Author : Bombay Geographical Society
Year : 1847 – 1849
TRANSACTIONS OF THE BOMBAY GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY 1847 – 1849.
By Bombay Geographical Society
“ART. VIII.—Memoir on the Western or Edoor Tribes, inhabiting the Somali Coast of N. E. Africa; with the Southern Branches of the Family of Darrood, resident on the banks of the Webbi Shebeyli, commonly called the River Webbi. By Lieutenant C. J. CRDTTENDEN, Indian Navy, Assistant Political Agent at Aden.—Dated Aden, 10th April, 1848.”
“The city of Hurrur, in the province of that name, though hardly in the Somali country, is closely connected with it by its commerce, especially by its slave trade. Mr. McQueen, in his valuable Geographical survey of Africa, places it, in my opinion, too far to the southward and westward; It is eight days’ journey for a kafila of camels from Zeyla to Hurrur, and nine days from Berbera, and this would place it in about Latitude 9°22′ N. and Longitude 42°35′ E.
A tradition exists amongst tht people of Hurrur, that the prosperity of their city depends upon the exclusion of all foreigners not of the Moslem faith, and Christians are especially interdicted. From what I have been able to gather, the traveller would hardly be repaid for the risk and fatigue that he would have to undergo ; and if he travelled as an European, he would be exposed to much insult and ill feeling from the bigoted ruler and inhabitants of the place, who, sunk in the lowest ignorance, still plume themselves upon their superior sanctity as followers of the true faith.
The Government, founded, in all probability, during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, when the Turks held possession of Aden, is hereditary, and held by an Emir, all of whose male relatives, as was formerly the case in Shoa, are closely imprisoned, as a guard against domestic treachery. The Emir’s house is perpetually surrounded with guards, and no one dares to pass the gate of the court-yard mounted, or at a walk—he must cover his face and run. The Emir’s guard is composed of perhaps sixty matchlock-men, and ho has also a body of native spearmen in his pay.”