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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 5

macaroca, because it grows on a stem whose tip, where nature produces it,
resembles a long spindle. From this grain they make cakes called
"batancas which we use at table as bread. The land also produces sesame;
i and tarafe, which grows on medium-sized trees found wild along the edges
of rivers, and is used in times of famine, after being cured in water,
just as we do lupine in Europe, but this seed is in larger quantity and
is.. greener in colour. Of vegetables there are macarras, although these
can only be obtained in small quantity: they are seeds similar to our
peas, but there are more of them and they are different in colour, being
a light grey. Then there are yams, potatoes, and mafafas which grow on
plants under the soil, with leaves like those of the golfao (water lily)
although these are much bigger; Calcutta pumpkins green and grey;
;certain beans; langanhas, which are widely used in the Cigas, and are
fruits produced on the stems by a plant like a         , /f.48Ji/ in
the form of those small sugar hats (?) which are shaped like pyramids;
native aubcecgines called Bete; and also our own kind of aubergine,
although cultivated in different way.
As regards meat, for those that want to keep the rule of Galen and
Bypocrates there is no lack of domestic and wild fowl, peacocks,
partridges, birds like turtle doves,() and chocas which are small and
dark grey in colour; also farfanos which correspond to our rabbits, and
antelope, similar to our deer. The meat (from these creatures) is very
good, but it is necessary to employ hunters to catch them. If one pays
less attention to medical advice, there are (other animals which provide
meat), elephant, buffalo, wild boar, pangles which are similar to cows
with long faces and slightly-curved horns about half a span long, larger
deer, and monkeys/apes. It is necessary to be on friendly terms with the
hunters of these animals.
As regards fruit, although different from ours, there is no lack
:,of it.  There is Indian fruit such as bananas, some of them the smaller
age ones which are called Figs of St. Tome  the subject of a discourse by
-- the scholar Jogo Fragoso and which in the opinion of D. Brocado was the
;fruit with which the devil persuaded our first parents to commit sin,
as can be observed by anyone interested - and there are other bananas
called centolous, longer and better. There are still longer ones more
suitable for cooking than for the table; these are the   e±      l
  ones,
"(d) Wailing ducks and others.


 


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