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Africa is the world's second-largest continent in both area and population, after Asia. At c. 30,244,050 km² (11,677,240 mi²) including its adjacent islands, it covers 20.3% of the total land area on Earth, and with over 800 million human inhabitants, it accounts for about one seventh of Earth's human population.


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From LoveToKnow 1911

AFRICA, the name of a continent representing the largest of the three great southward projections from the main mass of the earth's surface. It includes within its remarkably regular outline an area, according to the most recent computations, of 11,262,000 sq. m., excluding the islands.' Separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea, it is joined to Asia at its N.E. extremity by the Isthmus of Suez, 80 m. wide. From the most northerly point, Ras ben Sakka, a little west of Cape Blanc, in 37°21' N., to the most southerly point, Cape Agulhas, 34° 51' 15" S., is a distance approximately of 5000 m.; from Cape Verde, 17° 33' 22" W., the westernmost point, to Ras Hafun, 51° 27' 52" E., the most easterly projection, is a distance (also approximately) of 4600 m. The length of coast-line is 16,100 m. and the absence of deep indentations of the shore is shown by the fact that Europe, which covers only 3,760,000 sq. m., has a coast-line of 19,800 m.

I. Physical Geography The main structural lines of the continent show both the east-to-west direction characteristic, at least in the eastern hemisphere, of the more northern parts of the world, and the north-to-south direction seen in the southern peninsulas. Africa is thus composed of two segments at right angles, the northern running from east to west, the southern from north to south, the subordinate lines corresponding in the main to these two directions.

Table of contents

Main Geographical Features

The mean elevation of the continent approximates closely to 2000 ft., which is roughly the elevation of both North and South America, but is considerably less than that of Asia (3117 ft.). In contrast with the other continents it is marked by the comparatively small area both of very high and of very low ground, lands under 600 ft. occupying an unusually small part of the surface; while not only are the highest elevations inferior to those of Asia and South America, but the area of land over 10,000 ft. is also quite insignificant, being represented almost entirely by individual peaks and mountain ranges. Moderately elevated tablelands are thus the characteristic feature of the continent, though the surface of these is broken by higher peaks and ridges. (So prevalent are these isolated peaks and ridges that a special term [Inselberglandschaft] has been adopted in Germany to describe this kind of country, which is thought to be in great part the result of wind action.) As a general rule, the higher tablelands lie to the east and south, while a progressive diminution in altitude towards the west and north is observable. Apart from the lowlands and the Atlas range, the continent may be divided into two regions of higher and lower plateaus, the dividing line (somewhat concave to the north-west) running from the middle of the Red Sea to about 6° S. on the west coast. We thus obtain the following four main divisions of the continent: - (1) The coast plains - often fringed seawards by mangrove swamps - never stretching far from the coast, except on the lower courses of streams. Recent alluvial flats are found chiefly in the delta of the more important rivers. Elsewhere the coast lowlands merely form the lowest steps of the system of terraces which constitutes the ascent to the inner plateaus. (2) The Atlas range, which, orographically, is distinct from the rest of the continent, being unconnected with any other area of high ground, and separated from the rest of the continent on the south by a depressed and desert area (the Sahara), in places below sea-level. (3) The high southern and eastern plateaus, rarely falling below 2000 ft., and having a mean elevation of about 3500 ft. (4) The north and west African plains, bordered and traversed by bands of higher ground, but generally below 2000 ft. This division includes the great desert of the Sahara.

The third and fourth divisions may be again subdivided. Thus the high plateaus include: - (a) The South African plateau as far as about 12° S., bounded east, west and south by bands of high ground which fall steeply to the coasts. On this account South Africa has a general resemblance to an inverted saucer. Due south the plateau rim is formed by three parallel steps with level ground between them. The largest of these level areas, the Great Karroo, is a dry, barren region, and a large tract of the plateau proper is of a still more arid character and is known as the Kalahari Desert. The South African plateau is connected towards the north-east with (b) the East African plateau, with probably a slightly greater average elevation, and marked by some distinct features. It is formed by a widening out of the eastern axis of high ground, which becomes subdivided into a number of zones running north and south and consisting in turn of ranges, tablelands and depressions. The most striking feature is the existence of two great lines of depression, due largely to the subsidence of whole segments of the earth's crust, the lowest parts of which are occupied by vast lakes. Towards the south the two lines converge and give place to one great valley (occupied by Lake Nyasa), the southern part of which is less distinctly due to rifting and subsidence than the rest of the system. Farther north the western depression, sometimes known as the Central African trough or Albertine rift-valley, is occupied for more than half its length by water, forming the four lakes of Tanganyika, Kivu, Albert Edward and Albert, the first-named over 400 m. long and the longest freshwater lake in the world. Associated with these great valleys are a number of volcanic peaks, the greatest of which occur on a meridional line east of the eastern trough. The eastern depression, known as the East African trough or rift-valley, contains much smaller lakes, many of them brackish and without outlet, the only one comparable to those of the western trough being Lake Rudolf or Basso Norok. At no great distance east of this rift-valley are Kilimanjaro - with its two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi, the former 19,321 ft., and the culminating point of the whole continent - and Kenya (17,007 ft.). Hardly less important is the Ruwenzori range (over 16,600 ft.), which lies east of the western trough. Other volcanic peaks rise from the floor of the valleys, some of the Kirunga (Mfumbiro) group, north of Lake Kivu, being still partially active. (c) The third division of the higher region of Africa is formed by the Abyssinian highlands, a rugged mass of mountains forming the largest continuous area of its altitude in the whole continent, little of its surface falling below 5000 ft., while the summits reach heights of 15,000 to 16,000 ft. This block of country lies just west of the line of the great East African trough, the northern continuation of which passes along its eastern escarpment as it runs up to join the Red Sea. There is, however, in the centre a circular basin occupied by Lake Tsana.

Both in the east and west of the continent the bordering highlands are continued as strips of plateau parallel to the coast, the Abyssinian mountains being continued northwards along the Red Sea coast by a series of ridges reaching in places a height of 7000 ft. In the west the zone of high land is broader but somewhat lower. The most mountainous districts lie inland from the head of the Gulf of Guinea (Adamawa, &c.), where heights of 6000 to 8000 ft. are reached. Exactly at the head of the gulf the great peak of the Cameroon, on a line of volcanic action continued by the islands to the south-west, has a height of 13,370 ft., while Clarence Peak, in Fernando Po, the first of the line of islands, rises to over 9000. Towards the extreme west the Futa Jallon highlands form an important diverging point of rivers, but beyond this, as far as the Atlas chain, the elevated rim of the continent is almost wanting.

The area between the east and west coast highlands, which north of 17° N. is mainly desert, is divided into separate basins by other bands of high ground, one of which runs nearly centrally through North Africa in a line corresponding roughly with the curved axis of the continent as a whole. The best marked of the basins so formed (the Congo basin) occupies a circular area bisected by the equator, once probably the site of an inland sea. The arid region, the Sahara - the largest desert in the world, covering 3,500,000 sq. m. - extends from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Though generally of slight elevation it contains mountain ranges with peaks rising to 8000 ft. Bordered N.W. by the Atlas range, to the N.E. a rocky plateau separates it from the Mediterranean; this plateau gives place at the extreme east to the delta of the Nile. That river (see below) pierces the desert without modifying its character. The Atlas range, the north-westerly part of the continent, between its seaward and landward heights encloses elevated steppes in places 100 m. broad. From the inner slopes of the plateau numerous wadis take a direction towards the Sahara. The greater part of that now desert region is, indeed, furrowed by old water-channels.





Rungwe (Nyasa) .


Chad .


Drakensberg. .


Leopold II

I 100

Lereko or Sattima


Rudolf .


(Aberdare Range)

Cameroon .


Nyasa .

Albert Nyanza

16 45 2


Elgon .


Tanganyika .


Karissimbi (Mfum-

biro) .


Ngami .




Meru .


Albert Edward


Tagharat (Atlas) .


Bangweulu. .


Simen Mountains,



Victoria Nyanza


37 202






Kenya .


Tsana .





61 35 2

The following table gives the approximate altitudes of the chief mountains and lakes of the continent: - The Hydrographic Systems. - From the outer margin of the African plateaus a large number of streams run to the sea with comparatively short courses, while the larger rivers flow for long 1 Estimated.

2 See the calculations of Capt. T. T. Behrens, Geog. Journal, vol. xxix. (1907).

distances on the interior highlands before breaking through the outer ranges. The main drainage of the continent is to the north and west, or towards the basin of the Atlantic Ocean. The high lake plateau of East Africa contains the head-waters of the Nile and Congo: the former the longest, the latter the largest river of the continent. The upper Nile receives its chief supplies from the mountainous region adjoining the Central African trough in the neighbourhood of the equator. Thence streams pour east to the Victoria Nyanza, the largest African lake (covering over 26,000 sq. m.), and west and north to the Albert Edward and Albert Nyanzas, to the latter of which the effluents of the other two lakes add their waters. Issuing from it the Nile flows north, and between 7° and 10 N. traverses a vast marshy level during which its course is liable to blocking by floating vegetation. After receiving the Bahr-el-Ghazal from the west and the Sobat, Blue Nile and Atbara from the Abyssinian highlands (the chief gathering ground of the flood-water), it crosses the great desert and enters the Mediterranean by a vast delta. The most remote head-stream of the Congo is the Chambezi, which flows south-west into the marshy Lake Bangweulu. From this lake issues the Congo, known in its upper course by various names. Flowing first south, it afterwards turns north through Lake Mweru and descends to the forest-clad basin of west equatorial Africa. Traversing this in a majestic northward curve and receiving vast supplies of water from many great tributaries, it finally turns south-west and cuts a way to the Atlantic Ocean through the western highlands. North of the Congo basin and separated from it by a broad undulation of the surface is the basin of Lake Chad - a flat-shored, shallow lake filled principally by the Shari coming from the south-east. West of this is the basin of the Niger, the third river of Africa, which, though flowing to the Atlantic, has its principal source in the far west, and reverses the direction of flow exhibited by the Nile and Congo. An important branch, however - the Benue - comes from the south-east. These four river-basins occupy the greater part of the lower plateaus of North and West Africa, the remainder consisting of arid regions watered only by intermittent streams which do not reach the sea. Of the remaining rivers of the Atlantic basin the Orange, in the extreme south, brings the drainage from the Drakensberg on the opposite side of the continent, while the Kunene, Kwanza, Ogowe and Sanaga drain the west coast highlands of the southern limb; the Volta, Komoe, Bandama, Gambia and Senegal the highlands of the western limb. North of the Senegal for over 1000 m. of coast the arid region reaches to the Atlantic. Farther north are the streams, with comparatively short courses, which reach the Atlantic and Mediterranean from the Atlas mountains.

Of the rivers flowing to the Indian Ocean the only one draining any large part of the interior plateaus is the Zambezi, whose western branches rise in the west coast highlands. The main stream has its rise in 11° 21' 3" S. 24° 22' E. at an elevation of 5000 ft. It flows west and south for a considerable distance before turning to the east. All the largest tributaries, including the Shire, the outflow of Lake Nyasa, flow down the southern slopes of the band of high ground which stretches across the continent in to 12° S. In the south-west the Zambezi system interlaces with that of the Taukhe (or Tioghe), from which it at times receives surplus water. The rest of the water of the Taukhe, known in its middle course as the Okavango, is lost in a system of swamps and saltpans which formerly centred in Lake Ngami, now dried up. Farther south the Limpopo drains a portion of the interior plateau but breaks through the bounding highlands on the side of the continent nearest its source. The Rovuma, Rufiji, Tana, Juba and Webi Shebeli principally drain the outer slopes of the East African highlands, the last named losing itself in the sands in close proximity to the sea. Another large stream, the Hawash, rising in the Abyssinian mountains, is lost in a saline depression near the Gulf of Aden. Lastly, between the basins of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans there is an area of inland drainage along the centre of the East African plateau, directed chiefly into the lakes in the great rift-valley. The largest river is the Omo., which, fed by the rains of the Abyssinian highlands, carries down a large body of water into Lake Rudolf. The rivers of Africa are generally obstructed either by bars at their mouths or by cataracts at no great distance up-stream. But when these obstacles have been overcome the rivers and lakes afford a network of navigable waters of vast extent.

The calculation of the areas of African drainage systems, made by Dr A. Bludau (Petermann Mitteilungen, 43, 1897, pp. 184-186) gives the following general results: Basin of the Atlantic .

� � Mediterranean. 4,070,000 sq. m.

Congo (length over 3000 m.) .

. 1,425,000 sq. m.

Nile (� fully 4000 m.) .

. 1,082,000 2 �

Niger (,, about 2600 m.) .

. 808,0002

Zambezi (� � 2000 m.) ,


Lake Chad .


Orange (length about 1300 m.) .

g (g 3)


. �

37 ,5 �

(actual drainage area) .

172,500 �

. I,680,000 � � � Indian Ocean. 2,086,000 � Inland drainage area. .. � 3,452,000 The areas of individual river-basins are: The area of the Congo basin is greater than that of any other river except the Amazon, while the African inland drainage area is greater than that of any continent but Asia, in which the corresponding area is 4,900,000 sq. m.

The principal African lakes have been mentioned in the description of the East African plateau, but some of the phenomena connected with them may be spoken of more particularly here. As a rule the lakes which occupy portions of the great rift-valleys have steep sides and are very deep. This is the case with the two largest of the type, Tanganyika and Nyasa, the latter of which has depths of 430 fathoms. Others, however, are shallow, and hardly reach the steep sides of the valleys in the dry season. Such are Lake Rukwa, in a subsidiary depression north of Nyasa, and Eiassi and Manyara in the system of the eastern rift-valley. Lakes of the broad type are of moderate depth, the deepest sounding in [[Victoria (disambiguation)|Victoria ]] being under 50 fathoms. Apart from the seasonal variations of level, most of the lakes show periodic fluctuations, while a progressive desiccation of the whole region is said to be traceable, tending to the ultimate disappearance of the lakes. Such a drying up has been in progress during long geologic ages, but doubt exists as to its practical importance at the present time. The periodic fluctuations in the level of Lake Tanganyika are such that its outflow is intermittent. Besides the East African lakes the principal are: - Lake Chad, in the northern area of inland drainage; Bangweulu and Mweru, traversed by the head-stream of the Congo; and Leopold II. and Ntomba (Mantumba), within the great bend of that river. All, except possibly Mweru, are more or less shallow, and Chad appears to by drying up. The altitudes of the African lakes have already been stated.

Divergent opinions have been held as to the mode of origin of the East African lakes, especially Tanganyika, which some geologists have considered to represent an old arm of the sea, dating from a time when the whole central Congo basin was under water; others holding that the lake water has accumulated in a depression caused by subsidence. The former view is based on the existence in the lake of organisms of a decidedly marine type. They include a jelly-fish, molluscs, prawns, crabs, &c., and were at first considered to form an isolated group found in no other of the African lakes; but this supposition has been proved to be erroneous.


With one exception - Madagascar - the African islands are small. Madagascar, with an area of 229,820 sq. m., is, after New Guinea and Borneo, the largest island of the world. It lies off the S.E. coast of the continent, from which it is separated by the deep Mozambique channel, 250 m. wide at its narrowest point. Madagascar in its general structure, as in flora and fauna, forms a connecting link between Africa and southern Asia. East of Madagascar are the small islands of Mauritius and Reunion. Sokotra lies E.N.E. of Cape Guardafui. Off the 1 The estimate of Capt. H. G. Lyons in 1905 was 1,107,227 sq. m.

2 Including waterless tracts naturally belonging to the river-basin.

north-west coast are the Canary and Cape Verde archipelagoes, which, like some small islands in the Gulf of Guinea, are of volcanic origin.

Climate and Health

Lying almost entirely within the tropics, and equally to north and south of the equator, Africa does not show excessive variations of temperature. Great heat is experienced in the lower plains and desert regions of North Africa, removed by the great width of the continent from the influence of the ocean, and here, too, the contrast between day and night, and between summer and winter, is greatest. (The rarity of the air and the great radiation during the night cause the temperature in the Sahara to fall occasionally to freezing point.) Farther south, the heat is to some extent modified by the moisture brought from the ocean, and by the greater elevation of a large part of the surface, especially in East Africa, where the range of temperature is wider than in the Congo basin or on the Guinea coast. In the extreme north and south the climate is a warm temperate one, the northern countries being on the whole hotter and drier than those in the southern zone; the south of the continent being narrower than the north, the influence of the surrounding ocean is more felt. The most important climatic differences are due to variations in the amount of rainfall. The wide heated plains of the Sahara, and in a lesser degree the corresponding zone of the Kalahari in the south, have an exceedingly scanty rainfall, the winds which blow over them from the ocean losing part of their moisture as they pass over the outer highlands, and becoming constantly drier owing to the heating effects of the burning soil of the interior; while the scarcity of mountain ranges in the more central parts likewise tends to prevent condensation. In the inter-tropical zone of summer precipitation, the rainfall is greatest when the sun is vertical or soon after. It is therefore greatest of all near the equator, where the sun is twice vertical, and less in the direction of both tropics. The rainfall zones are, however, somewhat deflected from a due west-to-east direction, the drier northern conditions extending southwards along the east coast, and those of the south northwards along the west. Within the equatorial zone certain areas, especially on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea and in the upper Nile basin, have an intensified rainfall, but this rarely approaches that of the rainiest regions of the world. The rainiest district in all Africa is a strip of coastland west of Mount Cameroon, where there is a mean annual rainfall of about 390 in. as compared with a mean of 458 in. at Cherrapunji, in Assam. The two distinct rainy seasons of the equatorial zone, where the sun is vertical at half-yearly intervals, become gradually merged into one in the direction of the tropics, where the sun is overhead but once. Snow falls on all the higher mountain ranges, and on the highest the climate is thoroughly Alpine. The countries bordering the Sahara are much exposed to a very dry wind, full of fine particles of sand, blowing from the desert towards the sea. Known in Egypt as the khamsin, on the Mediterranean as the sirocco, it is called on the Guinea coast the harmattan. This wind is not invariably hot; its great dryness causes so much evaporation that cold is not infrequently the result. Similar dry winds blow from the Kalahari in the south. On the eastern coast the monsoons of the Indian Ocean are regularly felt, and on the south-east hurricanes are occasionally experienced.

While the climate of the north and south, especially the south, is eminently healthy, and even the intensely heated Sahara is salubrious by reason of its dryness, the tropical zone as a whole is, for European races, the most unhealthy portion of the world. This is especially the case in the lower and moister regions, such as the west coast, where malarial fever is very prevalent and deadly; the most unfavourable factors being humidity with absence of climatic variation (daily or seasonal). The higher plateaus, where not only is the average temperature lower, but such variations are more extensive, are more healthy; and in certain localities (e.g. Abyssinia and parts of British East Africa) Europeans find the climate suitable for permanent residence. On tablelands over 6500 ft. above the sea, frost is not uncommon at night, even in places directly under the equator. The acclimatization of white men in tropical Africa generally is dependent largely on the successful treatment of tropical diseases. Districts which had been notoriously deadly to Europeans were rendered comparatively healthy after the discovery, in 1899, of the species of mosquito which propagates malarial fever, and the measures thereafter taken for its destruction and the filling up of swamps. The rate of mortality among the natives from tropical diseases is also high, one of the most fatal being that known as sleeping sickness. (The ravages of this disease, which also attacks Europeans, reached alarming proportions between 1893 and 1907, and in the last-named year an international conference was held in London to consider measures to combat it.) When removed to colder regions natives of the equatorial districts suffer greatly from chest complaints. Smallpox also makes great ravages among the negro population.


The vegetation of Africa follows very closely the distribution of heat and moisture. The northern and southern temperate zones have a flora distinct from that of the continent generally, which is tropical. In the countries bordering the Mediterranean are groves of oranges and olive trees, evergreen oaks, cork trees and pines, intermixed with cypresses, myrtles, arbutus and fragrant tree-heaths. South of the Atlas range the conditions alter. The zones of minimum rainfall have a very scanty flora, consisting of plants adapted to resist the great dryness. Characteristic of the Sahara is the date-palm, which flourishes where other vegetation can scarcely maintain existence, while in the semi-desert regions the acacia (whence is obtained gum-arabic) is abundant. The more humid regions have a richer vegetation - dense forest where the rainfall is greatest and variations of temperature least, conditions found chiefly on the tropical coasts, and in the west African equatorial basin with its extension towards the upper Nile; and savanna interspersed with trees on the greater part of the plateaus, passing as the desert regions are appNoached into a scrub vegetation consisting of thorny acacias, &c. Forests also occur on the humid slopes of mountain ranges up to a certain elevation. In the coast regions the typical tree is the mangrove, which flourishes wherever the soil is of a swamp character. The dense forests of West Africa contain, in addition to a great variety of dicotyledonous trees, two palms, the Elaeis guincensis (oil-palm) and Raphia vinifera (bamboo-palm), not found, generally speaking, in the savanna regions. The bombax or silk-cotton tree attains gigantic proportions in the forests, which are the home of the indiarubber-producing plants and of many valuable kinds of timber trees, such as odum (Chlorophora excelsa), ebony, mahogany (Khaya senegalensis), African teak or oak (Oldfieldia africana) and camwood (Baphia nitida). The climbing plants in the tropical forests are exceedingly luxuriant and the undergrowth or " bush " is extremely dense. In the savannas the most characteristic trees are the monkey bread tree or baobab (Adansonia digitata), doom palm (Hyphaene) and euphorbias. The coffee plant grows wild in such widely separated places as Liberia and southern Abyssinia. The higher mountains have a special flora showing close agreement over wide intervals of space, as well as affinities with the mountain flora of the eastern Mediterranean, the Himalayas and IndoChina (cf. A. Engler, Ober die Hochgebirgsflora des tropischen Afrika, 1892).

In the swamp regions of north-east Africa the papyrus and associated plants, including the soft-wooded ambach, flourish in immense quantities - and little else is found in the way of vegetation. South Africa is largely destitute of forest save in the lower valleys and coast regions. Tropical flora disappears, and in the semi-desert plains the fleshy, leafless, contorted species of kapsias, mesembryanthemums, aloes and other succulent plants make their appearance. There are, too, valuable timber trees, such as the yellow pine (Podocarpus elongatus), stinkwood (Ocotea), sneezewood or Cape ebony (Pteroxylon utile) and ironwood. Extensive miniature woods of heaths are found in almost endless variety and covered throughout the greater part of the year with innumerable blossoms in which red is very prevalent. Of the grasses of Africa alfa is very abundant in the plateaus of the Atlas range.


The fauna again shows the effect of the characteristics of the vegetation. The open savannas are the home of large ungulates, especially antelopes, the giraffe (peculiar to Africa), zebra, buffalo, wild ass and four species of rhinoceros; and of carnivores, such as the lion, leopard, hyaena, &c. The okapi (a genus restricted to Africa) is found only in the dense forests of the Congo basin. Bears are confined to the Atlas region, wolves and foxes to North Africa. The elephant (though its range has become restricted through the attacks of hunters) is found both in the savannas and forest regions, the latter being otherwise poor in large game, though the special habitat of the chimpanzee and gorilla. Baboons and mandrills, with few exceptions, are peculiar to Africa. The single-humped camel - as a domestic animal - is especially characteristic of the northern deserts and steppes.

The rivers in the tropical zone abound with hippopotami and crocodiles, the former entirely confined to Africa. The vast herds of game, formerly so characteristic of many parts of Africa, have much diminished with the increase of intercourse with the interior. Game reserves have, however, been established in South Africa, British Central Africa, British East Africa, Somaliland, &c., while measures for the protection of wild animals were laid down in an international convention signed in May 1900.

The ornithology of northern Africa presents a close resemblance to that of southern Europe, scarcely a species being found which does not also occur in the other countries bordering the Mediterranean. Among the birds most characteristic of Africa are the ostrich and the secretary-bird. The ostrich is widely dispersed, but is found chiefly in the desert and steppe regions. The secretary-bird is common in the south. The weaver birds and their allies, including the long-tailed whydahs, are abundant, as are, among game-birds, the francolin and guinea-fowl. Many of the smaller birds, such as the sun-birds, bee-eaters, the parrots and halcyons, as well as the larger plantain-eaters, are noted for the brilliance of their plumage. Of reptiles the lizard and chameleon are common, and there are a number of venomous serpents, though these are not so numerous as in other tropical countries. The scorpion is abundant. Of insects Africa has many thousand different kinds; of these the locust is the proverbial scourge of the continent, and the ravages of the termites or white ants are almost incredible. The spread of malaria by means of mosquitoes has already been mentioned. The tsetse fly, whose bite is fatal to all domestic animals, is common in many districts of South and East Africa. Fortunately it is found nowhere outside Africa. (E. HE.; F. R. C.) II. Geology In shape and general geological structure Africa bears a close resemblance to India. Both possess a meridional extension with a broad east and west folded region in the north. In both a successive series of continental deposits, ranging from the Carboniferous to the Rhaetic, rests on an older base of crystalline rocks. In the words of Professor Suess, " India and Africa are true plateau countries." Of the primitive axes of Africa few traces remain. Both on the east and west abroad zone of crystalline rocks extends parallel with the coast-line to form the margin of the elevated plateau of the interior. Occasionally the crystalline belt comes to the coast, but it is usually reached by two steps known as the coastal belt and foot-plateau. On the flanks of the primitive western axis certain ancient sedimentary strata are thrown into folds which were completed before the commencement of the mesozoic period. In the south, the later palaeozoic rocks are also thrown into acute folds by a movement acting from the south, and which ceased towards the close of the mesozoic period. In northern Africa the folded region of the Atlas belongs to the comparatively recent date of the Alpine system. None of these earth movements affected the interior, for here the continental mesozoic deposits rest, undisturbed by folding, on the primary sedimentary and crystalline rocks. The crystalline massif, therefore, presents a solid block which has remained elevated since early palaeozoic times, and against which earth waves of several geological periods have broken.

The formations older than the mesozoic are remarkably unfossiliferous, so that the determination of their age is frequently a matter of speculation, and in the following table the European equivalents of the pre-Karroo formations in many regions must be regarded as subject to considerable revision.

Rocks of Archean age cover wide areas in the interior, in West and East Africa and across the Sahara. Along the coastal margins they underlie the newer formations and appear in the deep valleys and kloofs wherever denudation has laid them bare. The prevailing types are granites, gneisses and schists. In the central regions the predominant strike of the foliae is north and south. The rocks, for convenience classed as pre-Cambrian, occur as several unconformable groups, chiefly developed in the south where alone their stratigraphy has been determined. They are unfossiliferous, and in the absence of undoubted Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian strata in Africa they may be regarded as of older date than any of these formations. The general occurrence of jasper-bearing rocks is of interest, as these are always present in the ancient pressure-altered sedimentary formations of America and Europe. Some unfossiliferous conglomerates, sandstones and dolomites in South Africa and on the west coast are considered to belong to the Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian formations, but merely from their occurrence beneath strata yielding Devonian fossils. In Cape Colony the Silurian age of the Table Mountain Sandstone is based on such evidence.

The Devonian and Carboniferous formations are well represented in the north and south and in northern Angola.

Up to the close of the palaeozoic period the relative positions of the ancient land masses and oceans remain unsolved; but the absence of marine strata of early palaeozoic age from Central Africa points to there being land in this direction. In late Carboniferous times Africa and India were undoubtedly united to form a large continent, called by Suess Gondwana Land. In each country the same succession of the rocks is met with; over both the same specialized orders of reptiles roamedand were entombed.

The interior of the African portion of Gondwana Land was occupied by several large lakes in which an immense thickness - amounting to over 18,000 ft. in South Africa - of sandstones and marls, forming the Karroo system, was laid down. This is par excellence the African formation, and covers immense areas in South Africa and the Congo basin, with detached portions in East Africa. During the whole of the time - Carboniferous to Rhaetic - that this great accumulation of freshwater beds was taking place, the interior of the continent must have been undergoing depression. The commencement of the period was marked by one of the most wonderful episodes in the geological history of Africa. Preserved in the formation known as the Dwyka Conglomerate, are evidences that at this time the greater portion of South Africa was undergoing extreme glaciation, while the same conditions appear to have prevailed in India Table Of Formations Sedimentary. Recent. Alluvium; travertine; coral; sand dunes; continental dunes. Generally distributed.

Pleistocene. Ancient alluviums and gravels; travertine. Generally distributed.

Pliocene. N. Africa; Madagascar.

Miocene. N. Africa.

Oligocene. N. Africa.

Eocene. N. Africa, along east and west coasts; Madagascar.

Cretaceous. Extensively developed in N. Africa; along coast and foot-plateaus in east and west; Madagascar.

Jurassic. N. Africa; E. Africa; Madagascar; Stormberg period (Rhaetic) in S. Africa.

< Trias. Beaufort Series in S. Africa; Congo basin; Central Africa; Algeria; Tunis.

Permian. Ecca Series in S. Africa.

Carboniferous. N. Africa; Sabaki Shales in E. Africa; Dwyka and Witteberg Series in S. Africa.

Devonian. N. Africa; Angola; Bokke veld Series in S. Africa. Silurian. Table Mountain Sandstone in S. Africa, Silurian(?). Ordovician. Doubtfully represented in N. Africa, French Cambrian. Congo, Angola, and by Vaal River and Water berg Series in S. Africa. Pre-Cambrian. Quartzites, conglomerates, phyllites, jasper-bearing rocks and schists. Gener ally distributed.

Archean. Gneisses and schists of the continental platform.

and Australia. At the close of the Karroo period there was a remarkable manifestation of volcanic activity which again has its parallel in the Deccan traps of India.

How far the Karroo formation extended beyond its present confines has not been determined. To the east it reached India. In the south all that can be said is that it extended to the south of Worcester in Cape Colony. The Crystal Mountains of Angola may represent its western boundary; while the absence of mesozoic strata beneath the Cretaceous rocks of the mid-Sahara indicates that the system of Karroo lakeland had here reached its most northerly extension. Towards the close of the Karroo period, possibly about the middle, the southern rim of the great central depression became ridged up to form the folded regions of the Zwaarteberg, Cedarberg and Langeberg mountains in Cape Colony. This folded belt gives Africa its abrupt southern Scale,n Deposits (A) 1 Ili Igneous. Some volcanic islands; rift-valley volcanoes.

A long-continued succession in the central and northern regions and among the island groups. Doubtfully represented south of the Zambezi.

Diamond pipes of S.

Africa; Kaptian fissure eruptions; Ashangi traps of Abyssinia.

Chief volcanic period in S. Africa.

Feebly, if .anywhere developed.

Not recorded.

Klipriversberg and Ventersdorp Series of the Transvaal (?).

S. Africa and generally.

Igneous complex of sheared igneous rocks; granites.

termination, and may be regarded as an embryonic indication of its present outline. The exact date of the maximum development of this folding is unknown, but it had done its work and some ro,000 ft. of strata had been removed before the commencement of the Cretaceous period. It appears to approximate in time to the similar earth movement and denudation at the close of the palaeozoic period in Europe. It was doubtless connected with the disruption of Gondwana Land, since it is known that this great alteration of geographical outline commenced in Jurassic times.

The breaking up of Gondwana Land is usually considered to have been caused by a series of blocks of country being let down by faulting with the consequent formation of the Indian Ocean. Other blocks, termed horsts, remained unmoved, the island of Madagascar affording a striking example. In the African portion Ruwenzori is regarded by some geologists to be a block mountain or horst.

In Jurassic times the sea gained access to East Africa north of Mozambique, but does not appear to have reached far beyond the foot-plateau except in Abyssinia.

The Cretaceous seas appear to have extended into the central Saharan regions, for fossils of this age have been discovered in the interior. On the west coast Cretaceous rocks extend continuously from Mogador to Cape Blanco. From here they are absent up to the Gabun river, where they commence to form a narrow fringe as far as the Kunene river, though often overlain by recent deposits. They are again absent up to the Sunday river in Cape Colony, where Lower Cretaceous rocks (for long considered to be of Oolitic age) of an inshore character are met with. Strata of Upper Cretaceous age occur in Pondoland and Natal, and are of exceptional interest since the fossils show an intermingling of Pacific types with other forms having European affinities. In Mozambique and in German East Africa, Cretaceous rocks extend from the coast to a distance inland of over roo m.

Except in northern Africa, the Tertiary formations only occur in a few isolated patches on the east and west coasts. In northern Africa they are well developed and of much interest._ They contain the well-known nummulitic limestone of Eocene age, which has been traced from Egypt across Asia to China. The Upper Eocene rocks of Egypt have also yielded primeval types of the Proboscidea and other mammalia. Evidences for the greater extension of the Eocene seas than was formerly considered to be the case have been discovered around Sokoto. During Miocene times Passarge considers that the region of the Zambezi underwent extreme desiccation.

The effect of the Glacial epoch in Europe is shown in northern Africa by the moraines of the higher Atlas, and the wider extension of the glaciers on Kilimanjaro, Kenya and Ruwenzori, and by the extensive accumulations of gravel over the Sahara.

The earliest signs of igneous activity in Africa are to be found in the granites, intrusive into the older rocks of the Cape peninsula, into those of the Transvaal, and into the gneisses and schists of Central Africa. The Ventersdorp boulder beds of the Transvaal may be of early palaeozoic age; but as a whole the palaeozoic period in Africa was remarkably free from volcanic and igneous disturbances. The close of the Stormberg period (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 Cretaceous.

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.*) 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 than 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 Roman Africa), 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.

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 of Africa consists of the following elements: The chief populationgl African - the Bushman, the Negro, the Eastern Hamite, races. the Libyan and the Semite, from the intermingling of which in various proportions a vast number of " transitional " tribes has arisen. The Bushmen, 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. 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 ceriain 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.

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, particu 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 upor 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 bestwatered 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 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.

gi larly 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 It is therefore in the forests of the Congo, and among the lagoons and estuaries of the Guinea coast, that this earlier culture will The char- most probably be found. That there is a culture acteristic distinctive of this area, irrespective of the linguistic African line dividing the Bantu from the Negro proper, has culture. 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 ZuluXosa 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 throwingknife, 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 cylindrical 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 implements 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 possible.

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 their 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 Somaliland 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 10th 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.

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 Origin and of Bronze and Iron, in Africa can be found no true spread of Stone age and practically no Bronze at all. The reason the racial is not far to seek; Africa is a country of iron, which is stocks. 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 IIth, 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, but 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 r6° 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 tribe 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 known.

The island of Madagascar, belonging to the African continent, still remains for discussion. Here the ethnological conditions are peculiar. Before the French occupation the dominant 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 the 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 MalayoPolynesian 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, f adi 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, Nova 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 coasts.

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: -

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