On the 14th July we left the river at the mountain-range, which, lying north-east and south-west across the river, forms the Kariba gorge. Near the upper end of the Kariba rapids, the stream Sanyati enters from the south, and is reported to have Moselekatse's principal cattle-posts at its sources; our route went round the end of the mountains, and we encamped beside the village of the generous chief Moloi, who brought us three immense baskets of fine mapira meal, ten fowls, and two pots of beer. On receiving a present in return, he rose, and, with a few dancing gestures, said or sang, "Motota, Motota, Motota," which our men translated into "thanks." He had visited Moselekatse a few months before our arrival, and saw the English missionaries, living in their wagons. "They told Moselekatse," said he, "they were of his family, or friends, and would plough the land and live at their own expense;" and he had replied, "The land is before you, and I shall come and see you plough." This again was substantially what took place, when Mr. Moffat introduced the missionaries to his old friend, and shows still further that the notion of losing their country by admitting foreigners does not come as the first idea to the native mind. One might imagine that, as mechanical powers are unknown to the heathen, the almost magic operations of machinery, the discoveries of modern science and art, or the presence of the prodigious force which, for instance, is associated with the sight of a man-of-war, would have the effect which miracles once had of arresting the attention and inspiring awe. But, though we have heard the natives exclaim in admiration at the sight of even small illustrations of what science enables us to do--"Ye are gods, and not men"--the heart is unaffected. In attempting their moral elevation, it is always more conducive to the end desired, that the teacher should come unaccompanied by any power to cause either jealousy or fear. The heathen, who have not become aware of the greed and hate which too often characterize the advancing tide of emigration, listen with most attention to the message of Divine love when delivered by men who evidently possess the same human sympathies with themselves. A chief is rather envied his good fortune in first securing foreigners in his town. Jealousy of strangers belongs more to the Arab than to the African character; and if the women are let alone by the traveller, no danger need be apprehended from any save the slave-trading tribes, and not often even from them.
We passed through a fertile country, covered with open forest, accompanied by the friendly Bawe. They are very hospitable; many of them were named, among themselves, "the Baenda pezi," or "Go-nakeds," their only clothing being a coat of red ochre. Occasionally stopping at their villages we were duly lullilooed, and regaled with sweet new-made beer, which, being yet unfermented, was not intoxicating. It is in this state called Liting or Makonde. Some of the men carry large shields of buffalo-hide, and all are well supplied with heavy spears. The vicinity of the villages is usually cleared and cultivated in large patches; but nowhere can the country be said to be stocked with people. At every village stands were erected, and piles of the native corn, still unthrashed, placed upon them; some had been beaten out, put into oblong parcels made of grass, and stacked in wooden frames.
We crossed several rivulets in our course, as the Mandora, the Lofia, the Manzaia (with brackish water), the Rimbe, the Chibue, the Chezia, the Chilola (containing fragments of coal), which did little more than mark our progress. The island and rapid of Nakansalo, of which we had formerly heard, were of no importance, the rapid being but half a mile long, and only on one side of the island. The island Kaluzi marks one of the numerous places where astronomical observations were made; Mozia, a station where a volunteer poet left us; the island Mochenya, and Mpande island, at the mouth of the Zungwe rivulet, where we left the Zambesi.
When favoured with the hospitality and company of the "Go-nakeds," we tried to discover if nudity were the badge of a particular order among the Bawe, but they could only refer to custom. Some among them had always liked it for no reason in particular: shame seemed to lie dormant, and the sense could not be aroused by our laughing and joking them on their appearance. They evidently felt no less decent than we did with our clothes on; but, whatever may be said in favour of nude statues, it struck us that man, in a state of nature, is a most ungainly animal. Could we see a number of the degraded of our own lower classes in like guise, it is probable that, without the black colour which acts somehow as a dress, they would look worse still.
In domestic contentions the Bawe are careful not to kill each other; but, when one village goes to war with another, they are not so particular. The victorious party are said to quarter one of the bodies of the enemies they may have killed, and to perform certain ceremonies over the fragments. The vanquished call upon their conquerors to give them a portion also; and, when this request is complied with, they too perform the same ceremonies, and lament over their dead comrade, after which the late combatants may visit each other in peace. Sometimes the head of the slain is taken and buried in an ant-hill, till all the flesh is gone; and the lower jaw is then worn as a trophy by the slayer; but this we never saw, and the foregoing information was obtained only through an interpreter.
We left the Zambesi at the mouth of the Zungwe or Mozama or Dela rivulet, up which we proceeded, first in a westerly and then in a north-westerly direction. The Zungwe at this time had no water in its sandy channel for the first eight or ten miles. Willows, however, grow on the banks, and water soon began to appear in the hollows; and a few miles further up it was a fine flowing stream deliciously cold. As in many other streams from Chicova to near Sinamane shale and coal crop out in the bank; and here the large roots of stigmaria or its allied plants were found. We followed the course of the Zungwe to the foot of the Batoka highlands, up whose steep and rugged sides of red and white quartz we climbed till we attained an altitude of upwards of 3000 feet. Here, on the cool and bracing heights, the exhilaration of mind and body was delightful, as we looked back at the hollow beneath covered with a hot sultry glare, not unpleasant now that we were in the mild radiance above. We had a noble view of the great valley in which the Zambesi flows. The cultivated portions are so small in comparison to the rest of the landscape that the valley appears nearly all forest, with a few grassy glades. We spent the night of the 28th July high above the level of the sea, by the rivulet Tyotyo, near Tabacheu or Chirebuechina, names both signifying white mountain; in the morning hoar frost covered the ground, and thin ice was on the pools. Skirting the southern flank of Tabacheu, we soon passed from the hills on to the portion of the vast table-land called Mataba, and looking back saw all the way across the Zambesi valley to the lofty ridge some thirty miles off, which, coming from the Mashona, a country in the S.E., runs to the N.W. to join the ridge at the angle of which are the Victoria Falls, and then bends far to the N.E. from the same point. Only a few years since these extensive highlands were peopled by the Batoka; numerous herds of cattle furnished abundance of milk, and the rich soil amply repaid the labour of the husbandman; now large herds of buffaloes, zebras, and antelopes fatten on the excellent pasture; and on that land, which formerly supported multitudes, not a man is to been seen. In travelling from Monday morning till late on Saturday afternoon, all the way from Tabacheu to Moachemba, which is only twenty-one miles of latitude from the Victoria Falls, and constantly passing the ruined sites of utterly deserted Botoka villages, we did not fall in with a single person. The Batoka were driven out of their noble country by the invasions of Moselekatse and Sebetuane. Several tribes of Bechuana and Basutu, fleeing from the Zulu or Matebele chief Moselekatse reached the Zambesi above the Falls. Coming from a land without rivers, none of them knew how to swim; and one tribe, called the Bamangwato, wishing to cross the Zambesi, was ferried over, men and women separately, to different islands, by one of the Batoka chiefs; the men were then left to starve and the women appropriated by the ferryman and his people. Sekomi, the present chief of the Bamangwato, then an infant in his mother's arms, was enabled, through the kindness of a private Batoka, to escape. This act seems to have made an indelible impression on Sekomi's heart, for though otherwise callous, he still never fails to inquire after the welfare of his benefactor.
Sebetuane, with his wonted ability, outwitted the treacherous Batoka, by insisting in the politest manner on their chief remaining at his own side until the people and cattle were all carried safe across; the chief was then handsomely rewarded, both with cattle and brass rings off Sebetuane's own wives. No sooner were the Makololo, then called Basuto, safely over, than they were confronted by the whole Batoka nation; and to this day the Makololo point with pride to the spot on the Lekone, near to which they were encamped, where Sebetuane, with a mere handful of warriors in comparison to the vast horde that surrounded him, stood waiting the onslaught, the warriors in one small body, the women and children guarding the cattle behind them. The Batoka, of course, melted away before those who had been made veterans by years of continual fighting, and Sebetuane always justified his subsequent conquests in that country by alleging that the Batoka had come out to fight with a man fleeing for his life, who had never done them any wrong. They seem never to have been a warlike race; passing through their country, we once observed a large stone cairn, and our guide favoured us with the following account of it:- "Once upon a time, our forefathers were going to fight another tribe, and here they halted and sat down. After a long consultation, they came to the unanimous conclusion that, instead of proceeding to fight and kill their neighbours, and perhaps be killed themselves, it would be more like men to raise this heap of stones, as their protest against the wrong the other tribe had done them, which, having accomplished, they returned quietly home." Such men of peace could not stand before the Makololo, nor, of course, the more warlike Matebele, who coming afterwards, drove even their conquerors, the Makololo, out of the country. Sebetuane, however, profiting by the tactics which he had learned of the Batoka, inveigled a large body of this new enemy on to another island, and after due starvation there overcame the whole. A much greater army of "Moselekatse's own" followed with canoes, but were now baffled by Sebetuane's placing all his people and cattle on an island and so guarding it that none could approach. Dispirited, famished, borne down by fever, they returned to the Falls, and all except five were cut off.
But though the Batoka appear never to have had much inclination to fight with men, they are decidedly brave hunters of buffaloes and elephants. They go fearlessly close up to these formidable animals, and kill them with large spears. The Banyai, who have long bullied all Portuguese traders, were amazed at the daring and bravery of the Batoka in coming at once to close quarters with the elephant; and Chisaka, a Portuguese rebel, having formerly induced a body of this tribe to settle with him, ravaged all the Portuguese villas around Tette. They bear the name of Basimilongwe, and some of our men found relations among them. Sininyane and Matenga also, two of our party, were once inveigled into a Portuguese expedition against Mariano, by the assertion that the Doctor had arrived and had sent for them to come down to Senna. On finding that they were entrapped to fight, they left, after seeing an officer with a large number of Tette slaves killed.