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Almada, André Alvares d', fl. 1594, et al. / Brief treatise on the rivers of Guinea
Part II (1984)

[Notes for chapter 13]


13/1   ... se emparelharem por cima.

NALU.      The Nalu were first recorded on maps of the 1480s
(Eos nalus' on the coast South of 'bugebal and tbisegis, toponyms
on Rio Balola, on two Venetian portolans in BM Egerton 73, reproduced
in KAMAL, tome 5, fasc.1, plates 1508, 1511).   In corrupt forms, the
ethnonym persisted on maps up to the eighteenth century. In the
1500s, Pacheco Pereira referred to the River of the Nanuus and its
inhabitants of the same name (PACHECO PEREIRA, liv.1, cap.32, p.74) :
the river was either the Cacine or the Cumbidja (FERNANDES, p.170).
All the rivers between Rio Balola and Rio Nunez are small and diff-
icult of access because of sand-bars, and partly for this reason
were not well-known to the Portuguese. Almada states later that
the Portuguese had no direct trade with the Nalu c.1590 (13/3,13/5),
and he blames "greenhorns" who went into a Nalu river many years

before.  This "little river" is perhaps the Cumbidja, but if so,
Almada seems to have no knowledge of the larger Cacine and Componi
rivers further to the South. Dornelas had no more to report on the
Nalu than that they were ruled by Farim Cocali (which may have been
incorrect); and he stated that there was no regular trade by sea with
the coast between Rio Balola and Cape Verga, "but the launches of the
tangomaos trade some blacks, wax and ivory from port to port"
(DORNELAS,ff.16,35v). In 1606, Father Barreira reported that the Nalu
stretched along the coast from the Southern point of Rio Grande (Rio
Balola) to where the Baga began, including Rio Nunez, and the Portuguese
had no trade with them (BARREIRA, p.168). In 1627, the Spanish compiler
Sandoval noted that ships did not sail up the rivers of the 'Kingdom of
the Nalut and that trade was only through the Beafada (SANDOVAL, lib.1,
cap.11,f.39v). Half a century later, Coelho said that between Tombali
Point and Rio Nunez the inhabitants were Nalu, but that the Portuguese
had no contact with them in their ports because of the sand-banks;
however, some contact was made via the creeks on the North bank of
Rio Nunez. He noted that an English sailor had penetrated up one of
the unknown rivers (OOELHO 1669,pp.56,59,88/ff.47,49v,76v).   Dutch
seventeenth century sources had nothing original to say about this
section of the coast. In the English version of his text (prepared
between 1688 and 1713), the Frenchman Barbot remarked that South of the
Rio Grande the coast was "frequented by none but the Portuguese of
Cacheo and other adjacent colonies of that nation, driving a coasting trade
thither in sloops and barks, commencing at Osnalus [sicj "

.n together inland.


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