9.1b Bowen, T. J. Adventures and Missionary Labours in Several Countries in the Interior of Africa from 1849 to 1856. 2nd edition, with a new introduction by E. A. Ayandele. London: Frank Cass, 1968. Transcript features material on two elite emir’s slaves in Ilorin.
Transcriber’s Note: “Nasamu” (Nasama, Nasamo) and “Dangarri” (Sarkin Dongari, Dogari, Dungari) were two major figures in Ilorin in the middle of the nineteenth century. Both were elite slaves of the emir.
Chapter XVII, “Visits to llorrin in 1855.”
191.[Bowen arrived at Ilorin. The gate keeper sent men to inform the Emir of his arrival.]
In about two hours orders came from the king to let me enter the town . . . I was first conducted to the house of Dangarri, the prime minister, and then, after some consultation, I was delivered to Nasamu, the exe-/
192. cutioner, who carried me to his house, and informed me that I must not go out into the street. For several days I could not walk across the yard, but he or one of his men would be at my heels . . . Nasamu, though always armed with a mace, or heavy iron club, with which he had executed more than two hundred men, was rather a pleasant man, and decidedly polite and easy in his manners.
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I fancied that Nasamu was rather uneasy as to the result of my visit . . . One day, when no one was in the piazza, except Nasuma’s [sic] wife and myself, she informed me that the king and nobles, and chief alufás (doctors and scribes,) were holding councils every night . . . to determine what they should do with the white man.
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198. Nasamu, him-/
199. self a Kanikè, informed me that Burnu . . . is not the name of a country, but of a single town in the Kanikè kingdom. He affirms that the Kanikès are descended from the people of Barba (Lander’s Borgoo,) on the west of the Niger.
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202. On the day that I left Ilorrin, the king sent for me to visit him at his private house. Dangarri now informed me that I should have land to build on, “your own house, your servant’s house, and the house of God.” With this assurance, I was dismissed to go home and make preparation for removing to Ilorrin after the close of the rains . . . Nasamu and several others accompanied me to the gate . . .
On leaving Ijaye in the fall of 1855 . . . I . . . went to Ilorrin on a second visit. Nasamu had various complaints to make against other white men who had been there since my visit; that they had come with a large retinue of servants; that they were stern and unsocial, etc., and I received intimations that the balogun, who was absent at the time of my visit, was hardly willing for white men to live in Ilorrin.
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