Bambabra, a district in the N. W. central part of Africa, between lat. 10° and 15° N. and lon. 6° and 9° W. The eastern part is a nearly level plain, subject to overflow by the rivers* which turn a considerable portion of it into marsh. The western portion is hilly, and includes the eastern sides of the Kong mountains. The climate is sultry except in the hilly portions. The rainy season begins in the middle of June, and continues with violent winds and thunder until November. The principal river is the Joliba or Niger, which descends from the mountains near the western boundary. Numerous villages lie upon the banks of this stream. Bambarra produces a great variety of garden vegetables; the indigo plant, which grows spontaneously; the butter tree, which yields an ash-gray butter, an article of trade; and some singular fruits, one of which, the rhamntu lotus, is acid in taste and resembles gingerbread in color. Many districts have extensive forests and fine pastures. Horned cattle, sheep, goats, and horses of a fine breed are numerous. Poultry abounds. The rivers supply an abundance of fish, which, when dried, is an article of considerable trade. The aborigines, who are the peasantry of the country, are barbarous.
The Moors, who have established themselves in the towns along the Joliba, exercise a great degree of authority with the petty sovereigns of the country, and with the Mandingoes and Foolahs, two large negro tribes from the Kong mountains, who are Moslems. They compose the great part of the population of the towns, and are mechanics and merchants. The towns inhabited by these tribes and the Moors arc independent of the rule of the petty Independent chiefs. Bambarra has a very active trade. The Mandingoes export ivory. The Moors carry on extensive commerce through the Sahara with the countries along the Mediterranean. Besides gold, the principal articles of commerce are slaves, ivory, and coarse cotton cloth, which are exchanged for salt from the desert, tobacco, hardware, etc. Chief town, Sego; other important towns, Bammakoo, Nya-mina, and Sansanding.