Index

Index
The153 Club
The Agades Cross
People of the Sahara
Saharan Landscapes
Books on the Sahara(1)
Books on the Sahara(2)
Books on African Art
Saharan Salt Trade
The Gundi
Illizi Festival 2000
Sahara Freeze-up
Camel Cheese
153 Club Newsletter
153 News Update
Join the 153 Club
Today's African News

Père de Foucauld
L'Arbre du Ténéré 1
L'Arbre du Ténéré 2
Saharan Forts 1
Saharan Forts 2
Saharan Rock Art
Giraffe Engravings
Leo Africanus
Battuta's Saharan travels
Shabeni's Timbuktu
Timbuctoo the Mysterious
Heroditus & Pliny on Libya
Timbuktu, a poem

Joliba Trust
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 1
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 2
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 3
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 4
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 5
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 6

Old Michelin Maps
Early NW Africa Map 1
Early NW Africa Map 2
Early NW Africa Map 3
Early NW Africa Map 4
Early NW Africa Map 5
Saharan Exploration

Henry Barth 1
Henry Barth 2
Henry Barth 3
Denham & Clapperton 1
Denham & Clapperton 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 1
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 3
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 4

External Links

Jim Mann Taylor's Home Page
___________________________

 

 

 

Index

Index
The153 Club
The Agades Cross
People of the Sahara
Saharan Landscapes
Books on the Sahara(1)
Books on the Sahara(2)
Books on African Art
Saharan Salt Trade
The Gundi
Illizi Festival 2000
Sahara Freeze-up
Camel Cheese
153 Club Newsletter
153 News Update
Join the 153 Club
Today's African News

Père de Foucauld
L'Arbre du Ténéré 1
L'Arbre du Ténéré 2
Saharan Forts 1
Saharan Forts 2
Saharan Rock Art
Giraffe Engravings
Leo Africanus
Battuta's Saharan travels
Shabeni's Timbuktu
Timbuctoo the Mysterious
Heroditus & Pliny on Libya
Timbuktu, a poem

Joliba Trust
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 1
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 2
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 3
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 4
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 5
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 6

Old Michelin Maps
Early NW Africa Map 1
Early NW Africa Map 2
Early NW Africa Map 3
Early NW Africa Map 4
Early NW Africa Map 5
Saharan Exploration

Henry Barth 1
Henry Barth 2
Henry Barth 3
Denham & Clapperton 1
Denham & Clapperton 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 1
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 3
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 4

External Links

Jim Mann Taylor's Home Page
___________________________

 

 

 

 

Index

Index
The153 Club
The Agades Cross
People of the Sahara
Saharan Landscapes
Books on the Sahara(1)
Books on the Sahara(2)
Books on African Art
Saharan Salt Trade
The Gundi
Illizi Festival 2000
Sahara Freeze-up
Camel Cheese
153 Club Newsletter
153 News Update
Join the 153 Club
Today's African News

Père de Foucauld
L'Arbre du Ténéré 1
L'Arbre du Ténéré 2
Saharan Forts 1
Saharan Forts 2
Saharan Rock Art
Giraffe Engravings
Leo Africanus
Battuta's Saharan travels
Shabeni's Timbuktu
Timbuctoo the Mysterious
Heroditus & Pliny on Libya
Timbuktu, a poem

Joliba Trust
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 1
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 2
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 3
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 4
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 5
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 6

Old Michelin Maps
Early NW Africa Map 1
Early NW Africa Map 2
Early NW Africa Map 3
Early NW Africa Map 4
Early NW Africa Map 5
Saharan Exploration

Henry Barth 1
Henry Barth 2
Henry Barth 3
Denham & Clapperton 1
Denham & Clapperton 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 1
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 3
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 4

External Links

Jim Mann Taylor's Home Page
___________________________

 

Timbuctoo the Mysterious

Timbuctoo has always evoked mystery. It has a long and interesting history, having a University with a large library and 25,000 students in the 16th Century at its peak.
It was in 1828 that the first European René-Auguste Caillié visited Timbuctoo and returned to tell the tale in three volumes published in 1830.


René Caillié's view of Timbuctoo

 
A plant of Timbuctoo in 1896 showing the houses where Caillié, Barth and Laing stayed. [From Felix Dubois]


Moors near Timbuctoo
[From Felix Dubois]
Touareg with 'Nicab' and 'Litham'
[From Felix Dubois]

The classic account of Timbuctoo related by Leo Africanus who reached it in 1510. This version is taken from Francis Moore's translation of 1738.
"The name of this Kingdom is modern: it was so called (as some think) from the name of a certain town which (they say) was built by King Merse Suliman in the year of the Hegira 610 situate within twelve miles of a branch of the Niger. The houses here are built in the shape of bells, the walls are stakes or hurdles plastered over with clay, and the houses covered with reeds; yet there is one stately Mosque, the walls of which are made of stone and lime. The Royal Palace is also built of stone by an excellent artist from Granada, as also many shops of artificers and merchants. There are a great number of weavers of cotton-cloth. Hither the cloth of Europe is brought by the Barbary merchants. It is customary here for all the women to go with their faces covered, except the maid-servants who sell food. The inhabitants and especially the strangers that reside there are very rich, insomuch that the present King gave both his daughters in marriage to two rich merchants. Here are many wells, the water of which is excellent; and as often as the Niger overfloweth, its water is conveyed into the town by certain sluces. There is great plenty of corn, cattle, milk and butter in this region, but scarcity of salt, which is brought hither by land from Tegaza, 500 miles distant. When I myself was here, I saw one camel's load of salt sold for 80 Ducats. The rich King of Tombuto hath in his possession many golden plates and scepters, some whereof are 1300 ounces in weight, and he keeps a splendid and well-furnished Court. In travelling he rideth himself upon a camel, and one of his greatest officers leads his horse after him. He also in war rides a camel, but all his soldiers ride on horses. Whosoever will speak to the King must prostrate himself at his feet and then taking up dust, must sprinkle it upon his own head and shoulders; which custom is observed by them that never saluted the King before, or come as Ambassadors from other Princes. His attendance consists of 3000 horsemen, and a great number of footmen, who use poisoned arrows. They have frequent skirmishes with those that refuse to pay tribute, and their captives they sell to the merchants of Tombuto. There are not many horses bred here, and the merchants and courtiers have certain little nags to ride upon; but their best horses come from Barbary. When the King is informed of a merchant's coming to town with horses, he orders a certain number to be brought to him, and choosing the best, he payeth a great price for them. He hath such an inveterate hatred against all Jews, that they are not allowed admittance to his city; and whatsoever Barbary merchants he finds to traffic with them, he immediately commandeth their goods to be confiscated. The King at his own expense liberally maintaineth here great numbers of doctors, judges, priests and other learned men. There are manuscripts or written books, brought hither out of Barbary, which are sold for more money than any other merchandise. Instead of money they use bars of Gold. They have likewise certain shells, which are brought hither from the Kingdom of Persia, and those they use in matters of small value, 400 of which shells are worth a Ducat; and six pieces of their gold coin with two third parts, weigh an ounce. The inhabitants are of a mild and gently disposition, and are wont to spend great part of the night in singing and dancing. They have many men and women slaves, and their town is very apt to be set on fire; when I was there the second time almost half the town was burned down in the space of five hours. Without the suburbs they have neither gardens nor orchards."

A pool at the gates of Timbuctoo
[From Felix Dubois, 1896]
 

 


The Mosque of Sankoré
[From Felix Dubois, 1896]

 


Barth's House at Timbuctoo—by Dubois


Laing's House at Timbuctoo—by Dubois
Rock Art Chariot

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