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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 4

runs on to the Cape of Good Hope. These are the true limits and    II i
bounds of what we call, strictu sensu, Serra Leoa. Therefore,
neither the Casses, an independent land before the conquest * (the) U
Sapes, and also called Mabengoma, nor even the kingdom of the Boulon  "
or f? the kingdom of]    the Logos are included, or can be included in
this kingdom or district of Serra Leoa, as their names themselves
indicate.  Truth will not allow us to include them. Greed alone wiltl U
be the motive of anyone who considers our lm1Pa too narrow. And
should there be any desire to extend them wider, we would only agree
to this when the neighbouring kingdoms, such as those of the Boulons | 3
or the Logos, come to accept the improper name of Serra Leoa.
Now let us discuss the third point of our chapter - the nature    i
the place and the fertility of the land. Generally speaking   e air
is more temperate here, and the water is better and healthier. The 1aii
,is very beautiful and pleasant, with a variety of valleys, mountainsl
and hills, and with gushing streams which divide up, not only the Serl I
itself, but also the hinterland. It has a cover of dense forest, in!
whose shady woods the continuous and soft harmony of the many birds
resounds most charmingly. The sea gives the district a pleasant out-] V
look, the Serra itself being like a balcony over the sea, looking to
the North and South. Its hills and high ranges spread in these
directions, and are surrounded by its various creeks and rivers, all
which are navigable to the natives, who pass up them deep into the
hinterland. Hence the Serra has all tnat can be desired in the way of',
coolness and sea breezes. That is why we consider this Province the     ;
most attractive and most favoured in all Ethiopia; and why we consider
the mountains of the Serra itself to be so kindly in respect of the     
?
health of the human body. Finally, this whole land is so suitable fo  IX
those who can be content with the little that is essential for life, I
that we know of no other place in these parts where one can live better!
or longer.
Turning to the abundance of products, beginning with foodstuffs.
There are different types of rice, the land producing fastest the sort
the natives call 'seven iweeks' rice', the apone of the land; then thej
is the more common kind, which is produced in great quantities, the
common funde of the land. The seven weeks? rice gives a smaller
quantity than our milho (millet), and is Ad.ey In colour, but is very i
tasty, although it stimulated the sanguine humour in man. The land
produces white milho and another kind, and also the sort called
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