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Fage, J. D. 1921- (John Donnelly) / A guide to original sources for precolonial western Africa published in European languages: for the most part in book form

1501-1550,   pp. [7]-13

Page [7]

1501 - 1550

1501- 1800                                                         BALANDIER,
La vie quotidienne au royaume de Kongo du XVI' au XVIII siacle, Paris,
Eng. trans. by H.WEAVER: Daily life in the kingdom of the Kongo..., London,
The weaknesses of this attempt by an eminent sociologist to reconstruct 17th
and 18th century
Bakongo society from the contemporary accounts written by visitors to it
have been fully set out by the
historian cum social-anthropologist Jan Vansina (see Africa 39, 1 (1969)
62-67).  He shows that
Balandier's use of the sources is lacking in rigour, and that his reconstruction
is neither synchronic nor
c.1502                                  al-MAGHILI, Muhammad b. cAbd    
John HUNWICK (ed. & tr.), Sharica in Songhay: the replies of al-Maghili
the questions of Askia a I-Hajj Mihamnad, London, 1985.
      REM, Lucas
B. GRIEFF, Tagebuch des Lucas Rems aus dem Jahren 1494-1541..., Augsburg,
Rem represented the Welsers in Portugal during 1503-08 and so had acccess
to accounts of Vasco da
Gama's second voyage to India in 1502-03. His brief account of C. Verde and
the C. Verde Isles is
available in an annotated English translation:
Adam JONES, 'The earliest German sources for West African history (1504-
1509)', Paideuma. 35 (1989) 148.
c.1505-08                                                   PACHECO     PEREIRA,
Esmeraldo de situ orbis,
ed. by Rafael Eduardo de AZEVEDO         BASTO, Lisbon, 1892,
Augusto Epiphanio da SILVA DIAS, Lisbon, 1905; repr. 1975,
DamiAo PERES, Lisbon, 1954.
Annotated Eng. trans. by G.H.T.KIMBLE, Hak. Soc., 2nd ser. 79, London, 1937.
Port. text with Fr. trans, annotated, by R.MAUNY, Bissau, 1956.
Pereira's work is renowned as the first comprehensive guide to the coastlands
of western Africa (from
Morocco to the Great Fish River in South Africa); it is supposed that it
was not published at the time it
was composed because the Portuguese authorities did not want rivals to have
access to its information.
Pacheco Pereira was involved with the overseas enterprise of the Portuguese
crown throughout his active
career. Mauny's edition is to be preferred to Kimble's, but it does not extend
south of Gabon. For
comment on, and interpretation of, the section on lower Guinea, see J.D.FAGE
in HA, 7 (1980).


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