Online Encyclopedia

ZINDER

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 985 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ZINDER, a town on the northern margin of the central Sudan. Zinder is a great emporium of the trade across the Sahara between the Hausa states of the south and the Tuareg countries and Tripoli in the north. Its ruler was formerly subordinate to Bornu, but with the decline of that kingdom shook off the yoke of the sultan, and on the conquest of that country by Rabah (q.v.) seems to have maintained his independence. The country of which Zinder is the capital is known as Damerghu. It is semi-fertile, and supports considerable numbers of horses and sheep, besides troops of camels. By the Anglo-French agreement of June 1898 it was included in the French sphere, having already been the object of French political action. The explorer Cazemajou was assassinated there in 1897, but the town was occupied in July 1899, after a slight resistance, by Lieutenant Pallier of the reconstructed Voulet-Chanoine mission (see SENEGAL, country). A French post (named Fort Cazemajou) was built outside the town on a mound of huge granite blocks. Zinder was the first point in the Sudan reached by F. Foureau after his great journey across the Sahara via Air in 1899. Subsequently Commandant Gadel, from his head-quarters at Zinder, mapped and pacified the surrounding region, and sent out columns of meharistes (camel-corps) which occupied the oasis of Air and Bilma in 1906. Zinder is a large and fine town surrounded with high earthen walls, very thick at the base and pierced with seven gates. Its houses, in part built of clay, in part of straw, are interspersed with trees. There is an important colony of Tuareg merchants, who occupy the suburb of Zengu, and who deal in a variety of wares, from cotton, silks, spices, ostrich feathers, &c., to French scent bottles. Salt is a great article of merchandise. A busy market is held outside one of the gates. Administratively Damerghu is dependent on the French colony of Upper Senegal and Niger. See Cazemajou, in Bul. Corn. de l'Afrique Francaise (1900) ; F. Foureau, in La Geographie (December 1900), D'Alger an Congo par le Tchad (Paris, 1902); Joalland, in La Geographic, vol. iii. (1901) ; E. Arnaud and M. Cortier, Nos Confins.Sahariens (Paris, 1908) ; C. Jean, Les Touarag du Sud-Est (Paris, 1909).
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