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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]


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(BARBOT, p.93 : the French version of the 1680s omits mention of this
coast, p.81). English and French sources in the later eighteenth
century made brief references to the Nalu of Rio Nunez (MATTHEWS,
pp.11-12; GOLBERRY,2,p.228; AFZELIUS,ff.2/136v,242v); as did Caillie'
in the 1820s (CAILLIE, pp.227-240/153-162). Today, the Nalu occupy
areas around the lower parts of the Cumbidja, Cacine, Componi and
Nunez rivers (HOUIS 1950,p.28; TRESSAN, map 8; TEIXEIRA DA MOTA 1972,
map of the Cacine-Cumbidja region and reports of J.P. Garcia de Carvalho
and A.B. Morais Trigo, pp.288,305-6).  But they are still little known,
as witness the trifling ethnographic literature on them.
13/1  ... mui diferentes na linguagem ...          .... very different from
them in language...
NALU LANGUAGE.        Having stated that the Nalu and Beafada languages
are very different, Almada later asserts that the Nalu, Baga and
Cocolin "understand each other" (13/6). In contradiction, the Spanish
compiler Sandoval states that the Nalu and Beafada "understand each
other" (SANDOVAL,lib.1,cap.16,p.64). But as regards the Nalu and
Beafada languages, Almada was right, Sandoval wrong. Nalu and Beafada
are separate languages and only very distantly related (SAPIR,p.47).
Hence, it is unlikely that they were interintelligible to any useful
extent c.1600.
13/1  ...as mulheres pelo rosto.         ...the women on their faces.
NALU DRESS AND FACE-MARKING.         Almada's description of Nalu male
'dress does not appear to be repeated in later literature.  But-Sandoval
confirmed the Nalu face-marking, "lines fairly deep and close, above
the nose, covering the whole brow" (SANDOVAL,lib.1,cap.16,f.64); and
later in the seventeenth century, Coelho mentioned marking of the brow
for both sexes, and nose-piercing (COELHO 1669,p.59/f.49v). On
nose-piercing, see the note to 15/5. Earlier Almada described
body-marking among the Jalofo (4/17).  In the 1780s, the dress of
Nalu women of all ages was said to be "a thin slip of cloth passed
between the legs" (MATTHEWS,p.108).


 


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