Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/69

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SIENETJO, one of the Shangalla tribes living in south-west Abyssinia near the Sudan frontier, who claim to be a remnant of the primitive population. They are apparently a Hamitic people, and their skin is of a yellowish tint. Their women never intermarry with the Negroes or Arabs. Sienetjo villages are usually built on hilltops. They are an industrious people, skilful jewellers, weavers and smiths.

SIENKIEWICZ, HENRYK (1846-), Polish novelist, was born in 1846 at Wola Okrzeska near Lukow, in the province of Siedlce, Russian Poland. He studied philosophy at Warsaw University. His first work, a humorous novel entitled A Prophet in his own Country, appeared in 1872. In 1876 Sienkiewicz visited America, and under the pseudonym of “Litwos,” contributed an account of his travels to the Gazeta Polska, a Warsaw newspaper. Thenceforward his talent as a writer of historical novels won rapid recognition, and his best-known romance, Quo Vadis? a study of Roman society under Nero, has been translated into more than thirty languages. Originally published in 1895, Quo Vadis? was first translated into English in 1896, and dramatized versions of it have been produced in England, the United States, France and Germany. Remarkable powers of realistic description, and a strong religious feeling which at times borders upon mysticism, characterize the best work of Sienkiewicz. Hardly inferior to Quo Vadis? in popularity, and superior in literary merit, is the trilogy of novels describing 17th-century society in Poland during the wars with the Cossacks, Turks and Swedes. This trilogy comprises Ogniem i mieczem (“With Fire and Sword,” London, 1890, 1892 and 1895), Potop (“The Deluge,” Boston, Mass., 1891) and Pan Woxodjowski (“Pan Michael,” London, 1893). Among other very successful novels and collections of tales which have been translated into English are Bez Dogmatu (“Without Dogma,” London, 1893; Toronto, 1899), Janko muzykant: nowele (“Yanko the Musician and other Stories,” Boston, Mass., 1893), Krzyżacy (“The Knight of the Cross,” numerous British and American versions), Hania (“Hania,” London, 1897) and Ta Trzecia (“The Third Woman,” New York, 1898). Sienkiewicz lived much in Cracow and Warsaw, and for a time edited the Warsaw newspaper Slowo; he also travelled in England, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Africa and the East, and published a description of his journeys in Africa. In 1905 he received the Nobel prize for literature.

A German edition of his collected works was published at Graz (1906, &c.), and his biography was written in Polish by P. Chmielowski (Lemberg, 1901) and J. Nowiński (Warsaw, 1901).

SIERADZ, a town of Russian Poland, in the government of Kalisz, situated on the Warta, 110 m. S.W. of the city of Warsaw. Pop. (1897) 7019. It is one of the oldest towns of Poland, founded prior to the introduction of Christianity, and was formerly known as Syra or Syraz. The annals mention it in 1139. Several seims, or diets, of Poland were held there during the 13th to 15th centuries, and it was a wealthy town until nearly destroyed by a fire in 1447. The old castle, which suffered much in the Swedish war of 1702-1711, was destroyed by the Germans in 1800. There are two churches, dating from the 12th and 14th centuries respectively.

SIERO, a town of northern Spain, in the province of Oviedo, on the river Nora, and on the Oviedo-Trifiesto railway. Pop. (1900) 22,503. Siero is in the centre of a fertile agricultural district, in which live-stock is extensively reared. There are coal mines in the neighbourhood, and the local industries include tanning and manufactures of soap, coarse linen and cloths.

SIERRA LEONE, a British colony and protectorate on the west coast of Africa. It is bounded W. by the Atlantic, N. and E. by French Guinea and S. by Liberia. The coast-line, following the indentations, is about 400 m. in length, extending from 9° 2′ N. to 6° 55′ N. It includes the peninsula of Sierra Leone—23 m. long with an average breadth of 14 m.—Sherbro Island, Bance, Banana, Turtle, Plantain and other minor islands, also Turner's Peninsula, a narrow strip of land southward of Sherbro Island, extending in a S.E. direction about 60 m. Except in the Sierra Leone peninsula, Sherbro Island and Turner's Peninsula, the colony proper does not extend inland to a greater depth than half a mile. The protectorate, which adjoins the colony to the north and east, extends from 7° N. to 10° N. and from 10° 40′ W. to 13° W., and has an area of rather more than 30,000 sq. m., being about the size of Ireland. (For map, see French West Africa.) The population of the colony proper at the 1901 census was 76,655. The population of the protectorate is estimated at from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000.

Physical Features.—Sierra Leone is a well-watered, well-wooded and generally hilly country. The coast-line is deeply indented in its northern portion. Here the sea has greatly eroded the normal regular, harbourless line of the west coast of Africa, forming bold capes and numerous inlets or estuaries. The Sierra Leone peninsula is the most striking result of this marine action. North of it are the Sierra Leone and Scarcies estuaries; to the south is Yawry Bay. Then in 7° 30′ N. Sherbro Island is reached. This is succeeded by Turner's Peninsula (in reality an island). The seaward faces of these islands are perfectly regular and indicate the original continental coast-line. They have been detached from the mainland partly by a marine inlet, partly by the lagoon-like creeks formed by the rivers. In the Sierra Leone peninsula the hills come down to the sea, elsewhere a low coast plain extends inland 30 to 50 m. The plateau which forms the greater part of the protectorate has an altitude varying from 800 to 3000 ft. On the north-east border by the Niger sources are mountains exceeding 5000 ft. The most fertile parts of the protectorate are Sherbro and Mendiland in the south-west. In the north-west the district between the Great Scarcies and the Rokell rivers is flat and is named Bullom (low land). In the south-east bordering Liberia is a belt of densely forested hilly country extending 50 m. S. to N. and very sparsely inhabited.

The hydrography of the country is comparatively simple. Six large rivers—300 to 500 m. long—rise in the Futa Jallon highlands in or beyond the northern frontier of the protectorate and in whole or in part traverse the country with a general S.W. course; the Great and Little Scarcies in the north, the Rokell and Jong in the centre and the Great Bum and Sulima in the south. These rivers are navigable for short distances, but in general rapids or cataracts mark their middle courses. The Great Scarcies, the Rio dos Carceres of the Portuguese, rises not far from the sources of the Senegal. Between 9° 50′ and 9° 15′ N. it forms the boundary between the protectorate and French Guinea; below that point it is wholly in British territory. The Little Scarcies enters Sierra Leone near Yomaia, in the most northerly part of the protectorate. Known in its upper course as the Kabba, it flows through wild rocky country, its banks in places being 900 ft. high. After piercing the hills it runs parallel with the Great Scarcies. In their lower reaches the two rivers—both large streams—traverse a level plain, separated by no obstacles. The mouth of the Little Scarcies is 20 m. S. of that of the Great Scarcies. South of the estuary of the Scarcies the deep inlet known as the Sierra Leone river forms a perfectly safe and commodious harbour accessible to the largest vessels. At its entrance on the southern shore lies Freetown. Into the estuary flows, besides smaller streams, the Rokell, known in its upper course as the Seli. The broad estuary which separates Sherbro Island from the mainland, and is popularly called the Sherbro river, receives the Bagru from the N.W. and the Jong river, whose headstream, known as the Taia, Pampana and Sanden, flows for a considerable distance east of and parallel to the Rokell. The sources of the Taia, and those of the Great Bum, are near to those of the Niger, the watershed between the coast streams and the Niger basin here forming the frontier. The main upper branch of the Great Bum (or Sewa) river is called the Bague or Bagbe (white river). It flows east of and more directly south than the Taia. In its lower course the Bum passes through the Mendi country and enters the network of lagoons and creeks separated from the ocean by the long low tract of Turner's Peninsula. The main lagoon waterway goes by the name of the Bum-Kittam river, and to the north opens into the Sherbro estuary. Southward it widens out and forms Lake Kasse (20 m. long), before reaching the ocean just north of the estuary of the Sulima. The Wanje or upper Kittam joins this creek, and is also connected with Lake Mabessi, a sheet of water adjacent to Lake Kasse. The Sulima or Moa is a magnificent stream and flows through a very fertile country. One of its headstreams, the Meli, rises in French Guinea in 10° 30′ W. 9° 17′ N. and flows for some distance parallel to the infant Niger, but in the opposite direction. It joins the Moa within Sierra Leone. The main upper stream of the Moa separates French Guinea and Liberia and enters British territory in 10° 40′ W. 8° 20′ N. Only the lower course is known as the Sulima. Between 7° 40′ and 7° 20′ are lacustrine reaches. Six miles S. of the mouth of the Sulima the Mano or Bewa river enters the sea. It rises in Liberia, and below 7° 30' N. forms the frontier between that republic and the protectorate.

The Sierra Leone peninsula, the site of the oldest British settlement, lies between the estuary of the same name and Yawry Bay to the south. It is traversed on its seaward face by hills attaining a height of 1700 ft. in the Sugar Loaf, and nearly as much in Mount Herton farther south. The hills consist of a kind of granite and of