342 AFRICA: CENTRAL SUDAN STATES CENTRAL SUDAN STATES.^ BORNU. Bornu, that is, Bar-noa, or ' Land of Noah, ' if not the largest, is the most populous Mohammedan State in Central Sudan. It occupies the western and southern sides of Lake Chad, being conterminous on the south-east with Bagirmi, from which it is separated by the Shari River, and stretching thence westwards to the Empire of Sokoto. Approximate area, 50,000 square miles ; population estimated at over 5,000,000. The bulk of the inhabitants, who call themselves Iva-nuri, that is, ' People of Light, ' are of mixed Negro and Dasa (southern Tibu) descent, and speak a Tibu dialect that has been reduced to written form by the Protestant missionaries. The other chief elements of the population are the Tuareg Berbers in the north ; the Arabs mainly in the south-east ; the JSIakari and Marghi Negroes in the south ; the Wanga, Bedde, and other pagan tribes in the east ; and in the centre the Magomi, who claim kinship with the royal dynasty which for many centuries ruled over the united Bornu and Kanem States. These and the Kanuri are regarded as the most cultured people in Central Africa, and their woven fabrics, pottery, and metal ware are highly prized throughout the Sudan. The Sultan, whose otiicial title is Mai, but who is more commonly spoken of as the Sheikh, is in principle an absolute monarch. He is assisted in the administration by a Council comprising the Kokenawa, or military chiefs, the official delegates of the various subject races, and several members of the reigning family. The standing army of about 30,000 men is partly armed with rities, and the cavalry still wear armour, either imported from Eastern Sudan or manufactured in the country. There is also some artillery, and a few companies even wear European uniforms. In lieu of pay the men receive allotments of land. Kuka (Kukawa), capital of Bornu, lies on the west side of Lake Chad. It has a population of from 50,000 to 60,000, and is one of the great centres of trade in the Sudan. Wares of all kinds reach this mart from Europe, Egypt, and Turkey, chieliy by the caravan route from Tripoli and Fezzan, the shortest crossing the Sahara. By the same route are sent northwards con* voys of 1,000, 2,000, and even 4,000 slaves, besides ivory, ostrich feathers, and other local produce. The legal currency are the Maria Theresa crown, the Spanish tlouro, and cowries, at the rate of 4,000 to the crown. Besides Kuka, there are several other towns with over 10,000 inhabitants, such as Birni, Bundi, Gummel, Mashena, Borsari, Surrikolo, Logon- Karnah, capital of the Logon territory, and Doloo, capital of the tributary Mandara State. The coast lands continue to be exposed to the incursions of tlie Kuri and Yedina pirates, wlio inhabit the archipelagoes in Lake Chad. WAD AI— KANEM. The Sultanate of Wadai, at present the most powerful State in Central Sudan, occupies with the tributary States the whole region between Dar-Fur and Lake Chad, and extends from the southern verge of the Sahara southwards nearly to the divide between the Chad and Congo basins. Total area, in- cluding Wadai and Bagirmi, nearly 172,000 square miles; population estimated by Nachtigal at 2,600,000. The Arabs, here collectively called Aramka, have been settled in the country for over 500 years. Their traders (Jellaba) send caravans south to Dar-Banda and Bagirmi, and west to Bornu, For Sokoto, .see Niger Tbrbitories, under the British Empire.
Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/694
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.