Thursday, 13 October 2011

Mlozi's War

The Graphic c1895
Nkonde tribesmen

Mlozi and his Ruga Ruga
I've been following up the research I started on the Nkonde the other day, using Chris Peers' book on Central Africa as a starting point. I've been trying to find pictures of traditional Nkonde villages and settlements, along with anythig of relevance to the period.

In the search for useful stuff, I came across this page from The Graphic, which has some cracking illustrations of the fortress constructed by the Arab slaver Mlozi near to present day Karonga in the north of Malawi. This was a serious bit of field engineering including rammed earth pallisades and loopholes, as described in the Foundry book.

The Armstrong Cannon
The gun used in the attack on Mlozi's fortress also survives although most references are to its use in 1914. It's clearly of nineteenth century manufacture and is an Armstrong breech loader according to the various sites I've looked at. It could be the cannon shipped to Karonga by lake steamer to support the Lugard campaign in January 1889 or, more likely, one of the artillery pieces delivered to Johnson in November 1895.

If you can identify it I'd be very inrterested.

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