Letter from the Secretary of the Navy, transmitting, in compliance with resolution of January 27, report of Lieutenant Taunt of a journey on the river Congo
Letter from the Secretary of the Navy, transmitting, in compliance with resolution of January 27, report of Lieutenant Taunt of a journey on the river Congo, pp. -42 ff.
JOURNEY ON TIE RIVER CONGO. slaves, the f'eemen of the village being the members of his own family. A singular fact is that slaves can in turn own slaves; in fact, the men are more like retainers than slaves; the women bear that burden.. From the Kassai to the Louloungo River, the natives are known as the Byanzis; they are a fierce, warlike people, and constantly at war with each other. The Byanzis, around the Bolobo District, are a rich, powerful, warlike people; they gave the State considerable trouble when the station was first established, going so far as to fire on Stanley's steamers, but now they seem to be reconciled and friendly. They are continually fighting among themselves, especially the tribes above and below the station. This section is thickly populated, the villages well situated, and the gardens in a most excellent state of cultivation. From Bolobo to the Lukelela District there are only a few scattered fishing camps. The section at Lukelela is well populated by a more quiet people than the Bolobo Byanzis. Since Stanley first established the station here in 1883, there has never been the slightest trouble with the natives. The station was abandoned in August, 1885. About three days above Lukelela is the NGombe district, a popu. ions section, people friendly, and anxious to trade. The villages are situated on high land with prosperous gardens back of them. One day above N'Gombe is the well populated Irebu District. The principal town is at the confluence of the N'Tumba River with the Congo. The Irebu people are the most prosperous traders on the river, and, like the Bolobo, people are continually making trading trips to Stan- ley Pool. I have passed thirty of their large trading canoes in one afternoon coming fPor Stanley Pool. They are a fierce, warlike tribe, and although no open rupture has ever occurred between them and the whites, they are looked on as unreliable. Two days above Irebu is the Equator District. These people are much the same as the Bolobo Byanzis; and at the first founding of the station they gave considerable trouble. A few weeks before my arrival at the Equator there had been a small fight with one of the tribes, but it was soon settled With the loss of one Zanzibari. Each village of this section is independent and yields obedience to its own chief only. These people are not rich, and are more willing to work than those of any of the other districts on the river. Both men and women are eM- ployed by the station and mission. Two days above the Equator is the Louloungo District, the principal town being at the confluence of the Louloungo River with the Congo. The people here are friendly, and wish to trade. Their villages are well situated back from the river. The Byanzi people end at this point. I has been reported that cannibalism exists as far down as Irebua, but I saw no traces of it. From the Louloungo up, scattered fishing villages are met with. The towns of the Bolombo District, on the south bank, are the only towns until Bangala is reached. The Bolombo people are very poorw and are a branch of the Bangalas or Mangalas. I The principal portion of the Bangala District is, on the north bank, about eight hours above Bolombo. It is a rich, populous, well cultivated section. The people are fierce and warlike, and have given the State continual trouble. They are cannibals. Of this I have had positivO proof. Next to the Arroowimi people they are the most powerful on the river, and are continually engaged in tribal wars. They command the river in the vicinity of their district, and native traders are not permit- ted to ascend or descend without paying tribute. The King 1MfatewekO 26
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