1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Corisco

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CORISCO, the name of a bay and an island on the Guinea Coast, West Africa. The bay is bounded N. by Cape San Juan (1° 10′ N.) and S. by Cape Esterias (0° 36′ N.), and is about 31 m. across, while it extends inland some 15 m. The bay is much encumbered with sandbanks, which impair its value as a harbour. Whereas the Muni river or estuary, which enters the bay on its northern side, has a maximum depth of over 100 ft., vessels entering it have to come by a channel with an average depth of six fathoms. The entrance to the southern part of the bay is obstructed by the Bana Bank, which extends for 9 m., rendering navigation dangerous. The bay encloses many small islands and islets, some hardly distinguishable from sandbanks and submerged at high water, giving rise to a native saying that “half the islands live under water.” The principal islands are four, Bana, Great and Little Elobey, and Corisco, the last-named lying farthest to seaward and giving its name to the bay.

Corisco Island, the largest of the group, is some 3 m. long by 1¾ m. in breadth and has an area of about 5½ sq. m. The surface of the island is very diversified. On a miniature scale it possesses mountains and valleys, rivers, lakes, forests and swamps, grassland and bushland, moorland and parkland. The forests supply ebony and logwood for export. The natives are a Bantu-Negro tribe called Benga. There are among them many converts to Roman Catholicism and a few Protestants. Corisco and the other islands named are Spanish possessions and are governed as dependencies of Fernando Po.

See Mary H. Kingsley, Travels in West Africa, ch. xvii. (London, 1897); E. L. Perea, “Guinea española: La isla de Corisco,” in Revista de geog. colon. y mercantil (Madrid, 1906).