In the days of the colonial slave trade its African centre was the region about the mouths of the rivers Calabar and Bonny, whither the captive negroes were brought from great distances Africa.
Bates's potto (P. batesi), of the Congo, is nearly allied; but the awantibo (P. [Arctocebus] calabarensis), of Old Calabar, differs by the complete loss of the tail (see Primates) .
Before long a commencement was made of the missions to the delta of the Niger, and between 1866 and 1884 congregations of Christians were formed at Bonny, Brass and New Calabar, but the progress made was slow and subject to many impediments.
CALABAR BEAN, the seed of a leguminous plant, Physostigma venenosum, a native of tropical Africa.
They constitute the E-ser-e or ordeal beans of the negroes of Old Calabar, being administered to persons accused of witchcraft or other crimes.
The alkaloid calabarine is, on the other hand, a stimulant of the motor and reflex functions of the cord, so that only the pure alkaloid physostigmine and not any preparation of Calabar bean itself should be used when it is desired to obtain this action.
The symptoms of Calabar bean poisoning have all been stated above.
CALABAR (or OLD Calabar), a seaport of West Africa in the British protectorate of Southern Nigeria, on the left bank of the Calabar river in 4° 56' N., 8° 18' E., 5 m.
Above the point where the river falls into the Calabar estuary of the Gulf of Guinea.
Calabar was the name given by the Portuguese discoverers of the 15th century to the tribes on this part of the Guinea coast at the time of their arrival, when as yet the present inhabitants were unknown in the district.
It was not till the early part of the 18th century that the Efik, owing to civil war with their kindred and the Ibibio, migrated from the neighbourhood of the Niger to the shores of the river Calabar, and established themselves at Ikoritungko or Creek Town, a spot 4 m.
They have been for several generations the middle men between the white traders on the coast and the inland tribes of the Cross river and Calabar district.
From that date until 1906 Calabar was the headquarters of the European administration in the Niger delta.
Until 1904 Calabar was generally, and officially, known as Old Calabar, to distinguish it from New Calabar, the name of a river and port about 100 m.
Since the date mentioned the official style is Calabar simply.
Calabar estuary is mainly formed by the Cross river (q.v.), but receives also the waters of the Calabar and other streams. The Rio del Rey creek at the eastern end of the estuary marks the boundary between (British) Nigeria and (German) Cameroon.
Calabar Bean >>
Palm-oil, palm kernels, cocoa, copal, copra, Calabar beans, kola-nuts and ivory are the principal exports.
East of the Niger delta is that formed by the Imo or Opobo, Bonny and other streams, and still farther east is the Calabar estuary, mainly formed by the Cross river.
On the middle Cross river live the Akuna-kunas, an agricultural race, and in the Calabar region are the Efiks, Ibibios and Kwas.
The chief ports are Lagos (q.v.), capital of Southern Nigeria, with a population of about 50,000; Calabar (q.v.), pop. about 15,000, known as Old Calabar and Duke Town, on the Calabar river; Opobo, Bonny Town and Brass Town, all on the rivers of the same name.
Of Calabar, were noted ju-ju towns and have large populations.
Regular communication is maintained with Europe by steamers running between Liverpool and Forcados, Bonny and Calabar, the steamers calling at other West African ports en route.
There is telegraphic communication between Brass and Bonny and Europe by submarine cable, and land lines from Calabar to Lagos and from Lagos to Jebba, Lokoja, Zungeru, Kano, &c., a connexion being also effected with the telegraph system of French West Africa.