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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 47

47.
They recite their prayers all togethcr, in a high voice nolsialy, li3le
a group of clerics in choir, and at the end they finish with
tAla. Prabi' and qa ?'.i:i.1 'they- h-ylv  wives whom they keep withl them,
both those Pho live in the establishments and those who live outside.
11.       The imported goods -which the people of this river value most are
as follmos: wile - they would die for it, and they call it dolo -
horses, white cloth from India, Indian beads as on the coast, Venetian
beads, pearls large or small, smiatll Venetian beads, red thread, red
cloth, 24-wireave cloth, scarlet fabric, coteries, paper, nails, copper
bracelets, barber's basins, copper cauldrons weighing one or two pounds,
and copper scrap. But of all the imported goods the most esteemed is
col-a, a fruit produced in Serra Leca a-d  e.neigi-otwiug district, an
worth so much in this river that they would give anything in exchange
for it, foodstuffs, cloth, slaves or gold. And it is so valuable that
the blacks carry it as far as the Kingdom of the Grand Fulo, where it
is worth a great deal, and also into the other rivers of our Guinea.
12.       In this river, up-stream  120 leagues, on the North side, in the
port called Jagrancura £r tL.a town called Sutuco, there is trading
in
gold, which is brought here in caravans by certain 'Mandinga merchants,
who are also bixirins ind make their prayers as others do. The gold
they bring here comes mostly in the form of -)owder, with some in coins,
and is very fine quality. The merchants are very expert with weights
as they are in other points (of their trade). They carry accurate
scales, the arms of which have silver in3.ay and the cords are of
twisted silk.  They carry little writing-cases of unpolished leather
without fa tpners, and in the drawers they carry the weights,which are
of brass, and are shaped like dice. The scales carry a larger brass
weight of one pound, shaped like the ponael of a sword. The gold they
transport in :Vces, in scraps of cloth, in the quills of large birds,
and in the hollow bones of cats, which they hide in their clothing.


 


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