ADAMAWA, a country of West Africa, which lies roughly between 6 deg. and 11 deg. N., and 11 deg. and 15 deg. E., about midway between the Bight of Biafra and Lake Chad. It is now divided between the British protectorate of Nigeria (which includes the chief town Yola, q.v.) and the German colony of Cameroon. This region is watered by the Benue, the chief affluent of the Niger, and its tributary the Faro. Another stream, the Yedseram, flows north-east to Lake Chad. The most fertile parts of the country are the plains near the Benue, about 800 ft. above the sea. South and east of the river the land rises to an elevation of 1600 ft., and is diversified by numerous hills and groups of mountains. These ranges contain remarkable rock formations, towers, battlements and pinnacles crowning the hills. Chief of these formations is a gigantic pillar some 450 ft. high and 150 ft. thick at the base. It stands on the summit of a high conical hill. Mount Alantika, about 25 miles south-south-east of Yola, rises from the plain, an isolated granite mass, to the height of 6000 ft. The country, which is very fertile and is covered with luxuriant herbage, has many villages and a considerable population. Durra, ground-nuts, yams and cotton are the principal products, and the palm and banana abound. Elephants are numerous and ivory is exported. In the eastern part of the country the rhinoceros is met with, and the rivers swarm with crocodiles and with a curious mammal called the ayu, bearing some resemblance to the seal.
Adamawa is named after a Fula Emir Adama, who in the early years of the 19th century conquered the country. To the Hausa and Bornuese it was previously known as Fumbina (or South-land). The inhabitants are mainly pure negroes such as the Durra, Batta and Dekka, speaking different languages, and all fetish-worshippers. They are often of a very low type, and some of the tribes are cannibals. Slave-trading was still active among them in the early years of the 20th century. The Fula (q.v.), who first came into the country about the 15th century as nomad herdsmen, are found chiefly in the valleys, the pagan tribes holding the mountainous districts. There are also in the country numbers of Hausa, who are chiefly traders, as well as Arabs and Kanuri from Bornu. The emir of Yola, in the period of Fula lordship, claimed rights of suzerainty over the whole of Adamawa, but the country, since the subjection of the Fula (e. 1900), has consisted of a number of small states under the control of the British and Germans. Garua on the upper Benne, 65 m. east of Yola, is the headquarters of the German administration for the region and the chief trade centre in the north of Adamawa. Yoko is one of the principal towns in the south of the country, and in the centre is the important town of Ngaundere. After Heinrich Barth, who explored the country in 1851, the first traveller to penetrate Adamawa was the German, E. R. Flegel (1882). It has since been traversed by many expeditions, notably that of Baron von Uechtritz and Dr Siegfried Passarge (1893-1894).
An interesting account of Adamawa, its peoples and history, is given by Heinrich Barth in his Travels in North and Central Africa (new edition, London, 1890), and later information is contained in S. Passarge's Adamawa (Berlin, 1895). (See also CAMEROON and NIGERIA, and the bibliographies there given.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)