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

Chapter 5. Which discusses the Kingdom of Gambia, otherwise called the Kingdom of Cantor, which is the Kingdom of the Mandingas, and of great extent. [translated text],   pp. 42-51


Page 44

44.
not he carried .ka~y from where they i'y dead, because the poison ;wns
so effective that already their bo-ics were eecaying, to the extent
that if they 4.'ere lifted up by ran arm it fell off from the body, and
the SaDva thing happened if a leg wfas lifted.  -all that could be done
ras to dig craves where the corpses lay and push them in. Such is
(the power of) the poison used by the blacks.   They are mostl.y a
treacherous lot.  All those on the South side of the river are bad:
they take a delight 4i .: LuHg .,hites and sei:ing ships, which they
Live done on several occasions. One can only go there in a strong
ship carrying a stout crew well-armed, and it is necessary at all times
to keep a careful watch on the blacks, since they never behave other
than treacherously. Along the river and its creeks are 7ertdin milit-
ary fortifications which the blacks call saosans. These are made of
very strong wooden stakes, their pointed ends embedded (in the ground),
and a rampart of earth behind. Each has its guard-towers, bastions,
and parades, from which they fight by shooting arrows. They also make
a kind of pitch with tar which they heat up in vessels.   And when the
enemy attack they hurl these vessels at them to mike them twithdraw.
As stated, they make their fortresses along the river and its creeks;
(this is) because of (the supply) of water and because they have boats
in which they attack other places. Hence, when they are at war, they
rob those who pass by.
7.        Alori6 the river on each bandc there are many villages of Fulos,
who
live in these parts after having left their own lands in search of the
pasturage and water which they need for their animals. Hence, the
district has large numbers of cattle. Along the river are very beaut-
iful meadows, which they call lalas, in which many kinds of game are to
be found at all tines, both beasts and birds.   The river has excellent
fishing, and vDery fine plaice can sometimes be taken.  It contains
leare crocodilesS lvhich often seize men and cols, and cerry them off
to eat in their lairs. D-.X; eGeceiles are so made that in the deep of


 


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