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KUKA, or KUKAWA

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Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 943 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KUKA, or KUKAWA, a town of Bornu, a Mahommedan state of the central Sudan, incorporated in the British protectorate of Nigeria (see BoaNU). Kuka is situated in 12° 55' N. and 13° 34' E., 42 M. from the western shores of Lake Chad, in the midst of an extensive plain. It is the headquarters of the British administration in Bornu, and was formerly the residence of the native sovereign, who in Bornu bears the title of shehu. The modern town of Kuka was founded c. 1810 by Sheikh Mahommed al Amin al Kanemi, the deliverer of Bornu from the Fula invaders. It is supposed to have received its name from the kuka or monkey bread tree (Adansonia digilala), of which there are extensive plantations in the neighbourhood. Kuka or Kaoukaou was a common name in the Sudan in the middle ages. The number of towns of this name gave occasion for much geographical confusion, but Idrisi writing in the 12th century, and Ibn Khaldun in the 14th century, both 'mention two important towns called Kaou Kaou, of which one would seem to have occupied a position very near to that of the modern Kuka. Ibn Khaldun speaks of it as the capital of Bornu and as situated on the meridian of Tripoli. In 184o the present town was laid waste by Mahommed Sherif, the sultan of Wadai; and when it was restored by Sheikh Omar he built two towns separated by more than half a mile of open country, each town being surrounded by walls of white clay. It was probably owing to there being two towns that the plural Kukawa became the ordinary designation of the town in Kano and throughout the Sudan, though the inhabitants used the singular Kuka. The town became wealthy and populous (containing some 6o,000 inhabitants) , being a centre for caravans to Tripoli and a stopping-place of pilgrims from the Hausa countries going across Africa to Mecca. The chief building was the great palace of the sheikh. Between 1823 and 1872 Kuka was visited by several English and German travellers. In 1893 Bornu was seized by the ex-slave Rabah (q.v.), an adventurer from the Bahr-el-Ghazal, who chose a new capital, Dikwa, Kuka falling into complete decay. The town was found in ruins in 1902 by the British expedition which replaced on the throne of Bornu a descendant of the ancient rulers. In the same year the rebuilding of Kuka was begun and the town speedily regained part of its former importance. It is now one of the principal British stations of eastern Bornu. Owing, however, to the increasing importance of Maidugari, a town 8o m. S. S. W. of Kuka, the court of the shehu was removed thither in 1908. For an account of Kuka before its destruction by Rabah, see the Travels of Heinrich Barth (new ed., London, 1890) ; and Sahara and Sudan, by Gustav Nachtigal (Berlin, 1879), i. 581-748. KU KLUX KLAN, the name of an American secret association of Southern whites united for self-protection and to opposethe Reconstruction measures of the United States Congress, 1865-1876. The name is generally applied not only to the order of Ku Klux Klan, but to other similar societies that existed at the same time, such as the Knights of the White Camelia, a larger order than the Klan; the White Brotherhood; the White League; Pale Faces; Constitutional Union Guards; Black Cavalry; White Rose; The '76 Association; and hundreds of smaller societies that sprang up in the South after the Civil War. The object was to protect the whites during the disorders that followed the Civil War, and to oppose the policy of the North towards the South, and the result of the whole movement was a more or less successful revolution against the Reconstruction and an overthrow of the governments based on negro suffrage. It may be compared in some degree to such European societies as the Carbonara, Young Italy, the Tugendbund, the Confreries of France, the Freemasons in Catholic countries, and the Vehmgericht. The most important orders were the Ku Klux Klan and the Knights of the White Camelia. The former began in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee, as a social club of young men. It had an absurd ritual and a strange uniform. The members accidentally discovered that the fear of it had a great influence over the lawless but superstitious blacks, and soon the club expanded into a great federation of regulators, absorbing numerous local bodies that had been formed in the absence of civil law and partaking of the nature of the old English neighbourhood police and the ante-bellum slave patrol. The White Camelia was formed in 1867 in Louisiana and rapidly spread over the states of the late Confederacy. The period of organization and development of the Ku Klux movement was from 1865 to 1868; the period of greatest activity was from 1868 to 1870, after which came the decline. The various causes assigned for the origin and development of this movement were: the absence of stable government in the South for several years after the Civil War; the corrupt and tyrannical rule of the alien, renegade and negro, and the belief that it was supported by the Federal troops which con-trolled elections and legislative bodies; the disfranchisement of whites; the spread of ideas of social and political equality among the negroes; fear of negro insurrections; the arming of negro militia and the disarming of the whites; outrages upon white women by black men; the influence of Northern adventurers in the Freedmen's Bureau (q.v.) and the Union League (q.v.) in alienating the races; the humiliation of Confederate soldiers after they had been paroled—in general, the insecurity felt by Southern whites during the decade after the collapse of the Confederacy. In organization the Klan was modelled after the Federal Union. Its Prescript or constitution, adopted in 1867, and revised in 1868, provided for the following organization: The entire South was the invisible Empire under a Grand Wizard, General N. B. Forrest; each state was a Realm under a Grand Dragon; several counties formed a Dominion under a Grand Titan; each county was a Province under a Grand Giant; the smallest division being a Den under a Grand Cyclops. The staff officers bore similar titles, relics of the time when the order existed only for amusement: Genii, Hydras, Furies, Goblins, Night Hawks, Magi, Monks and Turks. The private members were called Ghouls. The Klan was twice reorganized, in 1867 and in 1868, each time being more centralized; in 1869 the central organization was disbanded and the order then gradually declined. The White Camelia with a similar history had a similar organization, without the queer titles. Its members were called Brothers and Knights, and its officials Commanders. The constitutions and rituals of these secret orders have declarations of principles, of which the following are characteristic: to protect and succour the weak and unfortunate, especially the widows and orphans of Confederate soldiers; to protect members of the white race in life, honour and property from the encroachments of the blacks; to oppose the Radical Republican party and the Union League; to defend constitutional liberty, to prevent usurpation, emancipate the whites, maintain peace and order, the laws of God, the principles of 1776, and the political and social supremacy of the white race—in short, to oppose African influence in government and society, and to prevent any intermingling of the races. During the Reconstruction the people of the South were divided thus: nearly all native whites (the most prominent of whom were disfranchised) on one side irrespective of former political faith, and on the other side the ex-slaves organized and led by a few native and Northern whites called respectively scalawags and carpet-baggers, who were supported by the United States government and who controlled the Southern state governments. The Ku Klux movement in its wider aspects was the effort of the first class to destroy the control of the second class. To control the negro the Klan played upon his superstitious fears by having night patrols, parades and drills of silent horsemen covered with white sheets, carrying skulls with coals of fire for eyes, sacks of bones to rattle, and wearing hideous masks. In calling upon dangerous blacks at night they pretended to be the spirits of dead Confederates, " just from Hell," and to quench their thirst would pretend to drink gallons of water which was poured into rubber sacks concealed under their robes. Mysterious signs and warnings were sent to disorderly negro politicians. The whites who were responsible for the conduct of the blacks were warned or driven away by social and business ostracism or by violence. Nearly all southern whites (except " scalawags"), whether members of the secret societies or not, in some way took part in the Ku Klux movement. As tle work of the societies succeeded, they gradually passed out of existence. In some communities they fell into the control of violent men and became simply bands of outlaws, dangerous even to the former members; and the anarchical aspects of the movement excited the North to vigorous condemnation.' The United States Congress in 1871–1872 enacted a series of " Force Laws " intended to break up the secret societies and to control the Southern elections. Several hundred arrests were made, and a few convictions were secured. The elections were controlled for a few years, and violence was checked, but the Ku Klux movement went on until it accomplished its object by giving protection to the whites, reducing the blacks to order, replacing the whites in control of society and state, expelling the worst of the carpet-baggers and scalawags, and nullifying those laws of Congress which had resulted in placing the Southern whites under the control of a party composed principally of ex-slaves. Au; rxoRITIES.—J. C. Lester and D. L. Wilson, Ku Klux Klan (New York, 1905); W. L. Fleming, Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama (New York, 1905), and Documentary History of Reconstruction (Cleveland, 1906); J. W. Garner, Reconstruction in Mississippi (New York, 1901); W. G. Brown, Lower South in American History (New York, 1901); J. M. Beard, Ku Klux Sketches (Philaclelphia, 1876); J. W. Burgess, Reconstruction and the Constitution (New York, 1901). (W. L. F.)
End of Article: KUKA, or KUKAWA
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