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|Acholi History, 1860-1901...|
|The Coming of the Banana to...|
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|Whistled Signals among the...|
|Derivations of some Teso Place...|
|Index to Volume 16 (1952)|
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Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Table of Contents
Some Effects of the Owen Falls Scheme
The Mbwa fly and problems of its control
Pigmy Crocodiles in Uganda
Dini ya Misambwa
Control of Crime in Primitive Society - An Example from Teso
Acholi History, 1860-1901 - III
The Coming of the Banana to Uganda
Chronology of Buganda, 1800-1907, from Kagwa's Ebika
The Agoro Systems of Irrigation
Whistled Signals among the Bakonjo
Derivations of some Teso Place-names
Index to Volume 16 (1952)
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
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THE JOURNAL OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY
J. V. WILD
Dr. W. H. R. LUMSDEN I Hon. Editors
MAJOR B. G. KINLOCH, M.C.
DR. AUDREY I. RICHARDS
DR. K. P. WACHSMANN
(assisted in England by H. B. THOMAS, O.B.E.)
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY HEADLEY BROTHERS LTD
109 KINGSWAY LONDON WC2 AND ASHFORD KENT
Some Effects of the Owen Falls Scheme BRIGADIER C. G. HAWES
The Mbwa Fly and Problems of its Control G. R. BARNLEY
Pigmy Crocodiles in Uganda CAPTAIN C. R. S. PrrMAN
Dini ya Misambwa BISHOP L. C. USHER-WILSON
Control of Crime in Primitive Society-An Example from Teso
Acholi History, 1860-1901-III SIR JOHN MILNER GRAY
The Coming of the Banana to Uganda G. A. WAINWRIGHT
Chronology of Buganda, 1800-1907, from Kagwa's Ebika
Translated by A. M. K. MAYANJA
The Agoro Systems of Irrigation - J. M. WATSON
Whistled Signals among the Bakonjo A. J. HADDOW
Derivations of some Teso Place-names MILL HILL FATHERS
Two Finds in Northern Uganda:
(i) A Sun-dial of 1713 ; (ii) A Charles II Halfpenny
Emin Pasha-A last Portrait -
A Karamojong Wedding -
Maize Names -
The Origin of the Name Nyapea -
A Haunted House near Kampala -
H. B. THOMAS
H. B. THOMAS
Mr. Norman Godinho -
Index to Volume 16 of The Uganda Journal -
SOME EFFECTS OF THE OWEN FALLS SCHEME
By BRIGADIER C. G. HAWES, C.I.E., M.C.
T HE Owen Falls Scheme is one only of a series of works designed to secure
the control and development of the whole of the Nile Basin. These works
have been proposed by Egypt and, before describing the effects of the Scheme
on the river as a whole, it seems necessary to examine the history of Nile
development, and to call to mind how the Egyptian Government comes to be
sponsoring the construction of works outside its own territory.
By international usage, anyone who has had the use of water from a river
or stream for a long period establishes a right to the water he uses. Develop-
meats on a river system can only be made after allowing sufficient water for
all riparian owners who have the right to water for domestic purposes. Subject
to this condition the principle governing any proposed development is that it
should result in the greatest good to the greatest number of people. The
development of the resources of the Nile clearly satisfies this principle ; but in
the case of Egypt, there exists, in addition, an agreement concluded in 1929
(The Nile Waters Agreement), in which the British Government recognized the
rights of Egypt in the waters of the Nile, and agreed that any development
upstream, which might be contemplated in the future, should only be under-
taken with the agreement of the Egyptian Government. Egypt has, of course,
used the waters of the Nile for thousands of years, and there can be no question
that her right to the use of such waters is clearly established.
Irrigation in Egypt, up to about 80 years ago, was by means of the' basin'
system, in which land on the banks of the Nile 'was divided into compartments
by means of earthen bunds. The compartments were filled with water from
the Nile when in flood, and the water was retained there for six :to eight weeks,
and was then emptied back into the river on the falling flood. Crops were
grown on the soaked land, using the water which had been stored in the soil
during the period of retention in the compartments. By this system only one
crop a year was obtained from the land.
But for many years past, the Egyptian Government has been developing
perennial irrigation by constructing barrages across the Nile at suitable points,
in order to raise the water during the non-flood season, and thus to obtain
command of the land on the banks of the river ; perennial canal systems now
exist at all these barrages, and enable the Egyptian cultivator to obtain three
crops each year from his land. The area at present cultivated in Egypt is six
million feddans (a feddan is approximately one acre), of which about one
million is still under basin irrigation.'
In addition to building the barrages (of which there are four) on the river,
Egypt has found it necessary to arrange for the storage of water in the flood
1 The extent to which the establishment in Egypt of a perennial cotton has contri-
buted to the transformation from flood to perennial irrigation is pointed out by Dr.
Hutchinson in Uganda Journal, Vol. 16 (1952), p. 11.-[EDs.]
108 UGANDA JOURNAL
season, to be used in the non-flood season when natural supplies in the Nile
are low and very often quite insufficient for the present area of winter cultiva-
tion. These storage are at the Aswan Dam in upper Egypt, and at the Jebel
Aulia Dam, situated a short distance south of Khartoum on the White Nile.
In the Sudan, on the Blue Nile, there is the Sennar Dam, which supplies water
for irrigating about 900,000 acres of the Gezira Irrigation Scheme, and which
also.supplies some water for the use of Egypt.
Egypt has now developed irrigation to the maximum possible extent with
the water available in the river, as at Aswan, during the non-flood season;
and in addition is faced with a rapidly growing population. While there is
usually, but not always, plenty of water for the additional cultivation required
to support the growing population in the flood season, there is not enough, in
the natural river plus the existing storage, to allow of any expansion in the
winter season of the existing areas; and it is for this reason that Egypt has
proposed a comprehensive series of works for the control and development of
The flow in the Nile, as at Aswan, is provided from two sources. The
Blue Nile, rising in Lake Tana in Abyssinia, supplies by far the greater part
of the discharge during the flood season, but may drop to one-fifth of its
maximum discharge in the winter season; while the White Nile, which has its
origin in Lake Victoria at the Ripon Falls, supplies by far the greater propor-
tion of the discharge during the winter season. The vital importance of White
Nile supplies during the winter season is thus apparent.
The White Nile between Mongalla and Malakal flows through the Sudd
region and is subject to loss by flooding over the banks and the filling up of the
swamps which exist in this stretch of the river. In low discharges, losses in
the Sudd are not abnormal, but the percentage of loss increases rapidly with
increasing discharge at Mongalla, and during high flood periods may reach
60 per cent. None of the water spilt into the Sudd finds its way back to the
Nile, so that any spillage is finally lost, and the discharge from the Sudd region
near Malakal consequently varies little from season to season and from year
The works proposed on the Nile, upstream of Malakal, are all designed to
conserve the flow of the White Nile, and to reduce loss in the Sudd region to
the minimum possible at all river stages. Development is also proposed on the
Blue Nile, and this will benefit the Sudan as well as Egypt.
These works are:
(a) storage in Lake Victoria by means of the Owen Falls Scheme ;
(b) a balancing storage plus a reserve flood storage in Lake Albert, with
a dam at Mutir;
(c) a barrage across the Nile at or near Masindi Port to control Lake
Kyoga and to eliminate the lag' between Lake Victoria and Lake
(d) possibly a storage reservoir between Nimule and Juba to catch torrent
discharges from tributaries of the Nile ;
(e) a regulator across the Nile at Jonglei and a canal from Jonglei to the
Sobat River mouth, which will be used to by-pass the Sudd region;
0 100 200
I,_ I -- i
The Nile south of Khartoum.
110 UGANDA JOURNAL
(f) a storage reservoir for flood control at Merowe (at the Fourth Cataract)
north of Khartoum; and
(g) on the Blue Nile a dam at its exit from Lake Tana, which will also be
used for storage and will give water for increasing irrigation in the
Sudan to two million acres as well as extra water for Egypt.
The original proposal made by the Egyptian Government suggested the
provision of the whole of the storage for the Great Lakes in Lake Albert; but,
due to flooding, this involved the more or less permanent loss of a very large
area of land, and so was objected to by the Uganda Government. As a result
the storage is now to be located in Lake Victoria, where it can be provided with
a relatively small rise in the surface of the Lake.
The capacity of the storage required in the lakes has been calculated by
Dr. H. E. Hurst, C.M.G., Scientific Consultant to the Egyptian Government,
who was for some twenty-five years Director of the Physical Section of the
Egyptian Public Works Department. Egypt has accumulated much data
regarding discharges, gauges, etc., for the Nile System, and in 1939 started the
systematic collection of hydrological data in Uganda and in the Belgian Congo
for that part of the Nile Basin which lies south of Nimule. .Dr. Hurst has
published, in Volume VIII of The Nile Basin, his investigations of meteoro-
logical and hydrological data from all over the world. It is interesting to note
that he has confirmed the results obtained in his investigations, by an examina-
tion of the thicknesses of tree rings for which data extend over a period of
about 600 years, and of the thicknesses of clay varves, data for which extend
over some 4,000 years. Variations in the thicknesses of tree rings and of clay
varves are caused by variations in rainfall-the factor which causes variations
in river discharges.
Dr. Hurst's investigations have resulted in a formula which can be used to
calculate the storage necessary on any river system to guarantee a given dis-
charge in the river over a given period of years. In order to apply the formula
to any river system however, it is necessary to have available hydrological data
covering a long period of years. For the Nile the period of years used in the
formula has been taken as 100 years, and the storage is consequently referred
to as century storage'. The existence of Lakes Victoria and Albert on the
upper reaches of the Nile will enable the Egyptian Government to provide for
this storage, and when all the works are completed will guarantee to Egypt a
definite quantity of water at Aswan during every year in the winter season.
Egypt will not, thereafter, be afflicted with the uncertainty of supply which,
due to water supplies being subject to the vagaries of climate, is usual in
practically every other irrigation project in the world, and will obtain sufficient
water to sustain cultivation.
When Lake Victoria is used as a storage reservoir the Owen Falls Hydro-
Electric Scheme will benefit by having available a constant discharge all the
year round for power production. Further, this constant discharge will amount
to 505 cubic metres per second as compared with the minimum discharge of
about 423 cubic metres per second which is all that would be available for
varying periods of low lake-level if the project had to utilize only the water
escaping naturally from Lake Victoria. Until, however, Lake Victoria is in
SOME EFFECTS OF THE OWEN FALLS SCHEME 111
fact used as a reservoir for the storage of irrigation water, the Owen Falls
Scheme will have to operate only on the run of the river', and may therefore
have to face periods of low discharge. (In 1922 and 1923 the actual discharge
from the Ripon Falls was a little less than 423 cubic metres per second for a
period of eleven months.) Should industrial development in Uganda be rapid
(resulting in a heavy and rapidly increasing demand for power), it may be
necessary for the Uganda Electricity Board to retain, as a reserve against
possible low river flow, the thermal stations which have been erected to tide
over the period between the creation of the Board and the completion of the
Owen Falls Scheme.
The Owen Falls Scheme, when operated on the run of the river, will have
no effect on lakeside interests around the shores of Lake Victoria, but as soon
as the lake is used as a storage for irrigation water, conditions will be changed,
since the range of the lake, that is to say, the difference between the minimum
reading and the maximum reading on any of the gauges, will have to be
increased from 1-7 metres to 3 metres in order to provide the space for the
storage of water.
The rise in the lake-level above the present recorded maximum will be
approximately 41 feet, and will cause considerable disturbances to lakeside
interests; for example, all East Africa Railways and Harbours' ports and
harbour works will need to be raised and adjusted. In the major ports, such
as Kisumu, Musoma, Mwanza, Bukoba, Bukakata and Port Bell, there will be
flooding of valuable foreshore, and in some cases buildings, factories, etc., will
need to be moved; while the smaller ports now used by tug services for cargo
will also require attention.
An investigation has been made into the probable area of flooding of
lands round Lake Victoria and its islands, and has shown that the actual area
of land likely to be flooded at maximum lake-level is remarkably small con-
sidering the length of the coastline involved. This is because a very large
proportion of the coastline, both of the lake and of the islands, is steep-to, and
the run-back of the water involved by the 41 feet rise on the lake is conse-
quently very small. Compensation will naturally have to be paid by the
Egyptian Government for all land which is liable to be flooded, and the use
of which will therefore be denied to the people. The total bill for compensa-
tion may exceed 3,000,000.
Generally speaking, it may be accepted that the effect on the lake of its use
as a storage will be to increase the depth of water by approximately 21 feet as
compared with the present general lake-levels. This will be of substantial
advantage to steamer services in shallow areas like the Kavirondo Gulf and
Bukakata Port. Another effect will be that low lake-levels will occur probably
only once or twice in a hundred years.
By examining the Entebbe gauge records of the past fifty-one years and
applying to the lake the system of regulation which would have been used had
it been available for storage, it is found that there would not have been any low
lake-level in the year 1922-3 (when the minimum occurred), and also that the
lake surface would not have reached the new maximum at any time during the
period. It is found also that the lake surface would have been below the new
112 UGANDA JOURNAL
mean lake-level for a relatively longer period than it was below the existing
mean lake-level. Filling up of storage may take anything up to seventeen or
eighteen years after the commencement of regulating for storage.
The Owen Falls Scheme, even if operated quite alone and not in conjunc-
tion with the other works proposed for Nile development, will benefit Egypt
very considerably, because of the levelling out of discharge from Lake Victoria.
Egypt would get improved discharges in the winter season of each year, and
less water would be lost in the Sudd region because of the holding back of high
flood discharges in Lake Victoria by means of the Owen Falls Dam. Thus
Egypt would get quite appreciable benefits from using Lake Victoria as a
storage reservoir in advance of the completion of the other works which are
necessary in order to achieve complete control over the discharge of the Nile.
When all these control works have been constructed, the economic life of
the Nilotic people in the Southern Sudan will have to be greatly changed. At
present, when flood water enters the Sudd region, the tribes living round the
Sudd swamps withdraw to the dry land bordering the Sudd and there cultivate
their crops on rain water. After the Nile floods recede, the water in the Sudd
swamps gradually dries up, and the people consequently follow the water
down eventually coming to the river banks. During this period they graze
their livestock on young growth following burning of the swamp vegetation, and
they fish in the shallow waters of the swamp.
When complete control of the Nile is achieved, no flood water will enter
the Sudd swamps, and consequently the seasonal movements will have to cease,
and the tribes will need to be settled along the river bank, so that they may
have access to water for drinking purposes, and provision will probably have to
be made adjacent to the river for irrigated grazing for their livestock, and
possibly also for irrigated cultivation for the production of millet.
It has been shown that the construction of the Owen Falls Scheme and its
use for the storage of water in Lake Victoria will have important effects on the
economy of Uganda, and that it will have beneficial results for Egypt. The
Scheme, when operated with all the other Nile control projects, will give Egypt
what irrigation engineers have long dreamed of but never attained-a guaran-
teed supply of water in the Nile.
The cost of all the works on the White Nile is believed to be of the order
of 50,000,000-a large sum it is true, but nothing when compared to the cost
in money and suffering of one year of deficient water in the river.
THE MBWA FLY AND PROBLEMS OF ITS CONTROL
By G. R. BARNI.EY, M.Sc.
THOSE who live near Jinja require no introduction to the Mbwa Fly,
Simulium damnosum Theo. The presence of this aptly named scourge is
made painfully obvious to all visitors and in fact Speke in 1862, while in the
act of discovering the Source of the Victoria Nile, noted that a small black
fly, with thick shoulders and bullet-head, infests the place, and torments the
naked arms and legs of the people with its sharp stings to an extent that must
render life miserable to them ". The Mbwa Fly of the Victoria Nile, which
bites most aggressively and occurs in vast numbers, makes its presence very
obvious indeed and by comparison, another important member of the same
genus, Simulium neavei, has remained almost unnoticed in Uganda until
recently. S. neavei breeds in smaller numbers than does S. damnosum; it
approaches its victim more subtly and although it is very widely distributed
throughout Uganda, its presence and activity remains unsuspected even by
The medical importance of the Mbwa Flies, apart from the intense
nuisance value of the biting activity of S. damnosum, lies in the fact that the
fly transmits the filarial worm Onchocerca volvulus which parasitizes men and
produces distressing symptoms akin to elephantiasis and may also blind its
hosts. It is with a view to the eradication of the disease Onchocerciasis that
the possibilities of Simulium control are being investigated. In order to appre-
ciate the problems of control something of the morphology and habits of the
fly must be understood.
The Simuliidae are a cosmopolitan genus. In Europe they have been
recognized for many generations and are usually referred to as black fly' and
in Scotland they are commonly but wrongly described as 'midges'. In
America they are named 'buffalo gnats', not because they attack buffalo
(which they do) but because their massive hump-backed thorax and low aspect
of the head are suggestive of the American buffalo or bison. In Central and
South America, as in Africa, Simulium species transmit Onchocerciasis.
The adult fly beyond having the characteristics already mentioned is not
a very spectacular creature when observed with the unaided eye: it is too small
to be seen as anything but a small black fly'. When seen under a lens the
members of the genus often exhibit rather beautiful ornamentation of metallic-
hued scales, but they are rather unspecialized flies without any remarkable
The biting mechanism by which the Simuliidae obtain their blood meals is,
however, distinctly remarkable. Most blood-sucking flies are well adapted to
such a feeding habit. The mouth parts of mosquitoes, tsetse fly and stable fly
have been evolved into an instrument which is a very close approximation to
a hypodermic syringe with which they can withdraw a stomach full of blood
with the minimum of inconvenience and loss of time. The Mbwa Fly, on the
114 UGANDA JOURNAL
other hand, has a set of tools by no means so well adapted for blood sucking.
Instead of a hollow needle which easily pierces the skin and reaches a capillary
blood-vessel, the Mbwa Fly works with two pairs of cutting organs; the
mandibles, which are hinged exactly like a pair of scissors and have serrated
blades like dressmakers' pinking shears; and the maxillae which are pointed
organs edged with teeth very similar to those of a carpenter's rasp. By a
combination of the processes of snipping and filing the fly excavates a hole in
the skin and tears a superficial capillary blood-vessel. The drop of blood is
then sucked up haustorially' by a disk-shaped tongue somewhat similar to
that of the common house-fly.
The process of scraping the wound is one which invokes every mechanism
the skin possesses for preventing bleeding by causing the blood to clot and seal
the hole. As the tongue cannot suck up solid material the fly has had to
elaborate a special technique for preventing the clotting of blood. All blood-
sucking insects are equipped with salivary glands which secrete anti-coagulant
enzymes and it is this material which causes the irritation almost invariably
associated with an insect bite. The Mbwa Fly, moreover, has very large
salivary glands and has developed the whole of its proventriculus (fore-gut or
crop) as an organ for the storage of salivary secretion. When it bites it has
the very nasty habit of vomiting into the wound a volume of saliva about equal
to that of the drop of blood. It puddles the saliva about in the wound with its
tongue and then sucks up the mixture. This vomiting of saliva and the
working of it into the wound is of course an ideal method of transmitting
parasites from host to vector and from vector to host. Furthermore, the saliva
also contains a hormone that acts as a tropic agent, concentrating the larval
skin forms of the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus to the site of the bite so
that they are sucked up with the blood.
This biting method, involving the release by the skin of considerable
quantities of histamine and the application of a large drop of saliva containing
anti-coagulant and tropic enzymes produces the painful weal with an inflamed
centre characteristic of the Mbwa bite. The bite is so irritating that to refrain
from scratching is almost impossible and infective dirt is frequently rubbed
into the wound and local ulcers result.
The life history of the Simuliidae is unusual and interesting. The female
fly is fertilized by waiting males immediately on emergence from the pupa
and after it has had a blood meal it retires to a damp and shaded environment
where its ovaries mature. In about 96 hours the fly is ripe and makes for a
suitable breeding site. In the case of S. damnosum, the choice of site is limited
to violently agitated water where the concentration of dissolved or suspended
oxygen is at a maximum. The many falls and rapids on the Victoria Nile
provide the ideal conditions. The female settles on vegetation trailing into
the water or on an exposed rock and deposits some 250 eggs at the water edge.
The eggs hatch within a period of between a few hours and a day, and the first
stage larvae then emerge. This emergence is one of the critical periods in the
life cycles: unless the larva can attach itself to some under-water support it will
be swept away and perish. To this end the larva is equipped with silk glands
in the head with which it spins a' life-line '. This web of silk sticks to trailing
Biting mouth parts of Simulium damnosum. The labium or tongue' has been removed
in order to display the saw-edged mandible (A) and the file-toothed maxillae (B). The
mandibles are in life hinged together like the blades of a pair of scissors but they have
been disarticulated and displaced laterally from beneath the labrum-epiphyrynx (D).
The hinge ', a chitinous knob, can be seen at (C).
[face p. 1z4
Photo by G. R. Barnley
Simulium damnosum larvae and pupae attached to stalks of grass which have been trailing in the water. The
specimens seen are but a small proportion of one handful of grass pulled out of the water. One blade of grass
7 inches long and taperingfrom I inch to l inch supported 750 individual larvae and pupae when counted in the
THE MBWA FLY AND PROBLEMS OF ITS CONTROL 115
grass or stones and the larva hauls itself up to this support, and having reached
it attaches itself by means of a posterior sucker or pneumatic disk. There-
after the larvae are capable of limited movement by 'looping' their bodies,
moving the posterior sucker up to the mouth parts anchored by silk to the
support. By a succession of such looping movements they can move to a
situation where the oxygen content, rate of flow and depth of water are at the
preferred balance. They then settle down to feed, which they do by straining
microscopic plant and animal forms and organic debris from the passing water
by means of the mouth brushes or Cephalic Fans. They obtain their oxygen
by absorption through anal gills, organs which resemble bunches of miniature
transparent bananas. The larvae pass through five successive moults which
are completed in about six days.
The mature fifth stage larva then pupates, having first constructed a
slipper-shaped cocoon of silk which it reinforces with fragments of sand and
organic debris and gums firmly to the surface of rocks or trailing vegetation
with a gelatinous material secreted by glands in the head.
-^ '^------ MATURE-____ PUPA
Simulium damnosum: diagrammatic representation of early stages.
The pupal phase is one of resting while the metamorphic process of form-
ing the complicated adult structures such as wings, mouth parts and genital
organs are completed. The pupa does not feed but must breathe and for this
purpose develops respiratory filaments which branch from the head capsule.
These filaments show great diversity of form in different species and provide a
very useful taxonomic feature. In general the filaments are longer and more
delicate when the species prefers slow running water than when it lives in very
violently agitated water. The respiratory filaments of S. damnosum are short
and stout and remain within the protection of the cocoon.
Pupal development of S. damnosum is complete in about five days and
the adult fly is faced with the problem of bursting out of its pupal case and
emerging from the raging torrent. It has developed a rather clever mechanism
116 UGANDA JOURNAL
to this end: while breathing by means of respiratory filaments, the develop-
ing nymph excretes its expired air in the form of a bubble through the posterior
abdominal spiracles. The air bubble is entrapped by the hairs on the under
surface of the body, and when the fly bursts out of the pupal skin it is carried
to the surface by the buoyancy of this bubble. Nonetheless this emergence
from the puparium is the most critical moment in the whole life-cycle and if
a fly has the misfortune to surface in an eddy or a broken wave, it will be
unlikely to survive and it appears that not more than 25 per cent of the 250
eggs deposited ever complete their development to the adult stage. This is
just as well when one considers that in one stretch of about one hundred
yards of the Nile bank near the Bujagali Falls I have estimated that on the
vegetation which I could reach there must have been over five million early
stages of S. damnosum.
The male flies of the same batch of eggs emerge from the pupae a few
hours earlier than do the females. They take advantage of this fact by resting
while their legs and wings harden so that they are active by the time the females
emerge. While the females are going through this drying-out process the
males are in a position to take an unfair advantage of them as soon as they can
fly. The females are thus fertilized with little or no delay and as soon as they
have had a blood meal their ovaries start to mature and in 96 hours they are
ready to deposit their eggs. A female S. damnosum probably produces three
batches of eggs during her lifetime. While the eggs are being matured the
female requires a moist shaded environment and this is perfectly provided by
the dense undergrowth of the Mabira Forest. The rapids and falls on the
Victoria Nile extending from the Ripon Falls to Mbulamuti provides a very
extensive series of breeding sites and the Mabira Forest gives equally excellent
facilities for harbouring the adults. Hence the vast quantities of Mbwa Fly
which harass the inhabitants of Kyagwe, Bugerere and Busoga.
Simulium damnosum also breeds in the neighbourhood of the Murchison
Falls, the Nimule Rapids on the White Nile and in several of the rivers running
rapidly down the Ruwenzori foothills, including the Mubuku and the Nyama-
gasani. This species demands very violently agitated water, broken and
foaming over rocks and boulders. It appears that it will be found wherever
there are rivers which provide these conditions perennially at altitudes not
appreciably above 4,000 ft. Wherever the fly has been found, Onchocerciasis
may be demonstrated among the neighboring inhabitants.
The other important vector of Onchocerciasis in Uganda is Simulium
naevei. This was first discovered by Dr. Neave near the rivers of western
Ankole in 1911. The early stages and the male adult were unknown until
1949 despite most intensive searches. The mystery was solved by McMahon
and Van Someren in Kenya. They found that instead of being attached to
submerged stones or vegetation the larvae of pupae of S. neavei live in phoretic
association with the fresh-water crab Potomonauntos niloticus. It is interest-
ing to note that Captain Pitman had previously noted the presence of Simulium
pupae attached to crabs, but his information did not reach a Simulium expert.
Simulium neavei is evidently a forest species and will breed at altitudes
between 4,500 and 6,000 feet in any stream inhabited by suitable crabs. Its
THE MBWA FLY AND PROBLEMS OF ITS CONTROL 117
oxygen demand is not so great as that of S. damnosum and the respiratory
filaments of its pupa are comparatively long and delicate. The adults demand
dense forest shade for harbour and do not seem inclined to leave this shade in
order to search for a meal. The fact that S. neavei have been caught in prac-
tically uninhabited regions and yet show a rate of infection with Onchocerca
volvulus of the same order as that found in specimens from endemic foci of the
human disease suggests that man may not be the only host of both the fly and
S. neavei has so far been found in the Kigezi mountains, the West Nile
uplands, the slopes of Mount Elgon and in various parts of Toro and Ankole.
It probably exists wherever there are free flowing forested rivers at altitudes
between 4,500 and 6,000 ft.
It is interesting to note that in Mbale District the land shortage and conse-
quent intensive cultivation of the mountain slopes have had a considerable
effect in controlling S. neavei by the abolition of forest shade. The adults
appear to be confined to the forest above the cultivation line and to forest
In controlling or attempting to eradicate any insect pest, those responsible
must decide what is the most vulnerable stage of the insect life-cycle and to
concentrate their attack on the weak point. It was, until recently considered
that there was little hope of controlling Simulium species as the flies are such
prolific breeders and are capable of such a wide range of flight (S. damnosum
breeding on the Nile have at times reached Kampala) that the adults appeared
to be invulnerable. The early stages were no easier to attack because their
choice of breeding sites in very rapidly flowing rivers necessitated the use of an
enormous amount of the insecticides at that time available.
The advent of DDT and similar synthetic insecticides opened new possi-
bilities. It soon became known that DDT was effective against aquatic insects
(mosquito larvae) in what was considered the phenomenally low concentration
of five parts DDT per million parts of water. American workers, encouraged
by these findings, started to control their black fly by the application of DDT
introduced into the water as a larvicide and under favourable conditions found
that dosages as low as one part in five million were effective. In 1947
McMahon and Garnham in Kenya also obtained very promising results in the
Kavirondo rivers with the ranging between 15 and 1 part per million.
However, dosages of the order of one part per million represents a very
large quantity of DDT when applied to rivers of the size of the Nile with a flow of
the order of 600 cu. metres per second, when dosages at ten-day intervals for
three months have to be considered. Government, while giving active con-
sideration to treating the Nile, hesitated to embark on any programme until
more facts emerged from the experience of others. We were thus encouraged
by the report of Dr. Wanson of the Belgian Congo who claimed eradication of
S. damnosum from the Congo River at Leopoldville by the application of DDT
sprayed from aircraft. His attack was directed not against the aquatic early
stages but against the adult. Such an attack is only possible at the time the
adult emerges from the water and must rest on vegetation at the waters edge
while it dries and hardens. Wanson sprayed a solution of DDT along the
118 UGANDA JOURNAL
marginal vegetation every other day over a period equivalent to the total life-
cycle of the fly and thus converted the vegetation into what he described as a
' toxic fly-trap'. Dr. Wanson visited Uganda and having examined the Nile
advised Government that he considered his technique to be easily applicable
to the Nile.
In January 1951, a small-scale air-spraying trial was flown along a five-
mile stretch of the Nile from the Ripon Falls to the Bujagali Falls. Ten
applications were to be made at three-day intervals, the object being primarily
to determine whether it would be possible to operate an aircraft at the very
low altitudes (10 metres) demanded by Wanson along the winding and heavily
forested valley of the Nile. It was not possible to fly at thirty feet, but Captain
Proctor, who piloted the Anson aircraft used, must be complimented on the
extreme skill with which he flew at tree-top level around the sharp bends and
among the numerous islands. The spraying, although it did not proceed pre-
cisely to schedule, produced a very marked decline in the numbers of fly biting,
and the reports of the Colonial Insecticide Research Team indicated that the
insecticide was in fact reaching its target in the required concentration.
There were, however, several practical complications. The spray will
only fall in the desired direction when there is little or no wind and, similarly,
flying to such close tolerances is only possible in still air. Such conditions
prevail in the Nile valley only in the first hour of daylight before the sun's heat
has induced inversion currents and turbulence in the air in the valley. Unfor-
tunately, at the hour of dawn, the valley is usually filled with mist which does
not lift until the sun's heat has produced just this turbulence and it is impossible
to fly through the mist. The aircraft cannot operate from Jinja airfield, which
is too small for a loaded twin-engined machine and the flights have to be made
from Entebbe. This means that aircraft have to leave Entebbe before dawn
at a time when it is impossible to judge the weather conditions at Jinja. They
cannot carry a full load of insecticide and enough fuel to enable them to return
to Entebbe and if, on arrival at Jinja, they find the weather conditions unsuit-
able, they must jettison the load of insecticide so as to be light enough to land
at Jinja to take aboard enough fuel for the return journey to Entebbe.
Three aircraft would be required to obtain adequate coverage of the whole
of the Nile banks and islands, and these planes must fly to a very strict schedule
in order to cover the whole area at the correct intervals of time. Putting aside
the possibility of mechanical failure grounding an aircraft, it was felt that the
natural difficulties were such that it would be extremely fortunate if complete
coverage could be obtained during the thirty days of flying which would be
necessary for the complete elimination of all adult flies. Furthermore, the cost
of chartering three aircraft would probably cancel the economy in insecticide
which is the advantage of this method.
While consideration was being given to control by air-spray, other workers
in different parts of the world had found that DDT as a larvicide is effective
under suitable conditions in even smaller concentrations than had previously
been realized. Canadian workers found concentrations between one part in
40 million and one part in 10 million were effective. At the same time the
Owen Falls Construction Company had started works at the Ripon Falls which
THE MBWA FLY AND PROBLEMS OF ITS CONTROL 119
made it possible to gain access to a large proportion of the islands of the Ripon
Falls. It has in consequence been decided to carry out a full-scale operation
designed to eradicate S. damnosum from the Victoria Nile by means of DDT
suspension distributed directly into the waters of the Ripon Falls. The exact
concentration of insecticide to be used is not yet certain and is at present the
subject of experiment.
One rather disturbing consideration is the vast weight of insect material
breeding in the waters of the Nile. As stated, it has been estimated that as
many as five million early stages of S. damnosum are to be found on a hundred-
yard stretch of one bank of the river. Apart from the Simuliidae there is a
large variety of other aquatic insects breeding on stones and on the bed of the
river. Presumably DDT cannot be effective as a poison unless it is absorbed
by the body tissue of its victims. In these circumstances one is bound to
wonder whether the very small concentration of DDT to be applied to the
Ripon Falls will remain in circulation very far down the river or whether it will
be absorbed by the enormous mass of living creatures before it has been carried
Control of S. neavei is a less formidable problem than that posed by the
Nile conditions. The breeding rivers are smaller and application a less difficult
mechanical problem, the only apparatus needed being a suspended debe with
a hole knocked in the bottom by a four-inch nail. However, whereas
S. damnosum affecting Mengo and Busoga Districts breed in only one system,
the Nile, an area infected by S. neavei usually includes a very large number of
smaller river breeding-sites, mostly running through heavily forested and
inaccessible country. To be successful an eradication operation must include
simultaneous attacks on all breeding-sites in the area and this requires a very
large staff of suitably trained men. Such staffs are not at present available to
the Medical Department, and it is unlikely that attempts to control foci of
S. neavei will be possible for some considerable time.
It may be asked whether eradication of the Mbwa Fly is necessary to the
control of Onchocerciasis when drugs capable of curing the disease are now
available. Unfortunately, these drugs are by no means mild in their action
and must be administered to patients in bed in hospital under careful super-
vision. They do not provide a treatment that can be repeated casually every
time the disease reappears in the patient, and thus there is little point in
organizing widespread therapy among people in endemic areas who, on return
to their homes, will be bitten many times a day by a species of fly which has
the very high rate of parasitization of about 13 per cent. Curative measures
will be of value when the vector has been eliminated.
At the time of writing, January 1952, the Victoria Nile at Jinja is providing
disturbingly abnormal conditions, as the result of exceptionally heavy rains.
The height of water is now more than two feet above the normal level and the
level of water in Lake Victoria is such that a variation in river-level of as much
as a foot may occur in a few hours as the result of wind backing up the water
into Napoleon Gulf.
In consequence of this increase in volume and rate of flow very much more
of the marginal vegetation is trailing in the water than is normally the case
120 UGANDA JOURNAL
and the Mbwa Fly is taking advantage of the extra breeding facilities thus
provided and is multiplying at a fantastic rate. The fly is biting in the Mabira
Forest and on our fly-round along the banks from the Ripon to the Bujagali
Falls at a rate greater than that at which it can be caught. Until the weather
improves and the level of the river becomes normal, no control operation will
be possible. The gloomy prognostications of the meteorologists suggest that
our programme may be postponed for some considerable time.'
1 The completion of the Ripon Falls sluices since this article was written has produced
a more favourable picture. It is now possible to control the flow down the Nile and to
maintain this flow at the rate of 600 cubic metres per second. This being so the lake-
level looses its significance, and it is planned to begin applications of insecticide during the
course of 1952. An ex-B.O.A.C. air-sea rescue launch equipped with a Coventry Climax
fire-pump is to be used. The launch will cruise to and fro across Napoleon Gulf as close
to the Ripon Falls as navigational hazards will permit, and DDT at the rate of one part
in two million parts of water is to be sprayed over the surface. Initially ten applications
of 440 gallons of a 25 per cent DDT emulsion each lasting 30 minutes are to be made
at intervals of ten days.--[G.R.B.]
The Ripon Falls seen from the Mengo side. The structure in the foreground is a ferro-concrete tower under
construction. When complete it will be felled across the first channel damming the flow. This will simplify the
distribution of insecticide which can be poured in at the Jinja side, where the river flows through artificial sluices.
A specimen of Osteolaemus tetraspis not quite 6 feet long. A 12-inch ruler on its back.
Osteolaemus is darker than the Nile crocodile and has a short
PIGMY CROCODILES IN UGANDA
By CAPTAIN C. R. S. PITMAN, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C.
T HE contribution by Mr. E. A. Temple Perkins on the subject of the first
finding of a pigmy crocodile in Uganda, which appeared in The Uganda
Journal, Vol. 15 (1951), can be conveniently elaborated. An illustrated article
by the writer concerning 'African Pigmy Crocodiles' was published in The
Field of 17 February 1951 and, with the much appreciated permission of the
proprietors, the photographs and some lengthy extracts are here reproduced.
The discovery in 1948 in the Western Rift of an example of the small,
forest crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis, a riverine species, which is sparingly
distributed throughout the equatorial forest region, but which was not known
to occur east of the Ruwenzori range, created a minor sensation for hitherto
the crocodile had been unknown in the Lake George-Lake Edward region.
The presence of this unwelcome predator boded ill for the local, and extremely
profitable, fishing industry. Its presence in a small stream, the Hoindagi, at
the south-eastern end of Lake George, might never have been revealed had it
not been for prospecting operations, which resulted in the creature falling into
a test-pit dug within fifty feet of the river in which it lived.
Luckily for the fishing industry, Osteolaemus is not a lacustrine species
and, although it subsists mainly on fish and crabs, its depredations are
negligible. Where there is one, others are likely, but investigations have been
inconclusive, though certain rather vague references indicate the possibility of
a few of these crocodiles still existing in the swampy -rivers flowing into Lake
Edward from the east. Reliable information is almost impossible to obtain, as
this region has for over thirty years been closed to human habitation as a
precaution against sleeping sickness. Moreover, much of it is dense, tangled,
swampy forest, almost impossible to traverse and likely to be entered only
occasionally by an enterprising African in his crudely-fashioned dug-out.
In this locality Osteolaemus is presumably a relic of a distant past when
climatic conditions were much moister, and when the swampy forest was more
extensive. It rarely attains a length of five feet, and, unlike its large relative
the Nile crocodile (Crocodilus niloticus), is not gregarious, usually occurring
singly. In the equatorial forest region it is said to be extremely timid. It is
darker than the Nile crocodile and has a short broad head, its belly is black, as
is the inside of its mouth.
The breeding habits of Osteolaemus are adapted to the humid conditions
of the rain forest, and it deposits its eggs in a mound of dead leaves and other
vegetable matter which it scratches together. Incubation is left to the heat of
fermentation. It is obvious that the requisite conditions will be found only in
forest areas in which inundation is of such a nature that the ever-active and
destructive termites are absent, for these insects would rapidly convert the
mound of vegetation into humus. A nest found'in the Congo has been
described as, In a natural hollow a heap of dead vegetable matter, not more
122 UGANDA JOURNAL
than five feet across and somewhat higher in the centre." This nest was on a
high rocky point, completely surrounded by almost impenetrable Raphia
Although unexpected in the Western Rift area, the occurrence of Osteo-
laemus was not altogether surprising, for during the twenty-five years that I
have been in Uganda I have always believed that it probably occurs in the
rivers of the low-lying, swampy forest region of Bwamba, west of Ruwenzori,
which is, in fact, an extension of the great Ituri forest.
The Hoindagi specimen was fed and kept alive in a pit, awaiting arrange-
ments for its disposal, until it inexplicably disappeared. As it could not have
escaped through its own endeavours, it must have been removed.
From time to time the very definite absence of crocodiles from these
waters, which are so heavily stocked with fish, has been a source of controversy.
The Semliki river flowing out of Lake Edward and into Lake Albert, in which
latter crocodiles abound, should provide a ready route for them to traverse,
notwithstanding the presence of some falls, which can be avoided by a not too
difficult land journey-and the crocodile is a very enterprising traveller. The
fact remains, however, and fortunately, that there are no crocodiles in Lakes
Edward and George nor in the twenty-mile-long channel which connects them.
Many experts have tried to solve the problem, but there is one factor which
so far I have not seen introduced into the argument, and this is mud. A
crocodile, which spends so much of its time lying submerged on the bottom of
its aquatic haunts, cannot exist where there is deep mud. It cannot breathe
properly under such conditions and its movements are impeded. It is possible
that there is too much mud in these lakes.
In 1919, as a result of the critical examination of three pigmycrocodiles
collected in 1913 by the American Museum of Natural History Congo Expedi-
tion (1909-15) at Niapu, in the forests of the north-eastern Belgian Congo,
Schmidt created a new genus Osteoblepharon, and he named the new species
of crocodile, Osteoblepharon osborni. It was stated that it could be externally
distinguished from Osteolaemus tetraspis by the lateral outline of the snout,
which is not anteriorly raised, and by the anterior set of dorsal scutes. Further
it was claimed that important generic and specific characteristics are to be
found in the skull. At that time the largest of the four known examples of
this new species measured no more than 3 ft. 9 in. in length. In 1925 Dr.
Schouteden collected five juveniles at Poko, and in 1930 another juvenile at
Kunungu: Dr. G. de Witte obtained seven more juveniles at Buta: these
localities are all in the equatorial rain-forest region of the north-eastern Congo.
This enabled de Witte, supported by certain observations previously made by
Boulenger, to prove that Osteoblepharon osborni is in fact Osteolaemus
tetraspis, for in crocodiles the nasal region is more elevated in the juveniles
than in the adults, and this divergence, which is due solely to age, cannot be
regarded as a specific character. The Hoindagi example, from the dimensions
recorded, would appear to have been an outsize specimen of Osteolaemus.
With particular reference to the suggestion that the Semliki Falls have
prevented the upward migration of crocodiles from Lake Albert to Lake
Edward, I have been informed by two Conservators of the Parc National
PIGMY CROCODILES IN UGANDA 123
Albert, one of whom had formerly been an Administrative Officer in the
Semliki region, with a knowledge of the locality under discussion over a total
period of forty years, that crocodiles (Crocodilus niloticus) had occasionally
been reported from that part of the Semliki river in the vicinity of the Beni-
Kasindi road crossing. Moreover, one of my informants recollected an African
being taken by a crocodile close to where the ferry now operates.
In the arid areas of north-eastern Uganda, where the rivers are seasonally
dry for about six months each year, there is another pigmy crocodile, which
science refuses to recognize except as a variant of Crocodilus niloticus, the
dwarfing being ,due to environment. It is well known that the crocodile is
peculiarly adaptable to local conditions and, when young, is capable of suiting
itself to its environment, i.e. when it is small it will grow no larger than is
convenient in a restricted water-space. I can see no reason why dwarfing,
which originated as an abnormality from environment and hard living, should
not become a permanent character resulting in a new species, or at least a new
race. It is scarcely a case of evolution, but rather one of degradation.
These miniature crocodiles are exceedingly wary, and, although I have
seen many, they are so hard to bring to bag that I have never been able to
secure a specimen. Examples of 4-5 ft., which I have carefully examined
through glasses, have been really old creatures. They have a reputation for
ferocity and, while not normally attacking human beings, are said to be particu-
larly destructive to goats.
It is indeed curious that as their river haunts run low these crocodiles
prefer to remain in the ever-dwindling pools rather than move to the security
of easily accessible perennial waters. When the pools are completely dry the
creatures estivate for several months in holes dug in the river banks. These
refuges must be cleverly concealed to ensure survival, as the prowling savage
makes short work of the inmates if he is lucky enough to find them.
The breeding habits are those of the Nile crocodile, the eggs being
deposited in a hole in humid, sandy soil and hatched out, after an incubation
period of many weeks, by the warmth of the sun. The incubation period of
the Nile crocodile is 90 days, though in the case of its pigmy relative it may not
be as long. It is strange that the pigmy's breeding season is during December
to March, as the young crocodiles must hatch at a time when the pools are
steadily drying and their chances of survival could not be worse. It is, how-
ever, in keeping with the breeding season of Crocodilus niloticus.
My principal claim for specific or at least sub-specific rank for this 'pigmy'
crocodile is the fact that it lays a conspicuously dwarfed egg. Two which were
measured were only 69-0 x 40-2 millimetres and 67-2 x 40-3 millimetres, which
contrasts remarkably with 80 x 49 millimetres, the average egg size of the Nile
crocodile. Not only this, but the one sitting' of this pigmy crocodile's eggs
so far obtained consisted of 12 eggs as compared with the Nile crocodile's
average of 60. This, however, can scarcely be regarded as conclusive, as the
extent of reproduction in the animal world can be influenced by certain factors,
of which the availability of the necessary food supply is one of the most
In April 1949, when the writer was on tour in Aringa County, in West
124 UGANDA JOURNAL
Nile District, a dwarfed crocodile (C. niloticus) was speared in a small pool in
the bed of the River Ketchi which was then mainly dry. It was a small
creature, barely three feet in length, which seemed to be considerably older
than its small size indicated.
A question which can I think properly be asked is this: If the pigmy'
crocodile were transferred to the conditions of a large lake, would it gradually
attain the dimensions of a normal Nile crocodile ? If the answer is in the
affirmative then I would further ask: Could such a crocodile lay eggs of normal
size ? This, I believe, is the crucial test, for if normal eggs are possible then
I have no more to say; but if, as I am confident is the case, it would take
generations for them to revert to the normal egg, if at all, it seems that the
claim of the pigmy' crocodile to definite recognition is established.
1919. Boulenger, E. G. C. R. Ac. Sci., Paris, 169, p. 605.
1919. Schmidt, Dr. K. P. 'Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian
Congo based on the Collection of the American Museum Congo Expedi-
tion, 1909-1915. Part I: Turtles, Crocodiles, Lizards and Chameleons.'
Bulletin American Museum of Natural History, Vol. XXXIX.
1929, 1930, 1932 and 1933. Annual Report, Uganda Game Department.
1933. de Witte, G.-F. Reptiles rdcoltds au Congo Beige par le Dr. H. Schouteden
et par M. G.-F. de Witte.' Annales du Musde du Congo Belge. C. Zoo-
logie, Sdrie I, Tome III, Fascicule 2.
1935. Thomas, H. B., and R. Scott. Uganda. Zoology, Chapter XII, p. 188.
1946, 1948 and 1949. Annual Report, Uganda Game Department.
1951. Pitman, C. R. S. 'African Pigmy Crocodiles.' The Field, 17 February.
1951. Temple Perkins, E. A. 'The First Finding of a Live Pigmy Crocodile in
Uganda.' Uganda Journal, Vol. 15, p. 182.
DINI YA MISAMBWA 1
By THE RIGHT REVEREND L. C. USHER-WILSON, Bishop on the Upper Nile
INTRODUCTION. Early in 1948 eleven Africans were killed and sixteen
injured by police fire during a riot near Malakisi in Kenya. The rioters were
a big crowd of Kitosh. Later that year many instances of arson occurred in
the European farming district of Trans-Nzoia in Kenya. In 1948 and 1949
Christian congregations in the Bupoto area of Bugishu in Uganda were greatly
diminished through the defection of hundreds from the Anglican Church. In
May 1950 a clash of Suk tribesmen with the Kenya police near Lake Baringo
resulted in the deaths of three Europeans, one African policeman, and a number
of Suk. From the middle of the 1940s till the present year (1951) there have
been many reports concerning secret meetings of the adherents of a sect or
movement called Dini ya Misambwa in Kenya and Uganda. It is this sect
which caused the riots, deaths and arson mentioned above.
Though proscribed several years ago by the Kenya and Uganda Govern-
ments, its persistent activities over a wide area indicate the existence of an
underground movement, liable to flare up and cause deaths, immorality,
destruction of property, and civil disobedience. Such a movement demands
from law-abiding peoples something more than a passing glance in the local
ORIGIN OF NAME. The name, Dini ya Misambwa, means 'Religion of
Ancestors or Departed Spirits' among the Kitosh and Bagishu, two closely
related tribes on each side of the Kenya-Uganda border, south of Mount Elgon.
In their pagan state it was customary for them to build little shrine huts about
3 feet in diameter and 2 feet 6 inches high. These contained three sacrificial
stones and two sticks, on to which blood from the sacrifice of animals was
poured, while the spirits of the dead ancestors were invoked to intervene with
Were, the Supreme Being of the tribes.
These shrines and sacrifices pertained to the family unit rather than to
big tribal or political issues. The name now, however, is that of a sect or
movement of which the leaders are largely inspired by resentment against the
Christian Church and fanatical hatred of all non-Africans, and of the British
and African local governments, while the ordinary followers are for the most
part ignorant and deluded African peasants.
FOUNDER AND SYSTEM. The name of the founder is Elijah Masinde, a
former Kitosh adherent of the Friends' African Mission, living at Kimilili,
North Nyanza Province in Kenya. In 1935 he was expelled for taking a
1 Notes of a lecture given by Bishop Usher-Wilson to the Mbale branch of the Uganda
Society on 31 August 1951. These notes have already been published in East Africa and
Rhodesia, to the editor of which we are indebted for permission to reprint.
Bishop Usher-Wilson had not seen the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into
the affray at Kolloa, Baringo (Government Printer, Nairobi, 1951), at the time he
delivered his lecture; the report was not published until the following month because of
criminal trials in progress which might have been prejudiced by its publication.-[EDs.]
126 UGANDA JOURNAL
second wife. He had been a noted footballer, gaining medals, and playing for
Kenya versus Uganda in 1930, and is literate. After his expulsion he took to
reading deeply into the Old Testament, gathered round him a following of
persons also expelled from various denominations and started the Dini ya
Misambwa. Other names for it were Dini ya Israel indicating his reversion to
animal sacrificial system, and Dini ya Umoja revealing an attempt to form an
eclectic system which combined features and followers of several Christian
denominations as well as Muhammadans and pagans.
He set himself up as an African prophet, and at one time is said to have
had seventy other prophets whom he fed and taught' in a hole in the ground '.
The hole most likely refers to a cave or caves around Cheshulu, a hill near the
Lwakaka River south of Mount Elgon on the Kenya side, which was a centre
of the movement in its early stages.
The eclectic character of his sect is shown by the tokens and practices
borrowed from other religious bodies. Misambwa reveals its roots in pagan
beliefs. But the use of the drum is said to come from the Salvation Army.
Beards and the wearing of turbans connect it with Islam. Crosses sewn on
kanzus and cut on sticks are said to attract Roman Catholics, while the use of
the Bible and prayer books is borrowed from the Anglican Church and
Protestant missions. Sticks with crosses and other markings, and white, red,
and orange kanzus have formed part of the ceremonial dress at meetings.
ANTI-SOCIAL NATURE OF TEACHING. These things would naturally attract
ignorant and superstitious peasants. The anti-social and anti-government
practices and teachings of the sect were well calculated to attract ne'er-do-wells
Africa was to be for Africans only (and more particularly no doubt for the
Kitosh). An African King would be appointed, but not from existing African
chiefs or African local governments, for they are the dogs of the Kiminani or
Kinohoho '. These two terms are the names of wolf-like or gorilla-like
creatures which were in the past said to eat human beings. Presumably
Europeans are their counterpart to-day, because they were used to describe
Europeans! All non-Africans were to be driven out of the land. Members
of the sect need not fear them, for the bullets of their rifles would turn to drops
of water. Adherents were incited not to wear or use European things or pay
poll-tax. Elijah Masinde was accused of saying on the occasion of his first
brush with the civil authorities, We do not like chiefs. All people should
discard European clothes and apply fat to their bodies. We want no
European government or missions or soil conservation. Let us change our
customs. Our old women must bury the dead."
The women of the sect were warned against the use of maternity centres,
for in them expectant mothers were said to be given medicine to prevent them
from bearing children. They were told not to send their children to school or
not to pay fees. Not only was polygamy allowed, but indiscriminate sexual
intercourse was encouraged at their gatherings in order to swell the numbers
of their sect. Work and cultivation were not deemed of first importance for
up in Sayuni there was a store of food already prepared for them. Elijah had
'the key of Sayuni' and would show his followers where they would be in
DINI YA MISAMBWA 127
after-life and in a short while would in fact take them to see their relatives who
Sayuni (the Biblical Sion) seems to be located somewhere on the top of
Mount Elgon. On the south side of the peaks is a small lake where evidences
of animal sacrifices have been found. Zealous members of the sect are said
to ascend and bathe there to wash away the pollution of contact with non-
Africans. Various parties of Dini ya Misambwa are known to have been up
on the higher reaches of the mountain. In February 1951 a party was given
up by the Elgoni section of the Masai who live up there, but they must have
been only the very zealous or most deluded. A story is told about one party
taken up from Bulucheke in Uganda by a leader of the sect from the Kenya
side to sacrifice to Were. Some way up the ascent he expressed doubt whether
Were would accept the rather poor collection of goats brought for the sacrifice.
He decided to take them and show them to Were first, and left the simple
owners waiting. On his return (having handed over his booty to a confederate
to take off to Kenya), he informed his disciples that Were was not too dis-
pleased and had condescended to keep them, but they were to return with a
bigger, worthier lot to sacrifice later.
What truth there is in the story, or indeed in much of the alleged practices,
it is difficult to prove. In fact, one wonders whether they could be believed at
all, but the credulity of primitive and rustic peoples can be greatly played upon.
It remains a fact that the sect spread rapidly far and wide.
THE SPREAD OF THE MOVEMENT. Elijah Masinde's first clash with
authority was in 1944, when he and two friends, Wekuke and Wenoni, were
found guilty of disobeying their chief Amutalla, and causing a breach of peace.
Later that year two of them obstructed an official in the execution of his orders
to inspect their shambas for the presence of Mexican marigold. When, six
days later, a Government party approached to serve a summons on them,
Elijah and others ambushed them and beat them up. They were eventually
arrested but two of them for some reason were released and while these were
still at large the Assistant Agricultural Officer's house at Kimilili was burned.
At the same time Elijah's reputation was enhanced, for he said before the fire
and as he was being taken to Kakamega, I may be going to Kakamega, but
on my return I shall not find the A.A.O. here, nor his house."
After further struggles and imprisonments Elijah was declared to be
unbalanced, and on 26 April 1945 was sent to Mathari Mental Hospital. His
followers, however, had been fully primed, and were now thoroughly active.
The Provincial Commissioner, Nyanza, reported a series of cases of arson,
threatening, and stock theft. A group called the Bukusu Union (Bukusu
being the hill in S. Bugishu, Uganda, which the Kitosh claim to be their original
home, and where parties are alleged to have gone secretly during these months
to perform sacrifices) began to hold seditious meetings. They planned to join
the Bagishu in Uganda, they announced their claim to land in the Trans-Nzoia
District. They wanted only Kitosh men to drive lorries in their reserve, and
so on. The brain behind all this was said to be a man called Pascal Nabwana.
In January 1947 a meeting of a body called the Bagishu Union was said to
have been held in Uganda and attended by Kitosh representatives.
128 UGANDA JOURNAL
In May 1947 it appears that Elijah was released from Mathari against the
advice of the Nyanza Province authorities. His return was a signal for a great
impetus to the whole movement. He and other leaders held many meetings,
when his doctrines were openly preached. Although said to be of a new
religion, by then they were undoubtedly chiefly engaged in seditious propa-
ganda. The numbers at these meetings rose to thousands, excitement and
hysteria mounted, men and women were said to roll on the ground in complete
frenzy. The authorities had decided to arrest Elijah again, but before that was
effected riots started at a Roman Catholic Mission Station near Malakisi, the
police were called and had to fire, and seven Africans were killed and thirteen
injured. This occurred on 16 February 1948.
Elijah and two of his lieutenants, Wekuke and Joash, were at last arrested
and deported to Lamu, but by then the activities of the sect were widespread
in Kenya. In Uganda, Bumbo and Bupoto gombololas were thoroughly
infected. The main theme proclaimed was that all black peoples should work
together, other races were to be ousted, and an entirely African state and
church set up. Although Elijah had been removed, Pascal Nabwana and
other leaders were still at large and kept the movement going in the face of
intensive administrative and police action.
Another leader, however, and of a different type, was responsible for the
arson campaign which was conducted late in 1948 and early 1949 in the Trans-
Nzoia district. This was Donisio, son of Nakimayu. Donisio is an illiterate,
who had worked for twenty years as a domestic servant on farms in that
district. In 1942 he had a dream in which he said he saw Jesus Christ and two
Africans, one wearing medals. This caused him to think he was a prophet,
and he left his employment in order to spread his gospel. In 1947 he met
Elijah, whom he said he had not met before and, because of Elijah's football
medals, declared that he recognized him as the African of his dream. In that
year he was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and joined
forces with Joash (also expelled from the Friends' African Mission for poly-
gamy). After the Malakisi riots it was too difficult for him to carry on in
Kitosh, so he turned his attention to Trans-Nzoia, which he knew well. Up to
March 1949, when he was arrested and sentenced to thirteen years imprison-
ment, he was not known to the police, but by this time African schools and
churches, as well as government buildings, European farm buildings and cattle
pens had been destroyed. Donisio is a real fanatic, and was more concerned
with upholding the religious aspect of Dini ya Misambwa than opposed to
Europeans as such. He declared his campaign of arson was a protest against
the proscription of the religious practices of his sect. His character and par-
ticipation in the movement are important, for they show the inextricable way
in which religious fanaticism is bound up with its seditious side.
Further action was taken by the Kenya Government during and after the
arson campaign to suppress the sect and round up its leaders ; and propaganda
was made through barazas in the Reserves and the farming areas. Neverthe-
less, the movement continued secretly and then suddenly flared up in quite a
new area and tribe, among the Suk near Lake Baringo, and more deaths
DINI YA MISAMBWA 129
Of the immediate cause and history of this incident I have not much
information; but it is obvious that the proscription of the movement which
had only driven it underground in Kitosh and Trans-Nzoia also drove it out-
ward, and undoubtedly this new flare-up shook the confidence of many people,
as is seen from the opinion of one official. He said, The sudden recrudescence
of Dini ya Misambwa in violent form among the Suk in April 1950 came as a
startling revelation of the insidious penetration of which the movement is
capable." A very significant fact is that the Suk leader, Lucas Kipkech,
obtained a great sway over the Suk young men at the time of excitement which
precedes and accompanies the tribal initiation ceremonies.
On the Uganda side, chiefly in the wilder and more difficult parts of
Elgon and Sebei country, there have been reports of Dini ya Misambwa
leaders, and secret house meetings periodically during the last four years.
Bumbo naturally was the focus for a time, being so near the Kitosh centre of
the movement, but Bulucheke became affected, then Muyembe and Sebei, and
even Buwalasi.1 Sporadic arrests and convictions have been made. On the
whole it never seemed likely to develop into serious political disturbance in
Uganda, but in some parts it certainly had a bad effect on the life of Christian
Here are some comments in a letter from a schoolboy who returned to
Bumbo from his holidays in 1948. Great numbers of my people are believ-
ing in this new religion of Elijah, a Kitosh man of North Kavirondo. Many
Christians have left the Church and been converted to this new religion, even
school boys and girls. Chiefs are trying to prevent them, but it is rather
impossible because the sub-chiefs are not trying to stop them. . They
smuggle themselves at night and gather in one man's house to worship their
gods. On Sundays we are (only) about four or five people taking the service
in the church."
THE SITUATION IN AUGUST 1951. Since this boy wrote, pastors and
teachers of the Anglican Churches concerned have done much to counteract
the influence of the Dini ya Misambwa. They have relied largely on exposure
of the wrong aims and motives, and false cheating methods of its leaders.
They have pointed out how the people have been duped, and they have taught
positive truths. I expect our Roman Catholic brethren have done the same.
Certainly the life of those congregations has slowly improved again. The
police and Administration seem to have tried to follow up every report of its
activities, and the higher chiefs have been energetic against it. There appears
to be no great apprehension of further serious trouble breaking out.
1 Bishop Usher-Wilson's headquarters.
CONTROL OF CRIME IN PRIMITIVE SOCIETY-AN
EXAMPLE FROM TESO
By K. LEDGER
MEMBERS of the Isureta clan live mostly in the counties of Usuku and
Amuria of the Teso District; few, if any, Isureta live outside these areas.
It is one of the larger clans, and its members are known and feared for their
powers of cursing. Although all clans have certain members who claim to be
able to cast a spell, these Isureta have, according to tradition, special powers
in this direction. Only men can do the cursing and at their meetings women
are not allowed to attend.
The men attribute their powers of cursing to the drinking of gall, collected
from the gall-bladder of any animal killed, be it a sheep, goat, or cow. A few
drops of the gall are sprinkled over the food. This is done very frequently
in order to maintain and nourish the power of cursing, which may otherwise
vanish or at least diminish. By eating this food flavoured with gall the Isureta
men claim to be, or to become, oracles and prophets, whose words will be
fulfilled whatever they say. In order to prove their power, they circulate the
story of the hawk which, on a certain day in the far past, flew over a gathering
of Isureta men and took away the meat they were eating. All the men, so the
story goes, at once pointed their spears at the escaping hawk and by this action
the hawk dropped to the ground, stone dead. This story is generally accepted
by other Iteso as being true. There are similar stories in circulation; but
of these I have not been able to obtain details.
Now a few words about the actual ritual of cursing which in Ateso is
called Aigat. Never more than ten men are allowed to be present at an aigat
ceremony. Each individual may do the cursing alone or with a few com-
panions ; but the number may not exceed ten. Let us suppose that some years
ago a certain man, whom we shall call Okelo, contracted a debt amounting to
fifty shillings from a man called Otim. Both are members of different clans,
but neither belongs to the Isureta clan. Otim is worrying Okelo to get his
money back, but in vain; indeed, it becomes more and more clear to Otim
that Okelo has no intention of ever repaying him. After many quarrels and
veiled threats, he decides to have Okelo cursed in order to have him removed
out of this world. The next step is to approach some prominent Isureta man,
to whom he makes known his intention. As a rule he is advised to ask Okelo
once more for his money; this he does, but again in vain. Otim then returns
to the Isureta man or men, who question him carefully about the amount of
the debt and the time it was contracted. The Isureta then order him to bring
to them on a day fixed, a cow, sheep, goat or cock, according to the amount
that the debt is worth to Otim. This' animal which is to be sacrificed must
always be white, no other colour being permitted. Accompanied by Otim, the
Isureta men then go to an ant-hill somewhere in the vicinity of the village.
Arrived at the ant-hill, all of the Isureta, with Otim the complainant, march
CONTROL OF CRIME IN PRIMITIVE SOCIETY 131
round the ant-hill in a kind of procession. Different jobs are then appointed
by the headman. Some have to fetch leaves, others small poles, some fire-
wood, others again fetch bark used as tying material. This being done, the
victim is tied by the legs and placed upon the firewood which is lighted.
Every one gets hold of a pole in order to hold down the animal, which is still
alive, so as to prevent it from wriggling out of the fire. At the first cry of the
unfortunate animal, the leader pronounces the malediction, Kotwana Okelo!,
i.e.' Die Okelo! This is repeated several times, the others always answering,
Kotwana Okelo! If there are many more people to be cursed, say the whole
family of Okelo, each individual name is repeated. This goes on till the animal
is dead, when it is taken from the fire. Otim now goes home, and in doing so,
is absolutely forbidden to look back. (The parallel of Lot's wife springs to
The Isureta themselves remain to consume the victim. When they have
finished their meal, they cover the holes of the ant-hill with previously gathered
leaves. The skull of the victim is also put into one of the holes covered by the
leaves. The cry, Kotwana Okelo, is repeated during the covering of the holes.
Then the men creep on hands and feet round the ant-hill, repeating again and
again the curse, Die Okelo! ', and thereafter depart for home without looking
back, just as Otim had to do. The men now order Otim never to take food
with Okelo, he must abstain from drinking beer with Okelo, nor may Otim's
family draw water from the same well as Okelo's family. The cursed man
should now die. Okelo will somehow get to know about the cursing. A
whisper campaign will start, especially if Okelo shows no signs of dying. In
due course Okelo will become worried and may die out of fear, or auto-
suggestion. If Okelo is so far frightened that his fear overcomes his natural
avarice, he will take steps to have the curse lifted. His first move will be to
approach some members of the Isureta clan and to ask them to remove the
curse. This can be done, but at a price. He is naturally told first to pay his
debt to Otim and then, in consultation with the Isureta men, he has to offer a
cow as a peace-offering, which by that time he gladly does. Then the holes of
the ant-hill are opened by the leader of the cursing gang and this indicates that
the curse has been removed and that Okelo need no longer fear. As long,
however, as the holes of the ant-hill are covered by the leaves, Okelo and those
who have been cursed with him are believed to be in danger of their lives.
ACHOLI HISTORY, 1860-1901-III
By SIR JOHN MILNER GRAY
IN June 1899, two months after the successful conclusion of operations
against Kabarega and Mwanga, the European, who as Langa-Langa has
become an almost legendary figure amongst the Acholi, received orders to take
over the Nile Province from Colonel Martyr. The term Langa-Langa' is used
for a were-lion. It was given to the European in question because he had the
reputation of being able to cover phenomenal distances by means of night
marches. He was accordingly credited with the ability to turn himself into a
lion and pass through the bush in this form (104). His real name was Charles
Delm6-Radcliffe. He had been commissioned in the Connaught Rangers in
1884 and had been seconded to the Uganda Rifles in 1898. He was in charge
of the Nile Province from 1899 to 1902. After a short leave he returned to
Uganda to serve from 1902 to 1904 as British Commissioner for the delimita-
tion of the Anglo-German boundary.2 Created a K.C.M.G. in 1919 for
his services in the first European war, he retired from the army in the following
year with the rank of Brigadier-General and died in 1937 at the age of seventy-
three. In these pages he will be generally referred to by the name by which
the Acholi knew him.
During his stay in the Nile Province, Langa-Langa shifted the station at
Fort Berkeley to Gondokoro and that at Afuddu to Nimule. He eventually
abandoned the station at Lamogi. He collected a vocabulary of about a
thousand Acholi words as well as a number of anthropological and ethno-
logical notes regarding jthe tribes with which he came in touch. In addition,
with such instruments as were available, he made a valuable survey of the
greater portion of the Acholi and Lango countries, which was reproduced in a
map appearing-in the Geographical Journal for February 1903.
But the greatest of Langa-Langa's achievements were the contacts which
he made with the inhabitants of the Province which he was called to administer.
He was constantly travelling through the countryside and in the course of his
journeys met several of the chiefs who could recall Baker, Gordon and Emin.
He tells that:
The natives we found remembered Emin Pasha well, but regarded him
with indifference or dislike. He had left, perhaps unavoidably, a great deal of
power in the hands of his native subordinates, and their abuse of it had made
1 This name appears elsewhere in Africa. Thomas and Spencer (History of Uganda
Land and Surveys, 1938) record the use in Buganda of Lulangalanga, said to be derived
from Luganda langa,' to twist fibre into a rope', hence lanky'. The notion of length'
is here intensified by the noun-prefix lu-. It seems also to be current in West Africa,
cf. Up against it in Nigeria by Langa Langa '--the Hon. H. B. Hermon-Hodge of the
Nigerian Political Service-published, London, 1922.-[Ens.]
2 Extracts from his diary while serving on this Commission are given in U.J. 11
(1947), pp. 9-29.
ACHOLI HISTORY, 1860-1901 133
the unfortunate people dread the Pasha's authority. Of Gordon only a few
natives seemed to know anything, though most of those living near the river
had heard of Godun', as he was called. I secured one interesting relic of
Gordon in the shape of an Austrian bent-wood chair which he had given to
the chief Gimoro. I bought it from the latter's son, Aoin (Owin) who had
fixed a patch of leopard-skin on the seat."
Sir Samuel and Lady Baker, however, seem to have inspired the natives
everywhere with the greatest possible affection. They never ceased to tell us
wonderful stories of Murrdu ', or Lion's mane, as they called Sir Samuel, and
of Anyadue ', or Daughter of the Moon, which is their name for Lady Baker.
Many of the Bakers' old adherents came to us to ask for news of them. Watel
Ajus (sc. Omo Oya, Rwot of Padike), a very old man now, on hearing that
Lady Baker was alive in England, took an elephant's hair necklace from his
neck, and begged me to give it to her when I went back. This I did and the
old chief was delighted to receive a return present of photographs of Sir Samuel
and Lady Baker, with an ivory-handled knife. This he acknowledged by
sending back a leopard-skin to Lady Baker. Old Shooli (Obwona Awach)
(105) was still very flourishing, and was most useful to the administration. Our
best recommendation to the natives we found to be the statement that we
belonged to the same nation as Baker, and that our Government would be like
his. Shooli gave me one of the scarlet shirts which had been worn by Sir
Samuel's famous 'Forty Thieves '. He had treasured it all these years in an
earthenware jar, as a sort of credential to show his connection with Baker.
Gimoro was dead, but his son Aoin (Owin) became one of our most trusted
native friends (106).
When Langa-Langa first arrived in the Nile Province, effective adminis-
tration was still confined to a belt of country which at the most extended not
more than thirty miles from the east bank of the Nile. Though one source of
trouble had been eliminated by the rounding up of Kabarega, there were still
over one hundred of the Sudanese mutineers and their followers, who periodic-
ally came out of the Lango country to raid such of the Acholi chiefs as were
friendly to the British Government, to burn their villages and to carry off their
womenfolk and their cattle. Awich of Payera was known to be in communica-
tion with these mutineers and to be well disposed towards them. He had
considerable influence throughout the southern portion of the Acholi country
and, in common with other Acholi chiefs, had at his disposal a large band of
retainers with a fairly good military organization. Some of these chiefs had
imitated the former Egyptian army of occupation by fortifying their villages,
digging encircling ditches and constructing stockades and parapets and flying
flags from lofty flagstaffs above their villages. They also had bugles and
drums. Regarding these Martyr said their bugle calls may be easily mistaken
for those of regular troops ". He also reported that Awich could put five
thousand men in the field and that of these some four to five hundred would
be armed with guns.
Shortly after his arrival, Langa-Langa learnt that about a year previously
some two thousand of the Acholi had assembled to attack the newlyestablished
station at Lamogi. The plan of operations, which was said to have been
134 UGANDA JOURNAL
fostered by Awich of Payera, was to attack the station from two sides on a
dark night and to burn it. News of the project reached Baker's old friend
' Shooli', otherwise Obwona Awach, Rwot of Keyo, whose opinion carried
great weight with his compatriots. Thanks to his great influence and that of
Owin, son of Gimoro, the would-be attackers were persuaded to disperse.
As long as it remained a government station Lamogi was a constant source
of trouble. It was not altogether surprising that the local inhabitants should
resent the establishment of a military post in their midst. The days when
Emin Pasha's Sudanese troops had preyed upon the countryside were only too
recent. On the slopes of Guruguru and elsewhere the local people had given
those troops a number of parting kicks when they withdrew from the country.
Now the British had brought Sudanese back to the country, some of them
being the same soldiers as had departed thus ignominously less than ten years
previously. To them it seemed only too evident that the bad old days were
about to return. Langa-Langa was constantly saying that what he was bring-
ing back to them were the good old times of Baker Pasha, but the memory of
Emin Pasha and his Turks' was more recent. As Obwona Awach once said
to Langa-Langa, when the latter had tried to explain to him the government's
intentions, the Pasha (Baker) said the same thing, and he was very good
man; yet when he went away the Arabs came and ruined us all ". Clearly,
the majority of the people would require a lot of convincing before they could
be persuaded that Langa-Langa was not ultimately bringing back fresh wars
Langa-Langa himself did his best to gain their confidence by giving them
as far as possible direct access to himself. He set his face against making use
of Sudanese native officers and native interpreters, because experience had
shown that they are very full of intrigue and blackmailing tendencies when
used as go-betweens as well as being full of petty rascalities ". Unfor-
tunately, owing to lack of experience, some of his subordinates were responsible
for acts which were not likely to reassure the local inhabitants. Guided by the
advice of their Sudanese officers, who, as Langa-Langa suggested, probably
wished to pay off old scores, many of the evil practices which had grown up
in Emin's day were re-introduced. Men were forcibly seized as porters and
one or two punitive raids were indulged in. The result ", as Langa-Langa
reported, was that at one time the whole neighbourhood of Lamogi was in
a very bad state." The inhabitants resorted to measures of retaliation. The
station itself was reduced more or less to a state of siege. Sudanese women
were speared and carried off within one hundred yards of the soldiers' lines.
Nobody could go even a short distance outside the station without an escort.
In June 1899, two armed soldiers were waylaid and killed whilst carrying mail-
bags between Lamogi and Wadelai (107). As soon as Langa-Langa learnt of
this state of affairs, he himself proceeded to Lamogi. On arrival he assembled
as many chiefs as possible and returned all cattle and prisoners seized by the
members of the garrison. He tried in every possible way to make reparation,
and for the time being things quieted down. The people of Wirwira, one of
the signatories to the Lamogi treaty of 1898, eventually handed over some of
the murderers of the two soldiers and disclosed the hiding places of others.
ACHOLI HISTORY, 1860-1901 135
The inhabitants recognized that Langa-Langa was anxious to be just and their
attitude began to be rather more friendly, but, as will be seen, in the course of
less than a year owing to Langa-Langa's absence trouble flared up again.
Langa-Langa very soon learnt that Awich counted for a great deal in
Acholi politics and that he could neither be ignored nor left to go on his own
way. Reports reached Langa-Langa that he was harbouring some of the
mutineers. He was also alleged to have been behind a number of hostile
projects besides the attack upon Lamogi. According to one of these reports,
he was alleged to have instigated an attack upon a caravan which was pro-
ceeding to Lamogi from Wadelai under the escort of a Sudanese officer and
soldiers. On this occasion the whole of the baggage was seized and carried
off by the attackers and was eventually handed over to Awich. According to
another report Awich ordered a European officer to be waylaid and attacked
on his way from Fajao to Wadelai. Rumour had it that the task was entrusted
to Obura of Patira, the chief who had concluded the treaty with Ternan in
1896. This plan came to nothing, because, as it was afterwards said, Obura
was dead drunk at the time that the European reached his village. Obura's
people went no further than to surround and behave in a very insulting manner
to the officer in question and to maltreat some of his men. When Obura was
subsequently called on for an explanation, he made the excuse that he was
away at the time and that his men had acted without his orders (108).
More serious still were complaints that Awich was attacking, or instigating
attacks upon, chiefs who had rendered assistance to or in any way shown
themselves to be well disposed towards the new administration. Amongst
other such complaints was one from Ogwok, Rwot of Padibe, who claimed
British protection by virtue of the treaty which he had concluded with Mac-
donald. This claim could not be ignored. As Langa-Langa said at the time,
he may possibly be as much to blame as Aoitch's people, but my principle
has been to stop all fighting ". Therefore, it was essential that Langa-Langa
should intervene in a quarrel between these two chiefs and that for that purpose
he should try to get in touch with Awich.
Shortly before Langa-Langa's arrival in the Nile Province, Awich had
reached Fajao with a large following and had paid a most friendly visit to the
European officer commanding that post. He made a very good impression
upon the officer in question, who was at the time unaware that the real object
of the visit was to cover Awich's efforts to get a large consignment of gun-
powder from Bunyoro across the Nile at or near Magungu and to collect some
goods which had been recently looted from a government caravan; but these
things did not leak out until a much later date. A visit to Langa-Langa at
Lamogi in November 1899 by Lakarakak, the brother of Awich, appeared
further to confirm the impression that Awich himself was approachable and
might be induced to be amenable to reason. Accordingly, Langa-Langa sent
him a number of invitations to come and see him at Lamogi. Few, if any, of
these messages were actually delivered. All that Langa-Langa received in
reply was a number of evasive messages, which sounded friendly enough but
suggested that Awich was playing a double game and was also playing for
time. As Awich would not come to Lamogi, Langa-Langa decided to visit
136 UGANDA JOURNAL
him at Payera. He may be hostile," he wrote before setting out, and if so
it will be necessary to give him a sharp lesson; but I hope not, and that he
can be persuaded to behave well towards us."
Shortly after those words were written, further complaints were received
in regard to Awich which made Langa-Langa decide to proceed to Payera
without delay, though still hoping to settle things without fighting and to
make Aoitch as loyal and friendly as Aoin (Owin), Acholi (Obwana Awach) or
Olia (Rwot of Atiak) ". He arrived at Payera to find that the women, cattle
and goats had all been sent away and the men were hanging about in the
jungle nearby. Langa-Langa got in touch with some of these men and through
them sent message to Awich, but nothing resulted therefrom.
After four days of fruitless attempts to get in touch with Awich, Langa-
Langa moved northwards to Parajok, as Onek, the Rwot of that place, had
recently destroyed a Madi village which had been in the habit of supplying
food to caravans proceeding from Afuddu to Fort Berkeley. After a long
night march by several converging columns-apparently the first of those many
night marches which were to earn him his nickname-Langa-Langa surrounded
Onek's village and made him a prisoner. There was a little fighting during
the advance on the place. Six natives were killed out of a large mob which
attacked one of the converging columns. Otherwise there were no casualties
on either side. The deposition of Onek, the confiscation of a small quantity of
grain and some goats as a fine, and the exaction of compensation for the Madi
to the extent of double the value of their losses was accepted by the villagers as
a wholly unexpected piece of good fortune.
About ten miles from Parajok there was a rock known as Painto rock,
which was a prominent feature in the countryside. According to information
given to Langa-Langa, in Emin Pasha's time Selim Bey and Fadl-el-Mula Bey
had made an unsuccessful attack upon it with about three hundred men (109).
Ever since that date the rock had been regarded as impregnable. As Langa-
Langa wished to make some observations from its summit, he set out one
morning to climb it, together with twenty of his men. On his way up he was
fired upon and a dense body of people on the top of the rock began to roll an
avalanche of boulders and stones on top of Langa-Langa's party. A number
of survey instruments were damaged and Langa-Langa himself had his jaw
broken and a number of teeth knocked out. Very fortunately, he was not
stunned by the blow and, despite his injuries, he decided to carry on and to
take the summit by storm. A little rifle shooting from an advantageous piece
of cover helped to clear the way for the storming party, which eventually
reached the top, only to find that the defenders had managed to get away by
some well concealed escape route which the attackers were unable to discover.
They found some women and some goats hidden in the long grass not far
from a neighboring village. From the women they learnt that the attack had
been instigated by some men from Payera contrary to the advice of the blind
chief of Painto. Fifteen of the local inhabitants had been killed in the taking
of the rock. Langa-Langa informed the people of Painto that he regarded this
as punishment enough for their attack upon his party and handed back to them
a number of prisoners and goats. He could afford to be lenient. The moral
ACHOLI HISTORY, 1860-1901 137
effect of this capture by only twenty men of a supposedly impregnable hill top
was very great indeed. News thereof quickly spread and vastly enhanced
From Painto Langa-Langa made his way towards Padibe. Ogwok came
to meet him at Lokung, bringing with him the Union Jack and the copy of the
treaty which had been given to him by Macdonald. This is Langa-Langa's
account of that meeting:
He is by far the most civilized and enlightened Acholi I have ever seen,
and appears to have his people in excellent order. He prides himself very
much on having always been loyal to the different governments that used to
exist here. He certainly will prove one of our mainstays amongst the Acholi.
He speaks Arabic very well, always wears European clothes, and came to meet
me riding on a donkey, getting off and kissing my hand with all the manners of
a polished Arab. From first to last he never asked me for anything, which is
the first instance I have ever met with of this."
He gave me a pitiful account of himself since Emin Pasha left the
country. It appears that the Payera people have been fighting against him
ever since, and as they were much more numerous, he was gradually getting so
reduced as hardly to have any hope of holding out against them. This year
especially he had had a bad time, as many of his people had left on account of
the famine, so his fighting strength has been less than usual. Thus Aoitch had
succeeded in capturing a good deal of his property and some of his women,
including his own wife. The disaffected Lokung people had also captured
some of his women. The proof of his story was clearly to be seen in the
positions of his villages, all the huts being almost plastered against the steep
cliffs on a very steep mountain, called Alak, like swallows' nests, all the huts
being of the smallest size-this of course for safety. Agok had been unable to
come into the government stations or have any intercourse with us, which he
wanted to do, as he was surrounded by enemies (110).
After having assured Ogwok that the new administration had come to
stay, Langa-Langa made one of his rapid marches to the south in an attempt
to surprise and capture Awich. He reached Payera to find that the bird had
flown. The story of the taking of the rock at Painto had already had a great
effect on the people of Payera, whose confidence in their own powers of
resistance had become greatly shaken. Realizing how greatly his position had
been weakened, Awich had hurried off to Owin, the son of Baker's Gimoro,
and had persuaded him to introduce him to Captain Harman at Lamogi. On
arrival Awich informed Harman that he could betray the Sudanese mutineers
to him. Harman could only raise twenty-six men for the purpose, but he
decided to come out of Lamogi and see what he could do. Awich in the
meantime kept the mutineers fully informed as to Harman's movements. He
then tried to persuade Harman to divide his small party into three for the
purpose of searching the countryside, but Harman saw through this advice,
promptly made a prisoner of Awich and took him back with him to Lamogi.
When news of this reached Langa-Langa, he caused Awich to be sent for
and brought before a meeting of chiefs and headmen. At this meeting Awich
was publicly deposed and his brother Lakarakak made chief in his stead.
138 UGANDA JOURNAL
Awich was then taken to Nimule, whence he was removed to Kampala, where
he stayed for the next two years (111).
After thus deposing Awich, Langa-Langa returned to Lokung, where some
of the local inhabitants had defied his orders to return certain of the women of
Ogwok of Padibe, whom they had taken prisoner. The villagers remained
defiant and only complied with Langa-Langa's orders after certain of their
villages had been burnt. The chief of Lokung was then deposed and his
territory was handed over to Ogwok, who claimed the overlordship thereof.
On 7 July 1900, Langa-Langa returned to Afuddu. The day before he reached
that place, he wrote a letter containing the following observations to Sir Harry
Most unfortunately, as I am now finding out, Emin Pasha's rule has
given the idea that government is synonymous with spoliation, murder and
oppression of all kinds. Only the chiefs who were near the stations and
remained on friendly terms with Emin's people, sharing, no doubt, the pleasures
of despoiling the others, escaped it. It may be doing Emin Pasha a great
injustice, but it appears from what I have heard that he used to accept anyone's
statement that a certain chief or tribe had misbehaved, upon which he sent out
a punitive expedition under Soudanese native officers to work their will on the
unfortunate people. He never accompanied any expedition himself, his whole
time being devoted to natural history collections, and other scientific pursuits,
which, though of great interest and value in themselves, did nothing to advance
the prosperity of the province. Thus it comes that even to this day the
approach of an officer or government troops is dreaded as an awful visitation,
except in places where the special protection of the stations is enjoyed. With
people as suspicious as must be those who for generations have suffered from
Arabs, slavers and hideous oppression of all sorts, it is a tedious thing to
recover their confidence. One has to be very patient. . ."
These people have not acquired any wants or tastes that yet render us
desirable to them, and, except for a few thousand protected individuals, appear
to have the profoundest mistrust of anything calling itself a government. Sir
Samuel Baker has been a saving clause. When the natives understand that he
was an Englishman, and that fairness, consideration and gentle treatment are
the methods that we employ, they will be reassured. They all seem to have a
very favourable impression of him, and, one may even say, affection in the case
of chiefs like Aoin (Owin), Acholi (Obwona Awach) and Wat-el-Ajus (Omo
Oya). They all know he disapproved of the Turks, slavers and all the various
' governments' that rendered their lives a misery. Of Gordon none seem to
have any recollection."
This disappearance of Awich deprived the Sudanese mutineers of a valu-
able collaborator, but there were still close on a hundred of them in what is
now the Lango District as well as a number of Kabarega's sons and former
adherents. Until they and the malcontents, who had made common cause
with them, had been disposed of, there would be no hope of permanent peace
in the Nile Province. The mutineers had established themselves at a place
called Modo about twenty miles to the north of Foweira. They had organized
themselves as a company under their one surviving officer, Farajalla Effendi.
ACHOLI HISTORY, 1860-1901 139
Their station was near the junction of the Aloin and Tochi Rivers and was
admirably sited. It consisted of a large collection of huts and rectangular
houses built in imitation of European buildings. It was surrounded by a light
palisade and a sentry post on a high platform gave the mutineers a command-
ing view of the whole of the surrounding country. Their military discipline
appears to have been wonderfully maintained and they performed guards and
other routine duties with the utmost regularity. By making blood-brotherhood
with the chiefs of the surrounding clans they had secured for themselves a
guarantee that those clans would not collaborate with the British. Langa-
Langa took charge of the operations against them. He had at his disposal four
companies of the Uganda Rifles and some Baganda levies. Lagony, the
Acholi chief of Koich, who had signed the treaty made by Malcolm at Lamogi
in 1898, joined the column with one hundred guns, "but ", so Langa-Langa
afterwards reported, as his men's and our notions of discipline did not
coincide, I dismissed them to their homes in order to avoid any risk of friction,
which I should have regretted, as their intentions were excellent ". Lagony
himself and ten of his men, however, remained with the force throughout the
campaign and proved very useful in many ways.
The campaign opened at the end of April 1901, after the close of the dry
season. It was launched from Foweira and the expedition reached the banks
of the Aloin close to the mutineers' camp on the evening of 29 April. At
11 p.m. the column set out with the intention of making a surprise crossing of
the river. But a heavy storm took place during the night, and, after being
detained an undue length of time at two swamps in succession, the column
arrived at the Aloin to find that river in flood. The whole column at once set
to work to bridge the stream. The task was completed at 2 p.m. and an hour
later the column had reached the mutineer's village, only to find it had been
evacuated. The mutineers had believed that the flooding of the Aloin would
stop the enemy. When they saw the bridge being built, they hastily retreated
after their womenfolk whom they had sent away, together with their cattle, two
The mutineers soon split up into small parties. The next four months
were spent by Langa-Langa in trying to round those parties up. The opera-
tions took his flying columns over the greater part of the modern countries of
Atura, Koli, Moroto and Eruti in Lango District and across the Aswa into
what are now the Pader and Lira countries in Acholi District. A number of
things considerably hampered the operations. Wet weather not only made
progress difficult but also led to sickness amongst the troops and more particu-
larly amongst the European officers. This sickness was further increased by an
outbreak of smallpox, which was introduced by a party of Baganda auxiliaries
under Semei Kakunguru who came from the region of Mount Elgon and joined
the expedition at the end of May (112). Lastly, but by no means least, the
mutineers receive a great deal of both direct and indirect assistance from a
number of Lango chiefs, not a few of whom were their blood-brothers. Others
of the local inhabitants were so over-awed by a number of instances of cold-
blooded murder by the mutineers as to be afraid to give away the whereabouts
of certain sections which were known to them. When latterly the fortunes of
140 UGANDA JOURNAL
the fugitives began to decline some of these chiefs decided to change sides. Thus
on 26 May we learn that a chief named Atuchen, who lived near the mutineers'
village on the banks of the Aloin, came and inquired if magic could be applied
to break his blood-brotherhood with the mutineers, as he wished.to join us.
The magic was applied by Dr. (afterwards Sir Arthur) Bagshawe to the satis-
faction of the chief." Again, on 14 June, more Lango chiefs came in to have
their blood-brotherhood with the mutineers 'broken' and once again Dr.
Bagshawe gave the necessary treatment.
By the end of August 1901, all but seven of the surviving mutineers had
either been killed or captured and most of those Lango chiefs, who had at one
time been disposed to render them assistance, had come in and made their
submission, receiving in proper cases the necessary treatment to break' their
former blood-brotherhood. In the circumstances, therefore, it was decided to
bring the punitive operations to a close. By the end of the year, six of the
seven surviving mutineers had been brought into the new government station
at Nimule by the native authorities. The fate of the seventh man is not known.
That part of the Acholi country which adjoined the mutineers' stronghold at
Modo had been constantly raided by the mutineers and their Lango allies.
The successful issue of Langa-Langa's expedition had removed this danger
and served to increase the confidence of the Acholi population in the ability of
the new administration to enforce peace and good order.
Immediately after the close of the Lango expedition Langa-Langa was
called upon to cope with an extremely awkward situation which had once again
arisen at Lamogi. It was a repetition of the former story. Newly-arrived
European officers had placed too much reliance in their Sudanese officers with
the result that there had been a reversion to the bad state of affairs which
Langa-Langa had set to rights only a few months before. The neighboring
people were in a highly dangerous state of unrest. Wirwira, one of the Madi
chiefs who had been a party to Malcolm's treaty in 1898, had been deported
and many of his people, as well as other malcontents, had taken refuge in the
Guruguru Hills, which were a few miles from, and more or less overlooked,
the station at Lamogi. From this vantage point the refugees made a regular
practice of harrying the garrison, spearing and carrying off Sudanese women
who were cultivating within a few hundred yards of the soldiers' lines and lying
in wait for any person who was so unwary as to venture any distance from the
station without an escort.
The final crisis came in March 1901, when a Sudanese patrol seized a
Madi chief on Guruguru itself. There was a struggle in which the chief and a
Sudanese soldier were shot dead. At one time it looked as if the trouble might
reach very serious proportions. Langa-Langa was delayed in dealing with it
by his operations against the Sudanese, but at their close he reached Lamogi
after a forced march on 27 August 1901 ; and sent word to Uyat, the most
influential man on the mountain, that he was coming to see him and expected
the chief to meet him peacefully. Next day he marched three companies of
the Uganda Rifles up the mountain and camped within thirty yards of the
native stronghold. Uyat came to meet him and the interview was satisfactory.
Ngwen, a fifteen year old son of Wirwira, was by the request of all the headmen
ACHOLI HISTORY, 1860-1901 141
duly placed on the Gambara, or chief's stool, and Uyat was appointed to take
charge of affairs until Ngwen was old enough to do so himself. All outstanding
disputes were settled quite amicably. Confidence in the British Government
was so far restored that by the end of the year many of the Madi, who had
crossed the Nile into Congolese territory, had returned to the east bank.
Langa-Langa's tour of duty was now drawing to a close. In January 1902
he handed over to Mr. F. A. Knowles, who had been appointed the first civilian
Collector at Nimule. There was still much to be done. But the foundation
had been built by a wise master-builder and those who followed after him
and built thereon, took heed how they built so that the work which they did
abides to this day.
(104) Bere: 'Awich', U.J. 10 (1946), p. 77n.
(105) For a further account of Obwona cf. A. B. Lloyd: Uganda to Khartoum,
pp. 226-8, and Acholi Country', U.J. 12 (1948), pp. 88-9. Kitching:
Backwaters of the Nile, pp. 254-5 gives an account of his funeral.
(106) Delmd-Radcliffe: 'Surveys and Studies in Uganda' G.J., Nov. 1905, pp.
(107) Sykes: Service and Sport on the Tropical Nile, pp. 245-50.
(108) It may perhaps be doubted whether Awich instigated this particular attack.
Obura undoubtedly showed himself to be a Mr. Facing-both-ways'
(see Ansorge: Under the African Sun, p. 195); but at about this
date, in a dispute in regard to a waterhole between Obura and the
people of Koich, Awich had given his decision against Obura.
Anywar: 'Life of Rwot Iburaim Awich', UJ. 12 (1948), pp. 75-6).
As mentioned on a previous page, Obura was definitely hostile to
(109) This attack upon Painto may have been in retaliation for the attack upon
Padibe in 1887 (cf. Stuhlmann: Die Tagebiicher, iii., p. 316). There
seems little doubt that local tradition greatly exaggerated the number
of the Egyptian troops.
(110) Some account of Ogwok's later career and continued loyalty to the Uganda
Administration is given in Lloyd: Uganda to Khartoum, p. 302;
Postlethwaite: African Roses, pp. 22-3, and I Look Back, pp. 55-6.
Ogwok retired from his chieftainship in 1917 having, it is said, been
Rwot of Padibe for sixty years (Pellegrini: Acoli Macon, p. 159).
(111) For the later career of Awich see Bere: 'Awich', U.J. 10 (1946), p. 76,
Anywar, op. cit., U.J. 12 (1948), p. 72 and Pellegrini, op. cit. pp.
(112) See Thomas: 'Capax Imperii-The Story of Semei Kakunguru', U.J. 6
(1938-9), p. 133.
EMIN PASHA'S STEAMERS
Sir Samuel Baker tells us that in 1869, having received full authority from the
Khedive, he placed with Samuda Brothers, a well-known firm of marine engineers
at Poplar, orders for a number of vessels to be built of steel. One such order was
for a twin screw high-pressure steamer of 20-horse power, 108 tons ", and another
for a twin screw high-pressure steamer of 10-horse power, 38 tons ". Baker adds
142 UGANDA JOURNAL
that these vessels were fitted with engines of the best construction by Messrs.
(John) Penn & Co. (sc. Sons of Greenwich) and were to be carried across the
Nubian desert in plates and sections (Ismailia, p. 5).
In due course the sections of the 108-ton steamer reached Gondokoro and
the vessel was put together there by Edwin Higginbotham. After being launched
the vessel was given the name of Khedive. It was a twin screw vessel and, in
Baker's words, "was the work of my Englishmen, who had taken a pride in
turning out the best results that Messrs. Samuda Brothers and Messrs. Penn & Co.
could produce ". The names of these Englishmen were Higginbotham (civil
engineer), McWilliam (chief engineer of steamers), Jarvis (chief shipwright),
Whitefield, Samson, Hitchman, and Ramsall (shipwrights and boiler-makers). Of
these Higginbotham died at Gondokoro and David Samson on the way home from
Berber to Suakin (Ismailia, pp. 6, 453-4, and 462).
The sections of the 38-ton steamer were by Gordon's orders transported
overland from Rejaf to Dufile. In a letter to his sister of 25 September 1874 he
reported that the greater part of the steamer had left Rejaf on the previous day
in charge of an engineer named Joseph Kemp. On the following 15 October
Gordon informed his sister that Kemp had returned to Rejaf, after having left
" the greater part of the steamer at Dufile and after having had some trouble
on the way with the local inhabitants owing to the misconduct of his military
escort. (Birkbeck Hill: Colonel Gordon in Central Africa, pp. 40, 54.) Kemp
subsequently wrote a Report on the Nile above Gondokoro between Regiaf and
Dufile, which was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society
for 1875, pp. 324-6.
Gessi informs us that in October 1875, Gordon gave him orders for the trans-
port from Gondokoro to Dufile of sections of this same steamer and of two iron
boats (afterwards named Dufile and Magungo) and that for this purpose he had
to employ seven hundred men from Makraka for several months (Seven Years in
the Soudan, pp. 100-1). Presumably, therefore, the task of transportation was very
far from being near completion when Kemp relinquished it. The steamer had
not been completed when Romolo Gessi set out in April 1876, to circumnavigate
Lake Albert. That voyage was undertaken in the Dufile. Whilst the steamer
was being put together, Gordon wrote as follows to his sister:
The boiler of the steamer weighs 21 tons. How can I get it into the hull ?
Gessi says by filling with durrha and then taking durrha out from bottom. We
cannot use shears, for we have none, and the ropes would never stand the strain.
Gessi is a smart fellow and good at this sort of work, better than many R.E."
(Zaghi: Gordon, Gessi e la Riconquista del Sudan, p. 135).
When this steamer was finally launched, she was given the name of Nyanza.
Her maiden voyage would appear to have been that on which she took Gordon
from Dufile to Magungu in July 1876. Colonel A. Mc C. Mason used her for his
circumnavigation of Lake Albert and discovery of the Semliki River in 1877. In
a letter to the Royal Geographical Society of 7 December 1890 (published in the
Society's Proceedings of 1890, pp. 440-1) he quotes from the Nyanza's log extracts
relating to his attempt to make his way up the Semliki. At the date of that letter
the log book in question was still in the custody of the Egyptian Government
Gordon made an attempt to haul the Khedive from Gondokoro through the
rapids to Dufile, but on 17 October 1875 he had to write and tell his sister that
"it is all over ", as the rapids near Dufile had proved to be insurmountable.
(Birkbeck Hill op. cit., pp. 131-2). At a later date he gave orders for the Khedive
ACHOLI HISTORY, 1860-1901 143
to be dismantled and for her sections to be carried overland to Dufile. On 1
September 1878 he gave-not quite accurately, as will be seen-the following
information to Sir Samuel Baker:
The screw steamer Khedive has been completed and is now on Lake Albert.
It took 31"/3o months; the boiler was rolled up from Mugi to Dufli. Now we
have two steamers on the lake." (Murray: Sir Samuel Baker-A Memoir, p. 243);
for Dr. Felkin informs us, that about a foot of steam piping had been lost during
the transport of the sections to Dufile, with the result that the Khedive could not
take him and his companions Litchfield and Pearson to Magungu, and they left
Dufile in the Nyanza on 21 December 1878 (Wilson and Felkin: Uganda and
the Egyptian Soudan, i., 304).
The Khedive was, however, fully completed by 20 March in the following
year, when Emin wrote the following letter which was published in the Esploratore
for 1881 p. 229:
Dufile is quite a little city. The Khedive has just been completed; so we
now have two steamers with the armed sloops in the dockyard which is completely
fitted up for repairs and construction. The Khedive ran on the rocks at the falls
near Moogie, where it remained stranded for a long time. When Prout Bey came
here, the boat was dismantled by Gessi's orders and carried bit by bit to Dufile.
There were 4,800 porters, 600 of whom were required to haul the boiler on a sort
of cart. It took seven days to carry the pieces from Moogie to Khor Ajou,
thirteen days from Khor Ajou to Dufile. It was difficult going over the moun-
tainous country. But all went well. The putting together was done by Ibrahim
Khalifet, a very clever engineer. Through his care the boat is now in perfect
condition and goes well."
It should be pointed out that the reference in the foregoing letter to Gessi is
clearly a mistake for Gordon, as at this date Gessi had for the time being left the
service of the Egyptian Government.
In the face of many difficulties, of which the replacement of parts of the
machinery was by no means the least, and despite the fact that both steamers
were at times put to exceedingly hard work, the Khedive and the Nyanza were both
kept in fairly good condition throughout Emin Pasha's time. Emin's journals and
letters bear witness to their constant employment during the years 1885-88 while
his headquarters were at Wadelai, when they furnished the almost indispensable
link, for the transport of troops and stores, with Dufile, Magungu, Kibiro, Mswa
and Mahagi. On 2 January 1886 Dr. Junker set off from Wadelai in the Khedive
for the long trek which was to take him to Zanzibar and Europe:1 and she brought
from Kibiro the mails and goods which began to reach Emin through Uganda.
It was the Khedive which in January 1888 rescued Casati, escaping from Bunyoro
in desperate straits, from the shore near Ndandamire.2
1 At page 520, vol. iii., of Junker's Travels is a racy sketch of the departure from
Wadelai: the artist's imagination has, however, played him false, for the Khedive is
shown as a paddle-steamer. On the same page is a confusing misprint-" The last"
(should read first ") day of the year 1886 was also the last in Wadelai."
2 The precise chronology of the movements of Emin and his steamers during these
years is not easy to determine without reference to the Tagebiicher. An inquirer who
makes use of that fine collection Emin Pasha in Central Africa (1888) may well be
misled by an inaccurate date. At page 162 is a paper, A sail upon Lake Albert (1885)'.
Internal evidence makes it clear that this voyage took place after Dr. Junker's departure
in 1886. The paper was first printed in the Scottish Geographical Magazine for June
1887 (vol. iii, p. 273). Emin's covering letter is dated Wadelai 26 October 1886 and it
reached Dr. Felkin on 9 May 1887. Students of Emin Pasha at this period should not
overlook the S.G.M., for in it Dr. Felkin. who was Emin's principal British correspondent
and was then living in Edinburgh, published a number of original letters from Emin.
144 UGANDA JOURNAL
Mounteney Jephson wrote of the Khedive in 1888 that she "was still a fine
strong boat, some eighty-five feet long, with a beam of eighteen feet. It was
wonderful that she should be in such good order; it spoke well for Emin's careful-
ness in keeping her in such repair. Her boilers, however, were getting somewhat
weak, though her engines were still good, and Emin dared not press her to go more
than five knots an hour (Emin Pasha-The Rebellion at the Equator, pp. 28-9).
We learn, however, from the same writer that the Dufile and the Magungo were by
this date somewhat worn out and unsafe ibidd., p. 84).
Both the Khedive and the Nyanza were at Dufile when the Mahdists made
their way into that place on 8 November 1888. At the time the steamers were
busily engaged in transporting refugees from the west to the east bank of the Nile.
Before they were driven out, the Mahdists managed to kill some of the members of
the engine-room staff of both vessels, but they appear to have done little or no
damage to the machinery (Jephson, op. cit., p. 328).
When Emin finally set out with Stanley for the east coast, Selim Bey had taken
both steamers to the north end of the lake for the purpose of evacuating refugees,
a task which proved far beyond the capacity of the two vessels. Fadl-el-Mula
made an attempt to gain possession of the steamers. He managed to make Selim
Bey a prisoner, but the latter eventually escaped and made his way to Kavalli's
at the southern end of Lake Albert. In the meantime the Nyanza had fallen into
Fadl-el-Mula's hands. He sent it to the north to maintain communication between
his posts on the banks of the Nile, but very shortly afterwards she sank somewhere
in the vicinity of the fuel station at Bora on the east bank of the Nile, either owing
to incompetent navigation or else to old age and want of repair (Schweitzer: Emin
Pasha, ii., 243-4 ; Lugard: Rise of our East African Empire, ii., 202-5 ; Stuhlmann:
Mit Emin Pascha ins Herz von Afrika, pp. 330-7; Vandeleur: Campaigning on
the Upper Nile and Niger, p. 33).
There are conflicting accounts as to whether Fadl-el-Mula managed to retain
possession of the Khedive. What is certain is that she foundered-perhaps was
deliberately scuttled-near the western shore of Lake Albert, not far from
Kahanama and about fifteen miles to the north of the lake port of Kasenyi '(Lt.-Col.
R. T. Bright in Official Report of the British Section of the Uganda-Congo Boundary
Commission, 1907-08, p. 53 ; Stuhlmann: op. cit., pp. 334-7 ; Stigand: Equatoria,
As Mr. H. B. Thomas has informed us, a number of parts of the Khedive
survive in a state of almost perfect preservation. The steering wheel can now be
seen in the Secretariat Library at Entebbe. A porthole was presented to the
Uganda Society by the late Mr. C. W. G. Eden. The ship's bell having been
brought into Uganda by Selim Bey's followers was presented by Colonel Colvile to
the Rev. A. B. Fisher of the Church Missionary Society and is now in the possession
of his son, the Rev. A. S. T. Fisher, Chaplain of Magdalen College School, Oxford.
The first two of these relics were salved from the vessel in 1908 (' A Relic of S.S.
Khedive', UJ. 14 (1950), pp. 103-4).
THE COMING OF THE BANANA TO UGANDA
By G. A. WAINWRIGHT
ALTHOUGH the banana is not indigenous to Africa, it seems to have been
established there for a very long time. About A.D. 5251 Cosmas Indico-
pleustes was at Adulis not far from Massawa, and he gives an account of his
activities there. In the middle of it there is inserted in the Vatican manuscript
a perfectly good picture of a couple of banana trees with the label, These are
the so-called moza, the dates of Indeke."2 Thus, Cosmas calls them by the
name by which the banana is still known to-day in Persian and Arabic, moz,
miz ;3 also in Amharic mus, in Kafficho maso, in Galla musa,4 and in Somali
and Afar (Danikil) mus.5 The word comes from Sanskrit where it is trans-
literated moca.6 Unfortunately Cosmas says nothing about these banana trees
in his text; nevertheless the fact that he inserted the picture here and not in
his eleventh book makes it practically certain that it was at Adulis and not in
India that he saw them. It is in his eleventh book that he deals with the
animals and plants of India and gives an account of Ceylon.7
Unfortunately again, it is possible to suggest yet another doubt, for the
Vatican manuscript, the earliest we have, .was not written in the sixth century
but in the eighth or ninth.8 Hence, it is possible that the picture and descrip-
tion are by a later hand. But this is unlikely, for Winstedt brings much
evidence that the original pictures would have been drawn by Cosmas himself
or at least under his direction and that it would have been he who wrote the
description. He was in the habit of making additions and annotations to his
own manuscript.9 In any case, even if the picture and its description were a
later insertion by a copyist, that would only bring the question two or three
centuries later than the sixth. Cosmas would still provide the earliest example
1 J. W. McCrindle, The Christian Topography of Cosmas, an Egyptian Monk
(Hakluyt Society, 1897), p. 55, note 3.
2 E. 0. Winstedt, The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes, p. 337,
note to p. 72, 1. 25. The picture is reproduced by Mgr. Cosimo Stornajolo, Le Miniature
della Topografia christiana di Cosma Indicopleuste (Milan, 1908), Pl. I and p. 23. The
long stalk with the flower that projects from the bunch is not shown. Indake is presum-
ably some part of India, though considerable inquiry has not produced any result.
3 F. Steingass, A Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary, p. 1344; E. W. Lane,
An Arabic-English Lexicon, ii., p. 2744.
4 F. I. Bieber, Kaffa, i., p. 245. The population of Kaffa is very mixed (Id., ii.,
pp. 494ff), and Reinisch gives the words tuto, kdco for banana (Sitzungsberichte Kais. Ak.
Wiss., Phil-hist. Classe, cxvi. (Vienna, 1888), p. 355 and cf. p. 266 s.v. it65). The Galla
also have a word kotcho, and for a special sort gonagond (P. Paulitschke, Ethnographie
Nordost-Afrikas (1893), p. 221).
5 Paulitschke, p. 221. See page 146 and note 8 infra for more evidence that these
names are not derived from Arabic, but are of independent, and in these cases, of earlier
6 Sir M. Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary, p. 835. An Indian was
good enough to tell me that the c represents a soft ch pronounced something like our j.
7 McCrindle, pp. 358-373.
8 Winstedt, p. 15; McCrindle, Introduction, p. i.
9 Winstedt, p. 16; McCrindle, Introduction, p. xi.
146 UGANDA JOURNAL
of the Persian-Arabic word, and the earliest notice that we have of the banana
in Africa, where it is practically certain that Cosmas saw it about A.D. 525.
Neither of the above-discussed possible doubts are sufficiently strong to vitiate
There is no reason whatever against the banana having been brought to
Abyssinia as early as Cosmas' time and even a good deal earlier.' Indian
influence had evidently been strong even as far inland as Meroi5, for by the
period 15 B.c. to A.D. 15, a god was represented with three heads and four arms
in a temple about fifty-five miles from that city. This is a most unegyptian
type but is of course well known in India.2 From the second half of the first
century A.D. comes the information of the sea-captain that besides the trading
colonies of Arabs and Greeks there was one of Indians on the island of
Dioscorida-Socotra.3 Then there are the great stelae of Aksum in Abyssinia
itself which are recognized as being strongly influenced by Indian architecture,4
and are datable to the period between the first and fourth centuries A.D.5
Having reached the coast at Adulis the banana could easily have travelled
inland to the far south-west, and hence in the direction of Bunyoro and
Buganda. Cosmas tells how every other year large caravans of merchants,
upwards say of five hundred at a time as he states, travelled from Aksum
through the country of the Agau to the gold workings.6 I have shown that
this country where the merchants got the gold would have been the valleys of
the Rivers Toumat and Yabous, which join the Blue Nile in the neighbourhood
of Fazoqli.7 Thus, the banana, which was evidently well-established on the
coast of Abyssinia, could quite well have made its way toward the south-west
in early days. This indeed would have been the route by which its name,
mtso, would have reached Kaffa and not by the agency of the Arabs, for Kaffa
is entirely outside the influence of both the Arabs themselves and of Arabic.'
In the south-west the banana would have been ready for Kintu to bring to
Uganda, as tradition says he did, at the beginning of history,9 i.e. perhaps as
1 It does not concern the present argument, but it is of general interest that, accord-
ing to Pliny, xii., 6 (12), 24, Alexander's army saw the banana in India. Pliny calls
the tree pala which is said to be its name on the Malabar coast to-day, though Alexander
never got as far south as that. The fruit Pliny calls ariera or ariena.
2 Arkell in Aspects of Archaeology in Britain and Beyond, Essays Presented to
0. G. S. Crawford (edited by W. F. Grimes), p. 35 and Fig. 1. He notes other possibilities
of Indian influence.
3 W. H. Schoff, The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, 30, p. 34.
4 Schoff, pp. 64, 65 and Figs.
5 D. Krencker, Deutsche Aksum-Expedition, ii., pp., 2, 30.
6 McCrindle, pp. 52, 53. ,
7 Man, 1942, pp. 52ff.
8 Even Swahili, although so much influenced by Arabic and other dialects of the
Zanzibar and Mombasa area, uses its own native names, calling the tree gomba and
the fruit dizi (Sir H. H. Johnston, A Comprehensive Study of the Bantu and Semi-Bantu
Languages, i., p. 129). Had it not been for Cosmas, it would naturally have been
supposed that the Afar and Somali derived their words from Arabic, for they are on the
coast facing Arabia. He shows that they date from a time before Arabic was Influencing
the coast. The failure of Arabic to introduce its word into another coastal language,
Swahili, is further evidence pointing in the same direction.
9 J. Roscoe, The Baganda, p. 428 ; Sir Harry Johnston, The Uganda Protectorate,
ii., p. 704. The banana is elsewhere said to have been brought by Kintu's companion,
Manyangalya (Roscoe, p. 151).
THE COMING OF THE BANANA TO UGANDA 147
early as about A.D. 1000.1 Evidence of the correctness of the tradition is pro-
vided by the fact that there is still a banana tree growing beside his temple on
Magonga Hill which is reputed to come from the original root which he
brought.2 For what it is worth, it may be noted that Cosmas' picture shows
the leaves as having been cut off up the stem as far as the bunch of fruit,
leaving only this and a plume at the top. In the same way the Baganda women
cut off the lower leaves (Roscoe, p. 430). In Uganda#he trees are planted
sloping forward (Roscoe, p. 429), but Cosmas, on the contrary, shows his trees
Whence did Kintu come ? Most Baganda, if asked, will point vaguely to
the north or will say that he came from Bunyoro. Indeed, one account is
explicit in saying that he crossed the Nile into Bunyoro at Foweira.3 All this
is to the north of Uganda and the last story brings him from east of the Nile,
hence from the direction of such places as Kaffa and Abyssinia. Europeans
often speak of him as a Galla, though this is perhaps rather too precise a
definition. It may well be suggested that he, or rather his ancestors, would
rather have belonged to one of the primitive Cushitic-Hamite tribes of western
Abyssinia. Such might be the Agau through whose country outside influences
percolated, or the Gonga who later on, in the fourteenth century A.D., migrated
southwards to Kaffa from the country of the Didessa River and Blue Nile in
western Abyssinia.4 The Didessa Valley would bring migrants from the
north right up into Kaffa where it rises. This place of origin of theirs is in the
direction of the Rivers Yabous and Toumat, whither Cosmas' merchants went
for gold, and the country of the Agau on the way thither. While the move-
ment of the Gonga brought them no farther than Kaffa on the west of the
River Omo and north of Lake Rudolf, others might quite well have kept farther
away to the west. At a later date than Kintu or even the Gonga, the Bari and
Lotuko are said to have approached the Nile from the north-east. They settled
farther north than did Kintu, but the process of drift to the south and south-
south-west seems to have been the same; in fact, to be age-long.
Just as its bringer, Kintu, lost his own language in Uganda, so did the
banana lose its original name. In Uganda it is known by a number of names:
toke, gonja, gogo, all of which belong to large Bantu families and are wide-
spread and not only in this part of Africa ; emo is peculiar to the dialect of the
Sese Islands, and the other two, envu and bide, belong to only very small roots.5
1 Wainwright in Man, 1942, p. 105.
2 Roscoe, p. 428. Johnston's version of the tradition also records that the original
banana tree was planted at Magonga, loc. cit.
3 H. R. Wallis, The Handbook of Uganda (2nd edn., 1920), p. 3.
4 F. J. Bieber, Kaffa, i., pp. 56, 57 ; ii., pp. 469ff. Cf. also i., p. 53, for Reinisch's
views of the practical identity of the Agau and Gonga both physically and linguistically.
Unfortunately here and there in Bieber's valuable book there are references to ancient
Egypt, many of which are to be regretted.
5 Sir Harry Johnston, A Comparative Study of the Bantu and Semi-Bantu Languages,
i., p. 57, and ii., pp. 250, 251. Toke, gonja and bide are names of special varieties,
Roscoe, p. 429. The names of many other varieties are given on p. 431.
CHRONOLOGY OF BUGANDA, 1800-1907,
FROM KAGWA'S EBIKA
'ranslated by A. M. K. MAYANJA
[A full assessment of Sir Apolo Kagwa's achievements as a chronicler of his
country's past and recorder of its folk lore is still lacking-understandably-for he
wrote only in Luganda.
It is indeed remarkable that his Basekabaka (Kings), a volume of about 85,000
words, first printed in 1901 on his own hand-press, should have appeared little more
than twenty years after his country's language was first haltingly committed to
writing. In Basekabaka there are many dates; particularly precise are those
relating to events of the fifteen years or so preceding 1899-a period in which
Kagwa himself played an outstanding part. His later Ebika (Clans), first published
in 1908, concludes with a chronology of events in Buganda from 1800 to 1907
which brings together and supplements the more outstanding dates scattered in the
text of Basekabaka.
This chronology follows the form of an Appendix to Mullins' The Wonderful
Story of Uganda, which was first published in 1904. Certain events (particularly
those in which there were European participants) and dates (some of them
inaccurate) are clearly 'lifted' from this source. Nevertheless Kagwa's is
essentially an independent compilation, including as it does many references to
Baganda notables which are perhaps nowhere else on record.
The whole is of particular interest as pointing to those incidents and person-
alities which chiefly impressed one of the most astute minds (albeit a stalwart of
the 'Protestant' party) of the generation which witnessed what was, for Uganda,
the greatest revolution of all time-the introduction of European influence.
For the present translation we are indebted to a student of Makerere College.
In addition to the correct English surnames, all of which it has been possible to
identify, the Luganda equivalents as given by Kagwa are cited: these latter are
of some value as they may be encountered elsewhere by students of early
The dates of the reigns of the immediate predecessors of Kabaka Mutesa I as
given by Kagwa differ from those of Thomas and Scott's Uganda (1935), which
were based on early studies by Sir John Gray. Later research has led Sir John
Gray to ante-date Suna's reign by one year, and he has kindly marshalled the
evidence in the following notes.
SUNA. In 1876, when at Rubaga, Emin was informed by the Arab Ahmed bin
Ibrahim, who claimed to have first visited Buganda in 1844, that Suna and Said bin
Sultan, the ruler of Zanzibar, both died in the same month, namely October 1856
(U.J., Vol. 11 (1947), p. 95). This does not conflict substantially with the report
collected by Burton (Lake Regions, Vol. II, p. 188) that Suna "reigned till 1857 ".
Tradition has it that Suna reigned for 25 years and was about 40 when he died.
He became King when he was between 12 (Kagwa) and 15 (Stanley). He would
therefore have come to the throne between 1828 and 1831, and the latter date
might reasonably be adopted-c. 1831-1856.
CHRONOLOGY OF BUGANDA, 1800-1907 149
KAMANYA. His accession is more or less fixed by the fact that his son Suna
was born shortly after Kamanya had moved his capital for the first time, i.e. after
he had been on the throne two or three years. If Suna was born in 1816 (c.f.
supra), this would make Kamanya's reign begin in 1813 or 1814. I therefore fix
his reign as say c. 1814-c. 1831.
SEMAKOKIRO. I do not think his reign can have been a long one (despite
Roscoe's assertion, The Baganda, p. 225). Kamanya was a full-grown man when
he and some of his brothers assisted their father Semakokiro to wrest the throne
from Junju. Tradition suggests the Semakokiro was not more than 50 when he
died. It would therefore allot him 17 years at the outside: c. 1797-c. 1814.
JUNJU was more or less of the same age as his brother Semakokiro. As the
latter with full-grown sons must have been not less than 35 years old when he
ascended the throne Junju cannot have been much older at the date of his death.
Assuming that he ascended the throne as a youth, Junju should also have about
17 years allotted to him say c. 1780-c. 1797. This would place the death of
KYABAGU about 1780.-EDs.]
1800 We think that Kamanya began to reign in this year and that he died
1810 Suna II came to the throne on the death of his father Kamanya and he
died in 1852.
1849 Birth of Stanilas Mugwanya during Suna's reign. During the second
period of Kabaka Mwanga II's reign in 1889 he was made Kimbugwe.
On 14 August 1897, following Mwanga's deposition and the succession
of his infant son Daudi Chwa, he became Second Regent during the
minority of the Kabaka.
1850 Joswa Damulira Kate was also born during Suna's reign. On
11 October 1889 he became Mugema during Mwanga's second' reign.
1851 Saulo Mayanja was born in Suna's reign. In October 1889 he became
Paulo Nsubuga Bakunga was born in Suna's reign. On 6 July 1897 he
became Mukwenda [following the rebellion of Yona Waswa, see 5 May
1852 Death of Suna II. Succession of his son Mukabya Mutesa.
Avikitolo Kidukanya was born in this year: he became Mbubi on
21 January 1903.
1857 Birth of Alikisi Sebowa, when Kabaka Mukabya Mutesa's palace was
at Nakatema. In October 1889 he became Sekibobo. On 5 April
1892 he became Pokino.
1858 Zakariya Kizito Kisingiri was born when Mukabya Mutesa was still at
Nakatema. In 1892 he was made Kangawo: and on 14 August 1897
he became a Regent.
1860 Andereya Luwandaga was born. On 9 May 1898 he became Kim-
Taibu Magato also was born this year. On 13 July 1893 he became
1861 Captain Speke (Sepiki) arrived with his friend Baker. They found
Kabaka Mutesa at Banda. [Actual date 1862: and for Baker read
150 UGANDA JOURNAL
1865 Birth of Apolo Kagwa Kalibala Gulemye when Kabaka Mutesa's palace
was at Nakawa. In 1887 he became head of the Kabaka's Treasury
(to look after all the Kabaka's property in the treasury). On 2 August
1888 he became Mukwenda. On 11 October 1889 he became Katikiro.
On 14 August 1897 he became First Regent during Kabaka Daudi
Chwa II's minority. On 5 June 1905 King Edward VII of England
gave him the honour to be called 'Knight Commander of the Most
Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George'. From that
time he began to write Sir before his name, and K.C.M.G. after.
Birth of Yokobo Lule Musajalumbwa. On 6 July 1897 he became
Birth of Sepiriya Mutagwanya. On 22 April 1895 he became Luwekula.
1868 Birth of Yokana Muwanga. On 22 September 1895 he became Kitunzi.
Birth of Nyansi Lule. On 2 April 1897 he became Kyambalango.
1869 Birth of Samwili Mukasa. On 25 March 1899 he became Kangawo.
1870 Birth of Yosiya Kasozi. In January 1900 he became Kweba.
1871 Birth of Hamu Mukasa. On 29 May 1905 he became Sekibobo.
1872 Birth of Andereya Kiwanuka. On 28 April 1908 he became Kaima.
Birth of Ansirimi Kiwanuka. On 2 April 1899 he became Kiimba.
Birth of Serwano Mazinga. On 5 Jqne 1905 he became Mugerere.
Birth of Aleni Kinanina. On 1 July 1908 he became Mutesa.
1873 Birth of Semewo Nsubuga. On 28 April 1908 he became Kasuju.
1875 Arrival of Stanley (Sitanule) when Kabaka Mukabya Mutesa was at
Rubaga. He reached Lake George (Mutanzige) and from there went
back to his home in England. But on 15 November he wrote asking the
Englishmen to send missionaries to come and teach us.
1877 30 June. Arrival of first missionaries in Buganda, Lieut. Shergold
Smith (Simiti) and Rev. C. T. Wilson (Wilisoni). They found Kabaka
Mutesa at Rubaga.
1878 6 November. Arrival of Mackay (Makai). More missionaries were
sent to Buganda by way of the Nile (Kiira) and Khartoum (Kalitumu)
helped by General Gordon (Jenelo Godani).
1879 16 February. The missionaries Pearson (Perisoni), Litchfield (Liki-
felida), and Felkin (Ferekini) arrived at Kabaka Mukabya Mutesa's
23 February. Arrival of first Roman Catholic missionaries.
23 May. Departure of Wilson and Felkin for England, taking with
them Kabaka Mutesa's envoys, Namukade, Katuluba and Magijo.
1880 In this year the three envoys returned with O'Flaherty (Firipo). [Date
should be March 1881.-EDS.]
1881 O'Flaherty and Mackay remained alone in Buganda from March of
this year until May 1883.
1882 25 December. Baptism of first Baganda Christians. Henry Wright
Duta Kitakule had himself been baptized at Zanzibar (Lunguja).
1883 28 October. Twenty-one Baganda Christians received Holy Com-
munion at the Table of Our Lord in the church at Natete.
CHRONOLOGY OF BUGANDA, 1800-1907 151
1884 19 October. Death of Kabaka Mukabya Mutesa at Nabulagala, now
called Kisubi. [The best date is night of 9 October, not 10, as Thomas
and Scott.-EDs.] Succession of his son Mwanga II who built his
palace at Mengo.
By this time there were about 88 baptized Christians.
1885 January. Martyrdom of Yusufu Lugalama and two others by Kabaka
Mwanga II's orders for believing in Jesus Christ. The first Synod of
the Baganda Church took place in this year. By May there were about
108 baptized Christians in Buganda.
31 October. Murder of Bishop Hannington (Kaningitoni) in Busoga
before he arrived in Buganda. [Now usually accepted date is 29
1886 June. Great persecution of Baganda Christians by Kabaka Mwanga II.
Forty-six Christians were seized and burnt at Namugongo in Kyadondo
now called Kisalosalo.
August. Departure of Rev. R. P. Ashe (Ase) from Buganda. Mackay
remained in Buganda alone.
1887 12 July. Mackay was driven from Buganda to Busambiro. [Should
be 21 July.-EDS.]
August. Arrival of Rev. E. C. Gordon (Godani) in Buganda.
1888 17 April. Arrival of Rev. R. H. Walker (Woka) in Buganda. [Kagwa
misplaces this in 1887.-EDS.]
1 August. There was fighting. [Kagwa misplaces this in 1887.-EDs.]
When Mwanga fled [on 10 September 1888.-EDs.] Kiwewa was made
12 October. There was fighting a second time. The Muhammadans
expelled all Christians who went to Ankole. After seven days, on
19 October, all the missionaries, Protestant and Catholic, were expelled
from Buganda. There was fighting for a third time in that month.
Kalema embraced Islam and became Kabaka.
1889 Stanley finds the exiled' Christians with Zakariya Kizito (now Regent)
in Ankole who begged him for aid. He could offer no help because he
was in a hurry but he promised to report the situation to those who sent
August. Gordon and Walker left Usukuma for Bulingugwe to teach
the Christians who were with Mwanga'there, and to offer them all the
help they could.
5 October. Mwanga II returned to his kingdom after being victorious
over his brother Kalema the Moslem.
1890 28 February. [Should be 8 February.-EDs.] Death of Mackay, our
beloved friend, at Busambiro.
February. A German doctor who wanted to make Buganda a German
May. Jackson (Jakisani) and Gedge (Gegi) of the Imperial British East
Africa Company arrived in Buganda and sought to make a treaty with
us, and we did not want the Germans. [Should be April.-EDs.]
152 UGANDA JOURNAL
July. Agreement reached between Jackson and Baganda. [Jackson
left Buganda in May.-EDS.]
27 December. Bishop A. R. Tucker (Omulabirizi Taka) and G. L.
Pilkington (Perekintoni) and Baskerville (Basikaviro) and F. C. Smith
(Simiti) arrived in Buganda.
1891 18 January. Two Europeans [E. C. Gordon and G. K. Baskerville.-
EDs.] received Holy Orders. The first Baganda Christians, 65 in
number, were confirmed by the Bishop.
20 January. H. W. D. Kitakule, Yokana Muira, Nikodemu Sebwato,
Zakariya Kizito, Yonasani Kaizi and Makai Sembera were made Lay
Readers and were the first Baganda to preach the Word of God in
21 January. Bishop Tucker left for England.
January. The first missionaries to preach the Word of God in Busoga
March. There were in Buganda 2,000 unbaptized readers, 200 baptized
readers and 65 Christians who had already received confirmation.
1 April. Apolo Kagwa Katikiro was called upon by Kabaka Mwanga
II to fight the Moslems in Kijungute. He went with Captain Lugard
September. The I.B.E.A. Company wanted to evacuate Buganda.
2 November. The first church was built on Namirembe Hill.
31 December. Captain Lugard and Zakariya Kizito Kagolo returned
to Mengo from Toro bringing the Sudanese (Abanubi) with them.
1892 24 January. War in Mengo among the Christians themselves. Kabaka
Mwanga II escaped to Kiziba with the French Europeans.
30 March. Mwanga II returned to his kingdom; people thought that
on his return he would be more merciful than before.
May. The Company tells the British Government of their intention to
withdraw from Buganda.
31 July. First service to be held in the Great Church at Namirembe.
13 September. Breaking into Apolo Kagwa Katikiro's house by the
Moslems at night seeking his life. It was believed that his death would
bring the war to a quick and successful conclusion. But he heard them
and they escaped.
30 September. The British Government agreed to assist the Company
to stay temporarily in Buganda until March 1893.
23 December. The Bishop returned a second time bringing with him six
missionary teachers, E. Millar (Mira), R. H. Leakey (Liki), W. A.
Crabtree (Kerebutuli), and C. A. Gunther, J. P. Nickisson and A. B.
Fisher (Fisa). They built a station in Kyagwe.
1893 22 January. Kabaka Mwanga II went to war in Buvuma, helped by
Captain Williams (Wiliamu) and conquered it.
17 March. Arrival of Sir Gerald Portal (Potolo) at Mengo.
1 April. Hoisting of Union Jack at Kampala Fort in place of the
Forty Christian chiefs agree to treaty abolishing the slave-trade.
CHRONOLOGY OF BUGANDA, 1800-1907 153
5 May. Apolo Kagwa Katikiro with other Christians paid a ransom
of ten elephant tusks for Tomasi Semukasa Kaima, who would other-
wise have been taken to Kikuyu by Commissioner Portal on account of
the judgment regarding the guns of the Sudanese troops. [See Portal's
The Mission to Uganda, p. 232.-EDS.] i
6 May. Pulisikira, wife of, Andereya Luwandaga, died of stomach
trouble after an unsuccessful operation.
28 May. Six Baganda made Deacons-and others Lay Readers: and
missionaries went to Singo for the first time.
2 June. The Bishop departed from Mengo for England.
17 June. Sudanese troops on the point of mutiny, but they were sub-
dued by Captain Macdonald (Makidodoni).
18 June. At dawn, fighting between Christians and Moslems. Moslems
beaten and driven towards Bunyoro on the Toro side.
23 July. The Rev. H. W. D. Kitakule was the first Muganda to
baptize in our church at Namirembe. This was the first time a Muganda
clergyman had baptized his fellow Baganda.
1894 February. Missionaries from Buganda went to Kavirondo for the first
15 February. The European, Dr. Ansorge (Njotavu1) makes a road in
20 February. The church at Namirembe was struck by lightning.
12 April. The agents of the British Government told us that Buganda
had been made a Protectorate.
9 May. Kabaka Mukabya Mutesa's principal wife (Kadulubare) died.
20 May. Kamuswaga, Kabaka of Koki, first joins the Lukiko of
Kabaka Mwanga II.
24 June. Kamuswaga, Kabaka of Koki, began to be taught the Word
of God in the cathedral church of Namirembe.
1 July. We received letters from Britain stating that Her Majesty's
troops would not withdraw from Buganda: they would stay to protect
the country for all time.
14 July. Four European teachers are coming to Buganda: we were
told that they were coming via the Cape (Kepu) route. [C.M.S. mission-
aries Pike, Blackledge, Lewin and Lloyd sailed from England for the
Cape on this date.-EDS.]
11 October. Our first church at Namirembe fell down.
15 October. Marriage of Semei Kakunguru to E. S. Nakalema, daughter
of Kabaka Mukabya Mutesa.
16 October. The Europeans, Major Smith (Meja Semensi) and J. Martin
(Mantene) arrived at Kampala.
I Njotavu=' I warm myself at the ashes', a name given to a person so friendless
that no one would make up the fire to welcome him: he was left outside the hut 'to
warm himself at the ashes '. Dr. W. J. Ansorge was a medical officer who was for some
months in civil charge of Kampala Fort. His tactless handling of relations with the
Baganda earned him their cordial dislike and this sobriquet. He died at St. Paul de
Loanda in 1913: for an obituary notice, see Geographical Journal, Dec. 1913, p. 578.-
154 UGANDA JOURNAL
18 October. Kabaka Mwanga began to learn to write.
5 November. Princess Nabweteme becomes Lubuga in place of
15 November. We started cutting poles for our church at Namirembe.
27 November. Jackson brings three Maxim guns (Mankesimu) to
December. Growth and spreading of the Christian religion in, Buganda.
1895 April. Sir Edward Grey tells the British Parliament of the Govern-
ment's decision to construct a railway from Mombasa to Buganda and
that the country through which it would pass would become a protec-
April. Kabaka Mwanga II commissions Apolo Kagwa Katikiro to
fight the Bakedi where Kabarega Kabaka of Bunyoro had escaped. He
captured many cattle, as many as three thousand.
20 July. We opened the second church at Namirembe.
4 October. Our Bishop returned to Buganda for the third time bring-
ing with him ten teachers :T. R. Buckley (Bakule), M. J. Hall (Kalo),
F. H. Wright (Laiti), J. B. Purvis (Pavesi) and A. Wilson (Wilisoni): the
other five were ladies: E. M. Furley (Feri), M. S. Thomsett (Tomuseta),
E. L. Pilgrim (Piligirimu), E. Brown (Brouni) and J. E. Chadwick
By this time about 2,052 Christians had received confirmation. We also
heard of the killing by the Belgians of our friend Stokes who was with
us in 1889 during our war with the Moslems and who helped us much.
The European missionaries began to settle in Koki.
1896 May. Two steamers began to ply for the first time on our lake
Nalubale, which Europeans call Victoria.
31 May. Three Baganda received Holy Orders, and twenty-two others
were made Lay Readers.
4 June. Departure of our Bishop for leave in England.
8 August. A baby son, Chwa, was born to Kabaka Mwanga by his
wife, Everini Kulabako Omusibika in the enclosure of Apolo Kagwa
Katikiro and the Kabaka made him guardian of the child.
1897 31 January. Chwa was baptized with the name of Daudi. The follow-
ing were his godparents, Apolo Kagwa Katikiro, Paulo Nsubuga Kago,
and Damali Nkinzi Nalinya.
15 February. We received many European missionaries who came in
the steamer Ruwenzori.
5 May. Commissioner Ternan (Tanana) arrested Yona Waswa Muk-
wenda and Danieri Sematimba Kaima for rebellion and exiled them to
Also Kabaka Mwanga II commissioned Stanislas Mugwanya to fight
1 Manyema troops in the Congo had mutinied. A Belgian officer and 60 men took
refuge with Captain Sitwell in Toro for some five weeks, May/June 1897. Sitwell's
diary records than on 29 April he sent off a special runner to Kampala: but the crisis
passed and Stanislas' force was recalled.-[EDs.]
CHRONOLOGY OF BUGANDA, 1800-1907 155
June. The building of the first mission hospital at Namirembe was
6 July. Flight of Kabaka Mwanga II who thus rebelled against the
14 August. Daudi Chwa II was proclaimed Kabaka.
September. The mutinous Sudanese reached the European fort in
Luba's country in Busoga.
20 October. Apolo Kagwa Katikiro was commissioned to fight the
Sudanese in Busoga.
24 November. Death of Gabulieri Jamba Namutwe and many others
in the Sudanese war in Busoga.
11 December. Our friend Pilkington was killed in that Sudanese war.
1898 16 February. Prince Yusufu Suna was born to Mwanga II in the
enclosure of Apolo Kagwa who became guardian of the child.
24 February. The Sudanese were completely routed at Dagala by
Captain Harrison and Apolo Kagwa Katikiro: in this battle Hamu
Nsabwa brother of Apolo Kagwa was killed.
9 March. Death of the missionary Hubbard (Habadi) at Namirembe.
18 March. The remains of Pilkington were buried for a second time
18 May. Our Bishop returned for the fourth time from his leave in
1899 Children were first taught separately.
29 January. Four Baganda received Holy Orders, and five others
were made deacons.
9 April. Capture of Mwanga and Kabarega in Bukedi by Lieut.-Col.
Evatt (Evati) with the help of Semei Kakungulu and Andereya Luwan-
20 December. Arrival of Sir H. H. Johnston.
December. The missionaries first sent Baganda teachers to Ankole.
1900 The'Namirembe missionaries began to give instruction to Baganda boys
in handicrafts at Bulange.
10 March. The Land and Tax Agreement of Sir H. H. Johnston was
made with the Baganda.
10 June. Two Baganda, Samwiri Kamwakabi and Edwardi Bakayana,
and two Europeans, A. B. Fisher and E. H. Casson, received Holy
Orders. Three other Baganda, Yosiya Kizito, Yoweri Wamala and
Aloni Muinda, became deacons.
October. Samwiri Mukasa Kangawo was commissioned by Kabaka
Daudi Chwa II to fight against the Nandi.
21 December. A Muganda, Apolo Kivebulaya, received Holy Orders.
1901 25 January. Six Baganda, Sirasi Aliwonya, Zakayo Buligwanga,
Sedulaka Kibuka, Tomasi Senfuma, Nuwa Nakiwafu, Asa Nkangali,
received Holy Orders. R. H. Leakey, Andereya Batulabude and
Mikairi Bagenda were made deacons.
27 May. The mud-walled church at Namirembe was pulled down, and
the preparation was made for a brick one to be built.
156 UGANDA JOURNAL
18 June. Kabaka Daudi Chwa II laid the foundation stone of the new
brick church at Namirembe.
24 December. The Resident of Zanzibar visited Buganda and landed
at Munyonyo Port.
1902 27 January. Fifty-two Baganda were enlisted at Kampala to be soldiers
of King Edward VII. They were headed by Yona Wamala. [This
points to the first recruitment of Baganda for the recently constituted
King's African Rifles.-EDs.]
1 April. Col. Hayes Sadler, C.B., arrived as Commissioner of Uganda.
6 May. Apolo Kagwa Katikiro and Hamu Mukasa Omuyoza, con-
ducted by their friend the Rev. E. Millar, left for England to attend
the coronation of King Edward VII.
20 June. First service in the brick church at Namirembe.
12 July. Yakobo Kago, Andereya Kimbugwe and the Rev. Batulamayo
Musoke Zimbe returned to Mengo from Zanzibar where they had gone
to say goodbye to Apolo Kagwa and Hamu Mukasa.
17 September. Apolo Kagwa Katikiro and Hamu Mukasa returned to
Mengo from England.
26 October. Gwoisa, wife of Sebowa, Sabaganzi of Kabaka Kamanya,
was baptized with the name of Maliyamu. She had protested against
Kagwa her grandson going to Europe, saying that he would surely be
killed there, and that if he should return then she would believe the
God they talked of was a real God, and she would agree to follow Him.
Hence on Apolo Kagwa's return she agreed to be baptized.
29 November. The mission hospital at Namirembe was opened.
1903 4 January. Death of Nova Naluswa Mbubi.
19 April. Death of Zakaliya Makabugo Sensalire father of Hamu
11 July. The foundation was laid of Apolo Kagwa Katikiro's house,
3 September. Doisi Mwanomu Bakazikubawo, wife of Kabaka
Mwanga II,'and her daughter, Princess Mere Ma'zi Omumbeja, and five
others returned from Mwanga's funeral in the Seychelles (Sesere).
December. The Uganda Company Ltd., in which both Baganda and
Europeans had shares, was formed.
1904 18 March. Blasia Mwebe Kagwa Mubito, son of Sir Apolo Kagwa, was
sent for education in England. He stayed for four years and ten
months with his father's friend the Rev. J. Roscoe (Rosiko) and
returned 2 November 1908.
24 June. The brick church at Namirembe was.opened.
23 November. Omukyala Mirika Godya, nurse of Kabaka Daudi Chwa
3 December. Death of Maliyamu Gwoisa at a very great age. She was
CHRONOLOGY OF BUGANDA, 1800-1907 157
perhaps 116 years old' for she was born during the reign of Kabaka
Semakokiro and was married in Kamanya's time to her husband
13 December. Death of the young man Yosiya Majoje. He became
the servant of Sir H. H. Johnston, K.C.B., when he came to Buganda
in 1899. Sir H. H. Johnston, because of his imposing a tax of three
rupees, was given the name of Tamuzade', meaning that he who is
not your father does not care at all for your sufferings. But when later
the people realized the importance of the security in the possession of
the land which Sir Harry confirmed on them, then they were pleased
and called him Azala ', meaning that he to whom a child is born is
better off than a man who slays a cow ; for the latter will eat his cow
in no time and will have nothing, while the father of the child will
enjoy the care of his child for a longer time.
1905 28 January. Opening of the Namirembe Boys' School.
19 March. The Rev. Nuwa Kikwabanga died of sleeping sickness.
28 March. Namukade, one of Kabaka Mukabya Mutesa's envoys, was
baptized with the name of Philip.
7 May. The seat of Government was removed from Kampala to
22 May. The bones of the first Christian martyrs who had been killed
by Kabaka Mwanga II's orders at Mpimerebera were collected and
28 September. Dispute between the Christians and the Moslems about
who should slay animals for eating. The Muhammadans claimed that
they alone were eligible for the task, and the result was that there was a
separation in the eating of meat.
29 October. Death of Misusala Kibude Sekibobo.
8 December. Arrival of H. Hesketh Bell, C.M.G., as Commissioner
of Uganda. In November 1907 he was raised to the rank of Governor.
1906 February. The first Baganda teachers went to Gondokoro to teach the
Word of God.
24 March. The opening of Gayaza Girls' School.
29 March. The opening of King's School, Budo.
1907 27 January. Death of Princess Katalina Nabisubi Mpalikitenda,
daughter of Kabaka Kamanya, aged about 93.2
May. Considerable insurrection among the Banyoro, protesting against
the employment of Baganda in their country. But this was shameful
on their part since it was the Baganda, helped by the Europeans, who
introduced' knowledge into Bunyoro.
I 116 years (born c. 1788) is evidently Kagwa's computation to fit his estimate of the
date of Kamanya's accession. It should perhaps be reduced by 10 years. This would be
a more probable span, and lends some support to Sir John Gray's suggested dating of
2 Her birth c. 1814 contradicts Kagwa's assumed date (1810) for the death of
Kamanya; but is further confirmation of Sir John Gray's datings.-[EDs.]
158 UGANDA JOURNAL
August. Kitengule, a murderer who was a Moslem, caused much
unrest in the country by his robberies. This man disturbed people
greatly, starting in the county of Busuju and then elsewhere. But in
September 1907 he was killed in Buddu by Major Widemu1 with the
help of Alikisi Sebowa Pokino.
4 August. Two Batoro, Yosiya Kamuhigi and Andereya Seve, were
made deacons in their church.
18 November. Marriage of Prince Joseph Musanje Walugembe, son
of Kabaka Kalema, to Sala Kire, daughter of Stanislas Mugwanya, at
the Nsambya Mission.
1 This would be Lieut.-Col. L. C. E. Wyndham of the Uganda Administration (1905-
09), who was appointed Assistant Collector at Masaka in 1906. He died 16 May 1937.
THE AGORO SYSTEMS OF IRRIGATION
By J. M. WATSON'
T HE inhabitants of the Agoro Valley (River Okura), in the Acholi District,
appear to be divisible into two distinct groups, the Ngaro and Pobar
groups. It is, I think, to the former community that the introduction of irriga-
tion into this area is due. Tradition states that the Ngaro clan (I use this
word for want of a better) migrated from the northern or Sudan side of the
Imatong Mountains from a place called Lukorongwo, where there still dwell
to this day two clans, the Talango and Lolibai, who are culturally closely allied
to the Ngaro. On their first arrival at the head waters of the Okura River
system, they occupied the area known as Lapule from which they were able to
obtain excellent views down the valley and early warning of approaching hostile
bands. Their first irrigation trench, named after their village Lapule, was
constructed on the hillside below the settlement. I think there is little doubt
that this trench is the earliest irrigation work in the neighbourhood and
although only a modicum of engineering skill was required to tap the Lomi-
donyo stream (an upper tributary of the Okura) in order to initiate the flow in
the Lapule dyke, it now runs automatically and is thus a good guide to the
extent of the original undertaking.
The Pobar group, tradition relates, originally migrated from the Madi
District under a leader named Geya who died during the journey eastwards.
His son Odi however shouldered the responsibility of leadership and, not with-
out blows and turmoil, finally brought his people to Agoro where, pleased
with the fertility of their surroundings, they finally settled down.
The names of the hereditary Pobar chiefs are well remembered by the
ancients of the clan. Odi was the father of Nye; who was the father of Togo;
who was the father of Ludang ; who was the father of Litok ; who was the
father of Oye ; who was the father of Lugube ; who was the father of Omoi.
At this juncture, about 1917 1 think, the Administration introduced a foreigner,
Ibrahaim Puchura, to take over the chieftainship. This man was subsequently
murdered and the whole of the Agoro community was then transferred to
Paloga for ease of administration and thus it was that the Paloga River saw its
first irrigation channels. Kawo, of the royal line ', followed Puchura on the
return of the people to Agoro, but a foreigner, Fadimulla, shortly afterwards
took his place. The hereditary line was reinstated with the appointment of
Ngala and later Jabuloni Irube.
The Pobar, it is said, on their arrival at Agoro, found the Ngaro already
ensconced in their refuge at the head of the valley with their huts on the hill
sides and their irrigation channels below. If this is true and if the genealogical
I I am greatly indebted to Mr. Lolobo, Assistant Agricultural Officer, Kitgum, for his
kindness and assistance in conducting me round the irrigation works and also for putting at
my disposal his own notes on the agricultural methods of the Agoro community.-[J.M.W.].
160 UGANDA JOURNAL
tree of the house of Pobar is to be relied upon, it is fairly safe to say that the
Ngaro have been in occupation of this valley for at least 150 years.
But the question as to how and when the Ngaro first learnt the art of
irrigating their land remains unanswered. There are no authentic chronicles
of this part of central Africa of even 150 years ago. Sir Samuel Baker and
Emin Pasha with his Egyptian garrisons are all too recent. It may even be
that irrigation first found its way to the Imatong Mountains by the same north-
western route as has been suggested for the introduction of maize and bananas
into the region of the Great Lakes.
There is considerable evidence to show that the Agoro people (I now
combine the Ngaro and Pobar) were, if they are not still, characterized by their
primitive culture and industry. Some of them were expert in the art of
smelting iron, the ore being obtained from Olima between Paloga and Agoro.
Near the river Okura, where it skirts the east end of Lagile Hill, there is a
coffin-shaped block of stone on which is incised a system of parallel grooves,
eich groove, about half-an-inch deep, running the length of the stone. The
molten iron was run into these moulds and when set was then in a convenient
shape to beat into bangles and other ornaments. There are few traces left of
this industry to-day.
To ward off attack, their houses were built on the sides of the numerous
hills which stud the Agoro valley. Stone-terraced platforms were laborously
erected-some of these terraces are nine feet high-to provide sufficient level
space on which to construct their huts, while the cattle were confined in stone-
walled compounds. By 1935 all the hillsides were deserted; the danger of
sudden raids being past, the need to occupy these inconvenient heights no
longer existed. But the stone terraces remain as a monument to their industry
and to anyone familiar with the Palestine scene, the view of the east end of
Agoro hill will remind him of the terraced hillsides of that country.
Cropping. I strongly suspect that irrigation was used much more exten-
sively in the past than during the last few years. I cannot believe that such a
complicated system of dams and channels was inaugurated merely to ensure a
satisfactory harvest of the second rain-crop should that of the first rains fail.
However, it is idle to speculate and latterly its chief function has certainly
been that of a stand-by, to be used only in an emergency.
The chief irrigated crop is a red-grained sorghum known as Nawera. It
is planted in September and October and is ready for harvest about four
months later. A small acreage of this crop was grown under irrigation in the
1944-5 season. I understand that normally it is only necessary to supply the
crop with water three or four times, after the initial first soaking of the ground,
during the period of its growth. Mr. Lolobo has successfully grown crops of
finger-millet, sweet potatoes and maize under irrigation but with the possible
exception of maize none of these crops was normally grown thus in the past.
He considers that the increasing popularity of cassava and sweet potatoes is
removing the danger of food shortage and with it the incentive to irrigate.
THE AGORO SYSTEMS OF IRRIGATION 161
Dams and channels. Lapule, the top channel of the Ngaro system, is fed
by a very small stream and a bank of sods is sufficient to turn water into it.
Lower down, however, where the river bed is considerably deeper, a more
complicated dam (atetek) is required. Piles are driven in two rows, the rows
being about two feet apart, across the river. Logs, grass and rubbish are then
rammed in between the two rows of poles, the whole forming a substantial
barrage which is further strengthened and rendered watertight by the addition
of bamboo mats fastened to both sides of the structure. This is completed by
a coat of mud. The height of the dam will depend on the distance between
the bed of the river and the floor of the irrigation channel. The Kichipi
channel of the upper Ngaro system requires only a three-foot dam to supply
it with water whereas the Obe-Romo channel of the Pobar system requires a
six-foot dam. In the Paloga system dams of ten feet and above are necessary.
The entire flow of stream is turned into the channel and it is not possible to
supply more than one channel at a time. The lowest channel of the system
receives water first. As the Ngaro and Pobar are not run in conjunction, there
is frequent friction and unpleasantness between the cultivators of the two clans
during years when irrigation is necessary.
The main furrows, one or two of which are considerably over two miles in
length, are some two feet wide and six to twelve inches deep, and are of course
permanent. The subsidiary channels are merely hoe-made furrows. The
water is thus diverted from the main dyke, by way of subsidiary furrows, onto
the field, across which it is allowed to trickle until'the soil appears saturated.
The water is not held up by any system of bunds so that it actually stands on
the field, as is the usual custom in many countries where irrigation is practised.
The primary soaking of the ground, which is carried out before the field
is cleared for planting, is the most thorough and normally takes about twenty-
four hours. Water is applied to standing crops for a shorter period; six
hours was mentioned to me.
Plot size, etc. The size of plot varies according to the wealth of the
cultivator, but I should imagine that the range lies between a quarter acre and
one acre. Three or four rows of plots are usual below the main channel and
the plots in the lower row receive water first. A considerable number of plots
can be irrigated at the same time from the main channel.
The every-day affairs of the cultivators are discussed and settled at village
meetings. A strong community spirit is very necessary for the smooth running
of the scheme and a slow worker must obviously prove an unmitigated
nuisance. The opening of the channels is conducted with appropriate rites
NOTES ON SOME OF THE IRRIGATED AREAS
(a) Upper Ngaro. This consists chiefly of the Lapule Dyke (possible
I mile in length) which taps the Lomidonyo River. This system, together with
the lower Ngaro channels, it undoubtedly the parent from which the Pobar
and Paloga schemes originated. The area west of Witur Hill is, I think, too
steep for permanent irrigation without some form of protective bunding. How-
162 UGANDA JOURNAL
ever, the old furrows, many of which are still running, show no real sign of
scouring and appear well protected by a strong growth of chloris gayana.
(b) Lower Ngaro. This consists of four main channels:
(i) Lari, skirting the base of Witur Hill, is said to be about three miles
in length. It empties into a dry nullah and eventually finds its way back to
the main river. Many of the plots irrigated by this furrow are very steep and
there are signs of surface wash and scouring of the channels.
(ii) Kichipi. As far as I could judge, the grade of this channel is very
fair. It is over a mile in length and empties into,
(iii) Achori, which in its turn opens into,
(iv) Lokirobi which, forming an arc, finds its way back to the Okura
River. I found it extremely difficult to appreciate this when I had left one
channel and was following another. The alignment and grading of the Kichipi
channel from the point where it leaves the deep river bed, along the side of
the heavily wooded bank and out to the field above, is a work of no little
ingenuity. There is nothing comparable in skill to this either at Pobar or
(c) Pobar. This system appears to be of more recent date. Only two of
the channels have received names (Ode-Romo and Olam-Abiro). Owing to
the nature of the ground little skill is required to lift the water from the river-
bed to the fields. Except jn the case of the upper channels, large dams are
not required. When the main outer channel Ode-Romo was first constructed
the water refused to flow down (or possibly up) it. This hitch was speedily
overcome by the sacrifice of a strangled sheep at the head of the channel after
which act the water flowed freely. The dykes form a system of arcs which
leave the Okura and rejoin it again at a lower level.
Tradition states that the river was first tapped at a point about half-a-mile
above the old rest camp site by a furrow which has, in the course of time,
become the main river, while the old river-bed has disappeared. I can scarcely
give credence to this as I inspected the area and was unable to see even a slight
depression where the old river is reputed to have flowed. I was told that the
Okura River has its origin in the mountain lake Kipyai, from which also a
stream flows north to the Sudan. My informant said that in size it was about
equal to four football fields and that more water found its way to the
Sudan because the Okura outlet was blocked by a ridge of rock. This latter
feature was largely responsible for retarding the flow in the dry season.
(d) Paloga. This scheme was commenced by the Agoro community on
their arrival at Paloga in 1917. Subsequently the Administration permitted
the Agoro to return to their valley but the local inhabitants of Paloga, appre-
ciating the value of the Agoro methods, still continue to follow their lead and
irrigate what fields they can when necessity demands.
The Paloga River possesses a greater flow than the Okura and is less
prone to dry up during the hot weather. The reason for this is not far to
seek. The long Cwarlyech swamp acts as a reservoir for the Liri irrigated area.
The soil of Liri is a rich black swamp-type with a high content of humus and
THE AGORO SYSTEMS OF IRRIGATION 163
at present supports a vigorous growth of Sorghum arundinaceum (Lutiriwiny)
and, on old plot sites, a large handsome red 'cockscomb' (Obuga). At the
time of my visit much of the area was water-logged and those birds usually
associated with grassy swamps (especially the Abyssinian Yellow Bishop Finch)
were much in evidence.
Tradition states that the present river through Liri, which flows at the
bottom of a ten to fifteen-foot channel, was originally an old irrigation trench.
This may be true as it is difficult otherwise to explain why there is no well-
defined channel in the Cwarlyech through Liri, and yet there is a miniature
canyon with a waterfall at its head.
Very large dams, behind which it may take twelve hours to bank the
water to a sufficiently high level, are required to work this scheme. Some six
main dykes are discernible, but these have not been in use since the 1943-4
season. By digging a canal into the swamp above the waterfall, Mr. Lolobo
has been able to obtain an excellent flow of water without recourse to large
dams. His trench runs along the entire east boundary of Liri (about one and a
half miles) and appears extremely well-graded when it is remembered that no
instruments were employed in its construction. It is probable that the whole
irrigated area could be supplied with water from an enlarged modification of
this dyke, thereby eliminating the use of large cumbersome dam-structures on
the main channel.
WHISTLED SIGNALS AMONG THE BAKONJO
By A. J. HADDOW
DURING the wet weather of September 1944 I was working in the moun-
tain forest and bamboo zone of the North Spur of Ruwenzori. The area
concerned was Bunguha, which lies on a very steep and narrow spur running
down to the Bwamba lowlands and the Semliki Forest, and the object of the
work was to collect blood samples from wild monkeys for yellow fever studies
This particular safari was an unusually strenuous and uncomfortable one,
with much rain by day and violent thunderstorms by night. Much hard
exercise was to be had in the deep, wet and very slippery ravines, and the
vicious nettles which abound in the tangled forest of the North Spur added
their quota to the general discomfort. By the end of the second day almost
everything was soaked, and no monkeys had been seen, much less collected.
The third day was dry, but in every other way it was a hard one. I went
off with some porters in the morning, and we made our way through dense
forest to the top of a small peak called Ndendere. We were now about
3,500 feet above the camp. From here we followed the watershed southward
for about two miles and then returned to camp by a circuitous route. It may
give some idea of the forest conditions in this area if I mention that this took
nine hours, and that it was just 5 p.m. when I got back to my tent. Being
thoroughly tired out and much scratched and stung, I thought that I would
make myself comfortable for the evening. I had a leisurely bath with relays
of hot water, got into my last dry clothes, cleaned and put away my gun (still
unused!) and sat down with a drink to look out over the Semliki Forest.
I had no sooner settled comfortably than an old wrinkled Mukonjo wear-
ing a dirty goatskin trotted up and said that monkeys were raiding his banana
plantation close by. He used the word Nyaluasa which is the Lukonjo for
I'Hoest's Monkey. This is a scarce and shy species, largely confined to Ruwen-
zori and to the other high forests of the Western Province such as Kayonza
Forest in Kigezi. It is difficult to hunt, unless dogs are available, as it readily
takes to the ground, where it is at once lost in the dense undergrowth.
I do not think that I would have moved for anything else, but it was
largely to obtain specimens of this monkey that the journey had been under-
taken, and I knew that I would have to go. The gun came out again, and we
set off with the old Mukonjo while the collecting kit followed.
As I had feared the monkeys were not at all close to the camp. After
climbing diagonally along the side of the spur, the old man pointed out a
plantation which was only about a mile away, but which was in the Buram-
bagiro area, on the far side of the exceedingly steep, deep and heavily-forested
valley of the Ngisha River. There we went at considerable speed. Scrambling
up the far side I kept thinking of a phrase which repeatedly occurs in the
Morte d'Arthur to describe death from exhaustion-" he brast and died ".
WHISTLED SIGNALS AMONG THE BAKONJO 165
Anyone who has tried to travel really fast in the Ruwenzori Forest will know
what I mean.
When we arrived at the plantation, my Muamba boy and I were in a poor
way, though the two Bakonjo were of course perfectly fresh. At this point
the old man became somewhat tongue-tied and began to draw designs in the
mud with a leathery toe. He then explained that the monkeys were not here
at all and, in the midst of a rather tense silence, pointed out another plantation
about a thousand feet farther down the mountain side. I was-annoyed.
When asked why he had given misleading information in the first place, he
said that if'he had told me how far away the monkeys really were, I would
not have come at all-and this, of course, was very true.
I was not going to turn back at this stage, and so we went down the hill
like rolling-stones, to arrive at the second plantation about 6.30 p.m. There
were some very hard things said when it turned out that even then we had not
arrived. The old scoundrel pointed to a third plantation, on a level with the
second, but back across that deep and wide valley, on the side from which we
had started. There, he said, was his plantation where the monkeys were. It
consisted of a dense tract of second-growth forest on the steep valley wall,
with small clumps of bananas here and there among the tangled creepers and
tall undergrowth-just the sort of country where l'Hoest's Monkey is most at
home, and most difficult to approach.
At this point I refused to go on and sat down to recover my breath before
beginning the long walk uphill back to camp. The old man, however, was a
determined character, and he now stood straight up, with his head poked for-
ward and his lips pushed out, and began to whistle in a most unusual manner.
He emitted an elaborate series of curious fluty trills, single quavering notes and
odd cadences. The whistling was of a peculiar quality, not loud but penetrat-
ing, and oddly clear and pure in tone. It went on for quite a while, and then
the old man stood with his head cocked on one side while, from across the
valley, a similar series of whistles came in reply-faint but perfectly clear. He
then turned with a broad smile and said the monkeys had left the plantation
and were travelling up the valley in the undergrowth. Two small boys had
gone to watch them. There were thought to be about twenty.
I now realized that an elaborate message had been passed by a method
quite unfamiliar to me, and from that point on I was even more interested in
the signalling than in the monkeys, keen though I was to obtain specimens.
We went off again in pursuit, descending a slippery three hundred feet to
the foot of the valley, where we recrossed the Ngisha. A considerable hand
and foot' scramble followed, up the high earthy bank and on up through the
tangled vegetation of the other side. Various trillings and whistlings kept us
informed of the monkeys' whereabouts, and we asked questions and received
answers all by whistling. Apparently a lot of small boys had joined in, and
they were now driving the monkeys up the other side of the valley, from which
we had unfortunately just come. We continued going hard, getting ourselves
more and more thoroughly scratched, stung and generally covered with earth.
Finally, just at sunset, we drew level with the monkeys, and for the first time
saw the undergrowth sway as they dashed across a small clearing. I caught a
166 UGANDA JOURNAL
glimpse of one, but they were still the better part of half a mile away, with the
valley between. I therefore asked the old man to have them driven towards
us. A perfect orgy of whistling followed, and the message was understood,
for the boys managed to drive them right back to our side. Finally, just
before dusk, we got to within about sixty yards of them, though I did not get
a shot-merely a few glimpses of dark shapes racing through the matted.
creepers. All the way we kept in close touch by whistling.
Throughout the whole episode I was frankly astonished at the elaborate
nature of the messages passed: The monkeys are trying to turn back" ; "A
boy has gone to get dogs" ; They have come to the ground on the other
side of the river and so on. There was no question of our being able to see
either the monkeys or the people with whom we were in communication.
During most of the hunt they were a good half-mile away, and in that forest-
choked valley our usual visibility was about ten yards, with the exception of an
occasional momentary view from some point of vantage. The pure, clear tone
of the whistling and its peculiar thin' quality were quite unlike anything that
I had heard before, or have heard since. At the time of the hunt I had already
spent three local leaves on Ruwenzori and knew the Bakonjo of the central
valleys quite well. Subsequently I spent two further leaves on the mountain,
and went on one working trip to the lower Nyamagasani Valley in the south.
Nowhere did I find any trace of this form of signalling, and the Bakonjo of these
areas disclaimed any knowledge of it, though they are adept at yodelling and
at' throwing the voice in various ways. Further, in four subsequent journeys
on the North Spur I found no one who could signal by whistling.
A further point of interest concerns the actual whistling of a given message.
At three points during the hunt I requested that the same message be sent
(" Have you got the dogs yet ? ") but (to me at least) there seemed to be no
close resemblance between the three whistled messages. This reminded me of
a statement I had heard to the effect that in West African drum signalling
there is no constant relationship between given beatings and particular letters,
words or phases.
After the hunt ended-at dusk-we made a slow way back to camp and
stumbled in the pitch blackness. Then, to my surprise, the old man turned
up with the gift of a chicken. 1 had to return the compliment, and nothing to
give but a tin of fifty imported cigarettes. As we were now on an amicable
footing, he having got the best of the bargain, I asked him about his signalling,
and he answered quite willingly. The first point that emerged was that he had
not been signalling to the whole crowd of Bakonjo across the valley, as I had
thought, but only to his son, who passed on the messages. The two of them
were the only people at Bunguha who could signal (one might almost say' con-
verse ') in this manner. I asked what kinds of messages he could pass this
way-were they all connected with hunting, or what ? He replied quite simply
that he could say anything he wanted to by whistling, but only to his son. The
only other family he had heard of who could whistle signals lived at Kalegy-
alegya, far to the south. He did not think that the art had ever been a very
common one, being a strictly father-to-son affair. While they were delighted
to pass messages for other people, they had no intention of telling how it was
WHISTLED SIGNALS AMONG THE BAKONJO 167
done. I may say at this point that about a year later I was working at
Kalegyalegya, which is a somewhat remote spot. The Bakonjo there were
singularly primitive and unspoiled -and very nice people to deal with, but I
could find no one who knew-or at least no one who would admit to knowing
-this method of signalling.
As in the case of such a single isolated incident one likes to obtain
confirmation from some other source, I asked many people in Toro about the
matter, but no one seemed to have heard of the practice. I may add that my
Muamba gun-bearer, whose home is only about ten miles from Bunguha, knew
"nothing of it and was as mystified as I was during the hunt.
It would be interesting to learn of any other instances of this unusual
method of communication. Obviously it is almost obsolete, and may soon
completely disappear, if it is not already lost. All too much of the old culture
and knowledge of the Bakonjo has vanished-unrecorded ; and the time during
which the remaining fragments are likely to survive is exceedingly limited.
The prospect of such a loss seems a cause for real concern, for the Bakonjo are
one of our finest and most interesting tribes.
DERIVATIONS OF* SOME TESO PLACE-NAMES
A Symposium by MILL HILL FATHERS
T HE following list of derivations of certain place-names in the Teso District
is a tentative compilation which is open to criticism and modification. It
should be possible in due course to group the place-names into types, differen-
tiating, for example, those which record natural objects, such as animals, trees*
or rocks ; those which record community names of hamlets, parishes, age-sets
or tribal sections ; and those which record events such as famines or wars.
An analysis of the place-names of a countryside can furnish important data for
the preparation of a social history. It is to be hoped that a forester familiar
with Ateso will provide the botanical names of the trees and grasses referred
to and make some comment on the lessons to be learnt as to climate and
Abata-from the name of a tree, ebata.
Abia-from ebiya, a grass used for thatching.
Abule-from the name of a tree, ebule.
Abutomale-from abutor, 'to moult like a snake', changing from dirty to
clean, or else to dip a chicken in hot water to loosen the feathers, com-
bined with emale, a small arrow for bleeding cattle. The combined
meaning is obscure.
Acanipi-' scarcity of water ', from icanasi,' scarcity and akipi,' water '.
Acedapel-the theft of the bracelet, from acedakin, to steal by stealth', and
opel, a decorated armlet, formerly of ivory now of wood.
Achia-from aichin, to go forward without hesitation' in battle.
Acwa-a sandy well where the water oozes out when the sand is scooped
away, from aicua,' to ooze out'.
Adepar-from aidepar, to be left behind',' forgotten'.
Aderut-from the tree of that name.
Adodoi-from the name of a tree, edodoi.
Agalibu-from egali ebu, 'he rides the hyaena'. A reference to a certain
family of sorcerers who claimed to perform this feat.
Agipabon-from agipar, to see first before anyone else' ; hence agipabon,
he who is sharp-eyed'.
Aguyaguya-this name has much the same meaning as Acwa from aicua, to
ooze out'. Guyaguya means to gush out'. It describes a spring.
Aicumet-' big spear', from aicum, to spear. A place of fighting.
Aipenes-' the place of sharpening spears ', from aipen, to sharpen '.
Aiyola-plenty of small fish.
Ajaki-' thirsty '.
Ajanit-from ajan, a kind of grass used for making brushes.
Ajeleiko-literally, pigeons ', from the large numbers found there.
Akeriau-from ikeriau, a scented grass from the roots of which the women
DERIVATIONS OF SOME TESO PLACE-NAMES 169
Akojo-' bones ', the bones of the animals left after a hunt.
Akore-from the name of the tree, ekore.
Akoromit-from ikorom, the edible but bitter roots of the water-lily eaten by
the people in famine time. The name commemorates a local famine.
Akouketom-from akouk, 'head ', and etom, 'elephant', a name given to a
peculiarly shaped rock.
Alakaituk-' the place of releasing ', from alakakin, to release '. There are
two variant stories as to this name: (a) because this was an open grassy
swamp where the people used to release their cattle to graze freely, and
(b) because the people were unwilling to work on the swamp road and the
chief seized their cattle and only released them when they had finished it.
Alecer-from the name of the tree, elecer.
Alenga-from alengokino,' being alone ', an indication of an uninhabited place.
Alere-from ailerer, clear sky '.
Alito-' green vegetables '.
Alupe-from olupe,' clay'.
Amare-the place of counting ', from aimar, to count'. A place of battle
where they counted the dead.
Amarwas-' the meeting place', from airiamara, to meet; for at that point
two streams meet.
Amaseniko-' young bulls', an age-set name found also in Karamoja in the
Amilimil-' glittering ', a description of the shining mica in the rocks.
Aminito-from the name of the tree, eminit.
Amitina-from emitina, scabies '. Name given to a well where it is believed
that people contract scabies if they wash there.
Amorupus-from emoru,' rock ', and epus,' grey '.
Amoton-from amuton, a place where there is dense vegetation.
Amucu-a shortened form of the name of the first man Amucong who settled
Amugei-from emuget, 'topi'; possibly an area where these animals were
Amunyir-a kind of grass.
Amuria-from emuriai, a fruit tree found commonly in the swamps around
this county headquarters.
Amusus-ashes left after a grass fire.
Angerepo-literal meaning,' a termite hill'.
Angorom-red lateritic soil.
Angolebwal-from angole, 'a scar on the head', and abwal, 'open water'.
Used to describe a certain white scarred rock.
Anyidi-a shortened form of nyidinyidi,' thickly populated'.
Aoja-' long drawn out'. The reference is said by some to be to the pro-
longed argument before a certain battle, by others to be to the extreme
length of this swamp.
Aojabul-from the name of the tree, ebule, combined with the adjective, aoja,
tall or long '.
Apeduru-from the well-known tree, epeduru.
170 UGANDA JOURNAL
Aridai-from aridi, 'a narrow swamp '.
Asamuk-shortened form of asamukuk, meaning' full of trees '.
Atarukot-from the name for a vulture.
Ateuso-probably from ateus, a drum', a name given to some oddly-shaped
rocks ; but possibly a reference to the aboriginal community found still
surviving in Karamoja, the Teuso.
Atira-from the name of the tree, etirir.
Atubet-from aitub, to cut'; because people of this village always shouted
this as their war-cry.
Ayalakwe-' discussion about filariasis from ayala, talking ', and akwe,' the
swollen testicles due to filariasis '.
Ayola-' beads '.
Bukedea-a bantuized form of the word Ikidi, meaning Easternerss ', which
occurs also in the name Kidetok which means the people from the East'.
Dodos-from the name of the tree, idodo.
Dokolo-if not a Lwoo name, then from amoru nuedokok, 'rocks lying on
top of each other '.
Iningo-' the aiming (of spears). From aining, to test ', or to aim a spear'
Kapelebyong-from the name of the tree, ebyong and kapel, the dry white
patch left on a tree struck by lightning.
Kasalatap-literally etap, 'bread', and kasala, 'remaining over'. This records
a stage in migration when the people had to eat their scraps.
Kasilang-from the name of the tree, esilang.
Katine-from Atin the name of the first settler.
Kirik-a place of cooking, where after a hunt the animals' carcases are sliced
up and dried.
Kobwin-an elided form of ka-ebuin, 'the place of hyaenas '.
Komolo-the great swamp whose name comes from the Ikomolo clan who first
settled round it.
Kuju-a hill, from akuju,' high up '.
Kumi-a village name from the tree, ekum.
Kyere-a bantuized form of the word chiele,' seen from far off ', a reference to
the rock outcrop at this point which can be seen for many miles over
Mamuyoga-an abusive nickname given to the villagers on grounds of their
incivility in failing to greet visitors; from mam, 'not', and yoga,
Mombasa-name of foreign place in East Africa visited by Teso troops during
the first or second world wars. This is a common human tendency
towards recollection, exemplified by the house names used in building
estates in England.
Moruinera-' speaking (or echoing) rock', from emoru, 'a rock ', and ainar,
to speak '.
Morungaro-' smiths' rock from emoru, rock ', and ingaroi, ironstone ore'.
Morungatuny-' lion rock ', from emoru, rock ', and ngatuny, lion '.
DERIVATIONS OF SOME TESO PLACE-NAMES 171
Naikuro-from ekuron, ashes '. A name often given to a place where traces
of an old camp-fire are visible.
Ngalitom-from angole, a scar on head ', and etom, elephant'.
Ngora-the headquarters of the Ngoratok, perhaps the most powerful of all
the Teso speaking sections who settled in the present Ngora and Kumi
Obalanga-vegetable salt, i.e. ashes from the burning of the herb abalang atol.
Obur-from ebur, a pool of water left by rain in the rocks.
Ococia-from icocia,' porcupines '.
Ocomai-from the tree,' ecomai'.
Ocoriokoboi-from ocor, 'a well', and Okoboi, a man's name. Okoboi's
Odike-from idike,' leeches '.
Odoon-from a salt lick for cattle, edoot.
Odukait-from the name of a tree, edukut.
Ogangai-' the supporters ', from eigang, to support'; because there are at
this place two big rocks which lean against one another.
Ogolai-from aigol, to prevent'. The people of this village were noted for
their stinginess in preventing other people from partaking of their food,
beer or other provisions.
Ongongora-' the place of leanness ', from agongoror,' to become thin '. This
recalls a time of local famine.
Oimai-from iimai,' the dancers ', an age-set name.
Ojom-a variant of the word ajam, meaning the grass-covered spongy part
of a swamp where anyone who tries to cross sinks in.
Ojonga-' unfilled' because this swamp never overflows its banks.
Okao-literal meaning,' a swamp'.
Okere-from the name of a tree, ikere.
Okoboi-from the name of a tree, okoboi.
Okok-from aikok,' to arm ready for battle '.
Okunguro-from the well-known tree, ekunguru.
Olelai-from ailel, happiness '. This being the characteristic emotion shown
by the children whenever they caught the fish which were plentiful here.
Olido-from ailid, 'to hold firmly'.
Olumot-' deep water ', from ailmu, to dive '.
Olwa-also possibly a Lwoo word, the name of a tree, the Ateso form is elwa.
Omarai-from imarai, the animal name meaning 'the males'; probably an
Omunyal-black clay for making pots.
Ongorokipi-from akipi,' water ', and aongorikin,' to be dark brown '.
Orengkipi-' red water', probably impregnated with iron; from akipi,
water ', and oreng,' red '.
Opot-from aipot,' to hit with a stick or club '.
Oribabai-from the name of a local community the Iribabai.
Orongat-a place of red soil, from airongakin,' to be reddish'.
172 UGANDA JOURNAL
Orungo-a place of rest, from airungokin, to rest' ; alternatively, it is said to
be derived from the Lwoo word ringo, meat', the indication being that it
is a good hunting area.
Pallisa-a bantuized form derived from eparis, the name of a tree.
Soroti-a bantuized form of the name Solot, traditionally the name of a man
and his descendants, the Isolota, who dwelt at the foot of this notable rock.
Serere-a bantuized form of the group-name Iseera, which included the people
living in the present Soroti, Serere and Amuria counties.
Tikitik-from aitikitik, to round up animals in the hunt'.
Tukum-' the slope ', from aitukumum, to be sloping'.
Usuk-an ancient group name occurring also in the tribal nickname Suk
Were-fish soup (it is a good fishing place for mud fish); from aiwer acece
kikole, to make a noise while drinking fish soup.
Wila-it is arguable that this is an old market site of Lwoo-speaking people
derived from the Lwoo word wila, to buy '. An alternative explanation
is that it is derived from the Ateso eila loisupet, a drug used to gain the
TWO FINDS IN NORTHERN UGANDA
By H. B. THOMAS, O.B.E.
T HE problems of the movements of peoples and cultures within the north-
eastern quadrant of Africa, and in particular within that portion where lie
Uganda and the border lands of the Sudan, have frequently been ventilated in
The Uganda Journal.
Two interesting finds can be added to the scattered evidence from the
collation of which may, in due time, be assembled a clearer picture of the
hidden past than is at present visible.
(1) A SUN-DIAL OF 1713
In 1919, Mr. F. H. Rogers, of the Provincial Administration, was present
at an Acholi tribal dance at Kitgum. His attention was attracted by a metal
object worn by one of the dancers as a wrist-knife or fighting bracelet. Mr.
Rogers purchased this for three rupees, and has recently presented it to the
Uganda Museum. It proved to be a portion of a brass1 sun-dial2 bearing the
legend Tyme is fleeting 1713 ". The Science Museum, South Kensington,
has advised that it is the dial-plate of a horizontal sun-dial of normal European
type, the lines being cut to suit the usual sloping gnomon for use in a latitude
of approximately 57 degrees, the latitude of mid-Scotland.
The plate is about 15 mm. thick with a maximum diameter of 15-8 cm.,
its outer edge sharpened to a knife-edge. A large piece of the centre measur-
ing some 5-8 cm. by 4-7 cm. has been cut away; and there are also three
circular holes presumably to enable it to be fixed to a plinth or column. The
inner and outer edges have been provided with well-fitting U-shaped sheaths
made of cow-hide. The outer sheath is reinforced by strips of tin' while the
inner sheath has the narrow end of a cartridge case slipped over its centre as
C. K. Meek, describing Fighting Wristlets' in Man, March 1927, p. 47,
notes, with an illustration from the British Museum collection, that the most
simple design, its single cutting edge provided with a guard, is recorded from
Acholi and Lango ; and our specimen corresponds most nearly with this type.
I Analysis by the Uganda Geological Survey shows that the metal is a roughly 2 to 1
alloy of copper and zinc with traces of lead and tin.
2 Mr. A. E. Robinson, of the Sudan Government Service, who had been shown the
object by Mr. Rogers in Khartoum in 1922, first drew attention to it in The Dolphin
(Vol. 19, No. 122, June 1929, p. 196), the journal of the Imperial Merchant Service Guild,
now incorporated in the Mercantile Marine Association. He referred to it as part of an
' astrolabe', and considered that it was obviously from a British ship cast away in Somali-
land. He repeats this attribution in the Journal of the African Society, Vol. XXVIII,
No. cxii., July 1929, pp. 394-5, as evidence of the Migrations of African Peoples from
the Sea to the Interior'. The Science Museum is, however, explicit that it is no part
of an astrolabe.
174 UGANDA JOURNAL
S. Lagercrantz devotes a section of his Contribution to the Ethnology of
Africa (Uppsala, 1950) to 'Old Sudanese Fighting Bracelets'; but for the
most part these are of the spiked or two-pronged types and, less commonly, of
the outside U-section type with two cutting edges as found in the Nuba Moun-
tains (cf. F. D. Kingdon, 'Bracelet Fighting in the Nuba Mountains', Sudan
Notes and Records, Vol. 21 (1938), p. 197). He suggests that the fighting
bracelets of the Sudan have an Asiatic origin, and that the White Nile region
was the area from which they spread to West Africa.
(2) A CHARLES II HALFPENNY
One Sunday afternoon in November 1950, an African pastor, the Reverend
Paulo Kyasi, was on his way to visit Mr. H. B. Watney, the District Com-
missioner at Moroto. Approaching the house he noticed on the drive a coin,
which proved to be a Charles II copper halfpenny of date 1672. The drive
had been freshly covered with mixed clay and stones, the poor local substitute
for murram (which is not to be found within five miles of Moroto). This had
been dug from shallow pits within about 200 yards of the water-holes of the
Lia River at which cattle have habitually watered in the dry season. The pits
were carefully examined but there was no sign of an occupation site, though
the area may well have been used by nomadic traders or for cattle bomas.
When found the coin showed no sign of corrosion, but was covered with
a thick black slightly glazed patina: and only after cleaning did an image
The coin is at present deposited in the Uganda Museum. It is of a well-
recorded issue. At the Restoration of Charles II the only pennies current in
England were of silver: and the lack of small change had for long been a grave
public inconvenience, which had been met by the striking of token halfpennies
and farthings by many hundreds of tradesmen or other private individuals all
over the country. At length, in 1672, the date of our specimen, an official
copper coinage of halfpennies and farthings was minted for the first time, and
all private tokens were thereupon vigorously suppressed. These coins were
the first to display Britannia, seated with shield and spear and holding a sprig
of ivy. The model for the figure was the enchanting Frances Stewart,' who
sought to evade the attentions of Charles II by becoming the third wife of the
Duke of Richmond and Lennox.
There seems no reason to suggest that either of these 'foreign' objects
has been planted'. How then did they arrive at their destination ?
At Kitgum, the possibilities perhaps favour the arrival of the dial-plate by
way of the Western Abyssinia-Uganda trade route which is postulated by Mr.
A. C. A. Wright (U.J., Vol. 13 (1949), p. 80), and supported by Father
Muratori (U.J., Vol. 16 (1952), p. 81).
But the method of introduction of a coin of 1672 to so isolated a post as
I Pepys' Diary, 25 February 1667: "At my goldsmith's did observe the King's new
medall, where, in little, there is Mrs. Stewart's face as well done as ever I saw anything in
my whole life, I think: a pretty thing it is, that he should choose her face to represent
Photo by K. P. Wachsmann
Portion of Sun-dial of 1713 from Kitgum (showing wrist-knife sheath).
Photo by K. P. Wachsmann
Charles I[ Halfpenny of 1672 from Moroto.
[lace p. I74
Emin Pasha in December 1890.
Some of Emin's troops at Bukoba.
oto by Ernest Gedge
Moroto is an even more open question. The area is within the range of
migrants or raiders from Abyssinia, where people were in touch with the Gulf
of Aden. Equally we do not know how early in date began the infiltration into
this area of Swahili-led caravans from the East African Coast such as were found
trading to the west of the Turkwel River by the Macdonald Expedition in 1898
(Africa, No. 9 (1899), p. 13).1
It is attractive to give free rein to imagination and to think of A Footnote
to East African History' which was contributed by Mr. A. C. A. Wright to
African Affairs (Vol. 46, No. 183, April 1947, p. 97). He notes that an
Arabic document is still extant at Mogadishu which relates how, at a date
corresponding to 5-15 December 1700, certain English ships intervened in the
affairs of the port, but by miraculous means (which may have been no more
than the onset of the north-east monsoon) they were dispersed.
Sir Geoffrey Callender, the former Director of the National Maritime
Museum at Greenwich, was able to identify these ships as, almost certainly, a
squadron which sailed in 1699 for the Indian Ocean under Commander George
Warren for the suppression of piracy, and in particular with the aim of bring-
ing to book that notorious double-dealer and pirate, Captain Kidd. On
Warren's death in Madagascar in 1699 the command devolved upon Captain
James Littleton in H.M.S. Anglesea, and this, in all probability, is the leading
ship involved. Captain Kidd had by this time transferred his activities to the
North Atlantic; but he had set a pattern for piracy in the execution of which
bases from which to 'work and markets in which to dispose of the spoil were
needed, and the petty Moslem rulers of the Coast towns were ready confeder-
ates in this trade. It is intriguing to think that at Mogadishu there may have
been a pirate's lair, where among the more romantic doubloons and pieces of
eight there were hidden some Caroline coins, one of which filtered through the
hands of Somali or Swahili traders to the fastnesses of Mount Moroto.
EMIN PASHA-A LAST PORTRAIT
By H. B. THOMAS, O.B.E.
W HEN, on 14 May 1890, Jackson set off to return to the Coast with the
greater part of his expedition, Ernest Gedge, with some thirty-five men,
remained at Mengo to represent the Imperial British East Africa Company in
Buganda. In August, Gedge left for the south of Lake Victoria, arriving at
Usambiro towards the end of the month. Here he hoped to replenish supplies
from a caravan which the trader Stokes, who was escorting Bishop Tucker's party,
was known to be leading from the Coast. On 27 September Emin also reached
the Lake from Bagamoyo. He was hoping that circumstances would allow him
I In a letter (19 July 1934) J. H. Driberg informed me: "I do not think that Tippu
Tib was even in Uganda, but he certainly was in the southern Sudan and after a personal
visit he established a regular trade route which he kept open by a series of, as it were,
blockhouses. One of his personal camps is still known to the natives as Tippu Tib."
Confirmation of this from Sudan and Kenya sources would be of interest. Any such route
must have passed between Mount Elgon and Lake Rudolf.-[H.B.T.]
176 UGANDA JOURNAL
to go forward to Buganda to take advantage of Carl Peters' treaty with Kabaka
Mwanga: and he probably viewed the presence of Gedge, the Chartered Com-
pany's agent in Buganda, with some suspicion. However, on 7 October, Emin
received official confirmation from despatches sent forward by Stokes, that by the
Anglo-German Agreement of 1 July 1890, Uganda was definitely excluded from
the German sphere (Leblond, Le Pare Achte, p. 115) and he seems to have been
in friendly contact with Gedge before going north across the lake to found the
German station at Bukoba which he reached on 1 November. Thus, when
early in December 1890 Gedge came to Bukoba on his way back to Buganda,
he and Emin met as friends. He is a dear, capital fellow," remarked Emin
in a letter to his sister Melanie (Schweitzer, Life of Emin Pasha, Vol. ii.,
p. 134). He has promised me some photographs for you."
Two of these photographs, which have come to light among the papers of
the late Sir Frederick Jackson, are here reproduced, it is believed for the first
time. The quite excellent portrait of Emin must be the very last taken of him
before he set off from Bukoba on 12 February 1891 on his last fatal expedition.
The two Europeans in the photograph of Emin's troops would be (standing)
Lieutenant (Dr.) Franz Stuhlmann, ultimately the devoted editor of Emin's
journals, and (seated at the machine-gun) Sergeant Kiihne, who had already
distinguished himself under Stuhlmann's command on their march round the
lake to join Emin at Bukoba.
Gedge's achievements as a photographer merit a word of recognition,
seeing that his apparatus, presumably a bulky box-camera with glass plates,
must have been carried as a head-load throughout the whole Jackson-Gedge
expedition from Mombasa. Illustrations from his photographs are to be
found in a number of books. They appear as early as 1894 in the Badminton
Library volume, Big Game Shooting, Vol. i. (much of which was contributed
by Jackson); and later in Johnston's The Uganda Protectorate (1902) and in
Jackson's Early Days (1930). An album of his photographs (which does not,
however, include those here reproduced) is in the Secretariat Library at
A KARAMOJONG WEDDING
By DORIS CLARK
BEFORE a Karamojong can take a wife, he must first approach his parents
and his brothers. Together they will decide how many cows they can spare
for the dowry. If their herd is too small, they will tell him to wait another
year. If sufficient they will agree to proceed with negotiations for the match.
Two of his brothers, or his father and one brother, will visit the girl's father
and mother. First of all, they will go to the father and promise him a heifer,
and then to the mother with the same promise. The father will then reckon
up the number of his relations who will expect some share in the dowry, and
tells the prospective husband's sponsors to go to each one and name his cow '.
No matter how far away the girl's relations may live, they must visit each one,
' name the cow and invite them to the wedding.
When this has been done (and it may be many months after) they return
to the girl's father and report that they have visited all whom he named. He
will then order them to gather together all their cattle. This will not be done
till the future husband, accompanied by a friend, has called upon all his
friends, begging for some wedding gift, be it a goat, a sheep, a donkey, an ox,
or a cow, preferably, of course, the latter. These he will drive to his home.
(It is unusual for a man to be quite unsuccessful on such an errand.)
Some weeks may elapse again before he sends word to the father of the
girl that the cattle are ready in the kraal. A deputation from the bride's
village will come to see that this is really so, and will look over the animals,
saying, Where are the household cows ? (i.e. the mother's share), Where
are the father's cows ? . the brothers ? . and so on. If all are
there, and the animals satisfactory, a day will be named on which the suitor
and his family are to be present at the girl's village.
The girl's mother, with the other women, will then begin to make great
preparations for a feast, particularly large quantities of beer and milk. The
beer for marriage ceremonies is always made from sorghum. Many people
will be present on this day. When the milk and beer have been consumed, each
one who shares in the dowry will tell how many cows he is to receive. Then
a pipe will be filled with tobacco, lighted and passed from one to the other,
in order to ratify the agreement.
Immediately following this, the girl is brought before the crowd, rubbed
with black paint, and pushed away with the words, Go, accompany your
husband, conceive and bear children, get rich, and reign over a large house-
hold and many other such-like expressions of good-will. When these bless-
ings have been pronounced, two women on each side of her hold hands, and
lead her to her husband's village, barking all the way like zebras. She is taken
through the large cattle-kraal door, and led to her own house, the door is shut,
the fire kindled, the smoke enveloping her as a symbol-of her ownership and
welcome into her husband's family.
Early the next morning the girl's people drive off their cattle, the total
of which may be anything from thirty to one hundred head ; goats, which are
certainly expected, are not counted. Should the total be less than was
promised, the girl might be brought back again to her own people.
When everyone has taken his cattle, the husband knows that the girl is
really now his wife, and can never be taken from him. Donning his leopard-
skin cloak, his knee-bells, head-dress, and his zebra-tail which he wears just
above his left elbow, he circles the village, pretending to be a brave animal,
tossing his head, swishing his tail, and generally taking full advantage of his
one brief day of importance. Finally, everyone gathers into the cattle-kraal,
and the ceremony is rounded off with a dance.
The solution of the problem of the derivation of the Swahili word mhindi
meaning maize, which has been suggested by Father Muratori-that Portuguese
settlers on the East African coast referred to it so much as corn of India that
the name passed into the common speech of the Coast, seems to be supported
by contemporary authorities. It does not appear, however, to be established
that, when they called it 'corn of India' they really meant corn of the West
Indies and not corn of Hindustan' or of the East Indies.
1. The oldest good Portuguese dictionary (R. Bluteau Vocabulario Port-
guez e Latino, 8 vols., 1712-21) defines maiz as being the name given in some
parts of Portugal to milho grosso, adding that maiz is the name given to this
cereal' throughout all Castile '. This implies that the Portuguese got the word
from Spain. Milho grosso is defined as being alternatively called 'milho da
India'. Bluteau adds, It is the maize of the Indies, and this is why Pliny
called it Milicum Indicum. Some people nowadays call it Triticum Peru-
vianum because it comes from Peru." Under the word trigo Bluteau lists many
kinds of trigo in great detail; but he does NOT mention Trigo da India or Trigo
da Turquia. The term India and Indias ', as used here and elsewhere by
Bluteau, shows quite clearly that he and the Portuguese meant India proper (or
the East Indies) and were NOT thinking of the West Indies, which they called
' Indias de Castella '.
2. Francisco de Melo de Castro, Governor of Mozambique, in a lengthy
report on that colony dated 10 August, 1750, mentions Trigo, milho grosso e
mindo as among the products of Quelimane. I presume Milho grosso here
equals maize. Quelimane is near the mouth of the Zambezi (modern Kilimani).
3. Sixteenth and seventeenth century Portuguese accounts of India and
East Africa often refer to milho as being grown there ; but historians are agreed
that by milho (by itself) they meant.' millet' or sorghum ', and NOT maize '
or Indian corn '. Nowadays the word milho by itself in Portuguese can also
mean maize ', although formerly this latter cereal was called milho grosso '
or 'milho da India', as explained above. In this connection, see W. H.
Moreland, India at the death of Akbar. An Economic Study ; Appendix A,
'The crops grown in India in the sixteenth century' (pp. 303-304); Appen-
dix B,' Indian Corn in Vijayanagar (pp. 305-306), (London, 1920). For other
references, see the Hakluyt Society Volumes, IId Series; Longworth Dames'
edition of The Book of Duarte Barbosa (Vol. I, p. 155, (note)); Gray's edition
of The Travels of Pyrard de Laval (Vol. II, 2nd Part, p. 16); and A. Cortesao's
edition of the Suma Oriental of Tome Pires (Vol. I, p. 44, note (2), (1944)).
I dare say there are earlier Portuguese references to milho grosso than 1712,
but so far I have not come across them. I found much earlier Spanish refer-
ences to maize in Asia, for example:
1. Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza, OSA, Historia de las cosas mas notables
ritos y costumbres del gran Reino de la China (Rome, 1585), Part I, Book III,
Chapter 4, in a list which he gives of the tribute (in kind) paid annually to the
Emperor of China by his subjects, after mentioning rice, trigo como el de
Espafia and milo (modern mijo), has an item-" De trigo clamado maiz, veinte
millones doscientas circuenta mil fanegas ", which implies that a great quantity
of maize was grown in China as early as 1575, which was the year in which
Mendoza's informants had visited China.
2. In 1601 the cultivation of maize was introduced into the Ladrones
Islands (now called Marianas), of which Saipan and Guam are the best known,
by the Spanish Franciscan lay-brother, Fr. Juan Pobre de Zamora. He' jumped
ship' on one of these islands, when sailing from Mexico to Manila and, in order
to ingratiate himself with the natives whom he was trying to convert to
Christianity, he got up-early every day and went to sow seeds of maize on the
hillsides. According to his own account the grain ripened in from 40 to 60 days.
(Todas las mafianas se iba a los montes, y en las sementeras iba sembrando
granos de maiz, que a los cuarenta o sesenta dias ya estaban en saz6n las
mazorcas, que los Indias se comian con much gusto." Cf. Fr. Lorenzo Perez,
OFM, Fray Juan Pobre de Lamora ', article in Erudicion Ibero-Ultramarina,
Anno II ricem 6-7 (April/July, 1931).
3. Although maize was found in China in 1575, and Fr. Juan Pobre intro-
duced it into the Marianas in 1601, it does not seem to have been cultivated very
extensively in the Philippines. Padre Juan Delgado, S.J., writing on the 1 July
1753, about the natural products of the Philippines, says, textually: El maiz
es otra especie de frumento comiin; ya de siembra bastante en Visayas y
Tagalos, pero creo que no es plant propia y natural de esta tierra, sino triida de
las Nueva Espafia" (= Mexico). (Juan Delgado, S.J., Historia de Felipinas
(ed. Manila, 1892), p. 707.
The above may not seem very relevant to East Africa, but it is quite possible
that Portuguese missionaries there adopted the same technique as did Fr. Juan
Pobre in 1602, viz. introduced the cultivation of maize as one of the methods of
getting the confidence of the natives. But this is pure supposition.
C. R. BOXER.
Department of Portuguese Studies,
ORIGIN OF THE NAME NYAPEA
I have read with much enjoyment Mr. Posnett's article on' West Nile Hills
and History' in Uganda Journal, Vol. 15 (1951), and shall endeavour, as time
and opportunity permit, to follow his footsteps in this unusual tour of the
district. I must, however, ask leave to challenge the somewhat naive conten-
tion, made on page 174, that we can exterminate once and for all" the
suggestion that place name NYAPEA has any connection with that of NYIPIR,
founder of the ruling dynasty of the Alur. This contention is made, I must
point out, without any suggestion as to the meaning of Nyapea, the site of a
large Mission and Secondary School, and name of a high hill.
180 UGANDA JOURNAL
The origin of this word is obscure, but the Nyipir derivation cannot be
dismissed out of hand. Nya, which means literally' daughter of', is a common
prefix to Alur place names, but the word Nyapea does not lend itself to sensible "
translation, although explanations can be concocted. The most plausible
derivation seems to be Nya-Peyi or' daughter of Peyi ', Peyi being the name of a
clan whose home is near the base of the hill. However, even if the pronun-
ciation and the etymology of Nyipir and Nyapea are quite distinct', the change
from one to the other is not difficult to imagine, particularly when nya
commonly occurs in place names and when one remembers that Major Lowth,
who, in U.J., Vol. 2 (1934-5), gave a very full account of the Alur version of
this legend, wrote Nyipir as Nyapir.
I was recently in this part of the West Nile District and I asked an Alur
chief if he would explain the origin of the word to me. His answer, We are
not sure, but we think it comes from Nyipir of the old legend," was not
prompted and would certainly have surprised Mr. Posnett. He may well have
been wrong but his remark surely justifies one in challenging the statement that
the idea has been exterminated. I gave this derivation myself some years ago
(U.J., Vol. 11 (1947), p. 2) following inquiries of people living to the west of the
Nile, so that I am writing partly in self-defence.
I think, too, that there is some mis-statement as to the Hamitic origin of
the Alur and that it is incorrect to sty that they came from Lango ', even if
the people sometimes loosely use this expression themselves. The leading
Rwodi of the Alur are, as Mr. Posnett points out, descended from Nyipir and
Tiful who, in the early seventeenth century, left the main stream of the Lwoo
migration at Kilak. There is no reason to presume that the migrating Lwoo
tribes were Hamites: they were Nilotic, though a possible Bachwezi connection
may have given them a Hamitic strain.
I am not competent to attempt a treatise on the Lango, either the name
with its several qualifications or the people ; but it is sufficient to say that the
Lwoo people generally often use the word' Lango somewhat loosely and that
Nyipir cannot have been both Lwoo and Lango. The Lango, assuming the
theory of their Nilo-Hamitic origin to be correct, and it has been most ably
argued by Father Tarantino, were not connected with the Lwoo migration. May
there not be perhaps some confusion with Buganda legend ? The suggestion
that the Alur peasants, as opposed to chiefs, may be of Madi-Lugbara stock is
of more than passing interest.
The differences between the Acholi and the Alur dialects of the Lwoo
language are not great and are less marked in the spoken than in the written
word. They were reduced to writing by different people of different European
races, a fact which explains much of their divergence. An Alur student operat-
ing in Yorkshire and a Muganda in Devon would hardly have recorded identical
versions of the King's English.
R. M. BERE.
Provincial Headquarters, Northern Province,
16 February 1952.
A HAUNTED HOUSE NEAR KAMPALA
The account of Leven House, Mombasa, in U.J., Vol. 15 (1951), has
reminded me of a house on the outskirts of Kampala which is also supposedly
The house is a very dilapidated two-storey building situated on the left-
hand side of the Bombo Road, just beyond the northern boundary of the
Kampala Technical School compound. It is much shut in by trees and
certainly presents a gloomy, if not a sinister, appearance. When I last saw it
in January 1946, it appeared to be in African occupation.
I have been told by more than one informant that the house was haunted;
the first occasion must have been well over twenty years ago. The ghost was
alleged to be that of an Indian who was said to have committed suicide in the
Perhaps some of your readers can supply further information.
23 December 1951.
Mr. R. A. Snoxall, to whom Mr. Sykes' letter was referred, writes:
This gaunt double-storeyed house lies between the Kampala Technical
School and the road-fork of the Bombo and Gayaza roads on the left-hand side
as one goes from Wandegaya towards Bombo, and about half a mile from
It was the house of Omwani Nasanaeri Mayanja, ex-Kangawo of Bulemezi,
who died on 30 September 1950. He is reputed to have been a difficult' old
Muganda, steeped in politics, and an ardent supporter of the old, not the modern,
Bataka movement. He used to pay very infrequent visits to the house and it was
usually empty. Somewhere about 1935 the house was rented by Mr. Macmillan
Moll, the West Indian lawyer, but after being in it for a year or two, he started
to build his own house in the same neighbourhood, and left the house in question.
In 1940-2 Nasanaeri seems to have spent some time there; and it was the
scene of large and sometimes noisy political meetings.
About 1948-50 it was rented by some Indians who lived in it for a year or
two; but they left it though house accommodation was extremely difficult to
obtain at that time.
As far as I can learn, the only grounds for it being regarded as haunted are
that no one seems anxious to live in it even when other accommodation is
MR. NORMAN GODINHO, M.B.E.
WE record with great regret the death, on 6 March 1952, of Mr. Norman
Godinho, a Vice-President and a long-standing supporter of our Society. It
is almost fifty years since he first came from Goa to East Africa. For a while he
was engaged in commerce ; but later he concentrated his interests upon real
estate, more particularly in Kampala where he made his home, and in the
development of which during the past thirty years he took a prominent part.
When, in 1938, the Uganda Society first went into occupation of its present
quarters, following their adaptation and allocation for its use by the Uganda
Government, Mr. Godinho offered with characteristic generosity to furnish the
new premises completely: and the Society continues to enjoy this handsome and
tangible expression of his interest in its affairs.
To his widow and family we tender our sincere sympathy.
INDEX TO VOLUME 16 (1952)
BARNLEY, G. R. The Mbwa Fly and Problems of its Control - 113
BERE, R. M. The Origin of the Name Nyapea (Letter) 179
BOXER, C. R. Maize Names (Letter) 178
CLARK, MRS. DORIS. Memorial Service for an Ox in Karamoja 69
- A Karamojong Wedding 176
Godinho, Mr. Norman. Obituary 182
GRAY, SIR JOHN MILNER. Acholi History, 1860-1901-II 32
Acholi History, 1860-1901-III 132
The Year of the Three Kings (Letter) - 99
-. Native Administration in the British African Territories by Lord
Hailey (Review) 101
- Al-Akida and Fort Jesus, Mombasa by Mbarak Ali Hinawy (Review) 102
GULLIVER, P. H. Bell-Oxen and Ox-Names among the Jie 72
HADDOW, A. J. Whistled Signals among the Bakonjo 164
HAWES, BRIGADIER C. G. Some Effects of the Owen Falls Scheme 107
HEWETSON, C. An Early Cash Book from Nandi Station 30
HUTCHINSON, DR. J. B. The Dissemination of Cotton in Africa 1
JACKSON, SIR FREDERICK J. Two Nature Notes 94
JACOBS, BENET L., and M. FLEAY. A Hot Sulphur Spring in Toro 67
LUDGER, K. Control of Crime in Primitive Society-An Example from Teso 130
MAYANJA, A. M. K. Chronology of Buganda, 1800-1907, from Kagwa's
MILL HILL FATHERS. Derivations of some Teso Place-Names 168
MURATORI, THE REV. FATHER CARLO. Maize Names and History: A Further
PEARSON, E. 0. Problems of Insect Pests of Cotton in Tropical Africa 15
PERRY, DR. J. S. The Growth and Reproduction of Elephants in Uganda 51
PITMAN, CAPTAIN C. R. S. Pigmy Crocodiles in Uganda 121
PRENTICE, A. N. Clover in Kampala 100
SNOXALL, R. A. Elementary Luganda by B. E. R. Kirwan and P. A. Gore
SYKEs, J. A Haunted House near Kampala (Letter) 181
THOMAS, H. B. The Imperial British East Africa Company Medal 28
The Maria Theresa Dollar 96
Two Finds in Northern Uganda: (i) A Sundial of 1713; (ii) A
Charles II Halfpenny 173
Emin Pasha-A last Portrait 175
A Biographical Dictionary of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by Richard
Hill (Review) 103
USHER-WILSON, BISHOP L. C. Dini ya Misambwa 125
WAINWRIGHT, G. A. The Coming of the Banana to Uganda 145
WATSON, J. M. The Wild Mammals of Teso and Karamoja-VIII 89
- The Agoro Systems of Irrigation 159
WRIGHT, A. C. A. Lwoo Migrations-A Review 82
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