It was possibly visited by Genoese navigators in 1291, and was certainly discovered by the Portuguese c. 1446, but was first explored for any distance from its mouth (1455) by the Venetian Alvise Cadamosto (q.v.), who published an account of his travels at Vicenza in 1507 (La Prima Navigazione per l'Oceano alle terre de' Negri della Bassa Ethiopia) .
The best known in this section are the three Baksan passes of Chiper (io,800 and 10,720 ft.), Bassa (9950 ft.) and Donguz-orun (10,490 ft.), south of Elbruz; those of Becho (11,070 ft.), Akh-su (12,465 ft.), Bak (10,220 ft.), Adyr-su (12,305 ft.) and Bezingi (10,090 ft.), between Elbruz and Dykh-tau; and those of Shari-vizk (11,560 ft.), Edena, Pasis-mta or Godivizk (11,270 ft.), Shtulu-vizk (10,860 ft.), Fytnargyn (11,130 ft.), between Dykh-tau and Adai-khokh; the Bakh-fandak (9570 ft.), between Adai-khohk and Kasbek; and the two Karaul passes (11,680 and 11,270 ft.) and Gurdzi-vizk (10,970 ft.), connecting the valley of the Urukh with that of the Rion.
The members of the corporation include Europeans, 8va bassa.
The slave-trade is still alive in this district, and an overland route for slaves is believed to have been established through eastern Bassa to the Benue.