CENTRAL SUDAN STATES 343 bartering salt and manufactured goods for ivory, slaves, ostrich feathers, and copper. But the political power belongs to the Mohammedan Mabas, a Negro people who occupy the north-eastern parts of Wadai proper, and whose language forms the chief medium of intercourse throughout the State. Like the Arabs, the Mabas, who have lately joined the Senusiya 'revivalists,' are fanatical followers of the Prophet. Abu Said, who was proclaimed Sultan m January, 1899, has absolute power, limited by custom and the precepts of the Koran, But he rules directly only over the north-east of Wadai proper, which is divided into provinces named from the cardinal points and administered by Kamakels (viceroys), who have the power of life and death. The Sultan himself is assisted by a Fasher or Council, while the law, that is, the Koran, is interpreted by the College of Fakihs or Ulemas. The army, about 7,000 strong, is chiefly employed in levying tribute in kind (slaves, horses, cattle, honey, corn) from the provinces and vassal States. The capital of the Sultanate is Abeshr (Abesheh). Of the vassal States, the most important is Kanem, between Wadai and Lake Chad. Kanem, which is about 30,000 square miles in extent, occu- pies the eastern and northern shores of Lake Chad, and stretches north to the verge of the Sahara, Bopulation about 100,000, chiefly Kanem-bu — that is, people of Kanem, akin to the Dasas (southern Tibus), and held in sulijec- tion by the Aulad-Sliman Arabs, Although they can now muster no more than 1,000 armed men, the Aulad-Slimau are perhaps the fiercest marauders in the whole of North Africa, Mao, residence of the political agent of Wadai, lies in the centre of Kanem, about a day's march south-east of Njimi the cajtital of the State. References. Barth (H.), Travels and Discoveries in North and Central Africa, In " Minerva Library." S. Loudon, 1S90. Johnston (Sir Harry), History of the Colonisation of Africa. Cambridge, 1S99. Keltie (J. Scott), The Partition of Africa. 2nd ed. London, 189iJ, Nachtigal (Gustav), Sahara and Sudan. Vol. IL 2 vols, 8. Berlin, 1879-81. Heclus, Universal Geography. Vol. XIL White (A, Silva), The Development of Africa, London, 1890.
Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/699
This page needs to be proofread.