The Country of the Dwarfs

country-of-dwarfs-frontcoverOPBy Paul du Chaillu. The fifth 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 “My Apingi Kingdom,” “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.

This last book of his adventures in Equatorial Africa tells of the second of his two great discoveries: that of the Pygmy people of Africa, previously only mentioned in the work of Herodotus and thought to be mythological.

It also relates his astonishing endeavors to reach the Nile. Not only did that expedition fail, but his presence generated enmity amongst many tribes, who quite falsely believed that he had brought sickness and death to the natives.

Shot through the stomach with a poisoned arrow, Du Chaillu barely escaped this expedition alive, and never returned to Africa after it.

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


Chapter I: How Paul Set out for the Country of the Dwarfs and What He Took with Him.

Chapter II: On the African Coast.—Meeting with Old Friends.—Changes in Four Years.—The Captain’s Misgivings.

Chapter III: Landing the Goods.—Among the Breakers.—King Ranpano.—Loss of Instruments.—King Quengueza.—A Palaver.—Changing Names.

Chapter IV: Honest Africans.—Distributing Presents.—Quengueza’s Diplomacy.—Another Palavar.—A New Settlement.—Rabolo’s Monda.—Ranpano’s Superstition.

Chapter V: Departure of the Mentor.—Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Chimpanzee.—Thomas in London.—Left Alone in Africa.—Departure from Plateau.—A Tornado.—Nengué Shika.—Traces of Gorillas.—Nengué Ncoma.—King Olenga-Yombi.—The Ipi.

Chapter VI: Hunting for the Ipi.—Camping out in the Woods.—Capture of an Ipi.—Description of the Animal.—A New Species of Anteater.

Chapter VII: Life at Nkongon-Boumba.—Gorillas and Plantains.—Odanga Scared by a Gorilla.—A Captive Gorilla.—Superstitions Respecting the Leopard.

Chapter VIII: Wounded Gorilla and Her Young Ones.—Taking Their Photographs.—Tom and Minnie.—Arrival of my Vessel.—Hurrah for Baring Brothers.—A Smoking Ship.—King Quengueza Goes on Board.—Preparations for Journey.

Chapter IX: Down the River in a Canoe.—A Strange Passenger.—Talk with a Gorilla.—Landing through the Breakers.—Preparing to Cross the Continent.—The Departure.

Chapter X: A Royal Welcome.—Departure from Goumbi.—The Story of Nchanga and Enomo.—Ascending the Ovenga River.—A Hostile Barrier Removed.—The Advice of Quengueza.

Chapter XI: Bustle in Camp.—A Magic Horn.—Quengueza’s Idol.—A Living Skeleton.—Terrific Thunderstorm.—A Gorilla Family.—Stupendous Cataract.

Chapter XII: The Death of Remandji.—A Singular Superstition.—Outbreak of the Plague.—A Touching Incident.—Dying Off by Scores.—Death of Olenda.

Chapter XIII: Burial of Olenda.—A Desolated Valley.—Suspicions Aroused.—Robbery.—Paul in Perplexing Circumstances.—Freeing a Man from the Stocks.—Ravages of the Plague.

Chapter XIV: Departure from Ashira Land.—A Silent Leave-Taking.—Thievish Porters.—A Cunning Old Rascal.—Misfortune on Misfortune.—Without Food in the Forest.—A Desperate Plot.—Feasting on Monkey Meat.—Out of the Woods.

Chapter XV: In the Open Country at Last.—Interview with Mayolo.—Igala Falls Sick.—A Mutiny.—The Otando Prairie on Fire.—Return of Macondai and Igalo.—Their Adventures.—All Together Again.

Chapter XVI: Terrible Storms of Thunder.—Days of Anxiety.—Shooting an Antelope.—Brighter Prospects.—Mayolo Has a Hard Time with His Doctors.—Basket-Making.

Chapter XVII: Departure from the Otando Country.—Talk with Mayolo.—Living on Monkey Meat.—Astronomical Studies.—Lunar Observations.—Intense Heat.

Chapter XVIII: Saying Good-By.—A Panic-Stricken Village.—Pacifying the People’s Fears.—A Tipsy Scene.—Majesty on a Spree.—Lunch by a Riverside.

Chapter XIX: Rumors of War.—Through a Burning Prairie.—Imminent Peril.—Narrow Escape from a Horrible Death.—A Lonely Nightwatch.

Chapter XX: A Deputation from the Village.—A Plain Talk with Them.—A Beautiful and Prosperous Town.—Cheerful Character of the People.—More Observations.

Chapter XXI: Great Excitement in the Village.—A Deserted Town.—The Inhabitants Frightened Away.—Afraid of the Evil Eye.—The Author Taken for an Astrologer.—Lost among the Plantations.

Chapter XXII: First Sight of a Village OF the Dwarfs.—A Strange and Interesting Spectacle.—An Abandoned Town.—A Reverie Beside a Stream.—The Leaf, the Butterfly, and the Bird.—The Blessing of Water.

Chapter XXIII: Grotesque Headdresses.—Curious Fashions in Teeth.—A Venerable Granite Boulder.—Interior of a Hut.—A Warlike Race of Savages.—Giving Them an Electric Shock.

Chapter XXIV: Visit to a Village of the Dwarfs.—Walk through the Primeval Forest.—An Ancient Account of This Strange Race.—A Great Ashango Dance.—A Watch and a Tremendous Sneeze.—First View of the Dwarfs.—Queer Specimens of Humanity.

Chapter XXV: Making Friends with the Dwarfs.—A Surprise Visit.—A Gorgeous Feast.—Ridiculous Show of Babies.—The Dwarf Language.—A Dwarf Dance.—The Old Fable of the Cranes and the Pigmies.

Chapter XXVI: A Modern Traveller’s Account of the Dwarfs and Their Habits.—Where and How They Bury Their Dead.—Hunting for the Dwarfs.—How They Make Their Huts.

Chapter XXVII: Traveling Eastward.—Measuring Heights.—Instruments Used.—Reach Mouaou-Kombo.—Apprehensions of the People.—Palaver with the Chief.—An Unlucky Shot.—Hostilities Commenced.

Chapter XXVIII: Retreat from Mouaou-Kombo.—The Attack.—Paul Is Wounded.—A Panic.—The Fight Renewed.—The Enemy Reinforced.—Lying in Ambush.—The Enemy Repulsed.—A Poisoned Arrow.—Mouitchi Safe.—Death of the Dogs.

Chapter XXIX: Traveling Westward.—A Night in the Forest.—Paul’s Speech to His Men.—Their Reply.—The Retreat Resumed.—Taking Food and Rest.—Meeting with Friends.

Chapter XXX: Conclusion.—Return to the Coast.—Desolation of the Country.—Fate of Old Friends.—Reach the Settlement.—Departure for England.—Au Revoir.

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, 220 pages, 6″ x 9″, $10.95

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