Chula (Tula) island

Chula (Tula )Island.-This island is second in point of population: it is 57 miles from Kismayu, is 11 miles in breadth, 8t miles in length. The water is the sweetest on the islands. There are two villages on this island, the one Tula, the other a mile or so distant, M’doa. Coco-nuts grow extremely well, and with some encouragement would become profitable. The island possesses a large tomb, said to be Portuguese, made with a cement the secret of which has been lost. The decorations are not Islamic. Legend has it that five hundred Portuguese men and women landed on the island, having been driven out of Arabia: more probably they were expelled from Mombasa or Lamu by the Arabs in the eighteenth century. A house, the interior decorations of which are singularly delicate, is shown as of great age. It was built with slave labour by the great-aunt of a living inhabitant. This woman was of the Defarad clan of the Tunni tribe and the Barawa people of the Benadir coast. The Tunni and Rehawen fought with the Somalis at Giumbo and were driven north. The three stone mosques are in good repair: the interiors are decorated with plates: in many cases the design of this china is modern. On the mainland a few hundred yards from the shore, at Kituni, is the ruin of a considerable mosque, the interior of which is decorated with the 114 Suras of the Koran carved in the plaster. On the right-hand bank, at the mouth of the Anole Creek, are more ruins, likewise on the left-hand side at Kudai. It is submitted that these mainland settlements were in their conception custom-houses, and, as relations with the Galla or Wa-Nyika were established, became villages. The custom is well known; the grain was placed some distance away, the tusk was brought: if either the price or the article did not suffice, the dissatisfied warned away the other by hostile demonstration. Manifestly the islander could not barter in safety on his island.

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