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Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)
(1990)

Part two: The Province of Sierra Leone, chapter 1: the name, situation and bounds of this province and the nature of the land,   pp. 1-18


Page 1

ff .47J    PART TWO
THE PROVINCE OF SIERRA LEONE
Chapter 1
The name, situation and bounds of this Province and the nature of the land.
We now propose to begin Part Two of our enterprise, and as its main
subject is that district we call Serra Leoa4 (Leonine Hills), we shall speak
first about its name. It has this name because of its mountain ranges, its
rocks, its valleys, its hills and peaks, with their steep slopes. As for
the epithet of tleonine(a) this refers to its caves, not only those of its
famous Cabo Ledo, but also those elsewhere in the district.  For these
caves, together with its multitudinous valleys, produce an echo from the
; broken waters of its copious streams, as they run by the boulders and
isoutcrops of stony places; as well as an echo from its furious waves, which
break not onl-y against its white beaches, but also against the great rocks
that gird its shores. And this echo can be heard from very far away,
resounding.  (Yet) I do not doubt that the name of 'LeoaT is even more
fitting because of the lions for which the Serra provides a refuge and a
; ange.
To deal now with its geographical situation.  The Serra lies in a
-North - South direction. But to identify its cape, those travelling from
Cape Verga must sail Southwest, in the direction of the Isles of Idols,
keeping at a depth of never less than 7 or 8 fathoms.   Coming this way,
--one can obtain a clear view of the Serra, with its cape or headland pointing
,North - South. Magarabomba lies to the South, and is divided into many
separate islands by the various streams and rivers that penetrate or emerge
from the hinterland. In this quarter flows the river B4ngue, which girdles
r-the Serra on the South. Ef.47j Facing the Serra on the North is the
,"renowned Tagarim Point, which is ringed by the river Mitombo. This
river
and a tributary which breaks away from it make their way round the Serra
in such a way that, at the point where the stream meanders to a halt, it
is so near Bangue River that the Serra appears to be a large island. The
distance between the two rivers is so little that with great ease the
natives can transfer their boats from one to the other. With the same ease,
the territory could be turned into a beautiful island, bj cutting through
the narrow neck of land at this point.


00(a) D. Sebastian told me that the land breathed here.


 


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