Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/180

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166
PORTUGUESE EAST AFRICA


whole of the region north of Delagoa Bay to the Zambezi and inland to and beyond the Portuguese frontier is auriferous, and ancient gold workings abound. Many writers have sought to identify this region with the land of Ophir. In Manica several gold mines are worked. In 1906-1907 a rich formation similar to the American “placer” deposits was discovered in the Manica goldfields. Gold mines are also worked at Missale and Chifumbaze, to the north of Tete. The Missale mines are just south of the frontier of British Central Africa. Petroleum is found near Inhambane, as is also a curious elastic like substance named inhangellite, resembling bitumen, chiefly derivei from masses of a gelatinous ala (see Kew Bulletin, No. 5, 1907.

Commerce.—The chief exports are rubber, sugar, coal (from the Transvaal), beeswax, coco-nuts, copra and mangrove bark, ivory (including hippopotamus teeth and rhinoceros horns), skins and hides, ground-nuts, and oilseeds, monkey-nuts, mealies, cattle (to Madagascar), cotton, tobacco, gold and other minerals. The principal imports for consumption in the province are cotton goods, hardware and foodstuffs. The “Kaflir” trade is largely in cheap wines of a highly deleterious character, blankets, hats and shoes, brass wire and Venetian beads. Immense quantities of cheap wine are bought by the natives. There is at Lourenco Marques and at Beira a large transit trade to and from the Transvaal and Rhodesia respectively. The average annual value of the external trade of the province for the five years 1901–1905 was about £5,500,000. In 1909 the total trade of the province—including re-exports and goods in transit—exceeded £10,000,000. Fully 50% of this trade was in transit to or from the Transvaal. (See further Lourenço Marques; Beira, &c.) The trade of the province is chiefly with Great Britain, India, Germany and Portugal. The retail trade both at the seaports and in the settlements inland is largely in the hands of British Indians—Banyans, Battias and Parsees.

On the coast there are several native ports of call, between which and Madagascar a large surreptitious trade in slaves was carried on until 1877. With this island, and also with Zanzibar, there is a large general coasting trade.

Administration, Revenue, &c.—Formerly called Mozambique, the province since 1891 bears the official title of State of East Africa. It is under a governor-general, appointed for three years, and for administrative purposes is divided into several districts. There is a government council, instituted in 1907, composed partly of officials and partly of elected representatives of the commercial, industrial and agricultural communities. There is also a provincial council “with the attributions of an administrative and account tribunal.” In each district is a subsidiary council. The govemor-general resides at Lourengo Marques and has under his immediate direction the Delagoa Bay district. Gazaland (g.v.) and the district of Inhambane are also governed directly by Portuguese officials. The greater part of the country between the Sabi River and the Zambezi, including the Manica and Sofala regions, is administered, under a charter granting sovereign rights for 50 years from 1891, by the Companhia de Mogambique, which has its headquarters at Beira. The Quilimane, Chinde and Zambezi regions are administered by representatives of the governor-general, with headquarters at Mozambique. The Zambezi Company has large trading concessions over this district. North of the Quilimane district the coast region and adjacent islands go under the name of Angoxa. The territory between the Lurio and Rovuma rivers and Lake Nyasa is governed by the Companhia do Nyasa under a royal charter. Revenue is obtained largely from customs and a hut tax on natives. The annual revenue of the province is about £1,000,000. A military force, about 4000 strong, is maintained, including 1200 to 1400 Europeans. Education is chiefly in the hands of Roman Catholic missionaries.

History.—It is uncertain at what period the east coast of Africa south of Somaliland was first visited by the maritime races of the east. There is, however, no reason to doubt that by the 10th century A.D. the Arabs had occupied the seaboard as far south as Sofala, and that they carried on an active trade between East Africa and Arabia, the Persian Gulf and India. The Arabs built fine towns and exercised control over the coast peoples, but do not appear to have pushed their conquests far inland. They had extensive commercial dealings, chiefly in gold, ivory and slaves, with the Bantu potentates who ruled over the middle Zambezi valley and the country now known as Mashonaland. Until the close of the 15th century the Arab supremacy was unchallenged. But in 1498 Vasco da Gama entered the mouth of a river which he called Rio dos Bons Sinaes (River of Good Tokens), as there he first found himself in contact with the civilization of the East. This stream was the Quilimane River, taken by the Portuguese a little later to be the main mouth of the Zambezi. From this river da Gama continued his voyage, putting in at Mozambique and Mombasa on his way to India. Hostilities between the Arabs and Portuguese broke out almost immediately; da Gama, indeed, in his first voyage had some trouble with the sultan of Mozambique. In 1502 da Gama paid a visit to Sofala to make inquiries concerning the trade in gold carried on at that place, and the reports as to its wealth which reached Portugal led to the despatch in 1505 of a fleet of six ships under Pedro da Nhaya with instructions to establish Portuguese influence at Sofala. Da Nhaya was allowed to build a fort close to the Arab town. The fort, built in three months, was shortly afterwards attacked by a band of Bantus, who acted on the instigation of the Arabs. The attackers were driven off and the Arabs forced to acknowledge Portuguese rule. In 1509 a captain of Sofala and a factor, or chief trader, were sent out, and from this time the trade of the port fell to the Portuguese. Sofala, however, was not a suitable harbour for the refitting and provisioning of ships on the way to India, and to obtain such a port Mozambique was seized and fortified in 1507. By 1510 the Portuguese were masters of all the former Arab sultanates on the East African coast. The northern half of this region, from Kilwa to Mukdishu, has passed out of their possession; here it is only necessary to outline the history of the country still under the Portuguese Crown. For forty years Sofala was their only station south of the Zambezi. Thence they traded with the monomotapa or chief of the “Mocaranga” (i.e. the Makalanga or Karanga) in whose territory were the mines whence the gold exported from Sofala was obtained. At that time this chief was a powerful potentate exercising authority over a wide area (see Monomotapa). The efforts made by the Portuguese from Sofala to reach him were unsuccessful. It was probably the desire to penetrate to the “land of gold” by an easier route that led, in 1544, to the establishment of a station on the River of Good Tokens, a station from which grew the town of Quilimane. About the same time the Portuguese penetrated inland along the Zambezi, known then as the River of Sena, and founded the trading ports of Sena and Tete, or, perhaps, annexed already existing Arab towns of those names. It was at this period also that Lourenco Marques and a companion, sent out by the captain of Mozambique, entered Delagoa Bay and opened up trade with the natives. This was the most southerly point occupied by the Portuguese. For three centuries however the fine harbour was little used, and its ultimate development was due to the discovery of another “land of gold”—the Witwatersrand—beyond Portuguese territory. In the 16th century the Portuguese turned their energies towards the Zambezi valley. In 1569 their East African dominions, hitherto dependent on the vice royalty of India, were made a separate government with headquarters at Mozambique.

Francisco Barreto, a former Viceroy of India, appointed governor of the newly formed province, was instructed by King Sebastian to conquer the country of the gold mines. The route via the Zambezi, and not that by Sofala, was chosen by Barreto—in opposition to the desires of his council, but in accord with the advice of a Dominican friar named De Monclares. This advice proved fatal owing to the deadly climate of the Zambezi valley. Barreto's expedition, including over 1000 Europeans, started in November 1569, and from Sena marched south, an arrangement having been come to with the monomotapa by which the Portuguese were granted a right of way to the gold mines on condition of their attacking a rebel vassal of that chieftain. Barreto attacked and defeated this rebel, but received no help from the monomotapa, and his force was so greatly weakened by deaths and disease that he was obliged to return to Sena, whence he went to Mozambique to put down disorder among the Portuguese there. He returned to Sena in 1570, only to die a few days after his arrival. His successor Vasco Fernandes Homem, got together another expedition and made his way inland from Sofala to a region where he saw the ground being worked for gold. The comparative poorness of the mine filled him, it is stated, with disappointment, and he returned to Sofala. Thus these, the most important efforts made by the Portuguese to obtain possession of the interior, ended in failure.