My Apingi Kingdom

MY-APINGI-KINGDOM-FRONTCOVEROPBy Paul du Chaillu. The fourth classic study of African wildlife, culture, and native tribes as they existed in the mid-1800s, written by the first European explorer to confirm the existence of gorillas and African pygmies.

Following on from his “Stories of the Gorilla Country”, “Wild Life Under the Equator,” and “Lost in the Jungle,” adventurer Paul du Chaillu describes in vivid detail African life before the advent of European colonization, and the astonishing practices, culture, and environment which existed at that time.

This work is particularly valuable as it shows, without prejudice or favor, Africa as it was, as seen by one of the first European explorers to set foot inside the interior of the Dark Continent.

Made king of a tribe after awing them with simple, everyday European items such as shoes, clothes, socks, hats, and guns, Du Chaillu relates how he tried to bring some sort of order into the chaotic and unpredictable tribal life of his subjects—to no avail. He then moves on to describe the lifestyle, culture, and physical appearance of neighboring tribes, including the more mixed Islam-adhering racial types to the north. During this process, he discusses African slavery, both by their own people and by the Arab slave traders.

This volume also includes many fascinating observations about African wildlife and is another eye-opening account of Africa in its natural state, containing many sobering lessons applicable to the present-day—if the reader has the vision to see and understand their meaning.

This is a hand-restored and re-set edition, complete with original illustrations.


Chapter I: To My Young Friends.

Chapter II: A Council.—Shall We Build a Hundred Canoes.—The Great Falls of Samba-Nagoshi.—Fougamou, the Forger of Iron.—People Cannot See Him Work Iron; If They Do, They Die.

Chapter III: Preparations for Hunting.—People Ordered to Get Ready.—The Idol Is Put in the Street.—Dance with Torchlights.—The Idol Says We Will Kill Game.—The People Believe It.

Chapter IV: Porcupine Hunting.—They Come Out of Their Burrows.—Fierce Attack of the Dogs.—Porcupine Traps.—The Legend of the Porcupine and the Leopard.

Chapter V: The Spirit, Our King.—Great Number of Plantain Trees.—Curious Fence for Game.—We March Silently.—We Surround Ourselves with Fires.—The Strange Legend of Arondo-Iénou.

Chapter VI: Difficult Hunting Path.—The Men Scatter.—Remandji and Myself Remain Together.—Fear of the Elephants.—Capture of Game.—Snakes Are Killed.

Chapter VII: Departure to Visit My Dominions.—Preceded by One Hundred Horn-Men.—Followed by My Housekeeper.—War Must not Take Place.—I Get in a Furious Rage.—Happy Denouement.

Chapter VIII: A Hunt in Canoes.—An Antelope Pursued.—I Am Nearly Capsized.—Killing of the Antelope.—Return to the Village.

Chapter IX: Beautiful Sight of Palm-Trees.—How Palm-Oil Is Manufactured.—Its Value.—India Rubber Vines.—A Leopard.—He Is Tracked.—Terrible Suspense.—The Leopard Is Killed.

Chapter X: Manufacture of Pottery.—Numerous Cooks.—Plantain Plantations.

Chapter XI: The Kendo.—Its Small Size.—I Kill One.—Astonishment of the Natives.

Chapter XII: A Herd of Monkeys.—How They Travel in the Forest.—White-Nosed Monkeys.—Their Great Leaps.—How They Keep Food When not Hungry.

Chapter XIII: Elephant Hunting.—Take Refuge on a Tree.—Fire Twice at the Elephant.—How He Kicked.—An Immense Python.—He Kills One of Our Dogs.—Okabi Kills the Snake.

Chapter XIV: Serious Thoughts.—Shall I Remain to be Their King?—Will the Apingi Fight?—I Must Raise a Revenue.—Products of the Country.

Chapter XV: I Discover a Galago’s Lair.—Capture of the Galago.—Two Baby Galagos.

Chapter XVI The Monkey.—Hunting Monkeys with Dogs.—Great Fight between Two Dogs and a Nkago.—Capture of a Young Nkago.—I Give Him the Name of Jack.

Chapter XVII: The Wonderful White Ants.—Their Depredations.—Their Curious Buildings.—I Destroy Them.—The Soldiers and the Workers.—How They Take Care of the Wounded and Young.

Chapter XVIII: More about White Ants.—Two Species.—Terrible Fight between Them.—The Workers and the Soldiers.—The Queen.—She Is Surrounded by Soldiers.—Other Species of Ants.

Chapter XIX: Leave the Apingi Country.—Go into the Interior.—I am Lost.—I Raise the American Flag on a Big Tree.—Leave It Flying.—Starvation and Suffering.—Return to Remandji.

Chapter XX: I Must Leave My Kingdom.—Assembling of the People.—They Come to Say Good-By.—I Make a Speech.—Remandji’s Replay.—A Heavy Present.—Presents to Remandji.—They Are Sorry I Must Go Away.

Chapter XXI: Good-By to Remanji.—I Cross the River.—The Ashiras Fear the Bakalais.—A Bakalai Village.—Crossing the Louvendji.—I Meet Quengueza.—Arrival at Washington.

Chapter XXII: The Island of Madeira.—Sailing for Senegal.—A Huge Shoal of Porpoises.—They Swim So Fast.—Harpooning Porpoises.—Rejoicing on Board.—How Porpoise Meat Tastes.

Chapter XXIII: Approaching Senegal.—Sailor’s Yarns.—Dangerous Navigation.—Shipwrecks of Vessels.—Terrible Suffering of the Crew of the Margaret.—Our Fears.—Taking Soundings.

Chapter XXIV: At The Mouth of the Great Senegal River.—Appearance of the Country.—A Village.—The Houses.—A Sandy Country.—How the People Carry Milk.

Chapter XXV: The Senegal River.—The Jaloffs.—The Fehlahs.—The Fulahs.—The Mandingoes.—Habits of These Tribes.—The Moors.—Desert Winds.—Receptions in Jars.—“How Nice It Is!”

Chapter XXVI: Waiting For Start.—Three Young Lions.—I Play with Them.—How They Were Captured.—Terrible Combat with the Lion and the Lioness.—They Are Both Killed.

Chapter XXVII: Departure.—A Caravan.—Appearance of the People.—Riding a Camel.—I Am Camel-Sick.—Wells in the Sand.

Chapter XXVIII: Part with the Caravan.—A New Camp.—Discover Ostrich Tracks.—An Ostrich’s Nest.—An Omelette.—Chasing Ostriches on Horseback.—I Am Unsuccessful.—Large Number of Seashells in the Desert.

Chapter XXIX: A Sandstorm Predicted.—The Wind from the North-East.—The Storm.—After Ostriches.—Two Are Killed.—Return to Camp.—Roast Ostrich for Supper.—Return to the Settlement.

Chapter XXX: A Pleasant Voyage.—In Sight of the Cameroons.—The Island of Fernando Po.—Sharks.—The Pilot-Fish.—What They Do.—Hooking of a Big Shark.—Its Struggles.—Its Death.

Chapter XXXI: The Boobees.—Camp by the Sea.—We Spy a Canoe.—Fugitives from Slavery.—The Story of Their Captivity.—Their Flight.

Chapter XXXII: Departure from Fernando Po.—The Gull.—Her Crew.—A Tornado.—Starvation.—Cape St. John.—Corisco.—Good-By.

About the author:

Paul du Chaillu (1831–1903) was the son of a French trader who was stationed on the West African coast. In 1855 he was sent by the Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia to explore Africa because of his knowledge of the local languages and customs. In two expeditions into the interior, he observed numerous gorillas, brought back dead specimens, and also confirmed the existence of African pygmies, becoming the first European to observe them in real life. Du Chaillu sold his hunted gorillas to the Natural History Museum in London and his cannibal skulls to other European collections. Later he specialized in the prehistory of Scandinavia, and died while doing research in St Petersburg, Russia.

Paperback, 190 pages, 6″ x 9″, $10.95

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