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|Table of Contents|
|Rwot Ochama of Payera|
|Messrs. Jackson and Gedge's journey...|
|A review of some vegetational studies...|
|The Pan-African Congress on prehistory,...|
|The occupation of the Turkwel river...|
|Nuer modes of address|
|Extracts from "Mengo Notes"...|
|Another photograph of Mumia|
|The wild mammals of Teso and Karamoj...|
|Supplement: List of volumes in...|
|Index to Volume 12|
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|Table of Contents|
Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Table of Contents
Rwot Ochama of Payera
Messrs. Jackson and Gedge's journey to Uganda via Masailand
A review of some vegetational studies in Uganda
The Pan-African Congress on prehistory, 1947
The occupation of the Turkwel river area by the Karamojong tribe
Nuer modes of address
Extracts from "Mengo Notes" - VI
Another photograph of Mumia
The wild mammals of Teso and Karamoj - I
Supplement: List of volumes in the Society's library, 31st December 1947
Index to Volume 12
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
The Uganda Journal
THE JOURNAL OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY
VOLUME 12, No. 2 SEPTEMBER 1948
Rwot Ochama of Payera SIR JOHN MILNER GRA. 121
Messrs. Jackson and Gedge's Journey to Uganda via Masailand
E. G. RAVENSTEIN 129
Double Swindle PERCY W. PERRYMAN 134
A Review of Some Vegetational Studies in Uganda W. J. EGGELING 139
The Pan-African Congress on Prehistory. 1947 E. G. P. SHERWOOD 153
The Occupation of the Turkwel River Area by the Karamojong Tribe
CAPTAIN C. A. TURPIN 161
Nuer Modes of Address E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD 166
Extracts from Mengo Notes"-VI 172
Another Photograph of Mumia W. J. EGGELING 197
The Wild Mammals of Teso and Karamoja-I J. M. WATSON 200
The Ruwenzori Colobus 230
Tribal Nicknames 231
Early Treaties in Uganda 231
"Liberia: A Century of Survival. 1847-1947" (By RAYMOND LESLIE
BUELL) ALONE L AMA 233
List of Volumes in the Society's Library, 31st December 1947 237
Index to Volume 12 of The Uganda Journal - 279
Published on behalf of
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THE UGANDA SOCIETY
His Excellency Sir John Hathorn Hall, K.C.M.G., D.S.O., O.B.E., M.C.
Dr. W. J. Eggeling
Mr. D. K. Marphatia
The Hon. Secretary
The Hon. Treasurer
The Hon. Librarians
The Hon. Editors
Hon. Secretary :
Mr. S. J. K. Baker
Mr. A. H. Fish
Rev. F. B. Gaffney
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Mrs. K. M. Trowell, M.H.E.
Mr. J. A. Addington
Mr. D. W. Mack
Miss J. Larter
Mrs. B. Saben
Dr. W. J. Eggeling
Mr. R. M. Bere
Mr. H. B. Thomas, o.B.E. Mr. Mark Wilson
Mr. E. F. Twining, C.M.G., M.B.E. Mr. Norman Godinho, M.B.E.
R. A. Tito Winyi II, C.B.E. Dr. A. W. Williams
Mr. E. B. Haddon
Sir A. R. Cook, Ki., C.M.G., O.B.E.
Mr. E. J. Wayland, c.B.E.
Dr. H. H. Hunter, C.B.E., LL.D.
Mr. H. Jowitt, C.M.G.
Sir H. R. Hone, K.B.E., M.C., K.C.
Mr. J. Sykes, O.B.E.
Captain C. R. S. Pitman, D.S.O., M.C.
Mr. S. W. Kulubya, M.B.F.
Mr. E. A. Temple Perkins
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Dr. K. A. Davies, o.e.E.
Mr. G. H. E. Hopkins, o.BE.
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The Hon. Editors
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Mrs. G. J. Birchby
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THE JOURNAL OF THE UGANDA SOCIETY
R. M. BERE n. Editors
W. J. EGGELING H
C. R. S. PITMAN, D.S.O., M.C.
R. A. SNOXALL
(assisted in England by H. B. THOMAS, O.B.E.)
Published on behalf of
THE UGANDA SOCIETY
JSE LONDON E.C.4
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109 KINGSWAY, LONDON, W.C.2; AND ASHFORD, KENT
Rwot Ochama of Payera S JOHN MILNER GRAY
Messrs. Jackson and Gedge's Journey to Uganda via Masailand
E. G. RAVENSTEIN
Double Swindle PERCY W. PERRYMAN
A Review of Some Vegetational Studies in Uganda W. J. EGGELING
The Pan-African Congress on Prehistory, 1947 E. G. P. SHERWOOD
The Occupation of the Turkwel River Area by the Karamojong Tribe
CAPTAIN C. A. TURPIN
Nuer Modes of Address E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD
Extracts from Mengo Notes "-VI -
Another Photograph of Mumia -
The Wild Mammals of Teso and Karamoja-I
W. J. EGGELING
J. M. WATSON
The Ruwenzori Colobus
Early Treaties in Uganda
"Liberia: A Century of Survival, 1847-1947" (By
List of Volumes in the Society's Library, 31st December 1947
Index to Volume 12 of The Uganda Journal
RWOT OCHAMA OF PAYERA1
By SIR JOHN MILNER GRAY
IN a recent article in the tenth volume of The Uganda Journal Mr. R. M.
Bere gave us an interesting account of Awich, formerly Rwot of Payera in
the Acholi country. Here I will endeavour to give some account of Ochama,
the father of Awich, because the story of the father will, I venture to think,
help to explain the interesting but somewhat turbulent career of the son.
Rwot Ochama claimed descent from Lwoo, the progenitor of all the
Lwoo-speaking people. According to tradition, Labongo, alias Isingoma
Rukidi, who was the founder of the Babito dynasty in Bunyoro, was the
common ancestor of both Ochama and his contemporary, Kabarega of
Bunyoro. Tradition also relates that Labongo was the fourth or fifth in
descent from Lwoo. He had a son, Ayera, who is said to have migrated from
Bunyoro and to have settled at Payera in the Acholi country. According to
varying traditions, Ochama was either the eighth or twelfth in descent from
Labongo. His family must therefore have been first established at Payera
between two to three hundred years ago. During that period the family
appears to have extended its rule over a large tract of territory and, at the
zenith of his power, Ochama probably exercised effective rule over the whole
of the country extending from Kitgum to Pakwach and the Murchison Falls.
Baker would therefore appear to be more or less correct in attributing to him
the position of paramount chief in the Acholi country.
Some time after Ochama's succession to the chieftainship the first Egyptian
slave and ivory traders entered the Acholi country. As readers of the works
of Speke and Grant will remember, some of these traders had established a
trading post at Paloro (Faloro) in 1862. This and another post at Patiko
(Fatiko) were garrisoned by a number of armed men, who made organized
raids on the surrounding country to procure cattle and slaves. Speke and
Grant have given graphic descriptions of the miseries which these people
inflicted on the countryside and, in his Albert Nyanza, Baker fully confirms
In 1869 Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, appointed Sir Samuel Baker
to command an expedition into Equatorial Africa to suppress the slave trade,
but it was not until 1872 that Baker was able to leave Gondokoro and proceed
southwards through the Acholi country. In March of that year he reached
Patiko, where he found an armed post manned by slave traders. These men
were employed by a certain Abu Saud, and were spreading devastation far
and wide. The arrival of Baker was therefore hailed with real delight by the
inhabitants and in particular by Rwot Ochama (Baker's Rwot Jarma), "who
1 This article was written before I had an opportunity of perusing "The Life of
Rwot Iburaim Awich", by the late Reuben S. Anywar, published in Vol 12, No. 1, of
The Uganda Journal. I have decided not to alter it, but to append footnotes dealing
with certain matters referred to by Mr. Anywar.-[J.M.G.]
122 UGANDA JOURNAL
had never visited Abou Saood or his people, but who would quickly tender
his allegiance to me as the representative of the Khedive". On 16th March
Ochama visited Baker at Patiko and assured him that "he had determined to
offer his allegiance, and he and all adjacent countries would serve the govern-
ment faithfully, in return for protection and justice".
As Baker wished to press on to Bunyoro, he left a garrison at Patiko in
charge of a certain Major Abdullah for the purpose of keeping Abu Saud's
slave traders under control. But Major Abdullah proved singularly incapable
of giving the local inhabitants any adequate protection. During Baker's
absence a party of the Abu Saud's men attacked Ochama. They lost five
men killed, but managed to carry off a number of cattle as well as a number
of slaves. Thereafter Ochama sent messengers in haste to Bunyoro to implore
Baker to come back.
Baker returned on 1st August 1872. It was at once apparent to him that
there was only one way of dealing with Abu Saud's raiders. Next day he
attacked and carried their station at the point of the bayonet, killing more
than half of the slave traders. After that the land had peace.
Baker remained at Patiko until 20th March 1873. He full appreciated
the value of Ochama as an ally. During his stay at Patiko the two were on
the best of terms and the whole of Ochama's very powerful influence was
placed at the disposal of the Egyptian Government. Unfortunately, after
Baker's departure, minor Egyptian officials showed that they had different
views. They regarded themselves as herrenvolker and utterly failed to realize
that in Ochama they were dealing with a personality who needed handling with
the utmost tact. In his interesting article on Awich, Mr. Bere says: "The
details are not known, but at some time in the last few years of his life Ochama
was evidently deeply insulted by one of the commanders at Patiko, so much
so that his whole nature changed." Below I venture to supply these missing
details. I think they serve to explain much of the early conduct of Ochama's
Emin Pasha visited Patiko in the last days of 1878. Writing about that
visit to a friend, he said : "So early as Baker's time Rochama (Rot Yarma)
was chief of all the Shuli, and his first visit to Baker is fully described
in the latter's Ismailia. It was chiefly owing to Rochama's influence that his
people allied themselves so willingly and so closely to the Egyptian Govern-
ment. Nevertheless he was so insulted by a later commander at Patiko, that
he completely withdrew, and was not seen for years.
Emin Pasha was an Egyptian Government servant and doubtless had to
be guarded in what he said in his letters to friends. But his diary was
presumably intended solely for his own personal perusal. Therein he could
put on record information which it might be ill-advised to set out in a letter.
This is what he wrote in that diary under the date of 2nd-3rd January 1879:
"In Baker's time the Shuli chief Rotschamma (Baker's Rot Jarma) came
to him and it was mainly thanks to his influence that the Shuli had such
friendly relations with the Government. Nevertheless Taib Bey, the com-
mander at Fatiko, thought fit on account of some small difference to give
him a terrible beating and to put him in chains. After that Rotschamma
RWOT OCHAMA OF PAYERA 123
avoided our station and was never seen in the presence of a governor. To our
very great surprise to-day there came a request to visit him. He had come to
a place within two hours from the Zeriba (station), but would not come here,
because once his blood had flowed here. He had grown old, but is still head
chief. I promised to visit him in the early morning."
So great, indeed, had been the indignity inflicted upon Ochama that public
opinion evidently demanded that he should be deemed to have died what
mediaeval European jurists would have termed a civil death. As happened
a quarter of a century later in the case of his son Awich, a funeral dance was
evidently held in respect of the yet-living man, and in native eyes Ochama had
joined the ranks of the dead. Only by the ceremony of 'Gwor Kome' could
he again be brought back to life and re-established as a living entity in his
clan. A black goat, as the representative of death, had to be slaughtered, and
the person who, in native eyes was presumed to be dead, could only come to
life again by passing through the blood of the slaughtered animal. The essence
of the ceremony has been described by Mr. Bere in his article on Awich' as
well as in the passage from Emin's diary for 4th January 1879, which is
As he had promised, Emin Pasha set out on 4th January for Payera.
His diary describes his visit to the place as follows: "An escort of honour
waited for us, consisting of about fifteen well-clothed dragomen of the chief,
armed with old guns. He himself (Ochama) was standing on the side in the
middle of some skin-clad negroes, who were freshly painted red and were
waiting for me. I was now asked to wait a moment until two goats, which
had been brought by us, had been slaughtered and the blood sprinkled on our
path. Then the chief came over the blood to greet .me with a handshake and
led me for about three minutes out of the village to where an ankareb (couch)
had been erected for him under a tree, whilst my stool was placed nearby in
the shade of another tree. Two dragomen stood close to the chief, guns in
hand. A young man, who appeared to be his familiar friend, reclined on the
ground in front of him. About two hundred and fifty negroes were gathered
in a circle amongst the houses. The coloured costumes of the armed dragomen
in the midst of the skin-clad and iron-adorned negroes made quite a stately
appearance in the sun's rays. Here and there a woman could be seen with
her offspring. After the customary greetings I turned to Rotschamma. He is
already quite old, but knows how to hold himself. He is of middle size with
a peculiar side glance, painted entirely red, iron ornaments and an antelope
skin as a covering, and clean shaven. I gave him my presents, which very
much pleased him, asked him to forget all the past, thanked him for the
1 Awich was made a prisoner in 1901 because of his hostility to the Government.
He was reinstated in March 1902 and was escorted to Payera by Mr. F. A. Knowles,
Collector at Wadelai, and Captain Harman of the King's African Rifles. About one
hundred yards from the first village in his district he was met by a party with a sheep,
or (according to another account) a black goat. The animal was at once put down, its
throat cut, and its entrails torn out. Awich is described as having then proceeded to
paddle about in the blood and said a few words. It was explained that this ceremony
ad to be performed because his death song had been sung when he was made prisoner
and it was necessary that he should go through this ceremony in order to effect his
return to life.
124 UGANDA JOURNAL
assistance which his people had given to us, and asked him to put aside all
mistrust. He thanked me for my visit and asked me to repeat it at a village,
which is six hours further to the east on this side of the River Assa (Aswa);
and he assured me that his negroes would always submit to the wishes of the
Government, and asked me to accept a few presents from him. . Next
began the official discussion; then I was asked for a gun, to which I agreed
(I had obtained a second-hand one in Patiko); then a man complained about
oppression by our people, who had recently demanded a half basket of corn
(five caravans),' but had taken a full basket (ten caravans). For the sake of
general goodwill I was able' to provide a remedy in this matter and I accord-
ingly reduced the contribution to the old measure. I also gave the station
chief, who was present, the necessary orders, and bid him to be on good terms
with the people; otherwise I would remove him. Whilst Rotschamma was
chatting with the station chief and indulging in milk and mrissa (beer), I had
a walk through the small village. . As rain was threatening and business
had terminated in the best possible terms of friendship, I then took my
Emin again visited Rwot Ochama on 22nd October 1880-this time at
the village of Biajo. Here is what he says of this second visit: "The old
gentleman came to meet and had prepared huts for me but was very upset
because I did not wish to cross the River Assa to-day. There followed a long
discussion, in which his women took part. After I had appealed to our former
friendship-it is now one year since I saw him at Bajira (Payera)-I told him
that for to-day I would consent to be his guest, provided his people were ordered
to bring wood and water, and one goat for myself, and mrissa for my followers.
A present of cloth, glass beads, copper, and above all a flask of absinthe
rewarded his friendship and increased his good humour.
The person, who is going to be my successor in this province, will have
a difficult time, if he does not follow my practice of visiting the chiefs. All
the chiefs from Mtesa (Mutesa), Kabrega (Kabarega) to Afina, Rotschamma,
the Madi and Bari chiefs, etc., are personally attached to me, because I am
liberal with them and care for them out of my own pocket, since the Govern-
ment has no money !
Rotschamma has not grown any older; he is an elderly,,attractive and
pleasant person, as I learnt before, but he has absolutely no power over his
own people, who make merry over his long-winded advice, which he never
loses an opportunity of giving. In addition, his son is very young and I can-
not give him my support, but there is his first, and very old and ugly, wife, who
is distinguished by a somewhat broad tail garment and is very friendly to us."
"23rd October-Sunday. Important gentlemen come late. Therefore it
was just as we were setting out that friend Rotschamma finished his sleep
and brought his people together with some trouble and difficulty. . We
reached our sleeping quarters at the village of Odian, where huts had been
erected through Rotschamma's foresight."
I This measure is a mystery to me. Inquiries among Arabs at Zanzibar failed to
elicit any information as to the exact meaning of the word. It very possibly was a
purely local measure.-[J.M.G.]
RWOT OCHAMA OF PAYERA 125
This was the last occasion on which Emin and Ochama ever met. Read-
ing between the lines of Emin's diary, one cannot but think it was not so
successful a meeting as the one a year before and that possibly the fault did
not lie entirely with Ochama. 'The old gentleman' seems to have laid. himself
out to play the perfect host. After the humiliation which he had undergone
at the hands of the Egyptian commander at Patiko it was quite understandable
if he had become exceedingly touchy. No doubt he was a very loquacious
and rather boring host but, like quite a number of other elderly folk, he was
quick to take offence at what he regarded as discourtesy towards himself.
Emin had to work almost single-handed. He had a large province to govern
and large areas to cover with no very satisfactory means of transport. No
doubt he had little time to spare and could ill afford to linger on his journeys
round his territory, but it would almost appear as if he had been rather brusque
with Ochama and that by declining to fall in with 'the old gentleman's' plans
for his entertainment he had unwittingly given serious offence.
During the next three or four years a great deal of Emin's time was spent
in the northern part of the Equatorial Province and the administration of the
southern regions was left in the hands of Egyptian subordinates. The conse-
quences were most unfortunate. When Captain (afterwards Brigadier-General
Sir) Charles Delmd-Radcliffe reached the Acholi country, in 1899, he found
that "Sir Samuel and Lady Baker seemed to have inspired the natives every-
where with the greatest possible affection." On the other hand, he found
that the natives "remembered Emin Pasha well, but regarded him with
indifference or dislike. He had left, perhaps unavoidably, a great deal of
power in the hands of native subordinates, and their abuse of it had made the
unfortunate people dread the Pasha's authority."
Emin himself was indeed fully aware of the manner in which his sub-
ordinates abused their powers. In entering in his diary a resume of events
occurring in the week 7th-13th February 1887, he said: "According to news
from native sources the soldiers at Fatiko have attacked three Shuli villages,
destroyed them, and, as would appear, unfortunately inflicted quite unnecessary
cruelty. Regarding this further news is awaited. Then people wonder because
the Shuli leave the land and throw themselves into Kabrega's arms. When I
came here eleven years ago, Shuli land was well populated, rich in corn, honey,
etc., and its inhabitants friendly and peaceful. Every head of a station has
indulged in plunder; all my exhortations have been disregarded; I have no
European officials; and slowly things have come to the present state of affairs.
One piece of luck is that the Shuli do not possess many weapons."
From 1884 onwards reports began to reach Emin that Ochama was no
longer indulging merely in a policy of non-collaboration, but was working
actively against the Egyptian Government. Thus, on 13th April 1884, he
received a report from Dufile that Chief Rotschamma, after his people killed
a dragoman from Fatiko, had asked Kabrega for men so as to attack the
station at Fatiko." If this report had any foundation in fact, it seems clear
that Kabarega must have declined to assist. The projected attack was never
On 7th March 1886 an officer arrived from Patiko and told Emin that
126 UGANDA JOURNAL
"there has been something of a war with the negroes, but this has eventually
come to an end ". If his informant supplied any details of these disturbances,
Emin failed to record them in his diary.
At the beginning of 1887 reports reached Emin at Wadelai that the Acholi
had planned a general rising with the object of exterminating all Egyptian
garrisons in their country. The first report reached Emin on 6th January
"It appears ", he wrote in his diary, "that matters will be serious with
the Shuli. To-day at 4 o'clock in the afternoon the chief of the station
(Wadelai) came with Amara, the local Wanyoro (Munyoro) chief, and stated
that a man of Amara's (he was here with them) had just come from Muhette-
et-Tor1 to warn us. A great many Shuli have collected there, and even a
number of people of the Chief Rbtschamma on the far side of Fatiko have
assembled, with orders to combine with the local Shuli so as to kill the soldiers
in occupation at the time of the corn harvest, and especially to make a prisoner
of the officer, Kodi Aga, and to bring him to Rotschamma."2
Emin at once made such disposition of the scanty forces available as
appeared best suited to cope with any situation which might arise. There
were too few troops to send any reinforcements to Patiko, but on 11th January
Emin recorded: "I hear that old Ruotschamma, the instigator of all this
unrest, has been killed in an attack by the people of Fatiko. If this is true,
our task will undoubtedly be easier." Details of this attack were rather slow
in coming to hand, but on 16th February Emin wrote: At Fatiko everything
is in order. It should be mentioned that, at the time when Suleiman Aga
attacked Ruotschamma, Kabrega's people were there exchanging ivory for
ammunition, powder and percussion caps." As Mr. Bere informs us, the
garrison at Patiko was assisted in this attack by the Acholi of Padibe. Rwot
Ochama's body was never recovered. According to Bere: "The Padibe
placed the old Rwot's skull inside the Royal Drum (Bul Ker) of Payera which
they had captured, an act of humiliation hardly yet forgotten. The skull is
said to have remained in this drum until 1923 when, by strange circumstances
wholly unconnected with war, it again came into the possession of Awich.
Its present resting-place is unknown."3
The question remains as to whether at the time of his death Ochama had
I This may be equated with Hat-et-tor, a crossing-place of the Albert Nile midway
between Wadelai and Lake Albert (see Junker's Travels, Vol. iii., p. 459).-[J.M.G.]
2 The information given here is the information given to Emin Pasha upon which
he and his subordinates acted. Mr. Anywar says the Egyptian commander was induced
to attack Rwot Ochama by Rwot Ogwok of Padibe, who had been instigated thereto
by the Labongo people on account of a feud between them and the Payera people.
The story of that feud would appear to be substantially correct, but obviously the
Egyptian commander was not likely to intervene in a purely parochial quarrel. He
would hardly have acted as he did, unless he had been informed, truly or falsely, that
Rwot Ochama was plotting against the Egyptian Government.-[J.M.G.]
3 Mr. Anywar denies that Ochama's head fell into the possession of the Padibe
people. According to information given to him by Farjala Assumain of Gulu, it was
sent in a box to Khartoum. But this is highly improbable. In 1887 Khartoum was
in the hands of the Dervishes and there was no communication whatever between them
and the Egyptian garrisons of the Equatorial Province. Anywar agrees that Ochama
was killed by a Padibe man.-[J.M.G.]
RWOT OCHAMA OF PAYERA 127
definitely changed from a policy of non-collaboration to one of active hostility
against the Egyptian Government. It was very understandable that he should
have taken such a course, but at the same time it has to be remembered that
Emin was dependent for his information upon reports from native sources
and that the informants sometimes had motives for giving false information
regarding people with whom they were on bad terms. It seems clear that
when Ochama was killed he and his people were more or less taken by surprise
and that the Padibe folk were taking the opportunity of paying off an old
score against the chief and people of Payera.1 If, however, Suleiman Aga's
information can be relied on and Ochama was, when surprised, in the act of
buying arms and ammunition from the Banyoro, this, at the very least, raises a
strong suspicion that Ochama was preparing to attack the Egyptian station at
Patiko. Other reports which came to Emin all went to show that the Acholi
were planning a large-scale revolt against the Egyptian Government but that,
thanks to premature leakage of information, Emin was able to nip the rising
in the bud.
As it was, the malcontents were not entirely suppressed. In particular
the people of Payera carried on the fight for several months despite the disaster
inflicted upon them when Ochama was killed. In April they were co-operating
with the Banyoro in an attack on Anfina, a prot6g6 of the Egyptian Govern-
ment, who lived on the banks of the Nile. On 30th April 1887 Emin received
a report that this attack was driven off and that amongst the fallen was Chief
Ruotschamma's brother, who had come from Fatiko ". But even this further
disaster did not bring about their submission. As a letter from Casati to
Emin covering the period 5th-20th June 1887 shows, "Ruotschamma's son"
was still carrying on the fight despite the desertion of his Banyoro allies. This
son must have been Awich. As already mentioned, Emin had thought him
"very young" in 1880-so young, in fact, that "I cannot give him my
support ". But seven years had passed since then and Awich had grown to
man's estate. As Mr. Bere tells us, he spent the next ten years strenuously
working to recover the ground which had been lost when his father was
Anywar, Reuben S. "The Life of Rwot Iburaim Awich." Uganda Journal,
Vol. 12, p. 72.
Baker, Sir Samuel. The Albert Nyanza (1866); Ismailia (1874).
Bere, R. M. "Note on the Origin of the Payera Acholi." Uganda Journal,
Vol. 1, p. 65.
"Awich-A Biographical Note and a Chapter of Acholi History."
Uganda Journal, Vol. 10, p. 76.
Crazzolara, Rev. Father J. P. "The Lwoo People." Uganda Journal,
Vol. 5, p. 1.
1 Mr. Anywar gives details of the quarrel which led to Rwot Ochama's death.
2 According to Mr. Anywar, Awich did not succeed his father until 1888. It may be,
therefore, that the son referred to by Emin Pasha was Ajongo.-[ED. Uganda Journal.]
128 UGANDA JOURNAL
Delm6-Radcliffe, Lt.-Col. C. "Surveys and Studies in Uganda." Geographical
Journal, Vol. XXVI (1905), p. 481.
Felkin, R. W., and others. Emin Pasha in Central Africa (1888).
Grant, J. A. A Walk across Africa (1864).
Schweitzer, George. Emin Pasha: His Life and Work (1898).
Speke, Captain J. H. Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile
Stuhlmann, Franz. Die Tagebuicher von Dr. Emin Pascha, Vols. 11 and III
Mr. Ernest Gedge
Rev. E. Cyril Gordon, C.M.S., Uganda
Wakoli : Chief of Usoga
Mr. (later Sir) F. J. Jackson
MESSRS. JACKSON AND GEDGE'S JOURNEY TO
UGANDA VIA MASAILAND
By E. G. RAVENSTEIN
[NOTE: These extracts are reproduced, with the permission of the Royal
Geographical Society, from the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society,
Vol. XIII, April 1891, pp. 193-208.
Mr. Ravenstein's paper was prepared from the original reports of Messrs. Jackson
and Gedge; the map which accompanied it is not reproduced. The photographs with
which we illustrate the extracts did not appear in the Proceedings; they are reproduced
with the permission of the Uganda Government from an album of photographs, now
in the Secretariat Library at Entebbe (Book 499), which were taken by Mr. Ernest Gedge
in the course of the expedition.
The Jackson-Gedge expedition was sent out by the Imperial British East Africa
Company. It "left Machako's, one of the company's stations . on 5th August 1889
S. .charged with exploring a new road to the Victoria Nyanza, and with looking out
for Mr. Stanley, who had been reported to have been seen in Ururi, a district to the
east of the lake. It need hardly be remarked that this turned out to have been a false
"When the expedition left Machako's . it numbered, all told, 535 men, including
4 Europeans (Mr. F. J. Jackson, Mr. Ernest Gedge, Dr. Mackinnon, and Mr. J. Martin),
445 pagazis, 51 askaris, 14 headmen, 2 interpreters, 13 servants, and 6 men in charge
of 22 donkeys."
The expedition proceeded from Machako's across the valley of the Athi to Kikuyu,
thence to Lake Naivasha via Mianzini and Kinangop, up the Mau escarpment, and
through Sotik, Lumbwa and Lower Kavirondo to Upper Kavirondo. From this point
we quote Mr. Ravenstein's paper, omitting only a section entitled "An Excursion to
Ngaboto" and a report of the discussion which concluded the meeting at which the
paper was read.-ED. Uganda Journal.]
Upper Kavirondo.-A three days' march through an uninhabited wilder-
ness of tall tangled grass, very trying for both men and cattle, where trees were
found only around some boggy hollows, brought the caravan to Kulu, the
first village of Upper Kavirondo. Thenceforth the country grew more
hospitable. The hills in the direction of the lake were covered with large
boulders and patches of forest. Elephants and other game abounded.
The village of Mumiya (Kwa Mumiya), the successor of Sundu, was
reached on November 7th, and the chief allotted to the caravan a corner of
his village to camp in. Mumiya is still a young man. His influence hardly
extends beyond the village in which he dwells, but might be extended, if a
station were established there. Soon after arriving at this place the cattle
belonging to the caravan were attacked by a lung disease, which killed them in
the course of a few hours. Fortunately their carcasses found ready purchasers
among the natives, who brought in large supplies of flour and potatoes.
Curiously enough, this apparently infectious disease did not extend to the cattle
of the Kavirondo people.
The environs of Kwa Mumiya abound in game, including elephants, and
the river Nzoia swarms with hippopotami and crocodiles. Mr. Jackson and
Mr. Gedge were fortunate enough to bag four elephants in a day, besides
capturing a bull-calf, which was carried into camp, and throve on milk and
boiled potatoes, but unfortunately died six months afterwards of inflammation
of the lungs brought on by wet and cold.
Letters from Mr. Stokes and King Mwanga reached Mr. Jackson's hands
130 UGANDA JOURNAL
at Kwa Mumiya's, inviting him to come at once to Uganda, but for reasons
which need not be entered into here, he deemed it wise to delay his departure,
and to utilize the interval by making an excursion to the Baso Narok or
"The Ascent of Mount Elgon.-On January 29th, 1890, Mr. Jackson left
the Angalul with a view to obtaining a fresh supply of provisions in the district
of Save, which lies to the north of Mount Elgon, and of proceeding across the
very top of that ancient volcano on his return journey to Mumiya's. An
ascent of about 2,000 feet (from 4,372 to 6,346 feet) brought the explorers
from the northern foot of the mountain to Save, the inhabitants of which dress
like the Wa-kuavi. Their houses, however, are quite different, being round
instead of oblong, and made of strong wickerwork plastered inside with mud,
and having a nearly flat roof covered with earth. They cultivate wimbi,
pumpkins, bananas, yams, and a small species of sweet potato. Honey is
plentiful and the wealth in cattle, sheep, and goats appears to be considerable.
But notwithstanding these great natural advantages of their present abode, the
inhabitants talked of removing themselves elsewhere, as they were continually
being harassed by Masai and Wa-Nandi. Even whilst the caravan was present
in the district the latter invaded its western portion, carrying off some 200 head
of cattle, besides killing a lot of people and burning their villages. Iron-wire
are the only barter goods which are demanded by these people, and ivory they
decline to part with altogether, excepting for cattle.
The country to the northward, as far as the eye can reach, is a barren
waste with a small belt or two of trees marking the course of streams. The
country around Lake Salisbury is, however, wooded. Three warlike tribes
are reported as living around this lake, namely, the Kimama, the Kitaia, and
The ascent from Save to the crater occupied four days (February 13th to
16th) and appears not to have presented any difficulty. Mr. Jackson, however,
advises future caravans not to take this short cut, as the cold is intense. There
was fortunately no rain, but two men nevertheless succumbed to it. The forest
belt extends from 6,000 to 9,000 feet, and is succeeded by a bushy country,
with heath and coarse grass. A curious tree with straight rough stem and a
large leafy top grows abundantly between 11,000 and 13,000 feet.' The crater
itself has a diameter of about eight miles. Within it rise two rivers, the
Angalul and the Stfm, which escape through the clefts. Much of the bottom
of the crater is boggy and swampy; the rest is covered with grass, heath,
mosses, or lichens. The highest point of the rim scaled by Mr. Jackson and
Mr. Gedge attains a height of 14,044 feet, and apparently no other peak
exceeds this to the extent of more than 50 feet.2
The vegetation on the southern slope of the mountain was found to be
much more luxuriant than that on the northern. The trees were taller, the
1 This is evidently the Senecio Johnstoni.-[E.G.R.]
2 A remarkably accurate determination when compared with the recently ascertained
altitude of the highest point of the rim of 14,178 feet; see Uganda Journal, Vol. 2,
p. 250.-[ED. Uganda Journal.]
JACKSON AND GEDGE'S JOURNEY TO UGANDA 131
forest was more dense, and the bamboos associated with it covered a larger
area. It was within this forest belt that Mr. Jackson came across some of the
cave dwellings discovered by Mr. J. Thomson. The first of these, at an
elevation of about 7,500 feet, was found deserted, its inhabitants having been
driven away by the Wa-Nandi, inside it there stood about thirty huts, oblong
in shape, like those of the Wa-kuavi. There was nothing about this cave, nor
about any of the others visited subsequently, which suggested that they could
possibly be the work of man. The first inhabited cave was met with just after
emerging from the forest belt, at an elevation of 6,447 feet. Other caves of
the same description were found in Kimangichi's district near the foot of the
mountain. This chief with his people formerly lived in ordinary villages at
the foot of the mountain, but was driven out of them by the Wa-Nandi, and
had since then been afraid to leave his caves. The chief was friendly and
intelligent.1 Food was plentiful in his district, wimbi, mtama, bananas, beans,
and pumpkins being cultivated. Only iron-wire and cowries were taken in
exchange; beads were hardly looked at.
On March 1st the caravan left the mountain, and, passing through an
undulating wilderness covered with thick bush and long grass, entered the
first village of Kitosh. The people exhibited fear on the approach of the
caravan, and some of the porters, taking advantage of their timidity, entered
the villages and stole fowls and other things. Being, however, discovered in
the act, they were taken back to the camp and soundly flogged. At Kowala,
however, through which the caravan had passed on the up-journey, the villages
had gained confidence, and the reception was a friendly one.
Back at Mumiya's.-On March 4th the caravan was back at Mumiya's.
During Mr. Jackson's absence more of the cattle, goats, and sheep, had died,
and there only remained thirty head of cattle and forty goats and sheep. The
goods had been squandered in a most reckless and shameful manner, about
2,000 strings of beads and several coils of brass wire having been expended,
notwithstanding that an ample supply of food sufficient to last a month had
been left with the men. Dr. Peters, who had passed through the place a month
ago, and who had hoisted his flag at Kwa Sakwa, had been able to induce the
Somali in charge to sell him three quarters of a load of beads, but Mr.
Jackson suspects that more of the missing goods were given by his Somali
headmen to their countrymen with Dr. Peters, who had little or no goods with
him when he passed.
Letters from Rev. Gordon2 and King Mwanga had arrived at Kwa
Mumiya's during Mr. Jackson's absence. The king said that he accepted the
Company's flag, and desired Mr. Jackson to go and see him. Dr. Mackinnon,
a headman (Akedi), and sixty sick men were therefore left at the station, and
the caravan started on March 11th for Uganda.
From Upper Kavirondo to Uganda.-The first day's march led through
an open country, the villages along the road being all deserted. That night
I On this occasion Jackson made a treaty with Kimangichi-see Uganda Journal,
Vol. 12, p. 34.-[ED. Uganda Journal.]
2 The Rev. E. Cyril Gordon of the Church Missionary Society.-[ED.-Uganda
132 UGANDA JOURNAL
the camp was completely wrecked by a terrific squall of wind accompanied by
one continuous roll of thunder and vivid lightning and a downpour of rain.
On the following day the caravan crossed the Sio and took up its quarters
with Tindi, a very civil and hospitable chief. Passing down the river through
an undulating grassy country, with many villages about, the caravan reached
the first of Tunga's villages. This chief is still a young man, splendidly made,
but with a round bullet-shaped head and a truly villainous countenance, and
looks what he is reported to be, a skulking coward and bully. Next morning,
soon after the caravan had left his village, it was found that a teapot and some
cooking pots had been stolen. As the chief refused to assist in the discovery
of the thieves, six cows were taken as security, when the stolen property
promptly made its appearance, the teapot having been found in the chief's
own hut. The cows were then restored.
The country about here was better cultivated than any yet seen in
Kavirondo, but all the crops of mtama and wimbi were suffering from want
of rain. However another terrific thunderstorm was experienced at Buriari,
another of Tunga's villages. After leaving Tunga's last village, governed
by a younger brother of his, who proved friendly and hospitable, the
caravan passed through a small stretch of uncultivated bush, which is
looked upon as neutral ground, and entered Wakoli's country. This was on
Busoga.-From the very border of this country to the capital (three days'
march) the road led through vast groves of bananas. One of Wakoli's sons
had met the caravan at the frontier and conducted it to the capital. Here
presents of bananas, huge jars of 'pombe', or banana cider, goats, etc., came
pouring in from all sides. Small return presents were given as a matter of
course. On the day after their arrival the leaders of the caravan were waited
upon by Wakoli's 'Katikiro' or Prime Minister, who remained until the chief
came himself and conducted his visitors to a camp close to the village. Wakoli
is a little man, about forty-five years of age, and very intelligent. He proved
a great friend from the first, and as a matter of fact, during the whole period
of the caravan's stay at this chief's village (March 19th-25th) it fared most
sumptuously-fat bullocks, sheep and goats, fowls and eggs, bananas, both
fresh and green, pouring in from all sides. Everything in the shape of beads
was accepted in return for these gifts, but ukota and mboro and coloured cloth
was prized mostly.1
On March 23rd, Mr. Jackson and Gedge made blood brotherhood with
Wakoli, and Martin with the 'Katikiro'. The ceremony proved simple, and
not objectionable. The two persons concerned sit down on a piece of cloth
facing each other. A small incision is then made with a knife in the stomach
of each, a coffee-berry is dipped in the blood, dropped into the palm of the
right hand, and mutually exchanged. You then pick up this berry with your
lips and swallow it, rub the blood on each other's stomach, and wind up with
an affectionate embrace.
1 For further information concerning Wakoli see the article, "Reminiscences of
Busoga and its Chiefs," by the Rev. S. R. Skeens, Uganda Journal, Vol. 4, p. 188.-
[ED. Uganda Journal.]
JACKSON AND GEDGE'S JOURNEY TO UGANDA 133
Wakoli asked repeatedly for assistance against a rebel chief named Kivendi,
who was giving a great deal of trouble. This was granted, Mr. Gedge routing
the enemy with ease. Kivendi, notwithstanding this defeat, and the subsequent
burning of his principal village, refused to give in, preferring to retire to
Busoga, in Mr. Jackson's opinion, is far superior to Buganda in natural
wealth, and Wakoli is anxious to enjoy the protection of the Company's flag.
A station established at his capital was left in charge of a headman and thirty-
One day's journey beyond Wakoli's capital the caravan was met by King
Mwanga's Katikiro, who had orders to escort it to Mengo, the capital. On
approaching the Nile, the country, although still fertile, was less densely
peopled, and cultivation was consequently less extensive. In Ukassa, Chief
Lubwa's country, there rise stony hills covered with short grass and bush, and
separated by swampy hollows. The country is only thinly peopled.
On April 6th the caravan crossed the Nile at Jinja (Ripon Falls) and on
the 14th it arrived at Mengo, the capital of King Mwanga. The whole of the
intervening country had been laid waste in the course of the recent disturb-
ances; but it is evidently a fine country, with a rich soil, capable of growing
anything. All the banana groves and several small coffee plantations were
choked up with long grass and in a dreadful state of neglect. Human remains
and broken shields were scattered along the path, and everything bore sign of
the recent troubles.
Mr. Jackson stayed at Mengo until the 14th of May, employing the time
in building a house for Mr. Gedge, who was to remain behind with thirty-five
men. The king proved very niggardly. 'I don't suppose,' says Mr. Jackson,
'there ever was a man more unfitted to rule a country, as he takes absolutely
no interest in the welfare of his people, but only thinks of his own safety and
personal comfort.' As a natural consequence, all his people, even the Roman
Catholics, cordially hate him, and he would long since have been got rid of,
were it not the 'custom of the country to have a prince on the throne', and
that his only legitimate successor is a little child four years of age.
Mr. Jackson left Mengo on May 14th, and returned to the coast by way
of Kwa Mumiya and Lake Baringo, that is, by the route followed by
Between Machako's and Mengo he spent 138 marching days on the road,
Marching Stat. Average
Days Miles Miles
Machako's to Lake Naivasha (Aug. 6th-Sept. llth, 1889) 16 89 5-5
Lake Naivasha to Sendege's (Sept. 14th-Oct. 22nd) ... 34 135 3-9
Sendege's to Kwa Mumiya (Oct. 23rd-Nov. 7th) ... ... 12 45 3-7
Excursion to Ngaboto (Dec. 10th, 1889-March 4th, 1890) 51 308 6-0
Kwa Mumiya to Mengo (March llth-April 14th) ... 25 150 6-0
138 727 5-2
These distances do not include minor windings. Altogether 252 days
were spent upon the journey including halts."
By PERCY W. PERRYMAN'
(Reproduced, with the permission of the Editor, from The Cornhill Magazine,
Vol. 152, No. 910, October 1935)
WHEN Yakobo Mukasa came out of Kampala Gaol, after serving a two-
years' sentence, his first step was naturally to revisit his old home. He
did not expect to find much left; he was not particularly surprised or pained
to find that his wife had gone off with another, that some person or persons
unknown had removed the wooden doors and windows of his house, that the
roof of the latter had collapsed, and that his banana-garden was almost hidden
in a growth of weeds and long grass. This was all according to plan in the
circles in which Yakobo moved, and he bore his losses philosophically.
His first and most urgent need was money, for your educated Muganda is
unable to bear, for any lengthy period, separation from the amenities of an
imported civilization. Money he had none, and the problem was where to
get it. Yakobo reflected that he might get a job as a clerk or a buying agent;
but it would be difficult to overcome the white man's unreasoning prejudice
against people who have gone to gaol for offences against his code of rectitude
in financial matters. Consequently, if he secured employment at all, he could
only hope for a small salary, and Yakobo yearned mightily for unlimited funds.
He felt that society owed him that much reparation for two years' enforced
seclusion from opportunities of spending.
It was borne in upon Yakobo, sitting in the ruins of his house, that the
only practical solution was to continue his career of crime. Having decided
that point, it remained to consider the venue of future operations. He remem-
bered that his wife's brother had spoken to him of a country vaguely known
as "Bukedi", beyond the Nile, peopled by teeming thousands of untutored
savages who all had money and could easily be persuaded to part with it. He
recollected other Baganda of his acquaintance who had gone there to trade
and returned with fortunes, praising the gullibility of the local natives. Surely
this was a suitable sphere of endeavour for a man wearied with two years'
experience of unaccustomed and wholly uncongenial forms of toil.
How Yakdbo managed to acquire a bicycle and a new outfit of clothes
is not known to the historian. The fact remains that, provided with this
necessary equipment, he shortly afterwards appeared in the Eastern Province
and made his way to Mbale. Here he found, to his disgust, that an unreasonably
1 Mr. P. W. Perryman, C.M.G., was Chief Secretary to the Uganda Government
at the time of his premature death in 1933. His paper on "Native Witchcraft ", which
he read to the old Society at Entebbe, probably in 1924, was published in Vol. 4 Uganda
Journal; and its more dramatic incidents appeared as "True Tales of Africa-The Boy
and the Leopard" in The Cornhill Magazine of November 1935. It may be assumed
that the present is also a substantially true story based on a case which came to his
notice when stationed at Mbale as District Commissioner of the old Bukedi District.-
[ED. Uganda Journal.]
DOUBLE SWINDLE 135
efficient European Police Officer knew all about him and was prepared to
supervise his activities. It appeared that even his finger-prints were on record,
while his photograph adorned a file labelled "suspected characters ". Realiz-
ing that Uganda was no country for a dishonest man, Yakobo decided to
shake the dust of the Protectorate from his feet and try his luck in Kenya
Colony (then known as the East Africa Protectorate). With this laudable
object in view he set out on his bicycle for the boundary, thirty-five miles
The road was good, and a ride of less than three hours should have taken
him to Tororo, a trading-centre and chief's headquarters, five miles from the
boundary, where he planned to pass the night. On the way, however, he
fell in with a Muganda of his acquaintance, coming from the opposite
direction, and the two spent some time by the roadside. From his friend
Yakobo learnt, among other things, that a white man was camped at Tororo.
No, the white man had nothing to do with the Police, nor was he a District
Officer; he was a settler from Kenya, come to buy cattle. Yakobo stored
away this item of information for future use and went on his way.
Ten miles from Tororo he overtook a Somali, driving a mob of thirty
heifers. Yakobo got off his bicycle and passed the time of day. The Somali
was affable; six months ago he had come to Bukedi with a bag of rupees, and
had haggled and bullied and cheated over two districts until now he was on
his way home with the fruits of his labours, a collection of cattle very precious
in his eyes. Yakobo was preparing to mount when it occurred to him to ask
the Somali if he had a "barua" or licence to export the cattle from Uganda.
It appeared that the Somali had no licence; but as he explained, that was a
small matter. Licences were troublesome things to get, and were often refused ;
if granted they involved inoculation of the cattle and other absurdities.
Luckily the chief at Tororo was very accommodating; there were seldom any
guards at the bridge over the boundary river, and, if there were, fords were
The high conical rock of Tororo loomed in front of them, above the
dusty road and the low bush and the cotton-fields. Gazing at the rock, and
remembering the white man camped at the foot of it, Yakobo was seized with
an inspiration. "Don't you know," he asked the Somali, "that a European
Veterinary Officer is in the camp at Tororo ? Probably he knows all about
you and your cattle, and is waiting to catch you." This was a blow to the
Somali, who was at first reluctant to believe that such a piece of bad luck
could have overtaken him. "How do you know ? he asked Yakobo. That
worthy felt in his pocket for a piece of paper. As he did so, he asked his
victim if he could read or speak English, and waited in some anxiety for the
answer. No, the Somali had no English. Concealing his satisfaction, Yakobo
produced his paper. I know who the white man is," he continued, because
I am one of his inspectors; and here is my barua." The document produced,
typewritten on a half-sheet of paper, and bearing the impress of an official
rubber stamp, was in fact the pass given him on his release from gaol, but it
served. At this stage the Somali began to look dangerous, but was pacified
when Yakobo explained that, so far from betraying the man to the authorities,
136 UGANDA JOURNAL
he was anxious to help him and would, for a consideration, get his cattle passed
by the Veterinary Officer and exported over the boundary without further
trouble. The usual bargaining followed. Yakobo demanded, as his fee, ten
rupees a head; the Somali offered three. Eventually it was agreed that, for
five rupees a head, the self-appointed Inspector would have the cattle passed
in proper form, but without inoculation; that the Somali should get a pass
from the white man; that twenty-five rupees should be paid down, and the
balance when the cattle were over the river. "Now," said Yakobo, "it is
one o'clock; take your cattle along slowly, and do not come to the camp
before four o'clock, because the white man will be resting. Drive them straight
to the camp, and you will find me there. Be careful not to speak to the white
man, because he does not like Somalis; I will do the talking."
As he pedalled on to Tororo, Yakobo revolved in his mind the next moves
in the game. The one thing that would completely spoil it would be to find a
Somali in the white man's entourage, and he knew that European cattle-buyers
often had men of that tribe as expert assistants. However, he was twenty-five
rupees to the good anyhow, and with this comforting reflection he dismounted
at the village below the rock and began his inquiries. His luck was certainly
in. The white man had only arrived that morning ; his cattle-men were Masai;
he had not seen the chief, who was away collecting poll-tax.
Yakobo's next step was to go to the Indian bazaar, where he invested
part of his gains in a chair, an umbrella, and a new white cap. A dozen or so
of the local natives were easily persuaded, by the distribution of cents, to
accompany him to the rest-camp, one wheeling the bicycle, another carrying
the chair, a third holding the umbrella over Yakobo's head, and the rest trailing
along behind. In this manner our friend made a not undignified entrance
into the presence of the European, who had just finished shaving and was
calling to his boys to bring tea.
Now one of Yakobo's accomplishments was a fairly fluent knowledge of
English, and when he introduced himself to the white man, in his own tongue,
as the chief of Tororo, he was immediately accepted as such. The settler had
not been in those parts before, but had heard a lot of the efficiency of Uganda
chiefs, and indeed Yakobo, with his retinue and his recently acquired insignia
of office, would have passed for a chief anywhere in the Eastern Province.
Moreover, he had excellent manners, and was familiar with the ways of
Europeans. Soon he was asked to be seated in his new chair, and a friendly
conversation ensued. The settler explained the object of his visit; Yakobo
opined that he would have little difficulty in acquiring cattle, and promised to
assist. Then a thought appeared to strike him; leaning forward confidentially
he explained that he had cattle of his own for sale. "I have debts to pay," he
said, "and I wish to buy fine clothes for my women. I have some heifers
coming along now, with my Somali herdsman. I was going to send them
to new grass, but if you wish to buy them I will sell." The white man said
he would have a look at them, and in about twenty minutes he had the oppor-
tunity, for the Somali arrived with his mob of heifers. The latter were keenly
examined, while their owner stood by, looking somewhat haggard but saying
nothing, in accordance with instructions. "Not a bad lot," said the settler
DOUBLE SWINDLE 137
eventually to Yakobo. "What do you want for them? The first figure
mentioned proved extremely unacceptable, and Yakobo was not at his best
in the bargaining which ensued. On the one hand he was afraid that, if he
put the price too low, the settler's suspicions might be aroused; on the other
hand his nerve was beginning to give out and he wanted to get away.
It was a great relief to him when the white man agreed to fifty rupees a
It now became necessary to obtain some kind of a paper to give the Somali,
and to get the cattle over the river as soon as possible. Yakobo asked the
white man if he had an export permit. Here again his luck held; the settler
had no idea that a permit was necessary, but said he would write to Mbale
for one. "That is no good," said Yakobo, "the permit has to come from
Kampala. You will waste your time, and the cattle will have to go somewhere
to have medicine put in them. Much better to send them across the river
now, to-night." "Why to-night ?" asked the settler. "Because," was the
reply, "by day there are Government askaris at the bridge; at night the
guard are my own men. Give the Somali a letter now, saying that you have
bought the cows; he will take them across, and in the morning you leave here
and find them on the other side." "All right," said the European, but I will
send my Masai with your Somali." "No," said Yakobo, "that is not good,
because my men will fight the Masai if they see them, but they know my
Somali and will let him pass."
There seemed to be something in this, so the settler wrote out a paper
stating that he had purchased thirty head of cattle for fifteen hundred rupees
from the chief of Tororo. This paper Yakobo gave to the anxious Somali,
telling him to take the outfit over the boundary at once, before the white man
changed his mind. A cloud of dust down the road, in the gathering darkness,
showed that the Somali was taking the hint.
Next came the question of payment for the cattle. The settler did not
think that it would be worth the while of an important chief to play any tricks
with him. At the same time, in dealing with natives one never knew, and it
would be safer not to hand over actual cash until the heifers were definitely
in his possession. So he suggested a cheque on a Kisumu bank, explaining
that he had not fifteen hundred rupees in silver with him, and that he had
intended to cash a draft at Mbale. Yakobo agreed at once, and said it would
suit him very well, as he had to go to Kisumu next month to buy things. By
the light of a hurricane lamp the settler made out the cheque, Yakobo standing
by. Now it happened that our hero knew something about cheques; in fact,
his incarceration was due to an attempt to negotiate a crossed cheque over the
counter; and he asked for and obtained a cheque to bearer, so that he could
draw the amount when in due course he visited Kisumu.
On leaving the white man's presence, Yakobo dismissed his retinue, cast
the chair and umbrella behind a bush, and rode for the boundary. Had there
been any guards at the bridge, he was confident that a few rupees would induce
them to leave their posts temporarily, but there were none. All he had to do
was to wait until the Somali crossed, and collect from him a hundred and
twenty-five rupees in notes. The rest of the night he spent in covering the
138 UGANDA JOURNAL
ninety miles to Kisumu, pedalling blindly, but without serious mishap, over
roads that in those days were none too good. At the opening of the bank for
the day's business Yakobo was the first customer.
The historian gladly draws a veil over the scene when the Somali, tracked
down by the Masai, was confronted with the European cattle-buyer, thirsting
for blood. But by the time the unfortunate settler could reach a telegraph
station, Yakobo, under another name, had disappeared with his gains. Nor
has he yet been brought to book.
A REVIEW OF SOME VEGETATIONAL STUDIES IN
By W. J. EGGELING
(Presidential Address, 1947)
T HIS paper deals, in part at least, with one of the less-known sciences-
plant ecology. In it I hope to show, by examining some of the ecological
work already done in this country, that the ecological approach offers one of
the most promising lines of attack on problems which to-day in Uganda
confront the agriculturist, forester and veterinarian, and all those many persons
connected with the land and its proper use.
It can truthfully be said that the importance to a country of a thorough
knowledge of its vegetation, and of the changes which that vegetation is under-
going, is still insufficiently appreciated; yet such information is, without any
doubt at all, essential to the improvement of native agriculture and the estab-
lishment of sound forestry.
Plants, as we are all aware, are studied by botanists, but the popular
conception of a botanist as a short-sighted, bespectacled, white-bearded old
man who seizes on strange growths with muffled exclamations of delight-
only to preserve them, store them away in dusty cupboards and take them out
every few years to give them new names-is a long time dying.
Except for taxonomic and systematic botanists, concerned chiefly with
the correct positioning and naming of plants, botanists ,are becoming more
interested in plants considered as members of a community than in plants
as individuals. The botanist of the past, in fact, is being replaced by the
The importance of well-preserved and correctly named reference collec-
tions of plant specimens cannot be questioned. Without such herbaria it is
impossible for the field worker, in the absence of an adequate flora, to name
The time has come, however, in Uganda, when the need for collecting
specimens for record and reference is less urgent than it was; what we require
now are studies of vegetation.
As Dr. Worthington remarks in Science in Africa (pp. 150-151): "It can
be claimed that, though far from being perfectly known, most of the common
plants . are now sufficiently listed and described to provide a working
basis for other subjects. Accordingly studies in plant physiology and ecology
are becoming really profitable."
Worthington very rightly stresses ibidd., pp. 158 and 162) that the study of
plant ecology, particularly in relation to floristic change . is directly
relevant to many of the problems in the spheres of agriculture and forestry
which confront Africa to-day "; but that "the study is still at a very early
stage of development"; that "a great deal of research is required before the
relation of flora to environment can be known even in outline"; and that
140 UGANDA JOURNAL
"there has been so much interference with vegetation by man in East Africa
that plant ecology is peculiarly difficult to interpret ".
At this juncture it may be as well to explain, for the benefit of those not
acquainted with the term, that ecology is that branch of the science of biology
-the science of life-which deals with the habits of plants and animals con-
sidered in relation to their surroundings. It is a relatively new science-
scarcely more than thirty years old-and, like many other young things, it has
had its teething troubles. Among these must be reckoned a most infectious
disease which broke out among early workers and caused them to coin large
numbers of new terms. Many of these were never properly defined and
quickly fell into disuse, others are still employed although mostly quite
unnecessary because simpler and better-known words can be used just as
On the whole, there can be little doubt that the complicated vocabulary
which resulted from this disease must have frightened off far more would-be
ecologists than it attracted. Ecologists in this audience will, I hope, excuse me
if I avoid specialist terms this evening. A talk cannot fail to be dull if every
other word must be explained.
Before going further it must be stressed that the plant ecologist when
studying his plant communities is normally dealing not with well-defined and
constant entities but with units which change with changing conditions. Some-
times the constituent members of a community grow, reach maturity and die,
to be replaced by new individuals of the identical species which were repre-
sented before; but more commonly the community is altering, sometimes
radically, changing not only in appearance but also in composition and
The vegetation occurring on a site is controlled as a rule by a combination
of several factors, rather than by one alone. Occasionally, as in the case of
the zoning of vegetation on mountains (Snowden, 1933), the distribution of the
plants concerned can be said with fair confidence to be limited mainly by a
single factor, in this example altitude, or, more accurately climate as affected
by altitude. Thus the vegetation at, say, 10,000 feet altitude is much the
same on all the mountains of Uganda, whether on the Kigezi volcanoes,
Ruwenzori, Elgon or the Karamoja mountains.
A somewhat similar banding or zoning of vegetation can be seen round any
expanse of open water. In the very first number of The Uganda Journal there
is a paper dealing with the vegetation of Namanve swamp at Mile 9 on the
Kampala-Jinja road. In that paper (Eggeling, 1934), and in another on the
same subject published elsewhere (Eggeling, 1935), a description is given of a
typical lake-shore papyrus swamp both in its untouched state and as affected
by the early stages of draining and afforestation. Passing from open water
shorewards, seven major vegetative communities can be distinguished in swamps
of the Namanve type, ranging from the lily-zone, on the lakeward edge, to the
palm-forest fringe which separates the main mass of the swamp from the rain-
forest of the surrounding dry land. The extent and composition of the several
communities is determined chiefly by the depth of water or by the degree of
wetness of the site.
VEGETATIONAL STUDIES IN UGANDA 141
The changes brought about at Namanve by draining and tree-planting are
intensely interesting and although, in this case, drainage was artificial, similar
changes may be expected in similar swamps whose water-table is altered either
by a general lowering of the lake-level, reflecting on the water-level of the
swamp, or by the elevation of the swamp through natural silting and the
gradual accumulation of peat.
Investigations at Namanve were not confined to plant communities. At
the same time that these were being investigated by a forester, an entomologist,
the late Mr. G. L. R. Hancock, was studying the insect population of the
swamp, especially the mosquito fauna, and the effect on this of the drainage
and other operations connected with afforestation. In a most interesting and
valuable paper (Hancock, 1934), Hancock demonstrated that the swamp con-
tained a considerable mosquito fauna which varied according to the nature of
the different parts of the swamp and with the work of reclamation. Factors
of acidity, light, temperature and the organic matter content of the water were
considered and some of them correlated with the presence or absence of certain
species of mosquito. The investigation showed clearly that from the viewpoint
of the malariologist Namanve in its original state was entirely innocuous except
for the very narrow fringing papyrus-zone near the lake, and that it was only
when reclamation began that conditions became suitable for the mosquito
which is the chief carrier of malaria.
Although Hancock's work was concerned only with papyrus-swamp, and
although his findings are not in general applicable to grass-swamps, his paper
should be consulted by anyone concerned with health control measures.
On not a few occasions the Forest Department has been called upon by
the Health Authorities to plant up areas of swamp in and near townships in
widely separated parts of the country in order to reduce malaria. The inten-
tion of this anti-malarial planting is to dry up the swamps and make the
breeding of mosquitoes impossible, but almost invariably, as at Namanve, the
first result of afforestation, before the drains and trees are functioning fully, is
a marked increase in the number of mosquitoes. This phase gradually passes
as the swamp dries, but successful management of such plantations is extremely
difficult and they are rarely economic. Gum trees (Eucalyptus), contrary to
popular belief, cannot by themselves dry up swamps; they must be assisted
by drains which, however, are liable to become obstructed by the roots of
the trees. Moreover, as the swamps dry up, termites come in and attack the
gums which have then to be replaced by some more hardy species such as
Cassia siamea which may manage to exist but which rarely yields on such
sites a marketable product. Moreover, it practically never suppresses grass
so that there is always a considerable fire hazard.
All things considered, I myself believe that notwithstanding the heavy
original expense, a carefully considered permanent drainage scheme is in nearly
all cases to be preferred to tree-planting as an anti-malarial measure in this
country. If a drainage scheme is properly carried out in the first place, the
cost of upkeep is small: while in the case of anti-malarial plantations not only
are establishment costs far higher than usual, but an appreciable recurring
annual deficit has almost always to be expected in addition.
142 UGANDA JOURNAL
But we have digressed: let us get back to ecology Namanve shows
how, when swamps in the Lake Victoria region become silted up, the water
lilies of open water are replaced by reeds, sedges and grasses; that these in
turn are replaced by the figs and palms of swamp-forest; and that, as condi-
tions become drier still, these too vanish, to be replaced by the trees, climbers,
and undershrubs of rain-forest proper.
Similar processes of succession can be observed under very different condi-
tions-for example in the colonization of bare rock-surfaces. Successions of
this nature have been described by a Veterinary- Officer, Mr. R. N. T.-W.-
Fiennes, in a booklet on the ecology of the grasses of Lango, published by the
Uganda Government Press (Fiennes, 1940).
In his booklet, Fiennes describes and illustrates not only the primary
successions on rock-surfaces and bare soil, but also the secondary successions
which follow erosion, repeated burning, prolonged grazing and the cultivation
of ground for varying lengths of time.
Studies of this nature make it possible for the ecologist to fix on certain
plant species as indicators of certain conditions, and, in Uganda, grasses have
proved especially useful in this respect (Thomas, 1940). Thus it is possible
to say that if such and such a plant is present, land which is resting after
cultivation is not sufficiently recovered for re-cultivation to be desirable; that
another plant indicates land which will grow a certain crop, or some special
sort of trees; and so on.
As Fiennes explains, one of the aims of the ecologist is to study the
relationship of plant forms to their environment in order to find out "why
certain life forms flourish in a certain area and what changes will occur if
the conditions of life are altered, either by human or other agency. The
ecologist's view is not of a static vegetational picture but of a changing
scene in which the plant forms are advancing towards a stable climax
or are receding or being deflected under various influences. To obtain
such a cinematograph view of the vegetational changes, he must piece
together a number of still pictures taken at the various stages of develop-
ment, recession or deflection. When this has been done he will be in a
position to forecast the effect of the various influences on the soil and vegeta-
tion, and agricultural policy may be safely based on his findings" (Fiennes,
1940, p. 2).
To Mr. A. S. Thomas, until recently Senior Economic Botanist in the
Department of Agriculture, Uganda is indebted for a series of ecological studies
which are unlikely ever to be bettered. One of these (Thomas, 1941), which
deals with the vegetation of the Sese Islands, illustrates the importance of soil
factors in ecology; another (Thomas, 1943), dealing with the vegetation of
Karamoja, shows how vegetation can be affected by biological factors such as
domestic stock, game animals, termites, etc.; whilst a third (Thomas, 1945),
devoted to the vegetation of some hillsides in Buganda, illustrates the effect of
human influence on tropical ecology.
I do not propose to consider Thomas's papers in detail-they must be
studied in the original to be appreciated fully-but it is, I think, worth quoting
some of his remarks on Sese and, at greater length, from his paper on Karamoja.
VEGETATIONAL STUDIES IN UGANDA 143
His findings in the latter shows the kind of answer an ecologist can obtain from
a detailed study.
"The main factors controlling the distribution of plants are soil, climate
and the influence of man and stock. The last factor in a country like Uganda,
which has been populated for many centuries, has completely altered the
vegetation over much of the countryside; apart from the swamps, the higher
zones of some of the mountains and the relatively small areas of virgin forest,
none of the plant associations can be regarded as climaxes, all have been
caused, and are still being altered, by the actions of man and of stock."
"It is highly probable that the Sese Islands originally were completely
covered with forest, and that when the forests were cleared for cultivation
much of the inherently infertile soil soon became more impoverished and the
farms were concentrated on the patches of better soil. . Once the forest
has been destroyed the balance of the chemical and biological soil process is
upset . and the soil becomes too impoverished to support the growth of
"During the time when the islands were evacuated (because of sleeping
sickness) neither grazing . nor burning . were of any importance; the
moist equable climate . favoured the growth of evergreen forest . such
as covered the farmlands, yet forest growth could enroach only very slowly on
to the grassland, and it is obvious that soil poverty was the inhibiting factor.
There is much evidence to support this view: the manner in which tree
growth starts at the water seepage level and around anthills, places where an
accumulation of plant nutrients would be expected; the scarcity of grasses
such as Cynodon spp. and Brachiaria spp. which denote high soil fertility;
and the predominance of ferns . (which) . may be regarded as an
indication of poor soil. . In studies of tropical plant ecology, the most
stress is always laid upon the influence of climate; climate is responsible for
the distinction between the main zones of vegetation, but it is seldom realized
how much edaphic factors are responsible for local differences in plant com-
munities" (Thomas, 1941, pp. 348-349).
"The vegetation of Karamoja shows an interesting pattern-out on the
plains, where the average annual rainfall does not appear to be more than
about 25 cm. (10 inches), there are large areas of grassland; around the smaller
mountains, where the rainfall is a little higher, there are belts of woodland;
but near the rivers in the east of the district, where the rainfall is higher still and
in situations which are sheltered from the dry east winds, a more xerophilous
vegetation of acacia woodland or deciduous thicket is growing. The more
markedly xerophytic plant community, the succulent thicket, is found only near
centres of dense population of man and stock, in localities where there are
good supplies of water."
"The Karamojong are a pastoral people, dependent on their stock for
food, and they would naturally tend to settle in places where there is an
abundance of water and grazing."
The main concentration of the tribe has been near the rivers to the west
of Moroto; settlement near the other mountains was not so dense, as such
outlying areas were frequently raided by other tribes. The average annual
144 UGANDA JOURNAL
rainfall at Moroto is 90 cm. (36 inches) and is fairly well distributed; many
rivers arise on this mountain; yet it is in this neighbourhood that there is the
most striking development of semi-desert vegetation for, in place of the broad-
leaved woodland around the other mountains, there is acacia woodland and
It seems that the present aspect of the vegetation in the east of Karamoja
has been determined not only by the rainfall and the soil, but also by the
effects of settlement, cultivation and grazing; this view is supported by the
weight of native tradition, which asserts that formerly the grass was more
abundant and vigorous."
". .. Proof that the thicket growth is due to the effects of prolonged and
continuous grazing is to be seen in the contrast between the areas near the
waterholes in the west, which are grazed very short in the dry seasons only,
and those in the east, which are grazed throughout the whole year. Although
the herbage on the western grazing grounds is much shorter than that at a
distance from the waterholes, yet it forms a good cover; but the ground near
the settlements in the east is almost bare except for scattered woody plants,
succulents and spiny subshrubs. Where there is a permanent population of
stock, any palatable herbs are grazed back constantly until they are killed.
Every year the soil of the western grazing grounds may be nearly bare by the
time they are vacated at the end of the dry season, yet the grasses are able to
recover during the rains and a good cover of herbage is maintained. There is
an increasing volume of evidence from pasture research in temperate and
subtropical regions that it is essential for rotational grazing to be practised if
the quality of a grassland is to be maintained, for, unless the herbage is allowed
to grow unchecked during part of the year, the more palatable and nutritious
species will be killed out. It is not surprising therefore that a long period of
continuous and intense grazing has resulted in the ruination of the pasture in
the east of Karamoja."
". .Much has been written about the effect of cultivation, grazing and
burning in diminishing the growth of woody species in the tropics and sub-
tropics, but the vegetation of Karamoja shows that some woody plants-those
of the thickets-are encouraged by these processes."
". .The majority of the woody plants in these thickets are low-growing
shrubs or small trees. . While all the ground cover is grazed away, the
thickets are immune from fire; but . when the grass is allowed to grow
sufficiently to provide material for burning, the number of the shrubs may be
rapidly reduced, for the small ones are killed by fire. As soon as the grasses
are free from the competition of the roots of many woody species, they can
grow with increasing vigour and the area may revert to grassland or to
"This type of woodland, so well represented in Uganda as in other East
African territories, is most valuable both from the aspect of soil preservation
and for the provision of good grazing. The presence of the trees appears to
improve the quality of the grassland, although there is evidence that, on account
of root competition, the bulk of herbage may be reduced. Some of the more
palatable species-and the same species appear to be the most nutritious-are
VEGETATIONAL STUDIES IN UGANDA 145
more abundant under trees than in the open. Shade may be a factor in deter-
mining this distribution, but it seems that soil factors are more important, for
the most nutritious grasses will grow only on the better soil. The trees have
a most important siphon effect-by means of their deep root-system they bring
up mineral plant nutrients from lower layers and deposit them on the surface
of the soil. There is, as yet, little direct evidence in proof of this phenomenon,
but there is much indirect evidence of the rapid loss of fertility that ensues
when the trees are cut out. .. ."
When the climate will support woodland, the retention of this community
is desirable. But continuous grazing will soon lead to rapid deterioration of
the herbage, to the loss of soil cover and erosion and the transformation of
woodland to thicket; under the relatively sparse rainfall of Karamoja the
alteration of the plant community will be very rapid."
". .(In Karamoja) the trampling of the stock has affected the whole
countryside for many miles around the settlements. The huge flocks and herds,
walking, grazing and browsing, have had an enormous cumulative effect and
there can be no other explanation of the compaction of the surface of the soil.
Persistent grazing, in addition to treading, must have an important effect on
the soil, for it inhibits the formation of a cover of annual weeds which, by the
growth and death of their roots, would make the surface layers more permeable.
So hard are these layers in the thicket areas that the rain cannot penetrate to
any depth; this fact is strikingly, demonstrated in the wet season when . .
the upper centimetre or two may be moist, but the soil below is as dry and
hard . as in times of drought."
"The lack of percolation into the soil is the reason why, under a fairly
well-distributed rainfall of 90 cm. (36 inches), the vegetation may be dominated
by xerophytic species such as might be expected under semi-desert conditions.
So small a proportion of the rainfall is absorbed by the soil and becomes avail-
able to the plants that they are in fact living under semi-desert conditions;
the figures of rainfall are of little significance in relation to plant life when
most of the water runs off the surface. It is on account of the volume and
rate of the run-off that sheet and gully erosion are so marked in the thicket
areas; once the hard surface layer has been penetrated, the soft even-textured
subsoil is rapidly eroded and deep narrow gullies are formed, as are typical in
soils of loessial origin."
". .With so uncertain a climate, the people cannot depend on agricul-
ture alone; stock must constitute a vital part of the food supply, but the present
numbers of cattle are larger than are needed to supply the wants of the people;
some families have small herds, while others have a large excess; it is the
large numbers of unutilized cattle which constitute so grave a menace to the
". . Water supplies are being developed both by boreholes and by
surface catchment tanks in order that all available grazing may be utilized to
the fullest extent. . When the whole of the grassland in Karamoja has
been provided with water supplies and when the number of stock has been
reduced, it will be possible to close some of the eastern areas for spells to allow
them to regenerate. Regeneration would be hastened if the impervious surface
146 UGANDA JOURNAL
crust of the soil could be broken by some form of contour ploughing . (or
by cutting down) the trees and shrubs to lessen the root competition with the
grasses and herbs" (Thomas, 1943, pp. 165-171).
Now let us leave Karamoja and turn to Busoga. The south and centre
of this district provided until very recently, and over a long period, by far the
greater part of the timber used in the Protectorate. I need scarcely remind
you that this timber is our well-known muvule (Chlorophora excelsa)-the
iroko of commerce-and that the tree does not, in Busoga, grow in closed
forests but occurs scattered through the district as a standard above grass.
As John Evelyn sagely remarks in the introduction to his Sylva: or a
Discourse of Forest-trees, published in 1664, "Men seldom plant trees till they
begin to be wise . and find, by experience, the prudence and necessity
It was not until the beginning of the nineteen-thirties that the Uganda
Forest Department "began to be wise" and started experiments in planting
muvule in Busoga, realizing that natural regeneration was not replacing the
trees which were being lost through felling and fire.
The work of replacement was to be centred on Kityerera, in the present
South Busoga Forest Reserve, but when some ten years later that station was
abandoned because of sleeping sickness the Department left the area with few
regrets. Almost all the experiments made there-and they were numerous-
had failed, and we were still very much in the dark as to the reason.
For a long while muvule had been regarded as a species whose natural
home was grassland but observations on the tree in other parts of the country,
noticeably in Bunyoro, showed this view to be incorrect. It became apparent
that muvule is in fact a species of secondary and colonizing forest and that
in older forest it occurs only as a relic, not normally regenerating. When such
older forest is exploited, young muvule can be found springing up in the
If muvule is a species of secondary and colonizing forest how can its
widespread occurrence in the grasslands of south and central Busoga be
explained ? The answer appears to be something like this.
For many years prior to the great sleeping sickness outbreak at the begin-
ning of the century which, together with the famines before and after it,
destroyed countless thousands of the inhabitants,1 huge tracts of Busoga were
so densely settled that early travellers through the lakeward parts of the district
record that for mile after mile they passed through an unending succession
of plantain groves. Busoga was, in fact, so fertile that it had earned the name
'The garden of Uganda'.
1 During the famine of 1899-1900 "it was computed that forty thousand natives
lost their lives in Busoga (Uganda Notes, June 1908, p. 90), and between 1902 and 1905
deaths in Busoga from sleeping sickness probably exceeded the figure of 92,544 reported
for Buganda (Uganda, Thomas and Scott, 1935, p. 300). Thus in the seven years 1899-
1905 at least 132,000 persons died in Busoga out of a population which cannot have been
very far short of the present figure of about 381,000. "A further famine early in 1908
completed the almost total depopulation of the S. of the district" (Uganda, p. 438). It
should be noted that these figures of deaths apply to Busoga as a whole. In the southern
portion of the district, the part most affected by sleeping sickness, it is probable that two
people out of every three succumbed.
VEGETATIONAL STUDIES IN UGANDA 147
In the midst of this cultivation, young muvule trees, whose chief enemy
is fire, were able to regenerate freely in the protective shelter of the bananas.
They were allowed to grow undisturbed, partly because the value of the tree
as timber for making such things as beer-brewing canoes was appreciated by
the Basoga but also probably because the tree was in this area, as in many
other parts of Africa, regarded in some measure as a 'juju' tree-a home of
spirits. Be that as it may, the muvule flourished and when, as a result of
sickness and famine, the gardens fell into disuse and reverted to grass, the trees
were left standing scattered through the savanna, accompanied only by incense
trees (Canarium) which had been encouraged in the banana gardens for the
sake of their edible fruits.
Once the banana gardens had been replaced by grass and scrub, annual
fires once again swept through the area. The mature and maturing muvule
trees, scorched and burnt year after year, became a wasting asset, and regenera-
tion stood little chance of survival except in those patches of thicker scrub
which were sufficiently dense to keep out fire.
It might be assumed, from what has been said, that muvule could be
grown successfully in Busoga in plantations made safe from fire either by
clean weeding or the provision of a canopy heavy enough to suppress grass-
such, for instance, as that provided by bananas-expensive although such
methods would be.
But exclusion of fire is not the sole essential. Investigations in south
Busoga, directed towards discovering whether or not muvule shows any marked
soil preferences, have revealed two interesting facts: "Firstly, that almost
without exception, the mature trees of Chlorophora are growing on or near
old termite grounds; and secondly, that where natural regrowth of younger
Mvule had taken place, the soil is slightly alkaline, whereas the soils of the
forest nearby, where no Mvule was growing, is acid. There is little doubt
that these isolated patches of alkaline soil are situated on the sites of former
homesteads, where the accumulation of ashes and refuse has altered the com-
position of the soil. . Both termite mounds and settlements cause a local
accumulation of bases, which is reflected in their reaction and it seems probable
that the supply of bases has a marked effect on the growth of Chlorophora
excelsa" (Thomas, 1942, p. 42).
In parts of West Acholi, and of Lango, the soils are less acid and have a
richer supply of bases than the soils of south Busoga, and it is in these places
that the Forest Department is now replacing the muvule cut in the past in
Busoga. Areas of well-developed Terminalia and Combretum woodland are
chosen for this purpose and the aim of the work is to accelerate the natural
succession of the vegetation in order to convert these stands, quickly, into closed
forest of a type resembling the colonizing forest which muvule prefers as its
Very considerable success has been achieved since planting was begun
in 1939, and in the older areas grass has been almost completely suppressed and
a useful stand of secondary forest has been produced at reasonable cost. It
is of course necessary to plant other trees along with the muvule if anything
like a natural type of forest is to result: the most successful of these subsidiary
148 UGANDA JOURNAL
species is the local atego (Phyllanthus discoideus). In order that all our timber
eggs shall not be in the same basket we are planting along with the muvule
equal numbers of a second proven timber-an indigenous dry area mahogany
(Khaya grandifoliola)-just in case anything should happen to the muvule.
With ordinary luck, both muvule and mahogany will constitute the final timber
It is perhaps worth mentioning that with both these timbers a somewhat
specialized planting stock is used. Instead of the small transplants usual in
most planting schemes, we are putting out in these plantations young muvule
and mahogany 5-6 feet high, or even more. This type of stock is referred to
locally as a stripling, a portmanteau term for "stripped sapling ". The trees
are grown to this size in nurseries (in a period of 12-18 months), are stripped
of their leaves, lightly root-pruned, and planted out looking like rather stout
deep-sea fishing rods. Two great advantages of this method are that the
trees are large enough, when planted, to escape the attention of buck, especially
duiker; they are also much less liable to be suppressed by weeds and climbers.
The Budongo forest in Bunyoro is, for its size, perhaps the richest
mahogany forest in Africa. The forest, which is of the Lowland Rain Forest
type, is completely surrounded by grassland. It was at one time regarded as
a relic of a much larger area but recent work has shown that the greater part
of the forest is in fact extremely young (Eggeling, 1947).
In many areas the forest is expanding and every year sees a few more
yards won from the grassland. Grassland and forest are normally separated,
at Budongo, by a narrow belt of Acanthus arboreus, a prickly shrub which
grows to about 12 feet in height. Expansion of the forest is most rapid in
Acanthus areas, where reduced grass competition and lessened shade afford
conditions suitable for the regeneration of musizi (Maesopsis eminii), the
principal tree colonizer. On such sites Maesopsis Forest results.
Where Acanthus is absent, and especially on murram ridges and on patches
of shallow soil, expansion is slower. Here a mixture of trees which are of
little value as timber, but which are very useful pioneers, does most of the
colonizing. By degrees they invade the grassland (usually first occupying
the bases of termite mounds and thence spreading outwards), partly kill out the
grass, afford protection to undershrubs and herbs, and produce conditions which
lead to the gradual formation of the closed type of forest known as Woodland
Maesopsis Forest persists, as such, at Budongo, for only one generation.
While the crop is young there is a regular distribution of age classes, but as
the older trees grow bigger the smaller specimens become suppressed, the
canopy thins, the lower stories and undergrowth thicken, musizi fails to
regenerate, and less violently light-demanding species, which are indicators of a
more advanced vegetation type known as Mixed Forest, make their appearance.
The development of Woodland Forest to Mixed Forest is similar. Follow-
ing the suppression of grass and the formation of a canopy the stand of
colonizers is gradually invaded by more truly forest species amongst which
can be mentioned wild rubber (Futumia elastica and F. latifolia). There is a
tendency for musizi, too, to appear, but not in numbers.
VEGETATIONAL STUDIES IN UGANDA 149
Mixed Forest, in its turn, gives way to Ironwood Forest. The replace-
ment of Mixed Forest by Ironwood Forest takes much longer than the preceding
stages of the succession. The dominant species in Ironwood Forest is the
muhimbi or ironwood (Cynometra alexandrii); this makes its first appearance
before Mixed Forest reaches optimum development, but its presence in the
young stages is apt to be overlooked because it is not at first a very fast-
growing species and attention is captured by the more conspicuous saplings of
light-demanders. By degrees, however, the ironwood becomes noticeable as
it pushes its way through undergrowth and understory. It is catholic in its
tastes and establishes itself everywhere. As more and more ironwood appear,
Mixed Forest species fail to regenerate, existing stems fall and are replaced
by ironwood, and Ironwood Forest results.
From the point of view of the timber user, this replacement of Mixed
Forest by Ironwood Forest is something of a tragedy. It is the Mixed Forest
type which contains nearly all the valuable timber species of Budongo, includ-
ing the mahoganies: Ironwood Forest contains very few timbers other than
ironwood itself, and this is so hard and heavy as to be scarcely utilizable except
for a few very limited purposes.
The reason for the failure of Mixed Forest species to resist the invasion of
the ironwood is as yet imperfectly understood. The shade in Ironwood Forest
is not unduly dense, and as a rule the purer the crop the thinner the under-
growth. There appears to be quite sufficient light for all but the most
light-demanding of the Mixed Forest species, so that excessive shade does not
account, as was at first believed, for their failure to regenerate.
An examination of the areas of colonizing forest at Budongo, that is, of
Maesopsis Forest and Woodland Forest combined, shows that within the last
thirty years Budongo has spread considerably. The evidence includes the
presence of relic savanna species and of derelict termite mounds of a grassland
type well within the forest margin, and is confirmed by a comparison of old
and present-day maps. One example is the area of colonizing forest known
as Mpembeje. A typescript report (M.P.67/32) in the files of the Uganda
Forest Department shows that in 1910, when the first survey of Budongo was
made, the whole of this bay-like area was under grass. Air photographs taken
in 1931 prove that in that year no grass remained and that the whole bay
had become closed forest within a period of twenty years.
Similar evidence of the rapid expansion of Budongo is available for a
number of other areas, and it is probable that the forest has been spreading
for some time. The present proportions of the main types of tree growth bear
out this view; only a third of the forest is sufficiently old to carry Ironwood
Forest, the most advanced type.
An accurate knowledge of the developmental processes at work in a forest
is essential if regeneration operations are to be successful. At Budongo the
forester's aim is to maintain, at the very least, and if possible to improve, the
value of the forest. Since mahogany is the timber chiefly removed, it follows
that it is with the regeneration of this species that he is chiefly concerned.
Mahogany attains its maximum development, at Budongo, in Mixed Forest
but does not regenerate naturally in that type. Its chief seeding grounds are
150 UGANDA JOURNAL
in colonizing forest and in transition zones between colonizing forest and
Mixed Forest. In such areas it is probable that artificial planting is unnecessary
in so far that any trees cut there are replaced naturally, but because mahogany
comes in naturally in such sites, it is likely that it will thrive there, if planted
artificially. In Mixed Forest, where mahogany regeneration cannot be expected,
exploitation causes large gaps which become filled with secondary growth;
here, too, provided felling is sufficiently extensive to give rise to conditions
similar to those in colonizing forest, artificial regeneration is likely to succeed.
But what about Ironwood Forest ? Practically no mahogany can be
found in this type, ironwood is not in demand, and as a result there is little
felling-quite insufficient to give rise to conditions under which successful
natural or artificial regeneration of mahogany can be expected. If Ironwood
Forest is to be rendered valuable it looks as if it must first be destroyed, either
by felling, which is very expensive indeed, or by poisoning, probably with
arsenic. Experiments in this direction are in progress.
In its work in the muvule planting areas of Acholi and Lango, and in the
mahogany regeneration areas of Budongo, the Forest Department has uncon-
sciously been giving its support to two hypotheses put forward a few years ago
by Sir Roy (now Lord) Robinson, Chairman of the Forestry Commission.
These are, firstly, the hypothesis of accelerated succession and secondly, the
hypothesis of the silvicultural stream; "both are based on the general theory
of the succession of vegetation which is one of the cardinal theories of plant
ecology" (British Ecological Society, 1944, p. 84).
The hypothesis of accelerated succession states that in natural afforestation
"some species are pioneers and some are successors. It is not feasible by
artificial means to bring in the successors in advance of the pioneers. It is
possible, however, to accelerate the natural succession by mixed planting of
pioneers and successors, and by appropriate . treatment to complete the
succession in the course of a single rotation" (Ibid.), This is exactly what is
being done in our muvule planting areas.
The hypothesis of the silvicultural stream is that "in the silvicultural
treatment of woodlands the most effective methods are those which proceed
in the direction of a natural succession of vegetation" (Ibid., p. 86). As
Professor Tansley puts it, the concept thus postulated "is an example of
following intelligently the processes of nature and adapting them to human
requirements. In other words we have to learn to understand nature before
we can effectively control her" (Ibid., pp. 86-87).
When we regenerate colonizing forest at Budongo with mahogany, we are
following the silvicultural stream; in our work in the Mixed Forest we are
arresting the stream. If the Ironwood Forest type is to be made more useful
to man than it is at present the stream will have to be diverted from its
Processes of succession very similar to those just described are undoubtedly
at work in other forests of Uganda, for instance in Buganda, but in other and
older forests an advanced stage similar to the Ironwood Forest of Budongo has
been reached. This is true of large parts of the Bugoma and Semliki forests
of Bunyoro and Bwamba, where muhimbi is the dominant species.
VEGETATIONAL STUDIES IN UGANDA 151
In another large forest, the Kalinzu forest in Ankole, a similar problem of
diverting an over-swollen silvicultural stream confronts the forester. Here the
dominant species is the mubura or grey plum (Parinari excelsa). Recent tests
of this timber carried out in England, show that it is very difficult to work and
season, so that it is almost as undesirable a species as ironwood.
In a reconnaissance of Kalinzu made about ten years ago, it was estimated
that in some parts of the forest mubura trees constituted as much as 80 per cent.
of the canopy. It was noted further that there were practically no young
mubura plants anywhere and that small saplings likewise were very scarce.
The only other timber trees at all common in mixture with the mubura are
satinwood (Fagara macrophylla) and mpewere (Piptadenia buchananii). The
impression gained at the time (and it must be stressed that this is only an
impression and is unsupported by any positive evidence) was that the mixture
of species was stable but that a rotational relationship between them might
be expected. It seems possible that Parinarium is unable to regenerate success-
fully under its own dense shade and, in support of this view, most of the visible
regeneration does seem to be concentrated under the lighter crowns of the
satinwood and mpewere. Seedlings and small saplings of both the latter
timbers are fairly plentiful everywhere but they appear to remain in a suppressed
state until the mubura canopy is opened by the natural fall of an over-mature
Parinarium, whose place is then filled by one or other of these two species.
The type of succession visualized as possibly existing in Kalinzu is one
similar to the cyclic relationship existing between ash and beech in the South
Downs in South England, where "ash may and often does, colonize gaps in
beechwoods and the little colony has a life history of its own different in many
respects from that of the beech. . When the colony of ash opens out with
age, it is undergrown by beech. In time the ash dies; the former gap is then
occupied by beech and only on its death does the ash once again colonize the
gap formed. From what is known of the relative effects on the soil of ash and
beech this alternation of species would seem to be of very great importance.
Similar alternation occurs with oak and pine on some soils and with Norway
spruce and silver fir in the pre-Alpine ranges" (Empire Forestry Association,
1947, p. 33).
There is no doubt that before the improvement of Kalinzu can be attempted
more must be known about the successions at work. A detailed ecological
investigation is required. Should this show that a cyclic relationship of the
ash-beech type does in fact exist, the forester is going to have a pretty problem
before him in any attempt he makes to render the forest more productive.
British Ecological Society. "Ecological Principles Involved in the Practice of
Forestry." Journal of Ecology, Vol. 32, 1944.
Eggeling, W. J. "Notes on the Flora and Fauna of a Uganda Swamp."
Uganda Journal, Vol. 1, 1934.
"The Vegetation of Namanve Swamp, Uganda." Journal of
Ecology, Vol. 23, 1935.
152 UGANDA JOURNAL
Eggeling, W. J. "Observations on the Ecology of the Budongo Rain Forest,
Uganda." Journal of Ecology, Vol. 34, 1947.
Empire Forestry Association. "The Forest, Forestry and Man." Paper
presented at the Fifth Empire Forestry Conference, 1947.
Fiennes, R. N. T.-W.- The Ecology of the Grasses of Lango, Uganda, East
Africa. Government Printer, Entebbe, 1940.
Hancock, G. L. R. The Mosquitoes of Namanve Swamp, Uganda." Journal
of Animal Ecology, Vol. 3, 1934.
Snowden, J. D. "A Study of Altitudinal Zonation in South Kigezi and on
Mounts Muhavura and Mgahinga, Uganda." Journal of Ecology,
Vol. 21, 1933.
Thomas, A. S. "Grasses as Indicator Plants in Uganda." East African
Agricultural Journal, Vol. 6, 1940.
The Vegetation of the Sese Islands, Uganda." Journal of Ecology,
Vol. 29, 1941.
"Note on the Distribution of Chlorophora excelsa in Uganda."
Empire Forestry Journal, Vol. 21, 1942.
"The Vegetation of Karamoja District, Uganda.' Journal of
Ecology, Vol. 31, 1943.
The Vegetation of Some Hillsides in Uganda." Journal of Ecology,
Vol. 33, 1945.
Worthington, E. B. Science in Africa, Oxford University Press, 1938.
THE PAN-AFRICAN CONGRESS ON PREHISTORY, 1947
By E. G. P. SHERWOOD
(Representative of the Uganda Society at the Congress)
M AN has been on this earth for more than one million years. History
at the most extends back about six thousand years. To study history
we rely largely on the written word, and it was about six thousand years ago
that the earliest writings that are now preserved were made. Prehistory is
the study of events before the age of history. It is, so to speak, a prolongation
of history backwards. To study it, evidence other than writing must be sought.
The further we go backwards, the less evidence of any kind can be found, but
it is surprising how much of the past history of man can be built up from
careful examination of finds that are made to-day.
We may be lucky and discover the remains of man himself, which will
give us some idea of his structure. He may be found in a definite burial
posture, with sonie of his articles of daily use buried with him. These give
clues to his mode of life, and even to his beliefs. We may not find man
himself, but only evidence of his untidiness, perhaps the bones of the animals
on which he fed. They may be so burnt that there is clear evidence that fire
was used. Pottery, bone and stone stools, or metal implements and ornaments
may be found: all of these repay careful study. The expert is able to find
out much more from such remains than would be suspected by the layman.
Even the flakes discarded when primitive man made himself a stone tool tell
us something of what that type of man was like. During the Congress we
visited a place in the valley of the Gilgil river where thousands of such flakes
indicate that it was a factory-site where implements belonging to a definite
culture were made. The finished tools had clearly been taken away; only
the discarded flakes remain on the site.
Here I want to stress that any finds made by laymen should be pointed
out to experts. Bones which have survived in the earth for thousands of
years, may become powder after exposure for a week or two. It is not enough
to dig up such finds and send them to experts by post. They must be left
undisturbed where they are found, for by their position in the earth their date
is usually ascertainable. It is clear that, when layer upon layer of sediment is
deposited on the floor of a lake or elsewhere, the oldest deposit will be at the
bottom, and the most recent at the top. It is a process comparable to the
accumulation of letters in an untidy man's "in basket. An undated letter
can be dated by reference to how near it is to the bottom of the basket.
The subject of the Nairobi Congress was African Prehistory, but it
attracted delegates from other fields as well: Ceylon, Denmark, England,
France, Palestine, Spain, Sweden and America were represented, as well as
fifteen African territories.
The Congress was definitely international and definitely friendly. Perhaps
that arose out of the interest of those present. The study of the story of man
154 UGANDA JOURNAL
in such a vast time-scale detracts importance from the present-day bickerings
Some of the delegates are known to this Society personally. E. J. Wayland
from Bechuanaland has been a President, as has Dr. K. A. Davies who repre-
sented Uganda. Dr. Galloway, now of Makerere, came to Uganda after the
Congress; Dr. Worthington attended some of the meetings, and added his
contribution showing how the present-day distribution of fish in the African
lakes throws light on the past history of East Africa. He once gave a
somewhat similar talk to the Uganda Society. Dr. and Mrs. L. S. B.
Leakey, equally active partners in the field of prehistory, are also known
to you. It was Dr. Leakey, of course, who conceived and organized the
I must also introduce you to the president of the Congress. All who have
ever glanced at a book on anything prehistorical must have met his name.
I refer to L'Abb6 Breuil, who was one of France's representatives. He is not
only outstanding as one of the world's leading authorities on prehistory, but
also as a picturesque figure. His frock coat, gold-rimmed spectacles and
old world civility are now inextricably mixed with my impression of Mr.
The Congress was formally opened by His Excellency the Governor of
Kenya in the Town Hall, Nairobi, on 14th January 1947. Speeches in answer
to the Governor's welcome were made, and then we proceeded to business.
Three divisions of the subject matter were made, and I shall deal with the
activities and findings of each of them briefly.
The first section dealt with Geology, Climatology and General Palae-
ontology-the study of fossil plants and animals-and I think that it would
be true to say that less progress was made in this section than in the others,
although I have no doubt that great things will come from the interchange of
ideas that took place. We were reminded, but I did not need to be told, that
Geology is a difficult subject. There are many pitfalls for the prehistorian
who is not a specialist geologist, when he attempts to interpret the sequence
of past climates from rock formations.
In Europe we have a fairly well-established sequence of ice-ages and
warmer periods, which forms a time-scale. The last major ice-age was about
25,000 years ago, and the first about 1,000,000 years ago. In Africa we have
evidence for a series of pluvial periods and inter-pluvial periods. Various
authorities have given their opinions as to how the two are related. Some
say that ice in Europe gave wet conditions in the tropics of Africa; others
state the exact reverse. In any case there has always been doubt as to which
pluvial corresponds to which ice-age.
I very much hoped that new evidence would be presented to the Congress
to establish some sort of relation, but it was not.
Before the official opening of the Congress most of the delegates went to
the area of Lakes Naivasha, Elmenteita and Nakuru and were shown rock
sections illustrating the pluvial and inter-pluvial periods in Kenya. We saw
strata of volcanic ash which were laid down under water or in swamps during
the great pluvials, and layers of white diatomite, containing the shells of minute
PAN-AFRICAN CONGRESS ON PREHISTORY, 1947 155
organisms, which accumulated at the bottom of lakes. We saw, well above
the present level of these lakes, beaches of rounded water-rolled stones-
stones such as you find on the shores of Lake Victoria. They are unmistakably
stones from a beach. You see such a beach in section where the cutting for
the main Nairobi road goes up the Gilgil escarpment. This beach is about
500 feet above Lake Nakuru; less above Lake Elmenteita, which you see
below you. We also saw reddened bands running through these pluvial
deposits, evidence of long breaks in the pluvial when dry conditions
We were also enabled to work out when the faulting which gave rise to
the rift valley took place in relation to these pluvials. The rock attributed to
the Kamasian or second great pluvial was deposited under a great lake which
extended from Lake Baringo to the Kedong Valley and included Lakes Nakuru,
Elmenteita and Naivasha. We saw this rock on the floor of the rift valley and
also high on the Kinangop escarpment. It was pushed up there when the
rifting took place.
No such great uncomformity can be seen in the rock laid down in the
third or Gamblian pluvial. It is tilted and faulted but not on the same scale.
The high-level beach on the Gilgil escarpment which I mentioned was formed
then. In the Njorowa gorge, or Devil's Gap, south of Lake Naivasha, we saw
beaches laid down during the Gamblian pluvial.
This gorge, at that time, formed the outlet to the lake. We saw there
also the obsidian mines from which came much of the material used to make
the obsidian tools of East Africa.
Obsidian, as you may know, is the black, glass-like stone which can be
picked up off the surface of the ground in many parts of Kenya. This mine is
a tunnel about 100 yards long running through a thick seam of obsidian near
the top of a hill at the side of the gorge.
I have explained that I went to the Congress hoping to find that the
pluvial periods could be linked with the ice ages of Europe. The problem
was discussed. Dr. Nilsson from Sweden discussed the matter in the light of
evidence of periodic advances and retreats of the ice caps on the larger East
African mountains.- Alterations of lake levels in Tanganyika and Abyssinia
were described. Dr. Zeuner, a famous climatologist, gave interesting theories
as to the probable climatic sequence in Africa, based on an astronomic theory.
The wobble of the earth on its axis must be taken into account. His paper
gained limited favour only.
Three lines of approach were indicated by the discussions. It is hoped
that work will proceed on these lines, and that some decision on the subject
will be reached at the next Congress.
It was clear in the first place that some link-up of past climates across
the Mediterranean is possible. We had evidence of this in a paper by Professor
Arambourg, from Paris, who spoke of the animal migrations between Europe
and Africa at various times. We cannot link up the climate of Central Africa
and North Africa until more is known of the conditions in past ages in the
Sahara. From what we know already it is certain that this area has fluctuated
in size and fertility. When more is known we shall have a chain of knowledge
156 UGANDA JOURNAL
running from Europe to Central Africa which can be extended to South
Africa, and many problems of the time-scale will be solved.
Another way of solving the problem may lie in a study of the rise and
fall in sea-level all round the coast of Africa. In Europe the rise and fall of
the sea-level is associated with the ice-ages.
This rise and fall has been traced to the North African coast and to other
places as far south as South Africa, but these raised beaches have not been
sufficiently studied for it to be possible to link them together. It cannot yet
be said that a high-level beach on the Moroccan coast corresponds to any
particular high-level beach elsewhere on the African coast. It was suggested
at the Congress that our knowledge should be extended round the coast, so
that, by working inland, we should have a way of dating geological deposits
by reference to the rise and fall of sea-level back to the ice-ages of Europe.
I have been careful not to suggest that it is necessarily the amount of water in
the sea that has altered. The rise and fall of the land surface has played its
part in these beaches. There is no reason to suppose that the whole continent
of Africa behaved as one unit. It may have risen in one part and sunk in
another. This is the reason why the whole coast line must be studied.
The third suggestion was that a very intensive study of present-day weather
may give some clue to the way cold in temperate zones is likely to influence
the climate in the tropics. We might then be in a position to say what the
effect of ice-ages in Europe are likely to have been on the climate at the
equator and south of the equator.
This then seemed to be the results of the Congress in this section. More
work must be done before it is worth attempting unification of our ideas on a
time-scale for the whole continent. Three main lines of attack on the problem
which give promise were defined.
The next section of the Congress dealt with Archaeology. This was the
busiest section, and I do not propose to give more than the barest outline of
This Archaeological section heard papers on the cultures of many parts
of Africa, and tried to link them one to the other. It is interesting to study
the geographical variation in essentially similar cultures, and to speculate on
migrations and the effect of one culture on another. Developmental series of
stone-tool cultures were described from different excavations, and each culture
was as far as possible dated by reference to the layer in which it was
This section did some very useful business. Archaeologists who for
years had stood up for their own system of naming a culture magnanimously
discarded for ever the terms that they themselves had coined. Dr. Leakey gave
in after many years of struggle with Dr. Cabu of the Belgian Congo over the
name of a culture characterized by large but slender lance-points of stone.
They had first been described from Tumba in the Congo, and Leakey had
wished to retain this term and to apply it to a similar culture found in North
Kavirondo. Dr. Cabu and others felt that Sangoan would be a better term,
because much the same culture had been given this name by Wayland after
discoveries at Sango Bay in Uganda. Of course there is much more to it
FIG. 5 PflotoVlfpil I), L. L r. cnerwooac
Cave painting in Cheke rock shelter
Note the human figures, centre bottom. Line drawings of an older date than the solid animals are also visible
-**" -CO. 4-. '
P s; -J
.W -. .. ... ,.. .
-... .",- "^ '-
Photograph by E. G. P. Sherwood
Rock strata at Olorgesaile ; Kamasian pluvial
PAN-AFRICAN CONGRESS ON PREHISTORY, 1947 157
than that; and this is but one example of agreement on terms. It was decided
that a permanent committee should be set up to whom all new terms could be
submitted in future.
The Archaeological section also spent a day considering rock-paintings.
After the Congress we went to Kisesse in Tanganyika and saw rock-shelters
which had been decorated by successions of hunters over a very long period.
I say hunters, for there were superb drawings of game animals, while the few
human figures that were portrayed were very much stylized. They looked
more like daddy-long-legs'.
This safari could form the subject matter for several papers on its own,
for we spent two nights on the edge of the great Ngorongoro crater, twelve
miles across and 2,000 feet deep. We also went to Oldoway gorge, an almost
dry river-bed cutting across the Serengeti plain. The sides of this gorge are
much convoluted through gulley erosion. We claimed up the sides over layers
of bare crumbly rock, picking up stone-tools of a very early date and fossil
bones of the contemporaneous fauna. These rocks were probably deposited
in the Kamasian pluvial, with a later deposit on top. Here there is material
for centuries of study of the sequence of the great hand-axe culture, and its
precursor the Oldowan culture.
I must also mention our safari to Olorgesaile, in the Masai reserve, the
site found by Mrs. Leakey in 1942. Here we saw part of a sequence showing
the association of stone-tools with the animals on which man lived at different
times. At one time he ate giant baboon, later horses, later still giant pig.
The whole surface in one place was thick with hand-axes, and I mean thick,
for there was hardly a square foot without one on the surface. The site is
now a museum with many of the former land surfaces excavated and covered
over with protective shelters: there is a rest-camp attached. This natural
museum was declared open during our visit by Sir Gilbert Rennie, Chief
Secretary of Kenya.
Let us now pass to the third section of the Congress dealing with Human
Palaeontology-that in which I was chiefly interested.
In 1924 Professor Dart found at Taungs in Bechuanaland a skull super-
ficially like that of a chimpanzee. But it is not a chimpanzee skull, and when
it was described in 1925 very big claims were made for it in relation to human
ancestry. The skull is that of a young animal, and it corresponds to that of
a human child of about six years, for the first permanent molars are just
becoming functional. The entire milk dentition is preserved, and these anterior
teeth can be seen to be much smaller than those of a young chimpanzee. The
chin is better developed and the forehead is more nearly vertical; there is no
trace of the heavy ridge above the eyes which is found in apes, monkeys and
in some skulls of primitive man. The brain, as can be seen from the natural
limestone cast of the skull cavity, is much more human than that of any ape.
Professor Dart realized the importance of his find at once but it is true to
say that scientists in Great Britain were not fully convinced until this
The head of man is much more like that of a young ape than that of an
adult ape. It is as though man has developed by the perpetuation of juvenile
158 UGANDA JOURNAL
characters. We retain the much flatter face that is found in embryo apes,
before the elongation of the nose and upper jaw region takes place, which
makes apes chinless compared to man. We retain the embryonic flexure of
the skull, which accounts for the position of the foramen magnum, the hole
in the skull through which the spinal cord enters. If I let my head fall back-
wards it is in a position in relation to my spinal cord similar to that found in
quadrupeds. Adult apes uncoil the embryonic flexure to some extent towards
the quadruped type of setting, and have with it a slight forward stoop: man
retains the embryonic condition. Other examples of the same phenomenon
are shown by the teeth of man, which erupt later than in the apes. Moreover
the sutures of the skull remain open, and the brain continues to develop in
size for a longer time. There are therefore certain risks in comparing juvenile
skulls, and we must remember that young ape skulls will show more human
features than are found in the adult.
Dr. Broom from South Africa, who at over eighty, was the oldest but
not the least agile member of the Congress, found in 1936 at Sterkfontein in
the Transvaal, 200 miles north-east of Taungs, an adult skull of the same type
as Professor Dart's. It shows signs of brow-ridges and so on, but the human
affinity remains. Incomplete arm and leg bones have also been discovered,
and are strikingly un-ape like.
Professor Le Gros Clark, of Oxford University, went to South Africa to
see this material before the Congress. As he explained later, We in England
had perhaps been unduly cautious and sceptical, but that is the nature of
scientists, and when one has only casts and photographs one tends to withhold
one's verdict on fossils." His paper on his conclusions after examining this
South African material was one of the most lucid and enthralling lectures that
I have ever heard.
For me and for many others, I believe, this paper formed the most
notable event of the Congress. I doubt if any of you can imagine anatomical
detail and limb measurement as being more than just 'interesting'. Professor
Le Gros Clark made the subject live.
He said that there was no doubt that this discovery has all the value that
Dart attached to it. In staggeringly many details specimens showed human
characters, especially in the limb-bones. Some of the teeth would, without
doubt, have been called human had they been found separately. Not only
their shape, but also the wear on them, is of the human pattern. The degree
of wear on the milk-teeth is however remarkable, suggesting that late eruption
as in modern man had not yet been attained. He dealt with the proportion
and shape and detailed construction of other parts of the skull, and
I should at this point remind you that, although all this likeness to man
can be found, the general impression that one gets is that of an ape skull.
It is only the small detail which gives the irrefutable evidence of human
Professor Le Gros Clark also described the limb-bones. He showed,
from a study of the head of the thigh-bone, that its curve allowed less move-
ment than is found in apes. Such restriction of movement gives the stability
that man requires for his upright walk.
PAN-AFRICAN CONGRESS ON PREHISTORY, 1947 159
How far do these findings affect the story of man's evolution? There
has always been a tendency to consider that man evolved from, not an ape,
but an ape-like ancestor, with large teeth in a heavy chinless lower jaw, and
with heavy brow-ridges. We now find an early form of ape-man which had
small teeth (in the front at any rate), small brow-ridges in the adult, and a
light jaw. We must therefore regard the apes as having diverged from our
common ancestral forms by acquiring these features. Large jaws and teeth,
particularly eye-teeth, are not primitive features. They are specialized features
which the apes have acquired in the course of time and are not therefore
features to be sought in the ancestry of man.
A recent number of Biology printed at the bottom of a page an authenti-
cated howler: "A monkey or ape is much too highly developed to have a
descendant such as man."
There is always a lot of talk about the missing link. Do not get the
impression that it has been found. The idea of a missing link is erroneous,
and cannot mean anything, for if our ideas of evolution are right there has
been change and continuous change since, by the hand of God, life started in
this world. The South African material cannot be regarded as ancestral to
man and the apes. It cannot be termed even one of the missing links in the
direct line of man's ancestry, for it is apparently of too late a date, but it can
be regarded as a late, and only slightly modified survival of that ancestral
Professor Le Gros Clark went on to speak of the much earlier Kenya
fossil apes. He said that they are interestingly complementary to South
African fossils, for while the latter have a specific reference to the evolu-
tion of the human line of development, the Kenya material provides
important evidence for the evolution of the Hominoidea as a whole, that
is, of the Zoological group of which the human line represents but one
Two important announcements were made at the Congress. The first
came from Professor Van Riet Lowe, leader of the strong South African
delegation. He read an invitation from Field-Marshal Smuts for the Congress
to hold a further meeting in South Africa in 1951. This was warmly received
as a generous gesture, which would ensure that the progress made in Nairobi
should not end there.
The other important announcement came from Wendell Phillips, the
young American delegate. He endorsed that we have here material waiting
to be discovered, and men capable of finding it and reporting it. What we
have not got, he said, is money. He outlined proposals for a big-scale expedi-
tion from America, equipped with the latest excavating apparatus, X-ray
cameras, and so on. America plans, I understand, to leave one third of all
finds in the country of origin. I do not myself have any feelings of resentment.
Africa is now a focus of interest in connection with the descent of man. There
are fossils waiting in the ground to be collected. Who can say that in our
lifetime the little pieces of the jig-saw which were discussed at the Nairobi
Congress will not be fitted into a much smoother picture of the development
of man up to the age of history.
(After Wayland and Leakey)
Periods of Geological History
Beginning of KAFUANS
GUMBAN, NJOROAN, WILTON C
WILTON A and B
KAFUAN (and early Oldowan)
THE OCCUPATION OF THE TURKWEL RIVER AREA
BY THE KARAMOJONG TRIBE
Narrated by the Nikarimojo and recorded by CAPTAIN C. A. TURPIN on
22nd December 1916 during the course of discussions on the alignment of
the Kenya-Uganda boundary1
OUR home or wet-season kraals are within an area bounded by the Magosi
hills and Lokichar river on the north, Moroto escarpment on the east,
Longollemur ridge (between Moroto and Debasien) on the south, and Matang
hill on the west. These are our permanent kraals. In the extreme southern
portion of Karimojo between the Turkwel and Kisima Mchanga rivers are
also a number of our kraals which have been occupied permanently since the
rinderpest (Lopit) in 1894.
For six months in the year, commencing from April, when it is rainy
and water is plentiful in the river beds, we occupy our home kraals, and our
flocks and herds are pastured in the neighbourhood.
Our women folk cultivate millet near the home kraals but we rely princi-
pally on the milk and blood of our cattle for food.
Our grazing grounds in the dry-season extend to Koten hill and Lotororo
hill on the north, Nakwai hill, Napak hill and Kilim river on the west, the base
of Mount Elgon on the south, the Suk foothills along the eastern bank of the
Turkwel river and the western foothills of the Langetalio hills and Moroto
escarpment on the east.
For the second half of the year, from October, when the streams have
ceased to flow and water is with difficulty obtained by digging in certain spots
only in the river beds, we lead a nomadic life and our stock are taken to our
dry-season grazing grounds.
Formerly, we were surrounded by our enemies-the Turkana and Suk on
the east, the Sebei on Mt. Elgon, the Kumama on the west, and the Jie
on the north. The Jie (between us and our friends the Dodosi farther north),
the Turkana (below the escarpment) and ourselves speak the same language.
The Kumama and ourselves converse freely, although their pronunciation is
slightly different to ours; the Suk and Sebei language is foreign to us.
The Turkana, Jie, Kumama and ourselves are tribes of the plain; the
Suk and Sebei are hill tribes.
There were intermittent periods of friendship between us; but these were
very spasmodic and usually terminated abruptly.
1 This extract from the Secretariat archives, Entebbe, is published with the Chief
Secretary's permission. Students of the Iteso will be glad of this confirmation of the
former location of the people known as the Oropom" or Iworopom ", some of whose
descendants are now living in Kwapa near Tororo and others (known by the Bantu
nickname of Bamia" or "Wamia ") in Nyanza Province of Kenya. It may be noted
that, since Capt. Turpin wrote, Karamoja for the district and Karamojong for its people
and their language have been adopted as official spellings.-[ED.]
162 UGANDA JOURNAL
Our grandfathers (Query: Do you not mean great-grandfathers ? Reply:
No! Not our great-grandfathers, because the father of Ongoritum, a very
old man who died last year, was an eye-witness) told us that the country
between Debasien, Elgon, and the Suk hills was formerly inhabited by a tribe
called the Oropom, which was similar to us in habits, customs and language.
The Oropom had nothing in common with the Suk group; they did not
circumcise and the language of the latter was not understood by them.
The small stream which flows from the Turkwel-Nzoia watershed into the
Turkwel river a few miles above Kacheliba is called the Oropom to this day.
The Oropom owned stock and were daily harassed by us. Finally our grand-
parents decided it would be to our advantage to capture the Oropom and
dispossess them of their country and property.
We organized a very powerful raid for this purpose and that raid broke
up the Oropom, and many of them were captured and absorbed by our tribe.
Numbers, however, escaped and fled along the northern base of Elgon into
Bukedi, others made off along the eastern base of Elgon towards Wamia, and
some took to the Suk hills. We thereupon took possession of the Turkwel
river between Elgon and the Suk hills and it was reserved, with the Kanyan-
gareng river, for our dry-season grazing. We had our cattle-kraals on the
Turkwel during the dry season.
We next turned our attention to the Nandi, who occupied the country as
far north as the sources of the Nzoia river, and raided them twice. The
Nandi in turn launched a big raid against us at Choo hill near the junction of
the Kanyangareng and Turkwel rivers. The Masiniko clan of Karimojo were
pasturing their stock there, and counter-attacked and drove off the Nandi
raiders, who lost heavily. We then organized a very powerful expedition to
break the Nandi nearest the Turkwel-Nzoia watershed, but the expedition
returned and reported that the Nandi had withdrawn too far south and none
could be found near the watershed. We were unmolested by the Nandi from
that time, and the Turkwel-Nzoia watershed became a no-man's land.
There was a clan of the Suk called Kwatulo who lived on a ridge west of
the Chibeharagnani hills, two days' march south-east of the Turkwel, but we
did not interfere with them.
There were no Suk anywhere west of the Langetalio or Chemorongi hills
or anywhere on that spur of the Suk hills flanking the east bank of the Turkwel
at Kokorow. The western Chemorongi foothills and the four springs
Chuchwa, Sasak, Lochoranrangan, and Losasam in these foothills were all in
our possession. They were originally in the possession of the Oropom but
we took them over from the Oropom. We did not dispossess the Suk of them.
The Suk were then farther east in the hills.
When the Nandi withdrew farther south we raided the Ketosh thrice only.
On the first raid we were severely repulsed by the Ketosh but were successful
in the other two; then we raided them no more.
We are a tribe of the plains ; we did not penetrate into Sebei on Mt. Elgon,
although we fought that tribe many times.
The cattle disease known as Logipi accounted for a number of our cattle
and it is well within our memory (about 1876). Some time later (1887 ?)
OCCUPATION OF TURKWEL RIVER AREA 163
followed another stock disease called Loyigoe which killed off 30 per cent.
of our cattle. Finally (in 1894), the rinderpest Lopit decimated our cattle
four years before Major Macdonald camped by the northern base of Mt. Elgon
at Macdonald river (1898). In the years prior to Lopit our cattle grazed in
thousands on the Turkwel and Kanyangareng rivers. The Kanyangareng is
subterraneous, but the water is very near the surface and our stock grazed
down the Kanyangareng to the Turkwel river. We lost fully 90 per cent. of
our cattle from the rinderpest Lopit. Not only ourselves, but the Jie north
of us suffered similarly and the Dodosi in the neighbourhood of Lokutas.
The Loyoro Dodosi drove their cattle to the top of Mt. Morongole and into
the Timu forest and suffered few losses. The Suk lost cattle also but not to
the extent we did, because they kept their stock on the hill tops. Lopit also
took its toll of Turkana cattle. Donkeys and small-stock were not affected
much by Lopit, and camels also escaped, so the Turkana did not suffer greatly.
For three months the rinderpest Lopit killed our cattle in hundreds daily
and we made a kind of biltong of the meat. Four herds driven to the top of
Mt. Moroto escaped. (Query: Why did not the Karimojo drive all their stock
into the hills ? Reply : We had not the sense to do this; it never occurred to us.)
The following year (1895) a flight of locusts destroyed the few crops we
had, and the year succeeding that (1896) the rains failed in Karimojo and a
disease called Emitina accounted for large numbers of our small-stock.
When we had consumed even the hides of the cattle killed by rinderpest
Lopit, a great famine set in. We were in a sorry plight and hundreds died of
hunger. The Nimasiniko, Nipian and Nitome clans of Moroto then owned
few small-stock and donkeys but many cattle; they suffered terribly.
In parties of fives, tens and fifties we then set out from our home kraals in
search of food. The Dodosi made for Rom and Nangeya in eastern Achli;
the Jie towards Toror, Lira and Parabong in south-eastern Acholi. We took
three routes: some of us went to Kumama, others to Suk, and the remainder
wandered down the Kanyangareng to the Turkwel, camping for days, months
and years among our dry-season grazing ground kraals on the Kanyangareng
and Turkwel rivers according to wherever tamarinds and other wild fruit and
game were to be had. Fully 20 per cent. of the eastern Kumama and south-
eastern Acholi are of Karimojo, Jie and Dodosi origin.
The Suk, Sebei, Kumama and Jie were our enemies then. The Jie were
in as sorry a plight as ourselves and had no fight left in them. About half of
our Bakora section of Karimojo emigrated to Kumama, but many died of
hunger or were killed by the Kumama. Unless a man could get up unperceived
to the kraals of our enemies during the night, and be found unarmed and
supplicating for mercy, he stood no chance of escaping with his life. Even
then, hundreds of the men and older women of those hungry families or parties
who begged for mercy and food at the kraals of our enemies were speared, and
our women and young girls confiscated.
Some of Nimasiniko and Nipian clans south-west of Moroto risked being
killed and penetrated into the Suk hills; but by far the greater number of the
Nimasiniko, Nipian, and Nitome clans set off for the Turkwel river and lived
on wild fruit and game. When the supply gave out they moved camp.
164 UGANDA JOURNAL
Some of our camps were at Kacheliba, Tentapos, Lokiles, Kabulio and
Oropom on the Turkwel and all about the area between Turkwel and
Kanyangareng. Kacheliba is a Karimojo word meaning "ever green".
Swahili traders found us on the Turkwel river in this condition, so also
did Major Macdonald in 1898. Five years earlier he would have found us
on our grazing ground on the Turkwel river in the dry season with thousands
of our cattle. (Query: Did not the Suk molest you ? Reply: There were
no Suk west of the hills on either side of the Turkwel; any Suk west of the
hills were raiders.)
Those of us who hunted on the Turkwel river are full-blooded Karimojo
of the Nimasiniko, Nipian and Nitome clans who were betrayed by our
country. As a tribe we are not fond of hunting game; but were compelled
by hunger to become hunters. On the Suam river about twenty of us by a
surprise night attack put to flight a raiding party of Nandi some two hundred
strong who were on their way to raid the Sebei, and again we frustrated a
second Nandi raid on Sebei by giving the Sebei the alarm. (Query: How did
you know they were Nandi? Reply: By the long thin-handled knives and
short-shafted spears; they may have been Masai. We were not friendly with
the Sebei but we wished neither Nandi nor Masai to come this way.)
While we were hunting for food on the Turkwel, Swahili traders told us
of a country farther south near the southern base of Mt. Elgon where food was
very plentiful, and they sent word ahead to the Ketosh not to harm us but
exchange their flour for our game-meat. We made up a very large party from
among those of us who hunted on the Turkwel and set off for Ketosh leaving
others behind. Those of us who went to Ketosh were there for about four
years till smallpox broke out among the Ketosh. After many of us had
succumbed to it the remainder fled back to the Turkwel river and joined our
former companions there.
Swahili traders encouraged us to barter ivory for stock and we hunted
elephants then with great zeal and soon became once more possessed of flocks
and herds; our more fortunate friends near Moroto also bartered small-stock
for cattle. When we had got together a sufficient number of stock some of
us returned to our old home kraals near Moroto and rejoined our more
fortunate friends there. The flocks and herds had increased enormously and
again were watered on the Kanyangareng and Turkwel as formerly; others
remained permanently by the Turkwel and its neighbourhood.
Subsequent to Lopit the Suk raided us six times at Moroto and three times
on the Turkwel; but we were too weak to retaliate. Prior to Lopit we remem-
ber over thirty raids between the Suk and ourselves.
Then we become friends with the Suk and they gradually encroached
westwards and occupied our old grazing-ground springs in the western
Chemorongi foothills and now also use the waters of the lower Kanyangareng.
Similarly any Suk now in the hills along the eastern bank of the Turkwel have
moved westwards from their old kraals behind these hills. Among these Suk
were many Karimojo who had fled to Suk during the famine which followed
Lopit and they encouraged the Suk to leave the hills. (Query: Why was the
country between the Turkwel and Kanyangareng rivers mapped at uninhabited?
OCCUPATION OF TURKWEL RIVER AREA 165
Reply: Whoever mapped it must have done so after the rinderpest
Lopit. Furthermore, for six months during the rainy season our dry-season
grazing grounds would appear to anyone unacquainted with our customs to
be uninhabited. Query: Are you as numerous as formerly? Reply: We
were three times as numerous before the rinderpest Lopit caused a
[NOTE.-In the hope that he might be able to supply English equivalents for the
various Karamojong names for stock diseases referred to in the above article, Mr. J. M.
Watson, Agricultural Officer, Karamoja, was consulted. He has commented as follows:
"I do not claim to possess Turpin's knowledge of Karamoja but I find his list
of cattle diseases a little confusing.
LOPIT must be, I feel, an attempt at LOKIT which is the Karamojong for
diseases of the East Coast Fever type. LOLIO is quite definitely the Karamojong
for rinderpest: so readers will have to decide whether Turpin wrote down the
name Lokit for it and assumed it to be rinderpest or whether he was told the
disease was rinderpest and attributed Lokit to it in error. There is the off-chance
that EDEET, bovine trypanosomiasis, was the word he was endeavouring to write
down, but this is unlikely.
I would describe LOGIPI as more of a symptom than an actual disease: it
means a watery swelling (the locative Lo and akapi, water). I hazard the guess that
black-quarter is intended. LOYIGOE must be an attempt at LOUKOIT (even this
spelling is not entirely correct but is fairly near), which is pleuro-pneumonia, a
disease which is worse in some years than in others.
EMITINA is a common disease of sheep and goats; I would call it 'scab'
or 'mange'. From what I have seen, it is an affection of the skin. One of its
symptoms is the falling away of the hair."
We are much indebted to Mr. Watson for his suggestions; it seems probable that
EMITINA is sarcoptic mange.-ED.]
NUER MODES OF ADDRESS
By E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD'
T HIS article describes different ways in which persons are addressed among
the Nilotic Nuer of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, apart from the use of
kinship terms. The forms of address described are all employed in salutations ;
they may be used also to attract a person's attention and in the course of
conversation, though in ordinary conversation Nuer do not constantly reiterate
a person's name or other title of address.
The study of names and titles of address has some importance because, as
will be seen from the notes recorded below, they symbolize a man's social
position in relation to the people around him, so that, by the use of one or
other of them, the status of the speaker to the person addressed is readily
recognized. Like kinship terms, these modes of address thus emphasize social
relationships and serve to evoke the response implied in the particular relation-
ship so indicated. They are often used among relatives, especially among very
close kinsmen, instead of kinship terms.
Every Nuer has a personal or birth name. This is cotdu pany, your true
name. It is given shortly after birth and without ceremony by the parents,
sometimes on the suggestion of a relative, though the father has the final
decision in the matter. The personal name is retained through life and is
preserved in the names of the children, particularly of the sons, each of whom
is often referred to, and addressed, as "son of so-and-so ". The personal
name eventually becomes a point in lineage structure.
A boy is addressed by this personal name by everyone in his paternal
village. When he is grown up members of his family and close paternal kins-
folk and friends of about his own age, that is to say of his age-set or of sets
immediately above and below his own set, continue to use it. It might be
regarded as unduly familiar were a man to address a man much senior to
himself by his personal name. He should address him as gwa, "father ", and
he would be so addressed himself by very much younger men. Married women
with children are seldom either addressed or referred to by their personal
names, although there is no impropriety in doing so. Out of respect one
generally uses the teknonymous mode. Unmarried girls may be freely
addressed by their personal names by everyone. Small children, till they have
learned the correct usages, call everyone, including their parents and other
elders, by their personal names.
I Although the Nuer live in the Sudan they are of interest to us in Uganda as being
a Nilotic people related to the Nilotes of Uganda. An earlier article on the Nuer,
" Customs and Beliefs relating to Twins among the Nilotic Nuer "-by the same author-
appeared in Vol. 3 of The Uganda Journal. It is to be hoped that the publication of
this present paper will stimulate someone to write a similar contribution regarding the
NUER MODES OF ADDRESS 167
A number of these personal names are recorded by H. C. Jackson.' They
refer as a rule to events which took place before or at the time of birth, or to
the place of birth; and a man generally knows the circumstances which led
to his being given the name he bears. I list a few names as examples of this
form of nomenclature:
Reath, drought; Nhial, rain; Nyuot, heavy rainstorm; Pet, the name
of a month; Nyaluaak, nya= feminine prefix, luaak= cattle byre; (Nya)wec,
cattle camp; (Nya)puol, pool of water; (Nya)pun, wild rice; Duob, path.
The "juoli" class of names, those given to children whose elder brothers and
sisters have died; Bath, to be lost; Cuol, to compensate; Bilieu, you will
die; Mun, earth; Lul, to cry; Gac, to be dismayed; (Nya)mer, tear; Ruei,
spittle (the mother had not conceived so the father's kinsfolk spat into a gourd
and her belly was rubbed with the spittle and a prayer was offered that she
might conceive); Deng (a prophet, in whom dwelt the spirit Deng, performed
a similar rite); (Nya)gaak, quarrel (the child was born at the time of a dispute);
Met, to deceive (when the child's father was wooing his mother he boasted of
the number of cattle he could give as bridewealth for her hand, but when it
came to handing them over he began to make excuses, saying that the black
cow had died, that the white cow had been eaten by a lion, and so on).
A child is often given a second personal name by his maternal grand-
parents. The maternal grandparents are expected to bring up the eldest child
of their daughter and it is a common practice to wean other children by
leaving them for a few months at the home of their maternal grandmother.
When a person is i4 his maternal kinsmen's district he is addressed by this
second name, by which also his maternal kinsmen habitually refer to him.
Hence both men and women commonly have two personal names, one in use
among their paternal kinsmen and the other in use among their maternal
kinsmen. These two names have often a similar meaning, e.g. Lul, cry; Wia,
cry of warning; Mun, earth; Tiop, earth mixed with cattle manure and
ashes; Nhial, rain (sky); and Deng, a sky-god.
Personal names sometimes recur in lineal descent. I have only met one
man called after his father, and in this case the child was probably named
after his father's death. Occasionally a man is called after his paternal grand-
father or great-grandfather so that his ancestor's name may be remembered
in daily speech. When this is done, Nuer say of the boy, Ce cung ni wic
gwandongde, "He stands on the head of his (great) grandfather." It is
possible that women are likewise sometimes named after their grandmothers
and great-grandmothers, but I have no information on this point.
Twins have special personal names so that one knows at once when
hearing a certain name that the bearer of it is a twin. The senior twin is
generally called Both (Nyaboth), "the one who goes ahead ", and the junior
is generally called Duoth (nyaduoth), the one who follows ". They are also
sometimes called Gwong, "guineafowl ", and Ngec, "francolin ", or simply
Dit (Nyadiet), "bird ", for Nuer say that twins are birds. Children born of
I Sudan Notes and Records, Vol. VI, 1923, pp. 142 and 171. He says that nick-
names are not uncommon but I do not recollect having heard any name which could be
properly so described.
168 UGANDA JOURNAL
the same mother after twins also have stereotyped, names. The one who comes
after the twins is called Bol (Nyibuol) or Bicok and the next child is called
Tot (Nyatot) or Cuil.
Every Nuer child inherits a cot paak, the honorific, or praise name of
his clan. Although any man or woman may be addressed by this name, in
practise it is little used and then mostly on ceremonial occasions and by
women. When women address men in this way it is generally on some formal
occasion, such as the return of a man to his home after a long absence, or at
weddings and initiation ceremonies. Thus when a youth comes back from a
long journey it would be correct for his mother or any senior woman of his
home to greet him by his clan honorific name in reply to his salutation.
Younger women on such an occasion would use his ox-name (see below).
Women address one another by their clan names more often, though their use
is always formal. It is a recognized form of address by a mother-in-law to
her son's wife. I have heard women employ it to their small children when
pleased with them. I have recorded a number of these clan names elsewhere.'
The women of a man's (or woman's) paternal district address him by
the honorific name of his father's clan and the women of his maternal district
use that of his mother's clan. Thus a man of the Gaatgankiir clan born of a
woman of the Gaatnaca clan will be addressed in Jikany tribal area, in which
the father's clan are predominant, as gat (son of) you and in the Lou tribal
area, where the mother's clan is predominant, as gat (son of) nya (daughter
of) gun. In the case of a woman she would be addressed as nya you in
Jinkany country and as nya nya gun in Lou country. 0
Personal names are acquired shortly after birth and honorific clan names
are inherited from parents. Men and women later in life acquire other titles
of address. Boys are often addressed by their playmates by names derived
from male calves of the cows they milk, but their elders would not so address
them and other boys would not use the names in the presence of their elders.
But when a boy is initiated to manhood his father or paternal uncle gives him
an ox (or a bull calf which he later castrates), and this ox, which he describes
as thak gareda, "the ox of my initiation ", becomes his favourite in the herd.
From its colours, distribution of markings, shape of horns, and other
peculiarities, he takes his cot thak, ox-name. He may later take a different
name when he acquires a new ox which he prefers, or when the old one dies;
the new name either then takes the place of the old or both are used. Most
men seem to keep for life the ox-names they acquire at the time of their
initiation. A man may say by which ox-name he wishes to be addressed but
usually the people of his home give him the name after the ox of his initia-
tion. However, if they see that he pays particular attention to an exceptionally
fine ox in his herd, perhaps rubbing ashes on its back and singing and
prancing behind it in the early mornings in the dry-season cattle camps, they
will call him after that one. At first only the age-mates of a freshly initiated
lad may know his ox-name but the older people soon get to know it in the
cattle camps which are formed soon after his initiation. There he frequently
displays himself with the ox and shouts out his new name; this is heard by
1 Sudan Notes and Records, Vol. XVII, 1934, pp. 28-29.
NUER MODES OF ADDRESS 169
the whole camp, and his age-mates greet him by it when their elders are
present. A man shouts out the name of the favourite ox (thak moc) from
which he has taken his name when he spears a man in war or an animal or
fish in hunting. Also young men of about the same age call out their ox-
names (with many embellishments) to one another at dances, often after a
bout of duelling with clubs; and two lines of youths stand opposite each
other and shower ox-names on one another preparatory to a spectacular jump
into the air in unison.
A man is addressed by his ox-name, especially in salutations, by his
age-mates: it is their privilege to address him in this way. Nevertheless
there is no objection to men of about the same age greeting one another by
their ox-names even if they belong to different age-sets so long as the sets
are adjacent in the age-set system. It would be presumptuous to address a
much senior man by his ox-name. The younger man would call him gwa,
"father ", and the older man would call the younger, gatda, "my son ". If
a stranger wishes to greet a man of about his age by an ox-name and does
not know his ox-name, it is permissible for him to use any of the commoner
ox-names, such as Kurjok. Ox-names are generally, though not always,
forgotten after a man's death and normally it is the personal name which
survives in the genealogies. I have written a paragraph on the formation
of ox-names in my book on the Nuer.1
Nuer maidens also take ox-names, in their case from the bulls calved
by the cows they milk, and they address one another by these names. Youths
sometimes address girls with whom they are flirting by their ox-names, and
the girls sometimes address the youths similarly, but men do not in public so
address their sweethearts, nor girls their lovers. A man rarely addresses his
sisters or the other girls of his home by their ox-names; only when he is
very pleased with them. Ox-names of girls are thus in the main used only
among the girls themselves, when they are alone together, and are therefore
seldom heard except at dances, when the girls call them out to one another,
combining the names with fanciful elaborations such as toar mathda, beer-
strainer, my friend; gwith mathda, pride, my friend; thiau, arm-rings (for
a girl who is wearing them). Married women take cow-names from their
favourite cows in the family herd, and they use these cow-names among
themselves. Men do not address women by these names.
It has been remarked that at dances men call out their ox-names with
many embellishments, and that girls call out theirs with fanciful elaborations.
These embellishments and elaborations are dance-names. The dance-name
(cot buol) precedes the ox-name with which it is generally, if not always, used.
Married women's cow-names are also coupled with dance-names at dances.
Usually there does not seem to be any connection between the meanings of
the dance-names and the cattle-names. The dance-names are sometimes
nicknames (used only at dances), given to their bearers by their friends, but
are more often traditional names chosen for reasons of euphony, e.g. Yar
(sulky) Joklieth (ox-name), and Rang (good spearsman) Boipar (ox-name),
for men; Pun (wild rice) Rolnyang (ox-name), and Keat (a riverside shrub)
1 The Nuer, 1940, p. 46.
170 UGANDA JOURNAL
Nyinyar (ox-name), for girls; Biet (silent) Wityan (cow-name), and Rier (the
white pith of reeds) Kuaar Nyang (cow-name), for married women.
A man who is getting on in years is very often addressed as gat, son of ",
followed by the name of his father, and this is the correct mode of address for
young men to their seniors if they do not use gwa, "father ". Anyone who
wishes to be polite to a man, whether a kinsman or an unrelated person, may
address him in this way; it is, too, a suitable mode of salutation for a man
who is not old enough to be called gwa but is too senior to be saluted by his
ox-name. There is no reason, however, why an older man should not make
use of this complimentary mode to a younger if he wishes to do so, and
younger men are sometimes addressed in this way. In referring to a man,
one can couple his name directly with that of his father, e.g. while Wia son
of Cam would be saluted as gat (son of) Cam he might be referred to as
Wia Cam, though the usage is not common. A man may also be addressed
by reference to his father's ox-name, which name takes the place of his
As I have explained elsewhere,' a man (or woman) may, according to
where he is living, who addresses him or refers to him, and the occasion of
address or reference, be called after his pater, his genitor. his foster-father,
his pro-pater in ghost-marriage, and his pro-pater in leviratic marriage, though
the pater's name is the one that is said to survive in lineage structure. Thus
a boy who is living with his mother and his mother's lover by whom he was
begotten is called after his genitor and foster-father in that man's village and
district, but in the country of his pater he is called after his pater. A boy
born in ghost-marriage is called after his pro-pater except on ceremonial
occasions when his place in lineage structure needs to be indicated by reference
to his pater's name.
Girls are addressed by their fathers' names much less than men, and
for women in general the mode is occasional and definitely expresses a compli-
ment to the speaker. It would be considered correct, for instance, though it is
not obligatory, for a man to address a wife of his father other than his own
mother by nya, "daughter of", followed by the ox-name of her father, if
he were not using a kinship term.
If a man is living among or visiting his maternal relatives they salute
him by his mother's name instead of, or as well as, that of his father. Women
in similar circumstances are addressed by their mothers' names.
The teknonymous usage, the naming of a man after his eldest child-
gwan (father of) so-and-so-is not so common as the corresponding use of
patronymics whereby a man is named after his father. It is, however, just
as complimentary, and is the correct way of addressing in-laws, particularly
the addressing of a husband by his wife's kinsmen. People try to avoid the
use of proper names when speaking to their relatives-in-law, especially shortly
after the marriage ceremonies. I was told that some men, while they consider
themselves still young, do not care to be addressed by the names of their
eldest children since this might suggest that they are old men.
1 Some Aspects of Marriage and the Family among the Nuer, Rhodes-Livingstone
Papers, No. 11, 1945, pp. 39-42.
NUER MODES OF ADDRESS 171
The parallel usage-man (mother of) so-and-so-is the normal way of
addressing and speaking about a married woman. The eldest child's name
is generally used, whether boy or girl, but occasionally a second child's name
is used if the second is a boy and the first is a girl. Should a man be ignorant
of the name of the eldest child it is not a breach of manners to use the name
of the child he does know.
The way in which these modes of address show the social status of the
persons concerned can be seen clearly in a comparison between the teknony-
mous usage and the use of patronymics. The Nuer have a patrilineal mode
of descent and residence is normally patrilocal. A woman has status in her
husband's home in virtue of her having borne him a child, so that the usual
way of addressing a married woman by the people of her husband's social
group is by the name of her eldest child, the link which joins her to them.
Before she has borne a child there is no way of addressing her in her husband's
home but as she lives with her parents till after the birth of her first child
this does not cause inconvenience. A man is not often addressed among his
own people by the name of his eldest child but his wife's people normally
address him in this manner for his link with them is through the child he has
begotten by their daughter. On the other hand, a man is attached to his
paternal home and lineage through his father, and it is consistent that he
should be addressed by a patronymic; women go to their husbands' homes
and lineages, so it is understandable that in their case the use of patronymics
is rare. A grown man is by preference addressed as son of so-and-so and a
married women as mother of so-and-so. But in a person's maternal grand-
parents' home his social link with the people is through his mother and a
matronymic is commonly used by them when addressing him. The bonds
between a man and his maternal kinsmen are further emphasized by their
use of a special personal name and the honorific name of their clan. When
a boy is living in the village of a man who stands to him in some respect as
a father, but who is not his pater, his social link with this man's people is
indicated by calling him after the "father's" name, though he is called after
his pater's name in his pater's village. Age status is also expressed in modes
of address, particularly by the use of ox-names among coevals and by their
omission between seniors and juniors. As we have seen, the use of some
modes of address indicate sex, others show the peculiar relationships set up
in a family by the birth of twins, and others are indicative of special social
EXTRACTS FROM MENGO NOTES "-VI
CONSECRATION OF MENGO CATHEDRAL
T UESDAY, 21st Jund 1904,1 witnessed the consecration of the Cathedral
Church of St. Paul the Apostle at Namirembe, Uganda. It has been
used for services for some months, but only lately completed with doors,
communion rail, Bishop's throne and pulpit.
A great crowd began to assemble at 6 a.m., and before the doors opened
at 8 o'clock the big yard was quite full, and the crush at the doors so great
that they had to be opened to prevent people being crushed to death. There
was a considerable amount of struggling and good natured fighting among
the Baganda desirous of gaining admission, for not more than 3,000 could
get in, and the crowd must have numbered nearly 10,000 people; all the
native clergy had been officially invited, and they had been accompanied by
numerous members of their congregations. It required all the tact and strength
of European and native helpers to keep back the surging crowd. Numbers
climbed through the windows and jumped down on to those seated inside.
. . Mr. Savile had a bone in the hand broken in trying to repress a rush.
To while away the time of waiting Mr. Hattersley gave half an hour's organ
recital. At 9 o'clock the Bishop and officiating clergy led the King and H.M.'s
Commissioner, Col. Hayes Sadler, to their seats in the chancel, the congrega-
tion standing as the National Anthem was played. The Bishop then returned
to meet all the assembled European and native clergy, over forty in number,
assembled at the west door, and all in procession marched up the Church,
repeating the opening sentences of the Consecration Service, the form being
the one used by the Irish Church. The words used in the act of consecration
were repeated in English and in Luganda, and the deeds were then handed
to the Rev. J. Roscoe, who together with Archdeacon Walker and the Rev.
H. W. Weatherhead officiated.
Then came morning prayer . and the wonderful way in which the
congregation responded, and joined in the hymns and chants, will long
be remembered as a very prominent feature of the service, and the order and
behaviour generally were excellent. Archdeacon Walker preached a very
appropriate sermon, and then came the collection.
. Instead of dispersing, the vast crowd unable to gain admission to
the service had filled all the school rooms around the church, and still enough
remained to nearly fill the yard. There they stayed all through the service,
a very orderly crowd, and contributed to the collection just as though they
had taken part in the service. This considerably delayed matters, and it
seemed as though the bringing in of the offerings would never cease. Between
1 Sir Albert Cook in Uganda Memories gives 1st June-a misprint.-[ED.]
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 173
the sentences the organist played voluntary after voluntary, as the congrega-
tion, more particularly the European element, wondered what would be next
brought in. The collection consisted of rupees, pice, and cowrie shells.
Some of the latter in bundles more than enough to fill a whole collecting bag.
Then came goats led up by ropes to the communion rails and then taken
outside again. Then fowls in a coop and singly; and one, trussed feet and
wings, was solemly handed by the sidesman to the Bishop along with his bag
of shells, and was gently laid down beside the table. Sugar cane and plantains
were brought, but not in large quantities, as they are very saleable in the
market, and pice are easier to carry to church. Had the ceremony taken
place in England, how many of those remaining outside would have contri-
buted to the collection as these Baganda did ? It was learned afterwards that
more than thirty head of cattle had been sent in by chiefs, but it was wisely
decided that it would not be well to admit these to the church. The proceeds
of the collection thus totalled up to over 80, the exact amount we cannot give,
as the cattle have not all been sold at the time of writing. . ."
(Uganda Notes, August 1904, pp. 111-112.)
SLEEPING SICKNESS ON BUGAYA
"There is no reason to suppose that the island of Bugaya is more unfor-
tunate than the other islands that fringe the northern and north-eastern shores
of Lake Victoria but the following figures may enable those who have never
entered what is commonly called the fly-area to realize something of the havoc
that the disease is playing in the islands, and in the regions near the Lake.
Bugaya is a small island belonging to the Buvuma group, and is best known
as a port of call for the Lake steamers, where firewood is taken on board.
At one time the island had a dense population. A few years ago the chief
Muzito was capable of putting 2,300 fighting men in the field; and the people
were so crowded that each man had his plot of ground marked out for him,
a long strip some three or four yards in width, and perhaps half a mile or more
in length. These plots were marked off by stones laid in a line, and no one
was allowed to dig in another's plot. The stones still remain, a melancholy
mark of past prosperity ; but the gardens are for the most part indistinguishable
from the field. The whole island has a deserted appearance. Where a few
years ago there were 1,900 houses occupied, there are now barely 200. In
one shamba there stood 200 native huts, now only 6 of these are tenanted.
In another of 170, only 2 remain; in a third, of 250 houses, there is left a
solitary 1; in another shamba, high up on a hill top, of 70 huts there is now
not a single one occupied. Nor is it that the people have left; they seem to
prefer to die in their own houses and very few if any have left the island.
Indeed one of the saddest facts in regard to this visitation is the absolute
callousness with which it is regarded by the bulk of the people who are so to
speak lying within its grip. . Nor is the disease at an end, though opinions
differ as to whether it is on the wane or not. Daily on Bugaya the sound of
174 UGANDA JOURNAL
heathen mourning is to be heard, and from two to ten bodies are carried out
each day for burial. With no apparent hope of remedy at hand, it would
seem that the annihilation of the entire population cannot be very far distant."
(Uganda Notes, August 1904, pp. 112-113.)
THE TOLL OF SLEEPING SICKNESS
"For the past fifteen months a systematic attempt has been made to
secure reliable returns of the death-rate resulting from Sleeping Sickness in
the different districts of Uganda; the returns indicate a condition of things
very far from reassuring. For purposes of investigation the districts have
been divided into two classes, those lying round the Lake shore, and those
described as Inland. The Lake shore districts embrace Buvuma, Sese,
Busiro, Mawokota, Buddu, Bujaju, Kyadondo, and Kyagwe. The Inland
districts consist of Koki, Buwekula, Busuju, Butambala, Singo, Bugerere,
Bulemezi, Mawogola, Gomba, Buruli, Kabula, and Bugangadzi.
That the Sickness is associated with the neighbourhood of the Lake is
very clearly seen in the fact that out of an estimated total of 39,081 deaths in
the Kingdom of Buganda from Sleeping Sickness, only 224 are reported from
the inland districts; all the remainder are from the Lake districts. The
heaviest mortality has been in Kyagwe, the Sese Islands, and on the Buvuma
group. In Sese the total mortality has so far been 4,489. In Kyagwe the total
has reached no fewer than 10,379. But the most terrible mortality of all has
been on the Buvuma group of islands, where it has reached the appalling total
If the returns justified the prophecies that have sometimes been indulged
of late that the Sickness is on the wane, there would be cause for congratula-
tion; but unfortunately they afford no sign that the severity of the disease
is in any way abating. Comparing, for instance, the records for the first,
second, and third periods of three months in the present year, we find that the
totals in the areas mostly affected are as follows:
Buvuma Jan.-Mar. 997 Apr.-June 1,027 July-Sept. 1,011
Kyagwe ,, ,, 658 ,, ,, 465 ,, ,, 573
Sese .., 578 ,, 693 ,, 669
The above total of 39,081 does not include any records from Busoga,
where the disease has raged at its height; and it is estimated that in that
country alone the deaths have equalled those in the Kingdom of Buganda.
With as many as 1,000 a month being carried off in Buganda, and an
equal number in Busoga, the aspect of the Protectorate is sufficiently
The one redeeming feature of the situation has hitherto been the fact
that the mortality has been practically confined to the near neighbourhood of
the Lake. Thus during the fifteen months for which records exist very few
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 175
deaths indeed have been reported from any of the inland districts. From
Koki, 5: from Butambala, 13: from Singo, 18: and so on. The highest
number, 105, has been reported from the district of Bulemezi, but even
there the average monthly mortality from Sleeping Sickness has been
under 8 .. ."
(Uganda Notes, January 1905, pp. 7-8.)
MASABA AND ITS PEOPLE'
By THE REV. J. B. PURVIS
"Some years ago, when the Christians of Uganda were only just begin-
ing to understand the reason why a church is called into existence, and to
realize that a nation as well as an individual may be an Apostle of the Master,
our hearts were warmed by the very persistent offer of a young man, whose
name I cannot now remember, to go with the Gospel message to a country
he called Bukedi.
No one seemed to know very much about this place, beyond the fact
that it was somewhere east of the Nile, that the people were naked, and
altogether primitive as compared with Baganda.
The effort was spasmodic, and limited to the offer of this youth; but
interest in the district of Bukedi was quickened by the suppression of the
Nubian rebels, who wandered about here for some time; and then by the
actual residence in the country of that most enterprising of Baganda chiefs,
He lived for some time in the district from which the names Bukedi and
Bakedi are most probably derived, on the shores of Lake Kyoga, where some
of the people are called Bakidekide. The name, however, is of no value
out of Uganda, and of little meaning there, since it thus generally designates
the many unclad or scantily clad peoples'east of the Nile.
Leaving these Nilotic speaking people, Kakunguru settled for a time at
Nabumali; then among the Bagweri at Budaka; and finally, perhaps I had
better say latterly, at Mbale. . .
The C.M.S. station is on the hill of Nabumali, 4,300 feet high, in the
district or country of Masaba, a name well known and used by natives
approaching the district from north, south, east, or west. The district is from
40 to 50 square miles in area, and includes Mount Elgon with its foothills, and
the hitherto unmarked mountain plateau Lukulu, 7,600 feet high.
Both these mountains and the foothills are inhabited by the primitive
Bantu people mentioned by Sir H. H. Johnston in his work on Uganda as
'perhaps the wildest people to be found anywhere within the limits of the
Uganda Protectorate. They are wilder even than the Congo dwarfs.'
They are known among themselves as the Bamasaba or Bagishu; and,
I An earlier Extract (21) dealing with Masaba appeared in Vol. 11, No. 1, of the
Journal.-[ED. Uganda Journal.]
176 UGANDA JOURNAL
when defining themselves as a race apart from others, they use the name
Basoba, i.e. the circumcised. The name Bamasaba seems most often to be
used as a sign of exclamation.
Divided into clans, with clan names, each independent of the other and
often at war with each other, work among them of any kind, but especially
missionary work, is very difficult. Their petty jealousies prevent any cordial
amalgamation; and the most trifling misunderstanding will raise a barrier
between clan and clan . .
Their form of government has only reached the patriarchal stage. A
few families live clustered together in wattle-and-daub thatched huts, under
the guidance and rule of an old man who is chief because he is father of
The old man may choose the man or boy who shall follow him at his
death as head of the clan; but the rest of the clan, though generally loyal, are
not bound to follow him by any rules such as the feudal system found west
of the Mpologoma River imposes upon the peasantry.
The strongest chief is, as a rule, the man who has been able to steal the
greatest number of cattle, and with them buy the largest number of wives.
Prices vary from three to ten cows for one woman.
A house and a small grain store are provided for each wife, and as a rule,
each woman settles down after marriage quickly and loyally to a fairly
industrious life, counting and restringing her beads, bringing in firewood,
cultivating and cooking.
The men build the framework of their houses and herd the cattle, when
they are not busy drinking a very strong drink they make from bananas and
millet seed, or occupied in fighting a neighboring tribe in the hope of securing
more cattle. The men also help in cultivating. The women and girls do all
the mud work in house building. All such work, however, is put aside when
a fight is on; and it is no uncommon sight to see women and girls running
after the men to cheer them on and to lend a hand if necessary. Spears,
shields, knives, sticks, and stones are used in the fights, while the tribes at
present unfriendly use bows and poisoned arrows.
When the young men are thought fit to fight and have reached a marriage-
able age, that is about eighteen years, they are circumcised; and the young
women, on attaining the age of about sixteen, are generally, though not always,
marked with a hole bored through the lower lip. This hole they enlarge
gradually until they are able to wear, comfortably I suppose, a piece of wood
or-the height of ambition-a large piece of quartz stone, two or three inches
A married woman is at once known by a distinctive dress, a fringe of
string, light-coloured at the back, and dark-coloured in the front; while the
unmarried girls are practically nude; the boys also are nude, but the men
as a rule wear a goat or sheep skin. Men and women cut their bodies for
ornamentation, but only the women are marked on the forehead. Various
coloured beads (small white is the fashion here just now) . waistbands
made of small pieces of ostrich shell, cowrie-shells and iron or brass wire, are
worn for ornaments on ordinary occasions. At fights and festivals, hippo
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 177
teeth, boars' tusks, rams' horns and, by the chiefs, cowrie-shell and monkey
skin hats, are worn to add dignity to the occasion.
Though generally quiet and friendly, bright and cheerful, they are of a
fiery temper, and a wrong word between father and son, husband and wife,
or between friend and friend, will lead to instant murder. Drink is responsible
for much of this anger. A husband stayed out somewhat late at a drinking
party; he had neglected to take one of his wives with him. On his return
he found fault with the lady and perhaps struck her for some small reason.
She waited until he was dozing over the fire, and then killed him with an axe.
On another occasion, quite recently, two brothers were drinking in a village on
the hill opposite; one accidentally broke the straw through which his brother
was drinking his ndali; the infuriated drinker at once speared his brother to
death. Only the other day my wife and I rescued a man after he had been
nearly beaten to death for some impudence he had shown towards his comrades
when drinking with them. The almost imbecile look, too, worn by so many
men and women, and passed on, I fear, to many of their children, may be
accounted for by years and years of incessant drinking. To prepare in a
business-like way for weeks or months beforehand for a long drinking bout
during some full moon season, has become a very strong custom. When all
is ready, away go work and seeming morality for old and young, as long as
the ndali holds out, while contortion dancing enlivens the proceedings.
Hemp-smoking, through a hubble-bubble is freely indulged in by the
children and unmarried or very young married people; this habit makes them
perfectly silly for the time being; and one can only wonder and be thankful
at their being able to give it up, as they do, after years of use. I believe this
hemp-smoking is largely responsible for the utter lack of morals among boys
The Bagishu are not without beliefs, though I doubt very much whether
there is such a thing as worship among them. Witchcraft and the evil eye
have a strong hold upon them, and lead to many a long and bloody feud
between family and family, clan and clan. They also believe that there is
one God, whom they call Were, who made all things, and is responsible for
everything that happens. He is, however, to them anything but a God of
love. It is He who causes cattle to die or be lost; sends plague and storm
and famine to torment and punish them. Nor must they, under any con-
sideration, speak to Him; and one of their greatest difficulties is to understand
why we, who meet together in our little mud-built church to talk to Were,
are not smitten with some awful calamity.
In times of sickness, famine, war or pestilence, sacrifices are offered to
Were, it might be a few bananas, a fowl or sheep, a goat or a cow. It is a
curious fact that Were gets very little, if any, of the offerings; for after the
animal has been killed it is partly divided among the bystanders, who have
turned out in crowds from far and near; the remaining portions are taken
on to the roof of the house in which the sick person lies, and having been
tied to the central pole or pinnacle it is cut into small pieces, and these are
thrown to persons named by the owner of the house. It thus becomes a gift
from Were to the person named, and it is given him because he may have had
178 UGANDA JOURNAL
something to do with bewitching the sick person. After such a gift the
relatives hope that he will withdraw his evil influence.
They believe that there is a life after death with Were for children and
all those who have died before having grandchildren. But for men and
women who have lived to see their children's children there is an eternal life
on earth in the persons of their descendants.
My wife and I have resided among these wild hill-people for nearly a
year, and they have invariably treated us well. Only on one occasion was
there anything like a misunderstanding. A short time ago a Government
post was established a few miles from us; the hut-tax had to be gathered in
and roads made, much to the disgust of the Bagishu. The man in charge of
one road wished a chief near our station to do his share; and sent a messenger
to call him and his men to work. The old chief thought he would make a
strong protest; and thinking that we were responsible for such new-fangled
ideas, and knowing also no doubt that we were some miles away itinerating,
he set off to burn us out. Some friendly local warriors thought it was an
opportunity not to be missed; so, having despatched a messenger to cheer us
with the news that our house was burning and a battle raging on the mission
station, they waylaid the old chief and his men, and heartily enjoyed a fight.
I was confident that the report sent to us was very much exaggerated; and on
our return in the evening we found no more serious damage done than a slight
spear wound, and a few broken heads. The old chief sent his apologies and
explanations, but it was with the greatest difficulty that I could get our self-
constituted defenders, members of the same clan as their opponents, to give
up spears and shields in order to receive their lesson on the alphabet, and on
their duty towards their neighbours.
Under their own system of government they have no powers of amalgama-
tion or concentration. It has been, and is, each man for himself; the smallest
infant learns to look after himself, and this has been their greatest weakness;
for, while longing to live in the plains, they have so dreaded their more powerful
feudal enemies that the hills and mountains have been their safest refuge. . .
In the district of Masaba we have the Baganda colony at Mbale, and two
strong off-shoots of Banandi, one settled at Sebei, north of Mount Elgon crater
and the other at Lago, in the south ; these are the cave dwellers of Mount Elgon.
But what about the whole district lying east of the River Mpologoma ?
There are the people living in huts built on the papyrus of the river; there
are the Bagweri, closely allied to and speaking a language similar to the
Basoga; there are the people of Bunyuli, speaking a mixture of Bantu and
non-Bantu tongues, the two colonies in the south speaking the Lur and Teso
languages, while away to the north, stretching to within a day's journey of
the Abyssinian border, there is the great and powerful Ngora, a Teso-speaking
people; a district larger than Buganda, Ankole, Toro and Bunyoro together. ..
Without prejudice, and mindful only of what the Bagishu and Bakavirondo
have told me, it would appear that we are not yet in Kavirondo proper:
and though there is some similarity between the languages yet this district of
Masaba is to Kavirondo what Toro is to Buganda. . "
(Uganda Notes, August 1904, pp. 120-124; September 1904, p. 138.)
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES"
HOW A MUGANDA MAY PAY HIS HUT-TAX
By M. T. DAWE, Botanic Gardens, Entebbe
"It is within the last few months that the Administration has offered the
native facilities for paying hut-tax, which do not involve the necessity of
leaving his home and relatives in order to do so. He may now pay the tax
in native produce, which can be either gathered in his own district or grown
in his own garden.
Sanseviera fibre can be obtained in large quantities all over Uganda;
although there is no present need to cultivate it, the native may if he chooses
grow the large variety in his plantain garden with great advantage. Suppose
each family has a half-acre plantain garden; if Sanseviera ('Bugogwa') were
planted between the plantains to the full extent of the garden, when once
established the plants would without any special culture yield 6 cwt. of clean
fibre. Now this at the minimum rate accepted by the Administration, viz.,
17 lbs. to the rupee, would mean an income of about forty rupees, which
would be more than sufficient to pay the tax, and live in luxury throughout
the year. The preparation of 6 cwt. of fibre by hand would take much time,
and probably the majority would not undertake so much, which of course is
not necessary, seeing that 51 lbs. at the most is required to pay the tax.
One way to raise three rupees, would be to grow one-eighth of an acre
of Groundnuts. A small patch of that extent planted 18 inches apart in rows
2 feet apart should yield on an average 250 lbs. of clean nuts, which would
be more than ample to pay the tax at the very minimum local price of 60 lbs.
to the rupee. Moreover, the ground devoted to the nuts would not be
occupied longer than five months of the year, so if the cultivator chooses he
may grow a second crop, or devote it to potatoes. The cultivation of ground-
nuts, however, for export is not recommended except in districts adjoining the
ports, owing to its bulk and cost of transport.
Chillies are another product that appear particularly adapted to Uganda,
and it is really more a question of picking than of culture. They grow wild
all over Uganda, and are easily cultivated. A very small patch would be
required to yield the value of three rupees. A quantity was recently sold in
Busoga at the rate of 7 Ibs. to the rupee.
Cotton culture is another means, one-sixteenth of an acre should yield
75 lbs. of seed cotton, or 25 lbs. of cotton lint or grained cotton, which, at
the present Manchester price, should realize not less than 3 annas per lb. to
the natives. Therefore, roughly a small patch the extent of one-sixteenth of
an acre, should bring the taxpayer about five rupees. Cotton gins will shortly
be available for the use of the natives, so that they may get full value for
Those who may be inclined to look beyond the present would do well to
lay down a small plantation of say twenty Coffee trees; these could form a
line on the sunny side of the plantain garden, and would be a valuable family
asset. It would be an easy matter to realize a rupee for 10 lbs. of clean
180 UGANDA JOURNAL
coffee in parchment, and twenty trees yielding 1 lbs. per tree per annum
would amount to 30 lbs. Seeds of a large kind, Arabian Coffee, are now
obtainable from the Botanic Gardens, free to natives who care to apply for
them either personally or through their Saza Chief.
These form a good selection of products to grow, and it would be well
to cultivate what a district is especially suited for. Those living in the Lake
districts may prepare Raphia fibre, those living in the 'Bugogwa' districts
may prepare Bugogwa. In localities where there is good light soil ground-
nuts should form the principal article of culture. The hill sides in the
mountainous regions may be devoted to coffee, and there are few districts
that are not well adapted to cotton, chillies and semsem. It would not be
wise to attempt cotton, or chillies cultivation on the Islands, on account of
the heavy rainfall and little sunshine experienced there.
From such a variety of products the natives should have no difficulty in
selecting one, the culture of which should prove profitable to them, and a
source of revenue to the country."
(Uganda Notes, September 1904, pp. 139-140.)
PROGRESS IN BUSOGA
"News from Busoga is of a particularly encouraging character, and
indicates a marked progress in the industry of the Basoga. In the single
month of August between 28 and 29 tons of chillies alone were exported from
Busoga: and between the months of April and September the amount paid
to the Administration in hut-tax exceeded the total amount paid in the preced-
ing twelve months. The most encouraging news of all, however, relates to the
Sleeping Sickness, which at one time had so terrible a grip upon Busoga. It
is now confidently stated, on the authority of the Basoga chiefs, that the sick-
ness is at last showing unmistakable signs of abating in that province. We
sincerely wish the news from the islands were of an equally encouraging
character; but there the disease seems to be, if anything, still on the increase."
(Uganda Notes, October 1904, pp. 141-142.)
ANCIENT CONTACTS WITH EGYPT
"The Rev. A. B. Fisher, of Toro, had the honour, on the 18th of June
last, of lecturing before the Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society on
the subject of Western Uganda. . There were some points in his lecture
which, if not now for the first time brought to light, are of special interest.
Discussing the question as to the amount of knowledge of the Lake regions
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 181
of central Africa possessed by the ancient world, Mr. Fisher affirmed it as
his opinion that that knowledge was very much larger than is generally
believed, and that intercourse between Egypt and the upper waters of the
Nile was regularly established in very ancient times. This opinion was based
on several considerations. Native traditions pointed to the existence of a
regular slave route from Bunyoro to Egypt: horns had been found in
Bunyoro bearing curious signs, as for instance the Pleiades, the meaning of
which the native owners were entirely ignorant, which pointed to the contact
with a higher civilization in the past: and the presence in Unyoro and else-
where of many lightly coloured natives suggested intercourse with a whiter
race in times past. One curious story he related, as giving a possible origin of
the legend common among the Baganda of the coming of Kintu. Asked as to
the arrival in Bunyoro of Sir Samuel and Lady Baker, whom they well remem-
bered, the natives asserted that he was not the first white man to visit those
parts: long, long ago a white man had arrived, and in amazement at his
unfamiliar appearance they had asked one another Kintu ki ? (' What is this ? ')
The white man remained among them, and won their admiration as a great
hunter so that they made him king. This story at least bears out the
supposed Nilotic origin of the Baganda and surrounding tribes, which is
believed by some of the best informed among them. . ."
(Uganda Notes, October 1904, p. 144.)
PROGRESS OF ROAD-MAKING'
"Steps are being taken to improve the road to Butiaba which when
carried out should do much to promote the comfort of travel. The road
itself is to be put in a thorough state of repair; and at regular intervals rest-
houses suitable for Europeans, and reserved for their use, will be erected.
These will be placed in the charge of paid caretakers, responsible for their
upkeep and general cleanliness. As near as possible to each rest-house a
well is to be sunk, so that at each camping place good water will be
immediately available. A sign post at the rest-house will indicate the direction
of the well, and its distance from that camp ; so that in future no time may be
lost in looking for water, and porters may no longer absent themselves from
camp for an indefinite period on the plea that the water is far away and
inaccessible. If some such system is carried out throughout the Protectorate,
and really comfortable rest-houses built as in Busoga, the conditions of
travelling in Uganda will be revolutionized, and we shall be able to travel from
end to end of the country without tents."
(Uganda Notes, November 1904, pp. 157-158.)
1 An earlier Extract (17) dealing with this subject appeared in Vol. 11, No. 1. of
the Journal.-[ED. Uganda Journal.]
182 UGANDA JOURNAL
THE BALINGENYI EXPEDITION
"The recent expedition against the Balingenyi tribe serves as a reminder
that, in spite of the rapid strides that have of late been made in the direction
of civilization in Uganda, there are still very considerable areas in the Protec-
torate that lie entirely outside its pale, where a white face is never seen, and
where no attempt at organized administration has yet been possible. . So
long as a tribe confines its malpractices to its own borders it is left at liberty
to do as it will; but when it takes upon itself to attack and plunder trading
caravans passing peacefully through its borders, the time has come to take
action against it.
Such a case has lately occurred among the Balingenyi, a tribe living on
the western slopes of Mount Elgon, not far from our station at Masaba. On
the 28th of August last a telegram was received announcing the murder by the
Balingenyi of two Indian traders on the main road to Karamoja, about two
days from the Government station at Mbale. This tribe had already caused
trouble, so far back as 1901, when they attacked some of Sir Harry Johnston's
porters, and again last year when they raided some cattle. In this instance
they seem to have had no other motive than that of plunder, nor does it
appear that there was any provocation. To leave the tribe unpunished would
obviously only lead to a repetition of similar acts, and other tribes would very
quickly follow suit. The most humane course, and that which would in the
end lead to a minimum of bloodshed, was felt to be that which actually was
taken, the sending of an expedition strong enough to impress the natives with
the conviction that these things cannot be done with impunity, but with orders
to avoid all bloodshed that was not absolutely necessary.
The expedition, under the military command of Capt. Macgregor, left
Jinja on the 21st of September, accompanied by Mr. A. G. Boyle, the acting
Sub-Commissioner, as political officer. On arrival the expedition found the
natives of the Balingenyi tribe driving off their cattle, and making every
preparation for contesting the ground. Kakunguru, who had accompanied
the force, was attacked and surrounded with his men, but the attacking force
was easily driven off by Capt. Macgregor with the rest of the force. Eleven
of the Balingenyi were left dead on the field, and some cattle were taken. On
the third day three of the chiefs came in to sue for peace, and the following
morning nearly all the chiefs concerned came in. In all thirty-four head of
cattle, besides sheep and goats, were captured. It is to be hoped that all
trouble in this direction is now over. The chiefs, in tendering their sub-
mission, said that they had decided in debate to oppose the Government
forces, but that they had realized the futility of it, and promised to bring in
the murderers of the Indians, and in future to obey implicitly all orders from
the Government, a promise to which they have so far faithfully adhered. The
wider effect, too, of the expedition has been good, -for besides bringing in
the Balingenyi, it has led the chiefs of the Walusi to submit, so that the
whole of the tribes in that neighbourhood have now owned allegiance to
the Administration." (Uganda Notes, January 1905, pp. 5-7.)
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 183
THE UGANDA MISSION IN 1904
"...The original Industrial Mission has gradually developed into the
Uganda Company Limited. Originally designed as an extension of the
Industrial Mission, financed by certain wealthy friends of the C.M.S. in order
that it might undertake work which the Society felt itself unable to attempt
on financial grounds, it has gradually grown into an independent Company,
to be worked on commercial lines and apparently with every prospect of good
returns. The incongruity of missionaries of the Society being directly con-
nected with a Company whose business is trade has been recognized, and
Mr. Borup, the head of the Industrial Mission, in joining the new Company
has been obliged to sever his connection with the Society. The fact that he
still continues in the country lessens the difficulties which his loss to the
Mission would otherwise entail. Namirembe Cathedral and the new Hospital
are standing monuments of his work in the country. . ."
(Uganda Notes, February 1905, p. 29.)
"Many of our readers will remember the Biscuit-tin story' which sprang
up in 1896 to explain the appearance of the first Luganda Bible, which was
made very thick for the size of its pages in order not to delay its publication;
the greater part of the book having been already set up in type for the printing
of the different portions.
The story went the round of the English papers that the book had been
printed in this extraordinary shape in order that it might fit into a 2 lb. biscuit
tin, as books in Uganda were liable to be destroyed by insects, etc.
One of the latest forms to which this story has grown is the following:
Mischievous Rats. In Uganda, rats are some of the worst opponents to
their work which missionaries have to contend against. The Bibles sent out
by the Church Missionary Society are promptly eaten by the Uganda rats which
overrun the country in enormous swarms, and devour any book they come
across. Bibles going to Uganda are now bound in tin, which preserves them
from being destroyed by vermin."
(Uganda Notes, March 1905, p. 33.)
ROAD SERVICE, ENTEBBE-KAMPALA
"Mr. A. Bertie Smith, Merchant, of Entebbe, is starting a service of
jinrickshas between Entebbe and Kampala. Fares, Rs. 6 single and Rs. 10
return within three days. As relays of runners have to be arranged, 24 hours'
notice is required to secure engagement."
(Uganda Notes, April 1905, pp. 49-50.)
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BAHIMA'
By MIss M. T. BAKER
"The Bahima nation, as most people know, is absolutely different from
that of the Baganda. Facial differences are great to begin with-the Bahima
have excellent noses, and a mother's first care for her infant is to pull its nose,
and spare moments are spent in massaging it. I am not sure that the Muganda
baby whose nose is always being judiciously flattened to increase its beauty
does not have a happier time than the 'Kahima' who undergoes the pulling
process, but to English eyes the result is incomparable. The child of this
nation has another trial as it grows older which I think is peculiar to this
people. Apparently the men's idea of beauty is enormously stout women,
they themselves as a rule being tall and skinny, so every child has to drink a
certain quantity of milk daily and is beaten till it does-boys are treated
in the same way but as a rule the milk does not fatten them as it does
Mothers with boys of about ten years of age begin to look out for their
future wives, and when they hear of a likely girl, a present of a cow and calf
is sent to her. In old days in due course she was inspected by the future
mother-in-law when old enough to be married, and if she had good eyes, nose,
and teeth the betrothal took place, followed in a week or two by the marriage,
the husband never having seen her.
In these transition days we are in rather a difficulty, at present there is a
girl in the school who has come in from the country to be prepared for
baptism and then to marry a Christian. Her future mother-in-law is also
baptized and in the same school, and so far they have not yet seen each other,
but the girl sits like a snow mountain (when her cloth is clean it would be
perhaps more accurate to say like a thawing mountain) and one wonders how
much she can learn, with only a scrap of one eye to see out of, the rest of the
head being buried in her cloth. She is getting bolder by degrees, but the
Christians seem to think it a pity that these young girls should give up their
'modesty' by being seen by matrons.
Cows are the centre of life among the Bahima, nearly all the quarrelling
and lawsuits begin with a cow, and all end in interchange of cows. Many of
the proverbs are on this subject, and even the most unlikely proverbs, when
they have been duly dissected and explained by a Muhima, have found their
starting point in our bovine friend. Apparently all wars of olden days were
for the sake of cows, and there is no talk of victory or defeat, but, Ah, we got
very many cows there.' Cows are certainly a somewhat bulky form of capital,
but their natural increase means a good percentage, and after all it gives the
mass of the nation healthy employment: far more so than banking or Stock
1 An earlier Extract (8) dealing with Bahima customs appeared in Vol. 10, No. 1,
of the Journal. Miss Baker died in retirement at Reading, England, on 14th April 1948.
-[ED. Uganda Journal.]
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 185
It is rather difficult to talk about the character of the people; of the men
I really know nothing, and the women I know seem to belie their own charac-
teristics. I find them particularly ladylike, gentle, refined, and communicative,
but they say they never show their feelings. When a woman is left a widow
without a child, she does not mourn or weep, but commits suicide, and if she
is left with a son who afterwards dies she kills herself. When they are ill,
according to their proverbs, 'they keep themselves to themselves', as our
British poor say, but my experience is that I hear of nearly all the fevers and
headaches, perhaps because they think and prove that the English medicine
They are very slow in taking in new ideas, partly because until Christianity
came into the country, they were as secluded as the Purdah woman of India,
indeed more so, as their lives were spent in real darkness, behind a dirty
barkcloth in a small hut. I think this fact may partly account for the amount
of neuralgia they have, now that they are so much in the sunshine: it is
rather strong for their eyes, always accustomed to darkness. . ."
(Uganda Notes, June 1905, pp. 85-86.)
AN ASCENT OF MT. RUWENZORI IN 1905
By H. E. MADDOX
"The snows of Ruwenzori are not yet so trite a subject but that some
readers of Uganda Notes may be interested in hearing of the last ascent. This
was made in January by the Rev. H. W. Tegart and myself after the Christmas
festivities and the half-yearly language examination.
From Kabarole we cycled to Butanuka. The next day we walked to
Kakindo, a distance of about thirty miles from Kabarole in a S.S.W. direction,
and camped at the foot of the Mubuku valley and by the side of the river of
that name. We had had no time to make preparations so our equipment was
exceedingly simple, and the only rope that could be procured was a native
one made of bugogwa. Beside our two selves we had for company the Rev.
Apolo Kivebulaya, the native pastor of Kabarole. The altitude of this place
Kakindo is about 4,500 feet.
The next morning we began by crossing the river which runs at five miles
an hour or thereabouts over an uneven and rocky bed, after which we followed
a good path upstream. The valley scenery is pretty and the ascent easy,
until one reaches a lofty spur jutting out from the left-hand side and almost
stretching across the valley. On the top of this is perched the Bakonjo
village of Bihunga and here we made our third camp and engaged fresh
porters. . .
On the fourth morning we climbed down the other side of the Bihunga
spur, crossed the Mubuku which found its way round the base, and began, or
rather continued, the ascent of the valley . (by mid-afternoon) we had
186 UGANDA JOURNAL
reached a level terrace shut in on either side by towering hills and in front
by a huge rock wall like a dam stretching from side to side, and rising three
or four hundred feet above us. Over the top poured the Mubuku in a series
of waterfalls and cascades until it reached the bottom and turned the level
terrace into a huge bog.
We crept round by the side and on approaching the cliff found that its
lower part had been worn away leaving the upper part to overhang and make
a sheltered spot for a tent. This place is now called by the natives Kichuchu,
but it is far below the peak of that name. The ground on which we pitched
our tent was nothing but a raft of sticks and debris floating on a watery bog
but a few yards from the rock it was a bog without the raft. The porters
bivouaced on ledges of the rock and kept up enormous fires. Lowest tempera-
ture at night 38". . .
On the fifth morning we had to climb the cliff referred to, but not by way
of the waterfall. Nature has made a provision for travellers for towards the
right-hand side of the valley there is a deep cleft in the rock down which pours
a small stream and by its side one is able to scramble up. . At the next
steep part there is another pretty waterfall, but to see it properly it is necessary
to scramble on to a large flat rock, from which a lovely view may be had.
Above this ascent is a third swampy level remarkable for its wonderful silver
daisies of the 'everlasting' type. . At the end of this garden is the third
rock-shelter, formed of an overhanging cliff as before but so cold and draughty
that I should be very sorry to camp under it. Deaths from cold have occurred
here in the past. It is called Ibale lya Baamba because the Baamba from the
other side come as far in their hunting expeditions; pointing to a pass here
below the level of the snow. At this spot we lunched off bread and cheese-
most suitable to the cold climate-and then went on for another two hours to
Bujongolo, the last and largest of the rock-shelters, a huge cliff towering up
into the sky and overhanging a large space of broken ground. Again we had
to thank Dame Nature for her kind foresight for among this medley of broken
ground we found a shallow hole with a level bottom just 12 feet square and
in this we pitched our tent. The men crawled into holes and caverns and
lighted huge fires. Altitude 12,500 feet. This is a lovely spot. The valley
lies immediately in front and below the camping spot, while beyond tower
snow peaks far into the sky.
Sixth morning. Leaving the camp we soon came to a place where several
valleys meet and snow peaks are to be seen on every side. We followed the
middle way, that is keeping to the Mubuku river, which was by this time a
mere stream, but the beauty of this valley is worth almost any trouble to see.
As the rocky sides narrow in they seem to increase in height, until one feels
like a little ant crawling up a huge crack in the earth. So we went on until
a turn in the valley brought us in sight of the glacier and dazzling snow fields
high up in the sky. At length the trees entirely disappeared and only moss-
clad rocks remained.
As we approached the foot of the glacier the stream became enclosed in
a very narrow valley which, as Sir Harry Johnston and others have found, is
more difficult to ascend than it looks. But again a side door was available,
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 187
and this time a very curious one. Climbing up to the right some distance away
from the stream we entered a steep and narrow passage, shut in on both sides
but open at the top. The length of this might be 100 feet or more, but the
upper end is blocked up by boulders and covered in by a huge slab like the top
of an enormous cromlech. At the top right-hand corner there is a narrow
aperture sufficient for a man to crawl through. But a trickling stream had
made these rocks so slippery that without a rope I do not think we could have
got up. Once through the hole we were in a new country. The rocks were
absolutely bare and for the moment, a complete mist enveloping us, we could
see nothing. But it soon cleared away and revealed an ice cavern, the birth-
place of the Mubuku. The grandeur of the scene it would be difficult to
exaggerate. The mighty mass of the glacier comes to an abrupt ending in a
wall of ice 50 feet high as if the waters of Jordan which rose up upon an heap'
had frozen in that position. In the face of this wall was the ice cavern whose
gloomy depths I was beginning to explore when a great block of ice came
crashing down and made us fear for the stability of the whole. In great
haste I jumped across the little stream that flows through the cave and butted
into a projecting rock which left me with a headache for the rest of the
day. However, that was as nothing by the side of such glories as were to
be found in the pale green ice with the light filtering through. By this time
we had only three Bakonjo with us, everyone else having stayed at the last
camp. Nor would these men approach the ice, so after examining the
cavern we prepared to go on by ourselves. However, a very little climbing
over ice and rock was enough for Apolo, so finally we were reduced to our
With the help of our ropes we assisted each other for a few hundred feet
more over rock and snow and had the satisfaction of discovering a new ice
cavern never desecrated by the foot of man before, but after that the diffi-
culties and danger increased so as to make it quite impossible for two men
without climbing apparatus to get any further. At the highest point my
barometer reached 14,000 feet. .. ."
(Uganda Notes, June 1905, pp. 86-89.)
KING EDWARD'S ROCK, RUWENZORI
"A recent attempt to climb Ruwenzori snow peaks was undertaken by
Herr Rudolph Grauer, Austria, accompanied by two C.M.S. missionaries, the
Rev. H. W. Tegart and Mr. H. E. Maddox, F.S.I. After three attempts,
in which great difficulties were encountered, especially on the rocks, they
succeeded in reaching the watershed, from whence the glacier slopes down
to the Congo Free State, in thick mist and snowfall. They passed, at
14,200 feet, the highest point attained by Mr. Mumm and his Zermatt guide,
and at the very summit of the watershed itself (15,030 feet) climbed upon a
large rock or small peak. Here Mr. Grauer, appealed to by his companions,
188 UGANDA JOURNAL
exercised his privilege as a member of the German-Austrian Alpine Club and
very courteously named it 'King Edward's Rock'. Permission will be sought
to confirm this name. The party left their cards in a small tin box. Numerous
observations were taken at every point by means of a boiling point thermo-
meter specially lent by the Royal Geographical Society, and a 25,000 feet
barometer kindly lent by the British Museum Natural History Expedition.
This ascent had been carefully planned from last January when Messrs.
Tegart and Maddox made their tentative attempt, and a full Alpine equipment
was procured from Vienna by Herr R. Grauer. The result constitutes a
(Uganda Notes, March 1906, p. 37.)
FORTHCOMING VISIT TO RUWENZORI BY THE DUKE OF THE
"His Royal Highness the Duke of the Abruzzi (brother of the King of
Italy) proposes to visit Mount Ruwenzori, leaving Italy on the 20th of April
and arriving in Uganda about the 20th of May. His staff will consist of
twelve scientific experts, including geologists, etc. He proposes to spend about
forty days on Mount Ruwenzori and will return to Entebbe by the main route."
(Uganda Notes, April 1906, p. 52).
ARRIVAL OF THE DUKE OF THE ABRUZZI
"H.R.H. the Duke of the Abruzzi, accompanied by nine Europeans,
arrived at Entebbe on May 7th, and proceeded to Mount Ruwenzori on May
15th. The exploration and ascent of the mountain is expected to occupy about
a month. Mr. J. Martin accompanied the party to the Toro frontier, and
Acting Sub-Commissioner Knowles thence onwards."
(Uganda Notes, June 1906, p. 83.)
EXPEDITIONS OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM AND DUKE OF THE
ABRUZZI TO RUWENZORI
"H.R.H. the Duke of the Abruzzi must have been somewhat disappointed
to hear on reaching Uganda that he had been forestalled so shortly previous
to his arrival in this country by the successful ascent of the highest peak of
Ruwenzori on the part of the British Museum Expedition.
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 189
The news reached Entebbe early last month that Dr. Wollaston and Mr.
Woosnam, who were in charge of the British Museum Expedition, had
succeeded in conquering the two highest peaks early in May from the Uganda
Protectorate side. Dunvoni Peak was climbed successfully on May 1st,
15,893 feet above sea level; and Kiangu Peak two days subsequently, at
16,379 feet. Dr. Wollaston then stated that there were no higher peaks on
the Congo side, and it was considered that the mountain had now been
Mr. Martin, Collector of Entebbe, who accompanied the Duke of the
Abruzzi on his expedition, and who has since returned from Toro to Entebbe,
reports however that a higher peak on the Congo side has since been seen, and
that the Duke intended crossing the Dunvoni and Kiangu glacier valleys, with
a view to climbing the Congo summit.
It will be interesting to see whether His Highness succeeds in capping the
performance of the British Museum Expedition. No doubt Ruwenzori will
now be included among the favourite haunts of wealthy mountain climbers,
and we may expect to see other expeditions coming out as time goes on and
the mountains become more generally known.
The name by which Ruwenzori is known to the natives is Gambalagala,
nti afumba ebire.
In our March number we stated that Herr Grauer had courteously named
the point he had reached at 15,030 feet, 'King Edward's Rock'. We now
hear that His Majesty the King has communicated through the Commissioner
his approval of the rock being so named."
(Uganda Notes, July 1906, pp. 107-108).
By ALFRED R. TUCKER, Bishop of Uganda
"January 31st, 1885, is a day never to be forgotten in the history of
the Church of Uganda. It was the day when the first Christian martyrs,
Seruwanga, Lugalama, and Kakumba, met their death at Busega on the
margin of the great swamp, the Mayanja.
Rather more than twenty years later, that is to say on May 22nd, 1905,
a little party consisting of the Bishop of Zanzibar, the Rev. E. Miller and
myself found the remains of these young confessors of the faith and reverently
committed them to the earth in 'sure and certain hope of the resurrection to
eternal life'. Briefly this is the story of their finding.
A welcome visit from the Bishop of Zanzibar was drawing to a close
and, thinking that he would be interested in seeing the spot consecrated by
the blood of the first Christian martyrs in Uganda, I suggested that we should
make the expedition thither on the day before his departure for the coast.
The Katikiro undertook to provide us with guides who would take us to the
190 UGANDA JOURNAL
Starting shortly after seven o'clock on the morning of May 22nd, we
were met at the foot of Namirembe Hill by old Isaya Mpawulo of the Lubiri,
one of our appointed guides. He told us that further on the road we should
find our second guide who was an eye-witness of the death of Lugalama and
his companions. And so it came about. At Natete we found awaiting us a
tall fine-looking Muganda-evidently a Muhammadan. He greeted us respect-
fully and presented a letter from the Katikiro telling us that as an eye-witness
of the tragedy of January 31st, 1885, he would be able to take us to the spot
which we wished to see.
And so we journeyed on-past the old mission station at Natete-down
into the swamp below (happily bridged) and then up the opposite hill. Here
we turned off to the left and quickly caught sight of the great swamp-the
Mayanja. The papyrus gleamed forth bright and fresh and with an emerald
band seemed to link together the hills on either side.
Down the gentle slope we wound our way, through banana groves and
well-cultivated patches of sweet potatoes interspersed with Indian corn, until
we reached the very edge of the swamp. Here our guide halted and pointing
to a spot a few yards from the path, lying mid-way between two clumps of wild
date-palm trees, said: 'There was the place of slaughter.'
There was nothing to differentiate the place from its surroundings.
Indeed it seemed strange that this particular spot should have been chosen for
such a deed. It was so far away from the present centre of life and activity.
It was only when we remembered that twenty years ago the capital had only
just been moved from Nabulagala (Kasubi) to Mengo and that the tide of
life still swept and swirled round Natete rather than round Mengo, Nakasero,
and Namirembe as at present, that one realized how likely it was that such a
place should be chosen for such a tragedy. And when we enquired of our
guides as to the circumstances of the place and its surroundings in the old
days, we saw in a moment the 'why and the wherefore'.
'Along here,' said our guide, 'across the swamp ran a wide public
road and there,' he added, 'was the kisakati (fence) of the Mujasi.' He it
will be remembered was the instrument chosen by Mwanga for the execution
of his purpose regarding the 'readers'. He was a Muhammadan and doubt-
less our informant was one of his followers. Hence his close acquaintance
with the particulars of the event and the details of the harrowing scene.
Of the tragedy itself Mr. Ashe gives the following account gathered from
Kidza, an eye witness:
'" Oh you know Jesus Christ," said Mujasi, "you know how to read ?
You believe you will rise from the dead ? Well I shall burn you and see if it
be so." These were some of the taunts which they endured and loud was the
laughter which greeted such sallies. And so they wound on their way till
they reach the borders of a dismal swamp called Mayanja-a place I had
often visited with Lugalama. Here they halted. Part of the crowd bring
firewood, others made a' kind of rough framework under which the fuel is
heaped. Then the prisoners are seized and a scene of sickening cruelty is
Some lay hold of Seruwanga, others of Kakumba and others of
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 191
Lugalama, brandishing their long curved knives. Seruwanga had committed
his cause to Him who judgeth righteously and the cruel knife cannot wring
from him a cry; bleeding he is cast into the fire. Kakumba appealed to
Mujasi, Mujasi believes in Allah-the all-merciful-he pleaded a relationship
with him. But alas! there is as much mercy in the knife in the executioner's
hands as in Mujasi's heart and he too undergoes the short agony and the flame.
And now the saddest scene of all-Mujasi bids them treat Lugalama as
they had treated the others. Surely even these men hardened by frequent
executions have never had to do a deed like this. They come nearer and he
cries out, "Oh, do not cut off my arms, I will not struggle, I will not fight,
only throw me into the fire." Surely this was the saddest prayer ever prayed
on this sad earth. "Only throw me into the fire." . The butchers do
their work and mar what was so wonderfully made, and the poor bleeding boy
is placed on the frame-work that the slow fire may finish what the cruel knife
has begun. A wail of anguish goes up becoming fainter-a last sob, and
Such was the tragedy enacted at this place of Busega on January 31st, 1885.
It will readily be imagined with what deep emotion we stood there on that
hallowed spot on that 'bright May morning' in this year of grace 1905 and
heard our Muhammadan guide tell us of these boys and add that in all
probability he could find the wooden supports of the frame-work on which
these dear children of God suffered twenty years before.
Plunging into the long grass he and one or two other men who had
joined from the garden hard by commenced their search. Mr. Millar joined
them. In a few minutes an exclamation, 'E'gumba' (a bone), from one of
the searchers arrested my attention. I was quickly on the spot and sure
enough there was a thigh bone of a human being. Jt was unmistakable.
A moment or two more and other bones were found and disentangled from
the roots of the long grass in which for so many years they had been lying.
A pelvis and arm bones as well as leg bones were easily distinguishable. Then
a jaw-bone was found with the teeth intact. After that pieces of a skull and
The Bishop of Zanzibar, who is a Doctor of Medicine as well as a
Doctor of Divinity, was easily able to identify the various bones as belonging
to this or that part of the human body, and to state that without the slightest
doubt they were the remains of young lads about the age of those who suffered
there twenty years before. Our Muhammadan guide went further and confi-
dently assured us that these remains were beyond question those of Lugalama,
Kakumba, and Seruwanga.
The reality of that awful scene of bloodshed and agony broke upon us
with irresistible force as we stood there with these sacred relics at our feet.
We thought of those old days of darkness and gloom when heathenism like
black night brooded over the land. We thought of the tyrant Mwanga and
his great chiefs setting themselves against the Lord and against His anointed-
the lust, the cruelty, and the bloodshed of those old days, and how with holy
courage these young lads had faced it all, and had confessed their faith in
Christ as their God and Saviour, even to the death. . .
192 UGANDA JOURNAL
But to pass on-sending for a native hoe, a trench was dug and having
lined it with some of the fresh green grass that was growing around, reverently
we gathered the precious remains together and solemly laid them in their last
resting place ....
I may add that a fence is to be put round the place of martyrdom and
as funds may be forthcoming some sort of monument will be erected to mark
(Uganda Notes, July 1905, pp. 105-109.)
DEDICATION OF MARTYRS' MEMORIAL AT BUSEGA
"To those who have followed closely the history of the Church of
Uganda, Thursday, July 15th, 1910, was a day full of the deepest interest.
Then it was that, in the presence of the Synod of the Church, the Bishop
of Uganda dedicated the memorial cross which, through the munificence of
the Bishop of North and Central Europe (Bishop Wilkinson), has been
erected to the memory of the martyrs who perished during the persecution
It will be remembered that some five years ago (May 22nd, 1905) the
whitened remains of the martyr lads were discovered during a visit to Busega
by the Bishop accompanied by Bishop Hine of Zanzibar. These having been
gathered together were solemnly laid in their last resting place with prayer
and praise. A hope was expressed then that at no distant date a memorial
might be erected to the memory of those who had been so valiant for the
Master. That hope has now been realized. Through the generous liberality
of Bishop Wilkinson a beautiful cross of silver granite now stands on the spot
sanctified by the tragedy of those early days. . .
The inscription upon the memorial cross runs as follows:
To the Glory of God and in memory of the Baganda Martyrs
who chose persecution and cruel death
rather than deny their Saviour.
'Fear not them which kill the body but are not able
to destroy the Soul.' Matt. x. 28.
'Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a
crown of life.' Rev. ii. 10."
(Uganda Notes, August 1910, pp. 126-127.)
UGANDA'S FIRST GINNERY
"On Friday, H.M. Commissioner visited the premises of the Uganda
Company Ltd. Mr. Borup, the Company's Manager, was able to show four
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 193
hand-worked cotton gins in full swing and practically the whole process of
preparing the cotton and packing it in bales ready for shipment. Mr. Borup
explained that the method of the Company was to distribute the seed to small
cultivators and to buy back the cotton at the market price. Fifty-three tons
have already been brought in in this way and dealt with and, besides what
has already been sent, about one hundred bales are ready for shipment to
Liverpool. The Manager expressed himself as well satisfied with the prices
obtained for the first consignment, and those who saw the work in progress
could not fail to see the great possibilities which are in store for cotton growing
in Uganda. The Uganda Company Ltd. has also an hydraulic press for
extracting oil from castor oil and other seeds, a large printing press and a
carpenter shop. Altogether the Company is to be congratulated, and not
the least on the use they are making of the native talent."
(Uganda Notes, October 1905, pp. 146-147.)
THE NATIVE AT ENTEBBE1
By THE REV. W. CHADWICK
"Great numbers of labourers are always required at Entebbe for building,
etc., besides the numbers in constant employment with private individuals and
the porters who go from here to all parts of the country. The forest clearing
scheme alone employed thousands of men. Often the demand for labour
is greater than the supply, because among many of the natives Entebbe has the
name of being a death trap. Smallpox has been common for the last eighteen
months, and in the past it has been one of the worst places in the country for
Sleeping Sickness. Also food is dear. A labourer is much better off with
21 Rs. per month in a district where food costs him nothing, than with Rs. 4
or 6 where a bunch of plantains costs four or six annas.
So most of the men are those who cannot obtain employment elsewhere;
the majority seem to come from Bunyoro, and of the others many are good-for-
nothing weaklings, so that one cannot wonder that poor food and harder work
than usual have a bad effect on their health. Immediately on his return from
leave Col. Hayes Sadler visited the favourite spot where these people built
their ensisira or temporary huts. He then had it examined by experts who
said it was 'swarming' with tsetse. They were ordered to move to a fine
situation within the town boundary. Unfortunately this excellent plan was
somewhat hastily carried out and undoubtedly the natives nearly all thought
that it was pure 'cussedness' which made the white man come and burn
down their huts. A report that they were brought close to the Sleeping Sick-
ness laboratory added to their uneasiness, and some hundreds went home
wageless, after doing half a month's work. What is far worse is that many
have simply hidden themselves deeper in the forest; and some are already
I See also Extract (31) in Vol. 11, No. 2, of the Journal.-[ED. Uganda Journal.]
194 UGANDA JOURNAL
building once more on the old site. However, some good has been done:
already over 3,000 have built new huts on the N.W. slopes of the Entebbe hill,
in a splendid position. A satisfactory native has been put in charge and only
allows huts to be built in positions roughly indicated by the Collector. The
sight of Baganda and Banyoro huts in something like straight lines is distinctly
novel, and the sanitary arrangements are much better looked after than one
would expect. Certainly anyone remembering the odours in the labour camps
of the Indian coolies at work on the railway would be agreeably surprised at
the comparative sweetness of this place ....
While rejoicing that these people are to share in the healthiness of
Entebbe itself, it is well to remember that almost all those who cater for these
numbers of people live in the worst possible localities, and that all food and
much firewood have to be carried through tsetse-infected areas. Much is
brought by canoe, but few of the canoemen are the same as were here three
or four years ago. This is, of course, one of the chief reasons for the dear-
ness of food, the splendid gardens all round Entebbe are mostly deserted. It
is simply heartrending to go through some of them. And every Sunday great
numbers scatter through these infected districts to try and gather food for the
week. It is a great matter that those who actually work in Entebbe itself
need not go into infected areas, and the caterers of whom I spoke are, of
course, more settled, so that there is not quite so much necessity for Banyoro
and other temporary visitors to spread the sickness broadcast on returning to
their homes. Yet it can only be regarded as a fearful misfortune to the
country that its Government centre has been placed where every road leads
through a Sleeping Sickness infected district."
(Uganda Notes, November 1905, pp. 170-171.)
POPULARITY OF FOOTBALL1
"Mweso and wrestling and stick-throwing are now no longer the only
national pastime of the Baganda. For some years past football has absorbed
a share in their youthful enthusiasm, and now there are not a few who play
quite a respectable set at tennis."
(Uganda Notes, December 1905, p. 177.)
FAMINE OF RUPEES
"It is quite impossible to get a cheque cashed anywhere in Uganda nowa-
days, except by paying a commission of 2 per cent., but as no one seems to have
any cash on hand it is rarely possible even on these terms, unless it be for
I The first real football match amongst Africans took place in 1903-see Extract (30)
in Vol. 11, No. 2, of the Journal.-[ED. Uganda Journal.]
EXTRACTS FROM "MENGO NOTES" 195
The only recognized means of obtaining rupees is either by getting them
up by rail from the Coast, or through the Post Office by Money Order.
It is also possible, on obtaining the special permission of the Postmaster-
General at Mombasa, to have money sent up by telegraph, if ordered in
quantities of not less than 5,000 rupees; the charges for which special favour
are 1 per cent. plus cost of telegraphing. Unfortunately, however, the said
telegraphing, which the uninitiated would naturally suppose to cost 1 rupee,
runs into from 15 to 20 rupees; for, with a view to minimizing risk, the
money is telegraphed up in instalments of 500 or 600 rupees, each separate
instalment requiring a telegram.
It is difficult to understand the reason for this procedure, and it renders
the cost of obtaining cash in a hurry practically prohibitive.
This is a serious matter to those who deal largely in cash transactions.
Moreover, there is no official advertisement of a telegraphic Money Order
Service, and the concession is practically a favour 'to facilitate trade' ..
As long as matters are at this pass we may look in vain for a Bank to
be established in the country. However, it is to be hoped a way may be
found out of the difficulty, and that the famine from which we are suffering
at present may be the last, as it is by no means the first. If a Banking
Company would only make a move in the matter, it would surely be found
that the authorities would give them every reasonable encouragement and
help, and one would imagine there was ample trade in the country to justify
the establishment of a prosperous banking business."
(Uganda Notes, February 1906, p. 26.)
OPENING OF A DAK BUNGALOW AT KAMPALA-(1)
"The opening of a Dak Bungalow at Kampala by Messrs. Campbell
and Co. of Entebbe, will, we hope, go towards the supplying of a long-felt
need. Hitherto there has been the greatest difficulty in accommodating visitors
at Kampala; and if these present days are any criterion as to the future, we
are to expect an increasing influx of 'globe trotters' to the Mengo district.
It is to the best interests of the Mission that visitors to Uganda should not, as
is too often the case, come no farther into the Protectorate than Entebbe; ...
A traveller who limits his or her visit to Entebbe cannot say that he or she
has seen Uganda, whereas a visit to the native capital, Mengo, affords a variety
of ways in which time can profitably be spent in seeing the many phases of
native life and customs."
(Uganda Notes, April 1906, p. 59.)
OPENING OF A DAK BUNGALOW AT KAMPALA-(2)
"A Dak Bungalow has been opened at old Kampala in the house built
by Mr. Tomkins some years ago, and known by the name (among natives)
196 UGANDA JOURNAL
of the cowrie-shell house, the lime used for facing the walls having been
extracted from shells which were burnt for the purpose.
The Bungalow is furnished as a hotel and meals may be obtained at the
Breakfast, Re. 1.
Lunch, Re. 1-50.
Dinner, Rs. 2.
The charges for bedrooms exclusive of meals are: For officials Re. 1
and for non-officials Rs. 3 per night. We hope the establishment of this
hotel will meet with success; it has been a great need for some time now."
(Uganda Notes, February 1909, p. 24.)
UGANDA'S FIRST TRACTOR
"The Uganda Co. Ltd. have imported a small steam tractor which will
run between Munyonyo Port and their stores in Mengo and Kampala. Its
arrival at Mengo, and indeed its progress all along the road from Munyonyo,
created much curiosity among the natives."
(Uganda Notes, June 1906, p. 82.)
ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPH OF MUMIA
By W. J. EGGELING
AN editorial footnote to Captain Dickson's "A Photograph of Mumia" on
p. 60 of Vol. 11 of The Uganda Journal poses the question, "How old
is Mumia ? "
I suggest that another photograph of Mumia gives the answer, or at
least answers the question as nearly as will ever be possible now.
This second photograph, which is printed here with the permission of the
Uganda Government, has not, it seems, been published before. It is repro-
duced from an Album of Sixty-eight Photographs taken during the Expedition
sent out by the Imperial British East Africa Company, 1888-1890, under
F. J. Jackson.1 All the photographs in the album were taken by Ernest Gedge
and the description under each is in his handwriting. Mumia appears in two
of them-in the one now before us (in the album it bears the caption, "Chief
of Kwa Sundu and some of his wives ") and in another which is described by
Gedge as a Group of Natives. Kwa Sundu. Kavirondo but which appears
in Jackson's Early Days in East Africa (plate facing p. 220) over the words,
"Kavirondo Natives ". No indication is given in Jackson's book that the
central figure in this picture is Mumia, but there can be no question that he is
the same person as is portrayed in our picture of the Chief of Kwa Sundu"
and that both photographs were taken at the same time and place. Nor can
there be any doubt that the Chief is indeed Mumia. Some extracts from
Mr. E. G. Ravenstein's paper on the Jackson-Gedge Expedition are repro-
duced in this number of the Journal: in that paper there is a reference2 to
the "village of Mumiya (Kwa Mumiya), the successor of Sundu" with, later,
the remark "Mumiya is still a young man". The change of name is empha-
sized again on the map which appeared with Mr. Ravenstein's paper in the
Proceedings, but which is not reproduced in the Journal: "Kwa Mumiya
(former Kwa Sundu)". Gedge's photographs must have been taken at
Mumia's in November or December 1889.
The first European to visit Sundu was Joseph Thomson, who reached
there in December 1883, on his famous expedition to Lake Victoria. In his
own words3: "On the 3rd of December I arrived at the town of Sundu
(Kwa-Sundu). This place, under the father of the present chief, was one of
great importance and size; but since his death it has gradually dwindled
away, till the walls enclose more matamma fields and grass patches than huts.
The inhabitants under an effeminate prince have no special advantages, and
consequently prefer to live in smaller villages, to be nearer their fields. . .
The present chief is a mild and pleasant young man, and we were soon on the
best of terms with each other. Though of a sluggish temperament, and
1 Book No. 499, Secretariat Library, Entebbe, Uganda.
2 Messrs. Jackson and Gedge's Journey to Uganda via Masailand" (Proceedings
of the Royal Geographical Society, Vol. XIII, 1891, p. 199).
3 Through Masai Land, 1885.
198 UGANDA JOURNAL
possessing none of the mental activity of the Masai, he enjoyed 'enormously
examining my photographs. He became so enthusiastic over the charms of
one young lady, who was represented as posing aesthetically over a sunflower,
that he gave me a large order for a bevy after that pattern at two tusks of ivory
a head. I said I would see what I could do for him."
Two years after Thomson's visit, Bishop Hannington met Mumia:
Thursday, October 8th (1885). To-day we moved on to . Kwa Sundu
. and were received by the young chief at the gates of his village. First
experiences would speak of him as a quiet, meek man, and his people like-
wise. . ."' That Thomson's "present chief" of Sundu and the chief whom
Hannington met are identical with the man to whom Ravenstein refers as
"Mumia, the successor of Sundu" is confirmed indirectly by Sir Harry
Johnston who refers2 to "A Kavirondo Chief, Mumia, who had received and
assisted Joseph Thomson in 1883, and who is still alive and vigorous."
Jackson's description of Mumia3 is perhaps the fullest we have of him:
"A short march on November 7th (1889) brought us to Kwa Sundu,
where we were greeted and welcomed by Mumia. My diary records him
as: 'A tall, thin young man, appears to be rather shy, and holds one
hand in front of his mouth, possibly to hide his very prominent teeth, or
may be only a mannerism. Appears to have more authority over his
people than anyone else so far met with in Kavirondo . .'"
Colvile, too, encountered Mumia-towards the end of 1893. His descrip-
tion is not flattering: "From Kabras a very long day's march . brought
us to the village of Mumia, a rather weak-minded Kavirondo chief, the
position of whose headquarters at the end of the long, foodless march has
given him an importance far beyond his personal worth."4
Hobley, who lived for long at Mumia's, has left us an excellent photograph
of Mumia taken in 1899. It is to be found on the plate opposite p. 82 in his
Kenya from Chartered Company to Crown Colony, published in 1929. The
picture is of "Mumia, Principal Chief of the Wa-wanga, 1899 ".
The photograph of Mumia taken by Gedge in 1889, with which the present
note is illustrated, pictures a man of between 30 and 40 years of age; probably
about 35. How does this estimate of his age tally with the descriptions we
have of him ? Not at all badly on the whole. We have Thomson's "mild
and pleasant young man" (of about 29) of 1883 ; Hannington's quiet meek "
young man (of about 31) of 1885; Jackson's "tall thin young man" of
1889 who (at about 35) was still rather shy" ; Hobley's photograph of 1899
which shows a middle-aged man (of about 45 or thereabouts); Johnston's
Mumia of 1902 who was then "still alive and vigorous" (and about 48 years
old); and the "half-blind and almost deaf" old man (of about 91) photo-
graphed by Dickson in 1945.
1 The Last Journals of Bishop Hannington (edited by E. C. Dawson), 1888,
2 The Uganda Protectorate, 1902, Vol. I, p. 247.
3 Early Days in East Africa, 1930, p. 221.
4 Col. Sir Henry Colvile, The Land of the Nile Springs, 1895, pp. 24-25.
.- .. .- -. .
Mumia in 1889 (Chief of Kwa Sundu and some of his wives)
Photograph by Ernest Gedge
ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPH OF MUMIA 199
Mumia is still alive. He may live to be a centenarian, but it is most
improbable that he will reach the age which at least one writer has already
attributed to him:
"Probably the oldest living man in Kenya is Nabongo (' Father of
All People') Mumia. Nobody actually knows his real age, but from
historical data one would say he's fighting hard to live for a century and
a half. A rough estimate of 125 years as his age would not be very far
from the right figure."'
The same writer goes on (and this is interesting in view of Thomson's
remarks, quoted earlier, concerning Mumia's partiality for the attractive lady
with the sunflower): As a husband he has been the modern Solomon. His
wives have numbered not less than 300, drawn from all the different tribes
under his kingdom. . Mumia's household formed a town in itself, for
there were countless servants, and hundreds of children were born each year.
Mumia's servants are accounted as being the real fathers of the majority of
his wives' children. Like all rulers the world over, beauty was always taken
into consideration when he married these hundreds of wives. Thus, some of
the most beautiful girls in the country are the offspring of his household."
Dickson states2 that Lugard described Mumia as a "truculent young
chief". This may be so, though I have not yet traced the reference, but
Lugard also said of Mumia that he "welcomed us warmly".3 This was,
indeed, the invariable experience of all who came in contact with Mumia.
As Johnston said in his Uganda Protectorate, he from the very first regarded
the British officials and the idea of a British Protectorate with hearty good-will.
His influence through all the troubled times of Uganda had done much to
ensure the safety of British communications with the east coast."
Uganda has much for which to thank Mumia.
S"Ex-Paramount Chief Mumia ", by W. W. Wasya Awori (Africa World, July
1947, pp. 17-18).
2 Uganda Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, p. 60.
3 The Rise of Our East African Empire, 1893, Vol. I, p. 364: "Sakwa and Mumia,
the two chiefs of this part of Kavirondo, welcomed us warmly."
THE WILD MAMMALS OF TESO AND KARAMOJA-I
By J. M. WATSON
FOR some time past I have been engaged in the preparation of a pre-
liminary check-list of the wild mammals of the Districts of Teso and
A scientific check-list, valuable as it is to the field-worker, does not,
however, provide the answer to the question which immediately occurs to
the mind of any one seeing a strange and unknown mammal for the first
time: "What is its name ? Nor to the second obvious query: "Where
and how does it live ? The following account is the outcome of expanding
my original check-list by the addition of brief notes, both descriptive and
biological, to each named species, in an attempt to answer these queries and
in the hope that the result will prove of more interest and value to a greater
number of readers than would a mere enumeration of scientific names.
I make no claim to completeness. My collecting has been desultory and
unco-ordinated and I am fully aware that there still remain large tracts of
Karamoja which are, for the observer and collector, almost virgin ground.
The Suk-Turkana escarpment, the Kidepo valley, the mountain massifs of
Kadam, Napak, Morongole and Nangeya remain virtually unsurveyed and
unexplored in the ecological sense of these terms. A careful examination of
such localities would, I feel certain, result in the addition of not a few names
to my list.
The combination of the two adjacent Districts of Teso and Karamoja
for the purpose of this survey is entirely fortuitous: I happen to have spent
the greater part of my service in Uganda within their bounds. Ecologically
there is a considerable gulf between Teso and Karamoja: indeed, if I were
asked to indicate on a map of Africa the dividing line between the West and
East African faunal regions, I should be inclined to place it approximately
along the western boundary of Karamoja. Teso possesses undoubted affinities
with the rest of Uganda, and therefore with West Africa, whereas Karamoja
is more closely allied to the hot and arid regions of north and east Kenya.
By the inclusion of Karamoja within the Protectorate, the fauna of
Uganda is enriched by such interesting species as the Greater Kudu, the Oryx,
the Aard-Wolf or Maned Hyaena, the Dikdik and, among lesser fry, the Spiny
Mouse and the Short-tailed Mouse. It is evident that within the area
embraced by the combined districts a great variety of species and races is
likely to occur, and an examination of my systematic list, which contains
ninety-six species, shows that this is indeed the case. Many of the animals
in this varied assemblage are widely distributed throughout Uganda and I
hope, therefore, that these notes may prove of interest, not only to those who
live in the area under review, but also to others who dwell farther afield.
I have devoted considerable time to collecting, sorting and checking the
vernacular names, and I feel that the application of those which refer to big
WILD MAMMALS OF TESO AND KARAMOJA 201
game and many of the more common carnivores is sufficiently consistent for
them to be used as a reliable check on the identification of these animals.
Rats and mice appear to be well-known to the Karamojong, perhaps because
they are still, to a limited extent, an article of diet; every species is recognized
by name. Among the Teso to whom I have shown collections of rodents
obtained in their own country, very few have been able to provide a vernacular
name for all the specimens; and among those who can there is invariably
more divergence than unanimity of opinion. I include such names for what
they are worth but they are certainly not sufficiently reliable for use in
identification. It will be observed that there is a close similarity between
Karamojong and Teso vernacular names.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. The debt which I owe to the innumerable hunter-
naturalists who have recorded their experiences and observations will be very
apparent to the reader. I have unashamedly culled the greater part of my
descriptive and biological notes, especially those referring to the game animals,
from their writings.
A full bibliography will be included at the end of my account but I wish
here to mention some of the books which I have found particularly valuable.
(1) The Mammals of South-West Africa by Captain G. C. Shortridge, pub-
lished by Messrs. William Heinemann Ltd., London, 1934.
(These two volumes contain a most useful collection of extracts
from all the better-known works on African mammals and include
many observations by the author himself.)
(2) Life-histories of African Game Animals by Colonel T. Roosevelt and
E. Heller, published by Messrs. John Murray, London, 1915.
(3) Rowland Ward's Records of Big Game, Tenth Edition, edited by
G. Dollman and J. B. Burlace, published by Messrs. Rowland Ward
Ltd., London, 1935.
These books contain excellent descriptive accounts of all the game
animals, as well as much information on weights and measurements. They
are, therefore, indispensable to the student of East African wild-life.
My special thanks are due to Mr. G. H. E. Hopkins, formerly Senior
Medical Entomologist to the Uganda Government, who has not only assisted
me in the determination of many of my specimens but has also passed on to
me a great wealth of valuable notes and records; to Captain C. R. S. Pitman,
Game Warden, Uganda, who besides lending valuable aid in the identification
of specimens has also read through my manuscript and suggested many
improvements; to the Curator and Staff of the Coryndon Museum, Nairobi,
who have rendered much assistance in the determination of specimens and the
provision of type descriptions; to Mr. A. L. Stephens on whose knowledge
of the game animals of Teso I have freely drawn; and to the Rev. R. Clark,
B.C.M.S., Lotome; Mr. Onaba, Agricultural Department, Serere; and Mr.
R. Ward, C.M.S., Ngora, who have helped in many ways but particularly by
checking the vernacular names.
202 UGANDA JOURNAL
Finally I must acknowledge the great assistance and encouragement 1
have received from the Editor, Dr. W. J. Eggeling, who has managed to
perform that act, usually reserved to the Deity, of producing order out of
NOTE ON THE SYSTEMATIC LIST. In drawing up the list which follows
I have been largely guided by the Standard Natural History (1931), edited by
W. P. Pycraft, for the sequence of the Natural Orders. Within an Order I
have mostly followed the system adopted by G. M. Allen in his Check-List
of African Mammals (1939), although for the Order Rodentia I have preferred
Ellerman's classification in Families and Genera of Living Rodents (1940).
The list contains ninety-six species, but there is little doubt that further
extensive collecting will increase this total. For example, it is very probable
that both the Impala and the Gerenuk stray into Karamoja from Turkana, but,
as I have neither seen them in Karamoja nor handled skins or horns from there,
I have not included them.
The list does not include species. If, however, two species of one genus
occur in the area, the figure (2) is inserted after the common name. Thus
" Redunca. Reedbucks (2)" indicates that there are two species of reedbuck
of the Genus Redunca occurring in Teso and Karamoja-the Common Reed-
buck and the Mountain Reedbuck.
Because some people find difficulty in remembering Latin names I have
suggested suitable English names for those animals which do not already
Order: NOMARTHRA. Pangolins.
Family: MANIDAE. Pangolins.
Genus: Smutsia. Scaly Ant-Eater.
Order: TUBULIDENTATA. Aard-Varks.
Family: ORYCTEROPODIDAE. Aard-Varks.
Genus: Orycteropus. Ant-Bear.
Order: UNGULATA. Hoofed Mammals.
Suborder: ARTIODACTYLA. Even-toed Ungulates.
Section: PECORA. True Ruminants.
Family: BOVIDAE. Cattle, Antelopes, etc.
Genus: Syncerus. Buffalo.
Genus: Alcelaphus. Kongoni.
,, Damaliscus. Topi.
Genus: Sylvicapra. Duiker.
Genus: Oreotragus. Klipspringer.
1 All Uganda mammals belong to the Subclass EUTHERIA (Placentals) of the
Class MAMMALIA (Mammals).
WILD MAMMALS OF TESO AND KARAMOJA
Genus: Ourebia. Oribi.
Genus: Rhynchotragus. Dikdik.
Genus: Adenota. Kob.
S Kobus. Waterbuck.
Redunca. Reedbucks (2).
Genus: Gazella. Bright's Gazelle.
Genus: Hippotragus. Roan.
S Oryx. Oryx.
Genus: Tragelaphus. Bushbuck.
S Limnotragus. Situtunga.
,, Strepsiceros. Kudus (2).
S Taurotragus. Eland.
Family: GIRAFFIDAE. Giraffes.
Genus: Giraffa. Giraffe.
Section: SUINA. Pigs, Hippopotamuses.
Family: HIPPOPOTAMIDAE. Hippopotamuses.
Genus: Hippopotamus. Hippopotamus.
Family: SUIDAE. Pigs.
Genus: Phacochoerus. Warthog.
S Potamochoerus. Bushpig.
Suborder: PERISSODACTYLA. Odd-toed Ungulates.
Family: EQUIDAE. Horses, Zebras, Asses.
Genus: Equus. Horse, Zebra.
Subgenus: Hippotigris. Zebra.
Family: RHINOCEROTIDAE. Rhinoceroses.
Genus: Diceros. Black Rhinoceros.
Order: PROBOSCIDAE. Elephants.
Family: ELEPHANTIDAE. Elephants.
Genus: Loxodonta. African Elephant.
Order: HYRACOIDEA. Rock-Rabbits.
Family: PROCAVIDAE. Rock-Rabbits.
Genus: Procavia. Hyrax.
Order: RODENTIA. Gnawing Mammals.
Suborder: DUPLICIDENTATA. Double-toothed Rodents.
Family: LEPORIDAE. Hares, Rabbits.
Genus: Lepus. Hare.
Suborder: SIMPLICIDENTATA. Single-toothed Rodents.
Superfamily: BATHYERGOIDAE. Mole-Rats.
Family: BATHYERGIDAE. White-toothed Mole-Rats.
Genus: Cryptomys. Mole-Rat.
Superfamily: HYSTRICOIDAE. Porcupines, Cane-Rats.
Family: ECHIMYIDAE. Porcupines, Cane-Rats.
Genus: Thryonomys. Cane-Rat.
Genus: Hystrix. Crested Porcupine.
Superfamily: SCIUROIDAE. Squirrels.
Family: SCIURIDAE. Squirrels.
Genus: Heliosciurus. Tree Squirrel.
S Xerus. Ground Squirrels (2).
Superfamily: MUROIDAE. Dormice, Rats, Mice, Gerbils.
Family: MUSCARDINIDAE. Dormice.
Genus: Graphiurus. Dormouse.
Subgenus: Claviglis. Bushy-tailed African Dormouse.
Family: MURIDAE. Rats, Mice, Gerbils.
Genus: Grammomys. Tree Mouse.
,, Dasymys. Swamp Rat.
,, Mylomys. Groove-toothed Thicket Rat.
,, Arvicanthis. Field Rats (2).
S Lemniscomys. Striped Mice (2).
Rattus. Typical Rat.
Subgenus: Rattus. East African Common Rat.
Mastomys. Multi-mammate Rat.
Genus: Mus. Pigmy Mouse.
,, Lophoromys. Harsh-furred Mouse.
,, Acomys. Spiny Mouse.
S Saccostomus. Short-tailed Mouse.
,, Steatomys. Fat Mouse.
S Cricetomys. Giant Rat.
Genus: Taterillus. Long-legged Gerbil.
Tatera. Rat-like Gerbils (2).
Genus: Tachyoryctes. Orange-toothed Mole-Rat.
Order: CARNIVORA. Man-eaters.
Suborder: CARNIVORA VERA. Cats, Dogs, etc.
Family: FELIDAE. Cats.
Genus: Felis. Typical Cat.
Subgenus: Felis. Wild Cat.
,, Leptailurus. Serval Cat.
Panthera. Lion and Leopard (2).
Genus: Caracal. African Lynx.
,, Acinonyx. Cheetah.
Family: HYAENIDAE. Hyaenas.
Genus: Crocuta. Spotted Hyaena.
,, Hyaena. Striped Hyaena.
Family: PROTELIDAE. Aard-Wolves.
Genus: Proteles. Aard-Wolf.
Family: VIVERRIDAE. Civets, Genets, Mongooses, etc.
WILD MAMMALS OF TESO AND KARAMOJA
Genus: Civettictis. African Civet.
S Genetta. Genets (2).
Genus: Helogale. Dwarf Mongoose.
,, Herpestes. Grey Mongoose.
S Ichneumia. White-tailed Mongoose.
S Myonax. Black-tipped Mongoose.
Family: CANIDAE. Dogs. Jackals, Foxes.
Genus: Lycaon. Hunting Dog.
Thos. Jackals (2).
Family: MUSTELIDAE. Polecats, Otters, etc.
Genus: Ictonyx. African Skunk.
Genus: Lutra. Lake Otter.
Subgenus: Hydrictis. Spotted-necked Otter.
Order: INSECTIVORA. Insect-eaters.
Family: MACROSCELIDIDAE. Elephant Shrews.
Genus: Elephantulus. Elephant-nosed Jumping Shrew.
Family: ERINACEIDAE. Hedgehogs.
Genus: Atelerix. African Hedgehog.
Family: SORICIDAE. Shrews.
Genus: Crocidura. White toothed Shrews (2).
Order: CHIROPTERA. Bats.
Suborder: MEGACHIROPTERA. Fruit Bats.
Family: PTEROPIDAE. Fruit Bats.
Genus: Epomophorus. Dog-faced Fruit Bats (2).
Suborder: MICROCHIROPTERA. Insect-eating Bats.
Family: EMBALLONURIDAE. Sheath-tailed Bats.
Genus: Coleura. Sheath-tailed Cranny Bat.
S Taphozous. Tomb Bat.
Family: NYCTERIDAE. Hollow-faced Bats.
Genus: Nycteris. Hollow-faced Bat.
Family: MEGADERMIDAE. Big-eared Bats.
Genus: Lavia. Yellow-winged Bat.
Family: HIPPOSIDERIDAE. Horseshoe Bats.
Genus: Hipposideros. Trident Bat.
Family: VERPERTILIONIDAE. Simple-nosed Bats.
Genus: Eptisicus. Serotine Bat.
S Pipistrellus. Pipistrelle Bat.
,, Scotophilus. Brown Bat.
Order: PRIMATES. Lemurs, Monkeys, Man.
Suborder: LEMUROIDEA. Lemurs.
Family: LORISIDAE. Slow Lemurs, Pottos.
Genus: Galago. Bush-Baby.
Suborder: ANTHROPOIDEA. Monkeys, Apes.
Family: CERCOPITHECIDAE. Mangabeys, Baboons,