University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

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
(1887)

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. [1]-42 ff.


Page 26

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


Go up to Top of Page