Chief Takayiko

Name ID 1360

See also

Boyes, John (ed. Mike Resnick) Company of Adventurers
Page Number: 119
Extract Date: 1903


The country through which we passed on resuming our journey was full of game, and having got a Thomson's gazelle, I lit some grass to guide my men to the spoil was waiting for my camera to take a snapshot of the gazelle, when the animal, which had appeared to be dead, staggered to its feet and dropped in the burning grass, thus spoiling my chance of a photograph. The fire was scattered about by its fall and quickly spread into a large veld fire. This was the first chance I had had of getting any game since leaving Tanga, and there was great rejoicing in camp that night, the boys spending half the night in feasting. Some of the meat was exchanged for flour from the Natives.

The next day I went ahead of the caravan as before but found little game, and that seemed rather wild. I had been warned before leaving Arusha that water was very scarce on the road to Mbugwe, and at this camp the water was already bad. Mbugwe is situated at the foot of the mountain of that name. The Chief, whose name was Takayiko, brought in a fat sheep and food for the men. The Natives in looks, speech and manner very much resemble the Masai, and I am of opinion that they are half-bred Masai. Their huts are very peculiar structures, square, and about three feet in height; but you descend another foot on entering, so that they are really four feet high inside. They have a flat roof made of plaited matama (millet) stalks, covered with a kind of natural cement found in the neighborhood. The walls are built of small tree trunks, put closely together and coated inside with cow dung. One half of the hut is divided off for a cattle pen. These Natives are great cattle breeders. The huts are made with flat roofs to avoid damage by the strong winds which sweep across the plains.

The water was again very bad. a Greek, of course, was trading here, One meets this race almost everywhere in Africa. I had dinner with him that night and got a great deal of useful information about the country and the Natives on the road ahead. a rather startling incident happened during dinner. I was sitting in front of the Greek when I saw a fairly large snake just beneath his chair. I quietly told him of it, and asked him not to move. He immediately jumped up, but fortunately the snake did not bite him, and we killed it with sticks. Later on another one appeared, evidently looking for its mate, and this met with a like fate.

Extract ID: 3592