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VI. — Account of Two Expeditions in Central Africa by the Furanys.
Communicated by Dr. Barth, through Charles Beke, Esq., F.K.G.S.
Read Jan. 24, 1853.
I send a short account of two expeditions made by the Furanys, accompanied
by a man whom I have already had many reasons to mention in my accounts
of Eastern Sudan. This man, the faki Sambo, is the son of a learned Fellani,
and author of a history of Haussa. He is himself well acquainted with
Iflatun (Plato) and Aristaw (Aristotle), whose works be possesses; and
knows the modern history of the tribes and countries where he now resides.
He resided a long; time in Darfur, at Fayo, one day S. of Ammajura.
Starting from Korio, a market-place about 30 English miles S. of Teudelti,
you arrive on the —
1st day at Kirano, a Fellan village.
2nd ,, Kirro, a settlement of the Beni HSlba.
3rd ,, Nitaega, a village peopled by Fellan and Bornu people.
4th ,, Jakhna, of the Beni Hiilba, with their Sheikh Mahe.
5th ,, , a mountain inhabited by the Dajo.
6th ,, Simmama, the seat (about 30 years ago) of Abadima, the
governor of the Said.
7th ., Nyala, a place inhabited by Furanys.
8th „ Soluj.
9th „ Ammajura.
This road is the westernmost of the three itineraries collected by me, but
does not touch the Jebel Mara, which does not extend so far south as has
been supposed. Direction, S., a little W.
After he had settled at Fayo the faki Sambo accompanied two expeditions
from these southern regions to Darfur, one thirty and the other twenty-eight
Before giving an account of these expeditions I send a short itinerary from
Ammajura to the copper mines, known throughout the whole of the eastern
part of Sudan under the name of el Hqfrah.
1st day Dar Barra, a district inhabited by the Massalit.
2nd „ e' Siref, tarf e' dar, that is to say, the southernmost place of
3rd ,, Rijl ol Garret, a standing water in the wilderness.
4th ,, Gosdango, another resting-place, without constant inhabitants.
5th ,, AugiUko, temporarily frequented by Habbane, and by Fellan
6th „ Ilebo.
7th ,, El Hofrah, a large place inhabited by a mixed population of
Furanys, Jellabas, Bornouese, Dajo, Nuba, &c. ; close to it
are the mines, whence copper is obtained, partly in pure
lumps, partly mixed with earth.
Direction, S., a little W.
I now give an account of the second of the two expeditions forming the
subject of this communication.
This expedition, starting from Ammajura, reached on the —
2nd day Idaera, the frontier place of the southern districts of Darfur
towards the west, and the residence of a governor.
5th ,, Serir, a settlement of the Dar el Taasha.
6th „ Dar Ming, a pagan country, situated to the E. of Runga.
Expeditions in Central Africa. 121
9th day Binga, another pagan country, bounded towards the E. by
Gulla, that is to say Gulla el Furany, while Gulla el Wadany
is situated W.S.W. from Riinga.
10th „ Shala, a mountainous pagan country, distant only one day from
12th ,, Lara, likewise mountainous.
13th „ Wauga, an extensive pagan country, proceeding through which
the expedition arrived on the
17th ,, at a small river flowing eastward, and called by them Bahr el
18th ,, Dar Barida, a pagan country of great extent, bordered towards
the north by the Bahr el Adda, partly mountainous and
partly flat, and inhabited by pagans of light copper colour.
Continuing through this country for 20 days, they reached
38th ,, Bimberi, another pagan country of less extent, inhabited by a
black population. Passing through this flat country for
three days, the expedition arrived on the
41st ,, in Kubauda, a large place, extending for about 10 or 12 miles
along the banks of a river so large that they could with
difficulty make out persons standing on the southern bank,
and not fordable. This river runs straight from east to west,
and is bordered principally by very large trees called kumba,
which bear a fruit similar to the date. They were told that
beyond this river there were people with black camels like
those of the Rufa ; but my informant himself thinks this to
be merely a joke. Not being able to cross the river, the
expedition retraced its steps from Kubauda. The colour of
the people is black.
Direction, as far as Dar Ming W., very little S. ; from thence directly S.
Mate of travelling, about 20 English miles per day.
Theirs* of the two expeditions took the same direction as the second as far
as the Bahr el Adda ; but, after having crossed that river, they turned west, a
little south; and, passing through Dar Banda in that direction for 15 days,
and crossing many watercourses, they entered Bimberi, which country en-
circles Banda from S. to W. With these people they fought several times,
but were not able to make many of them slaves ; the enemy fighting desperately,
cutting the bodies of the slain into pieces, and carrying these on their heads,
in order to feast on them afterwards, as my informant thinks. Having passed the
Bimberi they came to several smaller pagan kingdoms, all of which they sub-
jugated, carrying great numbers of the inhabitants into slavery. Still
continuing in an almost westerly direction, they finally came to another large
kingdom, inhabited by a warlike race, called Andoma. This country was
found to consist of a deep sandy soil, flat, and covered with a great profusion
of trees, the principal of which were the banana (mm), the butter-tree (tabur
in Bagirmi), and the olive-tree (zitun), which my informant, who has resided
several years in Egypt, states to be exactly the same tree as that of the coast
of the Mediterranean, while the deleb was limited to certain localities. In that
part of the country my informant saw no river or watercourse whatever. The
expedition went on for 3 days, driving the inhabitants before them. When
they came to their capital the enemy collected there in such numbers, and
fought so desperately with their korbatsh or hand-iron, a sort of double axe
about two feet in length, entirely made of iron, that the Furanys thought it
prudent to retire in as honourable a manner as they could. Sending therefore
their interpreter to Andoma, the king, who was seated on a throne con-
structed of elephants' tusks, laid one above the other, they presented him
122 Mr. Kennedy on the Return of the
with some silken shirts, and made peace with him, but without complying
with his entreaty that they should encamp on the spot. On the contrary,
having received a present of 10 oxen and 100 fat sheep, they thought it more
prudent to make off at a sharp pace towards N. by E., where they came to
another pagan country called Mara, which my informant thinks must be near
the country of the Bua.
I have now to mention a very curious phenomenon of natural history, which
my informant saw on this expedition, though I am unable to make out, from
his description, what it really was. Passing the country of Bimberi (?), they
came suddenly to a spot where the soil, as my informant expresses himself,
was boiling over the water and bubbling up. They therefore called it Bahr
el Ardha, " the water-stream of the earth."
VII. — Report on the Return of Lady Franklin's vessel the Prince
Albert, under the command of Mr. Win. Kennedy, from the
Read Nov. 8, 1852.
Mr. President, — It having been ascertained during the spring
of 1851 that an important part of the field of search for the
missing Arctic expedition could not be explored by any of the
ships then engaged or about to be engaged in the service, it was
resolved to equip a supplementary expedition for the examination
of the portion thus unprovided for. The part alluded to includes
Prince Regent's Inlet, and the passages or isthmuses connecting
it with, or dividing it from, the western sea, S.W. of Cape Walker,
to which latter quarter Sir John Franklin was required by his
instructions to proceed in the first instance. This search was
assumed to be necessary on the following grounds : — first, the
probability of Sir John Franklin having abandoned his vessels to
the S.W. of Cape Walker; secondly, the fact that when Sir John
Franklin sailed he believed that an open passage was to be found
from the westward into the south part of Regent Inlet, according
to the chart supplied to him from the Admiralty, and which does
not exhibit the discoveries which have been made by Rae and
others subsequently to that period ; thirdly, Sir John Franklin, it
was supposed, would be more likely in retreating to take this
course through a country known to possess the resources of animal
life, with the wreck of the Victory in Felix Harbour for fuel, and
the stores of Fury Beach further north, in view, than to fall back
upon an utterly barren region of the north coast of America.
Upon these grounds, and in the absence of any information up to
that time as to the route Franklin had taken after passing through
Lancaster Sound, was founded the necessity of an auxiliary expe-
dition for the special object above stated ; and accordingly, in
May, 1851, a small vessel, the Prince Albert, was fitted out to