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|The population of Uganda: A geographical...|
|Index to Volume I|
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|Table of Contents|
The journey to Uganda in 1896
The British Museum expedition to the Birunga Volcanoes, 1933-34
Ethnological notes on the Karimojong
Ebifa ku Mulembe gwa Kabaka Mutesa
Some notes on the reign of Mutesa
The population of Uganda: A geographical interpretation
Index to Volume I
THE ORGAN OF THE UGANDA LITERARY
AND SCIENTIFIC SOCIETY
Vol. I. APRIL, 1934. No. 2.
The Journey to Uganda in 1896 ... by SIR ALBERT
The British Museum Expedition to the Birunga Volcanoes
Ethnological Notes on the Karimojong ...
Some Notes on the Reign of Mutesa ...
The Population of Uganda : A Geographical Interpretation
James Martin ...
Acholi Hunts ...
Bird Migration ...
An Approach to Linguistics ...
A Dry Crossing of the Nile ...
Sudan Notes and Records.
COOK, C.M.G., O.B.E.
by E. J. WAYLAND.
by R. ACKROYD.
by E. M. PERSSE.
by HAM MUKASA.
by S. J. K. BAKIR.
... ... by R. A. SNOXALL.
... ... by E. J. WAYLAND.
... ... by R. M. BERE.
... ... by C. R. S. PITMAN.
...... by A. B.
... ... by S. H. H. WRIGHT.
...... by J. P. BIRCH.
... ... by E. M. PERSSE.
THE UGANDA LITERARY AND
There are no restrictions as to membership of the Uganda Literary and
Scientific Society. Membership is open to all races and to Institutions and
Clubs. No entrance fee is imposed. The annual subscription, which is payable
in advance on 1st July of each year, is Shs. 10 for single members and Shs. 15
for double members. The double membership is introduced for the convenience
of families and entitles two members of a family to all the rights and privileges
of a full member except that they receive only one copy of the Journal.
Members have the right to attend and vote at all meetings and to bring one
visitor (not being a resident of the place) to lectures, and will receive one copy
of each number of the Journal. Additional copies of the Journal may be
obtained from the Hon. Secretary and Treasurer, price Shs. 2/50 per copy. All
subscriptions and contributions to the Journal should be addressed to the Hon.
Secretary and Treasurer, P.O., Kampala. No guarantee is given to return any MSS.
submitted. Articles submitted should be typed on one side of the sheet only
and should not contain matter likely to cause political or religious controversy.
Those submitted by Government Officials must comply with Colonial Office
Regulations; they should either be submitted u.f.s. the Head of Department
concerned or addressed to the Editor, who will submit them to the Head o
THE UGANDA LITERARY AND SCIENTIFIC
HIS EXCELLENCE SIR B. H. BOURDILLON, K.C.M.G., K.B.E.
SIR ALBERT COOK, C.M.G., O.B.E.
E. J. WAYLAND, ESQ.
MRS. S. S. ABRAHAMS.
MRS. E. G. MORRIS.
THE HON. P. L. FENTON.
T. P. PRIESTLY, ESQ.
J. SYKES, ESQ.
MARK WILSON, ESQ.
Honorary Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor :
E. F. TWINING, ESQ., M.B.E.
Representative in Great Britain :
E. B. HADDON, ESQ., 3 Cranmer Road, Cambridge.
N.B.-The Society's Postal Address is P.O., Kampala.
The first number of the Uganda Journal has been received with an approval
which is gratifying to the promoters. Since its publication the membership of
the Society has risen from 172 to 269. The demand for extra copies has been such
that the original edition of 400 is almost. sold out, and it has been deemed
expedient to order a reprint. This result is certainly satisfactory, but to make
the future of the Society and the Journal secure it is necessary to have at least
300 members, and it is therefore incumbent upon all members to recruit
Naturally there has been some criticism, but apart from a few constructive
suggestions there has been little of any moment. The arrangement of the table
of contents caused a curious optical illusion that gave the impression that the
Journal contained the contributions of but a few persons, each of whom had
written several articles or notes. Actually there were fifteen items contributed by
eleven persons. The illusion gave the sceptics their opportunity of suggesting
that the first number was a mere flash in the pan, the result of the repeated efforts
of a few people, and that there could not possibly be enough material to keep the
Journal going. The answer to these folk lies in their own hands, and it is hoped
that if ever the Journal does lack material they will come to the rescue by
contributing interesting matter. Actually over 40 people have already offered to
write for the Journal, and doubtless the number will grow as time goes on.
Other criticisms were that the type was too small, that the ink used in the
illustrations was of an unsuitable colour, that the Journal was too large, that the
Journal was too small, and finally that there were no advertisements to provide
some really interesting reading matter. All these points have received attention,
but it has not been found possible to take any steps to satisfy the critics, at any
rate for this number. A useful suggestion has been made that "separates" of
each article should be made available. As an experiment ten "separates" of each
article and note in this number will be printed. Application should be made to
the Editor, who will be able to supply them at approximately the cost of
In this number we have been fortunate to secure several contributions of
unusual interest. We are able to publish in full the admirable paper read to the
Society by Sir Albert Cook as his Presidential Address on 22nd February. Two
of our contributors are not Uganda residents, but have been recent visitors making
scientific investigations. The article by that grand old historian, Om. Ham
Mukasa, will, it is hoped, be the forerunner of many other contributions by
Africans. It is published in its Luganda original with an English translation.
The former is not only for the benefit of African readers but for those members of
the Society interested in philology.
The Editor of Sudan Notes and Records has requested that we should
exchange the Uganda Journal for that admirable periodical. We have gladly
acceded to this request and a review of the 1933 issues will be found at the end of
this number. Those members who wish to read Sudan Notes and Records may
obtain the 1933 issues on loan from the Editor of the Uganda Journal. The
necessary postage stamps, 20 cents per copy, should be sent when applying, and
the periodical should not be kept for more than one week.
In January a General Meeting of the Society was held at which several
important matters were discussed. These included the question of the future
printing of the Journal, the advisability of allowing advertisements in the
Journal, the possibility of holding an "Arts and Crafts" Exhibition, and the
allowing of a special institutional subscription to the Society by Missions and
other similar bodies. The minutes of the meeting with some explanatory notes
will be found at the end of this number.
Suitable arrangements have now been made for future numbers to be printed
by private enterprise in Kampala. The Society owes a debt of gratitude to the
Government in allowing the first volume of the Journal to be printed by the
Government Press, and to the Government Printer for doing the work so well.
Although the July number will be printed elsewhere, the present form of the
Journal will be maintained. Future numbers will, however, be smaller, as for the
first year's subscription members have only received two numbers of the Journal
while in future they will receive four numbers. Members are reminded that
their subscriptions expire on 30th June next and those who wish to continue to
receive the Journal and have not filled in a banker's order should do so.
The Journey to Uganda in 1896
and Kampala during the Closing Years of Last Century.
By SIR ALBERT R. COOK, Kt., C.M.G., O.B.E., M.D.
If it be at all true that the interest of a country may be gauged by the
amount of literature written about it, then the Protectorate of Uganda must
rank very high among our African dependencies. The romance of its discovery,
its delayed appearance in the geography and history of that great continent,
the political and even religious struggles which convulsed its evolution in its
earlier days, and let me add the remarkable response made by its peoples to
Christianity and civilization, all mark it out as possessing exceptional interest
and explain the way it has been "written up."
Add to this the fact that its exploration is so recent, and that many of
the prime, movers in its acquirement by the British Empire are still alive, and
we have another excellent reason for wishing to hear about its early days.
Uganda is no isolated unit in the midst of a vast continent; its discovery,
acquisition, development and government are inextricably mixed up with the
remarkable opening up of the once so-called "Dark Continent" during the later
half of the last century. The neck and neck race for its possession, between
the English and Germans in 1890, the sluggish indifference of the Liberal
Government before and after that date, the heroic efforts of Lugard, the tragic
murder of Bishop Hannington, the amazing tenacity and courage of the early
administrators and their subordinates, and the delightful object lesson of how
a great African dependency can be governed not by a selfish exploitation of its
riches by the sovereign state which governs it, but as a trusteeship for the
indigenous inhabitants, riveted the attention of the civilized world on it.
Speke discovered Uganda in 1862 and later in the same year found the
Nile issuing from Lake Victoria at the Ripon Falls, on its long 3,300 miles
journey to the Mediterranean, thus solving the age-long problem of the source
of that great river. Stanley in 1875 confirmed and completed his explorations
by circumnavigating the Lake and sending home the famous letter to the
"Daily Telegraph," which having survived the murder of Linant de Bellefonds
by the Bari, was found by a search party from General Gordon, then Governor
of the Equatorial Province of the Egyptian Sudan, and forwarded on. Its
publication directly produced the sending forth of the first missionary party by
the Church Missionary Society consisting of eight members, of whom two-
Lieutenant Shergold .Smith and the Rev. C. T. Wilson-reached Uganda on
June 30, 1875. Two years later the Roman Catholics followed suit. The epic
events that followed, including the martyrdom of many of the early converts,
the murder of Hannington, and the religious wars that followed, are too well
known to need more than a cursory reference to them, and form a classic of
Missions. In 1890 Lugard, happily still with us, was sent out by the Imperial
British East African Co., to administer Uganda, and his book "The Rise of
our East African Empire" in its two fascinating volumes shows what
tremendous difficulties he had to contend with and how admirably he faced
and overcame them.
On his leaving in 1892, Captain (as he was then) Macdonald took over
the Administration assisted by Captain Williams, (Lugard's second in command)
till Sir Gerald Portal arrived in 1893 and on April 1st of that year, the Union
Jack was hoisted in Lugard's little fort at Old Kampala, replacing the flag of
the Imperial British East Africa Co. In November of that year Colonel Henry
Colville of the Grenadier Guards took over, and on June 19th, 1894, Uganda
was declared a British Protectorate.
In May, 1895, Berkeley arrived as Commissioner, and a formal Protectorate
was proclaimed over Bunyoro, Busoga, Nandi and Kavirondo.
Of the early pioneers, I had been present in the Senate House at Cambridge
as an undergraduate of Trinity College when Stanley received an honorary degree
after his rescue of Emin Pasha, and have met the Rev. C. T. Wilson, the first
missionary in Uganda, and Pearson, one of the party who went up the Nile
under General Gordon's auspices. My own connection with the Protectorate
began in the autumn of 1896 when as one of a party of twelve missionaries
sent out by the Church Missionary Society for Uganda we left the Albert Docks
in the P. and 0. "Khedive," transhipped at Aden, and steaming through the
end of the monsoon in the small British India boat "Canara," of only 1,000 tons,
after a very uncomfortable and rough voyage dropped anchor in the old harbour
of Mombasa on October 1st, 1896.
Nothing more strikingly marks the onward sweep, I had almost said "rush,"
of civilization in Central Africa, than the fact that our journey from London to
Kampala which took us six months in 1896 can now be done in six days by air.
The difficulties then were formidable in three directions of which the first
was by much the worst. They were transport, the menace to health, and the
hostility, latent or patent, of tribes on the route.
The length of the old caravan track was about 850 miles from Mombasa
to Kampala and by the time we essayed it the worst terrors had been removed.
In spite of the famed Sclater Road, the precursor of the modern motor roads,
a good deal of the way was unfit for wheeled traffic. That meant that all
our goods had to be carried on men's heads. The Government regulations
wisely prohibited a load of more than 60 lbs. weight-wisely because the native
porter had to carry, in addition, his own mat, blanket, cloth and cooking pot,
his invaluable short stick and knife, and his share of posho. The latter was
a further difficulty. Food could only be bought at a few stations along the
route. Beyond the coast fringe there were only four points where food could
be purchased up to Mumia's. The result was that careful organization was
necessary before the start of a caravan, for subsidiary caravans had to be
sent on many weeks before the start to store food at the various Government
stations. The porter had to carry his supply of food for a week or ten days,
usually about 15 Ibs. of dried mahindi or Indian corn, and the temptation
was for him to over-eat the first few days and starve the last.
Our caravan consisted of twelve missionaries, nine men (seven of whom
were Cambridge men) and three ladies, and a fine old caravan leader
(Dr. E. J. Baxter) who had come out as a missionary of the Church Missionary
Society in 1877, and whose station was at Mamboya, now in Tanganyika
Territory, long before that part of the world became German East Africa. As
skilful with his rifle as he was patient with the men, quite unmoved by
misfortunes, and resourceful in difficulties he was admirable at his job. He
retired in 1912 and is still living in California. We were carrying with us a
supply of books in Luganda in answer to the insistent demands of the natives
there and medical supplies for the Hospital we had been commissioned to open.
Such a party needed at the least 500 porters and although the pay was
good, thirty rupees a month, they were remarkably shy in coming forward.
A certain amount had to be paid in advance and in all caravans there were
scrimshankers who took the cash and deserted at night on the first opportunity.
Once across the Taro desert, however, desertions became harder. Enrolment
proceeded slowly, and in the event we had to wait nearly two months before
we could leave the coast.
Towards the end of October the rains burst in all their fury; it was an
unusually wet season, as many as four inches of rain often falling in twenty-four
The result was that in low-lying places the route was impracticable and
caravans were hung up unable to proceed. Finally we had to be content
with 200 porters and 46 brown donkeys. Eight white Muscat donkeys were
purchased for riding purposes. We had to pass through the fly belt and the
practical caravan leader put the donkeys into loose trousers and jackets made
of amerikani cloth which, to some extent, protected them from bites but
caused them to exhibit the most ridiculous appearance. Each member of the
party was limited to fifteen loads, of which two were taken up by a tent and
poles, five were chop boxes for our three months march, and four or five
consisted of camp furniture, bedding, pots and pans and bath, leaving only
two or three for kit. The rest of the stuff we sent round by the South or
German route and it was two years before some of it reached its destination.
On November 28th, 1896, our caravan started. The railway had just been
begun and by the courtesy of the Chief Engineer we took our seats on planks
placed across the trucks of a construction train and were pushed by an engine for
seven-and-a-half miles, when our luxurious travelling came to an end and we had
an hour's march into Mazeras, our first camp. It was interesting shortly after
the train had rumbled across the temporary bridge at Makupa's Ferry, to
notice sticking up at the side of the track the end rails of the original narrow
gauge railway of the Imperial British East Africa Co., that was intended to
run from Mombasa to Uganda, but, alas I never reached more than a mile or two
from the Coast. It was only a two-foot gauge and would have been quite
useless. Sir Frederick Jackson in his book, "Early Days in East Africa" gives
an amusing account of how he went in a complete train on this railway-for
two miles-when it was derailed, and he adds drily "not from excessive speed
for we were going only at five miles an hour." We waited three days at
Mazeras for our position here became almost desperate. Twenty men deserted
and six were too ill to take on. Thus we were reduced to 174 porters and
23 askaris and the donkeys. Sick men could not be left by the road side
to die, for much of the march lay through quite uninhabited country, and
every man unable to walk needed four to carry him. However nothing ruffled
our caravan leader and leaving another fifty loads out of our already very
reduced stores we made a short march to Mwachi on December 1st; four days
later we entered the Taro desert but here the late heavy rains helped us.
Ordinarily caravans crossed it carrying water in two forced marches of twenty
miles each but we were able to camp twice by pools of rain water. As the
doctor of the party I went down to inspect the pool and found a collection of
muddy water, covered by a green scum, about sixteen feet across, a water-hole
in the act of drying up so to speak. As I gazed thoughtfully at it a small
turtle emerged, wagged its tail and disappeared again. Also the donkeys of
the caravan were watered there and churned up the edges. However, proud
of my elementary-very elementary-knowledge, I had several pails of the
muddy fluid carried up to my tent and proceeded to stir up some alum in
the water, and I must say the praises of the missionaries standing round were
very gratifying as they saw the mud swiftly subside to the bottom. We poured
off the supernatant clear fluid, our boys boiled it, and at last came the
psychological moment when they raised the brimming cups of tea to their
thirsty lips, but alas I instead of grateful thanks what seemed more like curses-
good and hearty-issued as they quickly ejected the mouthfuls, for it seemed
I had added in my zeal too much alum and a very nauseating draught resulted
However I learnt my lesson.
Once across the Taro, things began to cheer up. Each day we were
steadily rising and the early hours were cool. The routine was much the
same daily. Dr. Baxter's horn roused the camp at 4-30 a.m. and soon all
was bustle and confusion. The cooks prepared breakfast, partaken of while the
tents were being taken down, and then we started before sunrise, at the head
of the long caravan, with the wild life of the country heard more than seen
in the twilight till the growing light revealed them scampering away on all
sides. There were no game reserves in those days, not even on the Athi
plains, and a gun licence cost only one rupee, and as food was constantly
required for the porters there was every incentive to kill.
Always the sun rising behind us, always the flaming sunset in front, we
were marching steadily west. The length of the march depended on the places
where water could be found; sometimes, though rarely, only seven or eight
miles, occasionally twenty miles or more, and once thirty. The courage of the
ladies was extraordinary; they bore the hardships and dangers, and the fatigues
of the way with as fine a courage and endurance as any of the men. Two of
them, Lady Cook and Miss Bird, are in Kampala to-day, and two more,
Miss Furley and Miss Pilgrim, who came up with Bishop Tucker the preceding
year, are still in Uganda.
The first Government station was Ndi where we rested two days to
re-organize our caravan. The Collector, a Mr. Godfrey, was most hospitable;
alas! he died a few months later from blackwater fever. Just before the
Tsavo we had our only adventure with a lion, though we were warned to
pitch the tents close together at several of the camps as these brutes were
known to be in the vicinity. It must be remembered that this was a year
before the thrilling experiences recorded by Colonel Patterson in his book,
"The Man-eaters of Tsavo." The camp had been pitched near the edge of
a bit of forest and the porters told to keep up good fires. However, at
3-15 a.m. I was woken up by a frightful shindy and going out of my tent
found the camp illuminated by a huge central fire in front of which was sitting
a very scared porter. It appears that he had gone to sleep in his little tent
on the outskirts of the camp and had allowed the fire to die down. A prowling
lion had seen his opportunity and put in his great paw to hook him out as a
periwinkle is hooked out of its shell by a pin. Fortunately for himself the man
was lying curled up at the far end and the lion miscalculated the distance,
its claws only just reaching the man's head. He woke up with a yell and
his comrades rushed up with fire brands and drove the beast away, but a line
of crimson down the centre of his black scalp showed how terribly narrow his
escape had been.
From the rocks over Kenani camp we got our first view of Kilimanjaro,
the snow on Kibo and Mawenzi being quite distinct though seventy-five miles
away. From there on we got wonderful views of that giant among mountains.
On December 19th we reached Kibwezi and revelled in the beautiful garden
of the Scotch Mission with its store of fresh vegetables and its industrial work.
Dr. Wilson, its head, was most hospitable but in spite of the beauty of the
scene and a somewhat dense surrounding population, it was not successful
from a missionary point of view and Dr. Wilson dying of blackwater fever, the
mission was removed to Kikuyu. At one time Dr. Moffat and George Wilson,
of Uganda fame, were connected with this Mission.
Just beyond Kibwezi we had an exceptionally beautiful view of Kilimanjaro.
To quote from my diary, I wrote on December 22nd: "Just as we got off at
day break on turning our eyes south-east we saw a wonderful sight. Through
a rift in the towering clouds which covered the sky in that quarter there
suddenly appeared a great glittering mass-Kibo-one of the twin peaks of
the mountain, reflecting the beams of the rising sun and flashing them back
in truly regal splendour. All that we saw, some four or five thousand feet,
was above the snow-line which on the Equator is in the neighbourhood of
15,000 ft. and for the first time we realized what a mass of snow and ice
crowned the summit. It looked so pure, so unutterably lovely that one's
thoughts instinctively turned to the vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem, that
Holy City descending out of heaven as a bride prepared for her husband. Cut
off below and above by clouds it seemed to float in mid-air exquisitely sharp-cut
and defined. It reminded me of the picture we saw in the Academy this
year of Mansoul beleaguered by the hosts of Hell."
Sickness among the porters troubled us not *a little at this time. One
case is impressed on my memory-a sick askari whom I passed on the march,
groaning by the road side. His temperature was 104" and he was trying to
walk with a load. We put him on a donkey, and gave him brandy, etc., but
he soon fell off and so we arranged a litter for some days, as I found he had
pneumonia, till we could leave him at a station. Wonderful to relate he
recovered. The food was very bad, the posho consisting of Indian corn
(mahindi) not fresh or ground but hard old grain requiring hours of boiling to
make it soft. In vain we used to go round saying pikaa sana" (boil it thoroughly).
Tired, worn out men would not do this, and in their hunger they would take
it very imperfectly cooked. Then bowel complaints were set up and all too
soon dysentery supervened. Those sick with fever should have milk, beef
tea, etc., and we gave them what we could, but our own stores were woefully
short. At Nzawi we found a small African Inland Mission station with a
Mr. and Mrs. Allen, working among the Wakamba. They were in desperate
straits, continually suffering from fever, their quinine having run out, and the
man suffering from a distressing malady but one curable by' operation. We
replenished their stock of quinine, and with Miss Timpson's aid (she was the
first qualified nursing sister in the country) operated on the man and left him
comfortable. Nine months later he wrote a long letter to me expressing his
gratitude but saying that their Mission had been almost wiped out by blackwater
fever. Another hand added a postscript "Since writing the above our dear
brother has succumbed to blackwater fever." Such was often the lot of the
isolated workers in those days. But I must not linger on these incidents. At
Machakos we met John Ainsworth and his newly married bride and paid a
visit to the Stuart Watts at Ngaleni, with their beautiful orchards and
flourishing farm and healthy looking children-precursors of the many settlers
who have since made their homes in Kenya.
At Nairobi we camped by the Nairobi River but there was not a single
building where the present town stands, only long waving grass and the banda
of a solitary Transport Officer of the Government. We had to stay ten days
at Fort Smith, as the posho stored for our men at the Ravine Station had
been taken by caravans coming down country, themselves in dire need, and
we had to replace it. By this time only twenty of our pack donkeys were
fit for future service and the white riding donkeys were reduced to two. We
were able to purchase some Masai donkeys and left on January 16th, enjoying
the next day the marvellous view over the Rift Valley from the top of the
Kikuyu escarpment. We passed the spot where only twelve months before,
under great provocation, the Masai had massacred a caravan of 1,100 men and
where Dick, the trader, had perished in trying to avenge them. Two of us
broke away from the caravan and ascended Longonot, finding it true, as he
said, that at one point one could sit on the rim of the cup-like crater and
dangle a leg each side. At Naivasha we met Major Eric Smith and Captain
Wilson, and further on Mr. Berkeley the Commissioner and Consul General of
Uganda and Mr. F. J. Jackson (afterwards Sir Frederick Jackson) on their
way down to the Coast. Few people now realize that at that time the Eastern
border of the Uganda Protectorate ran along the Kedong Valley and so Naivasha
and Nakuru were in Uganda, but a glance at the maps in Sir Harry Johnston's
books will confirm this. The change, handing over the old Eastern Province
of Uganda to what is now Kenya, was not made till 1902. As we approached
the Ravine Station we found the tribes hostile and had to take it in turns
to keep watch and ward at night and see that the askaris were on the alert,
a tiring job after a long march during the day. At the Eldama Ravine we
found Dr. Macpherson, Vialle and Captain Bagnall. The latter provided us
with an escort through the treacherous Kamasia country. Our highest camp
on the Mau plateau was 9,050 feet and from it we descended by easy slopes
to Mumia's, the great trade emporium of Kavirondo in those days. Here our
caravan split up-the three ladies and six of the men going to Port Victoria,
close to the present Mjanji, where they embarked in the tiny little steam
launch, the "Ruwenzori", which was owned two-thirds by Boustead,
Ridley & Co., and one-third by the Church Missionary Society. At best it
would only hold forty loads, and the large party grossly overloaded it. The
three of us who walked through Kavirondo, South Busoga and East Uganda
had a better time of it and brought our long three months' journey to an
end on February 19th by a last march of twenty-four miles. Through God's
goodness we had only lost two of our porters in spite of much illness.
II. LIFE IN KAMPALA, 1897-1899.
At the beginning of 1897 there were but few Government Officials at
Entebbe or Kampala. Major Ternan (still alive and now a Brigadier-General)
was Acting Commissioner and resided at Entebbe with Smith, the Treasurer,
and Pordage in charge of the Public Works Department. George Wilson,
("1'ayari" as he was called) lived on Nakasero on a site close to the house
of the present Police Commissioner, while below him were representatives of the
trading companies-Muxworthy (who died of blackwater fever) in charge of
Boustead, Ridley & Co's Store, and I think a man called Brown in charge of
Smith Mackenzie & Co. Of the present buildings in Kampala not one was in
existence. A footpath ran through long grass where Kampala now stands.
All our houses were made of reeds, dried elephant grass, stripped and polished,
with the roof of thatch and the floor of stamped mud, cow-dunged once a week
to keep down jiggers, etc. The frame work of the houses was made of palmpoles
and the life of the better built ones was limited to about five years. They
were cool, economical, and pleasant to live in, but harboured rats and were
liable to be totally destroyed by fire, either being struck by lightning or set
alight by over zealous boys trying to burn out ensanafu, the fierce biting
soldier ants. Once ignited they blazed furiously owing to the dried grass in
the walls and thatch and but little could be saved.
The health of Europeans was poor. Ross had not yet worked out his
mosquito theory of malaria and though we used nets it was only to reduce the
annoyance of the bites.
Living was distinctly poor and very expensive. It is true goat's meat
and occasionally beef could be procured, and milk and butter, but the great
lack was bread. English flour was Shs. 3 per pound and at that price
prohibitive. The native flour was ground very coarsely and full of grit so that
it brought on stomach trouble. For three years after our arrival we had to do
without bread, using roasted bananas or hard biscuits as a substitute but the
latter were too dear for everyday consumption. Sugar too was in the same
category and we quickly dropped that out of our menus. Soap was very
expensive, and I remember thinking I had got a bargain when I bought
three bars of common yellow washing soap for a guinea Lamps were a
difficulty. Most of us used the Army and Navy "Empress" lamp which by an
ingenious clockwork mechanism does without a glass chimney by utilizing a
powerful current of air. The usual four gallon debbe of kerosene cost 4
sterling, and on the long journey up from the coast, though it was cased in
wood, the crafty carrier with an ingenuity worthy of a better cause would
hammer a long nail through the thin wooden casing and thereby reaped two
advantages, a grateful spray of oil diffusing over his bare back and his load
mysteriously, but very satisfactorily, decreasing in weight. We circumvented
him by ordering bar soap to be packed round the tin.
Sundried bricks began to be used for building in 1897 and as soon as the
railway drew near enough corrugated iron sheeting replaced thatch.
III. EARLY HOSPITAL WORK.
Owing to scarcity of equipment and the heavy price of drugs we had to
improvise a- good deal. The first operations were done on a camp bedstead,
the instruments sterilized in our cooking saucepans, and laid out in vegetable
dishes filled with antiseptics. We soon, however, constructed tables, cupboards,
The first Hospital, opened in May, 1897, consisted of two blocks, with six
beds in each, one for men and one for women. The walls were made of
elephant grass, with thatched roofs, and mud floors. The bedsteads were
manufactured from palmpoles, the bedding was of bark cloth and the mattresses
of plantain fibre.
The second Hospital, a much bigger one, was opened by Sir Harry Johnston,
Her Majesty Queen Victoria's Special Commissioner, in 1900, and showed a big
advance. The architect was Mr. Borup, still happily with us, and it was a
graceful wattle and daub structure with two lofty towers. Unhappily the roof
had to be of thatch, and in November, 1902, it was struck by lightning and
totally destroyed. It contained some forty beds. By the time the third hospital
was built rail head had reached the Lake and we could build with European
Miss Timpson, who later became Mrs. Cook, presided over the nursing
arrangements of the Hospital and trained first native boys and then natives
girls as ward attendants.
We introduced the natives to the advantages of anesthetics and antiseptics
and the resources of modern surgery. We also started vaccinations to protect
from small-pox and these at once became most popular with the natives. The
introduction of vaccination was somewhat dramatic. On September 3rd, 1896
as I was stepping into the train which took us to the Docks, an elder brother,
a doctor at Hampstead, gave me a couple of tubes of human lymph, saying
"You may find these useful in Central Africa." I slipped the little wooden
case into my pocket and forgot all about it during the six months' journey.
Three months after arrival a Chief came to me (as a matter of fact it was
Ham Mukasa the former Sekibobo) and said: 'Sebo,' have you any 'dagala'
(medicine) for small-pox? An epidemic is approaching the Capital."-In
civilized countries this fell disease has lost its menace. Thanks to the sterling
common sense of our parents, we have all been vaccinated in infancy (at least
I hope so 1) and revaccinated in youth. But out here when small-pox strikes
a country it sweeps through it like some destroying pestilence. Many die,
many become blind or deaf or terribly pock-marked for life.
So when Ham spoke I thought of my tubes of vaccine and went to look
for them. I found them all right, and remember holding them up to the light
and wondering if, after nine months, the little amber-coloured drops of fluid
retained any potency. However I vaccinated some boys and sent them away
with strict injunctions to turn up in a week. I did not know my African boy
then. Of course they failed to turn up and there the matter would have ended,
had not my wife happened a few days later to notice one of the said boys
with an obvious vaccination mark playing about in the native market. So she
collared him with no uncertain hand and brought him up to our primitive
dispensary and then and there with somewhat trembling fingers-consider the
issues at stake-I sucked up the precious droplets in capillary tubes and with
them vaccinated some people I really could keep under observation. A week
later, from them I inoculated a dozen (arm to arm vaccination), a week later 30,
then 50, 100, and at last, with my helpers, over 800 in one day. They almost
stormed the Dispensary in their anxiety to be done. There were no
"conscientious objectors" in Uganda
IV. THE SUDANESE MUTINY.
On our arrival the Kabaka Mwanga was still on the throne but hints of
trouble began to rise. It is true that he and his leading chiefs attended the
festivities in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee but shortly after that
he fled by night from the Lubiri and raised the standard of revolt in Buddu
with the amiable intention of wiping the Europeans out of the country. He
did not succeed in doing that but he did a good deal of damage. We got the
wounded from the ensuing battles in our hospital.
But worse things were in store, for in the autumn of 1897 an event
occurred which was within an ace of destroying, temporarily at least, British
rule in Uganda.
It happened in this way: Major Macdonald had been ordered to take a
strong expedition into the former Equatorial Provinces of the Egyptian Sudan
and thus forestall or at any rate checkmate Major Marchand who was known
to be advancing towards the same goal from the French colony on the Upper
Congo. The British expedition was to consist of ten European officers, an
escort of fifty Sikhs and three hundred Sudanese with seven Maxims. The
three companies of Sudanese were to be taken from Uganda and were to join
the expedition at the Eldama Ravine where the road from Uganda descends
into the Rift Valley. The main expedition left the Coast in detachments during
the middle of 1897. The call for a Sudanese escort reached Uganda at an
unlucky time. The three efficient companies of Sudanese had been overworked
by the expeditions to Kamasia and Buddu and on their return from the latter
place they were ordered to start at once on a prolonged journey (the expedition
was under sealed orders) to an unknown destination. Their pay was months
in arrear and worst of all they were forbidden to take their women with them.
These latter besides cooking their food usually acted as their porters.
Their Commandant, Major Ternan, who was proceeding home took them
as far as the Ravine where they struck north to join Macdonald's party. Two
days later they deserted in a body and returned to the Eldama Ravine to
complain to Mr. Jackson, then Acting Commissioner. The late Professor Gregory
in his book "The Foundation of British East Africa" gives an excellent connected
account of the beginnings of the trouble. He wrote "So far the act was a
matter of insubordination and not of mutiny. When the first of the Sudanese
reached Eldama they were ordered to lay down their arms and go into the
Fort. They refused to do anything until the rest of their party had arrived.
Captain Kirkpatrick threatened to fire upon them if they persisted in
disobedience. The reply was that he might fire. The Maxim gun was brought
out against the protests of Lieutenant Fielding who, though junior in rank to
Captain Kirkpatrick, was senior in East African service and in experience of
the Sudanese. His protests were disregarded, and the Maxim was trained
upon the Sudanese and Kirkpatrick gave the order to open fire. The gun,
according to the official account, jammed. According to the unofficial account,
it did not fire from a cause which reflects little discredit on the mechanism
of the gun and much credit on the men behind it."
As Kirkpatrick could not shoot down the Sudanese with the Maxim, he
ordered the garrison to use their rifles. They could not disobey but they took
care to fire high and no blood was shed. But the Sudanese were outraged
by this reward for their years of loyal service and fled from the fort. Next
day they were interviewed by Mr. Jackson. The tone of his report suggests
that he believed the men's story and sympathized with their grievances. He
had no option, however, but to order the men to return to Macdonald and they
absolutely refused. After a short delay they marched to Fort Nandi,
eighty miles to the west, over-powered Captain Bagnall who was in charge and
ignorant of what had been happening, and looted the fort, getting some
80,000 rounds of ammunition.
At Kampala the first news of the mutiny reached us on October 7th, 1897,
in the shape of a rumour that there had been severe fighting at the Ravine,
and that the 300 Sudanese troops were marching back here. It must be
remembered that there were no telegraphs or telephones in those days. All
communications were by runners. The eight ladies of our Mission were all
brought in to the Capital and we could only wait.
Quoting partly from my journal and partly from a letter of mine, written
at the time, and published (unknown to me) in "The Times" of December
20th, 1897, I find I wrote on October 23rd: "About three weeks ago 300 Sudanese
soldiers who had been sent from the Kampala garrison, mutinied at the
Ravine and looted a large store of the Government Agents. As you know all
the Government forts in Uganda are manned by Sudanese-perhaps 1,800 in all.
After revolting they determined to march back to Mengo (Kampala), raise the
standard of revolt, kill the Europeans, and start a Sudanese Kingdom here."
They looted Nandi and marched on to Mumia's. Here, Tomkins though he
had only heard native reports, had fully grasped the situation, and promptly
disarmed all his garrison, armed the few Swahilis he could get, and prepared
to fight. He cut down all the bushes around, and when the mutineers appeared
he so bluffed them that they failed to attack. Passing on through Busoga
they killed various natives and looted their cattle, finally appearing before the
Fort at Luba's. Meanwhile rumours of what was going on were brought to
us and Major Thruston, the Commandant, started off at once to meet the
Though repeatedly warned he declared he was perfectly confident as to
the loyalty of his men, and being a splendid Arabic scholar no doubt thought
he could persuade them to reasonable courses. He crossed over to Luba's and
admitted thirty of the mutineers to a conference. But they persuaded the rest
of the garrison to join them and seized Major Thruston and the civil officer,
Wilson, and tied them up. They then occupied the Fort. Of course the great
danger was a general rising of the Sudanese throughout Uganda and a massacre
of the Europeans. The news came through to us at midnight on October 18th
and seemed to get worse every hour. Seventy men had been chosen out of
the Kampala garrison and after swearing allegiance on the Koran were despatched
in the Government steam launch with a Maxim, to guard the crossing of the
Nile, under Scott the engineer. They arrived after the rebels had seized the
Fort, and in spite of the spirited protests of the Baganda with him who suspected
a trap Scott insisted on steaming up to the usual landing place, and on seeing
the Union Jack floating above the Fort shouted to the two sentries who came
down to meet him, if all was well. They respectfully answered that it was, so
he walked ashore only to be immediately seized, whereupon his seventy men
immediately went over to the enemy with their Maxim. They now numbered
over nine hundred well-armed and disciplined men, with two Maxims, and
merely waited for canoes to be ferried over the Lake as it narrows into the
Nile. We also heard that Weatherhead, our missionary at Bukalaba four miles
from the Fort had been seized, but that happily turned out to be untrue.
The next day at 7 a.m. all the men in the Capital were summoned down
to meet the Deputy Acting Commissioner, George Wilson, at Lugard's old Fort,
which alas was a fort no longer, but only a collection of three or four thatched
houses, for some busy-body thinking Lugard's pallisade and ditch no longer
necessary had some years before taken down the one and filled up the other.
I shall never forget the scene. There was not one military officer among us.
The only officer left ir the country, Captain Moloney, had hurried off with
eighty Sudanese, whose loyalty was more than- doubtful, to guard the Nile
We were about a dozen all told-a few Government civilian officers, three
or four traders and I think three missionaries. Rifles and ammunition were
served out and we prepared to meet events. I remember seeing one man trying
nervously to fit together the parts of a Maxim but it frankly puzzled him.
George Wilson, nicknamed "Tayari," was admirable. Arguing that if any of
us went down the hill to the 300 Sudanese and tried to disarm them, it would
be the signal for an immediate attack, he sent for their officers and was
perfectly frank. "You can overwhelm us," he said, "though we shall fight
to the last, but remember that Queen Victoria has a long arm and in two or
three months there will be a terrible reckoning for you to pay." The Sudanese
officers warmly professed their loyalty and went off and disarmed their men.
Just as the surrendered arms were being secured, a scribbled pencil note came
in from Captain Moloney saying: "For God's sake, disarm the Kampala
garrison. I am a prisoner in the hands of my men who have mutinied and
are marching on the Capital." Wilson immediately sent out the officers of the
disarmed troops who persuaded Moloney's men that it was to their own interest
to submit. They gave up their arms when only eight miles from the
On October 20th, Wilson decided to go with two or three thousand loyal
Baganda and all the Europeans he could get and fight the mutineers between
the Nile and Kampala. He asked for help from the Mission and my dear friend
Pilkington and myself volunteered, the former for interpreting and I for medical
work. As there were no such things as non-combatants we were of course armed.
Arrangements had been made for sending the ladies of the Mission to one
of the islands but the loyal natives pointed out that they would get rushed
and speared on the way, as the many Mohammedans and disloyal natives would
think the game was up and that we were giving up Uganda. So to their great
delight they were allowed to stay and did such yeoman service in looking after
the wounded, that the grateful Home Government later sent them each a
medal and ribbon with a bar, an unusual distinction for women at that time.
Meanwhile Pilkington and I started for the Fort on the afternoon of
October 20th only to find plans had fallen through. Wilson, quite rightly, had
listened to the expostulations of his officers that as head of the Government he
could not leave the Capital, and of the other ten, for one reason or another,
none could start then, though Wilson promised to send Captain Moloney after
us within forty-eight hours, as soon as he could get ready the Hotchkiss
three-pounder-the only piece of artillery the Protectorate owned. So we
marched away, two lay missionaries, at the head of Her Majesty's Forces
consisting of 3,000 Baganda. How we enjoyed it all The strong probability
that we should meet nine hundred disciplined troops before we reached the Nile
did not worry us in the least. It was late that day so we camped only seven
miles out, the watch-fires of our brave but totally undisciplined forces reddening
the sky. The next day we marched thirty-one miles. Early the next day,
October 22nd, we met a runner carrying aloft a letter in the usual cleft stick.
It bore the ominous inscription "To any white man" and was from Major
Macdonald saying that they had had a great fight with the rebels on October 19th,
that Lieutenant Fielding was killed and Jackson dangerously wounded, that
Major Thruston, Wilson and Scott had been murdered by the mutineers, that
he had many wounded and his only doctor also was wounded, and worst of all
that he had only six boxes of ammunition left and must retreat if attacked again.
We pressed eagerly on and reached the Lake at Lugumba's from which
we could see the Fort occupied by the rebels. By sunset we could only
obtain one small canoe, so we filled that up with ammunition and sent it over
to Macdonald, judging that to be his sorest need. Next morning a fleet of
canoes had collected and we went over with our native allies. The crossing at
Lugumba's is about five miles and making a detour round the Fort we reached
Macdonald's boma and received the warmest of welcomes and handed over
The next fortnight was very busy. Dr. Macpherson, whose efforts, -wounded
as he was, were beyond all praise, was more than grateful for my help. I was
speedily initiated into the mysteries of military surgery. The operating room
was my tent, the operating table a-ground-sheet. I had to make up antiseptic
lotions from the water in rock pools and to impress any one I could find to
act as anesthetist.
It was most instructive to see the bravery of the Baganda. Armed only
with their muzzle-loading guns they attacked the Sudanese outposts and drove
them in to the fort, pursuing them till themselves driven back by the mutineers
opening fire with the Maxims.
One native came to me and showed me what was obviously a bullet imbedded
in his knee and asked me to remove it. As there was no recent wound I asked
when he got it. "Oh", he said, "when fighting the Mohammedans four years
ago." Asked why he wanted it out he said he could not kneel down properly
or aim correctly. I thought that was a very soldier-like answer and so
extracted the bullet for him. But I am blest if he did not want to cram it
down his gun and fire it at his new enemies I On one occasion the officers were
so struck with the bravery of the Baganda that they lined up and gave them
a rousing cheer as they returned from a skirmish.
There remains but little more to tell about the Mutiny. The skill and
bravery of that fine Christian soldier and gentleman, Major (afterwards General)
Macdonald are known to all. He lost his own brother in one of the fights the
same day that our devoted fellow-missionary Pilkington was killed. Slowly
the Government forces gained the upper hand. Reinforcements from Machakos,
and later on from India, arrived and Uganda was saved. But it was in those
dark days that we won the affections as well as the respect of the people.
They realized that hospitals and dispensaries were meant to help them and
when Sir Harry Johnston opened our new and much enlarged hospital in 1900
they flocked to' it eagerly.
I have dealt in this account with only a small period of time, 1896 to 1899,
and there are quite a number of people in Kampala to-day who can remember
well the events which I have described. I cannot close without saying that
if I had my life's choice over again I would still choose the vocation of a
medical missionary. To attempt to heal the suffering body is much, to carry
the water of salvation to thirsty souls is more, but to combine the two is the
grandest life work a man can have.
By E. J. WAYLAND.
The salt lake of Katwe is in Busongora and, as most readers of this Journal
are aware, lies in the floor of the Western Rift Valley to the south-east of
Ruwenzori, and on the west or Toro side of the Kasinga channel, which is the
effluent of the relatively small reservoir of Lake George and flows into the great
Lake Edward. From the latter, Katwe is only about 800 yards distant, and on
account of the mosquitoes which swarm near the margin of the larger sheet of
water the locality is unhealthy.
The area is flat, thickly grassed, lightly bushed, hot and unusually dry, for it
misses much of the rain that falls on Ruwenzori and on the Ankole country east
of the Buhwezhu scarp.
Katwe is astonishing. Owing to the gradual rise of the ground toward its
rim one comes suddenly upon the immense cauldron-like hole in which the lake
lies; then one sees, almost at a glance, that its level is much below that of Lake
Edward, (1) and that its waters are red; indeed, from certain points of view,
There are times on a clear morning when Katwe is attractive, for its pink and
blue reflections have a strange compelling beauty of their own ; but sun-drenched and
shadowless at mid-day the place is unlovely, stifling and malodorous; and when
the long shadows of late afternoon display the cauldron in hard relief, and yet
again, and more emphatically, when its alarming form is slowly unveiled by the
vague light of a rising moon, Katwe seems an eerie spot befitting sinister
performances-a fiend-made meeting place, you might suppose, for the Devil and
(1) It is a curious fact that according to a map made by the Uganda-Congo Boundary
Commission (1906-1908) the level of Katwe is 74 feet above that of Lake Edward. My approximate
levelling showed Katwe to be lower than Edward by 95 feet. Levels taken by a Railway
Reconnaissance party declared Katwe to be 7'70 feet above Edward. My figure was sufficiently
confirmed, however, when engineers of the Uganda Public Works Department, starting from a
benchmark near the Government Salt Boma, determined the altitude-difference between Katwe
and Edward as 94'18 feet, the first mentioned lake being lower.
aso30o' 30 30s
MAP OF PARTS OF TORO ALBERT -
AND ANKLE, / ""
30, 1. UNG 3dT m
K30 30A 30
La. as, buffs agglorw ad e -. .
Pos,:i K-A g wn e...............
o.f ei, r e., ,, a. .........
+rso' ---- s--l-hs
0.30 4' I An d C es
+ K0. Va0- ------- -----.qi
St e4 ------ --
-00 0W ---- ---- ---
m- 30 I1e an= =ss 33O -
2. ..... 0. ....
E. N. 8.
GeologicaL Survey of Ugyardct.. 1934.
FIG. 1. The Western end of Lake Katw\e (on a clear day Ruwenzori would be
seen in the background).
[Photo. by E. J. Wayland]
FIG. 2. Current-bedded sediments (sub-aqueous volcanic tuffs) in the vicinity of
long extinct hot springs in the Katwe crater.
[Photo. by E. J. Wayland]
his friends. But if this bloody-watered pit is not the work of His Satanic
Highness (and in these sophisticated days we dare not think it so) neither is its
creepy influence completely out of keeping with its past association with Plutonic
H. M. Stanley (2), wrong for once, regarded Katwe as a relic of a vastly larger
lake of which George and Edward are but remnants. That such a lake existed in
the distant days of early Stone Age man there is the clearest proof, but of that great
sheet of water (Lake Obweruka I shall call it (8) Katwe is not a relic; nor is it an
ordinary pond. Neither, for the matter of that, is it unique. There are several
others of its kind, and there have been more in Busongora.
Approaching close to Katwe by the usual route from Fort Portal, or from
Mbarara, one comes upon a large, round, dry depression immediately north of the
road. This, too, was once a lake. (4) The saline clays that now compose its floor lie
high above the red waters of its nearby neighbour, to which, by some twist of
circumstance, it has lost its name. Thirty years ago this now generally dry lake
was known as Katwe, (5) but the present generation of salt-getters call it
Roughly north-east of Lake Katwe and to the south of parallel N. 0 2', which
coincides with the axis of the long western arm of Lake George, are other saline
lakes as will be seen by reference to the accompanying geological map. They,
too, are situated in circular depressions; those of Chambuga, Nyamunuka and
Duamsikizi are cauldron-like, after the manner of Katwe, while Kasenyi and
Kikorongo occupy saucer-like hollows. (6)
In the main there are two ways in which such depressions may be formed,
(a) by impact from above, as for example is the case with the meteorite craters of
Henbury in central Australia and of Wabar in Arabia, and (b) by explosive volcanic
action. The latter is by far the more common mode of origin and provides,
beyond question, the explanation of these saline crater lakes of Busongora. They
are not lava vents, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, for no igneous flows
have issued from their throats. They are explosion craters from which lumps of
rock, torn off from their parent masses at depth, were hurled out over the surface
(ejected blocks) together with balls of hot lava (bombs). The former are
common, the latter rare, and in some cases almost if not completely wanting.
The study of these ejectamenta has yielded some highly interesting results to
which reference will be made again in this article.
(2) In Darkest Africa," 1890, Vol. II, p. 315.
(3) It is convenient to have a name for this one-time vast lake. The choice of names is
unlimited. I have selected Obweruka, the name by which the Southern Bakonjo called Ruwenzori
(or at any rate the snow peaks) when Sir H. Johnston first visited them. From Ruwenzori the old
lake must have obtained some of its supplies during the days of the Great Ice Age.
(4) It is stiil a marsh or shallow lake during the rains.
(5) Stanley remarks that the name Katwe is rightly applied to the smaller of the two lakes,
while the larger (the present Katwe) was known as Mkiyo.
(6) It is interesting to note that Scott-Elliot on p. 127 of his book "A Naturalist in Mid-
Africa," 1896, says of two crater lakes between Kikorongo and Katwe (Ohambura and Nyamunuka ?):
" In both of these the levels seemed to me to be lower than that of the Nyanza."
The craters of Toro and Ankole, unlike those of Kigezi, are typically lavaless,
and they are of two kinds whose nature and characters will be readily understood
by perusal of the following table :-
TABLE OF CHARACTERS OF THE TWO MAIN TYPES OF VOLCANOES
IN EASTERN-CENTRAL AFRICA.
Typical cones built up of ashes, tuffs,
agglomerates, mud-flows, lavas and
Caldera-type explosion vents.
No cones, but rims slightly elevated
after the fashion of a hole made in a
tin by driving a nail upwards through it.
Ejectamenta directly traceable to these
craters is not always easy to discover.
Present crater bottoms usually above Present crater bottoms typically below
the general surface of the surrounding the surface of the surrounding country
Crater lakes not infrequently present. Crater lakes typically present-some,
The surface of the lakes are character- however, are dry nowadays.
istically above the level of the ground- The surface of the lakes are charac-
water surface, i.e., the water-table. teristically at or very near the level of
Lakes more or less fresh as a rule. Lakes commonly saline.
Associated with Rift Valleys.
Typically situated among very ancient Typically situated among very young
(largely crystalline) rocks. sedimentary rocks (ordinary lacustrine
sediments or sub-aqueous volcanic
Craters blown through lacustrine
e.g., Simbi (Kavirondo), etc.
Craters blown through sub-aqueous
Katwe, Kikorongo (Uganda), etc.
Built-up lava cones.
Mufumbiro mountains (Uganda), Mt.
Kenya (Kenya Colony), etc.
Built-up tuff and ash cones.
The well known volcanoes near Fort
The table provides a general statement to which there are some exceptions.
Katwe is an explosion crater of the coneless or caldera type blown through pre-
existing deposits of volcanic ashes which, having been shot sky high, were spread
over part of the floor of that vast lake Obweruka whose erstwhile existence was first
aOO,*. .ove M.S.L.
MAP OF LAKE KATWE
.... X... A- Tt....
NOTB.-Zahe showskaJ. famanw anct prwmltrLn6
shreehad a hn re tKaltd rnoe aE ia~r
frolr Ano~wl*m (rf fa~.fodrafd.
S. d.f.ro byasetj.*ml
A..p YmJO. /teBr.10.
-.&w-ean s-r zr u,.e
recognized, as we have seen, by Stanley. The strikingly layered character of these
interbedded deposits (7) (tuffs as they are called), together with their thickness, is
indicative of a lengthy period of intermittent unrest whose close was marked, or
whose relatively feeble recrudescence was signalled by subterranean explosions
which drilled great holes (like that of Katwe) through the water-laid ash deposits
above. But this was after Obweruka had dwindled, as the clean-cut sides of the
craters clearly testify. Some if not all of these disturbing events were witnessed
by early man, for the ashes accumulated during the second half of the first Pluvial
period, and in 1923 I first recovered primitive stone tools from deposits of this age
further north.(s) These explosion craters came into being much later than the
bedded tuffs, and echo of their activity may possibly be found in the folk tales of
the Native peoples.
The Bakonjo of Ruwenzori tell that the Bachwezi, a legendary race of
wizards, rose from the craters of Toro and returned thereto after a short and
vigorous regime. This tradition may perhaps recall a misinterpreted and not
easily forgotten time-coincidence of volcanic disturbances and the unwelcome
arrival of a conquering horde--the ancestors, it may be, of the present Bahima.
That the latest subterranean outbursts in Toro are within reach of race memory
seems to be indicated by a well varnished narrative of the exploits of a certain
Stanley, writing in 1875, (9) records the doings of one, Magassa, an ambitious
and crafty individual, who flourished in the reign and under the aegis of Mutesa.
The former, it seems, having eaten up the lands of the Pokino, and later those
of Namujurilwa, was ordered to eat up the country of Busongora. Among the
difficulties of his successful campaign were those arising out of the nature of the
country itself, for the plain of Busongora, it was claimed, was covered "with salt
and alkali, which intemperately eaten causes many deaths; and in the valleys
spring up mudsprings, and from the summit of conical hills strange fire and
smoke issue, and now and then the very earth utters a rumbling sound and begins
to shake." This information was provided by Magassa himself after the Baganda
invasion of Busongora in 1873; and a youth who accompanied Magassa told a
similar story. (10) Writing of Busongora in June, 1889, however, Stanley says (u)
" The wide expanses of flats with efflorescing natron, teeming with hot springs and
muddy geysers turned out to be pure exaggerations of an imaginative boy." I
venture to think, however, that the statements are more significant than that.
Perhaps Stanley would have thought so too had he realized the volcanic nature of
the country and the fact that Katwe is a crater, which, remarkably enough, he
failed to do.
(7) This sub-aqueous volcanic material is interbedded with normal lacustrine deposits ; locally,
however, it is dominant or even quite exclusive. This subaqueous series, with or without volcanic
material, is known as the Kaiso Beds (see Geological Map).
(8) Geological Survey Files (unpublished.)
(9) Through the Darkest Continent," 1878, Vol. I, p. 391.
(10) Ibid p. 427.
(11) "In Darkest Africa," 1890, Vol. II, p. 310.
Magassa's vivid description consistently depicts a dying phase of volcanicity,
and the mention of mud volcanoes is particularly interesting as none are known in
the area to-day. They are expressions of a transient and seldom-seen phenomenon,
and as a concept they are not in the least likely to be no more than a product of
a rather vivid Native imagination. With Stanley, I reject the statements of Magassa
and the youth. I do not believe they witnessed the natural wonders they described,
but I think it very probable that Magassa, for purposes of emphasising his own
prowess, and of exaggerating before Mutesa the difficulties of the task he (Magassa)
had performed, incorporated into the story of his adventures a tradition then
current in the conquered territory. If that indeed is the true explanation, then the
comparative lateness of volcanicity in Busongora is well attested.
For the soundest reasons these craters cannot be regarded as geologically
ancient. They must post-date the second half of the first Pluvial period because
they pierce deposits of that age. The first Pluvial was followed by another after
a long interval of dry climate, and was itself interrupted by an oscillation to less
moist conditions. Following upon the second Pluvial were additional though less
severe climatic changes.
The volcanoes exhibit a degree of freshness that forbids one to suppose
them to have suffered from the ravages which the denuding power of such
climatic onslaughts would inflict upon the relatively unresisting beds in which
the craters lie; and so far as we can at present tell the second Pluvial passed away
some 6,000 years B.C. It will thus be realized that Katwe is not likely to be
more, and is very likely to be considerably less, than 10,000 years old.
The accompanying map of Katwe and its immediate surroundings was
made by Dr. A. W. Groves, late of the Geological Survey of Uganda. It shows
at a glance that the Katwe depression is a trinity of craters (12) and that its depth
is about 300 feet. A remarkable and significant feature is the persistent
shallowness of the water, and its rare major fluctuations are of special interest.
The Lake is very seldom much more than 4 feet deep at the centre, and seldom
much less. Its annual rise and fall appears to total about a foot. Few places
in the Protectorate can boast higher temperatures than the bottom of the Katwe
crater in the dry season.(8) There the evaporation ratio must be decidedly
high, and the fact that the lake does not dry up during the long droughts gives
one seriously to think. It is true that some springs enter the lake, bat as I have
shown elsewhere,(14) it would appear most probable that evaporation is sufficiently
high to remove all, and more than all, the water that enters the crater as rain,
run off or as springs from above and below; but if this were not the case one
would still expect a decided fall of level during the rainless months.
(12) Hope, Faith and Charity I should like to call them. Hope is the one that is dry, but
which, I believe and hope, could be made to yield abundant salt from below. .Faith is the smaller
of the two containing water. It yields the evidence upon which the interpretation of the structure
of the craters is based and leads to faith in the real bigness of the supplies. Charity is the largest
of the craters. It provides most of the salt, and from its side issues a spring (No. 8) of the most
potable water in the district.
(13) A. F. R. Wollaston remarked ("From Ruwenzori to the Congo," 1908, p. 117): Katwe
has the reputation of being the hottest place in Uganda, which I can well believe."
(14) "Notes on Lake Katwe," 1931. (An unpublished Report of the Geological Survey).
FIG. 3. A neck of carbonate of lime (calcareous tufa), south
side of Katwe crater-see map.
[Photo. by E. J. Wayland]
FIG. 4. Slabs of No. 3 salt showing ripple marks.
[Photo. by E. J. Wayland]
There is, too, another, and I think diagnostic point. From such evidence as
can be gathered, as well as from logical expectation, there is reason to believe
that the level of Lake Edward has fluctuated, as those of the other greater
equatorial lakes Albert, Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyassa have done, more or less
with sunspot cycles. On first enquiry Katwe would seem to have behaved
similarly, but close analysis of the available facts searched out of the works of
Stanley, Sir William Garstin, The Duke of Mecklenburg and Dr. C. E. P. Brooks,
and from rainfall records and first-hand information supplied by natives and
Europeans (1 leads to the conclusion that fluctuations of the level of Lake Katwe
are very closely associated with rainfall and very little, if at all, with sunspot
cycles, and that in relation to seasonal climatic oscillations the level-changes of
Katwe lake, although responsive, display a lag.
In addition to its salinity, of which a word will be said later, Lake Katwe
has several peculiarities :-
(a) Its level is nearly 100 feet below Lake Edward which is only
about 800 yards away.
(b) Its visible feeders, both from above and below, are insufficient to
account for its presence in an area characterized as its environs are, by
low rainfall and high evaporation.
(c) So shallow a lake should respond very obviously to differences
in amount of evaporation, and one would expect it to be, like its near
neighbour Munyanyangi, a lake or marsh in the wet season only. But the
Katwe puddle (one might almost think of it as that) has never been known
completely to dry up.
(d) In spite of the fact that it is not much more than waist-deep in
the middle, and gradually fades out to no depth at the periphery-a mere
film of water-its annual fluctuations are astonishingly slight. On one
occasion, however, (1929) it has been known to decrease its depth by about
three-quarters of its normal amount, and on another occasion (1917) it has
about doubled its depth. Both of these fluctuations can be shown to be
associated with unusual conditions of rainfall.
(e) Apart from these rare occurrences and the slight annual oscillations,
to the best of our knowledge the general level of the lake has not materially
altered for at least 55 years, and perhaps not for more than double that
period. Its stability indeed is one of its outstanding features.
(f) Another appears to be that while its want of response to changes of
evaporation (such as those accompanying sunspot cycles) is notable, it is
clearly affected by oscillations in the rainfall.
It would appear then that in essential characters Katwe differs fundamentally
from Edward; and that the one thing the former cannot be is just a pool of water
in a hole. The clue to the real nature of the lake is provided by three facts:
(a) its ready, though neither very marked nor immediate response to rainfall,
(b) its want of response to a highly important climatic factor which, unlike rain,
cannot penetrate deeply; I refer, of course, to evaporation ; and (c) the
comparative insignificance of its normal annual oscillations.
(15) lo. oit.
To my mind these facts considered in relation to the environment of Katwe
can point but one conclusion; namely, that the surface of the Lake is that of the
water table (i.e., the saturation level of ground waters). To this it may be
objected that the seasonal rise and fall of the ground water should be more than
a few inches; but experimental evidence does not support that view. (6)
This conclusion as to the nature of the lake solves the problem of its
existence. In fact it may be said that Katwe is not a lake at all (in the sense
that a lake is a hollow in which water collects directly by gravity) but a bit of
the water-table exposed by reason of the depth of the crater-in other words Katwe
is a gigantic natural well, drilled not from above but from below by volcanic forces.
From the economic point of view the salinity of the lake is its interesting
feature, and it is no less important in the consideration of the lake's origin and
the source, quality and quantity of the available Katwe salt supplies.
Besides common salt (sodium chloride), soda (sodium carbonate) and
Glauber's salt (sodium sulphate) occur in conspicuous amounts, and a proportion
of potassium chloride and/or sulphate and carbonate is present in the water. In
addition to these dissolved substances there is a three-inch layer of "salt"
containing them all in varying proportions covering the bottom of the lake.
Apart from the three-inch bottom layer, which is constantly being replaced by
Nature as it is being removed by man, there are upwards of 400,000 tons of saline
material in solution, and assuming that the lake has been worked for no more
than 60 years, (17) and that, despite probabilities to the contrary, the annual output
has not exceeded that averaged for the period 1923-1929 inclusive (i.e., 1,173"3
tons) then the sum-total of salt, thus calculated, is over 470,000 tons. Whence
came this supply ?
The springs that feed into the lake are non-saline and small, and all of them
save one (No. 8) issuing from the crater sides dry up during the rainless season,
and as Groves has shown (18) the tuffs composing the crater walls contain no more
than "mere traces of soluble chlorides." Mere traces, however, can lead to large
concentrations. The great rivers that debouch into the sea are not noticeably
saline, but their contributions during geological time have so accumulated that
the total quantity of salt at present contained in the oceans is equivalent to four
and a half million cubic miles of rock-salt, or about fourteen and a half times the
bulk of the entire continent of Europe above high-water mark. (19)
There is another possible but small source of supply which may be
considered: that is atmospheric chlorine derived from distant seas. This can be
represented only by an extremely small quantity which could hardly account for
(16) In order to obtain information with regard to fluctuations of the water table a drilled
well at Entebbe was kept open and the water-level measured daily over a period of years. The
seasonal rise and fall amounted to about one foot.
(17) There is very good reason for believing that it has been worked for at least that period
(Stanley, H. M., "Through the Dark Continent," pp. 311, 439 and 473).
(18) "Report on the Nature, Origin and Available Supply of the Salt of Lakes Katwe and
Kasenyi, with Notes on Lake Kikorongo and an appendix on the Petrology of the Volcanic Bombs
of the District," Geological Survey (unpublished).
(19) Encyl. Brit. 11th. Ed. Vol. XXIV, 1911, p. 87.
Lip of xctlwe Crater
LAKE KATWE A.
*- ; .-n-e..
a enss o' rin.os. --
ciokedA wit&, Crystane
sh .ered vockr
+ + + +
+ + + + +
Solid-, but siwU,
very htot, lca'es.
HYPOTHETICAL SECTION OF THE KATWE CRATER & VOLCANIC THROAT
(Not drawn to any Scale)
an ounce or so of salt per acre per annum. But let us assume it to be as much
as three lbs. and so that the contributions of the tuffs, carried by run-off during rains
and by springs, may be included let us double that amount, thus making it six lbs.
per acre each year. At that rate (almost certainly an excessive one), and
assuming that all the salt reaches the lake, it would take nearly 120,000 years for
all the salt already taken from the lake, plus that remaining in solution (and still
neglecting the three-inch bottom deposit) to accumulate. We have already seen that
the Katwe crater is not likely to be older than 10,000 years, wherefrom it would
appear that considerably more than 430,000 tons of salts are unaccounted for by
visible sources of supply. In addition to this, a case has been made out to show
that the salinity of Katwe is increasing, and that Katwe is not the only salt lake
in Busongora that exhibits this peculiarity. (20) Be this as it may, there can be
little doubt that a very small proportion of the saline content of Katwe finds its
way into the crater from above, thus we are left with no alternative but to accept
a subterranean origin for the main salt supplies of the lake. But the salt itself
has still to be accounted for.
Igneous activity has gone on under the site of Katwe and other parts of
Busongora for a very long time, and there are calcium carbonate (carbonate of lime),
or tufa, stacks in the crater which were built up by one-time hot springs which
dropped the less soluble constituents of their dissolved load on cooling (Fig. 3).
This same substance occurs locally in the subaqueous ash beds and lacustrine
sediments of the old lake Obweruka through which the crater was blown (Kaiso
beds), and in those places the continuity of the normally flat bedding of the
deposits is disturbed, the bedding is inclined, and has been so from the first, as a
result of small currents locally engendered by the rising waters of hot springs
that deposited the carbonate, but the beds in these places are not as a rule
noticeably saline (Fig. 2). The clue to the origin of the salt is provided by the
volcanic bombs referred to earlier in this article. They show that the molten
mass from which they were derived was alkaline, and that easily decomposed
sodium-bearing minerals (such as nepheline, a silicate of sodium, aluminium and
potassium) are present at depth.
It is well known that during a late phase of volcanicity gases and solutions
capable of strong decomposing action, and thereby of forming large quantities of
soluble chlorides, sulphates and some other substances, rise from below
surfacewards. The work of these active salt-producing agents would be
particularly effective in the throat of a volcanic vent like that which must
underlie Katwe where, by reason of the shattered nature of the materials choking
the passage, surface areas available for interaction are in the aggregate large.
During such a time of active chemical interchange this zone of shattered rock-
filling would be saturated with scalding solutions and overlain by successively
cooler waters till the surface of the lake was reached. In these circumstances
convection currents must arise in consequence of the temperature gradient so
that hot salt-charged water rises from below, cooling as it rises, to be replaced
by relatively cold water from above which, as it descends and gathers heat, slows,
stops, then starts an upward journey carrying, in its turn, soluble substances which
(20) Groves, A. W., loo. cit.
will be deposited in the crater above by cooling and evaporation. A circulatory
system such as this can only exist in the presence of abundant water, and the
surface of Katwe, we have found, is also that of the subterranean saturation zone.
The conditions then for this kind of lacustrine concentration are particularly
In addition to common salt a number of other soluble substances will be
brought up and thrown out of solution during ascent in the inverse order of
their solubility as successively cooler zones are reached. Carbonate of lime,
for example, will be discarded fairly early. So long as depth temperatures
remain very high it will reach the ground commonly by way of boiling springs,
and these will deposit their loads of lime-salts on experiencing cooling effects
at the surface. In this way the tufa stacks and other calcareous accumulations
already referred to have been built up. As depth temperatures die down with
the passage of time calcium carbonate will be thrown out of solution at
successively lower levels, and the vigorously boiling springs of earlier days will
be converted into warm seeps which reach the surface by means of conduits
lined with tufa; for heated waters rising by convection up the throat of the
crater to cooler zones will deposit their less soluble loads largely along the
sides of their channels where the hot solutions are chilled by contact with the cold
ground-waters. Thus, it seems to me, a volcanic vent, such as that of Katwe,
must for a considerable depth seal off its content more or less completely from
the ground waters which surround it, thereby conserving within its walls the
salts that are carried by convection so usefully to surface, and sealing off the
brine that would contaminate the waters of a well should one be put down
outside the crater (see Hypothetical Section.)
Three grades of salt, numbered in their order of purity, are recognized at
Katwe. No. 1 salt separates out in crystals on the surface of the water, No. 2
is formed by evaporation in "pans" purposefully dug in the mud beside the
lake, and No. 3 is the three-inch accumulation on the bottom already referred to.
The methods employed in collecting the salt have been described by several
writers, and the following details serve to complete the picture. No. 1 salt may
form in relatively small quantities at any time except during rains. Its
formation is largely dependent on wind. At the time of my visit, January, 193 L,
No. 1 salt was making its appearance in the south-west end of the lake, towards
which a fairly strong wind was blowing (Fig. 5). The little cubes of salt,
it was found, grow along two crystallographic axes (those in the plane of the
water surface) much more rapidly than along the third axis (normal to the plane
of the water surface). Platy aggregations, one crystal thick, rapidly form until
they cover an area roughly equal to that represented by one's open hand; they
are then in a very delicate state of buoyancy-equilibrium, and the slightest touch,
a tiny wavelet or any other disturbance of the water will upset them so that
they collapse to the bottom to add to the No. 3 deposit. No attempt is made by
the natives to secure these relatively small supplies of material before they drop
to the bottom. They are not skimmed off the top; indeed, I am told that the
skimming one hears of is never resorted to.
FIG. 5. No. 1 salt forming on the surface of Katwe lake.
[Photo hb E. J. Wayqlarnl
FIG. 6. Pans for the production of No. 2 salt. [Photo. by E. J. Waylaid
No. 1 salt is collected only when conditions for its formation. and collection
are most favourable. This is at the end of the dry season, generally in March,
when a strong wind blows from the west and drives nearly all of the No. 1 salt
to the eastern shore where it forms as a belt five or six yards in width. Here
the salt-getters scrape it up on to the shore by means of pieces of wood. The
natives state that when No. 1 is forming one man can scrape up as much as
2,000 lbs. of salt per day.
As described by several writers, No. 2 salt is obtained in pans (Fig. 6). It
can be secured in three or four days ; but by waiting five days, I am told, more than
1,000 lbs. of salt can be recovered from a single pan of about twenty feet
diameter. (1) But in order to obtain so much it is necessary to assist the natural
process. Salt very soon forms a kind of scum on the surface of the water; when
this appears it is necessary to dip water from the pan and throw it on top of the
scum which then sinks and fresh scum is formed and is similarly treated; and so
on till the water dries up.
No. 3 salt is broken into slabs, by means of pointed poles, while still on the
bottom of the lake, the slabs thus obtained are loaded each on to a little raft of
which there is a series strung together. They are then pulled ashore.
The surface of the No. 3 salt is often beautifully ripple-marked like fine sand
on the floor of a shallow sea (Fig. 4).
Compared with salt extracted from the ocean, that of Katwe has some
peculiarities. For one thing, when fairly pure it commonly displays a delicate
blush on account of the water in which it crystallised. Many salt-lakes are pink
or red, but the pigment is not of mineral origin. Samples of the Katwe water
submitted for determination of the colouring agent were shown by
Mr. E. C. Haddon, Analytical Chemist to the Medical Department, to owe their
hue to a coloured protein of bacterial origin. Bacteria cannot live in the brine
of the lake but they are washed in, it would seem, dead or alive during rains,
there to accumulate and to remain for centuries in pickle-and in the pink, so to
Katwe salt is never quite pure, and the No. 3 variety is a mixed company
withal, among whose members are soda, Glauber's salt, an unexpectedly high
percentage of a potassium compound and more than a little mud. These habitues
of the three-inch layer are frequently more or less separately stratified, and
Mr. W. C. Simmons of the Geological Survey has shown that the deposition of any
one of the three main solutes, the chloride (salt) the carbonate (soda) or the
sulphate (Glauber's salt), may tend to be dominant at different hours of the day in
response to changing conditions of atmospheric temperature and pressure; but
because common salt is in great excess over other dissolved substances, it
represents by far the major part of crystalline material thrown out of solution.
Analyses made by Dr. Groves in the Geological Survey laboratory in Entebbe show
that the potassium content of total solids dissolved in the waters of the lake is
8-45%. This is decidedly high, but it is in keeping with the interesting and
geologically significant fact that the volcanic rocks of the Western Rift (in
Uganda) are potassic while those of the Eastern Rift (in Kenya) are sodic, and it
(21) I am not prepared to say that these figures are reliable.
leads one to consider the possibility of extracting potash in a form suitable for
fertilising purposes. Experiments conducted to this end at the Imperial Institute
have shown that it is possible to concentrate the potash by solution and recrystallis-
ation of the salt, but it is not possible by this means to decrease at the same time
the percentage of carbonate; the resulting product therefore is unsuited to plant
The interest of Katwe is not confined to the history of the crater and the
origin of its salt. Professor Arthur Holmes has shown, by study of ejected blocks
and bombs, that in all probability Katwe and other explosion craters in Busongora
overlie kimberlite pipes (as), and it is from such pipes that diamonds are obtained
in South Africa and Tanganyika Territory. In this connection it is interesting to
note that a Katwe-type crater lake, known as the Salt Pan, exists near Pretoria in
the Transvaal, and an attempt has been made of late to show that it is a meteorite
crater. (4) The case is based largely on negative evidence, the absence of bombs
being a major point, but as I have indicated bombs are not common at Katwe,
whose volcanic origin is beyond question, and it is not unlikely that among those
collected therefrom are some that were derived not from the vent but from the
pre-existing tuffs through which the crater is blown; moreover at Simbi, in
Southern Kavirondo (see table on p. 4), there is a saline crater lake resembling
Katwe in all its essential features, and affording, so far as I know, no volcanic
In the company of some distinguished South African geologists I have on
two occasions visited the Salt Pan, and I am of opinion that it is an explosion
crater-a distant outlier, so to say, of the East African volcanic field, one of whose
characteristics is the occurrence of a form of volcano excellently typified by
(22) Ann. Rept., Imp. Inst., 1932, p. 42, and official correspondence.
(23) Holmes, A., and Harwood, H. F., "Petrology of the Volcanic Fields East and South East
of Ruwenzori, Uganda," Q. J. G. S., Vol. LXXXVIII, part 2,1982.
(24) Rohleder, H. P. T., "The Steinheim Basin and The Pretoria Salt Pan." Geol. Mag.,
The British Museum (Natural History)
Expedition to the Birunga Volcanoes,
By R. AKBOYD, F.R.G.S.
The gorilla case with its natural surroundings in the British Museum (Natural
History) at South Kensington had been in abeyance for some years. In May of
last year I made an offer to the Directors to undertake an expedition to collect
the required material in S.W. Uganda. All the expedition's equipment and
stores were sent on ahead and I sailed from Marseilles on October 28th, 1933,
arriving at Kampala on November 19th to start organising the expedition. As
this was the first botanical expedition I had undertaken, I had to collect as much
information as possible before setting out; some of this was kindly given to me
by the Forest and Agricultural Departments at Entebbe. I arrived at Kabale on
November 25th and spent three days with Mr. F. H. Rogers, the District
Commissioner there, who was most helpful throughout the time I was in his District,
discussing routes and the country 1 was going to work in.
One of the first important items I had to decide on was the size of the boxes
required for packing the specimens, and also that of the presses to dry the plants,
all of which had to be made at Kabale. This was a matter of conjecture, which
luckily turned out to be correct. The size of the presses was 3 ft. by 2 ft. These
held comfortably any large plants, ferns and leaves I collected. I also took
200 lbs. of old newspapers, to be used as drying material for the collection. The
expedition consisting of forty-two porters started off from Kabale on November
28th, the first march being a short one to Lake Bunyoni which is 200 ft. in
altitude above Kabale. We crossed the Lake in dugouts and on arrival at
Bufundi Rest House found Capt. and Mrs. Pitman who were returning from a
tour in the gorilla country and they kindly gave me some valuable information
about the conditions there. The Birunga or Bufumbiro mountains, as they are
sometimes called, are a chain of volcanoes running from East to West, the
Northern slopes of the first three, Muhavura, Mgahinga and Sabinio, being in
Uganda; the Belgian boundary line runs over their summits. The remainder are
in Belgian Territory, Mt. Mekino being alone visible from Mabungo; there are
also two active ones, of which the glow can be seen on a cloudy night. The
slopes of all these volcanoes are, up to a certain altitude, covered with dense
bamboo forest which then gives way to the alpine zone right up to the craters.
It is here that the gorilla are to be found. Though abundant and more or less
stationary in the Belgian Congo over the border, they are here mostly migratory,
probably owing to being more frequently disturbed by the natives cutting bamboo
I left Bufundi Rest Camp on November 30th and arrived at Behungi Rest
Camp (8,214 ft.) after 3- hours march, an ascent of 2,000 ft. Here I had a good
view of the volcanoes from East to West with the lava plain down below, and also
found plenty of strawberries. The following day I continued with a descent of
2,000 to Nyakabande and from there to Gisoro and thence to Mabungo Rest Camp
(6,800 ft.) which was to be my future base camp, a march of four hours.
Mabungo is a useful base for any collecting expedition, the vegetable supply there
is particularly good, also the strawberries again, and it is within easy reach of the
volcanoes, Mt. Sabinio the furthest being only 4j hours march. Porters here are
easily obtained and their food supply arrived regularly every day while I was in
my high camps in the mountains. I started off on my first expedition to
Mt. Mgahinga, the middle one of the three volcanoes, on December 4th, with 27
porters; a gradual ascent from the plain, not difficult, brought us up to the saddle
between Muhavura and Mgahinga, where I pitched my first high camp at 10,000.
Grass huts were made for the porters, and any who remained with me received a
blanket. The weather was very cold at this time and heavy rain came on
occasionally and often lasted more than two hours and on one or two occasions
during the first two expeditions to the mountains my camp fire was put out.
I had as guides three Batwa, half pigmies. These people live on the slopes of the
mountains in the bamboo forests, are good hunters, and know the habits of the
gorilla; one of them used to keep the whole camp amused by his imitations of
that animal. The following day I made my first ascent to the crater and for the
first thousand feet we had to cut our way through dense bamboo to the heather
zone where the travelling became easier. We reached the top in 4j hours. On
my way up I saw a gorilla's nest of recent occupation with wild violets growing
in a bank close by. The giant lobelias, senecios and giant heather which grows
over 25 ft. high, were most interesting and wonderful, the first I had ever seen.
It was here my work lay. The composition of the working party I usually took
out was as follows:-Three Batwa; then myself with rifle followed by two men
carrying cameras; then eight porters carrying gunny bags (in which to put the
specimens) with an axe, saw and pangas. The time spent in the high camp was
three or four days and rather depended on the weather, as the bulk of the material
I had to collect dried easier at the Rest Camp where there was more sun and it
could he put under cover as soon as the rain started. For this purpose I always
left one responsible boy and two porters at the Rest Camp to watch the drying
and take over anything I sent down from the mountains. The giant lobelias gave
me most anxiety, as being very succulent they had to be split in two. The
following method was used which dried them in ten days: they were placed on a
sheet of corrugated iron, held up by wooden struts; a long trench was made
underneath and a fire lit; sacks were placed over the lobelias; this made them
steam and so dried them. Great care has to be taken that the heat of the fire is not
too great. The drying period would have been shorter but for interruptions by
rain. Amongst the other things I had to collect were sections of large and small
trees and their bark. All of these had to be numbered so as to fit together when
Batwa Half 1'l.r,. Guide.
Mt. Sabinio ( 11,9)t0 feet) and culiivaled lava plain (taken 4 hours from
Mt. Ral)inio (119,910 feet) frim ('amnp at 8.500 feet.
MI. 7ahlinga (11,40)( feet) and lava plain (taken 31 hours from base camp).
The lava plain is densely populated and cultivated; the soil is very rich but
has first to be cleared of the small and large volcanic rocks which strew it. The
water supply is underground, as all the streams from the volcanoes disappear on
reaching the plain.
After Christmas, which I spent at Kabale as the guest of Mr. F. H. Rogers, I made
a final expedition to the volcanoes to finish up. The bulk of the collection
had by this time been dried and was packed up in mats and boxes and sent in to
Kabale. On January 5th, 1934, I started off for the Kayonza Forest, three days'
march north of Mabungo, crossing Lake Mutanda for the purpose of collecting
tree ferns and a section of a very large tree. The area of this forest is approximately
150 square miles and there are only two regular trails through it, one of which, if
not used frequently, has to be kept cut. This area, which is not well known,
contains a collection of impenetrable hill forests some of which go up to 7,900 ft.
Gorillas are found here too but their number is uncertain. They live under
different conditions to those on the volcanoes, building their nests in the trees
about ten to twenty feet from the ground; they are probably a different race,
perhaps allied to those in the Ituri Forest. It was here that I got my only glimpse of
a gorilla family ; camped high up in a valley west of the Kashasha River I saw them
one early morning a long way off across the valley on a slope partly covered with
fern. Spending 2J hours cutting our way up the hill we arrived within a few
yards of them, but on hearing our approach they made off. I found lumps of
white stuff, quite warm, on the ground which they had just left ; no doubt they
had ejected what they had been chewing before they went off. This finished
a most interesting expedition and I returned to Kabale to spend three days in
packing up my collection and then left for Kampala, where I arrived on January
Ethnological Notes on the Karimojong.
By CAPTAIN E. M. PERSSE, M.c. (District Oficer, Uganda).
These notes were recorded in 1929 whilst I was in charge of the District of
Karamoja. They do not profess to cover as much ground as Wayland's valuable
"Preliminary Studies of the Tribes of Karamoja" (J.R.A.I, Vol. LXI, 1931)
published in 1931, and which I was therefore unable to consult at the time.
Fortunately, however, there has been no overlapping as these notes refer to the
Karimojong proper who were only briefly mentioned in his treatise on the
neighboring tribes. Like him, I suffered from the difficulties consequent upon
shortness of residence and interpretation through the medium of an alien tongue.
The Karimojong are one of the tribes inhabiting the more southerly portion
of the district known officially as Karamoja, which is situated in the most north-
easterly corner of Uganda, bordered on the north by the Sudan and on the east
by the North Turkana District of Kenya Colony. The origin of the word
Karamoja is uncertain and its adoption is possibly due to the influence of the early
Swahili traders and ivory poachers who were probably the first aliens to enter the
District, with the exception of the Abyssinians who used to claim suzerainty over
both this and the neighboring District of Turkana.
The following customs are not necessarily invariable nor do they pretend to
depict the mode of life of the younger generation. For convenience the word
"dowry" is used to denote the property paid for a wife.
MARRIAGE.-The system is polygynous, the number of wives being
limited solely by financial circumstances. Marriage is not permitted between
relations no matter how remote the degree of consanguinity.
Although there are no elaborate initiation ceremonies, such as those attending
the rite of circumcision amongst the Bagishu, no boy may marry until he has
been admitted by the elders to the status of manhood. Prior to this the boy must
pluck out the pubic hair. His father then gives him a bull which the boy kills
and shares with his male relations and friends, smearing himself all over with the
dung from the entrails and presenting his mother with the head, neck, hump,
stomach and ribs. His hair is cut by an adult male friend, who adds
the clippings to his own chignon, leaving a tuft (auput) at the back, to which a
short string is tied. When the hair grows again he moulds it into two buns, one
on top of the head and the other at the back, with coloured clay (obtainable from
Mt. Moruasagar in Turkana) worked into patterns. Into the bun at the back are
inserted metal eyelets (nikugwaleta) from front to back in which, by permission
of the elders, he may wear ostrich feathers. It is usual for several youths to be
presented at the same time for the approval of the elders. They are then regarded
as having reached marriageable age.
When a youth has attained manhood his father instructs him to seek for
himself a wife. He may already have a lover but if the father does not regard
her with favour another girl has to be found. Normally, however, no compulsion
is brought to bear upon either party to a marriage. Sexual connection is quite a
usual preliminary to actual marriage and cases are few in which the dowry is paid
for a girl before this has taken place. It is not uncommon for a youth to have
many lovers openly but public opinion forbids a girl to have more than one.
Formerly if a girl of many lovers became pregnant she had to name all her lovers,
each one of whom was liable to pay for his indiscretion, but the one to obtain her
hand in marriage was her principal lover even though he might not have been the
actual father of the child.
When the youth has found the girl of his choice he informs his father and
asks him to pay the dowry. The father sets off with the mother and other
relations in the morning to the home of the girl's father, a stockaded kraal. This
journey must not be undertaken at the period of new moon. When they arrive
they must enter through the cattle enclosure. The girl's father, having been
forewarned of the date of arrival, is supported by his relations and spreads cattle
hides for his guests in the courtyard (etem) and produces quantities of sorghum
beer and milk. Before drinking starts, the boy's father, having previously
ascertained that the girl is willing, stands up and makes a formal request for
the girl in marriage to his son. The amount of the dowry is then discussed and
animated bargaining takes place until the matter is settled.
On the conclusion of the party the guests go home accompanied by the
prospective bride who is led by the arms by the boy's father and mother. On
arrival there the mother dips a handful of grass into a calabash of water and
sprinkles the girl with it. She then takes the girl into her own apartments,
lights a fire and hands her over to the care of the other girls of the kraal. Food
is sent in to them and the girl may not leave the hut except to relieve nature.
In the morning the girl's father and relations come for payment of the dowry.
The bridegroom dresses up in a leopard skin and wears a zebra tail sticking out on
the upper part of his left arm and bells fastened below his knees. He also
sticks a long white ostrich feather in the back chignon together with a large bunch
of black ostrich plumes. He then follows his father into the cattle enclosure and
stands behind him. The stock constituting the dowry is driven past and the
father strikes each one as it passes with a stick at the same time naming the
prospective recipient according to the arrangement already made.
The bride's father then heads a procession back to his kraal accompanied by
the relations of both parties dancing and singing, the dowry bringing up the rear.
The bride is left behind at her new home. The dance continues outside the hut
of the bride's mother and during the course of it she gets hides spread and all sit
down whilst she lights a pipe which is handed round and puffed by all in turn,
starting with the elders. When the dance is over the guests return home and the
bridegroom removes the leopard skin and white ostrich feather. He must not
sleep that night with his bride.
In the morning his mother takes a calabash of cooking butter to the door of the
bride's apartment.and calls her out. She then puts a necklet and belt of emuriya
grass on the bride and smears the butter all over her except the legs. After this
she removes all the girl's ornaments and skins and dresses her in the garb of a
young married woman. This consists of a goat skin hung down behind from the
waist, hairy side outwards, and a calf skin slung from the shoulders and reaching
to the knees. The fit of this goat skin is of great importance and it must be well-
shaped and have gussets let in at the sides so as to swing correctly when the
wearer walks or dances, otherwise it will bring great shame upon her amongst her
The bride also wears bracelets of copper and iron wire, a large necklet of loose
rings of the same material and earrings of copper and aluminium wire. No
beads may now be worn. These ornaments are presented by the bridegroom's
mother who may, however, collect them from others as a wedding present to the
After being dressed, the bride and about three other girls go and cut a load
of firewood each and give it to the bridegroom's mother.
That night the bridegroom sleeps with his bride and the marriage is
consummated. They continue to live in that same hut until a child is born, after
which the husband builds a separate hut for his wife.
The distribution of the dowry, before it was limited by the Government,
varied considerably and it would be unsafe even to hypothesize an actual distribution.
The principles underlying the payment of dowry and the proportions payable to
the various beneficiaries have been dealt with exhaustively by ethnologists.
BIRTH.-When a woman is about to give birth her female relations come to
assist. She takes up a kneeling position whilst one woman kneels behind her
grasping her firmly round the chest and another holds her by the shoulders. All
present exhort her to give birth. The acting midwife crouches in front and
receives the baby which is washed at once with cold water.
The umbilical cord is tied with fibre and cut near the body and left to come
away of its own accord, The remainder is buried in the cattle enclosure. If the
baby is a boy the cord is cut with the arrow used for bleeding cattle (emal). If a
girl, it is cut with a knife.
If the mother is unable to suckle her baby at first she is given gruel prepared
from eleusine millet flour to hasten the flow of milk and meanwhile the baby is
given goat's milk from a small gourd shaped like a feeding-bottle.
The day the baby has been born the mother and helpers partake of food
consisting of a mixture of choroko (a small pea or bean), sorghum flour, marrow
(akaide) and the seeds of a small gourd (nkolil) ground up, also meat and blood
from a bull calf and heifer calf. The men also share this but are not allowed to
enter the hut. The food must all be eaten there and then. None may be taken
away and no sick person or one afflicted with sores may partake of it, otherwise
the child would contract the same complaint.
That day also the husband sends in to his wife the skin of a Grant's gazelle
which is tied by the forelegs round her neck and by the hind legs round her waist
in such a way as to cover her breasts. He may not enter her hut for about twenty
days nor resume cohabitation for about a month, but some days after the birth he
may peer into the hut to enquire after their health.
When the mother is able to go out about her duties a ram is killed and the
skin prepared to tie on her back to carry the child. The headman of the village
gets the tongue, a shoulder and ribs. The women and children finish the rest.
A bull or barren cow is also killed for a feast for the villagers and a few months
later a beer party is given.
It is considered lucky for a woman to bear twins, but if both grow up either
the father or mother will sicken and die.
Children receive the names of their grandparents' generation. Thus the
eldest child receives the name of its grandfather, the second child its
grandmother's name, the third is named after a great-uncle and so on. They
may also be given other names by the midwives according to conditions
prevailing at birth, e.g., one of my informants who was born at night when
everybody was lying down was named "Lopero" to signify that fact. Such
names are often tentatively conferred upon the infant when being suckled and
acceptance or refusal is shown by sucking contentedly or crying (cf. Driberg,
The Lango, page 148).
DEATH.-When a man, woman or child dies the corpse is buried in the goats'
enclosure in a worthless hide. If a friendless pauper, the body is cast out into the
bush for the hyenas to devour.
When a husband dies the widow shaves her head and removes all her wifely
ornaments and apparel and wears an old hide. After a few days she kills the
leading bull of her husband's herd, the wearer of the bell, the meat of which is
eaten by the relations. After about six months she kills two or three wethers
which are cut up together with the skins and are known as apunyeth. The
widow remains in the kraal but the relations take their portions and eat them
away from the kraal. She may then resume her former clothing and ornaments.
After about a year or less from the death of the husband his principal brother
brings a sheep which he kills at the door of her hut. He and she then smear each
other with the dung of its entrails. That evening he enters her hut and she
passes into his possession. Failing such a brother she passes to the son of a
The property of the husband is vested in the guardianship of the eldest son
who distributes it to the other sons as they grow up and move to their own
kraals. The stock is divided according to the previous ownership, thus when a
wife has had definite cows to milk during her husband's lifetime, those and their
progeny belong to her family.
When a wife dies the widower shaves off the top chignon and removes all
the clay from the hinder chignon which he cuts. He also removes his bracelets.
The adult male children shave the top chignon and the adult female children
shave their heads as do all the young children. The widower mourns alone for
some five days after which he kills a sheep away from the kraal and shares it with
the relations. Further ceremonies are similar to the foregoing and after the
period of mourning he may divide the ornaments, etc., of the deceased.
When a child dies all the other children shave their heads and the mother
removes a few of her necklets which she resumes after a few months.
DIVoRcE.-In case of incompatibility, if a divorce is agreed upon, the wife
goes down on her hands and knees before her husband and he pours cold
water over her back. She returns to her father who repays the dowry. When
this has been done the husband returns a bull to the father which he kills
and of which all the relations partake, even the husband. When the bull is
killed the father and his people smear the woman with the dung of the entrails
so that all people may know she is a free woman. If she has not borne a
child she resumes the style of dress of an unmarried girl, consisting usually
of a goat-skin covering the buttocks and reaching from the waist to the back
of the knees and a pad of cowries covering the pubes. If she has borne a child
she wears the dress of a married woman and may wear any ornaments she pleases.
A divorced woman is free to marry again.
ADULTERY.-As has already been indicated, sexual intercourse between
the unmarried was not discountenanced under old Karimojong custom, but
any resultant pregnancy was only condoned upon payment of thirty goats to the
father unless a dowry was paid. Adultery was, however, looked upon as a most
serious offence rendering the adulterer liable to death at the hands of the
aggrieved husband as a matter of tribal sanction.
It is not clear to what extent this prerogative was exercised, but it appears
that it was not the inevitable penalty and that the offence could be expurgated
by the confiscation of all the offender's stock. This appropriation could be
extended to include any stock of which the offender might become possessed
in the future until the family honour had been satisfied. That it was regarded
as a family affair rather than a strictly personal one appears probable from the
fact that such stock was ordinarily divided up amongst its members.
RAIN-MAKING.-The difficulties of obtaining any exact and reliable data
under this head will be readily appreciated by any who have endeavoured to
penetrate the esoteric beliefs of a primitive tribe. One is liable to meet with
a veil of concealment and evasion and to be fobbed off with inaccurate and
I was unable to discover whether there is a set ritual but I am inclined to
believe that the recitative is to a certain extent extemporised on each occasion.
When rain is needed badly, two or three of the elders approach the
medicine man (*Emurron-distinct from Ekhapalan, a wizard) with a present of a
calabash of milk and urge upon him the necessity for making rain. The
rain-maker directs them to find a bull of such and such a colour, usually black,
and names a day for the ceremony (akirriket).
The elders go away and summon the other elders to tell them the
directions of the Emurron. Search is made for an animal of the requisite colour
and when it is found the owner is asked to provide it, to which he, as a matter
of course agrees, and it is fetched ready for the ceremony.
Some informants maintain that the senior Elder presides at the actual ceremony and that
Emirroqz is only consulted as to a propitious date and other details. Some even assert that he
names the day upon which rain will fall as the date for the ceremony.
On the day of the ceremony all the elders and men gather at the appointed
spot. The elders sit in a large semicircle with the bull in the centre and the
other men group themselves at the opening at which a fire is made. Grass is
spread in front of each elder and near the bull.
A man is selected to kill the animal, which is done by spearing it in the
right side. For this privilege he has to give the owner a heifer. The bull is
cut up on the grass and taken away by the attendants to be roasted. The head,
neck, stomach and liver is sent by the spearer to his kraal for the woman and
the tongue is prepared for him by his wife. The roast meat is brought back and
placed before the assembly but not yet distributed.
The Emurron then stands in the centre facing outwards, sticking his naked
spear t upright in the ground, and intones a recitative on the following lines to
which all respond:-
Kiera, E, e, akirru adwere paadoa ?
E, e, Ngatuk paa emwoko ?
E, e, Ngimomwa arupon paarnputwa ?
E, e, Arukum kalotunga aporori papora ?
E, e, neni karononi aporori papora?
Listen. The rain will fall ?
It will fall ?
It will fall ?
The cattle will be filled ?
They will be filled ?
They will be filled ?
The millet after being dried up will grow ?
Has not the sickness of people flown ?
Has not evil flown ?
It will fall.
It will fall.
It will fall.
They will be filled.
They will be filled.
They will be filled.
It will grow.
It has flown.
It has flown.
The roast meat is then distributed by two attendants to the elders who eat it
and give bits to the other men who eat them by the fire. The Emurron gets a
hind leg to himself and cuts up the other hind leg for an extra distribution to the
elders. All then disperse to their homes.
t Spears are usually carried in times of peace with a leather sheath fastened round the edge.
I All throw their arms towards the west. The wind comes from the east and sweeps away
to the west.
Ebifa ku Mulembe gwa Kabaka Mutesa
Byawandikibwa OM. HAM MUKASA.
KABAKA MUTESA NG'ASIKIRA KITAWE-KABAKA SUNA.
Bino by'ebyaliwo era ebimanyidwa abangiko abakyali abalamu naye
ababirabako dala bawedewo okufa nga bakadiye nyo era abo byebalabako
byenyini byebanyumyanga bulijo ne Kabaka yenyini nga abimanyi bulungi, era
yabinyumyangako nyo olusi n'olusi nga ali n'Abamibe abaganzi n'abawerezabe
abomu Lubirirwe kyebiva bibera ebyamazima dala. Era abamu ku bo bakyaliwo
ne kakano era ebimu by'ebiri mu Kitabo kya Apolo Kagwa.
Kale-no kakano leka nsokere ku Kabaka Suna ng'ali kumpi okufa, Mutesa
alyoke asikire kitawe Suna. Kabaka Suna yali Kabaka wangeri nzibu nyo;
Kabaka oyo yali mukambwe era yali muzira mu ntalo, era yali mui-zi ng'ayagala
nyo embwa ezii-ga. Ate yaberanga n'ekisa, mu bisera ebirala nga bwebogera
ekyo kimanyidwa nyo nga abakambwe enyo olusi babera n'ekisa balyoke baleme
okukyaibwa enyo abantu babwe ne Suna bweyali. Ekinabategeza bweyali
ayagala enyo embwa kyekino:-Yalina embwaye erinya lyayo Senkungo,
amakulu g'erinya eryo nti Okukaba kw'abangi. Awo embwa eyo bweyafa
Kabaka yenyini yakaba olw'okugyagala enyo era yazikibwa nga bwebazika
omuntu, ate Kabaka yalagira abantu bona okukabira embwaye Senkungo.
Naye bwebakusanganga mu kubo nebakulaba nga tonakuwade mu maso okufanana
nga akaba kulw'embwa ya Kabaka Senkungo nga okwatibwa oba ku-tibwa oba
kutanzibwa kubanga onyomye ekiragiro kya Kabaka. Ekyo kyamazima dala
Leka ndekere awo ebyogera enyo ku Kabaka Suna ndyoke njogere ebiri
okumpi n'okufakwe, byebino:-Kabaka Suna byeyamala okulwawo enyo ku
Bwakabaka ng'ensi emuwulide nyo mu kufugakwe era n'Amawanga amawangule
nga gamuwulira nyo nyini awo nalyoka atuma omwamiwe omu ye Nakamali
koja w'Omulangira ow'Embogo, namutuma ewa Kabaka we Buzongola Kaitaba
okugenda okumulaba. Naye omwami oyo bweyatuka e Kiziba ewa Kabaka
Kaitaba nasanyuka nyo nyini kubanga ensi eyo nungi okulaba n'amaso, era
emere yayo ya matoke nga eye Buganda n'omwenge gwayo mungi nga
ogw'Ebuganda, n'ente nyingi nyo buli kintu kyona nga eky'Ebuganda. Naye
bweyali atusiza ekisera eky'okukomawo nalyoka asaba Kabaka Kaitaba nti
Mukama wange njagala ompe omukazi omulungi enyo gwendigenda naye e
Buganda, kubanga ndabye abakazi abomu nsi yo eno nga balungi nyo okusinga
ab'ewafe e Buganda. Awo Kabaka namudamu nti kale nakuwa, naye
bweyamuwa omukazi namuwa gwatayagala afanana obulala nga tafanana nabali
balabako bulijo abakyala abawereza Kabaka abaitibwa Enkologo, amakulu nti
Abakyala abawereza Kabaka mu kisulokye, naye omwami oyo bweyagana
okutwala omukazi oyo gwebamuwade olw'obutaba mulungi nga bali balabako
bulijo, awo ne Kabaka nanakuwala kubanga omwami oli yayagala okuwebwa ku
bawerezabe benyini atenga bana b'abamibe bebamusigira awo namugamba nti
Genda nkuwade nte zoka ne mbuzi ebyo binakumala. Weraba. Awo omwami
oyo agenda n'obusungu kubanga Kabaka amumye ku bakazi bali abalungi enyo.
Awo bweyatuka eri Kabaka we Buganda Suna namunyumiza ebifayo byona
ebyamutwala mu nsi ya Kabaka Kaitaba, oba Kataba, ng'ensi bweri enungi mu
ngeri zona, naye ekigambo ekyamunyiza teyakitegeza Kabaka Suna kubanga
yatya okukyogerako nti mpo-zi Kabaka anategera olukwe Iwange lwensalide
Kabaka Kaitaba owe Buzongola oba ekyamutwala. Olukwe olwo Iweruno:
Kwekulimba Kabaka Suna alyoke amusunguwaze ku Kabaka mune nti yegeza
ku kitibwa kyange? Yayogera bwati:-"Sabasaja Kabaka gwe afuga Amawanga
gona awatali akwegezako mu bigambo byona Sabasaja, ekigambo ekyanakuwaza
enyo nyini nenjagala okukaba amaziga kwekulaba Kabaka Kaitaba nga
akwegezako mu ngeri zona. Bweyawulira nga wazimba enyumba Batanda-
bezala naye nagizimba. Ekyokubiri bweyawulira nga olina e-sanga lyosako
ebigere naye nakola bwatyo n'okusingawo, era ye yaliteka ne mu muzigogwe
ogwa Wankaki, gwe muzigo Wankaki ne mu nyumbaye ey'ekisulo. Ekyokusatu
enyumbaye akasolya kayo enkata zako za bikomo. Ekyokuna akabendobendo
k'enyumbaye ka butiti. Ekyokutano endeku anywera mu -gi lya Nkobyokobyo.
Yakusaba omwanawo Nasolo abere mukaziwe ng'agamba nti anti nange ndi
Kabaka nga ye n'ebirala byona ebikolebwa wano byebakola n'ewuwe nga yegeza
ku gwe. Kale-no Sabasaja Kabaka omuntu akola ebyo omulowoza otya songa
Bakabaka bona abali wansi wo tewali akola ebyo? Nze ebyo byankabya
amaziga, naye Salongo amakulu nti Kitawe wa bantu, gwe Kabaka Omukulu
ani akwegezako? Nze Sabasaja oyo sagala abere Kabaka nga nawe oli ku
Ng'oma eno afuga Bakabaka bona abetolode wano era oyo asanira kugoba ku
Bwakabaka otekeko mulala."
Awo Kabaka bweyaulira ebyo byona nasunguwala naita Katikiro namala
okutesako naye era n'abamibe abakulu bona nebagana Kabaka nti si kirungi
okutabala mu kisera kino eky'akabi enyo waliwo kawali mungi nyo, waliwo
enjala nyingi era nagana. Ate bweyategeza nyina Namasole naye namugana
era teyakiriza, awo nebamala gakiriza natabala. Naye bweyatuka e Buzongola
nebalwana ne Kaitaba nebamugoba nadukira ku kizinga era nebamulumbako
naduka agenda mu nsi endala. Awo Kabaka nakoma awo nga afiridwa abantu
bangi nyo. Bafa mu ngeri zino:-Kawali ne njala n'Olutalo. Era abantu
balyanga empitambi yabwe nga tebalaba mere, era ne Kabaka yenyini nalwala
kawali nafira mu kubo ng'akomawo. Awo Katikiro we Kayira naleta omulambo
gwa Kabaka Suna nagutusa mu Kibuga e Nabulagala. Kakano Kabaka Suna
Awo Suna bweyamala okufa newabawo okulonda omusika mu banabe.
Abami abamu bali bagala Omulangira mulala nabamu nga bagala mulala. Naye
newabawo Omwami omu omugezi eyaja eri Katikiro ng'amujukiza Omulangira
asanira era Kitabwe gweyalamira. Omwami oyo yajukiza Katikiro nga Kabaka
Suna bweyayolesa Omulangira oyo mu ngeri enyingi okumwawula mu bane mu
ngeri ezolesa okulama kwa Kabaka. Byona byebakola Abalangira ye Mukabya
tebabimukola nga okutekebwa mu komera ye teyatekebwa mu komera, nga
Abakungu okuvuma Abalangira ye teyavumibwa, n'ebirala byebakola Abalangira
byebatamukola Mukabya. Awo Katikiro najukira bulungi byona nga naye
abimanyi bulungi nalyoka yejusa nava ku lui 1w'Abami bali abali bagala omulala
aitibwa Kikulwe. Awo Katikiro Kaira bweyalaba nga byona byebogede ku
Mulangira oyo byamazima nalyoka alagira okuita nyina nebamuleta, erinyalye
ye Muganzirwaza Nakazi Omufumbiro wa Kabaka. Era mwanyina yali mwami
mukulu erinyalye nga ye Mpirivumal Naye Katikiro nategeza Muganzirwaza
Nakazi Omufumbiro nti Omwanawo Mukabya yalondedwa okuba Kabaka wafe
kyenvude nkuita, kale-no -dayo byona onobiwulira enkya; era tewali kabi kona
akanainza okuziiza omwanawo Mukabya okuba Kabaka wafe. Awo Muganzirwaza
nadayo nga esanyu ligenda kumu-ta. Awo bwebwakya enkya nalagira Kasuju
okuleta Abalangira mu Mbuga awo nebabaimiriza enyiriri nga biri awo bwebamala
okuimirira Katikiro natekateka abasajabe abazira enyo abamanyi enyo okulwana
nga bawerawo nga 500 (bitano) oba kusingawo nabakutira nti bwemulaba agezako
okulwana oba okuwakana nti Mukabya tabere Kabaka oyo mufumita bufumisi
kubanga oyo ye Mulangira Kitabwe gweyalamira newakubade nga Abami abamu
bagala Kikulwe. Abami abo abali bagala Kikulwe bebano:-Nduga Mukwenda.
Bakabulinde Sekibobo, Sebuko Muwemba, Nkedi Omuwambya, Se'tuba Luwekula,
Seng'endo Kisubika era n'Omwami omu ku bo Nduga yeyali amaze okugenda
eri Katikiro akirize okulonda omwana wa mwanyina Kikulwe ye Zawede. Naye
okusoka Katikiro yali akiriza naye bwebamujukiza okulama kwa Kabaka nalyoka
akyuka olwebyo byeyali yerabide byebamujukiza. Era omwami oyo Nduga
Mukwenda teyategera nti omwana wa mwanyina anasubwa Obwakabaka wabula
yalabira awo nkya nga balonda Mukabya era Nduga yagezako okujukiza Katikiro
nti sebo Omulangira gwebaleta siyewuyo anti walonze mulala? Awo Katikiro
namudamu nti Wewawo ekyo kibade kirungi okujukiza naye kino kirina ensonga
eyamazima okulonda Mukabya, era kizibu okulonda omulala kubanga ono
mulamire nga bwekimanyidwa mu lwatu. Naye Nduga bweyalaba abantu bona
nga bamaze okubalaga Mukabya nti Omulangira ono Mukabya ye Kabaka wamwe
owe Buganda era tewali anamuwakanyanga, awo nga Nduga ne bane basirika
busirisi naye nga balina obusungu bungi nyo olw'okugana Omulangira wabwe
gwebabade basubira. Awo nga Abami abo balyoka okwogera ebigambo bingi
nyo ebibi ku Mulangira Mukabya. Bino by'ebigambo byebabuliranga abantu:-
Nti Omulangira oyo mulwade nyo alina endwade ey'Olufuba, ate alina endwade
ey'Olukonvuba mu mubiri gwe kyava alema okugeja nga Abalangira bane bwebali.
Ate nti ekikulu talina nyina nti nyina Kabaka yamutunda n'Abalung'ana nti
erinya lya nyina ye Gwolyoka. Era nebatekawo ku Gwolyoka olugambo nti
yeyali nyina Kabaka Mukabya, ekyo si kyamazima songa Gwolyoka oyo omukazi
yaliwo yali mukyala bukyala yasunguwaza Kabaka namugabira Abawarabu so
si kumutunda, Kabaka nga tatunda bantu wabula amasanga. Era ekitakoleka
Kabaka tainza kutunda oba okugaba mukyalawe yena amaze okuzala omwana,
ekyo tekikoleka mu Buganda era ekyo Kabaka akitya okugaba omukyala alina
omwana nti obolyawo nasala amagezi n'abalabe bange nebamunonya nebamuleta
nebajema nebangoba ku Bwakabaka bwange. Era ekirala nga Kabaka kyatya
kweku-ta omukyala azala Omulangira wabula oku-ta Omulangira kyekyangu, ku
Bakabaka be Buganda kubanga bakimanyi nti bwo-ta Omulangira nyina talina
buinza bwa kujema oba amagezi amalala kubanga waliwo Kabaka eya-ta
mukyalawe nga amaze okuzala Abalangira naye Abalangira abo olw'okunakuwalira
nyabwe gweba-ta ate nabo neba-ta kitabwe. Oyo ye Kabaka Kyabagu. Awo
okuva kwolwo Bakabaka ab'oluvanyuma nebakitya nyo okugyawo omukyala
amaze okuzala abana oba omwana wabula okugyawo omwana we ekyo kyebakola
kubanga omukazi tebamweralikirira nyo nga omwana we. Eyo y'ensonga
emanyidwa ey'obutagyawo oba oku-ta omukyala azade omulangira wabula oku-ta
Omulangira. Ate ekikulu ekirala Omulangira atalina nyina talya Bwakabka mu
Buganda. Kiringa eky'omuzizo, abantu bamutya nyo nti ali-ta abantu bangi
nga ajukira okufirwako nyina nti tewali anamukomangako nga abade asukiride
okukola obubi. Ate nga yitawe tainza kumulamira kulya Bwakabka kubanga
aitibwa Omulangira omunaku atalina nyina. Ezo z'ensonga enkulu ku Balangira
be Buganda nga balya Obwakabaka ebyo byebakeberanga. Leka nkwolese
byebakebera ku Balangira nga balondamu asanira okuilya Obwakabaka babuzanga
I. Nti Omulangira abonyabonya emese n'obunyonyi obuto mu ngeri
eno okugyamu emese amaso nga namu n'okugyamu obunyonyi amaso oba
okubumenya ebiwawatiro buleme okubuka. Ebyo byakolebwanga abana
abato bangi mu Buganda mu ngeri y'okuzanya naye bweyabanga Omulangira
oba omwana w'Omwami nga tebamusima okusikira kitawe nga balowoza nti
n'abantu alibakola bwatyo.
II. Omulangira atalina nyina nga tasimibwa kusikira Bwakabaka nga
bwekyogedwako wagulu nga balowoza nti talemenga ku-ta bantu abalina
banyabwe olwokubanga ye munaku. Awo kwebyo bwebatekangako ebirala
ebitonotono ebibi ebitasanira Mulangira awo nga talya Bwakabaka. Kale-no
Mutesa singa teyalina nyina teyandikirizibwa naye yalina nyina ye
Muganzirwaza Nakazi Omufumbiro ate kitawe yeyamulamira ate kitawe
yamuwa e-dembe dene nyo n'okwesima kunene okusinga Abalangira bona.
Mukabya teyatekebwako mu komera nga Abalangira abalala ate Mutesa
teyavumibwanga nga bwebavumanga Abalangira mu ngeri eno nti Bwemulirya
Obwakabaka mutwokeranga ensenene ku mindi. Ekyo Kabaka yakikolanga
okulagira abami okuvuma Abalangira awo Kabaka alyoke yesige Abami abo
nti tebalina mukwano mu bana bange, naye okuvuma okwo Mutesa
teyavumibwa kitawe yamwawulanga. Kale-no ekyo eky'obutabera na nyina
mukitegere muleme okulowoza nti kyamazima, naye abalabe ba Mukabya
bebabunya ekigambo nekifanana nga ekyaliwo songa tekyaliwo era kyebava
basalirwa omusango olw'okwogera ekinene bwekityo ahami abo neba-tibwa
nga bongede okukola ekibi ekirala kubanga ba-ba Abalangira mu komera
nga bagala okujema awo nebakwatibwa nebaba-ta. Abami bangiko aba-tibwa
wamu n'Abalangira neba-tibwa e Namugongo gyeba-tira Abakristayo mu
mwaka 1885, kubanga ekifo ekyo Namugongo kya -da nyo -tambiro lya -da.
Awo Kabaka Mukabya nabera Kabaka n'ensiye nebera bulungi. Naye
oluvanyuma ng'amaze okulwawo ekisera emyaka ng'etano oba ena nga
bwemumanyi engeri y'ekivubuka awo nasokereza mpola okukola ekyejo,
ng'ayagala okugoberera kitawe mu mpisa ez'oku-ta abantu ab'obwerere mu
busango obutonotono enyo mpo-zi nga kakano omusango ogusibya omuntu
sabiti emu oba biri ng'oyo bamu-ta bu-si. Yagezako nyo oku-ta bangi mu ngeri
embi etamulowozebwako. Awo mu mwaka 1859 newajawo Abawarabu abafuluma
e Karagwe amanya gabwe gegano:-Abdulla bin Hassan ne Muhoya bin Saleh.
Abo nebagezako okusomesa Kabaka e-dini ya Muhamadi n'abawereza be n'abami
be banyikira nyo okusoma Ekitabo kya Baibuli yabwe Korani, oba Kurwano
nebamuziizako nyo obuta-ta bantu ab'obwerere wabula okubabonereza n'okubasiba
mu komera nga bamugamba nti mwe Bakabaka muli basigire ba Katonda
temusanira ku-ta wabula okusiba busibi n'okutanza y'empisa enungi eya
Bakabaka era Bakabaka ab'ekisa bebawangala emyaka emingi. Awo Kabaka
neyewombekako kulwa basomesa abo ate mu mwaka 1861 Abazungu Speke ne
Grant nebaja mu Buganda. Be Bazungu abasoka okulabika mu Buganda.
Abazungu abo banyumya nyo ne Kabaka ebigambo bingi. Ekyamuziiza okwesiga
Abazungu abo kubanga E-dini ya Muhamadi yamuingiramu nyo era yasoma nyo
Ekitabo Korani. Okutegera nga yamuyingira nyo bweyamala okusoma e-dini eyo
nalyoka alonda ku bawereza be nebagenda okuyigiriza Kabarega nebamutwalira
n'omukeka ogw'okusalirangako n'ebendera emyufu ey'okuteka ku mulongoti
ogusimbibwa awali Omuzigiti nawereza n'ebinika eneretanga ama-zi agasala
n'engato z'Ekiisramu ezambalibwa n'ozivamu ng'otuse ku muzigiti ebyo byona
byeyawereza Kabarega nga amutegeza akirize Katonda. Awo Kabarega
bweyamala okubirabako byona n'okuwulira ababaka byebamubulira eby'okukiriza
Katonda n'Omutume we Muhamadi eranga bamaze okwanjula byona awo Kabaka
Kabarega nadamu nti Munange yebale bino byona eby'E-dini n'okuntegeza
Katonda asinga bakatonda bona, kale-no byona mubizeyo mumugambe nti
Tonakuwala ebintu bya Katonda wo bibyo mbikomezawo sibyagala era ne
Katonda gwoyogerako simumanyi; nze nina bakatonda abange bensinza era
abampa amagezi mu Bwakabaka bwange era abamponya mu ndwade zona.
Kale mumulabanga. Awo nga ababaka badayo. Naye bwebabulira Kabaka
Mutesa nagamba nti Muganda wange oyo alabye nyo taliva mu busiru bwe
obw'ekisenzi, kale leka muleke, obanga tayagala bya Katonda musaside nyo.
Ebyo biwede ebya Baisramu.
Awo Abazungu abo Speke ne Grant basanga Kabaka mu Kibuga ekiitibwa
Banda-balogo, Iwe lusozi Iwolengera ebugwanjuba nga oimiride e Kireka era
wewali ensalo za Mailo za Gavumenti ne Musalosalo Kisosonkole. Mu lusozi
olwo ensalo mweyambukira ng'ova e Kireka ng'ogenda e Bugwanjuba ku lui
lwa North, eyo ye Banda-balogo Kabaka Mutesa kweyali Bwana J. H. Speke
kweyamusanga namusuliza mu klfo kya wansi era walako ku mu*ga wekiri, naye
teyakisima bulungi olw'okubera ewala ne Kabaka song Bwana J. H. Speke
teyategera mpisa ze Buganda nti ye bamutya okubera okumpi ne Kabaka wabwe
olwokuba nga muntu mugenyi era ava mu nsi etemanyidwa, era ye muntu
atafanana ng'Abadugavu nga bamulowoza mu ngeri endala olw'okulaba engeri
yona gyalimu. Mweru nyo Abaganda gwebaita Namagoye era olulimi Iwe
terutegerekeka ate ebyambalo bye bya ngeri ndala. Ate yaleta emundu engeri
za Fataki zeyawako Kabaka era emundu ezo zaitibwa erinya lyazo Speke ne
kakano ziitibwa Speke. Bwolaba emundu ez'ebikoba ebibiri enyimpi ezo
zeziitibwa Speke oba Makowa Speke. Naye emundu ezo Speke zeyawa Kabaka
zawera nga 17 (kumi na musanvu) n'ebirala, engoye ne Bulangiti. Naye Kabaka
yayagalanga Mr. J. H. Speke okujanga okumuigirizanga okukuba Sabawa, bulijo
nga baleta ente eza sedume okuigirako okuteba era n'okui-ga enyonyi bombi,
naye J. H. Speke natayagala nyo kufula nte muzanyo ogwa bulijo nagezako
okuguleka. Yamubuzanga bingi byebino:-Ensi ze Bulaya nga bwezifanana mu
kufuga abantu, mu kuzimba, mu bungi bw'abantu, empisa za Bakabaka Abalaya,
Obufumbo bwa Bazungu nga abakazi bebakomako okufumbirwa oba bangi oba
batono n'ebirala bingi byeyamubuzanga era nga amutegeza byona. Era ebyo
byona si Kabaka yeka yeyabimubuzanga, ne Namasole yabimubuzanga nyo
kubanga Namasole nyina Mutesa yali mugezi nyo nyini era yayagala nyo Speke.
Yamuitanga olusi n'olusi nga ayagala okumubuza eby'amagezi Amazungu nga
bwegali era yayagalanga nyo edagala ery'Ekizungu Mr. Speke lyeyamuwanga
ery'omusuja nery'omutwe era yagezako okuganira dala edagala lya Baganda nga
ayagala nyo eryo Mr. J. H. Speke lyeyamuwanga.
Era J. H. Speke yagamba Namasole nti Kabaka alinga atanjagala nyo
kubanga yansuza wala nyo era mu kifo ekitali kirungi era ntegana nyo nga
Kabaka anetaga okumuigiriza byayagala okuiga oba okukuba emundu n'ebirala.
Awo namusubiza nti wewawo kyoyogede kyansonga, kale namugambako. Era
yamugambako naye era nekitakolebwa bulungi olw'abami okumutya nga
tebagala asemberere Kabaka kumpi nga bwemusose okuwulira. Naye Omwami
J. H. Speke yalina ababaka ba Kabaka beyamutumiranga nga akyali mu nsi
ye Karagwe ewa Kabaka Lumanyika era abamugoberera nga akyali mu kubo
bebano:-Amanya gabwe-Namugundu ne Kasolo era ne Mr. J. H. Speke abo
beyamutumiranga bulijo eri Kabaka okwogera byeyetaga era nabo nga tebase-
mberera Kabaka wabula okubulira abatukayo nebategeza Kabaka, naye abasaja
abo Mr. J. H. Speke yabagalanga nyo newakubade nga tebalina magezi mangi nyo
naye bamusanyusanga olw'egonjebwa lyabwe n'okwanguwa buli gyeyabatumanga
en Kabaka ne Namasole ne mu bami nga bamuwereza mangu nyo. Naye ebya
Mr. J. H. Speke bikyali bingi ebirungi okuwulira byeyanyumyanga ne Kabaka
era nebyeyanyumyanga ne Namasole nyina Kabaka naye kizibu okubimalayo
mu mpapula zino kubanga kyamangu. Awo olugendo Iwa Mr. J. H. Speke
olw'okugenda ku Nyanja bwerwatuka nasaba Kabaka okumuwa omubaka
anamulaga ekubo erigenda ku Nyanja Kiira Abazungu gyebaita Nile, awo Kabaka
namuwa omubaka ye Sembuzi nebagenda naye e Bulondoganyi. Bwebava mu
Kibuga baita wa Mulondo naye agenda nga yewunya nyo okulima kwa Baganda
bwekuli okunene olw'okulaba ebyalo nga bikwataganye okuva ku Kibuga okutuka
e Bulondoganyi e Busagazi, ku Mbuga ya Mulondo. Kakati tekyamanyidwa
wabula eriyo mu naku zino ekifo ekikulu kyebaita Nazigo ekya R. C. Mission
Mill Hill. Mu kifo Busagazi ku mbuga ya Mulondo waliwo olugudo olunene
enyo olugenda e Busoga. Olwatuka mu lugudo olwo neyewunya nagamba Abami
abaliwo nti Obungi bwa Baganda bendabye mu Buganda muno bufanana n'obungi
bwa Bazungu abali mu ngudo z'ewafe era tewali mu bitundu ebye Buganda
wendabye engudo ezijude abantu nga zino eze Bulondoganyi wabula ku Kibuga
Banda. Mu kulaba obungi bwa bantu abo olwo yali yebagade embalasi nalyoka
alengera mu maso ge n'enyuma nga tainza kulaba wansi ku taka wabula emitwe
gy'abantu gyoka. Ate olugudo Iwali lugolokofu nyo ate obuwanvu nga luweza
Miles biri obugolokofu ate obugazi nga luweza Futi 60-50, 40-30, obugazi nga
terwenkanankana. Kale-no obuterevu bw'olugudo olwo n'obugazi bwalwo kyeyava
alaba obungi bw'abantu mu maso n'enyuma.
Awo nalyoka atuka ku Nyanja Kiira, Nile, nakebera kyeyajirira; nga abali
naye tebategera kyakola, era mu byona byeyakeberanga ku Nyanja ama-zi
n'amainja n'emiti n'ebimuli ne nyonyi n'ebiwuka, okutusa lweyamala omilimu
gwe nakirira Kiira, Nile, bwa-ka ababaka nebadayo.
Naye J. H. Speke yagamba Namasole nga banyumya ebifa e Bulaya nti
ndabye nga abamu muntya eranga abamu mwewunya kubanga ndi mweru era
nga mumbuza nti ewamwe muli bangi. Wewawo leka mbategeze emyaka tegija
kuitawo mingi nga temunalaba Bazungu abalala era abalija okusubulagana
n'ensi eno nga bava mu Mawanga amangi aga Bazungu gemutamanyi. Endaba
gyendabye ensi eno erimu bingi ebisanira okukolebwa Abazungu era olwo
lwemulyekanya Abazungu bona eranga temukyabatya. Awo Namasole namubuza
nti baliba bangi? Ewamwe muli bangi? Namudamu nti Bangi. Namasole
nadamu nti Abalibawo baliraba.
Naye ekisera kyali kiisewo nga kya myaka 15 (kumi n'etano) kasoka
Mr. J. H. Speke adayo Mr. H. M. Stanley nalyoka aja. Ye Muzungu owokubiri
Kabaka nga ali Busabala ku Nyanja. Mr. H. M. Stanley oyo yafuluma mu
nyanja Buvuma n'ekyombo kye. Era bamala kumulanga nti mu bizinga bye
Buvuma eriyo Omuzungu alina n'ekyombo nebatumayo Mukasa Kipamira
okumugoberera okutuka e Busabala Kabaka gyali mu mwaka 1875. Wano
waliwo bingi, okugenda kwa Mukasa Kipamira nga bweyagoberera H. M. Stanley
negyeyamusanga nebyeyanyumya naye nagobya ekyombo kye mu mwalo.
Naye ekyombo bwekyamala okugoba Omuzungu navamu nebatumayo omuntu
okumulaba n'okumukulisa enyanja. Awo abami nga bamaze okugenda eri Kabaka
nebagamba Kabaka nti Sebo, tuliko kyetukugamba kyekino:-Omuzungu ono
aze nga tetunaba kumutegera bimufako n'ensonga emulese, kyayagala ne
kyatayagala tetukimanyi kyetuva twagala gwe osoke oleke okuvayo okumulamusa
ogabe Katikiro yaba asoka okumulamusa. Bwetunamala okwogera naye nga
tulabye aze lwa bulungi oba olwa bubi nolyoka obako kyokola. Awo Kabaka
nakiriza okutesa kwa bami be naye abami tebalowoza nti Kabaka anakiriza
ekigambo kyabwe kyebateseza kubanga Kabaka Mutesa teyalina mwoyo gutya
mu ngeri nga ezo ku bantu abo abava mu nsi endala nga ayagala nyo okubakwana
newakubade nga oyo yali Muzungu era omweru asana okutibwa ye teyamutya
wabula abantu be. Era ye yayagala okusanyusa abami be obutabaswaza mu
magezi gebamuwade songa ye amanyi kyakola. Awo nga abami bakola nga
kyebateseza nga batekawo Katikiro okulamusa H. M. Stanley nga baimirira bona
nga Katikiro avayo okukwata Mr. H. M. Stanley mu ngalo, nga Mr. H. M. Stanley
amala kulamusa Katikiro. Naye okulamusa bwekwagwa mu kisera ekyo kyenyini
eky'okulamusaganya Mr. H. M. Stanley ne Katikiro, Mr. H. M. Stanley nabuza
nti Mwena mbalabye naye sinaba kulaba Kabaka wamwe, alirudawa? Abami
nebamudamu nti anti yewuyo gwolamusiza si mulala, awo Mr. H. M. Stanley
nabagamba nti Neda Kabaka mumanyi nyo eiyewuno. Nze mbade ndowoza
nti Kabaka atumye ku bami be okunsisinkana balyoke bantuse gyali, nate ate
mwe mugamba nti ono ye Kabaka? Awo amangu ago nebatumira Kabaka nti
Sebo, Abazungu ba kitalo; agambye Katikiro nti si gwe Kabaka, Kabaka mumanyi
bwafanana. Naye Sebo kinaba kitya? Awo Kabaka. nadamu nti Abazungu ba
mazima mumulete anamuse. Awo nga bamuleta nga banyumya nga bakwana-
ganira dala naye. Obulimba n'okuswala kwava eri bami tekwali kwa Kabaka.
Awo Kabaka nga agamba Mr. H. M. Stanley okumutwala gyeyavanga okukika
eri Kabaka n'okui-ga gonya ne Kabaka era n'okunyumya awali abakyala mu
lukiko Iwa bakyala. Nga agamba Mr. H. M. Stanley nti kale nkutwale mu
maka gange omugenyi wange kubanga wano kiwumulo. Awo Mr. H. M. Stanley
nagamba nti nze ndija jo, ntya omusana, fe Abazungu tetugutambuliramu,
tuwumula mu kisera ekyo. Abamu nebagamba Kabaka nti Sebo, omugenyi
omweru onomuyisa emanju? Kirungi adeyo ayite e-balama bamugusize ku
Wankaki. Kabaka nadamu nti neda temutya, tewali kabi n'enyumanju anayitayo.
Bweyamala okwogera bwatyo nga basirika nga Kabaka asitula kudayo mu Kibuga
Rubaga. Mr. H. M. Stanley nategeza Kabaka nti nze naja nkya nga bukede
bwetunasobola. Awo Kabaka namulekera anamukulembera okumutusa mu
Kibuga awo ye Kabaka agenda.
Some Notes on the Reign of Mutesa.
In translating this article I have followed almost literally the wording of
the Luganda with a view to showing any who may be interested in such matters
how a Central African expresses himself. The similarity to the method of
expression in the Old Testment will no doubt be apparent.
The article is written in the discursive or narrative style. It has almost
certainly been dictated and taken down in the form which would be used by
a story-teller speaking direct to an audience rather than that of a writer who
intends his work to be read.
The writer's information is derived from native sources, mostly oral tradition,
and not from the publications of Speke, Stanley and other contemporary
HOW MUTESA SUCCEEDED HIS FATHER SUNA.
This is what happened in Kabaka Suna's time as is known to a fair number
who are still alive. Those who actually saw the events in question, however, are
all dead, having reached an old age and the narrative refers to what they saw and
what they discussed with the Kabaka himself and what he knew about well
himself. Further, the stories are quite true because he used to discuss them
from time to time with his favourite chiefs and his personal servants belonging
to his Lubiri (the Royal Enclosure). There are some of these who are still alive
to this day. Also some of the events are in Apolo Kagwa's (1) book.
Now let me first start with the time shortly before Kabaka Suna died to be
succeeded by his son Mutesa. Kabaka Suna was a Kabaka of a very difficult type.
He was a very cruel man; he was brave in war, he was a hunter of wild animals
and very fond of hunting dogs. At times, however, he was kind, so they say,
and it is well known that cruel kings at times exercise kindness so that they shall
not be hated by their subjects. Such was Suna. The following will show you
how fond he was of dogs. He had a dog called Senkungo ; the name means the
"lamentation of many." Now when this dog died the Kabaka himself wept out
(1) Sir Apolo Kagwa, K.C.M.G., was Katikiro or Prime Minister to Mwanga, the present
Kabaka's father, ani also throughout the present reign until his retirement in 1926. He died in
February, 1927. He wrote several historical works in Luganda. The book referred to is probably
either The Customs of the Baganda or the Kabakas of Buganda.".
of his great love for it and it was buried as is a human being and he ordered
all his subjects to mourn for his dog Senkungo. But were you found on the
road and they saw you without sorrow depicted on your face as one mourning
for Senkungo, the Kabaka's hound, you would have been seized or killed or
fined for neglecting the Kabaka's order. This is a true fact concerning which
I have no doubts as to its veracity.
Now let me cut short the story of Suna and speak of the events shortly
before he died. Kabaka Suna, having reigned long and made his power felt in
his country and also amongst the peoples whom he had conquered, sent a certain
chief, Nakamali, uncle of the Prince of the Buffalo Clan, () to Kaitaba, the Kabaka
of Buzongola, (3) to go and see him. Now when the chief arrived at Kiziba in
Kabaka Kaitaba's land, he was overjoyed on account of the beauty of the country ;
and the food (matoke) and beer of the country were just as in Buganda. There
was an abundance of cattle and everything was as in Buganda. Now when the
time arrived to return he begged the Kabaka Kaitaba as follows: My Lord, I
wish you to give me a very beautiful woman to accompany me back to Buganda as
I have seen that the women of your country are by far more beautiful than
our women in Buganda." The Kabaka replied that he would give him what he
asked, but when he gave him a woman he received one of different appearance
such as he did not want, not like those ladies whom he had seen daily serving
the Kabaka who were called Enkologo, meaning the Kabaka's hand-maidens who
wait on him in his bed chamber. Now when the chief refused to take the
woman who was offered to him, she not being beautiful like the others,
whom he had seen daily, the Kabaka was angry with him because he wished to
be given one of his own servants who were the daughters of chiefs given to him
by their fathers. So he said to him: "Go, I give you cows and goats only, these
are sufficient for you. Farewell." So the chief left in anger because the
Kabaka refused to give him one of the very fair women. Now when he returned
to Suna, the Kabaka of Buganda .he related to him all that had happened to
him in the country of Kaitaba (or Kataba) and described how fair the country
was in every way but he omitted to tell the Kabaka what had embittered him
because he feared to speak of it less the Kabaka should understand the trap
which he had prepared for Kabaka Kaitaba of Buzongola or the reasons why he
had gone there. His scheme was as follows: to deceive Kabaka Suna in order
that he might be angered with his compeer in that he was claiming to a greatness
like unto his own. He spoke thus: Your Highness who rules all races and
who has no peer in any respect whatsoever, there is a matter which gives me
much sorrow and causes me to wish to shed tears; it is to see that Kabaka
Kaitaba claims to a similar greatness to your own in all respects. When he
heard you were building your house Batanda bezalu, Kings beget Kings," he
also built a similar one. Secondly, when he heard that you have an elephant's
(2) The Priwre of the Bffalo Clan. By Buganda custom a child belongs to the same clan as
his father save with the "princes." In their case they follow their mothers' clans. This was
no doubt originally a political move which made it possible for any of the clans to have the Kabaka
as a member.
(3) Buzongola, a county now part of the Bukoba District of Tanganyika Territory.
tusk (4) as a foot stool, he did likewise and more so. Further, he placed his tusk in
his main gateway, the gateway Wankaki (5) and also in the house wherein he sleeps.
Thirdly, in his house the roof rings (rafters) are of coppers. Fourthly, the
eaves of his house are decorated with beads. Fifthly, the drinking cup from
which he drinks is a snipe's egg. He asked for your eldest daughter as his wife
saying Am I not of course also a Kabaka such as he and all things which are
done here are done as with him," thus comparing himself with you. Now,
Your Highness, what do you think of one who behaves thus, remembering that
all kings are under you and there is no one else who acts in this manner. As
for me this matter makes me weep tears but, Father of twins (meaning father of
his people) you are the great Kabaka, who can compare with you? Your
Highness, I do not wish this man to be a Kabaka like you, the holder of this
Drum, (6) which rules all neighboring kings; he should be driven from his
kingdom and you should instal another in his place."
Now the Kabaka, when he heard all this, was angry and called his Katikiro
(Prime Minister) and took council with him and all his great chiefs. But they
disagreed with the Kabaka in that it was inadvisable to make war in that dangerous
time as smallpox was prevalent and there was very much famine. He would
not listen to them, however, and went to the Queen Mother and she, too, disagreed,
but he would not accept her advice either, so they just had to agree and he made
war. Now when they reached Buzongola they fought with Kaitaba and drove
him out and he fled to an island but they attacked him there and he fled away
into another country. The Kabaka then returned, having lost very many of his
men. They died in these ways: smallpox, famine and the war. Further, the
people ate their own excrements not being able to find food. The Kabaka himself
also fell sick of smallpox and died on the way as he was returning. Then the
Katikiro Kaira brought the corpse of Kabaka Suna and took it to the capital at
Nabulagala. This is the end of the narrative as regards Suna.
/ Now when Suna had died there was the question of appointing a successor
from amongst his children. Some chiefs wanted one prince, some wanted
another. Now there was one wise chief who came to the Katikiro and reminded
him of one prince who was suitable who was the one formerly selected by their
Father. He reminded the Katikiro how Kabaka Suna had displayed in many
ways how he differentiated him from his brothers, ways which showed clearly
what his choice was. Nothing which was done to the other princes was done to
Mukabya, such as being placed in prison (he was not imprisoned); such as the
great chiefs insulting the princes (he was not insulted) : and all things which were
done to the other princes were not done to Mukabya. The Katikiro remembered
(4) Elephant's tusk as a foot stool. Formerly the Kabakas of Buganda used to have an
elephant's tusk which was laid on the mat at their feet whenever they sat in state in public.
(5) Wankaki. This is the name of the main gateway or entrance through the reed fence
which forms the Lubiri or royal enclosure.
(6) The holder thishs Drum, i.e., the holder of the office of Kabaka (okulya eng'oma--lit:
to eat the drum, is an expression used for succeeding to the throne of Buganda).
all these matters well; he knowing about them himself and he left the party of
those chiefs who wished for another prince called Kikulwe. The Katikiro Kaira
seeing that everything which was said about this prince (Mukabya) was true,
ordered his mother to be called and they brought her, Muganzirwaza Nakazi(7) by
name, the "Cook" of the Kabaka. Her brother was a great chief and his name
was Mpirivuma. The Katikiro then informed Muganzirwaza Nakazi the Cook
"Your son Mukabya has been chosen to be our Kabaka, wherefore I have
summoned you, return home, you will hear all tomorrow; there is no danger
whatsoever which can prevent your son from being our Kabaka." Muganzirwaza
then went home and joy was near to killing her. Now when day dawned he
(the Katikiro) ordered Kasuju (8) to bring the princes to the open space before the
Royal Enclosure and there they placed them in two lines and when they were
stood thus the Katikiro got ready brave men of his who were skilled in battle,
about 500 in number or more, and exhorted them that if they saw any one trying
to fight or quarrel with Mukabya with a view to preventing him being Kabaka,
they should spear him out of hand, as he was the prince their father had willed
to succeed him notwithstanding the fact that some chiefs wanted Kikulwe. The
chiefs who wanted Kikulwe were these: Nduga the Mukwenda(9), Bakabulindi the
Sekibobo, Sebuko the Muwemba(10', Nkedi the Omuwambya, Setuba the
Luwekula(1), Seng'endo the Kisubika. One of these chiefs, Nduga, was he who
had gone to the Katikiro to persuade him to agree to his nephew Kikulwe (the son
of his sister); the mother of Kikulwe being Zawede.
To start with, the Katikiro had agreed to him but afterwards changed his
mind when they reminded him of the dying wish of the Kabaka which he had
forgotten. This chief, Nduga the Mukwenda, did not know that his nephew
would be passed over for the Kabakaship until he saw there next morning
that they were choosing Mukabya and he tried to remind the Katikiro as
follows: "Sir, the prince they have brought is the wrong one, did you not
choose another ?" Then the Katikiro answered him "What you are reminding
me about is correct but there is a true reason for selecting Mukabya; further,
it is impossible to choose another for this is he upon whom his father's choice
fell as is publicly known." Now when Nduga saw that it was being pointed
out to all that Mukabya was their Kabaka of Buganda and that no one was
opposing him, he and his companions were filled with wrath and were angered
exceedingly at the refusal of their prince whom they had hoped for. Further,
these chiefs spoke many evil words about the prince Mukabya. This is what
they informed the people : "This prince is sick, he has the sickness Bronchitis
also he has a wasting disease in his body wherefore he is emaciated and not
(7) Muganzirwaza Nakazi twh Cook. The Cook" was a title held by one of the Kabaka's wives.
(8) Kasnju-This is the title of the chief in charge of the county of Buganda called Busuju.
Part of the duties of his office was formerly the charge of all the "balangira" or princes.
(9) Mukwenda and Sekibobo are the titles of the chiefs of the counties of Singo and Kyagwe.
(10) Mvweimba, Omuiwambya and Kisnbika are titles of minor chieftainships; some say that
Sebuko was not Muwemba, but held the chieftainship of Musuna.
(11) Luwekula was formerly the Sabawali, a sub-chief under the Mukwenda; owing,
however, to the addition of further territory to Buganda the chiefdom has become a separate county
called Buwekula and the Luwekula is now the chief in charge.
plump as are his companions the other princes. Further, and this is important,
he has no mother as she was sold by the Kabaka to the Coast men (i.e., Swahilis
or Arabs), and her name was Gwolyoka. (1) Also, they attached the rumour
to Gwolyoka, which was false, that she was the mother of the Kabaka, whereas
Gwolyoka, who was a real person, was just one of his wives who had angered
the Kabaka and he had given her to Arabs and not sold her. A Kabaka does not
sell people, only ivory. Further, what would never be done, would be for
a Kabaka to sell or give away any of his wives who had borne him a child.
This was never done in Buganda and a Kabaka would have feared to do such
a thing, i.e., to give away a wife who had a child, in case she should conspire with
enemies and they should seek for him (i.e., her son) and bring him forward
and rebel and drive the Kabaka from his kingdom. Another thing a Kabaka
feared to do was to kill a woman who had borne a prince. To kill a prince
was a small matter to the Kabakas of Buganda because they knew that if you
killed a prince his mother had no power to rebel or do anything else. But there
once was a Kabaka who killed his wife who had borne princes and these princes in
sorrow for their murdered mother in their turn killed their father. That was
Kabaka Kyabagu. (13) Therefore, henceforward, the subsequent Kabakas were
very frightened of sending away a wife who had borne a child, or children.
On the other hand they might send away the child because the mother did
not cause them anxiety in the same way as the child. This was the known
reason for neither sending away or killing the mother of a prince, only princes
were killed. A further important point was that a prince without a mother
did not succeed to the Kingdom of Buganda. It was like a taboo. People
would have feared him much in that he would kill many people remembering
the death of his mother and because there would be no one to check him if he
behaved too evilly. Again, his father would not have selected him to succeed
him because a prince without a mother was called a miserable creature. These
are the main points they looked out for princes in selecting a fitting person to
inherit the Kabakaship. Let me show what they looked for in princes when
they were choosing one fitting to succeed :-
I. They asked for a prince who was in the habit of torturing rats
and little birds by gouging out their eyes or breaking the little birds'
wings so that they could not fly. Such things used to be done by many
of the small children in Buganda as if it were a game. But were it a prince
or a chief's son they would not wish him to succeed his father thinking
that he would treat his people likewise.
II. A prince without a mother was not acceptable as a successor as
has been stated above, as it was thought he would not fail in his misery
to kill those who had mothers and, when, in addition there were any other
small objections, such a prince would not succeed.
(12) Gwolyoka.-Great stress is laid on the falseness of the story that Gwolyoka was Mutesa's
mother in view of Mr. Gray's statement to this effect on page 23 of the Uganda Journal of
January, 1934, in his article on Mutesa.
(13) Kabaka Kyabagu was the 29th Kabaka of Bugauda, the present Kabaka being the 38th.
Therefore (it will be seen) that if Mutesa (14) had no mother he would not have
been accepted. He did have a mother, she was Muganzirwaza Nakazi the Cook
and it was he who was chosen by his father who gave him great freedom and was
more pleased with him than all the other princes. Mukabya was not imprisoned as
were the other princes; further, he was never insulted as was the custom to insult
princes with such remarks as If you inherit this kingdom you will burn us like
a grasshopper placed alive in a pipe of burning tobacco." It used to be the
custom of the Kabaka to instruct chiefs to insult the princes in order that he might
rely on their not being in league with his children (to conspire against him).
Mutesa was never treated thus; the Kabaka made a difference in his case. Now
you should understand well this matter of Mukabya not having a mother and do
not think that it is true. It was the enemies of Mukabya who spread this rumour
about so that it appeared to be true whereas it was not true. And that is the
reason why they were convicted for speaking this great evil. Further, they were
executed when they did further evil things. They stole the princes from out of
their prison as they wished to rebel; they were caught, however, and killed.
A large number of chiefs were killed together with the princes and where they
were killed was Namugongo where they slew the Christian Martyrs in 1885, this
place Namugongo was an ancient place of execution.
Then Mukabya became king of his country and ruled well. But afterwards
having completed a period of four or five years he commenced, as you know
youths will, to behave maliciously, wishing to follow the murderous habits of his
father, killing people for nothing and such small offences as would nowadays,
perhaps, be met by a punishment of two or three weeks' imprisonment. In such
cases he just killed people, and attempted to kill very many people in an
unthinkably cruel manner. Now in the year 1859 some Arabs arrived from
Karagwe named Abdulla bin Hassan and Muhoya bin Saleh. These tried to
convert the Kabaka to Mohammedanism. His servants and chiefs applied
themselves to a study of their holy book the Koran and obstructed him strongly
in his attempts to slaughter people without cause, endeavouring to replace
execution by punishment and imprisonment, exhorting him thus: "You Kings
are God's representatives, you should not meet offences with death but rather
with imprisonment and fines. That is the good custom of Kings and kind Kings
are those whose lives last for many years." Then he stayed his hand on account
of these teachers.
In 1861, the Europeans Speke 15) and Grant arrived in Buganda. They were
the first Europeans to be seen in Buganda. They conversed with the Kabaka on
many subjects. What, however, prevented him from trusting them was the fact
that the Mahommedan religion had got a great hold on him and he had studied
much the Koran. As a proof of the hold that it had on him, when he had
studied this religion, he selected some of his servants and sent them to teach
(14) Mutesa, i.e., the Organiser or Wise Councillor, was the name by which Mukabya (the
Groan maker) became known later on in his reign. The names are indicative of how his character
(16) Speke arrived at Bandabalogo on February 19th, 1862.
Kabarega (16) and they took him a praying mat, a red flag to hoist on the flagstaff
which is erected by a mosque, a kettle for carrying the water for prayer and some
Mahommedan shoes of the kind which are removed when you enter a mosque
and he told Kabarega to accept Allah.
Now when he had seen all these and heard what the messengers told him
concerning the acceptance of God and his Prophet Mahomed and when they had
displayed all the things before him the Kabaka Kabarega said: "My friends, I
thank you for all these religious objects and for informing me about the God
who is greater than all other gods, but return them all and say to him Be not
angry, here are the articles belonging to your God, I return them to you, I do
not want them, and the God of whom you speak, I know him not; I have my
own gods whom I worship and who give me counsel in my Kingdom and who
cure me of all ills. Give my compliments to your master.'" The messengers
returned thus and when they informed the Kabaka, he said: My relative, that
one, will suffer, he will not give up his uncivilized foolishness; however, let
us leave him, if he does not wish for God's religion, I am sorry for him
indeed." Now that is the end of the narrative in regard to Mahommedanism.
The Europeans Speke and Grant found the Kabaka in his town Banda-balogo.
It is the hill which you see to the west when you are standing on Kireka
hill, where the Crown land and the Musalosalo (17) Kisosonkole's land adjoin.
On this hill where the boundary crosses it when you leave Kireka going westwards
and in a northerly direction that is Banda-balogo where Kabaka Mutesa used
to be and Mr. J. H. Speke found him. The Kabaka gave him a place to live
at down below and some distance away by the river but Mr. J. H. Speke did
not like this being far away from the Kabaka, he not knowing the customs of
Buganda wherefore they were afraid of a stranger from an unknown country
being near the Kabaka; further, he being a man unlike the black peoples they
considered him of a different type altogether, having regard to his whole
circumstances. A very white man is what the Baganda call an albino; his
language was not comprehensible and his clothes were of a different kind. He
brought guns of the percussion cap variety which he gave to the Kabaka and
this kind of gun was called a Speke and is so called to this day. When
you see a short rifle with two brass bands such are called Speke guns or Makowa
Speke. The guns which Speke gave the Kabaka amounted to seventeen and
he also gave him other things, clothes and blankets. Now the Kabaka used to
like Mr. J. H. Speke to come and teach him to shoot at a mark and bulls were
brought every day for them to hunt (i.e., shoot at)-and they both used to hunt
birds. J. H. Speke, however, did not like at all turning this cattle business into
a daily game and he tried to stop it. The Kabaka questioned him on many
subjects such as what the countries of Europe were like in regard to their forms
of government, buildings, populations, customs of the European Kings, European
marriage, whether many or few women were married and many other matters.
All these questions were answered and in all these matters it was not the
Kabaka only who questioned him. The Queen Mother also questioned him
(16) Kabarega was the Omukama or King of Bunyoro, the native state to the north of
(17) Musalosalo, the title of a minor chieftainship in the county of Kyadondo.
searchingly, for the Namasole, Mutesa's mother, was very intelligent. She was
very fond of Speke ; she used to send for him from time to time wishing to question
him on subjects connected with the wisdom of Europeans. She also liked
much the European medicines for fever and headache which Speke used to give
her and attempted to refuse altogether Baganda medicines, preferring those of
Mr. J. H. Speke.
Now Mr. J. H. Speke told the Queen Mother that the Kabaka seemed not to
like him because he made him live far away in an unpleasant place giving him
much trouble when the Kabaka sent for him to instruct him in matters
which he wished to learn, or to shoot, etc. The Queen Mother promised that
she would tell the Kabaka about it, as what he said was reasonable, but it was
not carried out because of the fear the chiefs had of him, wherefore they did
not desire him near the Kabaka as you have already heard. Now Mr. J. H.
Speke had with him messengers of the Kabaka's who had been sent to him
when he was still in the country of Karagwe at King Lumanyika's (Rumanika)
and who had accompanied him while he was on the way. Their names were
Namugundu and Kasolo. These where the people whom Mr. J. H. Speke used
to send daily to the Kabaka to say what he wanted but they did not approach
the Kabaka themselves but informed those who had access to the Kabaka who
in their turn made things known to him. Mr. J. H. Speke was very fond of
these men notwithstanding the fact that they were not very intelligent but they
pleased him much on account of their affabillity and the celerity with which
they went whenever he sent them to the Kabaka or Queen Mother or the chiefs
and the speed with which they served him.
Now there are still many matters connected with Mr. J. H. Speke pleasant
to hear, such as what he conversed about with the Kabaka and what he discussed
with the Queen Mother, the Kabaka's mother, but it is difficult to deal with them
all in this hurried article. Now when the time came for Mr. J. H. Speke to
depart on his journey to the lake (i.e., Nile) he prayed the Kabaka to give him a
representative to show him the road to the lake Kiira which the Europeans call
the Nile and the Kabaka gave him a representative called Sembuzi and they went
to Bulondoganyi(1s). When they had left the capital they passed by Mulondo's
and as he went he marvelled at the greatness of the cultivation of the Baganda
and to see that the plantations adjoined each other all the way from the capital
to Busagazi in Bulondoganyi, the headquarters of Mulondo. This place is not
known now, but it is where nowadays the R.C. Mill Hill Mission have a station
called Nazigo. From this place Busagazi, the headquarters of Mulondo, there
was a very great road which went to Busoga. Now when on that road he
marvelled and said to those present: "The masses of people I have seen in
Buganda resemble the crowds to be seen on our roads in Europe but in the
other parts of Buganda which I have visited there are no roads so crowded with
people as these in Bulondoganyi except at the capital Banda." For so as to see
the mass of the people, he had that day mounted a horse(19) and gazed out in front
(18) Bulandoganyi (now the southern part of the county of Bugerere) was formerly a separate,
chieftainship under a chief whose title was Mulondo. It lies on the west bank of the Victoria Nile,
the country of Busoga being on the east bank.
(19) The author of the article appears to be misinformed here. Speke had no horse. He left
the coast with some mules but does not mention still having them when in Uganda.
and behind, not seeing the ground, only the heads of people. This road was very
straight, it was two miles straight at a time and its width differed from 30 to
60 feet. It was on account of the flatness of the road and its width that he
was able to see the crowds of people before and behind him.
He then reached the river Kiira (Nile) and saw what he had come for; those
who were with him not knowing what he was doing in all his examinations of
the river, its water, rocks, trees, flowers, birds and insects. When he had finished
his work and followed the course of the Nile, the representatives then returned.
J. H. Speke said to the Queen Mother when discussing affairs in Europe: "I
have seen that some are frightened of me and some are astonished at me because
I am white. Further, you ask me if me if my race is numerous. Well, let me
tell you that not many years will pass before you will see other Europeans
coming to trade with this country coming from many different races of
Europeans now unknown to you. From the appearance of this country as I have
seen it it contains much for Europeans to do. When you notice many Europeans
here you must fear them no longer." The Queen Mother then asked him: Will
they be many? Are you a numerous race in your country ?" and he answered in
the affirmative. The Queen Mother then answered him "Those who are here
when they come will see for themselves."
A period of fifteen years had elapsed since Mr. J. H. Speke had left
when Mr. H. M. Stanley (20) came. He was the second European to arrive and came
when the Kabaka was staying at Busabala on the lake. This Mr. Stanley came by
lake from Buvuma in his boat. The Kabaka had been informed that there was a
European with a boat in the Buvuma islands and Mukasa Kipamira was sent to
bring him to Busabala where the Kabaka was in the year 1875. It is too long a
story to relate about Mukasa Kipamira's journey, how he followed Mr.
H. M. Stanley and where he found him and what he discussed with him and how
he guided his boat to the harbour. Now when the vessel came to land and the
European disembarked a man was sent to greet him and compliment him on his
journey across the lake. When the chiefs appeared before the Kabaka they said:
" Sir, we have something to tell you. This European has come and we know
nothing about him or why he has come, what he wants or does not want we do not
know. We desire, therefore, that firstly you should not go and greet him but should
send the Katikiro and let him greet him first. When we have spoken with him and
seen whether he has come for good or evil, then you will act accordingly." The
Kabaka then accepted their advice but the chiefs did not think he would listen to
their counsel because he had no fear in matters of this nature concerning people
from other countries as he wished to make friends with them. Although the
arrival was a European and a white man, an object for awe, it was his chiefs
who were afraid, not he. He agreed, therefore, to please his chiefs and so as not
to appear to despise the advice they had given him, whereas he knew what attitude
he would himself adopt. The chiefs then acted as they had planned and
appointed the Katikiro to greet Mr. H. M. Stanley and they all stood while the
Katikiro went to shake Mr. H. M. Stanley by the hand. When Mr. H. M. Stanley
had greeted the Katikiro and immediately their salutations were finished,
(20) Stanley arrived at Busabala on April 5th, 1875, i.e., 13 years after Speke.
Mr. H. IV. Stanley said : "I see all of you, but I do not see your Kabaka, where is
he ? The chiefs then replied and said "Why, that is he whom you have just
greeted." Mr. Stanley then said: "Certainly not, I know the Kabaka well. This
is not he. I had in mind that the Kabaka had sent some of his chiefs to meet
me and take me to him and now you say that this man is the Kabaka !" They
then sent at once to the Kabaka saying: Sir, the Europeans are marvellous; he
says the Katikiro is not you and knows what the Kabaka is like. Sir, how can
this be ? The Kabaka then answered The European is quite right; bring him
to me and let him greet me." So they brought him he and the Kabaka conferred
together and became great friends. The lies and deception were the chiefs',
not the Kabaka's. The Kabaka then gave orders for Mr. H. M. Stanley to be
taken to his place of residence and he came from there to visit the Kabaka and to
hunt crocodiles and to talk in the presence of the Kabaka's wives in the wives'
Then the Kabaka said to him: "Where we are now is merely a place of
recreation; let me take you, my guest, to my home." Mr. H. M. Stanley then
answered: I will come tomorrow, I fear the heat of the sun; we Europeans rest
during such hours, we do not travel therein." Some then said to the Kabaka
" Sir, will you take this white stranger by the back route, he should return and
make a detour so that he will be made to emerge at Wankaki." The Kabaka :
replied: "Certainly not, do not fear, there is no danger, he will travel by the
back route." Having spoken thus, they were silent and the Kabaka started off
to return to his town of Rubaga. Mr. H. M. Stanley informed him, however,
that he would come as early as possible the following morning. The Kabaka
then left him someone to guide him to the town of Rubaga and went off
[To be continued.]
The Population Map of Uganda:
A Geographical Interpretation.
By S. J. K. BAKER.
This short article is in the main based on a paper read before Section E of
the British Association in September, 1930. The writer would not wish to claim
finality for the conclusions that are reached herein, for he hopes in due course
to make a thorough revision of the essay and at the same time considerably
to enlarge its scope. Two considerations have prompted him to offer it for
publication in its present tentative form. First, its methods and its essentially
geographical mode of approach, perhaps new to many readers of the Journal,
can be intensively applied to the study of the various smaller units which are
to be found within the boundaries of the Protectorate; and a useful purpose
will be served if the following pages in any way stimulate the prosecution of
such local studies. Secondly, it is hoped that the publication of the article will
evoke from members of the Society the criticisms and observations without
which its effective revision can never take place. The writer will be grateful
for any communications that may be addressed to him, either through the Editor
or direct to the University of Liverpool.
The Uganda Brotectorate, comprising with Kenya Colony and Tanganyika
Territory a political unit within the major geographical region of East Africa,
has much in common with its two neighbours. At the same time, its position
is in many ways distinctive and two factors may be singled out as giving a
characteristic orientation to its whole development. In the first place, its situation
is purely interior, while each of its neighbours has a considerable frontage on
the Indian Ocean. Secondly, comparatively low plateau (some 4,000 feet above
sea level) forms the preponderant element in the relief of the country, and in
this respect the contrast with Kenya, where the highland is the dominant element,
is particularly strong. It is the operation of these two factors which in large
measure explains the small numerical strength of the European population in
Uganda: the 1931 census showed a total of 2,001. Whilst Kenya and Tanganyika
Territory have received numbers of white settlers in recent times, Uganda, with
a smaller area suitable for the purposes of settlement and that more remote
from the coast, has attracted few European immigrants. The attention of this
essay is thus confined to the native population of Uganda.
I. THE COUNTRY.
Uganda consists fundamentally of an uplifted peneplain in the Arch3aan
schists, gneisses and granites which make up the Basement Complex of the
African continent.1) The crystalline rocks of this ground mass outcrop over
(1) In more detail it is possible to distinguish three peneplains or flat erosion surfaces,
of different ages.
large areas of the Protectorate, but they give way in places to patches of
intrusive granite and, especially in Western Uganda, they are covered by the
ancient sediments of the Karagwe-Ankole System. The rocks of the last-
mentioned System, though younger than the members of the Complex, are
yet of Archaean age. After a long period of quiescence, when the earliest of
the peneplained surfaces was formed, there occurred in late Cretaceous or early
Tertiary times the
beginnings of the A N
movements which UGANDA
culminated in the A',
formation of the
Western and East-
ern Rift Valleys
and of the highlands
along their flanks.
The outpourings of o
lava represented by
the Mufumbiro and o
Toro volcanics in
the west and by the
Elgon group in the
east occurred in'
association with the
drifting movements. '
Meanwhile, a gentle .
down-warping of the
intervening are a
produced the shallow
depression which is TANGANYIK TERRITORY
now occupied in its ,. "
central portion by. U O.
Lake Victoria. Figure I. Uganda: Orographical.
The topography The three elements in the topography are represented as follows:-
o U g pograph y i Highland-black; Plateau-cross ruling; Lowland-horizontal ruling.
of Uganda is in its
broad outlines The heavy black lines provide a tentative demarcation of the
broad li n e os main natural regions :-
dependent upon this I. The "Victorian" Plateau.
geological history, II. The Interior Plateau.
though it should be IIA. Karamoja.
III. The Western Highlands.
noticed in passing IIIA. The West Nile Highlands.
that the influence IV. The Western Rift Valley.
which the solid
geology might exert on the details of the landscape is often masked
by a thick covering of lateritic ironstone. Three elements in the topography
are distinguished in Figure 1. The first of these is the plateau which
lies at an average elevation of 4,000 feet in the shallow depression between the
highland system of the Eastern and the Western Rift Valleys. The waters of
Lake Victoria have gathered in the south, while further north lies the papyrus-
choked system of Lakes Kioga and Kwania; and together these cover much
of the surface. The highest levels of the plateau occur in the south and west
and north-eastwards it presents a lower-lying area covered with lake deposits
of Quaternary age.
The plateau rises on its eastern and its western margins to the highlands
which comprise the second element in the topography. Elgon may be considered
as an outlying portion of the Eastern Rift Highlands of Kenya. Further north,
the gradually rising
ground of Karamoja
culminates in an n, A '
escarpment over- UCANDA /
looking the Turkana aw. /
Plains. The eastern
boundary of Uganda -.s "j.
lies at the foot of
the scarp slope,
placing the Eastern
Rift Valley entirely
outside the territory
of the Protectorate.
Toward the west, 0
altitude increases to
the Western High-
lands which form
the most important J j /
highland tract in the
country. Two factors
combine to account f
for their height-the .
uplift of the land on j.. ........'* .."
either side of the .. TANGAN A -
rift valley, which & -
seems to have
occurred as an Figure 2. Uganda: Mean Annual Rainfall.
integral part of the
tectonic p r oce s The isohyets, marked by the heavy black lines, have been taken from
Sthe map issued by the British East African Meteorological Service.
and the accumula- The figures represent inches of rainfall.
tion of lava from
the accompanying volcanic activity. The escarpment overlooking the Western
Rift Valley is on the whole clearly marked, though it is masked where the
Mufumbiro volcanoes stretch right across the valley in the section between
Lake Edward and Lake Kivu.
The Lowland of the Western Rift Valley, comprising the third element in
the topography, is represented by the depression of Lakes Edward and George
in the south, by the Lake Albert depression in the centre, and further north
by the wide plains on either side of the Albert Nile. In the last-named section
the valley loses its rift-like character; the lowland grades almost imperceptibly
into the plateau on the east, and there is no continuous escarpment to the west
on the side of the West Nile Highlands. In -these Highlands Uganda stretches
westwards to include a portion of the Congo slope of the Western Rift Highlands.
A brief account of the climate of Uganda .may be built up around the
description of the accompanying rainfall map (Figure 2). The country
adjacent to Lake Victoria is well watered, for although its average total of 50"
is only moderate, there is no season of drought, and the relative humidity is
always high. The temperature here is fairly high and yery uniform throughout
the year.. At Entebbe, for example, the mean annual temperature is 70*F. and
the mean range between the warmest and the "coolest" months is no more
than 2*F. Much of the rainfall in this area is the product of evaporation from
the lake surface and the rainfall tends to diminish with increasing distance
from its shores. The resultant dry zone is well marked in the south-west of
the Protectorate, though its westward extension is here limited by the proximity
of the Western Highlands. It is represented in a much less intensive form
by the narrow belt of country with less than 45" which stretches from west
to east between Lake Victoria and Lake Kioga. The presence of this latter
lake system presumably explains the considerable break in the central part
of Uganda between the dry zone of the south-west and that of the north-east
which extends over the whole of northern Uganda. These areas are dry, not
only in their low mean annual totals, but also in the sense that the rainfall
everywhere lacks reliability, whilst the dry season becomes pronounced and, the
relative humidity is at times low. There is a natural increase in the range
of temperature within such areas. The mean annual temperature is highest
in the north; Nimule, for example, has a mean annual temperature of 81-7 and
a mean maximum of 92-4*. In the Western Highlands the rainfall increases
with altitude and the mean annual temperature becomes correspondingly lower;
Fort Portal, as a type station, has a rainfall of 62" and a mean annual
temperature of 66-7. Finally, there is a natural decrease in rainfall and an
accompanying increase in temperature in the Western Rift Valley.
Mosquitoes and the various kinds of tsetse flies find suitable, breeding
conditions in the lowlands and over much of the plateau, but they are on the
whole absent from the highlands. Malaria is still undermining the physique
of the inhabitants, and although sleeping sickness is now under control, the
shores of Lake Victoria and the lowlands of the Western Rift Valley constitute
potential danger zones.
The discussion of the physical geography may be summarised by a brief
survey of the main natural regions within Uganda (Figure 1). Each of these
contains a distinctive landscape which tends to become less characteristic on
its margins, so that the boundary line sometimes marks the centre of a
transitional zone rather than the line of division between two precisely delimited
regions. This is especially the case on the plateau, where the smoothness of
the relief makes any decisive division impossible.
I.-The "Victorian" Plateau, if such an appellation is permissible, is
distinguished from the rest of the plateau mainly on a basis of its climate and
vegetation; but its limits are particularly difficult to define in the area between
Lake Kioga and Mount Elgon. Characteristic is the scenery of Buganda, where
flat-topped hills alternate with broad valleys. In their natural condition the
hills supported a rich savanna vegetation, whilst the valleys were either choked
with papyrus or covered by a rich tropical forest. Over wide areas the natural
vegetation has disappeared, and its place has been taken by a humanisedd"
landscape in which the plantain "shamba" is a conspicuous feature.
II.-This region merges into the Interior Plateau, which shows a broad
correspondence with the "dry zone" of the climatic section. With a smaller
rainfall and higher mean maximum temperatures, except in the central portion,
a drier type of savanna or an open grassland prevails. The region is much
more suited to cattle than the "Victorian" Plateau, though for the most part
it is not without its agricultural potentialities. The driest parts, such as the
Karamoja District, support an acacia grassland of a very poor type capable of
being used only for an extensive kind of pastoralism.
III.-The Western Highlands constitute a third natural region, including
Kigezi, the western part of Ankole and Toro and, more doubtfully, the hills
of central Bunyoro. Variety of topography and consequently of vegetation is
characteristic, but the wide distribution of rich open grassland (the mountain
grassland of Shantz) gives a fundamental unity to the region. Cultivated
valleys and hill slopes enter into the landscape of the Western Highlands; the
extensive grass-covered plateaux are its dominant feature. The highlands of
the West Nile District may be considered as a topographical "outlier" of this
region, whilst Elgon in. the east belongs to the comparable Eastern Rift
Highlands of Kenya.
IV.-The lake shores of the Western Rift Valley comprise a distinct natural
.region, which for various reasons presents only a slender basis for human
settlement. The presence of the tsetse fly is one unfavourable factor in the
situation. The lowland on either side of the Albert Nile is in some ways more
allied to the Interior Plateau than to the remainder of the Rift Valley.
II. THE PEOPLE AND THEIR MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD.
Four racial strains have contributed in varying degree to the composition
of the population now residing within Uganda. A pygmy, or perhaps a primitive
negro strain, appears among certain fragmentary groups which have been driven
into the remoter and less accessible parts of the Protectorate. Examples of such
groups are to be found mainly on the extreme western outskirts, where their
members gain a precarious living from hunting and the gathering of wild fruits,
to which may be added a little primitive cultivation. It is said, though, that
certain pygmy elements survive inside the Mabira Forest within forty miles of
Kampala.0) In view of their numerical weakness one may pass without delay
from these primitive peoples to a consideration of the Bantu negro. The
representatives of this strain, fundamental in the present population of Uganda,
are now found mainly in the south and west of the country, where they form
the bulk of the population on the plateau and the cultivating element in the
(1) See the article on "The Mabira Forest" by Captain C. R. S. Pitman in the first number
of the Uganda Journal.
highlands. The Hamitic or Bahima strain was probably the next one to intrude
into the area. Tradition links the Bahima with the Galla, bringing them from
the north-east, and an analysis of their present-day distribution shows that they
have penetrated south-westwards into Western Uganda and beyond what are
now the Protectorate boundaries into Ruanda and Urundi. The Bahima element
is strongest in Ankole, where the incoming herdsmen were able to take advantage
of the abundant natural pasture in the highlands and on the adjacent plateaux.
Here the invaders have remained quite distinct from the Bantu cultivators whom
they brought into
subjection. Further A -
north, Toro and--
Bunyoro have a UGANDA /
physical character e.
less favourable to
ism, and the
Bahima have been
unable so com- .
pletely to preserve
The greatest degree
of fusion between .
the two elements* "
has taken place .'.
in Buganda-in .:
the fertile region .
of the "Victorian". '
Plateau-where the '
remaining as a ....
feudal aristocracy, TANGANIKA
have lost their .,' TERRITORY
pastoral mode of life ..
and have tended to
become absorbed in Figure 3. Uganda: Plantain Production.
the mass of Bantu One dot represents 500 acres under cultivation. The map was
cultivators. There is compiled from the District statistics given in the Blue Book for the
much truth in t he year ended December 31st, 1928.
idea that the social progress of the Baganda and the historical development of
their kingdom have arisen out of the fusion of these two different strains. The
fourth racial element in the population of Uganda is Nilotic. The representatives
of this type entered from the north-west at a comparatively recent date and
they have penetrated south-eastwards at least as far as Kavirondoland. The
Madi, the Aeholi and the Lango are held to be Nilotic tribes. Their line of
movement cut across the earlier one which brought the Bahima into Uganda
and much intermixture between the two types must have taken place. They
are to be compared with the Bahima in that they have a considerable amount
of Hamitic blood in their veins, and in that their traditional occupation seems
to have been the keeping of cattle. The Nilotic tribes of Uganda, however,
are known in addition to be careful cultivators of grain.
The people of Uganda rely upon either cultivation or the keeping of livestock
to provide themselves with the basic means of subsistence, for hunting is practised
only on a very restricted scale. Livestock-mainly cattle, sheep and goats in
the case of Uganda-may be reared in two ways: under a system of nomadic
pastoralism or in association with sedentary cultivation. It is difficult to map
the distribution of
true pastoralism, as A *
opposed to the .,- "" ...
keeping of stock by UGANDA 1 .:.:: : : .
cultivators, and no .
map has as yet been ,.
attempted. It is
must play an im- .
portant r6le in parts .'
of the Western
Highlands and the .
As far as cultiva- / ...... .' .'
tion is concerned,.. ." "
the writer has taken
plantain and millet
as two represent- .
active food crops and *e '"
has endeavoured to '. .. : |
map their distri- *......
bution. Such crops TANGANYIA .
as sweet potatoes "".
and various kinds
of beans seem to Figure 4. Uganda: Millet Production.
be ubiquitous, but One dot represents 500 acres under cultivation. The map was
plantain and millet compiled from the District statistics given in the Blue Book for the
have a well-marked year ended December, 31st, 1928.
have a well-marked
regional distribution. The plantain emerges as the staple food crop among the
Bantu of the "Victorian" Plateau, and its extraordinarily dense distribution in
the Mengo District of Buganda Province is noteworthy (Figure 3). It is
grown by Bantu cultivators on the slopes of Mount Elgon and to some extent
in the Western Highlands.
Millet, on the other hand, though not absent from the "Victorian" Plateau
and important in parts of the Western Highlands is essentially a staple crop
of the Interior Plateau (Figure 4). Its importance in Teso and Lango deserves
notice, whilst its reappearance west of the Nile is important in relation to the
Population Map. From the racial point of view, millet is largely grown by the
Nilotic negroes and the related Teso, who in Uganda show themselves to be
assiduous cultivators of grain as well as the keepers of much livestock. This
proclivity towards the cultivation of millet would seem to represent not a
traditional aptitude, but rather a natural response to the environmental conditions
of the Interior Plateau.
Figure 5. Uganda: Distribution of Population.
One dot represents 500 people. The statistics, furnished by the Survey Department,
were based upon the 1921 census and the official estimates for the year 1926.
(A map, based on the 1931 census figures, is in course of preparation.)
III. THE DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION.
The distribution of population cannot be explained entirely in terms of
adjustment to environmental conditions. Its evidently artificial character in
some areas is due to the operation of non-geographical factors, a discussion of
which is beyond the scope of this paper. There is no doubt, though, that its
salient features may be usefully discussed in relation to the physical geography
of Uganda with a view to the evaluation of the geographical factor among the
sum total of influences affecting the present distribution.
In the Province of Buganda there is a strong concentration of population in
the vicinity of Lake Victoria, a fact which has its counterpart in the centralisation
of the administrative, commercial and educational services around Kampala and
Entebbe. Even before the coming of the Europeans each chief in Buganda
was required to
maintain a good -- N---- '
road from the capital
at Kampala to his UGANDA .
..-*COTN n**,,noM ? / P ."
country residence, .. ". .
with bridges over '. .
every river or
swamp, thus facili-
tating communica- .o ..
tions with the more o .
remote parts of the
kingdom. The / "
modern roads often .
follow the lines of
these old tracks.
Buganda is par
region of plantain m
cotton has achieved .
im p ortan ce as a .- ... ....... .. ................... .
commercial crop in TANGANY.KA
A second area of Figure 6. Uganda: Cotton Production.
concentration occurs One dot represents 500 acres under cultivation. The map was
in the south central compiled from the District statistics given in the Blue Book tor the
area of the Eastern year ended December 31st, 1928.
Province, after a break which may at one time have constituted a kind of
marcher zone between Buganda and Busoga. In the southern part of this
area the plantain, if not the predominant food crop, is at least an important
means of subsistence, while in the north the millet complex is definitely dominant.
The abundant labour supply is one of the factors favourable to the success of
large-scale cotton cultivation in the Eastern Province, and the both relative and
absolute acreage under this crop, has increased rapidly in recent years (Figure 6).
This fact of contemporary economic geography gives unity to an area which
from the "Natural" point of view has a purely transitional character. The
cultivation of cotton represents the active response made by the people of this
area to the stimulus of the new, world-wide environment into which they have
been brought since the entry of European influences. This amazing economic
development inevitably involves a challenge to the historical supremacy of the
Kampala-Entebbe focus. As late as 1925, the Phelps-Stokes Commissioners
were able to make the following statement in their report: "The Kingdom of
Buganda is at present the centre of everything in the Protectorate and all the
roads lead to Kampala its capital, so that it is impossible to get anywhere in
Uganda with ease, except from Kampala or by roads radiating from that city.
It should be pointed out that Kampala is not merely the centre of communications;
it is also the intellectual centre of the whole Protectorate." They went on to
predict that with the arrival of the railway a second centre would arise in
Eastern Uganda. The railway has arrived, numerous roads have been constructed
in the Eastern Province, new schools have been built and the predicted
tendencies are certainly in operation. Kampala still retains much of its nodality,
but a disturbance in the regional balance has undoubtedly taken place, providing
the geographer with an illustration of the dynamic character of the facts which
he is studying.
The presence of unpopulated districts in close proximity to these populous
areas is to be explained in terms of health conditions. The sleeping sickness
epidemic of the early twentieth century played havoc in the area east of Jinja.
The tragic scale of this devastation is illustrated by a statement taken from the
1920 edition of the Handbook of Uganda: "Before the advent of sleeping
sickness Saza Chief Nanyumba had 17,000 fighting men at his command. He
has now 105 tax payers." The disease is now under control, though here as
elsewhere along the lake shore the tsetse fly Glossina Palpalis is still to be
found. The population of the Sese Islands was transferred to the mainland in
the later stages of the same epidemic, but the work of reclamation has gone so
far that by 1925 over 11,000 of the original inhabitants had been repatriated.
A zone by nature thinly occupied covers the greater part of the Interior
Plateau and in it pastoral activities together with the cultivation of drought-
resisting cereals assume an important rble. Its continuity from south-west to
north-east is interrupted by the north-westward extension of the populous zone
around the shores of Lake Kioga. The presence of another tsetse fly, Glossina
Morsitans, which brings disease to cattle, explains the total depopulation of
certain areas in Southern Ankole; but if, as seems likely, the Veterinary
Department scheme for the clearance of a considerable tract of country near
Gayaza can in the near future be brought to a successful conclusion, at least
one such area will again be available for cattle and their human owners. The
sparse distribution of people in Buruli, especially on the south side of the Kafue
River, would seem to be partly due to historical causes, for here lay the marcher
zone between the rival kingdoms of Buganda and Bunyoro. Finally, beyond
the populous districts of Lango and Teso, the whole of north-eastern Uganda
is sparsely peopled by semi-nomadic tribes.
Population increases upon approach to the Western Highlands. Kigezi and
Western Ankole have a dense distribution comparable with that across the
boundary in Ruanda and Urundi. Toro and Bunyoro are less thickly populated,
but they show concentrations respectively -around Fort Portal and Hoima. It
is interesting to notice that a motorable road now runs right through the
Western Highlands, providing the possibility of direct communication between
Kabale and Fort Portal, whence a further road runs north-eastward to Hoima
and Masindi. In the West Nile Highlands, beyond the valley of the Nile, there
dwells a considerable population of Nilotic stock in whose rural economy the
keeping of cattle and the cultivation of millet play a prominent part.
Such then is the relative distribution of population over the Uganda
Protectorate. It undoubtedly represents an adjustment to environmental
conditions, but it must not be considered as final, for human distributions are
ever changing. Dramatic changes have taken place in the recent past and
changes are occurring at the present day. Disease, both endemic and epidemic,
is still rife among the population, and for some time past the death rate has
been considerably in excess of the birth rate in the three districts of Mengo,
Bugwere and Bunyoro. This unfortunate position is probably due to the
insidious effects of syphilis. On the other hand, sleeping sickness is now under
control and areas once ravaged by it are being repopulated; and if the present
campaign against syphilis is successful, districts such as Bunyoro may be
restored to their former populousness. Human effort in another direction-in the
development of communications-is further modifying the detail of the relative
distribution; the economic prosperity of the regions thus served by roads and
railways always tends to attract an immigrant population. It is certain, too, that
Uganda could support a much larger total population without necessarily
prejudicing the existing standard of life among its native inhabitants:
paradoxically enough, the greatest shortage of labour is in the most populous
districts. The average density of population over the Protectorate (44 per square
mile of land surface), though high in comparison with the figures for Kenya
and Tanganyika Territory, is none the less low in relation to the natural resources
of the country.
James Martin (Antonio Martini) 1857-1924.
By R. A. SNOXALL.
Since writing the short note on James Martin which appeared in the first
number of the Journal it has occurred to the writer that before all direct
connection is lost with this truly remarkable man it would be in the interests
of future inhabitants of the Protectorate if something rather fuller in the shape
of first-hand anecdotes of his life were searched for and published. His
loyalty, "infinite resource and sagacity," his uncanny perception of what would
impress the native mind, his extraordinary ability in surmounting the handicap
of his illiteracy, and his wonderful capacity of making friends," are all the
attributes of a romantic character, remembered and discussed in the circles
of those who knew him, but too apt to-day to be consigned to the dusty attic
in Uganda history littered with quasi-fairy stories of burial grounds for elephants,
encounters with the "Nandi Bear" and talks with our oldest inhabitants who
remember as if it were yesterday their interviews with Kabaka Sunal But the
stories of "Martini" are no more fairy stories than a description of the crossing
by the Bugungu-Jinja ferry, nor the hunting of birds and game where now
golf courses extend their close-cropped greenery, nor tales of hardship with a
safari of porters between Entebbe and Kampala. We can forgive him for
assuming the aegis of the Governor and sending the news before him that
His Excellency was on his way to Ankole if we only consider the speed and
efficiency of his work and justify him by results. What other officers-military
or otherwise-have processed triumphally along a hoAtile front, as James
Martin did along the Kagera front shod in carpet slippers and transported in a
The fullest information which has been vouchsafed to us in literary form
occurs in Sir Frederick Jackson's Early Days in East Africa where he pays
the warmest tribute to the capability and above all the loyalty of James Martin
in the following words:-"On the afternoon that I called on the General
(Lloyd Matthews, the Commander-in-Chief of the Zanzibar army) he introduced
me to James Martin, and from that date to the day of his death in
December, 1924, I doubt if anyone ever had a more devoted and loyal friend
than I had in that little man."
Joseph Thompson, in his book Through Masai Land is equally emphatic
in his praises. What could be more glowing than the tribute he pays when he
says:-"To show how well we got on, I might mention the possibly unprecedented
fact in African travelling, that we actually never once had an unpleasantness
between us. I cannot speak too highly in Martin's praise, and if it were ever
my lot to go back to Africa, I would seek for no better assistant."
Warm tributes indeed are these from great-hearted pioneers in th days
when safari difficulties were well nigh unbelievable. How doubly accept le are
these eulogies when they come from two such men Of Sir Frederick J ckson,
Lord Cranworth says, in his foreword to Early Days in East Africa, happy
in his mass of friends, and even happy in his few enemies, for if you could be
an enemy of Bwana, Jackson, who would want you for a friend? We should,
I think, therefore, be correct in ascribing the success and popularity of James
Martin primarily to his loyalty and resourcefulness.
But it is not with his early life in Africa that we shall deal in this
article, since his adventures and achievements have been chronicled by
abler pens than mine, but it is with the mass of anecdotes and with the
information which we can glean first-hand from those who knew him that we
are here mainly concerned. His illiteracy has now become a by-word in Uganda
but although there is something pathetic in the subterfuges of Martin in his
efforts to disguise this handicap his varied career and his holding of important
positions during his life of 67 years are all the more remarkable and
praiseworthy when we realise the immense difficulties which a man with such
a handicap was forced to overcome.
He was, as Sir Frederick Jackson tells us, a Maltese by birth, born in 1857,
and his baptismal name was "Antonio Martini." He was a sail-maker by trade
and had been a wanderer in many parts of the world before he was eventually
shipwrecked off Zanzibar in 1884 and his connection with East Africa began.
There is something all the more humorous in the picture of this intelligence
officer in his rickshaw subsequently touring the Kagera front in carpet slippers
in the late war, if we compare the picture with that of the Colonel, second in
command of the Troops of the Sultan of Zanzibar as Sir Frederick Jackson saw
it. "He never claimed the rank of Colonel, though his high rank was proclaimed
for him by a resplendent tunic literally plastered and stiff with braid and cord
"gymnastics," as he was pleased to call them. The tunic, plus very wide
bell-shaped trousers-worn also by the general and the whole force-and a
large curved sword with ivory and inlaid gold handle, and, of course, a helmet
with a very large gold badge in front, completed his full-dress parade outfit,
when every Friday he attended the review of the troops in the square in front
of the Sultan's palace. He always brought up the rear when they marched off
after blazing away many thousands of rounds of blank cartridges."
This love of colour and display, his vivacity and gift of graphic story-telling
were all the heritage of his southern character, and render more intelligible
his persistency in concealing his inability to read or write, for such a disability
would have appeared shameful to one with such a belief in his own powers.
His gift of narrative must have been little short of wonderful from all the
accounts one receives from those who formed his audiences, and Thompson's
account of his suffering during his journey through Masai Land, graphic though
it be, was mild compared with Martin's. Of such stories of danger and
suffering, his account of his journey into the Suk country as the first collector
of Poll Tax must have been one of the most enthralling. As it was given to
me, it appears that although he by no means relished this pioneer expedition
The "signature," in between that of Sir Frederick and Lady Jackson.
[Both photographs are copies by Messrs. Wardle, Kampala, of originals in
the possession of Mrs. H. Neilson.]
he eventually found his way as collector to the country of these hitherto untamed
and untameable people. It appeared obvious to Martin from the very first
that he was in an ugly position and that quite apart from the question of
collecting tax he would be extremely lucky to get away unscathed from the
circle of fierce warriors which surrounded his tent.
However, having admired some beautiful Somali ponies belonging to the
Chief he settled down to make a bargain with him in which brandy was set
against the ponies. The haggling, or whatever more probable form the
bargaining took, was carried on almost throughout the night and in the morning
the native Chief awoke with a feeling that possibly, "the lark was not on the
thorn nor all right with the world." However, with a misguided belief in
"the-hair-of-the-dog-that-bit-him" remedy he applied for and received a fresh
supply of dawa. Eventually, when the Chief had been reduced to a state of
benevolent impotence, Martin was enabled to get away with the ponies in lieu
of Poll Tax, though whether he was ever issued with a "G.R.R." for them is
The story of this bargaining for ponies reminds one of the other enterprises
of James Martin in which, as Sir Frederick Jackson tells us, by a skilful
introduction into Uganda of cheap ponies from Zanzibar and their exchange
for ivory he made in six years between 12,000 and 15,000. Martin was
evidently a firm believer in the dictum that "Trade follows the Flag," but to
his amazement he found that his trade methods, which to him were justified
by their success, did not meet with the approval of the British Government.
Such a believer was he in the powerful agency of those above him, that these
successful foraging safaris for ivory were sent out all over the district at intervals
in the name of Lambala, Sir Frederick Jackson's native name However,
Sir Harry Johnston, by the greatest tact, removed him from temptation, whilst
appearing to offer him a promotion by announcing his intention of occupying
the Sesse Islands and sending Martin to build a station there for him.
Some of the stories concerned with his illiteracy are worthy of record and
their authenticity is vouched for by the fact that Sir Frederick Jackson has
included them in his book. His generous and grand way of dealing with a circle
of friends in the club for whom he wished to buy refreshment is truly remarkable.
He would come up to the people, presenting a club chit block and saying,
"You sign, I pay," by this method he secured all the orders and what remained
for him to do was to pay, altering the last figure on the bill to one shilling
more to include his own drink. It was certainly curious that although he
understood figures he could not understand letters and his caravan book which
contained an inventory of the amount of cloth, wire, beads, etc., "on charge,"
was full of a series of noughts and crosses, pot-hooks and hieroglyphics of his
own invention which to him represented the contents of his store.
In connection with his power as District Commissioner in the light of his
disability of illiteracy, the following anecdote is of interest and I cannot do
better than retail it verbatim as recorded by Sir Frederick Jackson. Having
explained that the event caused quite a little flutter in the Protectorate
Department of the Foreign Office, Sir Frederick Jackson continues:-"One day,
when on leave, I received a note from Sir Clement Hill asking me to go and
see him, and I did so. On arrival he told me that he had just received a paper
from Uganda, an application by a Persian to become a British subject, and
signed by some one whose name could not be found in the Staff List; and as
they had to be very careful in such matters, they were in a bit of a quandary.
I knew at once who the Magistrate was, but said nothing until Sir Clement rang
a bell, and, asked for the document which was brought in, if my memory serves
me correctly, by a fair young man, now Lord Tyrell, Ambassador in Paris.
There was no doubt as to the signature and my word was accepted, but
I would have defied any expert in handwriting to have deciphered it
His popularity as District Commissioner, Entebbe, was enormous and
afterwards on the occasions of his visits to Entebbe from the Mabira Forest,
when he had become the Manager of the Company, he was invariably inundated
with invitations to every meal in the day. The verbal invitations were easily
dealt with, but written ones must have caused him a certain amount of
embarrassment. One of his methods of dealing with these invitations was
to take them into the house of a friend where he had been invited to a
"Sundowner," there he would produce the note and ask the host to read it
since he had not got his spectacles with him. Having heard the contents the
same excuse was offered as inability to write a reply, and the good natured
host was always made his "amanuensis."
However, after glancing at the signature in the photograph, one is certainly
tempted to believe that James Martin was a better scribe than he was reputed
to be, but it must be borne in mind that this was written during his later
days in Uganda and after many lessons in signing his name from Sir Frederick
Jackson who, however, admits his inability to coach him successfully in
writing James Martin in full after his initiation as a Freemason.
Omwami Ham Mukasa might almost have been describing the photograph
reprinted for this article, when he gave me the following description of James
"He was a short man, having a large stomach and short legs and wore
breeches with leggings. His coat was not generally fastened owing to his
large girth. In appearance and size he was something like the Reverend
In 1906, the Mabira Forest Uganda Rubber Company, Limited, was started
by Mr. Grant who had retired from thq post of District Commissioner, Busoga,
and after he had set the business going he left his friend Martin as Manager
since he also had retired from Government service. There, with about 15 Goan
Assistants and 2,000 native labourers, he remained as Manager until somewhere
in 1915, and during his tenure of the post attempts were made to introduce
the Para rubber of Brazil.
In 1912, he made a recruiting expedition for Bagishu labour, with Doctor
Hunter in what was the first motor-car which had travelled between Jinja and
Mbale. Although the passengers completed no more than 15 miles a day
I am informed that the safari was accomplished in extreme comfort. At many
points on the journey the car was surrounded by crowds of natives, who even
had to be prevented from crawling underneath it to look at the devils who, they
thought, were harnessed by chains, and by an ingeniously stimulated rivalry,
were induced to pull against each other and thus cause the wheels to revolve.
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Barnet and their very young son were also with Martin
and Doctor Hunter on this safari, and although they walked from camp to camp,
were seldom long behind the motor-car in arriving since a road had to be
cleared in front of it in most places and primitive culverts employed over the
In 1899 he married a Miss de Souza, a Goan lady, in Zanzibar who bore
him a daughter.* His leaves he spent principally in Portugal where he also
sent his daughter for education and where he himself died in 1924. During
his life his hospitality was lavish and particularly during the period he spent
in the Mabira Forest his prodigality was such that he was never afterwards
He had little or no idea of the value of money but his simple soul found
a never failing delight in the bestowing of presents, and after his visits to
Entebbe or Kampala he never returned home empty handed, but always
remembered to take the most wonderful presents back to his wife and her sister
Selima. Small wonder is it that his popularity caused the house in the forest
to be always full of guests, and since the arrival of each distinguished guest
was preceded by the building on of one or two extra rooms, the building
underwent the most rapid alterations in its mushroom growth.
During the campaign in East Africa he was employed in any jobs in
which his experience made him of use to the British Government and was for
some time Intelligence Officer on the Kagera front and afterwards in charge of
a tug on the Rufiji river. He was seen in Dar-es-Salaam in extremely poor
circumstances eking out a livelihood by buying and selling chillies and after
that he disappears from the East African Stage.
In the history of Uganda and East Africa there have been many more
capable and many more worthy characters, but it is fitting that this remarkable,
and romantic, and often ridiculous little man, should be remembered by us,
his successors. In spite of his many faults and his at times morally warped
ideas, if we with our greater advantages accomplish as much for the progress
of East Africa as he succeeded in doing we may well rest satisfied that our
lives have not been spent in vain.
Eldama, named after the Ravine, in which station she had been born. (This daughter
married a Portuguese Government Official in 1922, and I am informed is in Lourengo Marques).
Note on Bismutotantalite (and some remarks on Bismuth).
By E. J. WAYLAND.
Bismutotantalite is not a euphonious term but it has the advantage of being
self-explanatory-unlike Ugandite which at one time was suggested as a name for
the mineral with which this note deals. Ugandite might be a pram-polish, a new
brand of oilcloth or a temporary stopping for teeth, indeed it might be almost
anything, although it certainly suggests some sort of association with this
Protectorate, and bismutotantalite was discovered in Uganda and has never yet, so
far as I know, been found anywhere else.
In brief, the history of the discovery is this: in June, 1928, a massive rock
supposed to contain coal and collected at a spot rather less than 25 miles W.N.W.
(approx.) from Kampala and about 35 miles N.W. from Entebbe, was brought to
the Geological Survey office by an optimistic prospector whose hopes, unfortunately,
were destined soon to be somewhat shattered--so was the office verandah, for the
stalwart Native who conveyed the specimen on his head from the car to the
laboratory suddenly succumbed in the unequal struggle with gravity and parted
with his load at the door without delay or ceremony. The supposed coal was that
complicated borosilicate tourmaline, now well-known to many people in Uganda
on account of its occurrence in the tin fields, and resembled the mineral fuel only
in being black. Its association, however, with a certain kind of mica and quartz
suggested the occurrence of tin in the neighbourhood from which the specimen had
come, and when preliminary tests later revealed the presence of a small quantity
of that metal in the rock, some field assistance was given to the prospector who
was advised to put down a trial hole in a spot at which, it was anticipated, a
pegmatite (a very coarse grained vein-rock of the granite family) would be
revealed near the surface ; for on analogy with some occurrences elsewhere it was
deemed not altogether unlikely that, if discovered, the pegmatite would prove of
A pegmatite was struck at a depth of 8 feet and it was found to be
metalliferous, but the ore it carried was not that of tin. It was decidedly heavy
(specific gravity rather more than 8); moderately hard (H. 5" approx.) ; grey-black
to pitch-black in colour, except for some yellowish to pinkish material running
through it in very thin veinlets or coating it in places, and without cleavage,
except for rough parting planes. It was a puzzling substance and none of us
could name it at sight, though it suggested tantalite more than anything else.
Such tests as could be applied, however, practically convinced us that we bad a
new mineral to deal with. When this discovery was made our laboratory was out
of action, being in the hands of the Public Works Department; it possessed but
three walls and half a roof and was full of dust, but Mr. W. C. Simmons, at that time
Chemist and Petrologist to the Survey, concluded as a result of such investigations
as he was able to make under trying and difficult circumstances that the new
mineral was in all probability a tantalate of bismuth-a compound hitherto
unknown in Nature. A knowledge of its crystallography would have proved
helpful and interesting, but this could not be obtained from the poor specimens
then available. An attempt to discover by photographic methods whether the
new mineral was perceptibly ratio-active or not gave a negative result. The same
may be said of similar experiments carried out in the Geophysical Laboratory at
Washington by Dr. C. N. Fenner, and by the chemists of the Imperial Institute
in London; but Professor Arthur Holmes, of Durham, informed me that a
specimen submitted to him proved to contain ratio-active streaks.
The site of the discovery is Gamba Hill (320 10' E., 00 30' N.) in Busiro County,
lying between the Kampala-Mubende and the Kampala-Hoima roads and to the
north of the Mayanja river at the junction of Native-owned and European-owned
lands, and just within the latter. Topographically the area lies within the limits
of the well-developed Buganda peneplain or plateau, and the solid geology
is greatly obscured by elephant-grass, surface soils and lateritic ironstone
(murram). It is therefore not well-known, but in the vicinity of the find it
consists essentially of some highly micaceous rocks (mica-schists), belonging
apparently to the basement of Africa, intruded by dikes or veins containing a high
percentage of silica, a few of which are packed with tourmaline (quartz-
tourmaline and tourmaline-quartzrocks), but most of which are ordinary quartz
dikes and normal pegmatites. That in which the bismuth mineral was found
consists of quartz, felspar (often highly decomposed to china clay) and large buff-
coloured flakes of mica which resemble leaves owing to the presence of parallel
striations which impinge upon each other at an acute angle along a central line.
Amblygonite (a fluophosphate of lithium and aluminium and the chief source of
lithium compounds) also occurs, as well as a beautiful lilac lithium-bearing mica
(lepidolite). The bismuth mineral is present in large misshapen crystals up to
several pounds in weight, but its distribution is patchy and irregular. It is most
probable that well-directed search would reveal additional lodes of this sort and
the presence of other economic minerals in the neighbourhood is not unlikely.
It might be mentioned in passing that colours of gold have been found in the
alluvial deposits of the Mayanja river in this area.
Two complete chemical analyses were undertaken at the Imperial Institute
by Mr. W. O. R. Wynn, while mineralogical observations were made on the same
material by Mr. G. E. Howling. Another analysis was made by a commercial
firm, and the average of the three shows the mineral to consist of rather more
than 50%/ of bismuth oxide, and about 47% of tantalic and niobic oxides. This
confirms Mr. Simmons' results, and shows the substance to be analogous to the
antimony mineral stibiotantalite. For this reason the new mineral was named
bismutotantalite. Its composition corresponds very closely with that required by
the formula Bi203.(TaNb),,5.
Measurements made by Dr. Spencer, Keeper of Minerals in the British
Museum (1), show that bismutotantalite crystallises in the orthorhombic system,
but a number of points need further investigation and the Mineral Department
of the British Museum (Natural History) will welcome good crystals of the
mineral for further study.
(1) Wayland, E. J., and Spencer, L. J., Bismutotantalite, a New Mineral from Uganda,"
Mineralogical Magazine. December, 1929.
Commercially bismuth is one of the minor metals and its world production is
normally a few hundred tons per annum. The chief producers are the United
States, Bolivia and Spain; other producers are Tasmania, Australia, Canada, Japan
and Peru, and an attempt has been made recently to work bismuth in the
Transvaal. Great Britain is not a producer, but London is the selling centre
of much of the metal. The market is closely controlled.
Except in Bolivia and Spain, bismuth is produced as a by-product in the
process of smelting other ores (chiefly lead-silver), but in 1929 a Peruvian
company developed a process for the recovery of
bismuth from their copper smelter fumes. To-day
there are several patent recovery processes.
A number of minerals contain bismuth, but
the chief ores of that metal are two : native
bismuth (Bi) and the sulphide, bismuthinite
(Bi2S3) sometimes called bismuth glance. At
and near the surface of the ground these minerals
are represented in the zone of weathering by
the carbonate bismutite (BiO. Bi(OH)2.CO) and
the oxide bismite (Bi 03).
Bismuth is sometimes associated with gold.
Pebbles of native bismuth, a soft white metal
which tarnishes readily, have been found in the
auriferous alluvials of the Kigezi district, and in
S that area bismutite occurs. It probably represents
the top, or cap, of a bismuth lode-bismutotantalite
most likely; and bismuth telluride and native
bismuth have been shown by the Uganda
Geological Survey to occur in some of the gold
reefs of Kakamega.
Probably at least 75% of the bismuth that
comes into the market is used in the manufacture
of pharmaceutical chemicals, the remainder is
2. utilised in low-melting alloys; in "Sealalloy"
for sealing glass joints; for filling thin-walled
Clinographic drawing of a crystal tubing during bending and for facilitating the
of bismutotantalite. bending of other light sections particularly in
rTop" view. aeroplane construction; in non-shrinking "Matrix
alloy" for holding together parts of composite
dies; for chucking small articles in machine
shops, and in printing alloys. Research work by the Cerro de Pasco Copper Co.,
of Peru, in co-operation with the United States Bureau of Standards, has lately
resulted in the production of extended bismuth wire of so small a diameter as
0-012 of an inch, and in twenty-foot lengths.
The price of bismuth which fell to Shs. 4/3 per pound has risen again.
By R. M. BERE.
It is remarkable in a country such as Uganda how very little interest is shown
in the old native methods of hunting. The more so, perhaps, because with the
diminution of game in many parts of the country and the introduction of
laws to preserve the game, such hunting methods are dying out. It is hoped,
therefore, that the following notes will perhaps stimulate interest.
Amongst the Acholi the big organised hunts take a definite sequence. The
first to occur is the fire-hunt or Lino, which happens during the grass-burning
season in December. The herd of game to be attacked is first located and found
to be in a suitable place for the hunt which follows, which needs long, dry and
unburnt grass. A ring is made round the herd at some distance from it and the
grass is set on fire at different points until the game is entirely surrounded by a
ring of flame. Wind and panic do the rest. Any animal which is lucky enough
to break through the ring of fire is so maddened by pain and blinded by smoke
that it falls an easy victim to the spearmen who are waiting beyond the flames.
This is not a pleasant form of hunting and needs neither skill nor courage in the
performance, and is the type of native institution best forgotten and discouraged.
The really big hunt is the Dwar Arum which takes place during the dry
season when there is no grass. The number of hunters is unlimited and may run
into thousands when the people from several parts of the country take part. The
hunters are armed with spears, shields, and in some cases with bows and arrows.
No nets are taken. The hunters approach from different quarters of a large area
of country, gradually driving the game into a selected place where it finds itself
surrounded. A shower of arrows and of light throwing-spears is sent in amongst
the animals; all the surrounding hunters, in a line three deep, then get behind
their shields and set up a great noise of shouting. The game stampedes and meets
on all sides an armed wall of spears and shields and, if the hunters keep their
places, very few animals escape. Great numbers are killed and a large supply of
meat is laid in during a few such hunts held in the early part of the year.
The ordinary hunts with nets are held at the beginning of the rains but
there is little peculiar in the Dwar Obwo.
During the early rains when the rivers are in flood the hunt called Kirange is
held. The game is driven down to a river from both sides and is speared in the
Other hunts besides these are held, but Lino and Dwar Arum are the most
important. During the rainy season and in the latter part of the year until the
grass-burning there is little opportunity for organized hunting and only the
trappers Oken go out after the game. Their art is interesting and difficult as they
always work alone. Several types of trap are used, according to the type of game
hunted, of which the following are the most common :-
Okol.-A running noose attached to a log of wood. The animal's foot is
caught by the noose and held tight by the weight of the log. Such nooses
are set in the tracks of game going to and from water holes.
Tekke.-A circular foot trap with thorns sticking inwards to hold the
animal's ankle. Tekke is usually fitted into the rope noose of Okol.
Bur.-A pit dug in the path of game and carefully concealed by grass,
Tong Twok.-The well-known falling-spear trap to kill elephant which
pass under the tree from which the spear is suspended. A cord stretched
across the path at the level of the elephant's chest releases the spear when
The majority of the other types are for catching smaller animals or birds only
and are not necessarily in the province of the real trapper Oken.
By CAPTAIN C. R. S. PITMAN (Game Warden, Uganda).
On the 14th February, 1934, about 12 miles due west of Mbarara, in the
Ankole District of south-west Uganda, a white stork-Ciconia c. ciconia, while
eating locusts, was killed by a dog. The District Commissioner of Ankole,
Mr. F. Lukyn Williams, has very kindly supplied me with particulars of- the
inscription on a ring found on the bird's leg :-
ADRESSE 4954 P. S. KOVGAARD
EUROPA *R DANMARK
On account of severe locust infestation in the south-western regions of
Uganda, tens of thousands of white storks, evidently on northern passage, are
tarrying in the Protectorate very much later than usual.
Normally, most of the migrant white storks have finished passing north by
mid-February at the latest.
Probably what was part of the normal movement was witnessed on 28th and
29th January, 1934, when several thousands high up passed northerly in the
middle of the day over the Nile where it leaves the Victoria Nyanza.
But, on the 8th March, in the locust-infested areas of the Ankole District
miles of country, literally white with storks, were traversed.
An Approach to Linguistics.
A certain English professor of phonetics was once lecturing in France to
French professors of English. He pointed out that the sentence I have seen
him could be said in five different ways to mean five different things :-
1. The simple statement of a fact, descending the four notes of the
2. With the emphasis on the I."
3. With the emphasis on the "have "; and so on.
Each sentence thus conveyed an entirely different shade of meaning. He then
asked his audience to translate the first simple statement of fact. This was done-
"Je l'ai vu." The second was successfully translated C'est bien moi qui l'ai vu"
with an appropriate beating of the chest on the third word. The third also was
adequately transposed to "Je l'ai bien vu." The.fourth was met by the despairing
cry "Oh! mais ca c'est me petite chose . . ." with appropriate gestures of
This little history serves to show that almost any sentence in English owes
its particular meaning to the tones of the voice used and further, that the French
language lacks this particular characteristic, which may, perhaps, account for the
gesticulations which Frenchmen use to emphasize what cannot be emphasized by
What of African languages ? To what extent are they "English" and to
what extent French "in this fundamental idea ? How many of those who have
passed a Higher Standard examination, for instance, in Luganda can correctly
distinguish between "agenze the statement and "agenze" the question in their
conversation. It is certain that the majority would enunciate the first in the
straight-down-the-scale fashion characteristic of the English statement, while they
would give the second the "turn up" on the ultimate syllable characteristic of
the English but not of the Ganda question. How many, too, would be able to
translate correctly the five shades of meaning that can be given to I have seen
him which the native would probably render "Namulabye," "mulabye," "mu
And yet this idea is fundamental and until Europeans and Natives can
appreciate these shades of meaning in each other's languages their knowledge of
them is not only incomplete but spurious. Moreover, if, as seems evident, this
idea is fundamental, then it must come first in the study of the language and an
inversion of the usual order of study is indicated. First, then, we should learn the
sentence, then the word, and lastly-when it will no longer be necessary-the
Mutesa of Buganda.
[ To The Editor, The Uganda Journal." ]
In Mr. J. M. Gray's article on Mutesa of Buganda, he mentioned the holocaust
of 1857, when the sixty-one rivals of Mutesa were rounded up and put to death.
I believe that the place of their imprisonment was somewhere between the
Gayaza and Jinja roads and is still visible, a circular fosse with an external
embankment. The princes were supposed, according to the popular theory, to
have been starved to death.
There is a similar earthwork at Katereke in the Gombolola of Sabagabo, Busiro,
which is well worth a visit and ought to be preserved. It can be reached by a
path which bears to the right from the Masaka road between mile 12 and 13, a
few yards beyond the turning to Buloba. The enclosure is roughly circular,
enclosing an area of about an acre. The fosse, which entirely encircles it except
for two narrow entrances, at the present moment averages 16 feet in depth, being
14 feet wide at the base and 20 feet wide at the top. The corresponding mound
on the outside is about 12 feet high. The distance round the top of the mound
is approximately 350 yards. As this is said to be the site of the destruction of
the 36 princes at the death of Mutesa, it must have been made in 1884, 50 years
ago. It is difficult to estimate how much the fosse has filled up and the mound
been reduced in this period, but, at any rate, the fosse must originally have
been not less than 20 feet deep. It was, therefore, an earthwork of no small
magnitude. As one visualises the work entailed in lifting basketful after basketful
of earth a height of 35 feet after having excavated it with native hoes, one wonders
wherein lay the reason for it. The same result could surely have been obtained
with far less labour. Was it done to carry out some tradition ? The princes were
imprisoned for some time apparently, after which they were surrounded with
firewood, shot (a merciful innovation), and burnt.
KING'S COLLEGE, BUDO, STEPHEN H. H. WRIGHT.
19TH FEBRUARY, 1934.
A Dry Crossing of the Nile.
[To the Editor, The Uganda Journal."]
The dry crossing of the Nile, described by Mr. Way]and, would appear
to be similar to that described by Sir Samuel Baker in his book Albert Nyanza.
It will be remembered that he sailed up the Nile as far as Gondokoro in the
early part of 1863. On his return journey to Khartoum in May, 1865, he
found that his way was blocked by an extraordinary obstruction, which had
formed since his passage up the river. This obstruction is described in chapter
XIX of his book, and it is worth while quoting here :-
"A few days after this incident we arrived at the junction of the
Bahr el Gazel, and turning sharp to the East, we looked forward to arriving
at the extraordinary obstruction that since our passage in 1863 had dammed
the White Nile.
There was considerable danger in the descent of the river upon nearing
this peculiar dam, as the stream plunged below it by a subterranean channel
with a rush like a cataract. A large diahbiah laden with ivory had been
carried beneath the dam on her descent from Gondokoro in the previous
year, and had never been seen afterwards ....
.... At daybreak we manned the oars and floated down the rapid
stream. In a few minutes we heard the rush of water, and we saw the
dam stretching across the river before us .... As we approached the dam,
I perceived the canal or ditch that had been cut by the crews of the
vessels that had ascended the river; it was about ten feet wide and would
barely allow the passage of our diahbiah. This canal was already choked
with masses of floating vegetation and natural rafts of reeds and mud
that the river carried with it, the accumulation of which had originally
formed the dam ....
.... Although the obstruction was annoying it was a most interesting
object. The river had suddenly disappeared; there was apparently an end to
the White Nile. The dam was about three-quarters of a mile wide; it was
perfectly firm and was already overgrown with high reeds and grass, thus
forming a continuation of the surrounding country. Many of the trader's
people had died of plague at this spot during the delay of some weeks in cutting
the canal; the graves of these dead were upon the dam. The bottom of the canal
that had been cut through the dam was perfectly firm, composed of sand, mud
and interwoven with decaying vegetation. The river arrived with great force
at the abrupt edge of the obstruction bringing with it all kinds of trash and
large floating islands. None of these objects hitched against the edge, but
the instant they struck they dived down and disappeared. It was in this
manner that the vessel had been lost .... having missed the narrow entrance
to the canal, she had struck the dam stem on; the force of the current
immediately turned her broadside against the obstruction; the floating
islands and masses of vegetation brought down by the river were heaped
against her, and heeling over on her side she was sucked bodily under and
carried beneath the dam ; her crew had time to save themselves by leaping
upon the firm barrier that had wrecked their ship. The boatmen told me
that dead hippopotami had been found on the other side, that had been
carried under the dam and drowned.
Two days hard work from morning till night brought us through the
canal and we once more found ourselves on the open Nile on the other
side of the dam. The river was at this spot perfectly clean; not a vestige of
floating vegetation could be seen upon its waters; in its subterranean passage
it had passed through a natural sieve, leaving all foreign matter behind to
add to the already stupendous bulk."
Baker does not mention the length of the obstruction, but its breadth
would appear to have been about ten times greater than that described by
Mr. Wayland. It was also probably longer since two days' hard work were
needed to move the boat through a canal which, though apparently partly
choked and too narrow to allow the use of oars, had been previously used for
the passage of vessels.
Baker's dam was downstream from the Bahr el Gazel junction, that is to say,
between four and five hundred miles down the river from that described by Mr.
Wayland. The volume of the river must be greater here owing to the addition of
the waters of the Bahr el Gazel.
In both cases the vegetation of the dam is similar to that of the surrounding
Mr. Wayland states that there were indications that elephant had used the
dam to cross the river. If elephant, why not rhino? There are White Rhino
in West Madi and Black Rhino on the East bank. Is there any evidence that
either have crossed to the other bank ?
MASAKA, J. P. BIRCH.
7TH FEBRUARY, 1934.
[To The Editor, "The Uganda Journal."]
I should be glad to know if any of your readers can throw any light on the
true origin of the word "Kavirondo."
An ingenious theory was propounded to be by an old native of Kavirondo,
namely, that it derives from a term applied to them contemptuously by the early
Swahili immigrants to describe their habit of resting in a kneeling position-
This sounded plausible but unfortunately a search in a Swahili dictionary
failed to reveal any such word as "kironde" I
E. M. PERSSE.
22ND MARCH, 1934.
Sudan Notes & Records, Vol. XVI. 1933. Parts I & II.
Our contemporary, the Sudan Notes and Records, sets a high standard for
publications of this sort and should be of special interest to many in Uganda.
From it the promoters of the Uganda Journal derived much of their inspiration.
It is unfortunate that we in Uganda are so ignorant of and out of touch
with our northern neighbour, for we have many problems in common, and both
territories would profit by an interchange of views and experiences. Apart from
a few officials in districts in our Northern Province and from those of us who
have gone home by the Nile Route, the acquaintance of the majority of Uganda
people with the Sudan is practically limited to brief and involuntary calls at
In the last number of this Journal, Mr. J. M. Gray showed how the Kabaka
Mutesa saved Uganda from Egyptian domination and the subsequent chaos of
Mahdiism. With the re-conquest and general pacification of the Sudan, contact
with the established government of the Uganda Protectorate was made, and
there followed the triangular readjustment of political boundaries between
Belgium, the Sudan and Uganda, which involved the loss to Uganda of Gondokoro
and Nimule and the gain of that part of the Lado Enclave which we now know as
the West Nile District and the West Madi area of Gulu. The conditions which at
first made the administration of those areas bordering on Uganda military rather
than civil, the outbreak of sleeping sickness with its consequent rigorous restrictions,
and the lack of telegraphic and road communications have made the process of
establishing contact a slow one, but each year undoubted progress is being made.
There is now a readiness on the part of the authorities in the southern Sudan to
turn to the south in order to benefit by the experience of the administration of
other territories with a negroid population.
It would surprise many to know that even to-day the more extreme political
parties in Egypt regard Sir Samuel Baker's annexation of Bunyoro for the Khedive
as being still valid. In 1931, when the aerial survey of the Upper Nile led to
considerable publicity regarding the proposed Lake Albert dam, a number of the
Cairo newspapers declared that Lake Albert was as much Egyptian property as
the Sudan and therefore there would be no need for negotiations with Uganda.
But apart from our common interest in the Nile waters we have a very real
ethnographical connection. Not only does the Sudan-Uganda boundary cut
through tribal areas such as the Acholi, Madi and Kakwa countries, but in the
southern Sudan there are racial and linguistic groups similar to those found in
parts of Uganda. Thus any information regarding these peoples must necessarily
be of value to both countries. Moreover, our common interests do not stop here ;
for medical problems, such as sleeping sickness; agricultural problems, particularly
those connected with cotton growing; game problems; and many others are
similar to if not identical with those to be found in parts of this Protectorate.
Unlike the quarterly Uganda Journal, the Sudan Notes and Records
are usually published in two half-yearly parts. The 1933 Volume, Part I,
The Nuer, Tribe and Clan (Sections I-IV).-E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD.
David Reubeni, an early Visitor to Sennar.-S. HILLELSON.
Notes on an Arab Stellar Calendar.-T. R. H. OWEN.
Studies on the Nile Perch.-F. E. KENCHINGTON.
A Fragment from Christian Nubia.
Pygmies on the Bahr-el-ghazel.-REv. P. CRAZZOLARA.
At Home with the Savage.
Pagan Tribes of the Nilotic Sudan.
Part II contains:-
The Baggara Tribes of Darfur.-G. D. LAMPEN.
The Bisharin.-G. E. R. SANDARS.
The Red Sea Coast in 1540.-B. KENNEDY-COOKE.
The Belands, Ndogo, etc.-REV. FATHER STEPHEN SANTANDREA.
Bari Notes.-J. N. RICHARDSON.
A Roman Coin.-A. J. ARKELL.
Tebeldis.-E. G. CORYTON.
There are a few points from some of the articles which are of general
interest. In the "Baggara Tribes of Darfur" there is a description of the
hunting of elephant and giraffe on horseback which reminds one in some
respects of the sport of bull-fighting as practised in Spain. Can it be that the
latter is the degenerate offspring of this Arab form of hunting on horseback,
introduced possibly through the Moors, and modified into a popular spectacle
by contact with the remnants of European medieval chivalry? The writer
remarks: "I fear that no sporting spirit enters into their hunting. The main
object is meat and money and to a much lesser degree the kudos which attaches
to a successful hunter. Sports which involve a risk and bring no profit seem to
them childish and foolhardy." If the above theory is correct the activating
motives of the Arab hunters would seem to have descended almost intact to
the professional bull-fighters of Spain.
The Baggara are a pastoral people of mixed Arab and negro stock and mainly
lead a life of nomadic indolence; they are, however, a pleasant and kindly
people and not lacking in the finer feelings. The writer says:-
To their children they are always kind and I have never seen an Arab
child struck by its parent. The father will take little notice of his child in
public but this by no means reflects coldness of disposition. The mothers, in
playing with their children, use rhymes not unlike those used in the nursery
at home. For instance:
Clap hands, bread and no gravy;
The horses graze here, and the cows here, and the sheep here, and
the camels here, and the moth got caught in the rain and
came in here,'
culminating in tickling under the armpits, is very reminiscent of This little
pig went to market.'"
Like all peasant people, the Baggara have their vices, of which one is
excessive tea-drinking. They even form tea-drinking societies (Baramka)
reminiscent of our undergraduate wine clubs, and with results which are similar
though differently produced, for the writer remarks that they become such slaves
to tea-drinking that they suffer from headaches in the morning if they do not
We all have a secret delight in hearing what others think of us and this
passage is both interesting and amusing:-
"The old men's recreation is conversation. When you become
more intimate with the people you hear a number of opinions of the English
which can be pieced into a rather rough picture. Ingilterra is to nearly every
Baggari a woman, not a country. Is this a relic of the tradition of the Great
White Queen ? Our women, of whom they see few up here, are an enigma to
them. The respect paid by us to women is rather nauseating to a Baggari.
They have the peculiar notion that every white woman carries a revolver;
also, that at marriage, she is put in the scales and the dowry corresponds to
her weight in gold. A few have the idea that we have no marriage, perhaps
a natural enough notion to a fanatic sectary to whom all outside the law is an
abomination. A peculiar belief which seems to be widely spread among the
Fugara here is that the English have connection with the Arabs in their
origins, surely a belief to delight all Anglo-Israelites.
The English are still commonly described and addressed as Turks, and
even the more enlightened natives confuse us with Egyptians and believe we
live in Egypt and that the Khawagas are our Mandala or freed slaves.
For genuine opinions of us I would cite the views of two men, a
Habbani and a Rizeigi, whom I knew intimately. The Habbani rather
reluctantly told me what seemed blameworthy to them in our conduct:-
(1) Our treatment of women, which seems to them weak, and even
unpleasant, as when we eat with them or let them precede us.
(2) Our close-fitting small clothes. A ruler should wear ample
clothes and appear imposing.
(3) Our failure to pray.
(4) That we do not recognize property in slaves, which is
Bolshevism to them.
(5) That we do not remit sentences, which shows us lacking in
The Rizeigi said that we were asbur, argal and asfi (more patient, brave and
pure) than the Arabs, but that we indulged in childishness such as games, which
seem to the Arabs undignified and foolish, as is all exertion taken without fear of
punishment or hope of reward."
There is a lot to be said for the objection to our scanty garb. Our wise
men- Judges, Ecclesiastics and University Dons-still recognize the dignity and
impressive effect of full and flowing robes, though our women, less wise, seem
bent on discarding their ancient advantages in this respect.
Some of us who, en route to or from England, have called at Port Sudan have
made the short trip from there to the ancient Arab town of Suakin, now largely
superseded as a port by the modern Port Sudan. But even unenterprising people
who have not made this trip will be interested in the article on The Red Sea
Coast in 1540," which describes one of those futile but picturesque naval
expeditions which the Portuguese in the hey-day of their power in India were so
fond of launching from Goa against their hereditary Arab and-Turkish enemies on
the Afriban and Arabian coasts. On their way up the Red Sea to attack the
Turkish fleet at Suez they sacked and burned Suakin and other towns after the
pleasantly energetic but rather unnecessary fashion of those days, and in the
account of the voyage written later by Don Juan de Castro, a Captain in the
Fleet, there is a very full description of the Suakin of that time, which he states
to have been then "one of the richest cities of the East." He does not seem to
have conceived any inordinate liking for the inhabitants of the coast, on whom he
pours out a torrent of cold invective, imputing to them a lack of all the usual and
most of the unusual decencies and virtues of ordinary human beings. These
people were possibly the ancestors of the modern curio-dealers and picture post-
card sellers one meets in Red Sea ports at the present day. If so, one can have a
great deal of sympathy with Don Juan's point of view.
Adventuresses, though sometimes dangerous, are seldom uninteresting and
the lady who was known as Kedeng, whose brief but hectic career is described in
" Bari Notes was no exception. Taking advantage of a sudden and unexpected
recovery from a grave illness she blossomed forth as a Bunit, or witch-doctor, and
quickly acquired considerable influence over the local chiefs. In the East, wealth
always follows power and the lady equally rapidly accumulated large stores of the
local currency-ivory. Her greed was the cause of her downfall for presently
there appeared on the scene one Arabi Dafalla, whose respect for her pretended
powers was as small as his desire for her stores of ivory was great. In the
resultant clash between the magic wands of her followers and the rifles of his
minions the result was not long in doubt. The lady was then put to the ordeal as
a witch and it was proved to everyone's satisfaction, except Kedeng's, that even