Bundu (also Bondu, Bondou and Boundou) was a state in West Africa, later a French protectorate dependent on the colony of Senegal. It lay between the Falémé River and the upper course of the Gambia River, that is between 13 and 15 N., and 12 and 13 W.
The country is an elevated plateau, with hills in the southern and central parts. These are generally unproductive, and covered with stunted wood; but the lower country is fertile, and finely clothed with the baobab, the tamarind and various valuable fruit-trees. Bondu is traversed by torrents, which flow rapidly during the rains but are empty in the dry season, such streams being known in this part of West Africa as marigots.
The inhabitants are mostly Fula, though the trade is largely in the hands of Mandingos. The religion and laws of the country are Islam, though the precepts of that faith are not very rigorously observed.
Mungo Park, the first European traveller to visit the country, passed through Bondu in 1795, and had to submit to many exactions from the reigning monarch. The royal residence was then at Fatteconda; but when Major William Gray, a British officer who attempted to solve the Niger problem, visited Bondu in 1818 it had been moved to Bulibani (Boolibany), a village with a population of 1500-1800, surrounded by a strong clay wall. In August 1845 the king of Bondu signed a treaty recognizing French sovereignty over his country. The treaty was disregarded by the natives, but in 1858 Bondu came definitively under French control.
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- Park 1799, p. 52.
- Gray 1825, pp. 124-125.
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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- Gomez, Michael A. (2002). Pragmatism in the Age of Jihad: The Precolonial State of Bundu. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-52847-4.
- Rançon, André (1894). Le Bondou : étude de géographie et d'histoire soudaniennes de 1681 à nos jours (in French). Bordeaux: G. Gounouihou.