|The Book of Common Prayer|
NIGERIAN LANGUAGES, I. — ADDO, IDZO AND BRASS
KUKURÚKU is the current name of a tribe occupying a narrow strip of land on the right bank of the Niger opposite to Ida. Their place of residence is Ado or Edoh. Portions of the Book of Common Prayer in the Addo language, entitled: * Ebe erhunmu oghe Iko, were published by the S.P.C.K. in 1909. 59 pages, fcap. 8vo. The book contains (1) Erhunmu Owie (Morning Prayer); (2) Erhunmu Akota (Evening Prayer); (3) Katekisimu oghe Iko; (4) Katekisimu Watti; (5) Ihuan Owie, and (6) Ihuan Akota, i.e., Morning and Evening Hymns.
No listings for this language by Griffiths
|Idzo (Ijo, Oshiu) is the language of the delta
of the Niger river. It is spoken to the extent of one hundred miles from
the mouth of the Nun branch of the Niger. Within the Idzo language field
reside many of the Ibo-speaking people. This, perhaps, is also the explanation
of the fact that Idzo appears to possess many characteristics in common
One of the dialects of Idzo is the Brass dialect. Brass is a river, town
and district of Southern Nigeria. Brass town lies at the mouth of the river.
Its most conspicuous building is a fine church, the gift of a native chief.
The capital of the Brass tribe is Nimbe, thirty miles up the river. The
river is said to have received its English name from the brass rods and
other brass utensils imported by the early traders in exchange for palm-oil
and slaves. The Brass natives, of the pure negro type, have
always been noted for their savage character.
|Griffiths calls this the Brass dialect of the Ijo language|
The Brass language is called by the natives Nimbé, after their capital. Cust and others considered it only a dialect of Idzo, which latter, as just mentioned, appears to have many characteristics in common with lbo.
The mission of the Brass river was commenced in 1867 by Bishop Crowther.
Soon King Ockiya, of Brass, and several of his chiefs renounced their
idols and were baptized after proper instruction. His son, the Catechist
Daniel Ockiya, translated the gospels of Mark, John, Matthew and Luke,
which were published separately in 1903 by the British and Foreign Bible
Society. The mission, begun by Crowther, had many trials, relapses and
other difficulties to overcome. A beginning of translating a portion
of the Liturgy was made in 1886, when the Lower Niger Mission Press at
Brass published: The Church Catechism, Brass dialect, 7 pages, 16mo.
A year later the same press issued: Idzo Common Prayer; Brass dialect.
With Idzo hymns, 57 pages, fcap. 8vo.
 So the Encyclopædia Britannica, eleventh edition, Vol. IV, p. 463. A reviewer in the London Athenæum, March 18, 1911, p. 302, col. 3, on the other hand, says, “The name is probably a derivation from braço, derived from the arm of the river” Again, Mr. Adebiji Topowa, a native of the district, says this name was given to the country “presumably by the Portuguese”; but the etymology which he suggests from the word Ba-Ra-Sin, meaning in the Brass language “Hands off,” “Let go,” as used in bargaining (Journal of the African Society, October, 1907) is very improbable.
Toward the latter years white missionaries, the Rev. Henry Proctor, C.M.S. missionary at Brass from 1898 to 1908, and Mr. Craven Wilson, a lay missionary of considerable experience, have done good and efficient work, which encouraged the S.P.C.K. to have a translation of the Liturgy made into the Brass language. It was published in 1910, entitled: * Kare Dirimi Nembe bebe gho, 496 pages, fcap. 8vo. It begins with the Morning Prayer, and ends with the Commination Service (p. 326, end). The Psalter is printed on pp. 327 to 496. The book contains the Collects, Epistles and Gospels, and most of the Occasional Offices. In this translation even the sub-headings, left untranslated in many other versions put out by the S.P.C.K., are translated. As a complementary volume the S.P.C.K. issued a Hymn Book for the use of Brass congregations. fcap. 8vo.
NIGERIAN LANGUAGES, II — THE GREBO TRANSLATIONS OF THE AMERICAN MISSION
KRUMEN are a negro people of the west coast of Africa. They dwell in villages scattered along the coast of Liberia from below Monrovia nearly to Cape Palmas. The name has been wrongly derived from the English word “crew,” with reference to the fact that Krumen were the first West African people to take service in European vessels. The correct derivation is probably from Kraoh, the primitive name of one of their most powerful tribes. Under “Krumen” are now grouped many kindred tribes, the Grebo (Krebo, Glebo, G’debo, Gedebo), the Basa, the Nitu and others, who collectively number some 40,000. The Krumen are traditionally from the interior, but have long been noted as skilful seamen and daring fishermen. They are honest,. brave and passionately fond of freedom. They will starve and drown themselves to escape capture, and have never trafficked in slaves. As a race they are singularly intelligent, and exhibit their enterprise in numerous settlements along the coast. Sierra Leone, Grand Bassa and Monrovia all have their Kru towns.
Bleek classified the Krumen with the Mandingo family. and in this he
is followed by R. G. Latham. Koelle, on the other hand, who published
a Kru grammar in 1854, considers the language as quite distinct from
Mandingo. The first missionary to the Krumen sent by the Protestant Episcopal
Church was the Rev. Thomas S. Savage, M.D., who arrived in December,
1836. He was the first of eight medical men sent by the Board of Missions
of the American Church to Liberia at various times. Savage returned to
America in 1846, and died there December, 1880. In 1837 came the Rev.
Launcelot B. Miner (died 1843) and the Rev. John Payne (1815-74). The
latter became, in 1851, the first bishop of Cape Palmas and parts adjacent.
career of thirty-four years was marked by devoted and successful work.
After an arduous service of nearly twenty years as bishop on the coast
of Western Africa, Dr. Payne returned to the United States in 1871 completely
broken in health and strength. He sent his resignation to the House of
Bishops, which accepted it in October of the same year. He died October
23, 1874. Bishop Payne translated into Grebo the Acts of the Apostles,
the Gospel according to St. Luke and the Book of Genesis before. he was
consecrated bishop. Toward the end of his episcopate he had printed in
1867, at Philadelphia (King & Baird), a Grebo translation
of large portions of the Prayer Book of the American Church, entitled:
 Also called Kroomen, Krooboys, Krus, or Croos.
 E. C. Parsons, Christus
277 pages, 12mo. Printed in long lines. Page 1, bastard title, reverse blank; p. 3, title-page, reverse blank. Table of contents, pp. 5, 6; preface, p. 7; p. 8 blank. The preliminary material, pp. 9-18, is in English, as are also the running head-lines, the rubrics and directions throughout the volume. In the preface the bishop states that:
“The Morning and Evening Prayer, the Litany, the Order for the Administration of the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion, the Administration of Baptism to such as are of Riper Years, and the Order of Confirmation, have been translated and used wholly or partially for many years, at the Stations and in the Churches of the Protestant Episcopal Church at Cape Palmas and parts adjacent. . . . Every thing of importance, in the present condition of the Native Congregations, is included, except the Psalter, which, it is hoped, will appear, ere long, in a separate volume, with a collection of Psalms and Hymns in Metre.”
Added to this Liturgy is: Grebo Worade — Grebo Hymns. For the use of the Protestant Episcopal Mission at Cape Palmas and parts adjacent, West Africa. Philadelphia . . . 1867. 48 pages, containing 54 hymns.
In 1873, C. Schultze, at Basle, printed for the Protestant Episcopal
Mission at Cape Palmas and parts adjacent:
227 pages, 8vo. Printed in long lines. Preliminary matter, text, rubrics, etc., are all in Grebo. The Psalter is printed separately .
The translation was made by Johann Gottlieb Auer, the second missionary bishop of the American Church at Cape Palmas. The translator prints on the back of the title-page an explanation as to the contents of the present book. The preface, pp. 3-5, is printed in English. The translation omits the Epistles and Gospels. The table of contents is printed on p. 227. Part II of this edition contains: Neko, Wodade ă Kēnede | kěde | Gědėbo nwi | kudi. | The Book of Psalms in G’debo, translated from the Hebrew. . . Basel, 1872. 209, (2) pages. Printed in long lines. Back of the title-page is a page of “Orthography”; p. 210 is blank. The last (2) pages contain a list of “Errata.” Part III contains: Wodade | keo | Neko Kae ko Nable hẽ mo. | Hymns for the Church and Family in the Kru language. | . . . Basel, 1873, xxx, 240 pages. Two columns to the page. Title, reverse blank; introduction (in English), pp. iii-viii, by Bishop Auer; ix-xii, table of contents in Grebo; xiii-xxx, index (in English), giving also the name of the original writer and of the translator of each hymn. Most of the 366 hymns were translated by Auer; some by Bishop Payne ; the Rev. Samuel W. Seton, a native clergyman; Charles Morgan, a. native catechist, and B. B. Wisner, likewise a native catechist.
Auer was a native of Würtemberg, born of Lutheran parents on November 18, 1832. He trained at the Mission School, Basle, Switzerland, for the work to which he devoted his whole life. He went to West Africa as an agent of the German Lutheran Mission to Ashanti. In 1862 he connected himself with the Cape Palmas Mission of the Church in the United States, and was ordained deacon and priest by Bishop Payne. He was consecrated to the missionary episcopate in 1873 and died at Cavalla, Africa, the following year, February 16, 1874.
“The page which tells of the short life of the second bishop, John Gottlieb Auer, reads in its devotion like an echo of Livingstone’s, as we follow him on his litter in his last illness, baptizing and confirming the natives who flocked about him.” — Leaflet, Church Missions Publication Society, Hartford, Conn..
| On the history of this African Mission, see especially: An Historical Sketch of the African Mission of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, by the Right Rev. Samuel David Ferguson, Bishop of Cape Palmas and parts adjacent [since 1885]; 77 pp. ; plates and portraits; 8vo. — Also, Bishop Ferguson’s Twentieth Annual Report, 1905; Board of Missions, U. S. of America, 1906, 33 pp., 12mo.|
NIGERIAN LANGUAGES, III — HAUSA AND IBO TRANSLATIONS
THE Hausa are a people inhabiting about half a million square miles in the Western and Central Soudan, from the river Niger in the west to Bornu in the east. They number some 5,000,000 people, and constitute the most important nation of the Central Soudan. They are undoubtedly nigritic, though in places with a strong crossing of Fula and Arab blood. Morally and intellectually they are far superior to the typical negro. The Hausa language has a wider range over Africa north of the Equator, south of Barbary and west of the Valley of the Nile, than any other tongue. It is spoken by about 12,000,000 of the inhabitants of Northern Nigeria and the Central Soudan. It is a rich, sonorous language, with a vocabulary containing perhaps 10,000 words. It appears to be a link between the Hamitic and the Negro language groups. Even at the present day there are many links existing which show the original connection between the Arab and the Negro. The language has been reduced to writing by the natives themselves for at least a century, and probably very much longer. Of African languages this is the only case on record. The character used is a modified Arabic. The language is the great lingua franca of the Soudan. “It would carry you,” said Bishop Crowther, “from Lagos to Tunis or Tripoli.” It is the handmaid of commerce, as the Fula is that of conquest, and the Arabic that of religion (Cust).
Until the last decades of the nineteenth century no important attempt had been made to introduce Christianity; but the fact that the people are fond of reading, and that native schools exist in all parts of the country, should greatly facilitate the work of Christian missions. It was during the seventies of last century that the C.M.S. proposed to make resolute efforts to carry the Gospel to the powerful Mohammedan nations — the Mandingoes, Fulas and Hausas — both from Sierra Leone and up the Niger.
The work of the Soudan and Upper Niger Mission was done chiefly under the leadership of John Alfred Robinson (1859-1891), formerly a scholar (since 1879) of Christ College, Cambridge (B.A., 1881; M.A., 1884), and of Graham Wilmot Brooke. They began their active work as C.M.S. missionaries in that region about 1886. Naturally the work among the Moslems of the Soudan was quite different from work among the pagans of the Lower Niger. The two missionaries proved to be the right men for the right place. At Lokoja, the base of their work, was a confluence of a number of languages spoken in that region. Nupe, Hausa, Yoruba, etc., could be heard on its streets day by day. Unfortunately for the rapid progress of the mission, both leaders died in short succession, the one at Lokoja, June 25,1891, the other in 1892.
Robinson’s brother, the Rev. Charles Henry Robinson, of Trinity College, Cambridge, made an important journey in 1894 and 1895 through Hausaland, under the auspices of the Hausa Association, founded in 1893 in memory of his brother; and his book, Hausaland, or fifteen hundred miles through the Central Soudan (London, 1896), is one of the best authorities regarding that interesting people.
Two years later the victory of the English over the Mohammedan Fulas at Bida and the capture of that city, together with the consequent annexation of the territory under British control, opened the land also for further mission work. But as yet not much progress has been made and Hausaland is practically still unoccupied. Canon Robinson, however, has done considerable literary work in Hausa philology, re-editing Schön’s Magana Hausa (Hausa stories and fables) and compiling, with the assistance of William Henry Brooks, a Hausa-English Dictionary in two volumes. Cambridge, 1899, 1900.
Portions of the Book of Common Prayer and Hymns in the Hausa language, entitled: *Addu’a ta Safiya, were published by the S.P.C.K. in 1908; 48 pages, fcap. 8vo. The Prayer Book proper occupies pp. 3-13. Pp. 14-34 contain selected Psalms (Zabura); 35, 36 Dokoki goma; 37-48 a selection of hymns (Wakoki).
|not listed by Griffiths
Ibo is a district on the Lower Niger, immediately above the delta and mainly on the eastern bank of the river. The chief town, of the same name, has a population of from six to eight thousand inhabitants. The Ibo are a strong, well-built negro race. Their language is one of the most widely spoken on the lower Niger. The Rev. J. F. Schön began its reduction to writing in 1841, and in 1861 he published his Grammatical Elements of the Ibo language.8vo.
Jakob Friedrich Schön was born in 1803, at Oberweiler, Baden, Germany. He was educated at Basle and at Islington, and went to West Africa as a C.M.S. missioner in 1833. In 1841 he accompanied the English Niger Expedition. His philological work was of equal importance to that of his countrymen, Koelle, Krapf, Reichardt and others. He devoted special attention to the Mende (Mande) language — the tongue of the Mandingo in the hinterland of Sierra Leone — its phonetics, grammar and vocabulary, as well as to lbo. The third language group studied by Schön was the Hausa. His publications in Hausa philology earned him the great Volney prize of the French Academy, and the University of Oxford conferred on him the honorary degree of D.D., in recognition of his great linguistic work. He died in England March 30, 1889.
There appear to be four dialects in the Ibo (Ebve, Igbo) language, viz., (I) Isuama, (2) Elugu, (3) Abadya or Aro, and (4) Abo. Of these, the Isuama has been accepted as the literary standard, and the leading form of speech among all the tribal subdivisions. It has a considerable extra-territorial usage beyond its natural frontiers.
When the C.M.S. opened its new Ibo Mission, about the year 1870, Onitsha
was decided upon as the best centre, and there the Rev. John Christopher
Taylor, a native African, was stationed. Taylor was of the Ibo tribe,
born of Christian (ex-slave) parents at Sierra Leone. He did excellent
service by his Ibo reading-books, translations of portions of Scripture,
etc. He was sent to England, and lived for some time with Schön at
Chatham, in order to work under that master’s experienced eye. One
result of his work in England was the
first translation into Isuama-Ibo of portions of the Liturgy, entitled:
Akukwo Ekpére Isúama-Ibo. A selection from the Book of Common
Prayer. . . . Translated into Ibo. London, C.M.S., 1871, 91 pages, I6mo.
The year following W. M. Watts, London, published: Isuama-Ibo Church Katekīsim
(including the Order of Confirmation, the Thanksgiving of Women after
Child-birth). 15 pages, without title-page, 8vo.
|Fifteen years later, in 1887, the Lower Niger
Mission Press at Bonny published: Portions of the Book of Common :Prayer,
60 pages; and a selection of hymns, 19 pages, under one cover, 8vo. At
the end of the pamphlet are two leaves containing a version of part of
the Communion Office differing from that in the text. The same year this
press printed also an Ibo translation of the Church Catechism. 10 pages,
||Griffiths 56:1; Griffiths says this is in the Lower Ibo dialect|
|In 1898 the Right Rev. Herbert Tugwell, Bishop
in Western Equatorial Africa, ordained to the priesthood the first Ibo
native, David Okfarabietoa Pepple. In the preceding year the S.P.C.K. published:
n’asusu Ibo. Portions of the Book of Common Prayer
in the Ibo language. 122 pages, fcap. 8vo. It contains the Morning and
Evening Prayer, the Litany, Communion, Baptism, etc. In 1908 there was
published by the S.P.C.K. the complete translation of the Liturgy, including
the Psalter, or Psalms of David, and the Ordinal. The text, headings,.
etc., are all in Ibo, excepting a second title-page, in English,. facing
the Ibo title. This latter reads:
Griffiths 57:1; Griffiths says this is in the Upper Ibo dialect.
xxxiii, (3), 532 pages, fcap. 8vo.
|Griffiths 57:2 (1904, reissued 1908, 1929)|
In 1897, and again in 1907, *Portions of the, Book of Common Prayer in the Isuama (Ibo) language were published by the S.P.C.K., 104 pages, fcap. 8vo. Title, reverse blank; introductory matter, beginning with “Proper Lessons,” pages 3-12; Morning Prayer, 13-23; Evening Prayer, 24-33; the Litany, 34-40; the Collects, 41-58; Holy Communion Service, 59-69; Baptism of Infants, 70-76; . Baptism of such as are of riper years, 77-84; a Catechism,. 85-90; Confirmation, 91-92; Churching of Women, 93-95 ; Communion of the Sick, 96; Burial of the Dead, 97-100 ; Matrimony, 101-104. Headings and sub-headings, and the whole introductory matter in this edition are all in English.
The translator was probably the Rev. Julius Spencer, a native pastor at Nnewi, Southern Nigeria, who has done other translational work, or the Ven. Archdeacon Thomas. John Dennis, of Owerri, Southern Nigeria.
Griffiths 55:2 (1897. reissued 1913)
The current Igbo translation of the 1662 BCP is online
NIGERIAN LANGUAGES, IV. — NUPÉ, SHEKIRI AND SUSU
NUPÉ was formerly an independent state. It is now a province in the British Protectorate of Nigeria. The population is estimated at about one hundred and fifty thousand. people. Its capital, Bida, was founded in 1859, when the Fula rule was established in Nupé. The language is spoken by about a million people. It is situated between the Yoruba language-field on the south and the Hausa on the north, on both banks of the Quorra branch of the Niger. Early Episcopal missions were conducted solely by African missionaries from Sierra Leone.
The Rev. Henry Johnson, an African, was trained at Islington College, and ordained by the bishop of London. In 1862, when the Quiah and Sherbro districts were annexed to the colony of Sierra Leone, Johnson was sent to Sherbro, and did good work in translating portions of the Scripture into the Mende language, revised by J. F. Schön. In 1877 he was sent to St. Paul’s Church, Breadfruit, Lagos, to take the place of his brother, the Rev. James Johnson, who had been transferred to Abeokuta, to superintend the whole Yoruba Mission. Henry Johnson had been sojourning before this a year or two in Palestine, under the direction of the C.M.S., in order to become more fully acquainted with the Arabic language and the Mohammedan religion, and thus be fitted for special work among the Moslems of West Africa. In 1880 he went to the Niger as archdeacon. At Lokoja, where he ordinarily resided, the work was peculiarly difficult, owing to the fact, mentioned before, that the place was a confluence, not only of rivers, but still more of languages. This is illustrated by the fact that Johnson had sometimes to preach with four interpreters standing by him translating his sentences successively to as many different nationalities of his congregation. At that time the archdeacon published, through the S.P.C.K., a Nupé reading book and a translation of the Catechism of the Church of England, 1883. 12 pages, fcap. 8vo. Two years later, when he was in England, the University of Cambridge conferred upon him the honorary degree of M.A. in recognition of his splendid linguistic work. In later years he was stationed at Lagos, and was made canon of the cathedral chapter, formed by the Right Rev. John Taylor Smith, lord bishop of Sierra Leone (1897-1901). James Johnson has been assistant bishop of Western Equatorial Africa since 1900.
In 1899 the S.P.C.K. published Henry Johnson’s
(12), 67, (1) pages, fcap.8vo. The services are entirely in Nupé, including headings and sub-headings. The (12) introductory pages contain: Title, reverse blank; Contents; Proper Lessons, Calendar, Rules, etc. This part is entirely in English. The contents of the book are; Morning and Evening Prayer, Litany, Holy Communion, Baptism of Infants, Baptism of Adults, Catechism and Confirmation.
Shekiri is spoken in the district called Wari, to the west of the Idzo language-field and bordering on that of the Yoraba languages. Into this language portions of the Liturgy were translated, and published in 1909, entitled * Iwe Ise ti Egwari Sekiri. 39 pages, fcap. 8vo. There is no table of contents, the reverse of the title-page giving only the name of the printer. Sub-headings have added in parentheses the English titles, otherwise the text is entirely in Shekiri. Pp. 3-10 contain the Morning Prayer (Ise Owuro; 11-18, the Evening Prayer (Ise Ale); 18-24, the Litany; 24-30, Katikisimu Egwari; 31-39, Katekisimu Watti.
Griffiths 196:5; Griffiths considers this a dialect of Yoruba.
Sierra Leone, “the white man’s grave,” is a British colony and protectorate. It is inhabited by various negro tribes, the most important being the tribes speaking the Tern (Tim), the Sulima, the Susu and the Mende language. Among the leading agents in spreading civilization in the Sierra Leone were the missionaries sent out, from 1804 on, by the C.M.S., to whom, indeed, “the credit of the evangelization of that portion of West Africa belongs.”
The Susu are the most important tribe on the Rio Pongo. They are a division of, or at least near related to, the Mandingo of West Soudan, the negroid nation who founded one of the seven ancient Hausa States. For many centuries the Susu have been Mohammedans.
The experiment to evangelize that portion of West Africa was begun in
1851 from Codrington College, Barbados, by the West Indian Church Association
for the Furtherance of the Gospel in Western Africa. The enterprise is
interesting as being the second missionary movement which proceeded from
the Church in the colonies. The Rev. Hamble James Leacock, a European
clergyman born in the West Indies and “Martyr of the Pongas,”
and the Rev. Duport were the first missionaries who actually began the
mission in 1855. The language was soon reduced to writing with roman letters,
and Duport published through the S.P.C.K., in 1864, Outlines of a Grammar
in the Susu Language, together with the Rev. (later the Right Rev. Bishop)
Richard Rawle (1812-89). The translation of the Liturgy into the language
of the Susu was begun by Duport in 1856, and a portion of it was printed
by the S.P.C.K. in 1859. A
second edition, with the English supplied on opposite pages, was put
out in 1861 (281 pages, 12mo); and a third, revised, edition in 1869.
|Griffiths call this
Griffiths 160:1 (1859)
Griffiths 160:2 (1861)
The *1869 edition has title-page and headings, and also sub-headings, in English, the rest in Susu. (1), 364 pages, 24mo. The reverse of the title-page, which should contain the table of contents, is blank. The text is distributed thus: Morning Prayer, pp. 1-15; Evening Prayer, 15-24; Creed of St. Athanasius, 24-27; the Litany, 28-35; Prayers and Tranksgivings, 36-44; the Collects, Epistles and Gospels, 45-252; Holy Communion, 253-278; Publick Baptism of Infants, 279-294; Baptism of those of riper years, 295-304 ; A Catechism, 305-312; the Order of Confirmation, 313-316 ; Solemnization of Matrimony, 317-328; The Visitation of the Sick, 329-340; the Communion of the Sick, 341-342 ; the Burial of the Dead, 342-351; the Churching of Women, 352-354; A Commination Service, 355-364.
James Henry A. Duport, a negro, was born in 1830 at St. Kitts, West
Indies. He was educated at Codrington College, ordained deacon in 1856,
and priest in 1861 by the bishop of Sierra Leone. He worked as a missionary
among the Susus from 1856 to 1868. He died at Liverpool, England, in
|Griffiths 160:3 (1869, reissued 1877)|
A new translation of the Liturgy was made by the Rev. Philip Henry Douglin, also a negro missionary from the West Indies. He was educated at. Codrington College, ordained deacon in 1871, and advanced to priesthood in 1873 by Bishop Henry Cheetham, of Sierra Leone. He laboured at Domingia from 1873 until 1885, and then resigned. The new translation was published by the S.P.C.K. in 1884.
Griffiths 160:4; apparently untraced
NIGERIAN LANGUAGES, V — TEMNE AND YORUBA
TEM(NE) (Timmani) is near related to the Bulam (Bullom) language, along the coast-line of Northern Guinea, between Sherbro on the south and the Gambia on the north. The Temba live round the English colony of Sierra Leone. They are a powerful tribe, numbering some two hundred thousand, and are gradually displacing the Bulain tribe. Their language has an expansion beyond the tribe.
“There are slight affinities with the Bantu
in most of the languages ,of the Lower Niger and in those of other
West African groups as far westward as Portuguese Guinea. No student
of African languages can fail to be struck with the remarkable resemblance
in ,grammar and structure between the Tim(ne) of Sierra Leone and the
Bantu family, albeit in this case there is absolutely no connection
in word-roots, such as is the case between the Bantu and the Madi .group
of the Bahr-al-Ghazal and Mountain Nile”.
One of the results of the
early literary work of the C.M.S. was a translation of the Church Catechism
into the Sherbro dialect of the Sierra Leone. It was published in 1824
by the C.M.S., 87 pages, 16mo, entitled: Catechism Church re ne inyëē
inkith inkith hal ahpoma she e lomany dya Book re yenkeleng. The Church
Catechism in short questions . . . in Sherbro and English. In later years
Henry Johnson, the well-known African clergyman, was sent to Sherbro,
and did good work in translating portions of the Scriptures into the
| Johnston, Grenfell,
Vol. II, p. 827. See also Krause, “Die
Stellung des Temne innerhalb der Bantusprachen,” in Zeitschrift
Afrikanische und Oceanische Sprachen, Band I, Berlin, 1895.
|It was with a view to the gradual advance into
the interior that a mission was begun by the C.M.S. as far back as 1840,
among the Temne people. Port Lokkoh, sixty miles up the Sierra Leone river,
was occupied for that purpose. Here resided for ten years Christian Friedrich
Schlenker, a scholarly German missionary from the Basle Mission School.
He made the language his own, and contributed more toward our knowledge
of the Tem(ne) language, history and folklore than any other scholar. In
1868 Schlenker published at Stuttgart, for the C.M.S., a Tem(ne) selection
of the Liturgy, entitled: An’-Leitourgīa ana-Temne . . . Select portions
from the Book of Common Prayer . . . translated into Temne. 120 pages,
16mo. He also translated into Tem(ne) the New Testament and portions of
the Old; wrote a grammar and dictionary of the language, and collected
Temne traditions, fables and proverbs (1861, 320 pages).
Unfortunately, the mission to the Temba had to be suspended at the beginning of the sixties, owing to the hostility of the natives. Several attempts were soon made to re-open it, but they failed. Not until 1875 was Port Lokkoh again occupied. It is owing to this checkered progress that until the present day only general linguistic work, such as reading book, primer and second reader, have been published, in addition to a Temne Book of Hymns, by the Rev. John Alfred Alley, London, S.P.C.K., 1896. Alley is a graduate of Islington College, 1875. He went to West Africa in 1883, and was for many years (1883-1898, 1904-5) the only English missionary at Port Lokkoh. From 1898 to 1904 he was stationed at Robere, also in the diocese of Sierra Leone. It was very uphill work; but in the course of years about 150 persons were baptized. He returned to England in 1905.
The Yoruba, though last mentioned, are by no means the last or the least important of the many people of the Nigeria Mission. The Yoruba, a group of negro tribes numbering about two million and a half, have given their name to an extensive area in West Africa, in the hinterland of the island of Lagos. They are of true Negro stock, akin to the Ibos, and are divided into many tribes. By the French they are sometimes called Nagos. Their language has been reduced to writing, and has been carefully studied by many scholars. It has penetrated as far east as Kano, in the Hausa country. As a medium of general intercourse in West Africa Yoruba ranks in importance next to Hausa and Mende. Most of the Yoruba land is included in the British protectorate of Southern Nigeria. The language is the every-day tongue of teaching and preaching of a large mission at Lagos, and Abeokúta on the mainland. Here the scattered Egbas, a tribe of the Yoruba nation, had gathered again and had made it a flourishing town.
The Yoruba Mission was begun in 1844, when three missionaries of the
C.M.S. sailed from Sierra Leone. They were Henry Townsend, Charles Andrew
Gollmer (1812-1886), and Samuel Adjai Crowther. From the very beginning
Crowther was the leader in that mission, for the growth of which most
of his translational work was done. Thus in 1850 the C.M.S. published:
Iwe Adua Yoruba. A selection from the Book of Common Prayer . . . Translated
into Yoruba . . . 37, 82 pages, 12mo. Venn’s high estimate of this
translation is printed in Vol. II, p. 115; of Stock’s centennial
history. In 1871 the Order of Confirmation, in Yoruba, or Ilana Imokaule,
was printed by Watts, London, 4 pages, 16mo. Eight years later the whole
of the Liturgy, translated by Crowther, assisted in its early stages
by the Rev. Thomas King, a faithful Egba clergyman who died in 1862,
was published by the S.P.C.K. entitled:
|Griffiths 196:1 (1850,
(2), 485 pages, fcap. 8vo. The edition, printed for the S.P.C.K. at
the Oxford University Press, has neither the introductory matter nor
a table of contents. Another edition was printed in 1882.
In 1904 the C.M.S. published at London (Exeter printed) an edition in
small size, 510 pages.
|Griffiths 196:2 (1879, reissued 1882, 1886)|
|Griffiths 192:4 (1904,
many reissues through at least 1968)
Samuel Adjai Crowther was born about the year 1809, of negro parents, at Ochugu, in the Yoruba country. As a young man he was carried off as a slave, freed by a British cruiser, and landed at Sierra Leone in 1822. He entered the service of the C.M.S. and was baptized in 1825, taking the name of Samuel (Adjai) Crowther, after that of a well-known London clergyman. In time he became a teacher at Fourah Bay, and afterwards an energetic missionary. After years of faithful study, first at Fourah Bay College, and then at Islington College, he was ordained in 1843, the first African associated with the C.M.S. to receive Holy Orders. From 1843 until 1851 he worked in the Yoruba country, and continued there after a short visit to England. During the period of his work in Yoruba he prepared a number of school-books and translated the Bible and the Prayer Book into Yoruba. In 1864 he was consecrated bishop of the Niger Territory. His subsequent life was devoted to evangelistic and organising work in his diocese. He died at Lagos on December 31, 1891, having displayed as a missionary for many years untiring industry, great practical wisdom, and deep piety. One of his sons, the Rev. Dandeson Coates Crowther, is now archdeacon of Niger Delta.
| According to p. 184 of Gollmer’s Biography, edited by his son, Gollmer also translated the Prayer Book into Yoruba. It is quite probable that he was another assistant of Crowther in the preparation of the Yoruba translation which appeared in 1879. (Griffiths indicates that Gollmer indeed assisted in the translation of 196:2, above.)|
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND AUTHORITIES CONSULTED
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CHAPTER L: MADAGASCAR
BAKER, E. An Outline of a Grammar of the Malagasy Language. as Spoken by the Hovas. Mauritius, ’45. 8vo. 2nd edition. Lo. ’64.
BOULDER, J. A. Among the Malagasay: an unconventional record of missionary experience. Lo. ’12. 8vo.
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CHAPTERS LI-LVI: BANTU LANGUAGES
ANDERSON-MORSHEAD, A. E. M. The History of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa, 1859-98. 2nd edition. Lo. ’99 [and ’10]. 8vo.
ASHE, R. P. Two Kings of Uganda; or, Life by the Shores of Victoria Nyanza. . . . Lo. ’89 and ’97. Illus. Map. Sm. 8vo.
—— Chronicles of Uganda, etc. . . . Lo ’94 and ’96. Portrait. Plates. 8vo.
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AWDRY, F. E. An Elder Sister. A sketch of Anne Mackenzie, and her brother the missionary bishop. Lo. 78. Illus. Portrait. Map. 8vo.
BATTERSBY, C. F. HARFORD-. Pilkington of Uganda. (2nd edition.}, N.Y. [’99]. Portrait. Maps. 8vo.
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BEECH, M. W. H. The Suk: their Language and Folk-lore. . . . Oxford, ’11. Portraits. Plates. Maps. 8vo.
BENHAM, MARIAN S. Henry Callaway. . . . His Life-History and. Work. A memoir of Bishop Callaway. Edited by Canon Benham. Lo. ’96. 8vo.
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—— Notes toward a Secoana Grammar. 2nd edition. Lo. ’86. 8vo.
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DAVIS, W. J. A Grammar of the Kaffir Language. Lo. ’72. 8vo.
DAWSON, E. C. James Hannington, first Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa. A history of his life and work. 1847-85. Lo. ’87. Illus. Portrait. Folded map. Sm. 8vo.
DU PLESSIS, J. A History of Christian Missions in South Africa. Lo. ’11. Map. 8vo.
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JUNOD, H. A. The Life of a South African Tribe. Lo. ’12, ’13. 2 vols. 8vo.
KRAPF, J. L. Travels, Researches, and Missionary Labours, in Eastern Africa. With appendix. Lo. ’60. Illus. Portrait. Maps. 8vo.
—— compiler. A Dictionary of the Suahili Language. With introduction containing an outline of a Suahili grammar. Lo. ’82. Portraits. 8vo.
LAGDEN, SIR GODFREY Y. The Basutos: The Mountaineers and their Country. Being a narrative of events relating to the tribe from its formation early in the nineteenth century to the present day. La. ’09. 2 vols. Portraits. Plates. Maps. Genealogical chart. L. 8vo.
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LIVINGSTONE, D. Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa. N.Y. ’58. 8to.
LLOYD, E. Three Great African Chiefs (Khame, Sebele, and Bathoeng). La. ’95. Portraits. Sm. 8vo.
LYNE, R. N. Zanzibar in Contemporary Times. A short story ’of the southern East in the nineteenth century. Lo. ’05. Portraits. Plates. Maps. Facsimile. 8vo.
MCDERMOTT, P. L. British East Africa, or Ibea. A history of the Imperial British East Africa Company. La. ’93. Portraits. Plates. Map. 8vo.
MACKENZIE, ANNE, editor. Mission Life Among the Zulu-Kafirs. A memoir of Henrietta, wife of the Rev. R. Robertson, compiled from letters and journals written to the late Bishop Mackenzie and his sister. Lo. ’65. New edition, ’75. 8vo.
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—— Ten Years North of the Orange River; a Story of Everyday Life and Work Among the South African Tribes, from 1859 to 1869. Edinburgh, ’71. Illus. Plates. Map. Sm. 8vo.
MCLAREN, J. A Grammar of the Kaffir Language. Lo. ’06. Sm. 8vo.
MADAN, A: C. Living Speech in Central and South Africa. All essay introductory to the Bantu family of languages. Oxford, ’11. 8vo.
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WARD, G. Charles Alan Smythies, Bishop of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa. Lo. ’98. 8vo.
WERNER, A. The Natives of British Central Africa. Lo. ’06. Plates. Map. [The Native Races of the British Empire.] 8vo.
WESTERMANN, D. Die Sudansprachen. Eine sprachvergleichende Studie. Hamburg, ’11. Map. [Hamburgisches Kolonialinstitut. Abhandlungen. Band 3.] 4to.
WIDDICOMBE, J. Fourteen Years in Basutoland (1876-90). A Sketch of African Mission Life. Lo. [’92]. 8vo.
—— Distant Brethren of Low Degree; or, Missionary Gleanings in Southern Africa. Lo. ’75. 16mo.
—— “In the Lesuto.” A sketch of African Mission Life. Lo. ’95 [’07]. Illus. Map. 8vo.
WIRGMAN, A. T. The History of the English Church and People in South Africa. Lo. ’95. Sm. 8vo.
WOOLLCOMBE, H. S. Beneath the Southern Cross: Being Impressions gamed on a Tour through Australasia and South Africa on behalf of the Church of England Men’s Society. Lo. ’13. Plates. 8vo.
WORSFOLD, W. B. The Union of South Africa. Boston, ’13. Plates. Maps. [The All-Red Series.] 8vo.
WYCHE, C. J. History of Keiskama Hoek Industrial Mission. Lo. [’00]. Sm. 8vo.
CHAPTERS LVII-LXI: NIGERIAN LANGUAGES
BARROW, A. H. Fifty Years in Western Africa. Lo. ’00. 12mo. — “A short account of the effort of the West Indian Church to bring Christianity to the land of their forefathers.”
BICKERSTETH, E. Memoirs of Simeon Wilhelm, a Native of the Susoo Country, West Africa. . . . Together with some account of the Superstitions of the inhabitants of West Africa. . . . New Haven, ’19. 24mo.
CASWELL, H. James Hamble Leacock. The martyr of the Pongas. Lo. ’57.
CROOKS, J. J. A History of the colony of Sierra Leone, Western Africa. Dublin, ’03. Maps. Sm. 8vo.
CROWTHER, S. ADJAI. Journal of an Expedition up the Niger and Tshadda rivers, undertaken by MacGregor Laird, Esq., in connection with the British Government, in 1854. Lo. ’55. Map. 12mo.
DAYRELL, E. Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria, West Africa. Lo. ’10. Plate. 8vo.
DENNETT, R. E. Nigerian Studies; or, the Religious and Political System of the Yoruba. Lo. ’10. Illus. Plates. Map. 8vo.
—— At the Back of the Black Man’s Mind; or, Notes on the Kingly Office in West Africa. Lo. ’06. Illus. Plates. 8vo.
DYER, A. S. Christian Liberia, the Hope of the Dark Continent. With special reference to the work and mission of Edward S. Morris, of Philadelphia. Lo. ’79. 12mo.
ELLIS, A. B. The Yoruba-speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West Africa: their Religion, Manners, Customs . . . with an appendix containing a comparison of the Tshi, Ga, Ewe and Yoruba languages. Lo. 94. Maps. 8vo.
FERGUSON, S. D. An Historical Sketch of the African Mission of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. New York. . . . Portraits. Plates. N.Y. ’84. 8vo.
Friends, Society of. Report of the Committee managing a fund raised by some friends for the purpose of promoting African instruction; with an account of a visit to the Gambia and Sierra Leone. Lo. ’22. Plate. 8vo.
—— Statements Illustrative of the Nature of the Slave Trade. Particulars respecting the colony at Sierra Leone. Lo. ’24. 8vo.
GOLLMER, C. H. V. Charles Andrew Gollmer, His Life and Labours in West Africa. Compiled from his journals and the C.M.S.’s publications by his eldest son. . . . Lo. ’89. Illus. Portraits. Plates. Sm. 8vo.
HINDERER, ANNA. Seventeen Years in the Yoruba Country. . . . Lo. ’72. [4th edition, ’77.] Portrait. Plates. Map. Plans. Sm. 8vo.
INGHAM, E. G. Sierra Leone after a Hundred Years. Lo. ’94. Illus. 8vo.
—— The African in the West Indies. Lo. ’96. 8vo.
JOHNSTON, SIR H. H. Article “Nigeria,” in Encyclopædia Britannnica, l1th edition, Vol. XIX, pp. 677-684.
—— Liberia. With an appendix on the flora of Liberia, by O. Stapf. Lo. ’06. 2 vols. Illus. Portraits. Plates. Maps. 8vo.
KINGSLEY, M. H. Travels in West Africa. Congo français, Corisco and Cameroons. Lo. ’97. Illus. Plates. 8vo.
—— West African studies. Lo. ’01. 8vo.
LEONARD, A. G. The Lower Niger and its Tribes. Lo. ’06. Map. 8vo.
LIPPERT, J. Ueber die Stellung der Haussasprache unter den Afrikanischen Sprachengruppen. In Mittheilungen des Seminars für orientalische Sprachen, Berlin. Vol. IX, part 3, pp. 334-344. Berlin, ’06.
LUCKACH, H. C. A Bibliography of Sierra Leone, with an Introductory Essay on the Origin, Character and Peoples of the Colony. Oxford, ’10. Map. 8vo.
MIGEOD, F. W. H. The Languages of West Africa. Vol. 1. Lo. ’11. Tables. Map. 8vo.
MISCHLICH, A. Lehrbuch der hausanischen Sprache. Berlin, ’11. [Lehrbücher des Seminars für orientalische Sprachen, Berlin. Band 27.] L. 8vo.
MOREL, E. D. Nigeria: Its People and its Problems. 2nd edition. Lo. ’12. 8vo.
MUELLER, F. Die Sprachen Basa, Grebo and Kru im westlichen Afrika. In Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna. Philosophisch-historische Classe. Sitzungsberichte. Band 86, pp. 85-102. Wien, ’77.
MUELLER, P. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Tem-Sprache (Nord-Togo). In Mittheilungen des Seminars für orientalische Sprachen, Berlin. Vol. VIII, part 3, pp. 251-286. Berlin, ’05.
Niger and Yoruba Notes. A record of work in Western equatorial Africa. Edited by C. F. HARFORD-BATTERSBY. Lo. ’94 foll. 2 vols. Maps. 8vo. — A periodical publication, dealing almost wholly with missionary work.
PAGE, J. The Black Bishop, Samuel Adjai Crowther. With an introduction by Eugene Stock. Lo. ’08. Illus. Plates. 8vo.
PARTRIDGE, C. S. Cross River Natives. Lo. ’05. Plates. Maps. 8vo.
PAYNE, JOHN. Bishop Payne’s First Annual Address to the Philadelphia Annual Conference of the A.M.E. Church, May 11, 1853. Philadelphia, ’53. 8vo.
PIERSON, A. T. Seven Years in Sierra Leone. The story of the work of William A. B. Johnson, missionary of the Church Missionary Society from 1816 to 1823 in Regent’s Town, Sierra Leone, Africa. N.Y. [’97]. 12mo.
Proposed Mission from the Church in the West Indies to Western Africa. [Lo.], ’50. 8vo.
REEVE, H. F. The Gambia. Its history, ancient, mediæval, and modern. . . . Lo. ’12. Portraits. Plates. Maps. L. 8vo.
ROBINSON, C. H. Hausaland: or, Fifteen Hundred Miles through the Central Soudan. Lo. ’96. Illus. Portraits. Plates. Maps. 8vo.
—— Nigeria, Our Latest Protectorate. Lo. ’00. Illus. Plates. Map. 8vo.
SCOTT, ANNA M. Day-Dawn in Africa; or, Progress of the Protestant Episcopal Mission at Cape Palmas, West Africa. N.Y. ’58. Illus. Map. 12mo.
SEDDALL, H. The Missionary History of Sierra Leone. Lo. ’74. 8vo.
THOMPSON, G. Thompson in Africa; or, An Account of the Missionary Labours, Sufferings, Travels, etc. of George Thompson in Western Africa, at the Mendi Mission [1848-50]. N.Y. ’52. Illus. Portrait. Map. 12mo.
TOWNSEND, GEORGE. Memoir of the Rev. Henry Townsend, late C.M.S. Missionary. . . . Compiled from his journals, by his brother. Lo. ’87. 8vo.
TUCKER, C. M. Abbeokuta; or, Sunrise Within the Tropics: an outline of the origin and progress of the Yoruba Mission. N.Y. ’53. Plates. Map. 16mo.
WALKER, S. A. The Church of England Mission in Sierra Leone, including an Introductory Account of that colony and a Comprehensive Sketch of the Niger Expedition in the Year 1841. Lo. ’47. 8vo.
—— Missions in Western Africa among the Soosoos,
Return to the Book of Common Prayer among the Nations of the World
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