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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 49

49.
persons. And they bring the salt gold to the Kingdon of Galalho,
called by us Gagoe, uad to the Grand i~ulo. What maakes me testify more
strcnly tlhat they want the bracelets oily as oruaiieuts to wear is
About a thousana of the bracelets I took were
broken into pieces, and I asked the captain of the caravan guard if
he would buy thon,, and he told rae that they were useless. When I
said that I would give him two broken ones instead of one good one,
he replied that even if I gave him ten for one he would not take them,
because they would be of no use, they would only take whole ones
capable of being worn. Hence the suspicions I had entertained
disappeared.
15,       These merchants take over six months on their journey. But as
they wre blacks and lacking in energy it is surprising that they do
not take much more time. They follow a route which fringes (the lands
of) all the blacks of our Guinea, on the interior side, and they go
(this way) by order of a black emperor whom all the Guinea blacks we
have discussed are subject to, called Handimansa, whom none of our
people has ever seen. As soon as his name is mentioned, all the blacks
who hear it immediately uncover their heads, such is his ftuthority.
The Mina people call this king the Great Elephant, and he is so well
known that all the blacks respect his name for more than 300 leagues
around.
16.       On the occasion mentioned I had to leave the trading place
(without obtaining) five quarters and eight pounds of gold which had
come in the caravan, because I had no (more) goods to exchange. Today
this trade is lost, because no ship has gone there for eight ye,-rs;
the merchants, seeing that there is no trade for them, must have joined
those (trading) at Tmbocutum. Some Moors come to this trading place
and bring gold, exchanging it for glazod earthenvare bowls, red cloth,


 


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