Terra ipsa fluminum aquis maxime rigua. Dividitur in provincias sex; quas illi Mani, id est, Praefecturas, vocant. Sunt autem Bamba, Songo, Sundi, Pango, Batta et Pemba. Regia est, civitas S. Salvatoris, quae ante Banza. Monomotapa Regnum. Monomotapa vocabulum significat Imperatorem; unde ipsi terrae, cui hic imperat, nomen inditum.
The Portuguese missionaries found these people very tractable converts, and very large bodies of them are very easily governed by a single Malay chief, as at Landa, Songo, and Matan. I have seen very large bodies of them at Kimanis and Maludu, but none of them possessing the ferocity of a Malay. Poivre, "Malacca was a country well peopled, and was consequently well cultivated.
Hills, which appear like mountains, after the dead level, can be seen in front covered with grass and a few trees. On September 10th, we reach Songo a small State Post in charge of a native from Sierra Leone. Here we pitch our tents in a clearing and proceed to re-arrange the baggage, for we shall have now to travel in canoes, the river not being navigable for steamers for some distance.
At length however, after searching on both sides of the river, crews were collected for three large canoes and we arranged to continue our journey on September 14th. The canoes were lifted up the Songo rapids empty, while the baggage was carried along the bank. It was then stowed in the boats and having taken our places we made a start. The method of propulsion is very interesting to watch.
His genial courtesy was simply another expression of that mental grace which made his reputation as a poet, and his manner of reciting an incident, otherwise trivial, would give it the same additional quality as in his verses on Springfield Arsenal and the crooked Songo River, which without Longfellow would be little or nothing.
It was impossible to kill them by stamping about for they were simply driven into the soft sand and wriggled out again the moment the foot was withdrawn. We were evidently in the line of march of a migrating host and were forced to beat a hasty retreat leaving the insects in full possession. There is no drinking water at Songo, so we had to boil and filter that from the river.
The aborigines of Borneo, or Pulo Kalamantan, still exist in the interior in considerable numbers; there are various tribes of them, speaking different dialects. Some of them acknowledge Malay chiefs, as at Landa, Songo, Mantan, &c.
The standard of Slakow gold at Pontiana is affixed at twenty-three Spanish dollars the bunkal, of two dollars weight. The Songo and Laurat is twenty-five dollars the said bunkal.
The Dutch likewise placed the present rajas on the musnuds of Songo, Landa, &c., and kept up a force at the former, with the express stipulation that the whole of their produce should be sent from each of their respective districts to the Dutch factory of Pontiana.
Immediately above Songo indeed is the first of the Ubangi rapids, the water roaring and hissing as it fights its way down and over the rocks. Just before bedtime, Chikaia comes with a long face and evidently much disturbed and asks for a gun or rifle to protect himself, as the indigènes are supposed to be very savage here.