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(Rhaetic) was one of great volcanic activity in South Africa. Whilst the

later Secondary and Tertiary formations were being laid down in North

Africa and around the margins of the rest of the continent, Africa received

its last great accumulation of strata and at the same time underwent a

consecutive series of earth-movements. The additional strata consist of the

immense quantities of volcanic material on the plateau of East Africa, the

basalt flows of West Africa and possibly those of the Zambezi basin. The

exact period of the commencement of volcanic activity is unknown. In

Abyssinia the Ashangi traps are certainly post-Oolitic. In East Africa the

fissure eruptions are considered to belong to the Cretaceous. These early

eruptions were followed by those of Kenya, Mawenzi, Elgon, Chibcharagnani,

and these by the eruptions of Kibo, Longonot, Suswa and the Kyulu

Mountains. The last phase of vulcanicity took place along the great

meridional rifts of East Africa, and though feebly manifested has not

entirely passed away. In northern Africa a continuous sequence of volcanic

events has taken place from Eocene times to latest Tertiary; but in South

Africa it is doubtful if there have been any intrusions later then


During this long continuance of vulcanicity, earth-movements were in

progress. In the north the chief movements gave rise to the system of

latitudinal folding and faulting of the Moroccan and Algerian Atlas, the

last stages being represented by the formation of the Algerian and Moroccan

coast-outline and the sundering of Europe from Africa at the Straits of

Gibraltar. Whilst northern Africa was being folded, the East African

plateau was broken up by a series of longitudinal rifts extending from

Nyasaland to Egypt. The depressed areas contain the long, narrow,

precipitously walled lakes of East Africa. The Red Sea also occupies a

meridional trough.

Lastly there are the recent elevations of the northern coastal regions,

the Barbary coast and along the east coast. (W. G.*)

III. ETHNOLOGY In attempting a review of the races and tribes which

inhabit Africa, their distribution, movements and culture, it is advisable

that three points be borne in mind. The first of these is the comparative

absence of natural barriers in the interior, owing to which

intercommunication between tribes, the dissemination of culture and tribal

migration have been considerably facilitated. Hence the student must be

prepared to find that, for the most part, there are no sharp divisions to

mark the extent of the various races composing the population, but that the

number of what may be termed ``transitional'' peoples is unusually large.

The second point is that Africa, with the exception of the lower Nile

valley and what is known as Roman Africa (see AFRICA, ROMAN), is, so far as

its native inhabitants are concerned, a continent practically without a

history, and possessing no records from which such a history might be

reconstructed. The early movements of tribes, the routes by which they

reached their present abodes, and the origin of such forms of culture as

may be distinguished in the general mass of customs, beliefs, &c., are

largely matters of conjecture. The negro is essentially the child of the

moment; and his memory, both tribal and individual, is very short. The

third point is that many theories which have been formulated with respect

to such matters are unsatisfactory owing to the small amount of information

concerning many of the tribes in the interior.

The chief African races.

Excluding the Europeans who have found a home in various parts of Africa,

and the Asiatics, Chinese and natives of India introduced by them (see

section History below), the population of Africa consists of the following

elements: —the Bushman, the Negro, the Eastern Hamite, the Libyan and the

Semite, from the intermingling of which in various proportions a vast

number of ``transitional'' tribes has arisen. The Bushmen (q.v.), a race of

short yellowish-brown nomad hunters, inhabited, in the earliest times of

which there is historic knowledge, the land adjoining the southern and

eastern borders of the Kalahari desert, into which they were gradually

being forced by the encroachment of the Hottentots and Bantu tribes. But

signs of their former presence are not wanting as far north as Lake

Tanganyika, and even, it is rumoured, still farther north. With them may be

classed provisionally the Hottentots, a pastoral people of medium stature

and yellowish-brown complexion. who in early times shared with the Bushmen

the whole of what is now Cape Colony. Though the racial affinities of the

Hottentots have been disputed, the most satisfactory view on the whole is

that they represent a blend of Bushman, Negroid and Hamitic elements.

Practically the rest of Africa, from the southern fringe of the Sahara and

the upper valley of the Nile to the Cape, with the exception of Abyssinia

and Galla and Somali-lands, is peopled by Negroes and the ``transitional''

tribes to which their admixture with Libyans on the north, and Semites

(Arabs) and Hamites on the north-east and east, has given rise. A slight

qualification of the last statement is necessary, in so far as, among the

Fula in the western Sudan, and the Ba-Hima, &c., of the Victoria Nyanza,

Libyan and Hamitic elements are respectively stronger than the Negroid. Of

the tracts excepted, Abyssinia is inhabited mainly by Semito-Hamites

(though a fairly strong negroid element can be found), and Somali and Galla-

lands by Hamites. North of the Sahara in Algeria and Morocco are the

Libyans (Berbers, q.v.), a distinctively white people, who have in certain

respects (e.g. religion) fallen under Arab influence. In the north-east the

brown-skinned Hamite and the Semite mingle in varied proportions. The

Negroid peoples, which inhabit the vast tracts of forest and savanna

between the areas held by Bushmen to the south and the Hamites, Semites and

Libyans to the north, fall into two groups divided by a line running from

the Cameroon (Rio del Rey) crossing the Ubangi river below the bend and

passing between the Ituri and the Semliki rivers, to Lake Albert and thence

with a slight southerly trend to the coast. North of this line are the

Negroes proper, south are the Bantu. The division is primarily

philological. Among the true Negroes the greatest linguistic confusion

prevails; for instance, in certain parts of Nigeria it is possible to find

half-a-dozen villages within a comparatively small area speaking, not

different dialects, but different languages, a fact which adds greatly to

the difficulty of political administration. To the south of the line the

condition of affairs is entirely different; here the entire population

speaks one or another dialect of the Bantu Languages (q.v..) As said

before, the division is primarily linguistic and, especially upon the

border line, does not always correspond with the variations of physical

type. At the same time it is extremely convenient and to a certain extent

justifiable on physical and psychological grounds; and it may be said

roughly that while the linguistic uniformity of the Bantu is accompanied by

great variation of physical type, the converse is in the main true of the

Negro proper, especially where least affected by Libyan and Hamitic

admixture, e.g. on the Guinea coast. The variation of type among the Bantu

is due probably to a varying admixture of alien blood, which is more

apparent as the east coast is approached. This foreign element cannot be

identified with certainty, but since the Bantu seem to approach the Hamites

in those points where they differ from the Negro proper, and since the

physical characteristics of Hamites and Semites are very similar, it seems

probable that the last two races have entered into the composition of the

Bantu, though it is highly improbable that Semitic influence should have

permeated any distance from the east coast. An extremely interesting

section of the population not hitherto mentioned is constituted by the

Pygmy tribes inhabiting the densely forested regions along the equator from

Uganda to the Gabun and living the life of nomadic hunters. The affinities

of this little people are undecided, owing to the small amount of knowledge

concerning them. The theories which connected them with the Bushmen do not

seem to be correct. It is more probable that they are to be classed among

the Negroids, with whom they appear to have intermingled to a certain

extent in the upper basin of the Ituri, and perhaps elsewhere. As far as is

known they speak no language peculiar to themselves but adopt that of the

nearest agricultural tribe. They are of a dark brown complexion, with very

broad noses, lips but slightly everted, and small but usually sturdy

physique, though often considerably emaciated owing to insufficiency of

food. Another peculiar tribe, also of short stature, are the Vaalpens of

the steppe region of the north Transvaal. Practically nothing is known of

them except that they are said to be very dark in colour and live in holes

in the ground, and under rock shelters.

Principal ethnological zones.

Having indicated the chief races of which in various degrees of purity

and intermixture the population of Africa is formed, it remains to consider

them in greater detail, particularly from the cultural standpoint. This is

hardly possible without drawing attention to the main physical characters

of the continent, as far as they affect the inhabitants. For ethnological

purposes three principal zones may be distinguished; the first two are

respectively a large region of steppes and desert in the north, and a

smaller region of steppes and desert in the south. These two zones are

connected by a vertical strip of grassy highland lying mainly to the east

of the chain of great lakes. The third zone is a vast region of forest and

rivers in the west centre, comprising the greater part of the basin of the

Congo and the Guinea coast. The rainfall, which also has an important

bearing upon the culture of peoples, will be found on the whole to be

greatest in the third zone and also in the eastern highlands, and of course

least in the desert, the steppes and savannas standing midway between the

two. As might be expected these variations are accompanied by certain

variations in culture. In the best-watered districts agriculture is

naturally of the greatest importance, except where the density of the

forest renders the work of clearing too arduous. The main portion therefore

of the inhabitants of the forest zone are agriculturists, save only the

nomad Pygmies, who live in the inmost recesses of the forest and support

themselves by hunting the game with which it abounds. Agriculture, too,

flourishes in the eastern highlands, and throughout the greater part of the

steppe and savanna region of the northern and southern zones, especially

the latter. In fact the only Bantu tribes who are not agriculturists are

the Ova-Herero of German South-West Africa, whose purely pastoral habits

are the natural outcome of the barren country they inhabit. But the wide

open plains and slopes surrounding the forest area are eminently suited to

cattle-breeding, and there are few tribes who do not take advantage of the

fact. At the same time a natural check is imposed upon the desire for

cattle, which is so characteristic of the Bantu peoples. This is

constituted by the tsetse fly, which renders a pastoral life absolutely

impossible throughout large tracts in central and southern Africa. In the

northern zone this check is absent, and the number of more essentially

pastoral peoples, such as the eastern Hamites, Masai, Dinka, Fula, &c.,

correspondingly greater. The desert regions yield support only to nomadic

peoples, such as the Tuareg, Tibbu, Bedouins and Bushmen, though the

presence of numerous oases in the north renders the condition of life

easier for the inhabitants. Upon geographical conditions likewise depend to

a large extent the political conditions prevailing among the various

tribes. Thus among the wandering tribes of the desert and of the heart of

the forests, where large communities are impossible, a patriarchal system

prevails with the family as the unit. Where the forest is less dense and

small agricultural communities begin to make their appearance, the unit

expands to the village with its headman. Where the forest thins to the

savanna and steppe, and communication is easier, are found the larger

kingdoms and ``empires'' such as, in the north those established by the

Songhai, Hausa, Fula, Bagirmi, Ba-Hima, &c., and in the south the states of

Lunda, Kazembe, the Ba-Rotse, &c.

But if ease of communication is favourable to the rise of large states

and the cultural progress that usually accompanies it, it is, nevertheless,

often fatal to the very culture which, at first, it fostered, in so far as

the absence of natural boundaries renders invasion easy. A good example of

this is furnished by the history of the western Sudan and particularly of

East and South-East Africa. From its geographical position Africa looks

naturally to the east, and it is on this side that it has been most

affected by external culture both by land (across the Sinaitic peninsula)

and by sea. Though a certain amount of Indonesian and even aboriginal

Indian influence has been traced in African ethnography, the people who

have produced the most serious ethnic disturbances (apart from modern

Europeans) are the Arabs. This is particularly the case in East Africa,

where the systematic slave raids organized by them and carried out with the

assistance of various warlike tribes reduced vast regions to a state of

desolation. In the north and west of Africa, however, the Arab has had a

less destructive but more extensive and permanent influence in spreading

the Mahommedan religion throughout the whole of the Sudan.

The characteristic African culture.

The fact that the physical geography of Africa affords fewer natural

obstacles to racial movements on the side most exposed to foreign

influence, renders it obvious that the culture most characteristically

African must be sought on the other side. It is therefore in the forests of

the Congo, and among the lagoons and estuaries of the Guinea coast, that

this earlier culture will most probably be found. That there is a culture

distinctive of this area, irrespective of the linguistic line dividing the

Bantu from the Negro proper, has now been recognized. Its main features may

be summed as follows:—-a purely agricultural life, with the plantain, yam

and manioc (the last two of American origin) as the staple food;

cannibalism common; rectangular houses with ridged roofs; scar-tattooing;

clothing of bark-cloth or palm-fibre; occasional chipping or extraction of

upper incisors; bows with strings of cane, as the, principal weapons,

shields of wood or wickerwork; religion, a primitive form of fetishism with

the belief that death is due to witchcraft; ordeals, secret societies, the

use of masks and anthropomorphic figures, and wooden gongs. With this may

be contrasted the culture of the Bantu peoples to the south and east, also

agriculturists, but in addition, where possible, great cattle-breeders,

whose staple food is millet and milk. These are distinguished by circular

huts with domed or conical roofs; clothing of skin or leather; occasional

chipping or extraction of lower incisors; spears as the principal weapons,

bows, where found, with a sinew cord, shields of hide or leather; religion,

ancestor-worship with belief in the power of the magicians as rain-makers.

Though this difference in culture may well be explained on the supposition

that the first is the older and more representative of Africa, this theory

must not be pushed too far. Many of the distinguishing characteristics of

the two regions are doubtless due simply to environment, even the

difference in religion. Ancestor-worship occurs most naturally among a

people where tribal organization has reached a fairly advanced stage, and

is the natural outcome of patriotic reverence for a successful chief and

his councillors. Rain-making, too, is of little importance in a well-

watered region, but a matter of vital interest to an agricultural people

where the rainfall is slight and irregular.

Within the eastern and southern Bantu area certain cultural variations

occur; beehive huts are found among the Zulu-Xosa and Herero, giving place

among the Bechuana to the cylindrical variety with conical roof, a type

which, with few exceptions, extends north to Abyssinia. The tanged

spearhead characteristic of the south is replaced by the socketed variety

towards the north. Circumcision, characteristic of the Zulu-Xosa and

Bechuana, is not practised by many tribes farther north; tooth-mutilation,

on the contrary, is absent among the more southern tribes. The lip-plug is

found in the eastern area, especially among the Nyasa tribes, but not in

the south. The head-rest common in the south-east and the southern fringe

of the forest area is not found far north of Tanganyika until the Horn of

Africa is reached.

In the regions outside the western area occupied by the Negro proper,

exclusive of the upper Nile, the similarities of culture outweigh the

differences. Here the cylindrical type of hut prevails; clothing is of skin

or leather but is very scanty; iron ornaments are worn in profusion; arrows

are not feathered; shields of hide, spears with leather sheaths are found

and also fighting bracelets. Certain small differences appear between the

eastern and western portions, the dividing line being formed by the

boundary between Bornu and Hausaland. Characteristic of the east are the

harp and the throwing-club and throwing-knife, the last of which has

penetrated into the forest area. Typical of the west are the bow and the

dagger with the ring hilt. The tribes of the upper Nile are somewhat

specialized, though here, too, are found the cylindrical hut, iron

ornaments, fighting bracelets, &c., characteristic of the Sudanese tribes.

Here the removal of the lower incisors is common, and circumcision entirely

absent. Throughout the rest of the Sudan is found Semitic culture

introduced by the Arabized Libyan. Circumcision, as is usual among

Mahommedan tribes, is universal, and tooth-mutilation absent; of other

characteristics, the use of the sword has penetrated to the northern

portion of the forest area. The culture prevailing in the Horn of Africa

is, naturally, mainly Hamito-Semitic; here are found both cyhnddcal and bee-

hive huts, the sword (which has been adopted by the Masai to the south),

the lyre (which has found its way to some of the Nilotic tribes) and the

head-rest. Circumcision is practically universal.

As has been said earlier, the history of Africa reaches back but a short

distance, except, of course, as far as the lower Nile valley and Roman

Africa is concerned; elsewhere no records exist, save tribal traditions,

and these only relate to very recent events. Even archaeology, which can

often sketch the main outlines of a people's history, is here practically

powerless, owing to the insufficiency of data. It is true that stone imple.

ments of palaeolithic and neolithic types are found sporadically in the

Nile valley, Somaliland, on the Zambezi, in Cape Colony and the northern

portions of the Congo Free State, as well as in Algeria and Tunisia; but

the localities are far too few and too widely separated to warrant the

inference that they are to be in any way connected. Moreover, where stone

implements are found they are, as a rule, very near, even actually on, the

surface of the earth; nothing occurs resembling the regular stratification

of Europe, and consequently no argument based on geological grounds is


The lower Nile valley, however, forms an exception; flint implements of a

palaeolithic type have been found near Thebes. not only on the surface of

the ground, which for several thousand years has been desert owing to the

contraction of the river-bed, but also in stratified gravel of an older

date. References to a number of papers bearing on the discussion to which

then discovery has given rise may be found in an article by Mr H. R. Hall

in Man, 1905, No. 19. The Egyptian and also the Somali land finds appear to

be true palaeoliths in type and remarkably similar to those found in

Europe. But evidence bearing on the Stone age in Africa, if the latter

existed apart from the localities mentioned, is so slight that little can

be said save that from the available evidence the palaeoliths of the Nile

valley alone can with any degree of certainty be assigned to a remote

period of antiquity, and that the chips scattered over Mashonaland and the

regions occupied within historic times by Bushmen are the most recent;

since it has been shown that the stone flakes were used by the medieval

Makalanga to engrave their hard pottery and the Bushmen were still using

stone implements in the 19th century. Other early remains, but of equally

uncertain date, are the stone circles of Algeria, the Cross river and the

Gambia. The large system of ruined forts and ``cities'' in Mashonaland, at

Zimbabwe and elsewhere, concerning which so many ingenious theories have

been woven, have been proved to date from medieval times.

Origin and spread of the racial stocks.

Thus while in Europe there is a Stone age. divided into periods according

to various types of implement disposed in geological strata, and followed

in orderly succession by the ages of Bronze and Iron, in Africa can be

found no true Stone age and practically no Bronze at all. The reason is not

far to seek; Africa is a country of iron, which is found distributed widely

throughout the continent in ores so rich that the metal can be extracted

with very little trouble and by the simplest methods. Iron has been worked

from time immemorial by the Negroid peoples, and whole tribes are found

whose chief industry is the smelting and forging of the metal. Under such

conditions, questions relating to the origin and spread of the racial

stocks which form the population of Africa cannot be answered with any

certainty; at best only a certain amount of probability can be attained.

Five of these racial stocks have been mentioned: Bushman, Negro, Hamite,

Semite, Libyan, the last three probably related through some common

ancestor. Of these the honour of being considered the most truly African

belongs to the two first. It is true that people of Negroid type are found

elsewhere, principally in Melanesia, but as yet their possible connexion

with the African Negro is little more than theoretical, and for the present

purposes it need not be considered.

The origin of the Bushman is lost in obscurity, but he may be conceived

as the original inhabitant of the southern portion of the continent. The

original home of the Negro, at first an agriculturist, is most probably to

be found in the neighbourhood of the great lakes, whence he penetrated

along the fringe of the Sahara to the west and across the eastern highlands

southward. Northerly expansion was prevented by the early occupation of the

Nile valley, the only easy route to the Mediterranean, but there seems no

doubt that the population of ancient Egypt contained a distinct Negroid

element. The question as to the ethnic affinities of the pre-dynastic

Egyptians is still unsolved; but they may be regarded as, in the main,

Hamitic, though it is a question how far it is just to apply a name which

implies a definite specialization in what may be comparatively modern times

to a people of such antiquity.

The Horn of Africa appears to have been the centre from which the Hamites

spread, and the pressure they seem to have applied to the Negro tribes,

themselves also in process of expansion, sent forth larger waves of

emigrants from the latter. These emigrants, already affected by the Hamitic

pastoral culture, and with a strain of Hamitic blood in their veins, passed

rapidly down the open tract in the east, doubtless exterminating their

predecessors, except such few as took refuge in the mountains and swamps.

The advance-guard of this wave of pastoral Negroids, in fact primitive

Bantu, mingled with the Bushmen and produced the Hottentots. The

penetration of the forest area must certainly have taken longer and was

probably accomplished as much from the south-east, up the Zambezi valley,

as from any other quarter. It was a more peaceful process, since natural

obstacles are unfavourable to rapid movements of large bodies of

immigrants, though not so serious as to prevent the spread of language and

culture. A modern parallel to the spread of Bantu speech is found in the

rise of the Hausa language, which is gradually enlarging its sphere of

influence in the western and central Sudan. Thus those qualities, physical

and otherwise, in which the Bantu approach the Hamites gradually fade as we

proceed westward through the Congo basin, while in the east, among the

tribes to the west of Tanganyika and on the upper Zambezi, ``transitional''

forms of culture are found. In later times this gradual pressure from the

south-east became greater, and resulted, at a comparatively recent date, in

the irruption of the Fang into the Gabun.

The earlier stages of the southern movement must have been accompanied by

a similar movement westward between the Sahara and the forest; and,

probably, at the same time, or even earlier, the Libyans crossing the

desert had begun to press upon the primitive Negroes from the north. In

this way were produced the Fula, who mingled further with the Negro to give

birth to the Mandingo, Wolof and Tukulor. It would appear that either

Libyan (Fula) or, less probably, Hamitic, blood enters into the composition

of the Zandeh peoples on the Nile-Congo watershed. These Libyans or

Berbers, included by G. Sergi in his ``Mediterranean Race,'' were active on

the north coast of Africa in very early times, and had relations with the

Egyptians from a prehistoric period. For long these movements continued,

always in the same direction, from north to south and from east to west;

though, of course, more rapid changes took place in the open country,

especially in the great eastern highway from north to south, than in the

forest area. Large states arose in the western Sudan; Ghana flourished in

the 7th century A.D., Melle in the 11th, Songhai in the 14th, and Bornu in

the 16th.

Meanwhile in the east began the southerly movement of the Bechuana, which

was probably,spread over a considerable period. Later than they, hut

proceeding faster, came the Zulu-Xosa (``Kaffir'') peoples, who followed a

line nearer the coast and outflanked them, surrounding them on the south.

Then followed a time of great ethnical confusion in South Africa, during

which tribes flourished, split up and disappeared; but ere this the culture

represented by the ruins in Rhodesia had waxed and waned. It is uncertain

who were the builders of the forts and ``cities,'' but it is not improbable

that they may be found to have been early Bechuana. The Zulu-Xosa, Bechuana

and Herero together form a group which may conveniently be termed

``Southern Bantu.',

Finally began a movement hitherto unparalleled in the history of African

migration; certain peoples of Zulu blood began to press north, spreading

destruction in their wake. Of these the principal were the Matabele and

Angoni. The movement continued as far as the Victoria Nyanza. Here, on the

border-line of Negro, Bantu and Hamite, important changes had taken place.

Certain of the Negro tribes had retired to the swamps of the Nile, and had

become somewhat specialized, both physically and culturally (Shilluk,

Dinka, Alur, Acholi, &c.). These had blended with the Hamites to produce

such races as the Masai and kindred tribes. The old Kitwara empire, which

comprised the plateau land between the Ruwenzori range and Kavirondo, had

broken up into small states, usually governed by a Hamitic (Ba-Hima)

aristocracy. The more extensive Zang (Zenj) empire, of which. the name

Zanzibar (Zanguebar) is a lasting memorial, extending along the sea-board

from Somaliland to the Zambezi, was also extinct. The Arabs had established

themselves firmly on the coast, and thence made continual slave-raids into

the interior, penetrating later to the Congo. The Swahili, inhabiting the

coast-line from the equator to about 16 deg. S., are a somewhat

heterogeneous mixture of Bantu with a tinge of Arab blood.

In the neighbourhood of Victoria Nyanza, where Hamite, Bantu, Nilotic

Negro and Pygmy are found in close contact, the ethnic relations of tribes

are often puzzling, but the Bantu not under a Hamitic domination have been

divided by F. Stuhlmann into the Older Bantu (Wanyamwezi, Wasukuma,

Wasambara, Waseguha, Wasagara, Wasaramo, &c.) and the Bantu of Later

Immigration (Wakikuyu, Wakamba, Wapokomo, Wataita, Wachaga, &c.), who are

more strongly Hamitized and in many cases have adopted Masai customs. These

peoples, from the Victoria Nyanza to the Zambezi, may conveniently be

termed the ``Eastern Bantu.''

Turning to the Congo basin in the south, the great Luba and Lunda peoples

are found stretching nearly across the continent, the latter, from at any

rate the end of the 16th century until the close of the 19th century, more

or less united under a single ruler, styled Muata Yanvo. These seem to have

been the most recent immigrants from the south-east, and to exhibit certain

affinities with the Barotse on the upper Zambezi. Among the western Baluba,

or Bashilange, a remarkable politico-religious revolution took place at a

comparatively recent date, initiated by a secret society termed Bena Riamba

or ``Sons of Hemp,'' and resulted in the subordination of the old fetishism

to a cult of hemp, in accordance with which all hemp-smokers consider

themselves brothers, and the duty of mutual hospitality, &c., is

acknowledged. North of these, in the great bend of the Congo, are the

Balolo, &c., the Balolo a nation of iron-workers; and westward, on the

Kasai, the Bakuba, and a large number of tribes as yet imperfectly known.

Farther west are the tribes of Angola, many of whom were included within

the old ``Congo empire,'' of which the kingdom of Loango was an offshoot.

North of the latter lies the Gabun, with a large number of small tribes

dominated by the Fang who are recent arrivals from the Congo. Farther to

the north are the Bali and other tribes of the Cameroon, among whom many

primitive Negroid elements begin to appear. Eastward are the Zandeh peoples

of the Welle district (primitive Negroids with a Hamitic or, more probably,

Libyan strain), with whom the Dor trine of Nilotes on their eastern border

show certain affinities; while to the west along the coast are the Guinea

Negroes of primitive type. Here, amidst great linguistic confusion, may be

distinguished the tribes of Yoruba speech in the Niger delta and the east

portion of the Slave Coast; those of Ewe speech, in the western portion of

the latter; and those of Ga and Tshi speech, on the Gold Coast. Among the

last two groups respectively may be mentioned the Dahomi and Ashanti.

Similar tribes are found along the coast to the Bissagos Islands, though

the introduction in Sierra Leone and Liberia of settlements of repatriated

slaves from the American plantations has in those places modified the

original ethnic distribution. Leaving the forest zone and entering the more

open country there are, on the north from the Niger to the Nile, a number

of Negroids strongly tinged with Libyan blood and professing the Mahommedan

religion. Such are the Mandingo, the Songhai, the Fula, Hausa, Kanuri,

Bagirmi, Kanembu, and the peoples of Wadai and Darfur; the few aborigines

who persist, on the southern fringe of the Chad basin, are imperfectly


Peculiar conditions in Madagascar.

The island of Madagascar, belonging to the African continent, still

remains for discussion. Here the ethnological conditions are people were

the Hova, a Malayo-Indonesian people who must have come from the Malay

Peninsula or the adjacent islands. The date of their immigration has been

line subject of a good deal of dispute, but it may be argued that their

arrival must have taken place in early times, since Malagasy speech, which

is the language of the island, is principally Malayo-Polynesian in origin,

and contains no traces of Sanskrit. Such traces, introduced with Hinduism,

are present in all the cultivated languages of Malaysia at the present

day.The Hova occupy the table-land of Imerina and form the first of the

three main groups into which the population of Madagascar may be divided.

They are short, of an olive-yellow complexion and have straight or faintly

wavy hair. On the east coast are the Malagasy, who in physical

characteristics stand halfway between the Hova and the Sakalava, the last

occupying the remaining portion of the island and displaying almost pure

Negroid characteristics.

Though the Hova belong to a race naturally addicted to seafaring, the

contrary is the case respecting the Negroid population, and the presence of

the latter in the island has been explained by the supposition that they

were imported by the Hova. Other authorities assign less antiquity to the

Hova immigration and believe that they found the Negroid tribes already in

occupation of the island.

As might be expected, the culture found in Madagascar contains two

elements, Negroid and Malayo-Indonesian. The first of these two shows

certain affinities with the culture characteristic of the western area of

Africa, such as rectangular huts, clothing of bark and palm-fibre,

fetishism, &c., but cattle-breeding is found as well as agriculture.

However, the Negroid tribes are more and more adopting the customs and mode

of life of the Hova, among whom are found pile-houses, the sarong, yadi or

tabu applied to food, a non-African form of bellows, &c., all

characteristic of their original home. The Hova, during the 19th century,

embraced Christianity, but retain, nevertheless, many of their old

animistic beliefs; their original social organization in three classes,

andriana or nobles, hova or freemen, and andevo or slaves, has been

modified by the French, who have abolished kingship and slavery. An Arab

infusion is also to be noticed, especially on the north-east and south-east


It is impossible to give a complete list of the tribes inhabiting Africa,

owing to the fact that the country is not fully explored. Even where the

names of the tribes are known their ethnic relations are still a matter of

uncertainty in many localities.

The following list, therefore, must be regarded as purely tentative, and

liable to correction in the light of fuller information:-



(North Africa, excluding Egypt)

Berbers, including – Kabyles, Mzab, Shawia, Tuareg


Fula (West Sudan)

Tibbu (Central Sudan)


(East Sudan and Horn of Africa)

Beja, including – Ababda, Hadendoa, Bisharin, Beni-Amer, Hamran, Galla,

Somali, Danakil (Afar)

Ba-Hima, including — Wa-Tussi, Wa-Hha, Wa-Rundi, Wa-Ruanda


Fellahin (Egypt)

Abyssinians (with Negroid admixture)





West Sudan Central Sudan Eastern

Tukulor Songhai Fur Kargo

Wolof Hausa Dago Kulfan

Serer Bagirmi Kunjara Kolaji

Leybu Kanembu Tegele Tumali

Mandingo, including— Kanuri Nuba

Kassonke Tama

Yallonke Maba Zandeh Tribes

Soninke Birkit (Akin to Nilotics,


Bambara Massalit probably with


Vei Korunga element)

Susu Kabbaga Azandeh (Niam


Solima &c. Makaraka

Malinke Mundu


Probably also— Ababwa

Mossi Mege

Borgu Abisanga

Tombo } Mabode{ probably

Gurma } Momfu { with Pygmy

Gurunga } { element

Dagomba } Probably with Mandingan element Allied are—

Mampursi } Banziri Languassi

Gonja } Ndris Wia-Wia

&c. } Togbo Awaka



West African Tribes

Tribes of Tshi and Ga Tribes of Yeruba

speech, including—- speech, including—


Balanta Ashanti Yoruba

Bagnori Safwi Ibadan

Bagnum Denkera Ketu

Felup, including— Bekwai Egba

Ayamat Nkoranza Jebu

Jola Adansi Remo

Jigush Assin Ode

Vaca Wassaw Illorin

Joat Ahanta Ijesa

Karon Fanti Ondo

Banyum Angona Mahin

Banjar Akwapim Bini

Fulum Akim Kakanda

Bayot Akwamu Wari

&c. Kwao Ibo

Bujagos Ga Efik

Biafare Andoni

Landuman Tribes of Ewe speech, Kwa

Nalu including— Ibibio

Baga Ekoi

Sape Dahomi Inokun

Bulam Eweawo Akunakuim

Mendi Agotine Munshi

Limba Krepi Ikwe

Gallina Avenor

Timni Awuna

Pessi Agbosomi

Gola Aflao

Kondo Ataklu

Bassa Krikor

Kru Geng

Grebo Attaldoami

Awekwom Aja

Agni Ewemi

Oshiu Appa

Central Negroes Eastern Negroes

Bolo Pure Nilotics

Yako Shilluk

Tangala Nuer

Kali Dinka

Mishi Jur (Diur)

Doma Mittu

Mosgu, including— Jibbeh

Mandara Madi

Margi Lendu

Logon Alur (Lur)

Gamergu Acholi

Keribina Abaka

Kuri Golo


Nilotics with affinity

Nilotics with Affinity with Masai

with Zandeh tribes Latuka

Dor (Bongo) Bari



Bali Ba-Kwiri Ja-Luo

Ba-Kossi Abo

Ba-Ngwa Dualla


Ngolo Ba-Noko Central Arica

Ba-Fo Ba-Puko Akka

Ba-Kundu Ba-Koko Ja-Mbute

Isubu Ba-Bongo




Western Central Eastern

Ogowe Luba-Lunda Group Lacustrians

Ashira Ba-Luba, including— Ba-Nyoro

Ishogo Ba-Songe Ba-Toro

Ashango Wa-Rua Wa-Siba

Bakalai Wa-Guha Wa-Sinja

Nkomi Katanga Wa-Kerewe

Orungu Ba-Shilange (with Wa-Shashi

Mpongwe Ba-Kete element) Wa-Rundi

Oshekiani Ba-Iro

Benga Ba-Lunda Ba-Ganda

Ininga Probably connected Ba-Soga

Galao are— Ba-Kavirondo,

Apingi Manyema including—

Okanda Ba-Kumu Awaware

Osaka Wa-Regga Awarimi

Aduma Ba-Rotse, including— Awakisii

Mbamba Ma-Mbunda &c.

Umbete Ma-Supia

Bule Ma-Shukulumbwe

Bane Ba-Tonga Bantu of Recent

Yaunde and probably Immigration

Maka Va-Lovale

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