Description of onicha by a Belgian explorer in 1880

The town extends over a space of more than, half a mile, scattered over with houses, the walls of which are made of hardened sand, of a very red hue, which indicates the existence of numerous beds of iron. Long alleys and well-trodden paths separate the various groups of huts from each other. I counted more than fifty, and each group seems to form a little village. The total population of Onitsha may be eatimated at 15,000 ; the people are active and industrious ; everywhere there are plantations of maize, yams, and bananas ; the palms are carefully pruned, and the cotton-trees or bombax are well cultivated. The natives recognise their value. They clean their cotton, spin it, and weave it on primitive and very simple looms, which they have no doubt learnt the use of from the caravans. But though fabricated at a great expense of time and patience, the cloths they make have, perhaps, greater solidity and durability than our cottons. Before spinning the thread they die it with indigo, which grows wild among them. As there is no occasion to economise it, they use only the heart of the shoot, and thus obtain a blue which can compare advantageously with our dyes.
ADOLPHE BURDO 1849-1891.
The Niger And The Benueh,Travel in Central Africa.
𝐀𝐧 𝐨𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐞𝐥𝐠𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐲.𝐇𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐚 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐩 𝐭𝐨 𝐂𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐥
𝐀𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚 𝐢𝐧 1879 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐮𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐍𝐢𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐣𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡
𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐞́𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐞́ . 𝐎𝐧 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧, 𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐍𝐢𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐁𝐞́𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐞́

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