Bagirmi to the S.E.
Fula are settled in Bornu, Bagirmi, Wadai and the upper Nile Valley,' but have no political power in those countries.
BAGIRMI, a country of north-central Africa, lying S.E.
Occupied by former vassal states, the area and population of Bagirmi would be more than doubled.
The population of Bagirmi is mixed.
Polygamy is general in upper Bagirmi, where some traces of a matriarchal stage of society linger, one small state being called Beled-el-Mra, "Women's Land," because its ruler is always a queen.
Bagirmi was made known to Europe by the travels of Dixon Denham (1823), Heinrich Barth (1852), who was imprisoned by the Bagirmese for some time, Gustav Nachtigal (1872), and P. Matteucci and A.
The first expedition led thither through Bagirmi met with disaster, its leader, Paul Crampel, being killed by order of Rabah.
Missions were more fortunate, and in 1897 Emile Gentil, the French commissioner for the district, concluded a treaty with the sultan of Bagirmi, placing his country under French protection.
Kanem, a country north of Bagirmi and subject in turn to it and to Wadai, was at the same time brought under French control.
Where the forest thins to the savanna and steppe, and communication is easier, are found the larger kingdoms and " empires " such as, in the north those established by the Songhai, Hausa, Fula, Bagirmi, Ba-Hima, &c., and in the south the states of Lunda, Kazembe, the Ba-Rotse, &c.
Such are the Mandingo, the Songhai, the Fula, Hausa, Kanuri, Bagirmi, Kanembu, and the peoples of Wadai and Darfur; the few aborigines who persist, on the southern fringe of the Chad basin, are imperfectly known.
The third or central group of Sudanese states is formed of the sultanates of Bagirmi with Kanem and Wadai.