Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
304
BAMBUTE—BAMIAN

"Malveisin" or "Evil neighbour." Earl Robert of Northumberland, who was in command of Bamburgh, having been defeated in a sally, the castle surrendered to William in November 1095. The first mention of Bamburgh as a borough does not occur until 1169, when the men paid 2½ marks to an aid. Henry III. by charter of 1254-1255 granted the burgesses their town at an annual fee farm rent of 26 marks, of which they were acquitted in 1318 and 1327 "on account of the robberies and fires inflicted on them by the Scots." Edward III. in 1332 confirmed the charter of Henry III., and granted further that the town should be a free borough governed by four bailiffs, that it should be enclosed by a wall and that the burgesses should have a gild merchant. He also altered the market-day from Sunday to Wednesday, and gave licence for the fairs, which had been held "from time immemorial" on the feasts of SS. Oswald and Aidan, to continue for three extra days. During the Scottish wars of the reign of Henry V., Bamburgh again suffered severely, so much so that in 1439 the burgesses had decreased in number from 120 to 13. These again petitioned for a remission of their farm, which in 1446 was reduced to £10 yearly. Bamburgh was twice taken by the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses and twice recovered by Queen Margaret. In 1463, after it had been recovered a second time by the queen, Henry VI. stayed there for a year, but after the battle of Hexham it was again taken by the Yorkists, and the castle and town were then so much injured that from that time there is no mention of the burgesses or their privileges. Bamburgh returned two members to parliament in 1295 and again in Edward III.'s reign, but since then has never been represented. In 1384 Lord Neville received licence to dig for sea-coal in Bamburgh, and mines of coal and lead existed there as late as 1681.

BAMBUTE (sometimes incorrectly called Batwa), a race of pygmies of the Semliki Forest, on the western borders of the Uganda Protectorate between Albert Nyanza and Albert Edward Nyanza. They probably form merely a branch of the pygmy race of Equatorial Africa, represented farther west by H. von Wissmann's Batwa (q.v.). Their complexion varies from reddish-yellow to brownish-black, with head-hair often of a russet-brown, and body-hair, black and bristly on upper lip, chin, chest, axillae and pubes, yellowish and fleecy on cheeks, back and limbs. Their average height is 4 ft. 9 in. Even when forced to keep clean, their skins give out a rancid odour, something (Sir H. H. Johnston says) between the smell of a monkey and a negro. Their faces are remarkable for the long upper lip, and the bridgeless nose with enormous alae (the cartilage of the nose above the nostrils). Like the Batwa they are nomad hunters, building only huts of sticks and leaves, and living in the forest, where they hunt the largest game with no weapon but a tiny bow from which they shoot poisoned arrows. Sir H. H. Johnston states that the Bambute have a good idea of drawing, and with a sharpened stick can sketch in sand or mud the beasts and birds known to them. The Bambute do not tattoo or scar, nor have they any love of ornament, wearing no ear-rings, necklets, anklets, &c. The upper incisors and canines are sharpened to a point. In the forests they go quite naked. They speak a corrupted form of the dialects of their negro neighbours. They have a peculiar way of singing their words. Their voices are low and musical and the pronunciation is singularly staccato, every syllable being separately uttered. They show no trace of spirit or ancestor worship, but have some idea that thunder, lightning and rain are manifestations of an Evil Power, and that the dead are reincarnated in the red bush-pig. They have no tribal government, accepting as temporary lawgiver some adept hunter. Marriage is by purchase; polygamy seems to exist, but the domestic affections are strong. The dead are buried in dug graves, and food, tobacco and weapons are often placed with the corpse. The Bambute are very musical, though they are uninventive as regards instruments. They have many songs which they sing well and they dance with spirit.

See A. de Quatrefages, The Pygmies (Eng. edit. 1895); Sir H. H. Johnston, Uganda Protectorate (1902).

BAMFORD, SAMUEL (1788-1872), English labour politician, was born at Miston, near Middleton, Lancashire, on the 28th of February 1788. Himself a stalwart weaver, he was opposed to physical force movements and did all he could to restrain the violent resistance to trade oppression which was so common; yet through attending and speaking at the meeting (1819) at Peterloo, Manchester (q.v.), which was intended to be a peaceful gathering to petition for Parliamentary reform and a repeal of the Corn Law but ended in a massacre, he was arrested for a breach of the law, convicted and sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment. He was the author of several widely popular poems (principally in the Lancashire dialect) showing sympathy with the conditions of his class, and his Passages in the Life of a Radical (1840-1844) is an authoritative history of the condition of the working classes in the years succeeding the battle of Waterloo. He died at Harpurhey on the 13th of April 1872, and was accorded a public funeral, attended by thousands.

BAMIAN, a once renowned city of Afghanistan, situated about 80 m. N.W. of Kabul. Its remains lie in a valley of the Hazara country, on the chief road from Kabul towards Turkestan, and immediately at the northern foot of that prolongation of the Indian Caucasus now called Koh-i-Baba. The passes on the Kabul side are not less than 11,000 and 12,000 ft. in absolute height, and those immediately to the north but little inferior. The height of the valley was fixed at about 8500 ft., and the surrounding country carefully surveyed by Major Pelham J. Maitland and the Hon. M. G. Talbot, during the progress of the Russo-Afghan Boundary Commission in November 1885. The river draining the valley is one of the chief sources of the Sarkhab (Surkhab) or Aksarai, an important tributary of the Upper Oxus. The prominences of the cliffs which line the valley are crowned by the remains of numerous massive towers, whilst their precipitous faces are for 6 or 7 m. pierced by an infinity of ancient cave-dwellings, some of which are still occupied. The actual site of the old city is marked by mounds and remains of walls, and on an isolated rock in the middle of the valley are considerable ruins of what appears to have been the acropolis, now known to the people as Ghulgulah. But the most famous remains at Bamian are two colossal standing idols, carved in the cliffs on the north side of the valley. They are 173 ft. and 120 ft. high respectively. These images, which have been much injured, apparently by cannon-shot, are cut in niches in the rock, and both images and niches have been coated with stucco. There is an inscription, not yet interpreted, over the greater idol, and on each side of its niche are staircases leading to a chamber near the head, which shows traces of elaborate ornamentation in azure and gilding. These chambers are used by the amir as store-houses for grain. The surface of the niches also has been painted with figures. In one of the branch valleys is a similar colossus, somewhat inferior in size to the second of these two; and there are indications of other niches and idols. Chahilburj, 28 m. from Zari, on the road to Balkh by the Balkhab, at the east end of the Sokhtagi valley; Shahr-i-Babar, about 45 m. above Chahilburj; and Gawargin, 6 m. above Shahr-i-Babar, are all fortified sites of about the same age as the relics at Bamian. At Haibak there is a very perfect excavation called the Takht-i-Rustam (a general name for all incomprehensible constructions amongst the modern inhabitants of Afghan Turkestan), which consists of an annular ditch enclosing a platform, with a small house about 21 ft. square above it, all cut out of the solid rock. There are hundreds of caves in this neighbourhood, all pointing to a line of Buddhist occupation connecting Balkh with Kabul. As seen from the rock of Ghulgulah, Bamian, with its ruined towers, its colossi, its innumerable grottos, and with the singular red colour of its barren soil, presents an impressive aspect of desolation and mystery.

That the idols of Bamian, about which so many conjectures have been uttered, were Buddhist figures, is ascertained from the narrative of the Chinese pilgrim, Hsüan-Tsang, who saw them in their splendour in A.D. 630, and was verified by the officers above named, who discovered other Buddhist caves and excavations in the valleys of the Balkhab and Sarikol.