Wagogo

Name ID 1376

See also

Boyes, John (ed. Mike Resnick) Company of Adventurers
Page Number: 125a
Extract Date: 1903

Avoiding Mbugwe and Arusha

Before leaving Mgodi we laid in a good supply of provisions, as the road we intended to take to British territory lay through an uninhabited part where food could not be obtained and water was also very scarce. On the fourth day of our march we came to Irangi. We had a badly needed wash and then got our papers ready to go to the boma. The Government officer was away hunting, but the sergeant in charge was very friendly. I camped near the Government station, and had all the Indian shopkeepers and traders round my tent during the day. While waiting I bought a number of head of cattle at a dear rate. Then I went up again to the boma to get my papers signed, and was advised not to go near Mbugwe or Arusha, where cattle disease had broken out. Having learnt that there was a path through the wilds which avoided these places, I decided to take it. All round I noticed dried up rivers, but in the rainy season the country must be a huge swamp. The Natives were Wagogo, much resembling the Masai in appearance.

Our next march was to Buyuni, going through a forest without seeing a drop of water from leaving camp at 6 a.m. until our mid-day rest at 2. Marching on again for an hour and a half, we went into camp near a very large mbuyu tree, in the trunk of which a hollow was cut about six feet square, forming a little cabin in which some of the men slept. It was now a nightly occurrence for the hyenas to come howling round.

Extract ID: 3606

See also

Ondaatje, Christopher Journey to the Source of the Nile
Page Number: 122
Extract Date: 1996

Rubeho Mountains

Gourds are still used by all tribes to hold water, milk, honey, and other liquids.

We met members of the Wagogo tribe (proof that we had reached Ugogo), and saw the typical settlements of flat-topped, thatched houses. We bumped our way a long distance down into the valley, then followed a meagre track through the mountains.

Along the way, we noticed a plant with a milkweed-like pod that is valued by the Hadza tribe. The plant contains an intensely poisonous, sticky substance which the Hadza use to coat the points of their arrows and spears. It easily kills pigs, deer, wild boar, antelopes — and human beings. Thad recognized the plant and stopped to gather some. I was careful not to touch any part of it.

Burton referred to all his camps when crossing the Rubeho Mountains as "Rubeho." He spent five nights in the hills before he dropped into the plains, which he called "Ugogi." As he prepared to attack the pass, Burton could hardly bear to face the difficulties of the ascent. The sicknesses of many different types that assailed them throughout the trip had already begun to take their toll: "The great labor still remained. Trembling with ague, with swimming heads, ears deafened by weakness, and limbs that would hardly support us, we contemplated with a dogged despair the apparently perpendic¬ular path ... up which we and our starving drooping asses were about to toil."

The air of the pass seemed to help Burton recover a little, although Speke's condition worsened and he needed to be carried as they proceeded: "By resting after every few yards, and by clinging to our supporters, we reached, after about six hours, the summit of the Pass Terrible, and there we sat down among the aromatic flowers and bright shrubs — the gift of mountain dews to recover strength and breath…. At length a hammock was rigged up for my companion."

Extract ID: 5748

See also

Ondaatje, Christopher Journey to the Source of the Nile
Page Number: 125
Extract Date: 1996

The place where it sank

Dodoma began as a settlement of thatched huts of the Gogo, a tribe that Stanley called, "masters in foxy craft." The settlement grew with the arrival of the railway at the beginning of the twentieth century. The railway stations became the centres of the towns that lined the old caravan routes. That is where the markets and shops were established.

Dodoma dwindled considerably during the First World War, when thirty thousand people died of starvation in a famine caused by the misappropriation of food supplies by the Germans and the British. In the 1970s the Tanzanian government declared that Dodoma was to replace Dar es Salaam as the capital in the 1980s, but this still has not happened.

"Idodomya," Meaning "the place where it sank" and referring to an elephant that got stuck in the mud of a Gogo washing hole, is a phrase that gave the town its name on German maps. The name, like the elephant, stuck.

Extract ID: 5751
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