAD: NAIROBI TO MOMBASA. Photographic
record of the first car, a 12 h.p. Riley, to accomplish this journey.
1471 OGILVIE-GRANT, W. R. "Birds of the Ruwenzori expedition." Trans-
actions of the Zoological Society of London. 1910.
1443 PARKE, Thos. Heazle. My personal experiences in Equatorial Africa as
medical officer of the Emin Pasha relief expedition. (Undated.)
1464 PARKINSON, John. The dinosaur in East Africa: An account of the giant
reptile beds of Tendaguru, Tanganyika Territory. 1930.
1386 PEARCE, Major F. B. Zanzibar: The island metropolis of eastern Africa.
1466 PERRYMAN, Percy W. "True tales of Africa: I. Double swindle; II.
The boy and the leopard." The Cornhill Magazine, Vol. 152, Nos. 910
and 911. October and November 1935.
1456 PETERSON, Margaret. The scent of the rose. 1924.
1393 PILKINGTON, G. L. and A. R. Cook. Engero za Baganda (Luganda proverbs).
1475 PILKINGTON, G. L. and The Rev. G. K. Baskerville. The Gospel in Uganda.
1496 PRIEST, Captain Cecil D. The Birds of Southern Rhodesia. 4 Vols. 1933-
1423 PROGRAMME-Lango show, Ireda, Lira, 18th-24th November 1936.
1389 RAMPLEY, The Rev. W. J. Matthew Wellington : Sole surviving link with
Dr. Livingstone. (Undated.)
1486 REPORT OF THE UGANDA WAR FUND-1939 TO 1945: 173,000. October
1395 RoDD, The Right Hon. Sir James Rennell. Social and diplomatic memories
1445 ROOME, Wm. J. W. Through central Africa for the Bible. 1929.
1411 ROOSEVELT, Theodore. Revealing and concealing coloration in birds and
1397 RoscoE, The Rev. John. The Baganda: An account of their native customs
and beliefs. 1911.
1477 ROSCOE, The Rev. John. Central Africa for Christ: Possibilities and aims.
1522 THE ROYAL FAMILY IN WARTIME: The illustrated story of the activities of
the Royal Family in the service of people and empire. 1945.
1465 SANDS, Lieut-Colonel E. W. C. The Royal Engineers in Egypt and the
1482 SANDFORD, Christine. Ethiopia under Haile Selassie. 1946.
1387 SCHAPERA, I. The Khoisan peoples of South Africa: Bushmen and
1461 SCHNEE, Dr. Heinrich. German colonization past and future: The truth
about the German colonies. 1926.
1509 SHEPPARD, R. L., Charles Wilcocks and J. F. Corson (Compilers). A
survey of recent work on Trypanosomiasis and Tsetse flies, based on
reports and papers published during the period 1932-1944." Bureau of
Hygiene and Tropical Diseases Review Monograph No. 1. 1946.
1491 SHROPSHIRE, D. W. T. Primitive marriage and European law : A South
African investigation. 1946.
1436 SIMMs, Katharine L. Springbok in sunshine. (?)1945.
1422 SKETCH MAP OF MABIRA FOREST, CHIAGWE. Scale: 1 inch to a mile.
Surveyed on behalf of the Uganda and East Africa Exploration Syndicate
Ltd. by Dr. Cuthbert Christy. Reproduced at Stanford's Geographical
Establishment, London. Claude F. Camburn-15: X:1905.
1478 SMITH, Rev. G. Furness. Uganda: Its story and its claim. 1892.
1437 SOWDEN, Lewis. The South African Union. 1945.
1434 STARK, Freya. East is West. 1945.
1427 STEERE, Edward. Swahili tales, as told by natives of Zanzibar, with an
English translation. 1906.
1432 STEERE, Edward. Swahili exercises. Revised and partly re-written by
A. B. Hellier, M.A. 1934.
1451 STEVENSON, Rev. W. B. and Rev. Chas. W. Hutcheson (Editors). Kikuyu:
1898-1923 : Semi-jubilee book of the Church of Scotland Mission, Kenya
1473 STOCK, Miss Sarah Geraldina. The Eastern Equatorial Africa Mission of
the Church Missionary Society. 1891.
1403 STRICKLAND, Mrs. Diana. Through the Belgian Congo. (Undated.)
1405 SULIVAN, Captain G. L. Dhow chasing in Zanzibar waters and on the
eastern coast of Africa: Narrative of five years' experiences in the
suppression of the slave trade. 1873.
1501 SUrrHERLAND, Helen B. G. Bird watching in Kenya: Some elementary
1410 SWAYNE, Major H. G. C. Seventeen trips through Somaliland and a visit
to Abyssinia: With supplementary preface on the "Mad Mullah"
1428 SYKEs, Lieut.-Colonel P. M. A history of Persia. 1915.
1419 TANGYE, H. Lincoln. In the torrid Sudan. 1910.
1506 THOMSON, Rev. J. B. Joseph Thomson-African explorer: A biography.
1416 TREVELYAN, G. M. Grey of Fallodon : Being the life of Sir Edward Grey,
afterwards Viscount Grey of Fallodon. 1945.
1476 TUCKER, The Right Rev. A. R. Toro: Visits to Ruwenzori-" Mountains
of the Moon." 1899.
1510 TURNER, W. J. (Editor). The British Commonwealth and Empire. 1943.
1508 UNwIN, J. D. Sex and culture. 1934.
1392 VocABULARY AND GRAMMAR FOR USE IN TURKANA, KARAMOJA AND TAPOSSA.
1525 WALLIS, J. P. R. (Editor). The northern goldfields: Diaries of Thomas
Baines--1869-1872. Oppenheimer Series Number 3.
1454 WARD, Herbert. My life with Stanley's rearguard. 1891.
1407 WARD, Herbert. Five years with the Congo cannibals. 1891.
1490 WEBB, Maurice. "The Indian in South Africa: Towards a solution of
conflict." Reprinted from Race Relations, Vol. 11, No. 1. 1944.
1431 WERNER, A. and M. A first Swahili book. 1927.
1431 WERNER, M. and A. A first Swahili book. 1927.
1509 WILCOCKS, Charles, J. F. Corson and R. L. Sheppard (Compilers). "A
survey of recent work on Trypanosomiasis and Tsetse flies, based on
reports and papers published during the period 1932-1944. Bureau of
Hygiene and Tropical Diseases Review Monograph No. 1. 1946.
1518 WILSON, George. Notes for travellers to Uganda. 1900.
1438 WOODS, Sir Wilfrid. Report on a fiscal survey of Kenya, Uganda and
1388 WORKMAN, Alan. A colonial postmaster-general's reminiscences. 1937.
1452 YARBOROUGH, J. Cooke (Editor). The diary of a working man (William
Bellingham) in central Africa, December 1884 to October 1887.
1488 YOUNG, T. Cullen. African ways and wisdom: A contribution towards
THE JOURNAL OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY
Published on behalf of
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
AMEN HOUSE LONDON E.C.4
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY HEADLEY BROTHERS
109 KINGSWAY, LONDON, W.C.2; AND ASHFORD, KENT
The Crocodiles of Nabugabo By E. A. TEMPLE PERKINS 69
Ahmed bin Ibrahim-The First Arab to reach Buganda
By SIR JOHN MILNER GRAY 80
"Moles" in Uganda By G. H. E. HOPKINS 98
Notes on the Kumam By THE REV. FATHER C. I. WALSHE 101
The Giant Freshwater Perch of Africa By E. W. GUDGER 106
Extracts from Mengo Notes "-IV 110
Mother Kevin By NELSON F. M. KUSAMBIZA 123
More about H.M.S. Uganda 123
An Anglo-German Agreement relating to Traffic on Lake Victoria, 1890 124
Delmd-Radcliffe's Movements in 1899 By H. B. THOMAS 126
Dr. "Jack" Cook By ALBERT R. COOK 127
"Livingstone's Last Journey" (By Sir Reginald Coupland)
By G. B. MASEFIELD 129
Annotated and Illustrated Keys to the Known Fleas of East Africa
By G. H. E HOPKINS 131
Index to Volume 11 of The Uganda Journal 191
THE CROCODILES OF NABUGABO
By E. A. TEMPLE PERKINS
IT so happens that this story about loathsome reptiles opens in a picturesque
setting-a sylvan scene by a moonlit lake. In a clearing in the forest, short-
grassed, slightly above water level, and edged with a small clean beach, is
a thatched hut owned by a sports club. Inside the building a party of
Europeans, just in from a bathe, are enjoying supper. Three African servants
are in attendance, and there are six dogs. Hung from the front rafter of the
hut are two hurricane lamps, for the moonlight does not penetrate far under
the low thatch. The three servants are sitting round the fire, not twenty
yards from the building and only a few feet from the lake. The dogs have
been dashing in and out of the water, but five of them are now lying on the
grass ; the sixth has almost reached the beach in front of the hut, after a short
swim from a raft moored out in the lake.
Casually, a servant says, "There are still two dogs in the water";
another corrects him, No, only one, five are ashore."
At this moment there is a slight splash, a piteous yelp and then silence.
"Mamba (crocodile) shouts one of the Africans, and the party rushes from
the hut-to see only a few bubbles on the water and a semicircle of ripples.
Hastily a boat is launched and a search is made, but with no results. The
serenity of Nabugabo has been rudely shattered.
Next morning the incident was common knowledge in Kampala. Every-
one was keenly interested because, till now, Nabugabo had been considered
free from crocodiles, if we except a few short-lived and unproven rumours
some years ago. When I was asked by an old friend if I would investigate
I very gladly consented. This article tells what I found.
Nabugabo is an oval lake, slightly less than five miles in length and about
three miles in width. It lies about two miles from the western shore of Lake
Victoria, from which it is separated by forbidding, rough and undulating
country, thickly forested on the part nearest Lake Victoria, swampy on
the other. Nabugabo is said to be sixteen feet higher than Victoria, but this
I find hard to believe. It is fed by one small stream but has an extensive
catchment area to the west. Nabugabo has for many years been one of the
few popular holiday resorts in Uganda, in fact, the only one of its kind in
the country. Its great attraction was its safe bathing.
Except for two unconfirmed statements by visitors, the only record known
to me of a crocodile being seen in Nabugabo was when one of the four Foster
brothers sighted and fired at a crocodile in 1932. The creature was not seen
again, the suggestion was made that perhaps it had not been a crocodile after
all, and the popularity of the lake in no way diminished.
Before this, in 1916, according to a European resident, a canoe containing
an African was capsized, its occupant vanishing. A crocodile was suspected
as the possible cause, but was never traced. These observations may be of
70 UGANDA JOURNAL
interest to certain Baganda who have asserted to me that crocodiles only
entered Nabugabo after a "new kind of fish" (blue-gill) had been introduced
by the Fish Warden in February 1944.
And now for my story, told in the form of extracts from, my diary,
starting with an entry made five days after the dog was taken :
17th February 1946. This morning I canoed right round the lake, taking
nearly five hours to do it. No sign of a crocodile, though I didn't land
anywhere. Little of the shore is typical crocodile habitat. Except for a few
small beaches on the mainland side, there seems no place suitable for them-
no sand spits on which to bask or lay eggs. A strong wind blows almost
daily off Lake Victoria, rising in mid-morning and making Nabugabo much
cooler than it would otherwise be only twenty-two miles from the equator.
The beaches, which alternate with patches of forest, are all on the exposed
side and are in constant use by fishermen or visitors. The rest of the lake is
fringed with coarse grass, reeds and peat bog. On the north-east shore there
are a few short stretches of peaty shelf, with isolated unsubstantial lumps of
peat lying out in the water like small islands. When the water is glassy calm
in the early morning the entire surface is visible to the twenty or so fishermen
canoeing on all sides ; yet none of them has ever reported a crocodile. I am
struck by the fact that the fishermen wade fearlessly in the shallows, when
attending to their reed and basket traps near to the huts on the east and
north-east shores. They say that their gill nets, set farther out, are never
disturbed materially. I cannot believe that the dog-snatcher was a crocodile;
if there is one here-a creature so shy that the fishermen have never seen it-
would it have ventured so close to the fire and lights on the bathing beach ?
The twelve-foot cliff near the hut, thickly bushed and creviced, with tall trees
on top, suggests to me a python. It might lie out on a branch and drop
silently into the water if any prey appeared.
That was my belief until this evening, when I discovered leopard spoor
not only on the cliff but also on the beach. This fills in-all the blanks. A
sudden leap into shallow water is probably nothing new to a leopard. It
must have pounced when the bathers were talking in the hut and the servants
had left the fire. One of them said he saw two dogs in the water, when there
was only one. In the moonlight, a leopard's head could excusably be
mistaken for a dog's. A leopard must be the answer.
19th February. Yesterday's entry can be scrapped. This has been an
unfortunate day for Nabugabo enthusiasts : we have seen a crocodile The
lake this morning was in a dead calm; it was in one of its good moods.
Water birds were everywhere, monkeys were playing near the beach, and the
one dog on the scene was enjoying the water. When I first went out, the
usual flight of white egrets had just left its roost and was moving over to
the east shore where the cattle often graze, a few ibis had flapped off noisily
from their haunt above the cliff, and a white heron was wading in the shallows
enjoying its breakfast of young blue-gills. It was incongruous to be thinking
of repulsive reptiles in such a setting but as I looked across the lake my eyes
at once picked up a black, queerly-shaped object shining wet in the sun about
half a mile from where I stood. By no stretch of the imagination could this
THE CROCODILES OF NABUGABO 71
be one of the many net floats : it was, unmistakably, the head of a crocodile,
clearly visible to the naked eye.
Confound it, George, there is a crocodile here, after all," I said to
Marriott, who was standing beside me. We watched it for some time, and as
it did not move we climbed the cliff to get a better view. We had only just
done this when the crocodile turned to face the shore; then, as we were
deciding that it must be interested in Marriott's dog, it vanished.
Two hours later we saw the crocodile again, in about the same place,
and soon, to our astonishment it began to swim towards us, making
for a cove on our right. I dashed along behind the bungalows, keeping
well out of sight, until I was more or less in its line of approach, near a small
beach on the edge of thick forest. On this beach was a tame white muscovy
duck with three ducklings, all four preening themselves in the sun. The
crocodile, clearly visible from where I stood in th6 undergrowth, was coming
closer and closer. Before very long it had almost reached a small patch of
reeds only twenty yards from the ducks, which seemed quite unaware of its
presence. I was hoping that it would come right up to the beach and give
me an easy shot, but it kept its distance, although it was obviously intent on
the ducks and appeared to be trying to mesmerize them. It presented a very
poor target and I was about to risk moving to a flank to get a better shot
when some monkeys jumped out of the trees on my right almost on to the
beach. Remembering that I had some bananas in my bungalow, I lost no
time in getting them and threw them carefully on to the right hand end
of the beach. I knew that the bananas would attract the monkeys, and
hoped that the monkeys would attract the crocodile, inducing it to turn its
The monkeys responded most creditably, some going right down to the
water's edge, but the crocodile failed to move an inch. Then the worst
happened-the morning breeze sprang up and the lake began to ripple. Any
more movement on the water and I would lose sight of my target: I must fire
at once. I heard the bullet strike, but it was not the sound of a direct hit
on bone: I had gone an inch or so below the water line. The head was no
longer visible to me, but Marriott, on the next beach, had a wider view than I.
He saw the crocodile plunge and show its yellow underparts, about a hundred
yards away : next its head appeared for a moment, and then it submerged.
He did not see it again.
After tea, Marriott and I walked along the shore as far as we could. As
we reached the end of the last clearing, just before the main mass of forest
begins, an animal crashed out of the undergrowth into the lake, only a few
yards in front of us. "A hippo!" Marriott exclaimed. No," I replied,
peering into the water, black beneath the sprawling branches of overhanging
trees, the crocodile, and there it is." I could just see the top of its head in
the water, facing us, in the shadow of a bush. There was not a chance of a
shot, the head disappeared as I raised my rifle, but the mere presence of the
brute was significant. It must have been hit, and hit to some effect, or it
would not have lain up for seven hours only two hundred yards from where
it so nearly met its end this morning.
72 UGANDA JOURNAL
Well, that's that," I said, we know there's a crocodile in this lake, and
we know that it's wounded. Perhaps to-morrow we shall find it dead."
20th February. To-day was spent in a fruitless search for the wounded
crocodile. The fishermen were questioned but were utterly apathetic, entirely
unconcerned with any affairs but their own. Not one of them offered to
21st February. This morning at 11.45 a.m., having scanned the surface
of the lake at intervals since dawn, I was just becoming hopeful that the
reptile must have succumbed when I sighted a crocodile in mid-lake. As it
is still alive the time has come for more positive action.
The next few days were spent in endeavours to attract the crocodile to the
near shore. My first idea was to shoot a hippopotamus for bait and to anchor
it where I wanted it: this seemed an easy and inexpensive method of securing
suitable meat. The bait, however, wouldn't play, and as I write, three months
later, I have still to shoot a hippo in Nabugabo. There are three of them in
the lake, and they are the most elusive animals I have ever come across!
Not being able to get one in Nabugabo, I brought once across in pieces from
Lake Victoria by road.
I believe hippo may have been the cause of the crocodile's arrival in
Lake Nabugabo from Victoria. Hippo wander far at night and a crocodile
may have followed the spoor of a young one into Nabugabo, in the hope of
To make doubly sure of having plenty of suitable baits I solicited the
help of the local people. I asked them to tether a goat here and there near
the beach for an hour or so in the early mornings. Dogs could also, I thought,
play a part in avenging the death of one of their kind, by lying in perfect
safety near my bungalow. Anything to make that crocodile look my way
All my plans proved abortive; the local people were completely
unco-operative and although the ducks were again obliging the crocodile was
once bitten ", and would not approach. I was driven, therefore, to laying
traps in the form of large baited hooks, using all manner of bait. Believing
that the crocodile would be more securely hooked if it had to grab at the
meat, I hung my baited double hooks about eighteen inches above the water.
They were attached to a strong seven-strand steel trace, passed through the
fork of a large branch hanging out over the water and fastened to a second
'branch behind. A float was so arranged that, if the crocodile broke away,
it would mark his position.
This was all very well in theory, but that crocodile had no intention of
being caught, and removed the meat from the hooks as cleanly as we would
pick a chicken bone. He was hooked three times, I feel sure, and once at
least he had to fight to escape, bending one of my double hooks to an
incredible extent. Another time he snapped a seven-strand steel trace a couple
of feet above the water line, and for eleven nights in succession took all the
baits I could devise. The last time he did this I had left two baited hooks
dangling side by side. Surely, I argued to myself, he can't juggle with two at
once, but he did, and both hooks were devoid of meat at dawn.
THE CROCODILES OF NABUGABO 73
I was then told by a friend that the best way to catch a crocodile is to use
a stick, pointed at both ends, instead of a hook. The stick, about a foot long,
should be of nzo wood, and is embedded in a lump of meat. The crocodile
gulps the meat, the stick catches in his throat, and a float tells you where he is
in the morning. All very well elsewhere, perhaps, but not at Nabugabo The
pointed sticks were treated with the same disdain as the hooks. One night
the stick and meat were taken but in the morning there was no sign of the float !
I was told of other kinds of snares later, but was by then tired of traps.
I had decided to revert to using hippopotamus meat as bait, intending to shoot
the crocodile from the cliff as he came in towards it.
While all this abortive trapping was in progress other activities had not
been neglected. The surface of the lake was systematically searched with
glasses not only at dawn and during the day, but at night also whenever there
was a moon-which was not often.
The crocodile was seen several times, always in the south-west corner of
the lake at a place which I christened hippo bay ". It was seen only twice
after 11 a.m.; once at 12.15 p.m., once at 2 p.m. Observation was made
difficult by the scores of floats attached to the gill nets all over the lake,
many of which looked at first sight remarkably like crocodiles.
And now, after this digression, let us return to the diary:
2nd March. Sighted the crocodile in the .usual place, first at 8.15 a.m.,
and again, exposed almost full length, at 9.45 a.m. Very soon afterwards,
at 10.10 a.m., spotted a crocodile away over to the east. It is a thousand to
one that there are two crocodiles! Are they a pair and, if so, how many
offspring are at large ?
3rd March. Harry Boazman and I, from our canoes in hippo bay, saw,
distinctly, two crocodiles close together at 7.30 a.m.
4th March. Saw a crocodile ii hippo bay at 7.30 a.m. At 8.30 a.m. a
crocodile plunged like a hippo. Was it the wounded one being attacked by
the other or being worried by fish ?
17th March. Sat up most of last night in the forest near the estuary,
but the moon was completely hidden by clouds from 2.30 a.m. onwards. I
was fairly comfortable in a deck-chair behind a small beach, and for the first
time appreciated fruit bats-they helped to keep me awake and entertained.
There was plenty of time for reflection; I remembered Shakespeare's "0,
aching time; 0, moments long as years "; but it was all for nothing !
18th March. A perfect dawn. At 6.45 a.m. saw a big crocodile near
the raft at the sports club beach and at 7.30 a.m. a crocodile (a different one,
I think) in front of the camp. At 8 a.m. I went over to inspect the bait under
the cliff and was amazed to find a crocodile there. Gave it a -404 bullet in
the head: it threshed about, plunged and dived, lashing out with its tail as
it went under.
19th March. Found yesterday's crocodile floating near where it was shot
-a male 11 ft. long. The first crocodile shot at Nabugabo? Its stomach
contained hippo meat taken from my traps, and a few small stones. Two of
its teeth had been broken recently, perhaps on my double hook.
23rd March. The anchored hippo bait had been moved at dawn, most
74 UGANDA JOURNAL
of it was in the water, only one piece remaining on the rock. At 7.20 a.m.
sighted a crocodile half a mile from the bait. It stayed motionless for half
an hour, then suddenly made swiftly for the cliffs not far from where I stood,
turning in under the overhanging trees towards the bait. I shot it on arrival
and it sank, but its body was not recovered. An old Muganda, the first
Nabugabo inhabitant to give me any information, told me to-day that three
crocodiles entered the lake from the east, many months ago ".
29th March. At 6.15 a.m. a crocodile was plainly visible out in the lake
in glistening water under a bright quarter moon. In a dead calm at 11 a.m.
saw a crocodile fairly close in to the shore to the right of the bungalows,
perhaps after the ducks. Cannot understand why these birds were not taken
long ago : they spend most of the day on the lake and often sleep either on
branches only a foot or so above the water or even on the shore.
18th April (the first entry after a period of two weeks of dull inactivity
on the part of the crocodiles). A superb dawn, gold to the east, mauve to the
west, with the lake like a sheet of ice. Wind got up later. Paddled over
to the east shore near the fishermen's huts thinking that I would have another
look at this most unlikely spot, among the fish traps, while no canoes about.
Saw five crocodiles in less than a mile of the coast They ranged in size
from about five to ten feet: all were lying up singly on blackish peat.
To-day, for the first time,. I have discovered the true facts So much for
the local chief, the local fishermen and my paddlers, all of whom know
perfectly well that I am looking for crocodiles. Not one of them ever told
Boazman or me where the creatures were to be found-among the fish traps
between two huts about a mile apart. Now that I know, the fishermen
condescend to speak. They say there are six crocodiles altogether. It is now
quite clear to me how they must be dealt with : they must be stalked and shot,
one by one, until the lake is free.
24th April. Went out far east after breakfast. Shot a female crocodile,
8 ft. long, on the way home.
25th April. A perfect morning. As I passed the sports club beach at
7 a.m. a reedbuck, rushing to escape from something, took a flying leap off
the cliff into the lake. Felt sorry to add to its troubles, but as good meat is
scarce felt obliged to kill it. Saw two crocodiles and shot the larger. Failed
to retrieve it.
26th April. Shot the smaller of the two crocodiles seen yesterday-a
male, 51 ft. long. No sign of the other.
30th April. ,Out from dawn till 1 p.m. Shot a young female crocodile,
71 ft. in length, then went ashore and sent the canoe ahead. A second
crocodile came back towards me; it rose about ten yards from where I sat,
but submerged as I raised my rifle and I did not see it again.
1st May. Spent the day exploring. A very big crocodile was in clear
view off the point to the west, at 7 a.m., moving slowly east. It stopped as
usual in mid-lake, and then submerged. I found its lair later in a most unlikely
place-no sand, no peat, just grass. It was on the north-east side of the lake
in a quiet inlet about four hundred yards long. This is possibly the point at
which the crocodiles first entered Nabugabo and is certainly the point at which
THE CROCODILES OF NABUGABO 75
most of the dirty weather comes across. The inlet has tall grass trailing in
the water for about a quarter of its length on the left going in, followed by
reeds and occasional patches of mud, but for the most part is edged with
shortish grass. I found the remains of a few crocodile eggs near the water;
they were in short grass on one of the few pieces of firm ground. It seemed to
me most unlikely that crocodiles could breed in such environment. The old
crocodile has probably been in the lake for a very long time-but what of
the others ? Why have they suddenly made their appearance ? The solution
may be that the local Baganda are doing more hunting of sitatunga (a marsh
antelope) between the two lakes. Any meat left lying about would, I think,
attract the reptiles from a considerable distance.
The possibility of preventing further influx should certainly be explored
in more favourable weather conditions-the country is flooded at present
and difficult to traverse on foot. It is obvious that the more unfavourable
conditions are to man the more favourable they are to the easy passage of
The crocodiles seem to lie up in several places, more often than not,
apparently, in the long grass sprawling over the water, where they are
practically invisible to passing canoes. When I first went round the lake on
17th February I mistook some of the worn places where they lie for fishermen's
landing places. They are slightly barer than their surroundings, and the grass
is flattened-the sort of place where a canoe might have grounded. As it
happened, my canoe this morning went almost on to one of the brutes, as
it lay hidden. There was the usual scrambling noise in the grass and then
a splashing plunge as it dived in under us. I never got a glimpse of it.
2nd May. Something new to report. At 12.30 p.m. the big crocodile
was plainly visible in the far distance, some way out from the lair. At 1 p.m.
it met another, and a short tussle ensued. It looked as if one was being
attacked because several times a head with jaws wide open came out of the
water. After a few minutes one of the two went slowly off.'
3rd May. Killed a female crocodile of 7 ft. After I had disturbed it
without getting in a shot, and when waiting for it to lie up again, a sitatunga
doe appeared only fifty yards from me, wading gracefully in the shallow water
quite unaware of my presence. It made off suddenly when two dogs came on
the scene. Through my glasses I could see their owner making his way along
the treacherous coast I knew so well. When the party had gone off I saw the
doe's head in the lake : she had taken to the water to evade the dogs. She
swam a long way out, but came to no harm in that dangerous spot, and landed
safely well away from her pursuers.
7th May. Bagged an 8 ft. crocodile to-day with a diagonal shot which
passed through the brain, thorax and heart. These small crocodiles are
unafraid of canoes. They often appear only a few yards away but give one
a poor target.
8th May. Shot another small female crocodile, 51 ft. long. It leapt up
at the strike of the bullet and came down on its back, lying belly up for
1 It is possible that the crocodiles were mating. See Captain C. R. S. Pitman's
"About Crocodiles in the Uganda Journal, Vol. 9, p. 94.-[ED.]
76 UGANDA JOURNAL
several minutes. As I approached it slipped into the water but later I got
another shot and finished it off.
11th May. Had an interesting but, on the whole, a disappointing day
in the big crocodile's lair, grounding the canoe a quarter of a mile away and
walking across unpleasant boggy country to the inlet. I thought the noise I
was making in the long grass strewn with dead leaves and thick crackling
yams (mayuni) must disturb anything that might be there, but it didn't, and
I almost walked on to the crocodile. He was lying on some mud close to
where I had put him up before but, most unfortunately, was hidden from me
by a clump of reeds. I saw his head as he went under water with a splash
and swirl, only twenty-five feet from where I stood. I hadn't time to raise
my rifle. I then settled down as best I could in some long thickly clumped
reeds, dry on top but with deep water only a foot underneath, where I could
get occasional glimpses of the lake without exposing myself.
The scene before me was attractive, and typically African. The inlet was
glistening in the sun, with hardly a ripple on its surface ; not far off a beautiful
white heron stood motionless awaiting a fish; near it a rufous heron was
preening itself on the bank ; a brace of yellow-bill ducks swam unsuspectingly
past and landed on a minute island; a brilliant pigmy kingfisher perched on
a twig near my side ; several pied kingfishers were diving assiduously for their
prey; and from time to time other birds, including weavers and bee-eaters,
came into view. Tranquil as it usually seems, the inlet is full of surprises :
it is not a place to be trifled with. After waiting nearly an hour in its
peaceful stillness, I was rudely startled by a loud and wholly unsuspected
grunt close by. Surely, I thought, that must be the crocodile (though the
noise had sounded more like a buffalo or hippopotamus), and I suspected that
it must either have scented me or must have a companion with it. I raised
myself to peer through the reeds, and there, sure enough, in the water only
twenty yards away, was a sinister head looking in my direction. My rifle was
ready, cocked, by my side but in the moment it took to raise it the coveted
trophy had disappeared.
After another long wait there came a slight sound from the water a few
yards to my right. Again I looked through the reeds but this time saw only
a swirl and a circle of ripples. A crocodile had been lying hidden in the
mud and long grass almost at my feet! Surely the big one.hadn't had the
foolhardiness to pass me and lie there calmly after spotting me aiming at him ?
It must have been another.
Not long afterwards the very big one cruised round the inlet, showing only
the top of his head. He was within easy range but was not showing enough
of himself for me to risk a shot. And then I saw a second. It was lying at
the far end of the inlet and stayed there motionless for an hour or more, only
once showing any sign of life when it blew through its nostrils, making the
water ripple on either side-a thing I have never before seen a crocodile do.
At 4 p.m. the wind rose and I left for home.
15th May. A red-letter day! Once again I walked across that foul
piece of country to the lair and almost immediately put up two crocodiles in
quick succession, but did not see either. While looking for the big fellow,
THE CROCODILES OF NABUGABO 77
from a new hide, I was surprised to see the other swim strongly into the bay,
head well up out of the water and back showing too, giving the impression of a
battleship going into action. I took the hint, turned my artillery on to him as
he passed my hide, and gave him a bullet in the forward turret. There was
no commotion but I saw black mud churned up from the bed of the lake.
Later, after vainly watching the big one in the hope that it would present a
better target, I made my way along the shore to another hide, where to my
great joy I found that I had at last caught a crocodile unawares. There, only
twenty feet in front of me, was a great green body lying flat on the floating
sudd, the head pointing away from me. I put a bullet into it and the creature
hardly moved. It was the one I had shot earlier, a female 11 ft. long,
containing one hundred and six eggs.1 Fifty-two of them were nearly the
size of a ping-pong ball, the rest ranged down to a quarter of that size. My
first shot, although missing the eyes and the brain, had gone through the top
of her head, no doubt the reason why she had lain up again so soon and
On the way home, in dull weather, a fish eagle flew in front of the canoe
and, suddenly, before I knew what it was after, swooped down to the rough
water and grabbed a very large fish from the surface-a semutundu of about
five pounds. It was an impressive sight.
23rd May. The reverse of a red-letter day! Went to the second hide
and after a careful search of the near shore looked across the inlet and saw
a big crocodile on the grass close to the water: it was fully exposed except
for the head, which was hidden by a tuft of grass. What was to be done ?
It was a long shot in a bright glare and there seemed little chance of getting
over the inlet unobserved. As it was no good just standing and looking, I
decided to risk a shot. When I fired, the brute sprang instantaneously into
action and hurled itself into the water. When it reappeared it seemed to be
in trouble, raising itself partly out of the water and laying its head on the
bank. I fired again, and it moved not an inch. After a quarter of an hour
I assumed it was dead but it slipped back into the water just as my paddler
brought up the canoe. Ten minutes later I saw the head of a crocodile
swimming out of the inlet. Had I been in the outer hide I could have had
a shot at it.
24th May. Although yesterday's journey back was very tiring in a
choppy sea I decided this morning, weary though I was, to try again. A
storm was approaching but I got to the first fishing hut before the rain began.
Within a quarter of an hour of starting off again I spotted the head of a
large crocodile propped up against a clump of peat in a place I had not seen
one before. Luckily I was on the alert and had not relaxed even in this
unlikely spot, fully two miles short of the lair. My paddler and I managed
to hide the canoe without the crocodile seeing us and then I had a difficult
and hazardous stalk along the boggy coast. When I reached some good
cover a hundred yards from the crocodile, I rested to regain my breath, took
aim at the vital spot, and fired. The crocodile didn't move, so we went
1 According to Pitman (loc. cit., p. 98), sixty eggs is an average clutch. The most
he has found in a nest is eighty-five.-[ED.]
78 UGANDA JOURNAL
across; and then a curious thing happened. My canoeman hit the creature
with his paddle, to make sure it was dead, and its upper jaw moved. I was
taking no chances: I put another bullet into its brain. A second later the
jaws opened slowly to their full extent, closed, and opened again-yet the
animal was dead On the upper jaw just in front of the left eye was a large
wound where a bullet had gouged out a piece of bone across more than half
the skull. It was the wound I had inflicted on my very first victim at Nabugabo
-on the 19th February. Is this the big fellow dead at last ? I hardly
think so. To-day's victim, a female, is only 11 ft. long. I feel sure that the
one I hit yesterday was larger, and that there may well be a bigger one still.
The hunt must continue.
26th May. A beautiful morning. Had a surprise at the lair when I
came across a crocodile in almost the same place that I got the big female
on the 15th. It was impossible to get a good view because it was well hidden
by reeds. I risked a shot but the only result was the familiar rush and splash.
My feelings and language are better imagined than committed to paper I
went on to explore the far end of the lair, and the inlets beyond, and was
amazed to come on the crocodile a second time. It had apparently gone to
this remote corner to lie up; all I saw of him as my canoe glided silently by
was a cluster of bubbles and some churned-up mud.
27th May. A boisterous day, but I'm glad I went out, for I killed a
young female crocodile of 6 ft. This is the last of the small fry, I feel sure-
the only one left now is the one that really counts.
30th May. After two days of rough weather, very little sun, and
exasperating delay, to-day dawned clear though dull. I arrived at the lair
at 10.30 a.m., explored it first on foot and then by canoe, went on as far
as the fishing village to get shelter from rain and then came back again at
3 p.m. After the storm, the place was unpleasantly wet, cold and eerie, and
I very nearly gave up the search, thinking no crocodile would lie up in such
bleak weather. There was nothing to be seen from the first two hides, but
from the third, when I searched the far shore near the top of the inlet with my
glasses, I got the sight for which I had been longing-the big crocodile in
full view on a bank of short grass. If I could struggle through the marsh
between the hide and the head of the inlet I would be within eighty or ninety
yards of my quarry. The colossal brute was facing and almost in the water,
its head propped up on a clump of grass and its jaws wide open, presenting a
rare target. I reached my objective without much trouble but had to try
several firing points before I was satisfied. The wind had meantime dropped
completely and I feared the crocodile might hear me. At one time I found
myself on top of a nest of small biting ants, which did not add to my
composure: it was just as well that I didn't have the experience of a day or
two back when a snake slithered across my bare leg. However, when at last
I settled down and peered through the reeds to make sure that my target had
not moved I was thankful to see that huge yellow mouth still gaping across
the water. I wished I had brought the -450 double barrel, but my trusty old
*404 magazine would no doubt meet the case. I took careful aim at the
monster's upper palate and fired for the brain. At the shot, the immense jaw
THE CROCODILES OF NABUGABO 79
snapped shut and the head collapsed almost into the water. I was not satisfied,
however, and sent across a second bullet to the back of the head. It was a
clean shot and, as I was certain that the crocodile was dead, I was in no way
alarmed when it toppled over into the water. After that came two and a
half hours of hard work trying to get the body to the surface. It was lying
in about ten feet of water and the fishermen's spears were quite unequal to
the job of lifting it: nothing we had with us could puncture that atmour-
plated hide. We gave up at 6 p.m. and returned to camp for my harpoon.
31st May. To-day at noon the trophy was brought in. Compared with
the ten other crocodiles which have been landed, it is gigantic. It is an old
male, 15 ft. long, and huge in girth, measuring 51 ft. round the body, 4 ft. 7 in.
round the neck, and 4 ft. 1 in. round the base of the tail. These measurements
dwarf those of the biggest of the seven thousand crocodiles trapped during the
last two years in Lake Kioga-a specimen of 13 ft.-but crocodiles from that
locality do not attain the dimensions of those in Lake Victoria.1
To the casual glance, there was no sign of a wound. The first bullet had
entered right at the back of the throat, and had not emerged ; the second had
made an almost invisible puncture in the dark green plating behind the head.
When I pondered over the immense body lying on the beach I hoped that
all Nabugabo bathing enthusiasts would be duly relieved and thankful that
the monster's obituary notice could now be written. The lake itself was
exceptionally calm when the carcase was brought ashore-as if celebrating
the fact that it was at last cleansed of the awful stigma which for a brief time
had besmirched its honourable name.2
1 Most of the adult male crocodiles measured in Lake Victoria by Pitman have
been 12-14 ft. long (loc. cit., p. 109). Specimens just over 14 ft. are not uncommon, but
he has seen only one of 15 ft. Of the hundreds of females shot on the breeding grounds
the majority have been 10-11 ft. long. Breeding females 9-10 ft. long are not uncommon,
but anything smaller is rare. Pitman had measured one breeding female of 12 ft. and
another of 13 ft. His largest female was a monster of 14 ft., but this was no longer
Newly-hatched crocodiles are 11-13 in. long and, in favourable conditions, will
-grow for several years at the rate of about 9 in. a year. On this basis, the eleven
Nabugabo crocodiles measured by Mr. Temple Perkins may be classified as:
2 adult males and 2 adult females of uncertain age;
4 immature females, 8-10 years old;
2 immature females and 1 immature male, about 6 years old.
Captain Pitman considers that the two 11 ft. females and the 15 ft. male must have
been at least 30 years old.-[ED.]
2 Since this story was written, in June 1946, more crocodiles have appeared in
Nabugabo. The exceptional rains at the end of that year no doubt flooded the country
between the two lakes, which may account for this fresh colonization.-[ED.]
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM-THE FIRST ARAB
TO REACH BUGANDA
By SIR JOHN MILNER GRAY
WE are told by Sir Apolo Kagwa in Basekabaka be Buganda (p. 88)
that blue cotton cloth, copper wires, and cowry shells first reached
Buganda during the reign of Semakokiro. He tells us that Semakokiro used
to send ivory to Karagwe to exchange for these commodities. On one
occasion the chief in charge of this trading mission was waylaid, robbed of
his ivory and killed. Semakokiro thereupon led a punitive expedition into
Karagwe and returned with a large number of cattle. Shortly after his return
Semakokiro died. The date of his death can be fixed with an approximate
degree of certainty as having taken place round about 1815.
In 1856 the C.M.S. Missionary, James Erhardt, published the famous
"Slug Map ", which contained all of what was then the most recent and most
reliable information regarding the interior of Africa. On that map he
delineated the chief route of the Suahelis, Arabs, and Waniamesi to and from
Uniamesi ". The route extended from Bagamoyo, on the east coast opposite
to Zanzibar, to Ujiji, on the shores of what Erhardt called the "Ukerewe
Sea "'1 but which is now known as Lake Tanganyika. With some deviations
the modem railway from the coast to Lake Tanganyika follows much the
same line as Erhardt's chief route of the Suahelis ". When it reached the
place which Erhardt called Unianembe and which we know as Tabora,
the route would appear to have forked, as the railway does at the present
time. One track continued westwards to Ujiji and the other (which is not
shown on Erhardt's map) led north to Lake Victoria.
It must have been along this route from Bagamoyo that the first cloth
was carried, about a century and a half ago, to Buganda. It must have been
the same sort of highway as Burton, Speke and Livingstone describe-a narrow,
fairly well-trodden track, winding through forest, jungle and elephant grass,
along which men could only walk in single file. There is no record or
tradition that in those very early days any Arabs ventured so far into' the
interior as Karagwe. Probably, therefore, the people who brought this cloth
to Karagwe were either Wa-Swahili or Wa-Nyamwezi, who were the early
"merchant adventurers" of Central Africa. Their trading ventures were
doubtless more or less casual and were probably not conducted upon any very
large scale. None the less, the fact that Semakokiro considered it to be
worth his while to send parties to Karagwe to exchange ivory for cloth shows
that the ventures were something rather more than mere petty trading. Even
so, the impression one gains is that, at that date, the trade was very
Arab trading ventures into Central Africa began to assume importance
soon after Seyyid Said bin Sultan, Sultan of Oman and Zanzibar, finally
S" Ukerewe Sea. So the sea is called about Ujiji" (Erhardt).
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM 81
disposed of the Mazrui at Mombasa in 1837 and thereby made himself the
undisputed master of the east coast of Africa. It is impossible to say how far
this commercial expansion was systematically promoted and encouraged by
Seyyid Said himself, but what is certain is that during the next twenty years the
whole system of trade between the coast and the interior expanded far beyond
the more or less casual operations of previous days and came to be conducted
on quite an elaborate scale. The caravans grew in size and would indeed
sometimes appear to have mustered more than a thousand strong. Trade
routes hitherto unknown to the Arabs were explored, and Arab settlements
came into being at the more important commercial centres on these routes.
One such settlement was already established at Ujiji when Erhardt compiled
his map. Another, which was established in the outskirts of the large and
straggling African town of Unyanyembe, came to be called Tabora. As we
shall see, a third was established in Karagwe near the banks of the Kagera
Burton and Speke visited the Arab settlement at Tabora in 1857-58.
Speke was back there again, with Grant as his companion, in 1861. During
their stay at Tabora, these three learnt a good deal about the trade which
the Arabs had opened up with Buganda.
In about 1848 an Arab half-breed named Saim visited Buganda and
according to himself travelled, thence, eastwards as far as the Masai country.'
About the same date the Baluchi, Isa bin Hussein, who is said to have been
once a soldier in the Sultan of Zanzibar's army, arrived in Buganda and
apparently installed himself with his matchlock as Suna's personal bodyguard.2
Isa was standing guard over Suna when Snay bin Amir El Haris visited
Buganda in 1852. Six years later Snay gave a long and interesting account
of that visit to Burton, who gives the substance thereof in his Lake Regions of
Central Africa (II, p. 183, et. seq.).
Sir Apolo Kagwa gives us no dates, but supplies some further interesting
particulars regarding these Arab visitors. It would appear from him that
about the time of Saim's visit in 1848 certain Arabs or Swahilis assisted the
Baganda in a raid into Busoga and rendered invaluable aid by using secret
weapons in the shape of firearms. But a much more interesting person
still was Ahmed bin Ibrahim El Ameri, part of whose story is told by Sir
Apolo Kagwa in Ebika bye Buganda (p. 104).
Like a great many of his contemporaries, the father of Ahmed bin
Ibrahim El Ambri migrated with his family from Oman to Zanzibar during
the reign of Seyyid Said bin Sultan. In 1876 Ahmed himself was old enough
to be called Sheikh Ahmed, a title of respect which is generally accorded
to Arabs of good social standing round about their fiftieth year. It would
therefore seem probable that he was born between 1820 and 1825. As was the
case with a number of his contemporaries, the spirit of adventure attracted
1 Speke (Journal of the Discovery of the Sources of the Nile, p. 148).
2 Burton's and Speke's accounts of Isa bin Hussein differ in many details (cf. Burton
-Lake Regions of Central Africa, 1, p. 193, and Speke-Journal, pp. 276, 349). The
latter's statement that Isa was given land in Buddu is confirmed from native sources and
his descendants are said to have been living in the country until very recently. Burton, on
the other hand, alleges that "after his patron's death he fled to independent Unyoro ".
82 UGANDA JOURNAL
Ahmed to the mainland at a very early age. Some years later Ahmed bin
Ibrahim told Emin Effendi' that he had paid three visits to Buganda during
the reign of Suna. According to himself he was the very first Arab to visit
Suna and first arrived at his Court in A.H. 1260 or about A.D. 1844. His third
visit was some time before Suna's death which, according to him, occurred
in the month of Safar 1273, otherwise October 1856. Stanley, who met him
some twenty years later, says, the quick nervous gestures and the bold voice
of Sheikh Hamed, seemingly entirely out of place, jarred on me".2 But
Sir Apolo Kagwa tells us in his Ebika (p. 104) of one occasion when the bold
voice of Ahmed bin Ibrahim was raised to good effect. Like his predecessors
and like his son and successor, Suna not infrequently ordered large scale
executions of his subjects in propitiation of the deities of Buganda. Once,
such orders were given by Suna in Ahmed's presence. Ahmed at once rose
to his feet and told Suna that both he and his people had been created alike
by Allah, that to Allah alone he owed his kingdom, and that it was a
grievous sin in the eyes of Allah to destroy those whom Allah had created.
Probably no previous ruler of Buganda had ever been addressed in such
language. Many of those who heard this rebuke must have been aghast and
almost expected the heavens to fall, or at least to see the Arab share the fate
of the victims, whose cause he had thus pleaded. But Suna had some true
elements of magnanimity in him. He was much struck by the boldness of
the rebuke and asked to be told something of this religion which was no
respecter of persons. Thereafter there were several meetings between him
and Ahmed, at which Ahmed bin Ibrahim expounded some of the elementary
principles of Islam.3 For a time Suna proved a ready listener. After his
death a report was spread that he had died a Mohammedan, but Mohammedans
have never claimed him as a convert and there is no doubt at all that Suna
died almost, if not quite, as thorough-going a pagan as he was on the day
when he first ate Buganda ". When Ahmed bin Ibrahim left Buganda,
Suna's interest in Islam appears to have waned very rapidly. Perhaps the
only relic which survived in after years of those fleeting studies of Islam was
an old and tattered religious treatise in Arabic script, which passed from
Suna to his son and successor, Mutesa, and was shown by the latter to Chaill6
Long in 1874.4
From a purely commercial point of view Ahmed bin Ibrahim, like others
of his compatriots, had nothing but praise for Suna. He later told Emin
that he had found him most obliging ". In addition to ivory, he appears
to have obtained from him a number of slaves who had been captured in
wars with the Banyoro. The report which was given by other Arabs to
Burton at.Tabora in 1858 was that "Suna greatly encouraged, by gifts and
attention, the Arab merchants to, trade at his capital; the distance has
1 The autobiographical information communicated by Sheikh Ahmed to Emin is
set out in full in Appendix A.
2 Through the Dark Continent, I, p. 457.
3 See "Extracts from 'Mengo Notes'" in this present issue, where Ahmed bin
Ibrahim is referred to by Sir A. Kagwa as Medi Abraham.-[ED.]
4 Chaill6 Long (Central Africa, p. 120).
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM 83
hitherto prevented more than half a dozen caravans travelling to Kibuga;
all, however, came away loudly praising his courtesy and his hospitality ".1
But at a later date differences appear to have arisen between the Arabs and
the Baganda: at the time of Suna's death there were apparently no Arabs
in Buganda and a ban was imposed upon their entry until such time as Suna's
successor should have securely established himself by going through the
ceremony of eating Buganda ".2
Ahmed bin Ibrahim would appear to have left Buganda some time
before Suna's death, which as already mentioned, took place according to
him in October 1856. We next hear of Ahmed at Kirira, a place slightly
off the direct route from Tabora to Ujiji. He was then apparently in partner-
ship with an older man named Masud bin Musellem El Wardi.
In December 1857, Burton set out from what is now Tabora on his
journey to Lake Tanganyika. He met Ahmed bin Ibrahim at Kirira and
gave the following account of the meeting in the Lake Regions of Central
Africa (I, pp. 392-393) :
"After a short and eventless march, on the 26th December, to
Masenga, I reached the following day the little clearing of Kirira. I
was unexpectedly welcomed by two Arabs, Masud bin Musellem El
Wardi, and Hamid bin Ibrahim El Amuri. The former, an old man
of the Beni Bu Ali clan, and personally familiar with Sir Lionel Smith's
exploits, led me into the settlement. . There was much bustling and
not a little importance about Hamid, the younger host, a bilious subject
of twenty-four or twenty-five years old, who for reasons best known
to himself assumed the style and title of Sarkal-Government servant."
As a footnote to this passage, it may be mentioned that, as he himself
states, Burton was at this date a very sick man and his impressions of
strangers, whom he encountered on his travels, may therefore have been some-
what jaundiced. It is also possible that his estimate as to the age of his younger
host is not altogether reliable. Information from other sources suggests that
Ahmed bin Ibrahim may have been at least five years older than the age
attributed to him by Burton. Ahmed and his partner had with them what
Burton describes as "a large gang" of slaves who had originally come
Ahmed was to refer to this meeting in a conversation with Emin Effendi
over eighteen years later. On 14th August 1876 Emin mentions in his
diary Sheikh Ahmed or, as he was called by Burton, Hamed bin Ibrahim ".
On 11th August-three days earlier-Emin mentions that "he inquired with
great cordiality after Haji Abdulla (Burton), whom he admired very much.
He will write to him and I shall procure that the letter be sent to Burton."
In due course the letter was written and despatched by Emin to Burton in
1 Lake Regions of Central Africa, II, p. 193.
2 Speke (Journal of the Discovery of the Sources of the Nile, pp. 187, 265).
3 Lake Regions, II, p. 198.
4 Wilkins (The Romance of Isobel, Lady Burton, pp. 651-652).
84 UGANDA JOURNAL
It would appear that in about 1861 Ahmed bin Ibrahim paid one of his
rare visits to Zanzibar. At a later date he told Emin that he was acquainted
with Captain (afterwards General) Rigby, the British Consul at Zanzibar, and
the Hanoverian explorer, Baron von der Decken. He can only have met the
former at Zanzibar. In all probability he also met the latter at Zanzibar in
one of the intervals between two of his journeys of exploration on the mainland.
As Rigby left Zanzibar in 1861, it was probably in the early months of that
year that Sheikh Ahmed met these two Europeans, that is to say, after von der
Decken's return from the Kilwa hinterland at the beginning of that year and
before his departure for Mombasa and Kilimanjaro in June 1861.
One gathers from subsequent information that Ahmed bin Ibrahim
returned very soon to the interior of Africa. He would appear to have been
back in Karagwe, on the southern bank of the River Kagera (Alexandra
Nile), in about 1864. It was at Kafuro in Karagwe that Stanley met him on
15th February 1876. In his Through the Dark Continent (I, p. 453), Stanley
gives the following account of him:
Hamed bin Ibrahim is rich in cattle, slaves and ivory. Assuming
his own figures to be correct, he possesses 150 cattle, bullocks, and milch
cows, 40 goats, 100 slaves, and 450 tusks of ivory, the greater part of
which latter is reported to be safely housed in the safe keeping of his
friend, the chief of Urangwa, in Unyamwezi. Hamed has a spacious and
comfortable gable-roofed house. He has a number of concubines, and
several children. He is a fine, gentlemanly-looking Arab, of light com-
plexion, generous and hospitable to friends, liberal to his slaves, and kind
to his women. He has lived eighteen years in Africa, twelve of which
have been spent in Karagwe. He knew Suna, the warlike Emperor of
Uganda and father of Mutesa. He has travelled to Uganda frequently,
and several times made the journey between Unyanyembe and Kafuro.
Having lived so long in Karagwe, he is friendly with Rumanika who, like
Mutesa, loves to attract strangers to his court."
Hamed has endeavoured several times to open trade with the
powerful Empress of Ruanda, but has each time failed. Though some of
his slaves reached the imperial court, only one or two managed to effect
their escape from the treachery and extraordinary guile practiced there."
It was apparently round about 1868 that Ahmed made his first unsuccessful
attempt to enter Ruanda.
The Wanya Ruanda ", he told Stanley, are a great people, but
they are covetous, malignant, treacherous and utterly untrustworthy.
They have never yet allowed an Arab to trade in their country, which
proves them to be a bad lot. There is plenty of ivory there, and during
the last eight years Khamis bin Abdulla, Tippu Tib, Sayid bin Habib and
I myself have attempted, frequently to enter there, but none of us has
1 Dark Continent, I, p. 455.
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM 85
"You cannot ", he said a few days later, proceed through Mpororo,
as the people are Shaitansl--devils-and the Wanya Ruanda are wicked;
and, because something happened when the Wangwana2 first tried to go
there, they never tolerate strangers. A strange people and full of guile
Stanley stayed just over a month in Karagwe. On 21st March 1876-
five days before he left-Sheikh Ahmed showed Stanley, at Rumanika's
request, "the treasures, trophies, and curiosities in the King's museum or
armoury, which Hamed was most anxious to do, as he had frequently extolled
the rare things there ".4 Fifteen years before, Rumanika had shown the
museum to Speke.5 It exists to this day at Bweranyage, though many of
the exhibits which were there in Stanley's day have since disappeared.6 Not
a few of these were "gifts from Arab friends" amongst whom must in
all probability be reckoned Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim. Though Stanley
himself does not mention the fact, before setting out for Lake Tanganyika he
borrowed a thousand dollars from Sheikh Ahmed.
Stanley left Karagwe on 26th March 1876. Some time within the next
three months Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim returned to Buganda after an absence
of twenty years or more. During those years a good deal had happened in
the country and a short account of some of those events is desirable.
When Speke and Grant visited Mutesa in 1862, the ban on the entry of
Arabs into Buganda appears not yet to have been lifted, or only to have been
lifted very partially.7 But in or before 1867 there would appear to have been
a fairly considerable influx of Arabs into Buganda. On Christmas Day, 1868,
David Livingstone, who was then to the west of Lake Tanganyika, received
an erroneous report that a steamer was working on a certain lake called
"Chowambe ". His informants were Arabs from Ujiji, who told him that
" a letter came from Abdulla bin Salem, Moslem missionary at Mutesa's,
Ujiji, three months ago with this news ".s Amongst other early arrivals
Sir Apolo Kagwa mentions a certain Ali "Nakatula ".9 In his cele-
brated letter to the Daily Telegraph Stanley mentions the "poor Muslim ",
1 The particular Shaitan of Mpororo would appear to have been female-in other
words, a reincarnation of the Nyabingi spirit, cf. Bessel-" Nyabingi (Uganda Journal,
Vol. 6, p. 73).
2 i.e., the Coastal People.
3 Dark Continent, I, p. 469.
4 Dark Continent, I, p. 473.
5 Speke (Journal of the Discovery of the Sources of the Nile, p. 206).
6 Hall, A Tribal Museum at Bweranyage" (Tanganyika Notes and Records,
Vol. V, p. 1).
7 In "Some Notes on the Reign of Mutesa" (Uganda Journal, Vol, 1, p. 129),
Omwami Hamu Mukasa says two Arabs (Abdulla bin Hassan and Muhoya bin Saleh)
arrived in Buganda in 1859 and began to instruct Mutesa in the Koran. Of these two,
persons Muhoya bin Saleh may be Stanley's Muley bin Salim. But neither Speke nor
Grant makes any mention of Arabs in Buganda at the time of their visit in 1862, or of
any Arab having recently visited the country. On 7th January 1862, Speke met "a
semi Hindu-Suahili, named Juma, who had just returned from a visit to the King of
Uganda (Journal, p. 243). This Juma may well have been mistaken by the Baganda
for an Arab.
8 Waller (The Last Journals of David Livingstone, I, p. 359).
9 Basekabaka, p. 139.
86 UGANDA JOURNAL
Muley bin Salem,' and the "noble youth of Muscat", Khamis bin
It would appear that these new arrivals found few, if any, traces of the
work done by Ahmed bin Ibrahim some twenty or more years previously.
At this date the attitude of the inhabitants of Buganda to religious matters
appears to have been distinctly Erastian. In their eyes Suna was Buganda
personified. To follow what he declared to be the true religion seemed to
his subjects not only to be expedient, but also positively right. Therefore
when Suna relinquished his ephemeral interest in Islam, his subjects at once
followed his example.
Consequently at the time of Mutesa's accession there would not appear to
have been even a small remnant of converts observing the rites of Islam,
either openly or in secret. The religion had gone out of fashion and out of
mind. But the newcomers to Mutesa's court were, many of them, missionaries
as well at traders. Some of them began to expound once more the doctrines
of Islam. Stanley names as the principal of these missionaries Muley bin
Salim, who may be the same person as Livingstone's Abdulla bin Salim. He
found in Mutesa an apt and ready listener.
There is evidence that not a few of Mutesa's subjects were far from
satisfied with the grosser forms of superstition which surrounded many of the
pagan cults which then prevailed in Buganda and that they were anxiously
seeking for some better form of worship. To them the religion of the Arabs
made a real appeal and they embraced that faith from a true sense of religious
conviction. Their creed ", said one of their number, who later became a
Christian, seemed to be superior to our superstitions. I received instruction
and, together with a number of Baganda, embraced their religion."2 But
Mutesa's profession of zeal for Islam does not appear to have arisen from
the same sense of conviction. The informant just mentioned believed that
Mutesa's motive was anxiety to please the Sultan of Zanzibar. It is certainly
interesting to note that, in 1870, Mutesa sent a special caravan to Zanzibar
with presents for the Sultan, which included ivory and a young elephant.3
The motive for this expedition was avowedly the acquisition, by the Baganda,
of arms and ammunition. One is also disposed to think that the same motive
lay behind Mutesa's contemporary profession of a desire to become a
Mohammedan. If the Sultan of Zanzibar could be persuaded that he was
dealing with a co-religionist, he might be induced to be more liberal in the
supply of arms and ammunition.
Having announced that he wanted to become a Mohammedan, Mutesa
went to considerable lengths to spread the impression that he really meant
what he had announced. We are told that "orders were given to build
mosques in all the counties. For a short while it looked as if the whole
1 Hutchinson (The Victoria Nyanza, pp. 15-18). Stanley describes Khamis bin
Abdulla's exploits in How I found Livingstone, pp. 267, 293.
2 Nicq (Vie. du Rdverend Pare Simeon Lourdel, p. 224; Hallfell (Die Neger-
Martyrer von Uganda, p. 45) ; Thoonen (Black Martyrs, p. 50).
3 For an account of this caravan, see Appendix B.
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM 87
country was going to embrace the religion."' Sir Apolo Kagwa says'Mutesa
introduced the Mohammedan calendar.2 According to the same authority he
also on one occasion announced that it was a criminal offence for his subjects
not to greet him or each other in Arabic fashion and with the appropriate
Arabic words. Twelve of his luckless subjects, who failed to comply with
this edict, were put to death.3 Zanzibar influence appeared to be greatly on
the increase and several Wa-Swahili were appointed to Chieftainships.
Omwami Hamu Mukasa tells us that Mutesa's profession of enthusiasm for
the new religion carried him so far that he sent messengers to Bunyoro to
convert Kabarega, who became ruler of that country in 1869. The messengers
were sent back with a polite intimation that Kabarega had his own gods
whom he worshipped and with whom he was quite satisfied.4
But, as Cameron was told by some Baganda who visited him at Tabora
in 1873, the great" obstacle in converting Mutesa to the Mohammedan religion
was the difficulty experienced in finding any one sufficiently bold to perform
the rite of circumcision, for it was feared that death would be meted out to
any one who caused him pain."5 If, however, Mutesa was not prepared to
go thus far, certain of his subjects were quite ready to do so. Either in the
latter half of 1874 or else in the opening days of 1875 they were to learn that
they had incurred the royal displeasure by thus wholeheartedly embracing an
alien faith.6 The trouble arose when certain of the -converts refused to eat
meat,* which had been killed by the Kabaka's butcher, who was a pagan.7
Orders went out that all the converts were to be put to death. There was a
general round up and a large number were actually burnt alive.8 Some two
or three hundred more managed to escape and to join Arab caravans, and
thus to make their way out of the country to Zanzibar. A few more were
able to conceal their conversion and to pass themselves off as pagans,9 and
others hid until the war of persecution spent itself.10 But for the time being
Islam had received a very severe set-back in Buganda.
1 Nicq, Hallfell and Thoonen, loc. cit.
2 Basekabaka be Buganda, p. 139.
3 Ebika bye Buganda, p. 106. Probably the edict was issued for no other purpose
than to collect victims for a propitiatory sacrifice to some deity. In order not to be
accused of shedding innocent blood, Mutesa had simply declared that non-compliance
with this edict was a capital offence. Father Thoonen (op. cit., p. 53) gives another
example of this method of collecting victims for a human sacrifice. When, in 1874,
Chaill6 Long was about to proceed to the Ripon Falls, seven men were decapitated to
propitiate the river god and Mutesa told Long in broken Arabic : It is necessary that
I kill these men because you wish to go to the river (they would prevent me) ; they
have done me much injury, but it pains my belly to kill them (Hutchinson, op. cit.,
4 Omwami Hamu Mukasa, Some Notes on the Reign of Mutesa (Uganda Journal,
Vol. 1, p. 130).
5 Across Africa, I, p. 154.
6 Mackay of Uganda, p. 183, says this incident took place "before Stanley's
arrival ". As Chaill6 Long does not mention it, it would appear that it took place after
his departure in July 1874 and before Stanley's arrival in April 1875.
7 Ashe (Two Kings of Uganda, pp. 129-130).
9 Mackay, p. 183, gives the figure as 200; and Wilson (Uganda and the Egyptian
Soudan, I, p. 209) as 100. Very possibly the figures were exaggerated by the informants.
9 Nicq, p. 224 ; Hallfell, p. 74 ; Thoonen, p. 50.
10 Ashe (Two Kings of Uganda, p. 130).
88 UGANDA JOURNAL
Shortly after this massacre, Stanley reached Mutesa's capital and sent,
thence, his celebrated appeal to the Daily Telegraph, for Christian missionaries
to come to Buganda. Stanley arrived at Rubaga in April 1875, and finally
left Buganda in the early days of 1876. At Mutesa's request he left behind
him a certain Dallington Scopion Muftaa "that he might assist to confirm
him in his new faith, that he might read the Bible for him, and perform the
service of a Bible reader until the good people of Europe should send a priest
to baptize him and teach him the duties of the Christian religion ".1
It was soon after all these events that Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim returned
to Buganda. He found Mutesa posing for the time being as "the most
Christian king of Buganda. Dallington was in high favour. He was not
only being constantly called in to impart religious instruction to the Kabaka,
but he had supplanted Mutesa's former Arab scribe as his private secretary
and all Mutesa's official correspondence was being conducted by him.
Dallington Scopion Muftaa was an ex-slave from Nyasaland and was a youth
of only seventeen. Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim was middle-aged, a free-born
Omani Arab, and a strict Mohammedan. For him it must have been particu-
larly galling to find thus installed in favour a person so diametrically opposite
to himself as Dallington. Moreover, Mutesa was not ready to spare from
further humiliation the Arab who had once been his father's friend. He took
a special delight in promoting disputations on religious topics in front of
himself. Religious controversy tends only too often to become extremely
embittered. When the protagonists were a free-born Omani Arab of middle
age and an African ex-slave, who was a mere youth, that bitterness was likely
to be increased tenfold and the consequences might have been disastrous.
Very fortunately the disputes never appear to have reached alarming
This was probably due in no small degree to subconscious recognition of
the fact that, whatever his religion might be, Ahmed bin Ibrahim was a person
entitled to considerable respect. He had reached an age and a position in
life which had earned for him the title of Sheikh. As the doyen of the Arab
community and the known friend of Mutesa's father, he could not be treated
as a person of no consequence. Despite all Mutesa's temporary ultra-Christian
propensities, Ahmed seems very quickly to have made his way more or less
back to the position which he had occupied during Suna's reign. As will be
seen, he was even at times co-opted as a supernumerary member of Mutesa's
state council. His advice was especially sought when questions arose out
of contacts between the Baganda and the great non-African world beyond
That advice was very quickly needed. For some time past the Khedive
of Egypt, Ismail Pasha, and his principal advisers had been planning the
extension of Egyptian rule to the head-waters of the Nile and the Lake regions
of Central Africa. In April 1876 some 160 Egyptian troops reached Mutesa's
capital, Rubaga. The clear and avowed intention of this force was the
annexation of Buganda to Egypt. The Egyptian officers in command did not
1 Stanley (Through the Dark Continent, I, p. 325).
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM 89
disguise the fact that they considered that annexation to have already taken
place and that they regarded themselves as the real rulers of the country,
Naturally, both Mutesa and his subjects strongly resented this attitude and
the tension soon became extremely acute. According to information given to
a C.M.S. missionary a few years later, there were even plans afoot to surprise
and overpower the Egyptian commander and his men.1 If this information
was true, more moderate counsels prevailed and bloodshed was averted.
It must have been perfectly obvious to Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim that,
amongst other things, the Egyptians were intent upon depriving the Zanzibar
merchants of their monopoly of the ivory trade. Chaill6 Long, an American
in the Egyptian service, in fact actually asserts that Mutesa had promised to
give this monopoly to the Egyptian Government.2 Naturally, Sheikh Ahmed,
along with' the other Zanzibar traders, was strenuously opposed to such a
change. Though the Egyptians were co-religionists, his sympathies and those
of other Zanzibar traders were definitely on the side of Mutesa and the
Baganda, but Sheikh Ahmed knew enough of the outside world to realize that
an attack on the Egyptian troops, though it might achieve a momentary success,
would almost inevitably lead to serious reprisals. Therefore, anxious as he
was to see the Egyptians out of Buganda, his counsels were all on the side of
non-aggressiveness and moderation. It could not have been an easy task with
persons roused to such a pitch of excitement as were Mutesa and his leading
chiefs, but somehow or other moderate counsels eventually carried the day.
Very fortunately there were no regrettable incidents.
At the end of July 1876, Emin Effendi arrived at Mutesa's capital at
Rubaga as an emissary of the Egyptian Government. Sheikh Ahmed was
present, acted as interpreter at Emin's first audience with Mutesa on 28th July,
and afterwards accompanied him to his residence.3 Thereafter the two met
and discussed matters almost daily. In fact, Sheikh Ahmed proved useful in
smoothing over a number of difficulties, which, if left to themselves, might
have developed to very serious proportions. Thus, Emin, who was a recent
convert to Islam, was greeted on his arrival with a letter, which was written by
Dallington on behalf of Mutesa, and which told him I was the Mohamedeans
and find it is all lie" and enjoined Emin to "be thou Christian first ".
Naturally this effusion gave great offence to Emin. It might easily have led
to an early rupture between him and Mutesa, but Sheikh Ahmed managed
to pacify Emin by saying everybody had thought I was a Christian and
wished to pay me a compliment ".4 On another occasion, the Egyptian
garrison ran short of provisions, and Mutesa and his people refused to supply
them with any more food. Such a refusal would inevitably have led to the
men of the garrison taking matters into their own hands and helping them-
selves from the adjacent shambas. If they had done so, the shamba owners
would undoubtedly have defended their crops by force, and bloodshed would
1 Ashe (Two Kings of Uganda, pp. 114-115).
2 Hutchinson (op. cit., p. 31).
3 Emin's Diary, 28th July 1876.
4 Emin's Diary, 29th July 1876.
90 UGANDA JOURNAL
have been inevitable. Sheikh Ahmed intervened and obtained a promise
from Mutesa that he would pay attention to their food ". At the same time
Mutesa also promised Sheikh Ahmed to surrender four members of the
Egyptian garrison who had deserted. Strange to relate, both these promises
were solemnly made by the most Christian king of Buganda swearing upon
the Koran.1 Perhaps it is not quite so strange to have to relate that the first
of these two promises appears to have been only very partially kept.
Greatly to Emin's disgust, at all these interviews with Mutesa the con-
versation was constantly diverted into a discussion of the rival merits of
Christianity and Islam. On one occasion, for instance, Emin was confronted
with a wooden board on which were written in bad English a number of
questions and answers, such as, What is the meaning of the word
Christmas ? and "What is the meaning of the word Good Friday ? " I
was asked", says Emin, "to translate these word for word into Arabic,
presumably to see whether I understood English. It would appear that I
passed my examination." Then Sheikh Ahmed arrived on the scene and
was promptly dragged into the discussion. He "developed a long-winded
explanation, but for a Wahabite (this I learnt to-day) a remarkably tolerant
But affairs of state needed urgent attention from time to time. Thus, on
13th August, Emin recorded in his diary that
To-day is the great council of the Sultan, to which the soothsayers,
women, Sheikh Ahmed and three newly-arrived Matongali3 of Kabarega
have been summoned. My belief is that the question to be discussed is
the fear of the occupation of Lake Albert, where the steamer is now
Naturally, Emin was all agog to know what had happened at this meeting
and next day questioned Sheikh Ahmed, but he had to record in his diary that
"Sheikh Ahmed or, as he was called by Burton, Hamed bin Ibrahim-he
met him in Kirira-had nothing new to say ".
On 29th August letters reached Emin instructing him and' the Egyptian
troops to leave Buganda and return to Mruli. On 30th August, Emin left
and the troops followed a day or so later. Thereafter there was never any
further question of the annexation of Buganda by Egypt. Not only Mutesa
and the Baganda, but also Sheikh Ahmed and the other Zanzibar traders, must
have watched the departure of the Egyptian troops with profound relief.
Emin returned to Buganda in December 1877, to discover that most
of my old Zanzibar acquaintances have gone ". Amongst those who had
departed was Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim. In their place Emin found the
Rev. C. T. Wilson, of the Church Missionary Society. Wilson and Shergold
Smith had reached Rubaga on 30th June 1877. Some years later Alexander
Mackay appears to have been told that, when Lieutenant Smith came here,
1 Emin's Diary, 2nd August 1876.
2 Emin's Diary, 6th August 1876. Sheikh Ahmed was in fact a member of the.
Ibathi sect, which is not infrequently confused by European writers with the Wahabi sect.
3 i.e., Batongole (chiefs).
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM 91
Hamadi bin Ibrahim advised Mutesa to kill him and Wilson ".1 I have no
doubt at all Mackay received this information and genuinely believed- that it
was true, but that does not mean that it was in fact true. It is remarkable
that Wilson, who was alleged to have been one of the intended victims, appears
never to have received such a report. When, in 1882, Wilson referred to the
Arabs in his Uganda and the Egyptian Soudan, he mentioned that the
principal of these Arabs is Mohamed [sic] bin Ibrahim, who has been some
twenty years in Uganda ", but he never alleged that Ahmed bin Ibrahim or
any other Arab had ever incited any person to procure the assassination of
either himself or of Shergold Smith. The accusation was one which it was
obviously very easy to make, but at the same time it was one calling for proof
by strong and convincing evidence before it ought readily to have been
believed. Here, there is no such evidence, and the allegation is altogether
out of keeping with what else we know of the character of Sheikh Ahmed
bin Ibrahim El Ameri.
Undoubtedly as a devout Mohammedan, Sheikh Ahmed disliked the
arrival of European missionaries. Their advent may well have been one of
the reasons which prompted him to leave Buganda. In his eyes the times
could not have been what they had once been. Things were very different
from those days when he had found Suna a ready listener to what he had
to say about Islam. Suna's son now reigned in his stead and that son was
certainly not like his father. Moreover, Sheikh Ahmed was twenty or more
years older than on the day when he last bade farewell to Suna. The en-
thusiasms of twenty years ago had waned. It was now the time for middle
aged folk to shake their heads, shrug their shoulders and exclaim against the
degenerate times. If Islam was to recover lost ground in Buganda, it were
better that the task should be undertaken by a younger man.
Thereafter Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim would appear to have resided
at his former residence at Kafuro. He had always kept on the best of terms
with Rumanika, Mukama of Karagwe, that very attractive personality for
whom Speke, Grant and Stanley all had nothing but praise. That friendship
continued until Rumanika's death in about 1881.
As a devout Mohammedan, Sheikh Ahmed still endeavoured to prosely-
tise, but Islam appears to have made little headway in Karagwe despite the
presence of a permanent Arab colony at Kafuro.2 Rumanika himself appears
to have clung steadfastly to the belief of his ancestors, as did his sons who
followed after him. But one of those sons had a wife named Kirungu and
her brother became a convert to Islam. This brother took the name of
Amani and became a close friend of Sheikh Ahmed. As will be seen, this
friendship was to prove the Sheikh's undoing.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim appears to have died in the latter part of
1885. At the beginning of 1886, Vita Hassan, an Egyptian government
official, was at the court of Kabarega in Bunyoro, whither he had been sent
1 Letter of Mackay to C.M.S., 29th September 1885. The story is repeated by
Ashe in Two Kings of Uganda, p. 167.
2 Korit-Schoner, "Tribal Structure in Uhaya" (Tanganyika Notes and Records,
Vol. XIV, p. 18).
92 UGANDA JOURNAL
by Emin Bey as a liaison officer. On 1st February 1886, he made the
following entry in his diary :
"Babedongo1 came with Abdulrehman2 who says . Hamadi
bin Ibrahim has been killed at Mankereve [sic] at night. He was in
his hut (tokul) and had a fire kindled and the blacks came in the direction
of the fire and shot him with arrows."3
The full story has been told partly by Stanley and partly by Salha binti
Ahmed El-Amouria, a daughter of Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim, who until
veiy recently was still living in Zanzibar, in sadly reduced circumstances.
Stanley heard part of the story when he reached Kafuro with the Emin
Pasha Relief Expedition on 3rd August 1889. He has told a portion of the
story in Darkest Africa (II, p. 377) in the following words :
"Rumanyika the gentle pagan, a characteristic Mhuma, has gone
too, to sleep only a little more peacefully than he had lived. And after
him came Kyensi, who reigned only nine months. Then followed
Kakoko,4 another son, who usurped the throne and reigned for three years,
and during that time slew seventeen brothers, and put out the eyes of
Luajumba, his youngest brother. Then Ka-chikonju went in unto
Kakoko as he lay on his bed sodden with malwa, and drove his sharp
spear twice through his breast, and relieved the land of a tyrant. The
same month Hamed bin Ibrahim, who had lived in Karagwe many years
trading in ivory, was murdered. . .5 The successor to the rights and
prerogatives of King of Karagwe is Ndagara, or Unyagumbwa, for he
has two names, who was now in his sixteenth year, and as the son of
Kyensi was the rightful heir. "6
Here, Sheikh Ahmed's daughter, Salha, must be allowed to tell the rest
of the story in her own words.
"Ahmed bin Ibrahim went to Uganda and became a close friend
of the King and acquired great wealth. He lived chiefly at Kafuro, and
was finally killed by the Wanyambo7 at his house. He was sitting on his
baraza [verandah], just after having finished saying his evening prayers, at
about 8 p.m. conversing with a few Arabs and some of his slaves. The
baraza was lit with a number of lanterns and the Wanyambo came quietly
1 Rwabidongo, Katikiro (first Minister) of Kabarega.
2 A Zanzibar trader who had arrived at Kabarega's court a day or two previously.
3 Vita Hassan sent his Journal to Emin. The relevant extract in Italian is repro-
duced in Stuhlmann (Die Tagebucher von Dr. Emin Pascha, III, p. 159).
4 Ashe (Two Kings of Uganda, pp. 122, 125), gives the name of the usurper as
5 Stanley adds, "by his son, Seyed bin Hamed ", but Vita Hassan and Salha binti
Ahmed show that this information is wrong.
6 Ndagara was described by Mounteney Jephson as "looking more like a 'sweep'
than a representative of royalty" (Parke, Experiences in Equatorial Africa, p. 465).
His reign was a short one. In 1890 he was succeeded by Ntare, who was then a child
two years of age (Hall, A Tribal Museum at Bweranyange (Tanganyika Notes and
Records, Vol V, p. 2)).
7 The Banyambo are the aboriginal race of Karagwe (Kollmann, Victoria Nyanza,
.p. 46). It is also the usual generic name given to the inhabitants of Karagwe generally
(Korit-Schoner, op. cit., p. 6).
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM 93
quite near to the house and, hiding amongst the pomegranate trees which
were planted just near the house, shot him with arrows. The arrows
struck him, one in the ribs and the other just above the right thigh. He
was then taken into the house. He called us all, spoke to us a little
and died. On the third day the Wanyambo raided the house of his
eldest son, Abdulla bin Ahmed; they broke into the yard but Abdulla
managed to escape-a few Arabs helped him. The cause of the trouble
between Ahmed and the Wanyambo was as follows:
When the King of Karagwe died, he left a wife who had two sons.
His wife was called Kirangu and the names of his two sons were Mrombe
and Magasa or Ngasa.1 Kirungu had a brother by name Amani. He
was a Mohammedan and an intimate friend of Ahmed bin Ibrahim. But
the King had brothers who wanted the throne and in order to succeed
they conspired against Amani and wanted to kill him because they knew
that Amani would try to get his nephews to the throne and that, if they
killed him, they would succeed easily. After the death of the King of
Karagwe, Kirungu his wife was killed as it was the custom in those days
to kill the Sultana when the Sultan died. Ahmed was a close friend
of Amani and helped him to escape from the conspirators. He gave
him some money and told him to run away.. This came to the know-
ledge of the conspirators who took revenge on Ahmed and came at
night to the house and shot him with arrows. He died the same night.
Ahmed had many European friends but I remember only the names of
Burton and Stanley. My father used to be called El Dola, that is, 'Thou
art a Government.' This is a sort of praise. I was very young when
my father was killed but I remember everything that happened on that
night. I saw my father dying. Our father was very liberal and kind
to us all ".2
It would appear that the Arabs completely abandoned Kafuro shortly
after the murder of Sheikh Ahmed. In 1889, the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition
reached Kafuro. This is the description given of the place at that date by
Surgeon Major Park in My Personal Experiences in Equatorial Africa
"August 3rd.-We reached Kafuro shortly after 11 a.m. today, and
camped on a site which had formerly been occupied by trading Arabs,
but is now the wretched looking wreck of a deserted settlement. All the
mud-walled houses, which had been built by the Arabs in their prosperous
days of trading here, are now thrown down. The place was, it appears,
formerly occupied by five or six well-to-do Arabs, with their respective
households. All but two of them are now dead, and those survivors
have gone to Unyanyembe and Msalala respectively. The several graves
of the deceased Arabs are-still to be seen; and the only living relics of
their residence are one lemon tree, and some tomatoes they had planted."
Emin's companion, Major Gaetano Casati, who was with the Relief
2 I am indebted to Mr. A. L. Jiddawi of the High Court, Zanzibar, for this
94 UGANDA JOURNAL
Expedition at the time, says, with reference to Karagwe, in his Ten Years in
Equatoria (II, p. 282) :
The Arabs, who once used to have stations here, after the opening
of the road to Uganda through Usukuma and the Lake, now only make
raids on the State at certain times in order to obtain the supply of ivory,
compelled to do this by the continual hostility of the natives. Their
permanent station, established at Kafuro, was abandoned after the murder
of the Arab Bin Salem [sic], treacherously shot with arrows by the
I fear that Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim's grave can no longer be traced,
but one would fain believe that possibly some relic of him remains amongst
those copper drums and models in iron of horned cattle, which are still to be
seen in the tribal "Museum" at Bweranyange and which Sheikh Ahmed
himself showed with such pride to Stanley seventy years ago. The man, who,
risking his own life to save the lives of others, once stood up to administer
a bold rebuke to Suna, deserved a kindlier fate than that which befell him.
One feels that he should not be allowed to be numbered amongst those who
have perished as though they had never been born ", but should rather be
remembered amongst those merciful men whose righteousness hath not
1 Stanley, in Darkest Africa, II, p. 378, records that two years before our arrival"
(i.e., circa 1887) the Baganda pillaged the store of Bakari, a coast trader, occupying
the place of Hamed Ibrahim at Kafuro, killing him and his principal men.
Biographical details supplied to Emin by Sheikh Ahmed in 1876
(Below are given translations of those portions of Emin's diary for 1876,
which record biographical information relating to Sheikh Ahmed bin Ibrahim.
The diary was published in 1917 in German by Dr. Franz Stuhlmann in the
first volume of Die Tagebucher von Dr. Emin Pascha. The figures in brackets
at the end of each entry are references to the pages of that volume. Footnotes
to the entries are given at the end):
30th July. Sheikh Ahmed is the first Arab to arrive here. He was
present here to see the birth of the present Sultan (35 years'), who holds
him in high respect (p. 139).
6th August. Sheikh Ahmed, who in Zanzibar had much to do with
the "Dutch" (Hamburg Merchants2) and the English, as 'well as being
personally known to Hammerton,3 Rigby,4 etc., as well as being on good
terms with all travellers (Burton,5 Von der Decken,6 Speke,7 Stanley8),
developed a long winded explanation, but for a Wahabite (I learnt this
to-day) a. remarkably tolerant one . (p. 149) . I went part of
the way with Sheikh Ahmed who explained to me that Stanley had
received here 1000 reals9-presumably from him- and on 21 Moharram
1293 (16th February 187610) had left here for (Lake) Tanganyika to make
his way into the interior."1 If hostilities prevented him from continuing
his journey, he would come back. He himself, Ahmed, had come here
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM 95
three times during the time of Suna, Mutesa's father, the first time being
in 1270 (?). Suna had beei most obliging. Ahmed speaks the language of
the Waganda, but he is a bit of a liar,12 though he is a Wahabite (p. 149).
11th August. At 12:30 Sheikh Ahmed came to correct his informa-
tion, and stated that he first came to Suna in 1260,13 and that Suna
and Seyyid Said of Zanzibar both died in Safar, 1273,14 that Speke's
route followed the merchant's route up to to-day etc. By the way he
inquired with great cordiality after Haji Abdullah (-Burton), whom he
admired very much. He will write to him and I shall procure the letter
[sic] (? to be sent to Burton) (p. 154).
14th August. Sheikh Ahmed or, as he was called by Burton, Hamed
bin Ibrahim-he met him in Kirira-had nothing new to say (p. 157).
1 i.e., Mutesa. When Speke saw Mutesa in 1862, he believed him to be about 25
(Journal, p. 290). Long, who saw him in 1874, estimated his age at 35 and Stanley,
who saw him in 1875, at 34 (Hutchinson, op. cit., pp. 12, 29). Wilson, who left Uganda
in 1879, considered Mutesa to be 45 (Wilson, op. cit., I, p. 197).
Suna had some one hundred and fifty officially recognized wives and over two
hundred children. At the time of his death sixty-one of his sons were possible candidates
for his throne (Kagwa, Empisa za Baganda, pp. 65-71). There does not appear to have
been any reason why Mutesa's birth should have attracted more attention than the birth
of any other of those sons.
2 Hamburg merchants firit reached Zanzibar about 1841 (Coupland, East Africa
and its Invaders, pp. 381, et. seq.).
3 Atkins Hamerton was British Consul at Zanzibar, 1841-1857.
4 Captain (afterwards General) Christopher Palmer Rigby was British Consul at.
5 Burton and Sheikh Ahmed met on 26th December 1857 at Kirira.
6 Baron von der Decken made a short expedition inland from Kilwa in 1860,
another to Kilimanjaro in 1861, and a third to the Rivers Tana, Ozi and Tula in
1864. He was murdered whilst exploring the River Juba in 1865.
7 Speke does. not mention Ahmed in his books, but that does not mean they
8 Stanley met Sheikh Ahmed at Kafuro in Karagwe on 26th February 1875.
Sheikh Ahmed was an Ibathi, and not a Wahabi. In common with many other
European writers, Emin confuses the Ibathis with the Wahabis. Both sects are strong
in Eastern Arabia and they have a number of points of doctrine in common. But, they
also have a number of marked doctrinal differences. Politically the Wahabis were
strongly opposed to Seyyid Said, ruler of Oman and Zanzibar. Right up to 1853 they
were constantly invading Oman (Coupland, East Africa and its Invaders, passim).
Therefore Wahabis were not likely to be found in Seyyid Said's East African dominions
in the first half of the nineteenth century.
9 i.e., dollars. Probably Maria Theresa dollars.
10 21 Moharram 1293 was 18th February 1876.
11 Emin has clearly misunderstood the information given to him by Sheikh Ahmed.
Stanley left Mutesa in December 1875, and reached Kafuro in Karagwe on 26th February
1876, where he met Sheikh Ahmed for the first time. There is no reason for believing
that Sheikh Ahmed did not tell Emin that he met Stanley at Kafuro. He had no
motive for making a false statement in regard to this matter.
12 The grounds on which Emin makes this allegation do not appear. As the
preceding note shows, certain misstatements of fact in Emin's diary are clearly due to
his own misunderstanding of the information given to him by Sheikh Ahmed.
s1 1260 A.H. extended from 20th January 1844 to 9th January 1845.
14 Safar, 1273, extended from 1st October to 30th .October 1856. Seyyid Said of
Zanzibar died at sea on his way to Zanzibar on 19th October 1856 (Coupland, op. cit.,
p. 553). Writing oft information received from Arabs in 1858 at Tabora, Burton (Lake
Regions of Central Africa, II, p. 188), says Suna "reigned till 1857 ". Very probably
the information was that Suna died "about a year ago ".
Mutesa's Caravan to Zanzibar, 1870-1872
On 30th January 1868, Livingstone made the following entry in his
journal on the information of an Arab trader named Mohammed Bogherib :
Seyd Seyd' is said to have been the first Arab Sultan who traded,
and Seyd Majed2 follows the example of his father and has many Arab
traders in his employment. He lately sent eight buffaloes to Mutesa,
King of Uganda, son of Suna, by way of increasing his trade, and it is
not likely that he will give up the lucrative trade."3
The part which the Sultan of Zanzibar took in trading ventures into the
interior of Africa would appear to have been much the same as that taken in
their days by Elizabeth and the Stuart kings in overseas trading ventures from
England. -They subscribed for shares in those ventures and sent special
presents to the rulers of the countries, to which the ventures were proceeding,
so as to make the path of the actual traders run smoothly.
Though at first sight Seyyid Majid's present of buffaloes to Mutesa might
look rather like sending coals to Newcastle, it would appear very probable
that the animals were domesticated transport animals from India. History
is silent as to whether these particular buffaloes reached their destination,'
but we do know that the caravan reached Buganda and that Mutesa was
much impressed by the presents which actually did arrive from Seyyid Majid.
In 1870 a return caravan was organized. The famous Tippoo Tib met a
number of Baganda at Tabora in the latter part of the year. He learnt that
" they had been sent by Sultan Mutesa to bring presents to Seyyid Majid in
return for the ample presents which he himself had sent from Zanzibar ".'
It was some 150 strong and was in charge of a chief named Sengiri Omutebi.6
The caravan reached Tabora just at a time when the Zulu tribe, the Angoni,
had invaded Unyamwezi and had reached Njambo, a district only some three
hours to the south of Tabora. The Arabs at Tabora called on the Baganda to
assist in driving away the invaders. A mixed force of Arabs, Baganda, and
Waswahili went out to give battle to the Angoni. The result of the battle
was disastrous. At least twenty-two of the Baganda were killed as well as a
number of Waswahili.7
The Angoni were only out to raid cattle and they retreated before their
opponents could be reinforced. The Baganda were therefore able to continue
their journey with their depleted numbers down to the coast. They reached
I Seyyid Said bin Sultan, Sultan of Oman and Zanzibar, 1806-1856.
2 Seyyid Majid bin Said, Sultan of Zanzibar, 1856-1870.
3 Waller, op. cit., I, p. 273.
4 Some buffaloes, which were sent from Zanzibar to meet Livingstone at Ujiji, all
,died on the way from the coast (Waller, op. cit., II, p. 7).
5 Brode (Tippoo Tib, p. 56).
6 Munno (1915), pp. 115-116, 160.
7 Waller (op. cit., II, p. 96); Brode (op. cit., p. 56). Tippoo Tib put the number
of Baganda killed at "more than 100 '", but Livingstone's Arab ififormants gave the
number as 22. This last information was given to Livingstone on 28th January 1871,
wery shortly after the disaster.
AHMED BIN IBRAHIM 97
Zanzibar either shortly before or shortly after the death of Seyyid Majid on
7th October 1870, but his successor, Seyyid Barghash, gave them a most
friendly reception. They brought with them a quantity of ivory and also a
live African elephant. This latter gift was handed over by Seyyid Barghash
to Dr. (afterwards Sir John) Kirk, the British Consul General. Thereafter,
"he was marched through the island completely tame and docile, helping
himself to sweet meats from the shops and otherwise making himself
obnoxious in a most civilized way". It was very possibly after receiving
protests from the sweet meat vendors of Zanzibar that Kirk shipped the young
elephant to Sir Philip Wodehouse, Governor of Bombay, who presented it to
Sir Solar Jung. Livingstone informs us that Seyyid Barghash "spent all
the ivory in buying return presents of gunpowder, guns, soap, brandy, gin,
On its return journey, the caravan reached Tabora some time after Stanley
left that place in September 1871 to proceed to Ujiji and some time before
Livingstone and Stanley returned together from Ujiji to Tabora on 18th
February 1872. On 12th March 1872, two days before Stanley left Tabora
to return to the coast, the porters of the caravan gave a farewell dance in
Stanley's honour. The refrain of the song, which accompanied the dance,
was a complaint that Bana Singiri" had kept the porters from their homes
on short commons for a very long time.2 As Livingstone's Last Journals
show, close on six months more were to elapse before they finally left Tabora.
The country between Tabora and Lake Victoria was in a very. disturbed
state owing to the constant warfare between the Arabs and the local chief,
Mirambo. For a long time the Arabs refused to let the Baganda leave, partly
because they were afraid their arms and ammunition might fall into Mirambo's
hands and partly because they wanted to avail themselves of their services in
the war. They were, in fact, delayed so long that a large party was sent
from Buganda to see what is stopping the way to Mutesa's ". During these
delays one of the leading Baganda died of dysentery and another became
plind from ophthalmia. In addition, they had to sell their cattle and much
of their property in order to provide for their maintenance at Tabora. A
small advance party got away at the end of July 1872 with a few goods, but
it was attacked by Mirambo's people shortly after leaving Tabora. The main
body got away in August, but they too were waylaid by Mirambo and their
leader, Sengiri Omutebi, was killed.3
It is not out of place to note that in 1877 and 1879.Mutesa sent other
caravans to Zanzibar, which got in touch with Kirk. Mutesa also kept up a
somewhat desultory correspondence with Kirk from 1877 to 1882. He seems
to have appreciated Kirk's efforts to keep the road open between Zanzibar
and the coast.
1 Waller (op. cit., IV, pp. 176, 202); Lugard (The Rise of Our East African
Empire, Chap. XIX).
2 Stanley (How I found Livingstone, pp. 620-622).
3 Waller (op. cit., II, pp. 176, 181, 186, 188, 199, 222-226, 232); Munno (1915),'
pp. 115-116, 160; Stanley (Through the Dark Continent, I, p. 396).
MOLES IN UGANDA
By G. H. E. HOPKINS
T HERE are no moles in East Africa. This statement will probably
surprise many people, for "mole-hills" are a familiar sight in many
areas. The explanation is that we have mammals that look like moles,
behave like moles, but which are neither closely related to the true moles, nor
even to one another.
All our "moles ", together with the true moles, have certain structural
characters in common. Their bodies are almost cylindrical, their legs
extremely short and the fore feet modified to form powerful spades, the eyes
and external ears are extremely small and the fur (except in one species) is
very soft, dense and inclined to be velvety. All these points give the animals
a very characteristic appearance which makes them very similar to one
another but quite unlike any other mammals.
The group of these creatures that comes nearest to the true moles is
the genus Chlorotalpa or Golden Moles, of which one form (C. stuhlmanni)
occurs on Ruwenzori and in the higher parts of Kigezi, and another
(C. foster) high up on Mount Elgon. These are handsome little animals,
about 41 inches long, with shiny, dark brown, fur which is very dense, long
and soft, and which shows green and violet iridescence in oblique light.
Their teeth are sharp and pointed (not unlike those of a dog) and are adapted
for eating food, such as insects or worms, which requires cutting up and
tearing rather than chewing. Even the Golden Moles are not very closely
related to the true moles, but they do belong, like the latter, to the order
Insectivora. Our two Golden Moles illustrate one of the interesting
peculiarities about the East African fauna and flora-the occurrence of closely
related species or subspecies isolated on the mountains, for the Golden Mole
found on Ruwenzori is very closely related to that found on Elgon and the
latter should perhaps be regarded as a subspecies of the former. There are,
many instances of this phenomenon, among the best known being the giant
groundsels and lobelias, and the fritillary butterflies (genus Argynnis), all of
which occur on most, if not all, of the East African mountains but not in the
lower country. Many of the plants and animals which have this peculiar
distribution are related to forms found in temperate regions; thus the
explanation of the.phenomenon is probably that the climate of East Africa
was formerly much cooler so that these plants and animals then occurred all
over the country, but that increasing heat drove them up into the mountains
and killed off those that remained in the lower country.
Very little is known abdut the biology'of the Golden Moles. Mr. George
Foster, who collected the types of Chlorotalpa foster, noted that it made a
noise like a puff-adder, and (because of the form of their teeth) it is a safe
assumption that the food of these animals includes insects and worms; they
burrow a few inches under the ground and their mole-hills are extremely
like those made by true moles, but rather smaller. Captain Pitman found
that the Bakiga in Kigezi use skins of C. stuhlmanni as charms.
"MOLES" IN UGANDA 99
Our other moles ", the Mole-Rats, all belong to a totally different group
of mammals, the order Rodentia. Rodents are at once distinguished from
nearly all other mammals by the arrangement of their teeth: the incisors, or
cutting teeth, in each jaw, are very large (especially those of the upper jaw),
chisel-shaped, and continue growing throughout the life of the animal. There
is a wide toothless space between the incisors and the molars or gnawing
teeth, and the chisel-edges of the incisors wear in such a way that they always
remain sharp. Such teeth are beautifully adapted for gnawing, cutting through
tough roots or stems, and grinding up hard vegetable matter, and the food of
rodents consists mainly of various parts of plants, especially roots and seeds,
though many species have become almost omnivorous.
Two genera of Mole-Rats occur in Uganda, and a third genus which
may be found to occur in Karamoja is sufficiently unusual to be worth
mentioning. The commonest of these groups is the genus Tachyoryctes or
Orange-toothed Mole-Rats, locally common in the southern part of Uganda.
Members of this genus are the largest of our moles ", adults measuring from
7 to 10 inches excluding the short tail. The colour alters greatly during the
life of the individual, young specimens being dark slate-grey or black, while
adults vary from reddish brown to very dark brown; at all ages they often
have irregular blotches of white. They are very easily distinguished from our
other Mole-Rats by their deep orange incisor teeth. Orange-toothed Mole-
Rats live in colonies, often isolated by many miles of country from any other
colony. As in the case of other mammals, isolation leads to inbreeding and
this, in turn, tends to cause the members of each colony to have characteristics
which make them a little different from their relatives belonging to other
colonies. Because of this, many species of Tachyoryctes have been named,
but in a recent review of the rodents it is considered probable that all the
East African forms of Tachyoryctes are merely geographical races of
Tachyoryctes ibeanus. Rather more is known of the biology of Tachyoryctes
than of any of our other moles ". They usually occur on open ground, but
not generally on extensive plains ; some occur at high elevations on mountains.
Loring records, of the Naivasha form, that when dug out of their burrows
and released they could only crawl very slowly, but that after a few seconds
" they would begin to dig. In any slight depression they 'began work ; and
when small roots or a tussock of grass intervened, they used their teeth until
the obstruction was removed, and then, with the nails of their front feet only,
continued digging. As the hole deepened they threw the dirt out between
their hind legs, and with them still farther beyond. After the earth had
accumulated so that it drifted back, they faced about, and, using their chest
as a scoop, pushed it entirely out of the way. They were most active in the
evening, at night, and in early morning. Several were found dead near their
holes, having evidently been killed by owls or small carnivorous mammals."
They do not burrow very deep, the normal depth of the burrow being some
six inches or less. The large nests, made of grass, are placed in side chambers
just off the main burrow. As Loring notes, they are often filled with droppings
and are apparently used as latrines. The animals sometimes occur in suf-
ficient numbers to be a serious nuisance; one colony caused much trouble
100 UGANDA JOURNAL
by burrowing on Jinja aerodrome and hindering the landing of planes. The
females usually give birth to only one young at a time.
North of a line which apparently corresponds for most of its length with
the course of the Victoria Nile (in West Nile, Acholi, Lango and Teso)
Orange-toothed Mole-Rats are replaced by White-toothed Mole-Rats, of
which only one species, Cryptomys lechei, occurs in Uganda. This is a
rather smaller animal than Tachyoryctes (it is about 71 inches long) and has
short velvety fur. It is immediately separated from Tachyoryctes by its pure
white incisor teeth. The fur is mole-grey in colour and many specimens
have a patch of pure white (very variable in size) on the crown of the head
and sometimes a narrow white line on the underside between the fore legs.
Cryptomys is not at all closely related to Tachyoryctes; the latter belongs
to the family Muridae, which also includes ordinary rats and mice, but the
former to the family Bathyergidae, belonging to a quite different section of
the rodents. Practically nothing has been recorded as to the biology of
these animals in East Africa, but their habits are probably very similar to
those of Tachyoryctes, and the hills the two animals make are indistinguish-
The only other Mole-Rat likely to occur in Uganda is Heterocephalus
glaber, the Naked Mole-Rat, which occurs in the semi-desert areas of northern
Kenya and may prove to occur in Karamoja. Like Cryptomys, it belongs
to the family Bathyergidae, but it can at once be distinguished from any
other small mammal in East Africa by the fact that it is entirely naked
except for a few bristles.
Our moles ", taken as a whole, illustrate very well one of the biggest
difficulties in systematic work, for we have seen that although they all share
many important characters, they belong to two different orders of mammals;
even the Mole-Rats belong to two very different families of rodents, so that
these peculiar characters must have arisen independently at least three times.
The reason is, of course, that all the characters are adaptations to life in
underground burrows and all animals which have taken to this mode of
life are likely to become modified in the same way, regardless of their real
relationships. Powerful spade-like fore feet are very important for burrowing,
a cylindrical body with short legs fits better into a narrow tunnel than would
one of the normal shape, large eyes, a long tail, and external ears would
be a nuisance underground so they become greatly reduced. The problem
of earth caking among loose fur is solved for most of our moles by the
fur having become very dense and velvety so that soil particles do not easily
penetrate it (such fur is also easily reversible, so that the animal can move
either backward or forwards in its burrow without discomfort), but
Heterocephalus-perhaps because it lives in much drier country-has
solved the problem by discarding fur almost completely. Such modifications
in connection with a special way of life are known as adaptive characters ;
they are often very striking and animals possessing them seem to the non-
specialist to be closely akin, but they give no indication whatever of true
NOTES ON THE KUMAM
By THE REVEREND FATHER C. I. WALSHE,
Catholic Mission (Mill Hill Fathers), Lwala
KITCHING-quoted by Driberg (The Lango, p. 36)-believed the Kumam
to be a small section ,of the Lango tribe which had moved southwards
and so become affiliated with the Iteso. Driberg, however, thought they were
Iteso who had adopted a Nilotic language from the Lango, and that this had
occurred quite recently. He states that the name Akum is more correct and
that.they themselves say that it is not a nickname, but the name of an actual
division or tribe. On the other hand, he says that they claim the name Lango-
Ikokolemu as their true one.
I have been told, nevertheless, by many an old Kumam that, in fact, the
name Akum or Akuma (Kumam) is a nickname given to them by the Miro
(Lango). The County Chief Yakobo Engwau told me that they were so
called because they used to grieve over their cattle stolen by the Miro : Kumo
in Kumam and Lango means to mourn or grieve ".
I think, however, that Driberg is correct in saying that Lango or
Lango-Ikokolemu is their real name. Even nowadays they say, in ordinary
conversation, We Lango do such and such a thing," and refer to bush-paths
as yo Lango, to native medicine as yat Lango. They speak of leb Lango
(Lango language), paco Lango (Lango home), pone Lango (Lango customs).
The other day I asked a Kumam boy whether he had been reading at his
village church near the lake. When he said he had, I suggested that only
Bakenyi were attending. "Oh, no," he said, "Lango da (Lango also-
meaning his own people).
All that can be said of the name Kumam is that it is a nickname which
has more or less stuck and has been adopted officially. Driberg used to say
that the Kumam and Lango fought over the name Lango, and old men have
told me the same. So it seems, as has been suggested by others, that Lango
was the name of one big tribe or family, living in the east, which later split
up into Lango dyang (Karamojong), Lango olok (Jiwe), Lango miro (called so
by the Kumam and Acholi) and, I would like to add, Lango Ikokolemu (the
Kumam). I have been told that the Luo of Kavirondo called the Suk and
Masai by the name Lango, also, but am unable to verify this.
To turn from the name Lango ", it is interesting to note that the word
for clan among the Lango, Kumam and Iteso, is Ateker, Atekere, and that
many clans have the same names, not only among these three people, but
also among the Karamojong and Turkana: examples are the clan names
Ikarwok, Atek, Irarak, Itengor. This would seem to be another indication
of a common origin. No one seems to know the meaning or source of these
clan names, but I have read that the Suk call their chief elder Kirwokin
(adviser), from a Turkana word woko. I wonder if this has any bearing on
the origin of clan Ikarwok ?
102 UGANDA JOURNAL
If the Kumam originally spoke a Hamitic language, how did they get
their present Nilotic one ? Many Kumam tell me that they learnt it from
the Jo Wer, i.e., the Chopi" or Jo pa Wir" (Jo pa Luo ?), living at
Bululu. There are not very many there now, but they may have been more
numerous when the Kumam first came to their present country from Soroti.
Mulwano-an old Chopi at Bululu-gave me the names of his great
grandparents (Mulwano s/o Choga, Jampura, Obe and Oceng), and said
they all died at Bululu or on the island of Kaweri. He said, moreover, that
they first came into contact with the Kumam (whom they called Lango), while
fishing in Lake Kioga, and that they had not understood each other. These
Kumam fishermen, he said, came from Kamoda and Lale (Soroti) and, when
they had made friends with the Chopi, many of them began to settle down at
Bululu amongst them and to pick up the Nilotic language of their .hosts.
Incidentally, Mulwano said that the Chopi had always called the present
Lango "Miro ".
On the other hand, there are very many Kumam at Soroti who never
reached the Kaberamaido country and who speak the present Nilotic language.
One would have expected them to have retained their original Hamitic
language. Could the few who moved westward and Who learned the Chopi
tongue have taken the new language back to Soroti ?
Eibu s/o Ajao-an old Kumam living at Agora, Soroti-states that his
grandfather, Ochaga (who died at Agora), told him that their ancestors came
from Angodingodi, Kapujan and Kokorio, near Toroma. Some of those
ancestors spoke Lale (the present Kumam language), others spoke Dum "
(a foreign language, a dialect of Teso). The first Lale or Kumam speakers
were from a clan of two famous elders, Angati and Wonayera. This group
was called Ilalei. The Dum-speaking people moved towards Amuria and
Orungo, while the Ilale moved towards Gweri, Soroti, the present Lale and
Kamoda, and later across to Obur (Alomet).
Another old man, Katidi of Dokolo, says his ancestors came from
Angodingod, and moved to Awoja and then to Soroti, Lale and Kamoda.
The Jo Dum were Ngora and Katakwi Iteso. He said that the Kumam
were then known as the Ilale and Kokolemu.
The Rev. L. Ekadu, of the Native Anglican Church, Kalaki, gave me
the interesting information that there is a Kumam clan called Jo Agwaya "
who were formerly Miro (Lango). I later heard the full story from Epuru,
an old man of the Jo Agwaya, living near Kabalang, Alwa. Many years ago
a certain Miro killed another man of his own tribe while hunting and with
his wife and children fled to Soroti to settle down amongst the Kokolemu.
His children married with Kokolemu, particularly with the family of
Wonagwai, whence came the name Jo Agwaya. A Lango named Juk, at
present living at Bata, considers those Jo Agwaya as his own people, because
it was his ancestor who fled to Soroti. Some of Epuru's sons are now living
It is interesting to compare the more common Kumam surnames with
those of the Lango (Miro), Iteso, Acholi and Karamojong. The Kumam
names are distinctive and quite unlike those of the other tribes, although there
NOTES ON THE KUMAM 103
are exceptions such as the names Otim and Okello, and the twin names Opio
and Apio. Kumam names follow a regular pattern:
Ewiu, Engulu, Econyu, Eyamu, Etwomu;
Asao, Awico, Ameco, Agwayo, Alayo.
Compared with true Itesot names or with Lango names, they are very different.
As it is the custom to give children the names of their grandparents, one
would expect to see, in their names, traces of the tribe's origin. Lango names,
other than those adopted from the Acholi, Luo, etc., are similar to Itesot
names, e.g., Amuge, Okol, Onyanga. The Kumam, with very few exceptions,
seem neither to have adopted Chopi names nor any from Teso. On the
other hand, there are quite a number of Kumam whose great grandparents
had names beginning with Won-the Acholi word for father or owner of ".
Thus there are well-known Kumam ancestors called Wonayera, Woneswap,
Wonagwai, Wonomai, etc.
Kumam household words, expressions, idioms, voice tones for verb tenses,
are all very akin to Acholi. Among the non-household words (e.g., names of
grasses and of some trees) there are many words which are Hamitic or of
Hamitic roots. I know from my own experience that a knowledge of Kumam
makes it easy to converse with the Lango, Acholi and Alur on ordinary house-
For a long time I thought that if a tribe learned a new language, the
tendency would be to retain the household words of the original language.
But it was pointed out to me by Fr. Tarantino of Lira that it would be precisely
these household words and expressions which would be learnt first in the new
language. So if the Kumam did settle down among the Chopi they would
naturally very soon learn from their hosts the words for hut, fire, water, food,
chickens, goats, etc. Uncommon words, such as the names of grasses, insects,
or of interior parts of the body, would hardly enter into ordinary conversation
and so would remain in the original tongue.
Around Atuboi and Anyata there are many of those people, referred to
above, who speak a dialect of Teso and are called Jodum by the Kumam
proper-meaning those who speak a foreign language. These Jodum do not
regard themselves as Lale or Kokolemu. They know the Lale language and
the tendency is for them to pick up this rather than for their Kokolemu neigh-
bours to learn Teso. This is, perhaps, not unexpected: the Nilotic tongue
seems to attract people because it is easy to learn. Once, at Achwa (Amuria),
I overheard two pure-blooded Teso talking Kumam. When I taxed them,
they at first denied it, but when I insisted they grinned and admitted, saying,
" Oh, we are simply learning it" (Opwonyo apwonya).
It is fair to 'say that, whatever the origin of the language, the Kumam
to-day consider Leb i Kokolemu their own language and take pride in it.
Many of the Kumam ceremonies connected with birth, marriage, death,
hunting, etc., are similar to those described by Driberg for the Lango. In
particular, one notes the ceremonial naming of the child, the period of puri-
fication for the mother, the ceremonial washing of mother and child, and
(for the first-born child) the taking of the child to see the rafters of the
104 UGANDA JOURNAL
grandmother's house".' For twins, the customs are much as described by
Driberg ; for death, there is the Kongo me Apunya at the end of the mourning
period, and the special way of burying twins should they die; for hunting,
there is the Won Ariga (the hunt owner) with his drum and charm plant
This plant Bomo and the branch Isas, carried in the ceremonies of a
first-born child, play an important part in the various ceremonies. The rites
connected with life's major events do not change much down the years: as
one Kumam teacher said to me, These customs, and the importance of the
Bomo and Isas, will not be lost in a hurry."
Mention should also be made of the Kumam custom of calling out one's
sweetheart's name when spearing an animal (Nying Apa). The Lango do
1. Akum or Kumam is a nickname, now more or less adopted officially.
2. The real name should be Lango-Ikokolemu (or Lango-Ilale).
3. The Kumam belong to the Karamoja group; the clans show a
common origin and, perhaps, similar birth ceremonies, etc.
4. They learned their present language partly from the Chopi and
partly from the Lango Leb Lale represents a fusion of the two.
5. They retain many of the non-household words in their original
*6. Their names are distinctive.
7. It is by no means certain that they are actually Iteso : they may be a
branch of the original Lango (Hamitic) family, who, although speaking a
language similar to Teso, kept more or less to themselves and were known
to the Iteso as "Kokolemu".
Postscript. I had always thought that the expressions Leb Lale (Lale
language) and Jo Lale (Lale people) referred to the Kumam as a whole,
being alternative names for the language and the people. The expressions
are used in this way now. But it appears that formerly, Ilale was the
name of an Etem (division) iq the Iworon initiation ceremonies. As far as
I can gather, there were four or five such divisions, all the boys of the Ilale "
division assembling at one particular elder's home, all of those of the
" Imorotok division at another's, and those of the "Abokota division some-
where else. These names had no relationship with clans, and many clans
would be represented in each division. Ilale seems to have been rather a
large division but how the word got its present application to all the Kumam,
I cannot say.
I have recently discovered an alternative meaning for the name
" Ikokolemu ", which Driberg suggested meant children of Olemo ", without
explaining who Olemo might be. The story told to me to explain the name
1 I do not think Driberg describes this, but I believe the Lango have the same
NOTES ON THE KUMAM 105
is that many years ago, far away in Karamoja or beyond, a certain member
of the Lango family stole a head-dress of honour--Alem-and with some other
relations fled towards Lake Kioga where they settled down among the Jo Wer
(Chopi) and learned their Nilotic language. They were called Ikokolemu .
by the rest of the family, Akoko in Teso meaning to steal ".
The Lango have the same word Alemo to denote a horned head-dress,
so the Kumam were the head-dress thieves ". This is an interesting explana-
tion and, I think, supports my theory that the Ikokolemu are not Iteso (as
Driberg thinks), but are a branch of their own, originating, it is true, from the
same Hamitic family, but keeping to themselves and always known to the Teso
branch as Ikokolemu.
The story may explain why they abandoned the language of their
ancestors and adopted new names for their children. To steal a head-dress
was doubtless a very grave offence, so the thief had every reason to make a
complete break with the past and settle down among other folk.
THE GIANT FRESHWATER PERCH OF AFRICA
By E. W. GUDGER'
AFRICA, that dark continent of great lakes and mighty rivers, lying under
the tropic sun, has many ichthyological rarities. Like its neighbour
across the Atlantic, it is a continent of catfishes. Boulenger, the great authority
on African fishes, states that there are about two hundred species of Siluroid
fishes in its waters. So far as I know, no one has estimated the number of
species of these fishes in South American rivers. But as I have shown else-
where, there are surely three and possibly thirteen kinds of giant catfishes in
these rivers. On the other hand, Africa, with physical conditions very much
the same, might be expected to produce a whole flock of great Siluroids ; but
for some unknown reason, it has not produced even one catfish worthy of
mention because of its size.
Indeed, Africa's only giant freshwater fish is a percoid, Lates niloticus,
the Nile perch. However, it is literally a giant perch, reaching a length of
six feet. Its distribution is a curious one. Although found throughout the
Nile from Lake Albert to its mouths, the Nile perch is not peculiar to the Nile,
but is found also in the large western-flowing rivers-the Senegal, Niger and
Congo. For some unknown reason, it is absent from the Zambesi and other
South African rivers. As we shall see, it has long been known in the Egyptian
Nile and its portrait was painted in remote antiquity.
The Nile perch is not only the largest freshwater fish in Africa, but also
the largest freshwater percoid in the world. Large specimens run ordinarily
to 4 or 41 ft. in length. At the Sports Club in London there was recently
a preserved (mounted ?) specimen of a Lates whose weight was given as
253 pounds. It was said to have been caught in Lake No, at the junction of
the Bahr el Ghazal with the Bahr el Jebel or Nile proper. Another from
Lake No is said to have weighed 280 pounds. Lortet and Gaillard (Archives
Museum d'Histoire Naturelle de Lyon, 1903, Vol. 8, pp. 185-190) measured one
71 in. long, and state that they had seen caught at Assuan several individuals
over two metres long-probably more than 80 in. overall; but they do not
say that they actually measured these specimens. At the time of the publica-
tion of his book, The Fishes of the, Nile (1907), Boulenger gives as the attested
record Lates known to him, one taken a few miles up the Sobat River, the
most southern Nile tributary from Abyssinia, in about 9" N, Lat. This great
perch was 73 in. in length, 55 in. in girth, and weighed 266J pounds.
Little is known about the natural history of this splendid fish, which is
beautifully portrayed in Boulenger's drawing (Fig. 1). Efforts made at Cairo
to keep large specimens in the Aquarium were not successful; they fed
ordinarily on live fish but lived only a few days or at most a few weeks.
1 Reprinted, with kind permission, from The Scientific Monthly, April 1944,
Vol. LVIII, pp. 269-272. A contribution from Dr. E. W. Gudger, Honorary Associate
in Ichthyology, The American Museum of Natural History, New York City.
After Boulenger, 1907
The Nile Perch (Lates niloticus). The largest freshwater fish of Africa and largest
freshwater percoid in the entire world.
After Lortet and Gaillard, 1903
Mummified Sacred Fish, Lates, external view. From Esneh, Upper Egypt. Showing
linen swathings and lashing cords that form the mummy case.
After Lortet and Gaillard, 1903
Mummified Lates unwrapped and cleaned of dried salty slime. This fish has been
perfectly preserved, even with scales, fins and eyeball, for twenty-five centuries.
THE GIANT FRESHWATER PERCH OF AFRICA 10f
However, some young specimens thrived and grew rapidly, often at the expense
of their smaller and weaker brethren who mysteriously disappeared-evidently
down the gullets of their stronger cannibalistic fellows. The word Lates is,
derived from the Greek word latos, the name for a perch-like fish of the Nile,
and is now restricted to this particular form.
The ancient Egyptians were animal worshippers and it is interesting to
note that they did not overlook the superb fish which we know as Lates
niloticus. It was much venerated by them and its mummified remains,
scattered throughout the valley of the Nile, are very numerous. There was
a special cult of Lates at Esneh on the Nile in Upper Egypt (Lat. 25-4 N.),
where it was worshipped as a divinity of the first rank, and for this reason, in
Graeco-Roman times the town was called Latopolis-the city of the Lates fish.
At Esneh, Lates mummies have been found in great numbers buried at
shallow depths in a sandy plain near the town. Examination of these
mummies showed that the large specimens had each had an abdominal incision
made to permit easy entrance of the mummifying solution. Then each fish
had evidently been subjected to prolonged immersion in a strong brine from
one of the Egyptian natron. lakes, but there was no evidence of the use of
asphalt or bitumen. (This was ascertained by making a chemical analysis of
the flesh of the fish and of the wrappings.) Next the fish was swathed in' linen
cloths, and these were secured by many circumferential windings of cord.
These in turn were held in place by a longitudinal cord (Fig. 2). The curing
in pickle may have been done after the fish had been wrapped. Finally, the
mummified fish were buried in the dry sand.
Thus prepared and buried, these mummies in the dry air and dry
sand of Upper Egypt have kept" perfectly and when exhumed after twenty-
five centuries are found, according to Lortet and Gaillard, to possess almost
as much animal matter as dried codfish in our markets. Fig. 3 shows what
was found when the wrappings (seen in Fig. 2) were removed, and when the
dried salty slime in which the fish had been pickled had been wiped off with a
damp cloth. This fish has been marvellously preserved. Note not only the
splendid form of the body, but the wonderfully preserved scales and lateral
line, the fin-rays, and membranes. Most notable of all is the fact that even the
very eyeball is intact. Many such finely preserved specimens were about
five feet long.
There is a large animal cemetery at Gurob on the border of the district
of the Fayum on the west bank of the Nile about sixty miles south of Cairo.
Fifty burial pits here were exhumed by L. Loat and reported on in 1904
(Egyptian Research Accounts, X, p. 3). From these pits, Loat obtained
remains of scores of Lates. Unlike the Lates at Esneh, these were not
mummified, but were sometimes wrapped in bundles of grass, or covered
with ashes obtained by burning the grass. Various animals were buried here
but the Lates' remains predominate. Over and over Loat notes "no
preservative ". The fish were wrapped in grass, partially covered with ashes,
or laid down as caught. Not being mummified, the flesh has gone, leaving
only the loose bones, or sometimes rather complete skeletons, as Loat's
photographs show. In the photographs, sometimes the outline of the fish's.
108 UGANDA JOURNAL
body shows quite plainly. Study of these remains of large fish showed that
the abdomen of one had been opened (the vital organs probably removed)
and the cavity filled with ashes, while the mouth and gill openings of another
large specimen had been filled with ashes. This looks as if some attempt
had been made to use ashes as a help in preservation, but Loat repeatedly
notes no preservatives "-such as was used on the Esneh fish. Desiccation
and slow oxidation have left nothing but the hard parts. The rough outline
of the body in some cases (as shown in Loat's photographs) is probably due
to the scales on the under side of the body remaining somewhat intact. Thus
one fish, it is said, measured 5 ft. 6 in. long, and nearly 2 ft. in depth ".
These remains of Lates ranged from small to large. Loat repeatedly
speaks of large specimens, and for the better preserved fish gives measurements :
5 ft.; 5 ft. 2 in.; 5 ft. 6 in. (two specimens, one nearly 2 ft. deep ") ; and
last of all, "one large fish, nearly 6 ft. long". From this one must not
conclude that Lates grew larger in olden days, but that the fishery then was
probably less efficient than to-day and the fish had a better chance to attain
It is interesting to note that in contrast to burial pits for oxen and goats
at Gurob, the pits for fishes were more carefully dug, and in many cases only
a single fish was found in each pit. If two or more fish were buried together,
a certain order was observed; either they were laid side by side, or head to
tail, or placed in layers, and in no case was any other fish or animal species
found with Lates. These things indicate the great reverence in which the
fish was held.
Paintings of Lates are fould on the walls of various tombs in Egypt,
particularly on those of Medum, which is on the left bank of the Nile between
the river and the Fayum, about fifteen miles north of Gurob. On the south
Figs. x 2 from Russenger's Reisen, 1846
Greek coins of Latopolis. Ancient coins said
to portray the Nile Perch.
wall of the mastaba (or tomb) of Rahotep, high priest of Heliopolis (the city
of the Sun), is an easily recognizable representation of the Nile Perch (Fig. 4).
Here a large specimen of Lates (apparently about five feet long) is carried on
the long handle of a paddle supported on the shoulders of two men. This
figure closely resembles the one drawn for Boulenger. Even seven of the
nine dorsal spines are shown, the eighth and ninth being so incorporated in
From Flinders Petrie, pl. XII, 1892
A Nile Perch carried on the handle of a boat paddle. From a painting on the
south wall of the tomb of the priest, Rahotep, at Medum in Lower Egypt.
THE GIANT FRESHWATER PERCH OF AFRICA 109
the soft dorsal fin as to be easily passed over. According to an Egyptologist,
the Medum Lates was painted about 2780 B.c. ; thus it is probably the oldest
figure of a fish of historic times.
But the Egyptians were not content with portraying the fish in a painting.
Boulenger writes that in 1899 he was shown "... a bronze model,
115 millimetres long, which. at once suggested to me a young Lates niloticus.
This model contained a mummy of a small fish, the loose bones of which I
have been able to examine and to identify as those of a young Lates."
Boulenger states that, on certain ancient Greek coins of Latopolis, there
are representations of a fish which he and Russeger recognize as Lates
(Fig. 5). It is noted by Russeger, from whom the figures of the coins are
copied, that on the reverse side of each coin is found an effigy of Hadrian,
the Roman emperor whose reign covered the years A.D.117-138. This estab-
lishes the fact that these coins were minted more than 1,800 years ago.
However, a mere glance shows that the artist, who cut the figure of the fish
on the dies from which the coins were struck, was not in the same class with
the painter who depicted Lates on the wall of the tomb of Rahotep at Medum
thousands of years earlier.
EXTRACTS FROM MENGO NOTES "-IV
HOW RELIGION CAME TO UGANDA
By APOLO KATIKIRO and THE REVEREND HENRY WRIGHT DUTA,
translated by C. W. HATTERSLEY
"f URING the reign of Suna (the king who preceded Mutesa) he was
" visited by some Arabs : Medi Abraham, and Kyera, and Amulain, and
Mina, and Katukula Mungazija, and Zigeya Mubulusi.
Of these he liked Medi Abraham best, and gave him a great many
presents, ivory, women and slaves.
Later on Medi Abraham told Suna, when he saw him killing people,
that, although he killed them with so little thought, yet there was a God who
created them, and from Him he had obtained his kingdom, and the people
he governed, and that he himself was created by Him.
This Suna did not believe, for he said he knew his Lubare gods and they
had given him his kingdom, but Medi Abraham repeated his words every
time he was called to see him.
Some time afterwards Suna asked Medi, Where is there a God greater
than I ? And Medi told him that there is a God who will raise up all who
believe in Him, and they will go to Paradise.
When Suna understood this, he agreed that Medi should read to him,
but only now and then, and he got through the first four chapters of the Koran.
When he had got hold of these, more or less by word of mouth, Medi
returned to the coast and did not come again to Uganda, and soon after this
Suna died and Mutesa succeeded him, and made his capital at Banda, half
way between Mengo and Ngogwe. He also encouraged Arabs to visit him,
Katukula Hali and his friends, and Hamuli Musirimu, and Makwega, a
Swahili. Mutesa made friends of these and gave them many things just as
his father Suna did before him.
King Mutesa asked Katukula what it was his 'father used to talk to
them about, when they visited him', and he told him,' we used to tell him about
God, the King of Kings, and that He will raise people from the dead'.
King Mutesa asked him, 'Are you not lying? Is there a resurrection
from the dead ?' They told him that indeed there was, and that those who
learnt the words of God, when they died would rise again.
So King Mutesa said to Katukula, 'Well then, come and teach me to
read,' and he brought a Swahili called Makwega, who taught the king every
day, and he learned Mohammedanism very quickly. Some others learned
with him whose names are Musisi Sabakaki and Basude Sabawali of
Kigalagala, who is now Mutola, and Kyakonyi Omumyuka of Myukanya, and
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES". 111
later Kauta Mukasa, who was Katikiro, and Mujabi Omutabuza, and
Tebukoya, and Sembuzi and Wakibi.
These were first taught, but afterwards the converts were slow in coming
When the king went from his capital, Banda, and went to Nakawa he
persevered with his reading and fasted during the first fast, and he then
ordered all his subjects to read Mohammedanism. He also learned to write
in Arabic: the Arab Wamisi brought the Mohammedan Kibali who taught
Then Mutesa came from Nakawa to Nabulagala, and thence to Rubaga,
where he stayed some time. He again ordered his people to read, but he saw
they were not giving their minds to it. So he said to his head district chiefs,
'I want to know if people are learning to believe in Islam well.' His chiefs
told him they were. 'Well,' he said, 'if they are, how do they salute each
other as Mohammedans ?' They replied, 'Some salute thus-Salamaleku
dekimu musalamu-others, Sibwakede bwatulise.'
He saw they had not learned to salute, and found that those who had
begun to really learn were very few indeed, and he gave orders that every
man who had not learnt was to learn the salutation, Salamu alekumu alekumu
salaamu or Shabuluheri. And in anger the king gave orders that every one
refusing to learn was to be seized.
Many who would not learn were then seized, called infidels and killed.
Then every married man fixed up a stone in his yard to pray at, and every
chief built a mosque, and a great many people became readers, but were not
circumcised, and all the chiefs learned that faith.
The religion of our Lord Jesus Christ took root in Uganda in this way.
When King Mutesa was at his capital-then Rubaga-he went to a
place called Kazi on the lake to hunt. When he had been there three days
he heard that an Englishman had arrived across the lake.
He therefore sent men to fetch him, who found him at Namukuma,
Kikwata's place, and brought him on to King Mutesa at Kazi. They then
returned together to Rubaga and became friends. The king asked Stanley,
'Do you know about religion ?' and was told that in England we believe
in the religion of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who will raise all
men from the dead.
King Mutesa at once said, I want you to teach me,' and Stanley replied
that he was quite willing, and that as soon as he had fetched his things he
would do so. Stanley went to Usukuma at the south of the lake, and
when he returned he found the king had gone to fight the Bavuma, and he
met him at the Ripon Falls in Busoga, and from there they went to Luba's.
And Stanley said to Mutesa, 'You said you wanted to learn our religion ?'
and the king said, 'Quite right, teach me,' which he did day by day out of
the book of Genesis, and afterwards left him a man called Dilington Muftaa
to teach him in Kiswahili. They returned from Luba's tb Rubaga, and there
112 UGANDA JOURNAL
Muftaa remained and became Mutesa's servant, and taught him daily in
Genesis and another book, until he quite understood them. Then he wrote
them in the Arabic characters, which he could read well. There were some
youths in the king's service who were Mohammedans, who when they saw
him studying hard at these books despised him, and said he was becoming
an infidel because he was reading the Christian religion, and these refused to
eat any meat killed in the king's enclosure, saying it was not killed as it should
be for Mohammedans.
Some of these got disobedient, and two of them, Mponyebuwonye and
Kaganyulo, and some of their friends, used to visit some of the big chiefs at
night, in the king's name. The king heard of this, and was very angry and
had them put to death at Namugongo.
Not very long after this, an Englishman named Smith came to Uganda
on 30th June 1877, and with him Mr. Wilson.
When Mutesa saw Mr. Smith he said he had a great desire to read in
English characters, and Mr. Smith quickly wrote out the alphabet on some
pieces of cloth (ensuga), which he gave to the king, and came every day to
teach him. The king also told all the chiefs to bring their children to be
taught the religion of Jesus Christ our Lord, the Son of the Living God.
Those who commenced to read first, chiefs and children, were Tebukoza
Kyambalango, now Andereya Kadu Namungi, Zephaniya Bugeza, now
Mukubankwata, Isaya Mayanja Munakulya, Kabunga Mukwenda, Edwadi
Omuzigiti, Luta Bugobera, Sembera Mackay who was a Musoga, Henry
Buza, son of Isaya Mayanja, Firipo Mukasa and Daudi Nyenje, Henry
Wright Duta, Kalemba Omulumba and Gabunga Kaya.
Then Smith left Wilson to teach these to read and he went to the south
of the lake to fetch his belongings, and he was killed at Walukonge (Ukerewe).
When he heard this, Wilson went south to see where they had killed his
friend Smith, and there he met Mackay and came back with him to Uganda.
On his arrival Mackay met Dilington Muftaa whom Stanley left to teach
Mutesa. Mackay quickly began to teach in earnest, and went regularly to
the king's place to teach the head chiefs in their mosque, and taught them
the Gospel according to St. Luke and Genesis.
Thus the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ took root here; but not all
those whose names are mentioned above believed, some did, but others did not.
Those who believed were Andereya, Zefaniya, Isaya, Edwadi, Luta,
H. W. Duta and Sembera Mackay, who was most earnest in persevering in
reading and teaching others, and was a very clever teacher. He was after-
wards killed in the wars between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants,
and his loss caused very great grief. Henry Buzabalyawo also believed, but
he was driven away later to Bunyoro in the persecution by Mwanga, and was
killed by Kabarega, King of Bunyoro. Firipo Mukasa and Daudi also
The religion of Jesus Christ was taught during the reign of Mutesa'
without any persecution. Mwanga, whilst still a prince, was taught by Mr.
Mackay, and got to the end of the first reading book (mateka).
Mwanga, on the death of Mutesa, became king on 25th October 1884,
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 113
and all the young men readers were delighted that he had succeeded to the
throne, thinking that they would be helped with their religion. But in
January 1885 he began to persecute the Christians and sent one of his head
soldiers Kapologa to Mr. Mackay's house, to apprehend three boys, Yusufu
Lugalama, Maliko Serwanga and Yusufu Kakumba. These three were taken
to the place of execution, Mpima Erekera, near the river Mayanja, and burnt
there. At this, those who were readers were much distressed, and those who
were determined to persevere read in the seclusion of their own homes.
All the same, after a very short time, the number of readers increased
greatly, for the report got about that even if they suffered death they would
rise again if they believed in Christ. It was then that I, Apolo Katikiro,
began to read in earnest. I was then about thirteen years of age, and I left
my father and went to become one of the king's boys. Now I met there a
boy whose name was Mukasa and who knew how to read, and I asked him
to teach me, which he did. But when I began to read I found that I was
unable to succeed owing to the Swahili alphabet being used. After this I
went to the house of Mr. Mackay together with Samwiri Mukasa, and we
read the alphabet daily, which was familiar to Mukasa because he was a
Mohammedan reader, and he quickly picked it up, but I was a long time
After Mutesa's death we came here to Mengo: and then I diligently
studied and was baptized. Nuwa Nalukaga and Samwiri Mukasa were my
godfathers. Shortly after my baptism King Mwanga heard that a European,
Bishop Hannington, had come through Busoga and arrived at Luba's.
When he heard that he sent Lwanga Wakoli, the Sabadu of the gate
porters, and he went to kill him, and when I, Apolo Kagwa, heard the king's
orders I sent Maliko Sekajija (now Mako Mutesa) and he went and told
Mackay that they had gone to kill him. And without any delay he brought
ivory and cloth to redeem his life, because Mackay knew our customs that
whenever a person came under the king's condemnation we used to bring
presents as compensation for him and he would be released, hence Mackay
did this too. But King Mwanga did not accept them, and they went and
killed the Bishop on the 29th day of the month of October 1885.
Now there was one of the king's servants, Balikudembe the Musalosalo,
he was a great friend of the king, and a Roman Catholic.
He said to the king, Sir, why are you going to kill a European, whom
your father would not have killed ?' The king did not answer him and he
did not say any more. But immediately after he had said this the king fell
ill with inflammation of the eyes and slight fever. Then when the Katikiro
Mukasa came to see the king and to inquire after his health, he told him what
Balikudembe had said to him. Then the Katikiro Mukasa, without any
delay, seized him and said, 'Do you abuse the king with the bones of his
father ? and they carried him off to the executioner, the Musigula Mukajanga,
and he burned him alive.
And that was the cause that led to King Mwanga hating those who
embraced the religion of Jesus Christ our Lord. And many wanted all the
more to read and to believe with all their hearts. And when they had killed
114 UGANDA JOURNAL
the Bishop, the king's houses and treasures were burned, and the people were
afraid that the houses were burned owing to the king having killed the
Now after the burning of the king's houses, he went to Munyonyo, and
when he arrived there the chiefs accused the Christian readers to him saying
that they killed a serpent and a sheep, and boiled them together, for a feast.
When the king heard that he tried to find some occasion from which he might
Then without waiting he went to hunt hippopotamus on the lake, and
when we came back from the hunt the king asked about a boy, Tomasi
Muwafu, the son of the Katikiro Mukasa, saying, Where has he gone ?' and
they told him that he had gone to Kisule the blacksmith. When the king
heard that, he was furious and sent to fetch him, and when they brought him
he bound his arms with a rope'and came with him into his treasury-house,
and he found me, Apolo Kagwa, there and asked me' Where are my spears ? '
and I replied We took them to the blacksmith Kakoza to be polished and he
said 'Where is a sword,' and I answered 'Here is one,' taking it down and
giving it to him, and he drew it and left the sheath in my hand. Then he
was about to cut Tomasi Muwafu with it, and asked him 'Now then tell me
the name of your teacher,' and he said, Sebugwawo Semukutu taught me.
Thereupon they went to fetch that boy Sebugwawo Semukutu. When they
brought him to the king, he was seized and made to lie down in the court yard,
and the king took a spear and wounded the boy and then handed him over to
the executioner Mukajanga saying 'Take him away and kill him.'
After giving him these commands, he arrested me, Apolo Kagwa, but he
did not spear me, but took his spear and hit me on the head, striking me
thrice, and then seized me and I was beaten with thirty stripes perhaps. .1
don't very well remember, because after he had beaten me he commanded
three men to kick me, after they had tied my hands, whilst I lay on the
ground, and they took all the skin off me and I was all but dead, and only
came round after they had untied me.
After they had kicked me, they lifted me up and carried me out like a
corpse and put me in a house, and he told me 'Never read again.' Directly
after he had said this to me my friend Mukasa Nyonyintono came, and he
(the king) asked him saying 'Where were you all the time I was fighting ?"
And he ordered him to be taken to Sebata, to be Mutilated; and they carried
him off at once.
Now the evening was drawing on; and he commanded the executioners
to count all his servants' beds and said, 'Let none of their occupants be
missing in the morning.' So they set a guard over the whole Lubiri (palace),
and they allowed nobody to go out, only people who came in were allowed
In the morning the king came into his treasury, and sat down, and called
all the Lubiri boys, and they went into the court yard and the king said, Let
those who read separate themselves and sit on one side,' and they did so,
and he said to them, Do you know how to read ?' And they agreed, saying
'We do.' Then he commanded them saying, 'Mukajanga shall carry you
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 115
off,' and he was in the act of doing so when a Roman Catholic boy called
Waswa denied saying, 'I do not read.' The king said, 'I know him to be a
reader, carry him off and kill him.' Now there was a Protestant boy Musa
Mukasa who had been thoroughly instructed in the religion of our Lord, and
the king said, 'Do not take him to the place of execution he is too strong.'
So he was killed at Munyonyo.
The names of some of those who were killed were as follows :
1. Nuwa Walukaga. 6. Mukasa lwa Kisiga.
2. Alexander Kadoko. 7. Kifamunyanja.
3. Fred Wigram Kiza. 8. Muwanga Nijiri.
4. Robert Munyagabyanjo. 9. Sabagabo we Kitegombwa.
5. Mbwa Omusamula.
1. Lwanga Gonza. 11. Kalemba.
2. Tuzinde. 12. Mawagali.
3. Kirigwajo. 13. Banabakintu.
4. Serunkuma. 14. Kiwanuka.
5. Ludigo. 15. Kibuka.
6. Kizito. 16. Bazekuketa.
7. Mugaga. 17. Kagwa Omugowa.
8. Gyavira. 18. Sebugwawo Semukutu.
9. Buza. 19. Mukasa Kiriwawanvu.
But those who were killed were over forty in number. After the king
had killed them others were mutilated, and when they recovered the king
returned from Munyonyo to Mengo, and the persecution quieted down some-
what, and many learned in their own houses the religion of Christ. Later
on the king forgot what had passed and took Nyonyintono whom he had
mutilated and gave him Kisalosalo, and took me Apolo Kagwa whom he
had beaten, and gave me the stewardship.
Now the power of God overcame King Mwanga. The number of
Christians who were continuing in concealment came to an end, and they had
a certain amount of freedom. After this the King Mwanga wanted to go to
Natete in Budu, and he went off on his journey to Budu; but when he was
returning from Budu he stayed a night at Buwalala at Katabalwa (Muguluma's
house, the Mohammedan); and many people accused him, Muguluma, of
murder. Thereupon Muguluma was arrested and they searched for corpses
and could not find any, so he was acquitted. Now when Muguluma saw that
they brought an unsuccessful charge against him, he understood that the
Christians also were accused without reason, wrongfully. Then he proceeded
to feign friendship with the Christians, and many Mohammedans did the same,
in order to accuse the Christians to the king of eating snakes (a species known
as amatemankima or monkey killers) but they refuted the charge.
116 UGANDA JOURNAL
Now at this period the king determined a second time to arrest the
readers and kill them. When the Christians and the Mohammedans heard
this they refused to be arrested, they agreed together and the Mohammedans
said, It was we who recently brought the accusation against you but we too
understand that the king wants to kill us. We had better fight against him
and drive him out and set up another king that we may preserve our religion
well.' The Christians consented to this proposal, and in the month of
September we waged war and King Mwanga was driven out, and skilfully
escaped and made his way to Sukuma in his canoe Waswa. Now after we
had chosen Kiwewa and he was made king, one month elapsed and the
Mohammedans made war on us and drove us out, and God showed us a good
pathway and we went to Ankole.
There were about one hundred and fifty of us, and when we got to
Ankole, the King Ntale treated us very kindly and gave us gardens at Kabula.
Through the power of God we, who were but few in number, were joined by
many Christians who followed us from Uganda to Ankole; even those who
knew but little about reading came, and we were more than fifteen hundred.
Now after we had increased in numbers, and learnt to read, our religion grew
in power, because after our separation those who only read a little became
much more diligent, and many who had not yet endeavoured to read were
thoroughly well instructed. Then we saw that we had increased by two
hundred more and we decided to come and fight the Mohammedans, and we
fought with them about eight months and drove them out about the 5th of
October 1888. Kalema's capital was here at Lunguja and we conquered
him, and the power of God grew amongst us. Then, when we made a
distribution of chieftainships, every chief taught his people, and we took heed
to further instruction and took much pains to continue teaching many people
who learnt the religion of Jesus Christ.
But in the month of January 1891 we fought with our friends the Roman
Catholics. Now at that time Stanislas Mugwanya was Kimbugwe, but he did
not take counsel well as he was himself anxious to fight; after some delay
they made war upon us that they might have the whole of Uganda for
themselves, but God had mercy on us and we routed them, and they went to
Budu, and, when we called upon them to go, the land was quiet, and we were
able to read much more. At times on a Sunday there would be baptized
eighty or a hundred or more people, this would take place every Sunday.
Now some people left the Protestants and became Roman Catholics meaning
to wage war and bring back once more the old customs of polygamy, etc.;
and they found it was difficult to do it openly so they said, 'Let us fight and
drive out all who love the Europeans who load us with burdens.' Now
Mwanga went to Budu on 6th July 1897.
However we found those who were making this secret arrangement
gathered together in Budu, and we fought with them and conquered them,
and Mwanga went into German territory, and we returned and chose Daudi,
his son, to be king. After a short time the Nubians rebelled, and we fought
in that campaign which led to the death of many of the true faith; that blow
was a terrible one. And when we conquered the Nubians, in the year 1898,
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 117
we settled down in peace, and people earnestly set to work to read, but later
on they became lazy and the missionaries at Namirembe determined to teach
the children and instruct them in writing, and in this God displayed His
power, and more and more people came to be taught the Word of God.
And some of the older people charged them saying, It is good for you older
people too to be further instructed, and so learn the Word of God, and writing
and arithmetic.' So many came to school but some of them seemed as though
they wanted mere knowledge without caring for the writing only; and yet
there were many who truly loved the Word of God. Again there are many
who want to learn trades only, in this country, and they have set their heart
on learning every kind of work. Also there are unprofitable young men and
women, who do not want to be married nor to work, but wish to be
Mohammedans in order to have several wives and the young women to be
married for a short time only and then to run away with another man."
(Uganda Notes, May 1902, p. 35; June 1902, pp. 43-44;
January 1903, p. 6; October 1903, p. 54; November 1903, pp. 59-60).
ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE CORONATION, 1902
"The Katikiro left Mengo on the 6th May to attend the Coronation.
Accompanying him were the Rev. E. Millar, Mr. Prendergarst, and Ham
Mukasa as his private secretary. Captain Hanlon is to take over the conduct
of the party on their arrival in England, from Mr. Prendergarst, who is on
sick leave. They were accompanied as far as Mombasa by the Bamasaza
Kago, and Kimbugwe, and by the Rev. Batolomayo Musoke. A telegram
from the Katikiro states that all arrived at Mombasa on the 14th, and the
party for England were to sail on the 17th.
During the Katikiro's absence, Samwili the Kangawo is to take his
place. He is well known as a conscientious and good worker, and we wish
him all success in his very difficult position.
The Katikiro has taken amongst other presents for the king, two magnifi-
cent tusks weighing 170 and 140 lb. They cost him over Rs. 200 duty
(Uganda Notes, June 1902, p. 39.)
CIRCULAR ISSUED BY COL. BRUCE TO C.M.S. MISSIONARIES,
ENTEBBE, 15th MAY 1903
I have received the permission of the Bishop to write to you to ask your
assistance in regard to a point affecting sleeping sickness. I find that this
plague is like the Fly disease of South Africa. It is caused by a similar kind
of parasite and is possibly carried from man to man by some insect as the Fly
118 UGANDA JOURNAL
disease is carried by the Tsetse Fly. Now I find a species of Tsetse Fly along
the shores of the lake and in the islands. It may be that sleeping sickness is
carried by this fly. In that case where the fly is found there would also be
found the disease, and where none of these flies were found there would be
no disease. I am trying to make out the distribution of this fly, and would
be much obliged to you if you could inform me if it is found in your district.
I should also like you to add the information as to in what kind of place the
fly is found, marsh, banana planting, bank of river, lake, etc., what time it
bites during the day or night, if it frequents bush or open places, and if it is
numerous. What animals does it bite?
Further, if sleeping sickness occurs in the same places, distinguishing of
course between cases that have been infected at a distance and those that
have been infected in the place.
The best way to catch them is by means of a small butterfly net, they
can easily be killed by a squeeze and then placed in a small envelope or piece
of paper with the name of the place and date of capture written on it. These
small envelopes could be packed in a small box or tin and sent to me from
time to time.
You will agree with me that if the insect carrier could be found we would
be a little farther on our way to devising some means of prevention. I may
add that the natives call the fly Kivu.
Now I am afraid I am asking you to put yourself to some trouble, but I
am also sure you are interested in this dire plague and will be glad to help
for the sake of the people.
Yours most truly,
(Signed) DAVID BRUCE,
(Uganda Notes, June 1903, p. 31.)
MWANGA-THE LATE KING
"The news of the death of Mwanga caused very little feeling among the
Baganda, who, one might almost say, seem to have practically forgotten his
existence, having enjoyed the rule of the infant Daudi Cwa now for five years.
True there are those among the real heathen Baganda who have never
really acknowledged the new King, for they would say 'How is it possible
for a successor to be put upon the throne while his father is yet alive ?'
The idea of exiling a king-however bad a tyrant-is not conceivable to them.
They have been accustomed to worshipping their king as the representative
of their gods, and so his will was ladw even if it meant (as it often did, even in
Mwanga's day) wholesale execution of his subjects.
When one reviews the life and acts of Mwanga there is little room for
regret at his death. He had sinned much, and had reaped for himself a very
bad harvest, and his last years must have been full of regret if not of
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 119
He was not even considered a good successor to his father, though living
as he did in more enlightened times, he& had every opportunity for exercising
any talents he might have possessed. There were none of the kingly qualities
that one finds, however latent, in most dusky potentates. His whole desire
was to please himself, and the good government of his country probably never
so much as occurred to him as, worthy of consideration.
In the matter of religion he was very fickle, and it is difficult to say
whether at any time of his life he entertained any sort of desire to benefit by
the faith of any religion. He never truly espoused the Protestant cause, and
one doubts whethenhe ever attached himself seriously to either of the Christian
parties. His attachment was purely political.
Had he not rebelled at the last, he would probably have lived to rule
over a prosperous and happy people., But he was not the type of man to
desire, much less foster, improvement or progress in any shape or form.
Having lost for ever under the new regime all claim to absolute power over
the lives of his subjects, he sought by every chance that offered to expel the
Europeans who had come to control and curb his. rule. From the first, he
was'in his heart antagonistic to everything European.
It was he, it will be remembered, who ordered the foul murder of'Bishop
Hannington, a piece of audacity which his father Mutesa would never have
On-his succession to the throne in 1884 he commenced his plan by first
persecuting the missionaries and their converts, and many of the latter were
at his command burned to death. The European missionaries he treated as
his inferiors, and even as slaves, ordering them to do this and that on pain of
exile or even worse punishment. And for some time they were actually
prisoners in their own houses.
It was in the following year, on 29th October 1885, that the assassination
of the Bishop occurred, while on his road through Usoga to Uganda. In
1886 was the great persecution of the Christians. Two years later the few
missionaries who'were in the country actually fled for their lives, so serious
had the position become for them. After a short time the missionaries
returned, but only in time to.find the Christians and Mohammedans had risen
against the king who they had heard was planning their destruction. He fled
to the south of the lake, where he professed himself a Roman Catholic,
returning later to win back the throne. He was restored in October 1889.
But the country had become agitated and restless, and internal strife
became the order of the day during the next few years, culminating in the
terrible Nubian revolt, the history of which is only too well known to our
readers. It was by throwing in his lot with the Nubian rebels that Mwanga
brought upon himself the loss of his throne. Having once rebelled and been
forgiven and restored, he could not in any case expect a repetition of such
magnanimity. Finding his cause lost, he fled into German territory, but was
shortly after captured.
This was in 1897, the year in which Daudi succeeded to the throne.
Mwanga was transported to Mombasa, and more recently removed to the
Seychelles Islands where he met his death.
120 UGANDA JOURNAL
One almost wishes that before his end he might have been permitted to
visit his old kingdom for a brief period and see for himself the wondrous
changes God has wrought in these few years that have passed since the stormy
days of his kingship."
(Uganda Notes, July 1903, p. 35.)
A FOOTBALL MATCH
By H. T. C. WEATHERHEAD
"During a recent holiday in Busoga I took part in a football match
between Iganga and Jinja. This is, I suppose, the first real match amongst
the natives. The Iganga men walked over to Jinja with Mr. Skeens and
Mr. Owrid who played on their side, while Mr. Buckley, Sergeant Moss and
myself played for Jinja. But there was no resisting the Iganga team; they
beat us handsomely by 9 goals to 1. The point of interest is in the fact that
there seems to be. a certain discipline at work for these men to learn to keep
their places at football, and that some esprit de corps is engendered which is a
great thing, amongst naturally indolent people. Football may be a means
(Uganda Notes, September 1903, p. 46.)
By REV. J. J. WILLIS, C.M.S. Acting Chaplain
"There was nothing very remarkable a few years ago about the quiet
wooded headland running out into the lake on which stood the native village
of Ntebe; and he would have been a bold prophet who could in those days
have foretold, the rapid changes so soon to be effected by the touch of the
strong hand of civilization.
Its natural beauty, combined with its fine defensive position, and its
proximity to Mengo, doubtless contributed to the decision of His Majesty's
Government to adopt Entebbe as the official capital of the country.
The importance of Entebbe is self-evident. Not only is it the seat of
His Majesty's Commissioner, but it is, at least for the present, the Port of
Uganda, through which the tide of civilization is rapidly pouring into the
country. As a new town, and in every respect a European town, it moves
ahead of and gives the lead to all inland districts. It is the headquarters of
the Indian and Goanese traders, attracting a large and motley crowd from
many quarters. The streets and houses suggest a busy coast town. Indian
troops, traders and mechanics; Swahili masons and servants; hut-tax
labourers froni Unyoro and far inland parts of the Protectorate ; grass-clothed
Baziba in search of work; Nubi soldiers ; Europeans and Goanese crowd
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 121
its streets, and make it difficult to realize that one is in Uganda. Even the
Baganda themselves seem anxious to denationalize themselves, adopting as
far as possible everything Swahili, language, dress, religion; so that the
official capital of Uganda tends to become every day less like Uganda and
more like the coast.
The population, so essentially cosmopolitan, is difficult to estimate, for
it is so constantly fluctuating. The steady stream both from and to Mengo
never ceases from sunrise to sunset, while-Entebbe itself is a beehive of constant
activity, a striking contrast to other places in Uganda where the old order
still holds sway."
(Uganda Notes, September 1903, p. 47.)
INTRODUCTION OF EGYPTIAN COTTON
"We hear that the Uganda Development Company Limited, which was
delayed in its formation on account of Mutungo having been given up, is
now being definitely floated.
Mr. Borup who is now on his way out has visited Egypt to study the
subject of cotton growing and is, we hear, bringing out three tons of cotton
seed with him, with a view to encouraging the natives to grow cotton
systematically, the Company, of course, promising to find them a market for
it by purchasing it for export."
(Uganda Notes, December 1903, p. 64.)
BOTANICAL GARDENS, ENTEBBE
"Mr. J. Mahon, in his report on exotic plants of economic interest in the
Botanic Gardens at Entebbe, published in January 1903, gives some-results
'of recent experiments. Recognizing that-the natural supply of rubber must,
sooner or later, be exhausted, varieties of imported rubbers have been tried.
The Para rubber, the Central American rubber, and the Ceara rubber are all
reported to be growing freely; and the Lagos Silk rubber is growing fairly
well. Of varieties of coffee tried the Coffea robusta (a valuable Congo species),
Maragogipe (a hybrid Brazilian sort), and native coffee from Sesse are all
reported well of. The record of tea is not so satisfactory, the rainfall not
proving sufficient. However, in the neighbourhood of the Ruwenzori moun-
tains, where the rainfall is very much heavier than in Uganda, the prospects
of tea growing are, according to Mr. Scott Elliot, the naturalist and traveller,
much more hopeful. Mr. Mahon calls special attention to the unexpectedly
good results obtained with cacao, a plant which has never yet been grown
commercially at an altitude of over 4,000 feet, but which, in Uganda, seems
to thrive well. Vanilla grows moderately well, but the elevation of the country
is against it. Of varieties of fruits planted, the pineapple, especially, does
122 UGANDA JOURNAL
well. It is as yet too early to report with any certainty on timber, but of
a variety planted, the most conspicuous success is the Mlanji cedar from
Nyasaland, specimens of which, though only three years old, have already
reached a height of fifteen feet.
Fibre of various kinds promises to be an increasingly useful commodity
in the future.
Sansevieria, or Bowstring Hemp, was valued in London at 25 a ton.
Raphia palm is extremely abundant and can be propagated to any extent by
traders here at a trifling cost. Ramie or 'China grass' is growing well and
seems well suited to the country. Specimens of cotton sent home were favour-
ably reported, on in Manchester."
(Uganda Notes, December 1903, p. 64.)
By NELSON F. M. KUSAMBIZA
I WAS an African Platoon Commander with the East African troops in
the South East Asia Command. As you know, in Burma all supplies
had to be brought to the fighting troops by air,
When I was with the 28th (E.A.) Infantry Brigade in the 7th (U.) Bn.
K.A.R. all the Africans in that unit used to call those Dakota planes by the
nickname of Mama Kevin, remembering the hospitality rendered by Mother
Kevin to unfortunate lepers in Uganda. In the same way these Dakotasi
brought supplies to us in the jungle while we were fighting the Japanese;
whenever we saw them in the air we knew that Mama had brought rations
to us. Throughout the 11th (E.A.) Division the name for these planes was
MORE ABOUT H.M.S. UGANDA
M EMBERS of the Society who were interested in the note on The War
Record of H.M.S. Ugaulda" contained in Vol. 11, No. 1, of the Journal,
will be glad of the supplementary information given below-which deals with
her service after transfer to the Royal Canadian Navy:
"H.M.C.S. Uganda was commissioned on 21st October 1944 in
Charleston, U.S.A., where she had been undergoing refit. Actually she had
beenunder the command of R.C.N. officers since 25th July, when Cdr. H. F.
Pullen, O.B.E., R.C.N., took over. He assumed his permanent appointment
of executive officer on 15th August when Captain E. R. Mainguy, O.B.E.,
R.C.N., took command.
Sailing from Charleston on 24th October, the ship made her first
acquaintance with Canada during a brief visit to Halifax. She left the latter
port 30th October for Greenock, Scapa and, finally, the Tyne, to complete
refit. She 'worked up' at Scapa during two weeks in December, stored at
Greenock and, on the first day of 1945, headed for her assignment in the
On 5th January Uganda put in to Gibraltar but continued on to Malta
the same day. By the middle of the month she was working up at Alexandria.
Aden was left astern 17th February as she again headed east. She put in at
Fremantle on 5th March, then continued without delay to Sydney. The end
of the month found her at Maunus, her crew very much on their toes as the
teamwork they had developed across the months approached its first serious
testing. At Leyte, on 6th April, Uganda joined Task Force 57 of the British
Action was not long 'in coming. On 14th April, with the senior officer
124 UGANDA JOURNAL
in H.M.S. King George V, T.F. 57 conducted operations against the Skeshima-
Gunto island group, south-west of Okinawa. The island of Miaka came under
the special attention of Uganda's guns.
On 14th and 15th June, when Truk, former heart of Japanese naval
operations, was subjected to continuous sea and air attack, Uganda again
played her part. She was one of four cruisers in company with the carrier,
Implacable, the others being Newfoundland, Swiftsure and Achilles. Between
Implacable's planes and the guns of the cruisers, Truk's naval, shore and air
installations were subjected to severe punishment that drew very slight
In the dying days of the war, on 27th July, Uganda was detached to
Eniwetok and returned to Esquimalt via Honolulu. She reached the Canadian
port 9th August. From here it was decided that she should make the first
peacetime cruise of the re-organized R.C.N. Cdr. (now A./Capt.) Pullen was
succeeded by Cdr. E. W. Fingh-Noyes, R.C.N., as executive officer on 10th
November, but the ship continued under the 'command of Captain Mainguy
on the 18,500 mile circuit of South America.
Sailing from Esquimalt 5th February 1946, the cruiser called at San Diego,
Magdalena Bay, Talara, Callao, Valparaiso, Falkland Islands, Montevideo,
Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Trinidad and Cristobal before her return on 17th May.
She was the first Canadian warship to round Cape Horn and, in fact, the
first Canadian ship to show the flag' in the majority of the ports mentioned.
The trip was an unqualified success. -Everywhere the visitors were most
enthusiastically received and the exchanges of courtesies were somewhat more
than formal gestures. Both in the South American press and at home Uganda
received a large amount of publicity of a high quality."
AN ANGLO-GERMAN AGREEMENT RELATING TO TRAFFIC ON
LAKE VICTORIA, 1890
By SIR JOHN MILNER GRAY
BELOW is given a translation of an agreement which was reproduced in
German in the Deutsches Kolonialblatt for 1891 (Vol. II, p. 261). Whilst
the text of the agreement is in German, the descriptions given below the
names of the signatories are in English. I have no information as to the
language in which the document wds originally drawn up.
As a passage in Franz Stuhlmann's Mit Emin Pascha ins Herz von Afrika
(p. 104) shows, news of the Anglo-German Convention of 1890, which
delimited the respective spheres of interest of Great Britain and Germany in
East Africa, did not reach Bukoba until after this local agreement had been
signed and Ernest Gedge had left Bukoba to return to Buganda. The object
of this local agreement was to endeavour by a system of ship's passes to check
the traffic in arms and ammunition across Lake Victoria.
Ernest Gedge, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Imperial British
East .Africa Company, had accompanied Jackson in the expedition which
left Mombasa in 1889 and reached Buganda in 1890. He had been left behind
NOTES 1 125
in Buganda to watch British interests when Jackson returned to the coast with
envoys from Mwanga, who were sent to ascertain what was the international
situatioil in East Africa vis-a-vis Great Britain and Germany.
Emin Pasha had finally evacuated the Equatorial Province of the Sudan
early in 1889 and had accompanied Stanley to Bagamoyo on the east coast.
In 1890 he had taken service with the German Government and had been
given charge of an expedition sent to open up stations on Lake Victoria.
He had established the station at Bukoba a few weeks before the subjoined
agreement was signed.
8th December 1890.
In the interest of the German territories and those of the Imperial British
East Africa Company an agreement with the following instructions is set out
for all necessary purposes :
1. No bats, canoes or ships of whatever type shall proceed from British
waters to German territory without having received the written permission of
the British Company's agent and shall in any event, if such permission is
received, sail under the flag of the said Company.
2. All boats, canoes, and all other kinds of vessels, which sail from
German waters to British territory, shall in like manner be furnished with
written permission from the German representative (Beamte) and shall in
like manner sail under the flag of the Imperial German Empire.
3. Boats and canoes used for missionary purposes shall in all cases
follow these instructions.
4. In case of infringement of these instructions the boats, canoes, etc.,
shall be seized and together with their cargoes shall be taken into custody.
(Signed) ERNEST GEDGE,
Imperial British East Africa Company.
(Signed) DR. EmIN-PASCHA,
Commanding Imperial German Expedition
to the Lakes.
DELME-RADCLIFFE'S MOVEMENTS IN 1899
The Hon. Editor, The Uganda Journal.
On learning that you were reprinting R. M. Bere's paper on Awich in
Vol. 10 of the Uganda Journal, I took the opportunity of a recent visit to the
library of the Royal Geographical Society to consult Delm&-Radcliffe's paper
on his activities in the Nile Province videe p. 488 of Uganda by Thomas and
Scott), and of this there is perhaps no copy locally. It is of considerable
He says, briefly, In June, 1899, when at Mumias, I received orders to
proceed to the Nile Province or Nile Military District to take over Civil and
Military charge from Colonel Martyr'wh6 had returned after having estab-
lished stations at Wadelai, Lamnogi, Affuddu and Fort Berkeley. Of these
stations, the first to be occupied by us, Lamogi, was abandoned, Affuddu
shifted to a better site at Nimule, and Fort Berkeley moved to Gondokoro,
which was. the head of navigation at low water. Colonel Ternan, as I passed
through Kampala, requested me to survey as much as possible and lent me a
very good plane-table with telescopic alidade beside which I had a 3 in.
mountain theodolite, a pocket sextant arid a few sketching instruments. I
then measured a base, with a steel tape, near Affuddu and near Wadelai.
From this, triangulation was 'extended by theodolite and carried on by plane-
table, mapping being done at 2 miles to the inch with -100 ft. contours. At
old Wadelai, here and there, remains of Emin's burnt ivory were found.
Lamogi is about 16 miles south of Fatiko."
Thus Delm6-Radcliffe could not have been present at the capture of
Kabarega, which was by Col. Evatt's force on 9th April, 1899 (Uganda Journal,
Vol. 6, p. 131), although he gave the mutineers the coup de grtce on 25th July,
1901 videe p. 133, ibid.). My impression is that Kabarega was never really
established in Bunyoro after the encounter with Thruston in November, 1894
(see Thruston, African Incidents, p. 228). His base was already in Lango
in March, 1895 (Uganda Journal, Vol. 6, p. 129; Vandeleur, Campaigns, p. 94).
* By the way, if you search the Foreign Office Prints of the 1901-2 period
you will come upon an interesting incident--one of the British officers under,
I think, Capt. Harman, was recommended for the V,C. for a very fine piece
of work. Unfortunately (reading between the lines) he had blotted his copy-
book in other directions.
H. B. THOMAS.
48 Cranston Avenue,
Bexhill on Sea.
4th August, 1946.
DR. "JACK COOK'
IT will be with deep regret that many will hear of the death of Dr. J. H.
Cook on 19th September last. This applies more particularly to those of
an older generation of whom, alas, but too few are left with us. To them the
name of Dr. Jack, as he was familiarly and affectionately called, is a treasured
and abiding memory, not only,-or even chiefly, for the wonderful cures he
wrought among them, but for his splendid and sincere Christian character
which 'showed itself in every act of his busy life. A brief account of his life
may be of interest to those who were not privileged to know. him personally.
He was born on 30th May 1871 and was thus a few months over seventy-
five when he died. Our mother, for we were brothers, was born in 1830
and educated such of her large family (she had thirteen children) as survived
to the age of school life in the rather strenuous fashion of the' pre-Victorian
age. We were expected to read and write by four years old. -French and Latin
quickly followed and at eight years We began Greek. Mother's father, the late
Rev. Edward Bickerstpth, Rector of Walton, near Ware in Herts, was a firm
believer in the education of women, and tutors who rode out from London
twice weekly instructed his daughters as well as his sons in the liberal sciences
and languages. Thus it came to pass that our mother learnt Hebrew in her
'teens, surely an unusual acquirement even in those days. She was a talented
authoress and wrote many books. She was ,an excellent teacher and, in spite
of many serious illnesses, survived until 1918, dying in her eighty-eighth year.
Our father was a successful and busy physician, well known in Tunbridge
Wells, and ever mindful of his children's education with strictness but much
love. To be reared under such auspices no doubt exerted a powerful influence
on the future Dr. Jack ".
Jack and I went to the same Dame School in 1875, and proceeded there-
after to Heath Mount School, a private school for boys on Hampstead Heath.
From there we both won scholarships at St. Paul's Public School, founded
by Dean Colet in, I think, 1515. Old Paulines were unusually common in
Uganida and, indeed, founded a Society. It was then in its original position
opposite St. Paul's Cathedral though, shortly after, it was moved to Hammer-
smith, Kensington, where it still is. There, where he always beat me in
Classics, we spent .six happy years. Jack would' no doubt have followed the.
family tradition and won a scholarship to Cambridge, but his health failed'
him and, threatened by goitre, he was sent the long sea voyage to Australia,
a three-months' trip in a sailing vessel. He made many warm friends there,
and was cured, but it cost him a Cambridge education, since he was compelled
to stay in London for health reasons. Nothing daunted, he entered London
University and cleared the board of gold medals, becoming M.S. (gold
medalist), F.R.C.S.,, M.B., B.S., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., and finally started a
successful consultant practice.
1 With acknowledgments to The Uganda Herald of 2nd October 1946.
128 UGANDA JOURNAL
Then followed a dramatic change in his plans. In 1896 I had left for
Uganda and, moved by my accounts of the need there, he threw up his
brilliant prospects in England and joined me, less than three years after I
had started. If during my fifty years' connexion with Uganda I had been
privileged, under God, to do only that one deed of encouraging my brother to
come out, I should feel that I had not failed entirely in my life work.
I must pass more rapidly over the rest of the story. For twenty years
Jack and I worked together in the happiest of unions. Much of it is described
in Uganda Memories ". His influence on Mengo Hospital was marked from
the day of his arrival and we can note also his wonderful surgical skill, his
help in establishing the Mengo Medical School, the Nurses' Training College
and the Maternity Training School. When failing health compelled his retire-
ment in 1921, his talents but took a wider sweep when he assumed the
responsible post of Secretary of all the medical missions of the Church
His last illness was a mercifully swift one; one month ago he had a
"stroke and injured himself in falling. Nursed with the utmost devotion in
Hampstead Hospital, where he had been at one time a consultant surgeon, he
passed peacefully away on 19th September, in sure and certain hope" of a
Of one thing we may be certain. Whatever, record leap to light, he
never shall be shamed." We suffer grievous loss by his passing, but we gain
immeasurably by his example.
ALBERT R. COOK.
" LIVINGSTONE'S LAST JOURNEY" (By. Sm REGINALD COUPLAND)1
With this book, the first copies of which reached Uganda during 1946,
the Belt Professor of Colonial History at Oxford has put-us once more in his
debt by a further addition to his series of studies of East African history.
The decline in Livingstone's mental as well as physical powers due to ill-health
from an early stage of his last journey is clearly brought out. In this age of
" de-bunking ", it is satisfactory to record that Livingstone's reputation emerges
unscathed from these pages as perhaps the greatest Briton who ever worked
in Africa. On the spotless, even in these days, no spot can be found. The
tale's slow heightening of poignancy as it moves to the final tragedy remains,
as ever, incomparable with anything else in the annals of exploration except
Scott's journal of his last journey.
It is inevitable that with the compression of the record of seven years'
travelling into a book of 257 pages, much that is of interest has had to be
omitted, but it. is disappointing that no reference at all is made to Livingstone's
contacts with the Baganda, which are of great significance for the history of
Buganda. A good deal of space is devoted to the old personal controversies
centring round the relationships between Livingstone, Kirk, Stanley, and
others; but although Sir Reginald has been able to make use of documents
not previously available in presenting a balanced picture, it is doubtful how
far future historians will be interested in these arid disputes. One would
prefer to have seen the space used in an attempt to dovetail Livingstone's
records into the histories of the peoples through whom he passed, peoples who,
before long, will be forming parts of young nations and from whom historians
will perhaps spring who will need all the assistance they can get from inter-
pretations of the early records. It is particularly to be regretted that
historical science is not dealing with these aspects while oral tradition, and
even living memory, still stretch back to the protagonists in these events. The
reviewer, while on tour in this year of 1946, talked with an African who could
remember, and still give personal descriptions of, Stanley and Emin. It may
be of interest to future historians to record the impressions which Stanley made
on this observer some seventeen years after his doings which are described in
this book. He is described as having the appearance of an old man, evidently
prematurely aged beyond his years. His Swahili was fluent. In response to
particular questions as to whether he was known for a quick and impetuous
temper, such as emerges from the record in Professor Coupland's and other
books, it was replied that he made no such impression on the Baganda; but
this evidence, of course, comes from a much later period of his life.
In Professor Coupland, East Africa must congratulate herself that she
has found an able and influential interpreter of her documentary relics from
the European end. She has not yet found the historian of her peoples.
G.. B. MASEFIELD.
1 Published by Collins, 1945. Price in Great Britain, 12s. 6d.
ANNOTATED AND ILLUSTRATED KEYS
TO THE KNOWN FLEAS OF EAST AFRICA
G. H. E. HOPKINS, M.A., F.R.E.S.
ANNOTATED AND ILLUSTRATED KEYS TO THE
KNOWN FLEAS OF EAST AFRICA
By G. H. E. HOPKINS, M.A., F.R.E.S.
Introduction p. 133
Bionomics p. 134
Control p. 137
Technique p. 138
Key to the genera p. 138
Keys to the species pp. 141 to 166
References p. 166
The term East Africa, as employed in this paper, comprises the territories
of Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda and Zanzibar. The fleas of this area (other
than more or less cosmopolitan species) are mostly different from those of
other parts of Africa, though doubtless many of the fleas of Somaliland and
Abyssinia will prove to occur in northern Kenya and perhaps some more
West African species will be found in western Uganda,1 so that the area,
besides being a convenient one geographically, is also a fairly definite
zoological division. A curious feature in the flea-fauna of the area is the
apparent absence of indigenous bird-fleas; it is as yet far too early to state
that no bird-fleas (with the exception of the cosmopolitan Echidnophaga
gallinacea) occur in East Africa, but I have collected a number of nests of
several species of birds shortly after the young had flown, and have not
succeeded in obtaining any fleas from them.
In view of the enormous importance of fleas in connection with plague
it is not surprising that the fleas of rodents have been much more intensively
collected than those of other groups of animals in East Africa; in spite of
this fact several new species have been described from rats within the last few
years, and doubtless more species will require description in the future. The
fleas of Uganda and much of Kenya are fairly well known, and Zanzibar is
so small and uniform that the small amount of collecting that has been done
there is probably fairly adequate, but we know almost nothing, about the
fleas of Tanganyika Territory.
The object of the keys given below is to enable workers on plague to do
provisional identifications of their flea-material on the spot. For this reason,
except where the keys have been taken unchanged from previous publications,
stress has been -laid so far as possible on characters which, though probably
1 This country has, as might be expected from its position and climate, strong West
African elements in its fauna, though this fact is not as yet reflected in the known fauna of
134 UGANDA JOURNAL
unimportant from the point of view of the exact relationships of the species,
are easily visible and enable the different species to be quickly separated.
For, the same reason the key to the genera ignores the different families into
which fleas are divided and the keys to the species ignore the groups within
the genus, since it is much easier to divide fleas into genera than into families
and (as is so often the case with insects) much easier to identify a species
than to place it in its proper group. I would urge on any one who may
make use of these keys the importance of having the provisional identifications
checked by a specialist except in the case of the commonest species; even in
the latter instances checking is desirable if the fleas were collected on an
unusual host. It must be remembered that we do not know all the East
African fleas and that many species are by no means easy for even a skilled
entomologist to determine if he is not a specialist in this group.
The majority of the characters used in the keys are shown in Fig. 1;
other characters are shown in the remaining figures and a reference to the
appropriate figure will be found in the sections of the keys in which these
characters are employed.
.Most of the figures have been copied (with the kind permission of
Dr. Jordan) from previous publications.1 A few of the keys are borrowed
complete from previous publications and acknowledgments of such borrowings
are made; in other instances individual sections of keys which are primarily
original are borrowed, and in these cases I have considered the general
acknowledgment made here to be sufficient.
In the notes on species no attempt has been made to give a full synonymy;
references have been confined to the original description and such later
descriptions or notes as are likely to be useful to a worker in East Africa.
SOME POINTS IN THE BIONOMICS OF FLEAS
THE EARLY STAGES
Fleas, like all the higher insects, pass through the stages of egg, larva
and pupa. The female scatters her eggs more or less at random; they are
often laid while the flea is on the host but. are not fixed to the hair or feathers
and so fall off. Numerous eggs are laid in small batches,2 the female usually
feeding in the interval between laying two batches of eggs. Very frequently
a small amount of blood is essential to the newly-hatched larva, and this is
provided by the faeces of the adult fleas, which contain a large proportion of
undigested or partially-digested blood; frequently the female defecates in
the immediate neighborhood of 'the egg which she has just laid and thus
ensures that the resultant larva shall have a supply of this essential item of its
diet. The life-history has been worked out in the case of only a few of our
East African fleas; in these the egg-stage lasts about a week. The'newly-
hatched larva is a very minute, rather hairy, active grub which crawls about
1 Figs. 11, 13, 14, 24, 40,. 42, 43, 48, 65-110, and 113-146 are from publications by
Jordan and Rothschild. Fig. I was drawn for me by the late Mr. E. G. Gibbins. The
remaining figures are my own.
2 X. cheopis has been found to lay from three to four hundred eggs in batches varying
from two to six.
SCIENTIFIC SUPPLEMENT 135
among dust and feeds on the vegetable-matter contained in the dust; in
captivity bran is a very suitable diet for flea-larvae. The larval stage is
surprisingly long, lasting at least five or six weeks in the few East African
species which have been investigated; at the end of this period the larva
spins a cocoon of silk mixed with dust or grains of sand and changes into a
pupa. This stage usually lasts a week or less, after which the adult flea is
ready to emerge. In other parts of the world (and different species of fleas)
it is stated that the complete pre-adult period may be as short as seventeen
days or as long as considerably over a year.
It is believed that in some cases the fully-developed flea requires a
stimulus before it will emerge from the cocoon, and that this stimulus is
provided by the vibration caused by some animal moving in its vicinity.
This is stated to be the season why people entering a house which has been
closed up and uninhabited for a long period are often attacked by hordes of
The abundance of fleas is largely determined by humidity and temperature
in their breeding-places. For each species there is an optimum temperature-
humidity relation, any deviation from which is unfavourable to the species.
A moderate degree of humidity is essential.
HABrrs OF THE ADULTS
Food. Adult fleas feed exclusively by sucking the blood of warm-
blooded animals (mammals and birds). Some species are strictly confined
to one host but many occur normally on 'a wide variety of related hosts;
most species, in the absence of the preferred host, will feed on the blood of
unrelated animals, often including man, but it is commonly the case that
feeding on an unusual host shortens the life of a flea.
In considering the host-preferences of fleas it must be borne in mind
that in some cases (at least in East 'Africa) these are rather with regard to
size (and, to some degree, habits) of host than to its species. As an example,
the common flea of hares in East Africa is also the common flea of cats, dogs,
goats, sheep, and a wide range of wild Carnivora; it occurs on many of
these hosts, including cats, goats and hares, in such numbers as to put it
beyond doubt that these are not accidental occurrences. Similarly, fleas
which normally infest houise-rats will readily transfer to field-rats if these
come into association with the former, and vice versa. Transfer of a species
normally parasitic on one species of field-rat to another (or to a shrew) is
very common, but a rat-flea is very unlikely to find a permanent home on a
much larger rodent such as a hare. Because of this free transfer of fleas
between different kinds of rats the number of fleas characteristic of field-rats
found on house-rats and vice versa is a very useful indication of the degree
of association between the two communities, and hence of the degree of
likelihood of plague being transferred from the hoiuse-rats to the field-rats and
of the probability of these latter playing any part in the spread of the disease.
Transmission of plague. It is important to remember that. there are
great differences in the ability of different species and genera of fleas to carry
136 UGANDA JOURNAL
plague. Some species appear to be inefficient vectors even between rat and
rat, and some of the field-rat fleas (Dinopsyllus lypusus, for instance), though
known to be capable of carrying plague from rat to rat and doubtless perfectly
capable of extending this capacity to man, are so reluctant to bite man as to
make it improbable that they play any real part in the causation of human
plague. Even within the genus Xenopsylla some species are known to be
efficient vectors of plague in nature, whereas others are inefficient; the reason
for this is not known but it obviously gives great importance to the correct
identification of the fleas found on rats. The problem is still further
complicated by the fact that a flea which is incapable of transmitting plague
efficiently in one set of climatic conditions may be quite an efficient vector
in a different climatic environment.
Longevity. The length of life of an adult flea on its preferred host has
been determined in the case of Pulex irritans, which Bacot kept alive for a
maximum period of 513 days by giving daily feeds of human blood;
unfavourable conditions of temperature or humidity will greatly shorten this
period. Newly-hatched fleas ate able to survive for long periods without ever
having fed: in a series of experiments carried out in Nairobi I found that
unfed newly-hatched specimens of Xenopsylla brasiliensis, kept in a moist
atmosphere at 20* Centigrade, would survive for a maximum period of over
six weeks and X. cheopis for nearly as long, the average time of survival in
both species being- about three weeks (Hopkins, 1935). This faculty is
obviously of great Value to the flea since it enables it to survive if no host is
immediately available in the breeding-place. The period of survival of fleas
infected with plague is obviously of the very greatest practical importance:
Bacot and Martin, working with X. cheopis, kept blocked fleas (i.e., fleas
unable to feed because of a culture of plague-bacilli blocking the
proventriculus) alive in a moist atmosphere for 50 days at 10-15' C. and for
23 days at 23 C. It is clear that, given suitable conditions, a "blocked flea
might live for several months. In many cases the blockage is incomplete and
in such cases the flea can feed and may be expected to live even longer;
such a flea is highly infective.
Powers of locomotion. Another factor of considerable practical impor-
tance is the distance to which a flea can jump. Patton and Evans (from whose
book much of the biology given above is extracted) state that fleas can jump
at least 4 inches vertically and seldom more than. 6; they quote as exceptional
a statement that Pulex irritans can jump 7J inches vertically and 13 inches
horizontally, and state than in practice a drain 8 inches wide, filled with
disinfectant, is an efficient barrier.
Degree of parasitism. As has been stated above, all fleas are parasitic
on mammals or birds, but the degree of parasitism varies considerably between
different genera of fleas and even between the sexes of a single species. In
the less parasitic forms the fleas spend most of their time in the nest of the
host, only infesting the latter from time to time when they require a meal.
In the next degree the fleas spend practically the whole of their time on the
body of the host but are free to wander about on it at their will. The next
stage is well exemplified by the stick-fast flea" (Echidnophaga gallinacea)
of poultry; in this insect and its allies the male is active and is somewhat
rarely found, whereas the female, though quite capable of locomotion, is
practically devoid of the jumping-powers for which fleas are justly renowned
and anchors herself so firmly to the skin of her host by means of her very
large and somewhat modified mouth-parts that it is difficult to remove her
without injury. The last stage is reached with the "jigger" (Tunga
penetrans); in this species, again, the male is active and infrequently seen;
the female, when newly-hatched, rather closely resembles the poultry-flea,
but after burrowing into the skin of her victim she swells enormously and
becomes a mere bag of eggs without any power of locomotion and quite
unable to emerge again.
CONTROL OF FLEAS
The best method of control of fleas is obviously to have no suitable places
in which they can breed. Deposits of dust are the most suitable, and for
this reason rugs or mats (because easier to clean) are preferable to large
carpets in places where fleas are troublesome. Dogs or cats allowed to sleep
in the house should have special bedding so that this can be shaken and
placed in the sun at frequent intervals. In bad infestations it is desirable to
burn all dust instead of merely throwing it out and to scrub the floors with a
kerosene-soap emulsion. I once had to deal with a very bad infestation of
fleas in a room inhabited by a cat; I scattered a couple of handfuls of
paradichlorbenzene over the floor (the cat having first been removed) and
'the room was then sealed up for twenty-four hours. This treatment was
entirely effective. It is much preferable to other forms of fumigation as the
vapour is not harmful to man (it is so pungent that it is impossible to stay
in a room under treatment) and can be used by anyone. Very little of the
paradichlorbenzene volatilizes and the remainder can be, swept up and used
again. In native huts, which cannot be sealed up, the most successful treatment
appears to be gassing with Cyanogas, which gives off the very deadly gas
hydrogen cyanide on exposure to moist air. This treatment, however, requires
expensive apparatus and expert supervision and is not suitable for use by the
Adult fleas on a host may be killed by washing the animal with saponified
coal-tar creosote preparations or a carbolic soap, or by rubbing pyrethrum
or powdered naphthalene into-the hair. In the latter case the fleas are mostly
only stupefied and the treatment should be carried-out over sheets of newspaper
so that they can be collected and burnt. The pyrethrum-kerosene sprays
largely used against mosquitos are effective against fleas but are somewhat
irritating to delicate-skinned animals. The use of DDT has of course been
suggested against fleas on cats and dogs, but it should on no account be used
in solution in oil because this sometimes causes the death of the animal from
DDT poisoning. Fowl-fleas, being readily visible and not active, are best
treated by painting them with kerosene or vaseline. In all cases of control
of fleas on the host, care should be taken to prevent the substance used getting
into the animal's eyes.
138 UGANDA JOURNAL
NOTES ON TECHNIQUE
Since many species of fleas begin to leave a dead host as soon as it starts
to cool, it is essential, when carrying out flea-surveys, either that the host
should be brought in to the laboratory alive or that some means be taken to
prevent the fleas leaving the body. For this reason a satisfactory flea-survey
cannot be done with nipper-traps; such a survey is a useful preliminary,
giving information as to the species of fleas to be expected in the area and on
the hosts concerned, but it gives no accurate information on the very important
point of their numbers. Two methods are available: the first (and best) is
to use cage-traps, which are brought to the laboratory in closed bags (linen,
canvas or strong cotton) large enough to hold one trap comfortably; the
second method is to make use of rat-drives and to put each rat, as soon as
killed, into a similar but smaller bag ; only one rat should be put into each bag.
On arrival at the laboratory the bags, with their contained rats, are
treated with either chloroform or cyanogas and both the rats and the bags are
then examined for fleas. If chloroform is used the amount required to kill
the rat is somewhat large; it can be reduced by releasing the rat from the
trap into the bag and breaking its neck while in the latter (a process at which
Africans rapidly become very expert). Should the rats be required alive for
experimental purposes, it is possible, with a little ingenuity, to gauge the dose
in such a way that the fleas are killed or rendered unconscious whereas the
rat is not permanently affected.
The fleas are obtained partly by searching the inside of the bag and
partly by .examination of the fur of the host, the latter being readily, carried
out by combing the fur with (for instance) a microscope-slifde. They can
be preserved in 70 per cent. alcohol.. For examination they must be cleared
by boiling, preferably in a water-bath, in a test-tube containing a 10 per cent.
solution of caustic potash. This is a somewhat delicate operation, since
overboiling results in the destruction of the specimen, but a little practice will
soon indicate when a flea is sufficiently cleared. For routine-work the fleas
are best mounted (after clearing) in lacto-phenol, while specimens required
for retention are mounted in Canada balsam in the ordinary way. An
alternative method of clearing is to place the fleas direct into concentrated
carbolic acid, which clears them in a few days and in which they can be
examined; this method has the merit of being simpler and practically fool-
proof but, apart from the unpleasant effects of handling the acid it has the,
disadvantage that in many cases the spermatheca of the female flea is not
visible in full lateral view, as is commonly, essential.
KEY TO THE GENERA OF EAST AFRICAN FLEAS.
1. A comb, present on head (genal comb) or pronotum or both (Fig. 92) 10
No comb on head or pronotum (Fig. 1) 2
2. Anterior margin of head strongly angulated; club, of antenna elliptical;
thoracic tergites extremely short, all three together shorter than first
abdominal tergite (Figs. 2, 3) 3,
1 A comb is a series of spines or spine-like setae arranged in a line; the genal and pro-
thoracic combs, when present, are always composed of large spines and are therefore
conspicuous, whereas the combs sometimes found on the abdomen are composed of minute
SCIENTIFIC SUPPLEMENT; 139
Anterior margin of head smoothly rounded; club of antenna subglobular;
thoracic tergites longer than first abdominal tergite (Figs. 1, 4, 5) 4
3. Hind coxa with a patch of short spines on the inside (Fig. 15)
Echidnophaga (p. 141)
Hind coxa without such spines Tunga (p. 140)
4. Mesopleuron (portion of side of thorax immediately above middle leg, = em
+ eps of mesothorax) with an internal rod-like thickening running from
base of coxa upwards and dividing mesopleuron longitudinally (Fig. 1) 5
Mesopleuron without such thickening,(Fig. 6) 8
5. Genal margin of head bearing a large pointed hook; pronotum much longer
than mesonotpm (Fig. 4)- Pariodontis (p. 143)
Genal hook short, obtuse, or absent; pronotum shorter Jthan mesonotum 6
6. Metepisternum (episternum of metathorax) fused with metasternum
(Fig. 11) Synosternus (p. 144)
Metepisternum separated from' metasternum (Fig. 1) 7
7. Middle of outer surface of club of antenna segmented down to ventral
outline; hind coxa gradually narrowed posteriorly from middle to apex and
with comb near apex (Fig. 8) Procaviopsylla (p. 143)
Club of antenna not segmented on outer surface; hind coxa not strongly
pyriform and with comb anteriorly nearer to middle than to apex (Fig. 7)
Xbnopsylla (p. 144)
8. Genal margin of head with a strongly-developed blunt tooth (Fig. 5)
Moeopsylla (p. 142)
Genal margin without any tooth 9
9. Well-sclerotized.(and therefore dark-coloured); 3rd to 6th sternites each
bearing at least three large bristles on each side (placed as in Fig. 1) Pulex (p. 142)
Poorly-sclerotized (pale); these sternites without bristles Delopsylla (p. 143)
10. Genal comb absent (Fig, 84) 11
Both combs present (Fig. 92) 14
11. Bristles of postmedian row on abdominal tergites and metanotum shaped
like a short straight sword (Fig. 88); only one antepygidial bristle present;
eye absent- Xiphiopsylla (p. 154)
Bristles of abdomen and metanotum not qs above but hair-like; eye
sometimes developed; more than one antepygidial bristle present, at least
12. Eye vestigial Stivalius (p. 155)
Eye well-developed 13
'13. Frontal tubercle large and leaf-like (Fig. .63); combs of minute spines
present on some of abdominal segments Listropsylla (p. 155)
Frontal tubercle minute; abdominal combs absent
Libyastus and Nosopsyllus (p. 152)
14. Eye well-developed 15
Eye vestigial or absent 18
15. Genal comb more or less horizontal, confined to ventral margin of head
and remote from eye (Figs. 65, 69) 16
Genal comb nearly vertical; eye very close to base of most dorsal spine
of genal comb (Figs. 92, 93) 17
16. Apex of genal process bearing a short stout spine (Fig. 65); head of
spermatheca of female roughly pear-shaped (Fig. 67) Ctenocephalides (p. 150)
Apex of genalprocess without a spine (Fig. 69); head of spermatheca
roughly spherical (Fig. 68) Aphropsylla (p. 152)
17. Spines of genal comb wedge-shaped (Fig. 92) Chimaeropsylla (p. 163)
Spines of genal comb phylliform (leaf-shaped), broadest near apex (Fig. 93)
Hypsophthalmus (p. 163)
18. Anterior margin of head bearing two or three short stout spines (Fig. 142)
Leptopsylla (p. 164)
Spines in this position, if present, not stout 19
19. Genal comb horizontal, confined to lower margin of head, composed of
at most three spines 20
Genal comb strongly oblique, composed of five spines, -the vestigial eye
simulating a sixth (Figs. 99, 101) Dinopsyllus (p. 156)
140 UGANDA JOURNAL
20. Genal comb composed of three more or less pointed spines; maxilla
normal, sharp-pointed (Fig. 112) Ctenophthalmus (p. 158)
Genal comb of two (rarely three) blunt spines; maxilla usually truncate
and much expanded at apex (Fig. 143); on bats only1x 21
21. Maxilla sharp-pointed; head and prothorax very short, the former semi-
circular (Fig. 145); genal comb (in the only known East African species)
with three spines Thaumapsylla (p. 166)
Maxilla truncate; head and prothorax long (Fig. 143); genal comb
always of only two spines 22
22. Occiput (hinder half of head) with conspicuous dorsal incrassations2;
(Fig. 143); abdomen entirely without combs Lagaropsylla (p. 164)
Occiput without incrassations, abdomen with combs which may be very
strongly developed or very inconspicuous 23
23. Combs of abdomen on segments 1-5, very conspicuous and composed
of numerous large spines; no comb on mesonotum Oxyparius (p. 165)
These combs only on segments 1-3, inconspicuous and composed of one
to two very small spines; a vestigial comb of two very small spines on
mesonotum Rhinolophopsylla (p. 165)
Tunga penetrans Linnaeus, Syst. Nat., ed. X, p. 614 (1758).
Jordan and Rothschild, 1906, p. 67, Pl. 4, Fig. 28.
Patton and Evans, p. 528, Figs. 284, 285.
Our only member of this genus is the much too familiar "jigger"
(Fig. 2, 16). In addition to the character given in the key this species differs
from the members of the genus Echidnophaga in the shape of the head, which
descends from the angular projection in a smooth single curve, whereas in
Echidnophaga this curve is double and the front of the head has, in conse-
quence, a much blunter outline.
The "jigger" is stated to be native to South America, whence it was
accidentally introduced into Africa. Males are rarely seen, but I have captured
them on several occasions in circumstances which suggest strongly that this
sex attacks man in exactly the same manner as more normal fleas. The
female bores under the skin of man and some other animals (pig, dog, etc.)
and there swells, as her eggs mature, to the size of a small pea. It is
sometimes believed that the "jigger" breeds under the skin, but this is not
the case; if a "jigger" embedded under the skin be carefully examined a
minute black spot will be seen in the middle of the blister, this is the tail-end
of the female protruding through the tiny hole which she made in entering.
Through this hole the eggs are laid and fall to the ground, where the larvae
feed on the organic matter in the dust like those of other fleas with more
normal habits. The presence of the jigger under the skin causes intolerable
itching and if neglected may lead to much more serious consequences;
Africans minus toes as a result of neglected and infected jigger "-lesions are
no uncommon sight in some areas. The usual site of attack is under the
toe-nails, but this is by no means the only part attacked, specimens may
occur on the ball of the foot and in the fingers, and I have seen extremely
heavy infestations in the elbows of Africans. In extracting a jigger great
1 Bat-fleas have been very little collected in East Africa, and other genera and species
are to be expected. Not all have the characteristic truncate maxilla, but in all known species
except Thaumapsylla dina the genal comb is of only two spines.
2 Patches of thicker chitin.
SCIENTIFIC SUPPLEMENT 141
care is necessary to avoid breaking it, as the mouth-parts are veryfirmly fixed
in the flesh and the head is, therefore, easily separated from the body and left
behind. After extraction the cavity should be treated with iodine or some
The rugged outline of the front of the head in members of this genus is
very characteristic and should enable them to be easily recognized.
Though closely related to the "jigger ", members of the genus
Echidnophaga very rarely attack man and they do not burrow in the skin
of their hosts, though they anchor themselves very firmly to the skin by means
of their mouth-parts-hence the popular name "stick-fast flea" which is
applied to one species of the genus.
KEY TO THE EAST AFRICAN SPECIES
(Chiefly after Jordan and Rothschild).
1. Fifth tarsal segment with one apical ventral seta. E. aethiops
This segment with two apical ventral setae (Figs. 9, 10) 2
2. Second lateral seta of fifth tarsal segment midway between first and third
(Fig. 9); a small pale-coloured species E. gallinacea
This seta nearer the first than the third (Fig. 10); a much larger and
darker species E. larina
Echidnophaga gallinacea Westwood, Ent. Monthly Mag., xi, p. 426 (1875).
Jordan and Rothschild, 1906, p. 52, P1. 1, Fig. 1; PI. 2, Fig. 14; Pl. 3, Fig. 21; Pl. 4
Patton and Evans, p. 539, Fig. 287.
This species (Figs. 9, 33) is by far our commonest representative of the
genus, occurring in all four territories. It is a cosmopolitan parasite of
poultry and occurs infrequently on wild birds and not uncommonly on rats
in some areas, also occasionally on other hosts including hyaenas, caracal and
aardwolf (Proteles cristatus), and rarely on man. In America it is stated often
to occur in sufficient numbers as to kill young chickens and, occasionally,
adult fowls; in many other cases egg-production and rate of growth of fowls
are seriously reduced by the attacks of this flea. Specimens of this species
are found almost exclusively on the head and neck of the host. Females
enormously outnumber males in collections, the proportion of males in an
extensive series of surveys in Kenya never exceeding 10 per cent. in any
locality and usually being much below that figure, though for short periods of
time this proportion might be much exceeded.
Echidnophaga larina Jordan and Rothschild, 1906, p. 49, Pl. 1, Fig. 12; PI. 2, Fig. 18; Pl. 3,
This species (Fig. 10, 12, 15, 34) is widely distributed in East Africa.
It is primarily a parasite of pigs of various species, both wild and domestic,
but also occurs not uncommonly on dogs and various other hosts. Besides
those from pigs, I have examined specimens collected from porcupines near
Nairobi and in Karamoja, and from spotted and striped hyaenas and hunting
dog (Lycaon pictus) in various parts of Uganda. In Tanganyika the species
142 UGANDA JOURNAL
has been recorded from warthog, spotted hyaena, civet (Civettictis civetta) and
a hare (Lepus victoriae.
Echidnophaga aethiops, Jordan and Rothschild, 1906, p. 51.
A rare species known only from a few specimens collected from bats.
In East Africa it is known only from Kenya, but very probably occurs in the
other territories also.
The absence of the internal chitinous rod strengthening the mesopleuron
and running upwards from the base of the coxa (cf. Figs. 6 and 1) at once
separates Pulex from most of the genera with which it might be confused.
From Delopsylla, which it resembles more closely than it does any of our
other genera, it is easily separated (besides the characters given in the key) by
the much greater development of the occipital tuber (which forms an obvious
break in the dorsal outline of the head) and by the different shape of the
spermatheca of the female (cf. Figs. 35 and 37) and the terminalia of the
male (Figs. 18 and 21).
Pulex frritans, Linnaeus, Syst. Nat., ed. X, p. 614 (1758).
Jordan and Rothschild, 1908, p. 7.
Patton and Evans, p. 530, Fig. 282.
Pulex irritans (Figs. 6, 18, 35), the cosmopolitan parasite of man, is
our only representative of this genus and appears to be very rare in East
Africa, where the commonest flea found on man is a member of the genus
Ctenocephalides (p. 150). P. irritans occurs uncommonly odn rats in Kenya,
and the collection of the Uganda Section of Medical Entomology contains a
short series collected from a dog at Entebbe. It is possible that the climate
of East Africa is too hot for this species, which is not found in the plains of
India. As the specimens from the dog are the only ones ever recorded in
Uganda, it seems likely that the dog (and the fleas) had been recently imported.
Moeopsylla sjoestedti, Rothschild, 1908b, p. 3, PI. 1, Figs. 3-5. ,
This (Figs. 5, 17, 36) is the only known species of the genus, and was
described from specimens collected from the wart-hog (Phacochoerus
aethiopicus) in Tanganyika. I-have taken it from the same host in Uganda.
All the segments are short, giving the flea a very rounded appearance in
lateral view. In this respect it resembles Echidnophaga but the shortening
is much less marked. The shape of the head (Fig, 5) at once distinguishes
Moeopsylla from both Echidnophaga and the other genera with which it
might be confused, while the extraordinary spermatheca of the female (Fig. 36)
is entirely unlike that of any other species known to me. The shape of the
terminal segments of the male (Fig. 17) is also highly characteristic.
Delopsylla crassipes, Jordan, 1926a, p. 385, Figs. 1, 2.
Delopsylla is another genus containing only one species. The flea
(Figs. 21, 37) is abundant'in Kenya on the spring-hare (Pedetes surdaster) and
will doubtless be found in the other territories where forms of Pedetes occur ;
it is found only with extreme rarity on other hosts and I am convinced that
the-few instances of such an occurrence are due to transfer of the fleas from
Pedetes to the other host in the laboratory.
Delopsylla is unlikely to be confused with any genus except Pulex and
some of the numerous differences are given in the account of the latter genus
(p. 142). Pulex never, in my experience, occurs on the spring-hare.
Pariodontis riggenbachi, Rothschild, 1904, p. 611, Pl. 8, Figs. 19, 20; Pl. 9, Fig. 24.
Jordan, and Rothschild, 1908, p. 14, PI; 2, Fig. 1.
Jordan, 1926b, p. 603..
Of the two known species of this genus only P. riggenbachi (Figs. 4, 38)
is African. Its host is the porcupine (Hystrix cristata) and on this host the
species is common in some areas.
The enormous size of the flea and especially the great length of the thoracic
tergites (Fig. 4) at once separate it from any of our other combless genera,.
as also does the long and sharp genal hook (Fig. 4).
The members of this genus occur on species of rock-rabbits ", dassiess ",
or hyraxes of the genera Procavia and Heterohyrax. They have been recorded
from other hosts; but their occurrence on'these is probably entirely accidental.
They are very similar to Xenopsylla but differ by the characters given in the
key; in addition the penis-plate of the male (Fig. 22) and spermatheca of
the female (Fig. 39) are different frdm those of any East African species of
Xenopsylla. Only two forms of the genus are known from East Africa ; they
are perhaps only geographical races of dne species, but the fact that both
forms are recorded from the area round Nairobi and from Naivasha makes
this somewhat doubtful.
,KEY TO THE KNOWN EAST AFRICAN FORMS. -
1. Labial palp longer than. maxillary palp. P. isidis.
Labial palp #t most as long as maxillary palp. P. procaviae.
Procaviopsylla Isidis, Rothschild, 1903, p. 313, PI. 5, Figs. 2, 6, 8.
Jordan and Rothschild, 1908, p. 56, P1. 2, Fig. 16; P1. 4, Fig. 11; Pl. 6, Fig. 3.
This form (Figs. 22, 39) occurs in Abyssinia and in northern Kenya as:
far south as the Rift Valley, Mount Elgon and near Nairobi.
Procaviopsylla procaviae, Fox, Hygienic Lhb. Bull., No. 97, p. 8, P1. 2, Figs. 1-5 (1914).
Jordan, 1926b, p. 605.
This form replaces P. isidis in Kenya from the Rift Valley southwards:
into Tanganyika. Neither form has been obtained in Uganda, though many
hyraxes have been examined.
The present genus appears to be rare in East Africa and is unknown to
me. It has been revised by Jordan (1926b, p. 606).
KEY TO THE SPECIES.
1. First abdominal tergite with two rows of bristles; 5th tarsal segment
with minute hairs- on sole (Fig. 14). S. pallidus.
First abdominal .tergite with one row of bristles; 5th tarsal segment
without such hairs (Fig. 13). S. somalicus.
Synosternus pallidus, Taschenberg, Die Flohe, p. 65, PI. 1, Fig. 9 (1880).
Jordan and Rothschild, 1908, p. 35, Pl. 3, Fig. 4; PI. 4, Fig. 9; P1. 5, Fig. 8.
Jordan, 1926b, p. 607.
The recorded hosts of this species (Figs. 11, 14,) are chiefly hedgehogs
and Carnivora; occurrence on the latter is probably accidental. The species
is not known from our area, but occurs on the White Nile and may ttrn up
in northern Uganda.
Synosternus somalicus, Jordan and Rothschild, 1908, p. 37, Pl. 3, Fig. 8.
Jordan, 1926b, p. 607, Fig. 37.
This species (Figs. 13, 40) is recorded in our area from Kenya (Voi and
Euaso Nyiro) from the ground-squirrel, Xerus rutilus rufifrons. A single
specimen has been recorded from Uganda (Masaka) from domestic dog, but
I suspect some mistake about the locality.
This is by far the most important genus from the medical aspect, because
it contains the principal vectors of plague in the tropics. The most recent
revision is that of Jordan (1926b, p. 609); this includes all our species except
robertsi, sarodes and bantbrum, and references to it under the separate species
are omitted. Xenopsylla is best distinguished from related genera by the
characters given in the key. The genus'is characteristically parasitic on rats
and other small rodents and, in our area, specimens found on other hosts
(including man) must be regarded as stragglers. Unfortunately, however, this
straggling is of very great importance since it is by far the commonest method
by which plague is transferred to man. When a rat dies of plague (or from
any other cause) the fleas leave it and seek another host. As this second
host they greatly prefer another rat but if most of the rats in the vicinity
have died of plague or have fled from the disease the fleas will transfer them-
selves to any other warm-blooded host available. The degree to which
alternative hosts are suitable varies according to the species of flea, some
rat-fleas refusing to bite man even when starving while others do so with but'
little reluctance. When man is living in intimate contact with rats the chances
that he will become the alternative host (and thus a victim.of plague) are very
The genus Xenopsylla contains- a large number of East African species,
some of which are rare or occur on uncommon hosts, whereas others are
much the commonest fleas to be found on house-rats.
SCIENTIFIC SUPPLEMENT 145
KEY TO THE EAST AFRICAN SPECIES
1. Males. 2
Females (this sex of X. sarodes unknown) 15
2. Penis-plate enormous, with a large sharp-pointed dorsal apical projection
(Figs. 28, 29) 3
Penis-plate much smaller, usually with dorsal projection much less marked
or absent 4
3. Eighth abdominal sternite with a very conspicuous group of twelve large
coarse bristles (Fig. 19); apical margin of penis-plate slightly concave
(Fig. 29). X. crinita (p. 147)
Eighth sternite without large coarse bristles; apical margin of penis-plate
convex (Fig. 28) X. tortus (p. 147)
4. Penis-plate rounded, and very broad at tip (Figs. 23, 24) 5
Penis-plate much narrower, either cutlass-shaped or straight-sided 6
5. Penis-plate much wider near apex than at base (Fig. 23); occipital groove
deep, its outline more or less undulate (not found inland) X. astia (p. 148)
Penis-plate but little wider near apex than at base (Fig. 24); occipital groove
less deep, its outline more regular X. nubicus (p. 149)
6. Antepygidial bristle placed on a long pedestal (Fig. 1); penis-plate as in
Figs. 25 or 27. 7
Antepygidial bristle either submarginal or placed on a very short pedestal;
penis-plate not as in Figs. 25 or 27 9
7. Eye much reduced; bristles of p1 of clasper all more or less hair-like;
p of clasper broad, considerably expanded at F of distal margin (Fig. 72)
X. sarodes (p. 147)
Eye not reduced; p1 of clasper with at least one of the bristles very stout
and peg-like; p* of clasper much narrower, of almost uniform width 8
8. Penis-plate broader, broadening rather rapidly from base, broadest in
middle and usually with both sides convex (Fig. 27) X. robertsi (p. 146)
Penis-plate narrower, broadening very gradually from base, broadest near
tip, dorsal side straight or (more commonly) concave (Fig. 25).
X. brasiliensis (p. 146)
9. Penis-plate extremely narrow, with sides roughly parallel (Fig. 32) 10
Penis-plate broader and usually not with parallel sides 11
10. Ventral arm of ninth sternite not dilated at end (Sudan, likely to occur (p. 149)
in northern districts of Kenya and Uganda) X. nfloticus
This arm strongly dilated at end (Fig. 20) X. humilis (p. 149)
11. Pefis-plate without dorsal apical projection, its apex rounded, sides of
plate roughly parallel (Fig. 31). X. versuta (p. 148)
Penis-plate with dorsal apical angle at least not rounded and usually
with a sharp-pointed projection, sides of plate not roughly parallel 12
12. Eye very much reduced, its horizontal breadth less than that of apex
of second segment of maxillary palp; (penis-plate very like that of X. cheopis,
Fig. 30) X. debilis (p. 149)
Eye much broader than apex of second segment of maxillary palp 13
13. Penis-plate cutlass-shaped (Fig. 30); antepygidial bristle submarginal 14
Penis-plate not cutlass-shaped (Fig. 26); antepygidial bristle on a very
short pedestal X. difficilis (p. 149)
14. Process p1 of clasper short and truncate, setae arranged more obliquely
and transversely; ventral arm of 9th sternite little widened towards apex
(Fig. 71) X. bantorum (p. 148)
Process p" of clasper longer and much more triangular, with its posterior
margin concave and the setae arranged more longitudinally; ventral arm
of 9th sternite widened towards apex (Fig. 73) X. cheopis (p. 147)
15. Head of spermatheca narrower or but little wider than base of its tail 16
Head of spermatheca obviously wider than base of its tail 19
16. Head of spermatheca and base of its tail of about equal width, spermatheca
roughly U-shaped (Figs. 41, 42) 17
Base of tail of spermatheca much wider than its head (Figs. 43, 44) 18
17. Spermatheca very large and with very long tail (Fig. 41); seventh sternite
with a row of six bristles on the two sides'together.
Spermatheca much smaller, especially tail (Fig. 42); seventh sternite with (pp. 147,
X. bantorum and X. cheopis 148)
more than six bristles in the row X. versuta (p. 148)
146 UGANDA JOURNAL
18. Eighth sternite on each side usually with fewer than twenty-eight bristles on
outer surface; base of tail of spermatheca a's a rule strongly ventricose
(Fig. 43) X. nubicus (p. 149)
Eighth sternite usually with more than thirty bristles; base of tail'of
spermatheca usually less swollen (Fig. 44) (not found inland) X. astia (p. 148)
19. Tail of spermatheca darkened to about one-half (Figs. 45, 46) 20
Darkening of tail of spermatheca almost confined to base (Figs. 47-49) 21
20. Base of tail of spermatheca very swollen, roughly globular (Fig. 45).
X. brasiliensis (p. 146)
Base of tail of spermatheca but little swollen, (Fig. 46) X. robertsi (p. 146)
21, Head of spermatheca very oblique, egg-shaped (Fig. 47) 22
Head of spermatheca not or but little oblique, more or less globular or
22. Basal abdominal sternite without lateral bristles, or at most with one
X. humilis (p. 149)
This sternite with two or three lateral bristles besides ventral ones 23
23. Seventh sternite with 19-28 bristles on the two sides together (Sudan, but (p. 149)
likely to occur in the northern part of our area) X. niloticus
This sternite with only 10-13 bristles on the two sides together X. difficilis (p. 149)
24. Eye much reduced; head of spermatheca globular (Fig. 48) X. debilis (p. 149)
Eye reduced but at least as broad as apex of second segment of palp;
head of spermatheca somewhat quadrate (Fig. 49) X. crinita and X. tortus1 (p. 147)
Xenopsylla brasiliensis, Baker, Proc. U.S. Nat. Museum, 27, pp. 378, 379.
Rothschild, 1914, p. 84, Figs. 1, 4.
Patton and Evans, p. 532, Figs. 283, C & F.
X. brasiliensis (Figs. 1, 25, 45) is one of the two species of the genus
which are known to be important vectors of plague in East Africa, the other
being X. cheopis. The present species is of very wide distribution throughout
the territories, occurring very commonly on -house-rats (chiefly Rattus rattus
and Rattus (Mastomys) coucha) and not uncommonly on field-rats where
contact between these and the house-rats is sufficiently close. In contrast to
cheopis, it is primarily the flea of rats caught in native huts and is compara-
tively rare in towns; it is almost certainly the chief carrier of plague in most
areas with purely African populations. Roberts (1936) has shown that there
is a considerable amount of evidence that this is correlated with the habits of
Rattus rattus, rats living in earth burrows being infested with cheopis and those
living in roofs or walls with brasiliensis.
Xenopsylla robertsi, Jordan, 1936, p. 300, Figs. 60,61.
This species (Figs. 27, 46) was first found on Rattus rattus at Keruguya
and Embu, both on the south side of Mount Kenya. I have since seen it in
numbers from the western part of Masaka district and the adjoining part of
Ankole district, Uganda. This is a very interesting case of discontinuous
distribution, because the flea has not been found in any other locality although
a number of rat and flea surveys have been done in the intervening area.
The male very closely resembles that of brasiliensis but is separable by
the form of the penis-plate (Fig. 27). The female (Fig. 46), though running
down in the key with brasiliensis, is more likely to be 'confused with crinita,
from which it is readily separable by the greater extent of the darkening of
1 Dr. Jordan kindly informs me that he is unable to find a satisfactory distinction
between the females of these two species but that, on the whole, X. crinita has more bristles,
particularly on the metepimeron and the eighth tergite.
'SCIENTIFIC SUPPLEMENT" 147
the tail of the spermatheca and by the more rounded form of the head of
The part which robertsi may play in the carriage of plague is as yet
unknown, but it occurs in very considerable numbers and must obviously be
taken into account in examining the plague-problem in the particular areas
in which it occurs..
Xenopsylla sarodes, Jordan, 1937a, p. 286, Fig. 70.
The penis-plate of this species (Fig. 72) was not included in the original
description, but Dr. Jordan kindly informs me that it is "like that of
X. brasiliensis, long and narrow and slightly concave on the dorsal side ".
The female is unknown. *
The only known specimen was collected on the Northern Guaso Nyiro,
North Kenya, from a mouse, Saccostomus isiolae.
Xenopsylla tortus, Jordan and Rothschild, 1908, p. 53, Pl. 5, Fig. 4.
This species (Fig. 28) is known in our area only from Kenya. The known
hosts are Cricetomys gambianus (giant rat) and Praomys arborarius (Rattus
auricomis). The spermatheca of the female is similar to that of crinita
Xenopsylla crinita, Jordan and Rothschild, 1922, p. 266, Fig. 258.
The male (Figs. 19, 29) could hardly be confused with that of any other
species, but the female (Fig. 49) is apparently inseparable from that of tortus.
The species is known from Kenya and from Zanzibar and occurs commonly
on the giant rats of the genus Cricetomys, but not on other hosts. Examina-
tion of very many specimens of Cricetomys in Uganda has not produced
Xenopsylla cheopis, Rothschild, 1903, Ent. Mo. Mag. (2), 14, p. 85, Pl. 1, Figs. 3, 9; P1. 2
Figs. 12, 19.
Rothschild, 1914, p. 85, Figs. 2 and 5.
Patton and Evans, p. 532, Figs. 283A and D.
Jordan, 1938, pp. 112 to 114, Fig. 55.
Xenopsylla cheopis (Figs. 7, 30, 41, 73) is the most important plague-flea
in most parts of the tropics, though in the rural plague-areas of East Africa
it is extremely uncommon. The distribution of cheopis in East Africa is
of exceptional interest, for it-is possible to distinguish a northern and a
southern zone (the-boundary between which, in Uganda, is roughly the line
of the Victoria Nile) in which the distribution of this flea is very different. In
the northern zone cheopis 'occurs abundantly on house-rats and field-rats,
often in the absence of Rattus rattus, but in the southern zone the flea occurs
only in areas where R. rattus is present, and is very uncommon on field-rats
and even on those specimens of R. rattus which live in African huts. It seems
that there have been at least two different invasions of East Africa by this
flea, one from the north, down the Nile valley and independent of Rattus
rattus, and the other from the east coast. This second invasion probably
took place about fifty years ago and the flea came in with R. rattus and was
148 UGANDA JOURNAL
spread chiefly by modern methods of transport such as the railway, lake
steamers and lorries.
The male has a very characteristic penis-plate (Fig. 30), but is only
separable from that of X. bantorum by the characters given in the key. The
penis plate is also very similar to that of X. debilis, but the latter species is at
once separated by its greatly reduced eye. The female (Fig. 41) is inseparable
from that of bantorum, but could hardly be mistaken for that of any other
species except X. versuta, the differences from which are given in the key.
Xenopsylla bantorum, Jordan, 1938, p. 112, Figs. 54, 56, 57.
This form (Fig. 71) is of unusual interest. It has been stated above that
X. cheopis in the southern zone -of East Africa is mainly an urban flea and
is very uncommon on field-rats. During the course of a rat-survey at Tororo
(in the southern zone in eastern Uganda) Mr. T. W. Chorley set a few traps
in the open, far from any buildings, and obtained a small number of specimens
of a field-rat (Aethomys kaiseri ssp.) which were rather heavily infested with
a flea which appeared to be X. cheopis. The occurrence was so unusual that
I was not satisfied as to their identity and submitted the specimens to Dr.
Jordan, who described then #s X. bantorum. There appear to be no other
differences between the males of these two forms than are described in the
key, and the females are indistinguishable.
X. bantorum is known to occur in Kenya (Nakuru) and in Uganda
(Tororo, Teso, Busoga, Buruli and Ankole), but it is likely that it is much
more widely distributed, because it is probable that most records of X. cheopis
from field-rats in the southern zone really refer to X. bantorum. Dr. Jordan
considers that X. bantorum was present on East African field-rats before
cheopis invaded the area. The spread of Rattus rattus and X. cheopis is still
in progress and Dr. Jordan has found evidence of hybridization between the
two fleas in Kenya, which suggests that bantorum will eventually be absorbed
Aethomys kaiseri is the principal host of the flea, but it also occurs on
Arvicanthis abyssinicus and on the orange-toothed mole-rat, Tachyoryctes.
Xenopsylla versuta, Jordan, 1925, p. 100, Fig. 8.
The male of this somewhat uncommon species (Fig. 31) has a penis-plate
unlike that of any of our other species. The spermatheca of the female
(Fig. 42) is not unlike that of cheopis.
The species has been obtained from squirrels (Funisciurus sp. and
Paraxerus ochraceus aruscensis) in Tanganyika. The original specimens were
also taken from a squirrel (in Angola), so squirrels are probably the preferred
hosts, but I have had one specimen from Rattus rattus and two from Rattus
(Mastomys) coucha ugandae in Kigezi district, Uganda.
Xenopsylla astia, Rothschild, 1911, Ent. Mo. Mag., J8, p. 117, Fig. 1.
Rothschild, 1914, p. 84, Figs. 3, 6.
Patton and Evans, p. 352, Figs. 283B and E.
This Oriental species (Figs. 23, 44) has been introduced into East Africa
and is still confined to the coast (Mombasa, Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar).
SCIENTIFIC SUPPLEMENT 149
It is rather rare in Mombasa, where' it occurs chiefly on the brown rat or
ship-rat, Rattus norvegicus (also confined to the coast) but also on Rattus
rattus. Both X. astia and R. norvegicus were probably introduced in dhows,
The penis-plate of the male (Fig. 23) is very characteristic, but the female
(Fig. 44) could easily be mistaken for X. nubicus.
Xenopsylla nubicus, Rothschild, 1903, P1. 2, Figs. 10, 16.
Both sexes of this species (Figs. 24, 43) closely resemble X. astia. The
species appears to be uncommon in most parts of East Africa. In Kenya it
has been recorded from the Nakuru district and Maseno (northern Kavirondo).
In Uganda I have collected it in Chua, Teso, Mubende, western Masaka,
several localities in Bunyoro and in the lower parts of West Nile, where it is
common; it appears to be absent round Kampala. Its principal hosts are
gerbils of the genera Tatera and -Taterillus, but it is also found (probably
accidentally) on a wide variety of field-rats and on other hosts, particularly
Although it so much resembles astia the differences are of importance,
for nubicus has been shown to be an efficient vector of plague in West Africa,
whereas in India astia has been proved to be a very poor transmitter of the
Xenopsylla hundlis, Jordan, 1925, p. 101, Fig. 10.
This species (Figs. 20, 32, 47) and the two following resemble each other
rather closely. X. humilis appears to be the East African representative of
niloticus, a Sudanese species which has been erroneously recorded from East
Africa, but it not unlikely to occur in the north of our area. Both occur
primarily on gerbils of the genus Tatera but also on other rats, including
Rattus rattus. X. humilis is not uncommon in certain parts of Kenya
(particularly from Machakos to the coast), and it occurs in north-eastern
Tanganyika. A specimen from north-western Uganda (Lango district) which
I determined as this species (E. Afric. M. J., 10, 1933, p. 179) is actually a
female X. brasiliensis with a distorted spermatheca.
Xenopsylla difflcilis, Jordan, 1925, p. 101, Fig. 11.
This (Fig. 26) and the next species are apparently rare in East Africa.
X. difficilis is known from Uaso Nyiro and Voi in Kenya and from the
Kilimanjaro area of Tanganyika; it has only been captured on hosts of the
genus Tatera. The spermatheca of the female is like that of humilis (Fig. 47).
Xenopsylla debilis, Jordan, 1925, p. 101.
Only recorded from Kenya (Uaso Nyiro and Aberdare Hills), on Tatera
nigricauda (and a probably accidental occurrence on Oenomys sp.). The male
has a penis-plate very like that of cheopis (Fig. 30), but is at once separable
by the reduced size of its eye; the spermatheca of the female (Fig. 48) is
quite unlike that'of any of our other species.