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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 10

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The smaller animals include the dari, which is amusing to see--,
though one cannot admire its appearance.    This creature is almost     f
human. Even though it does not normally walk upright, its face, eyes,
nose,. mouth and other parts are more like those of a human being than
those of a beast. Its beard, which is full of white hairs even if
the dari is only two months old, is worth seeing, and this, taken
together with its flat very wide nose and its frankly hideous upper
lip, is enough to amaze anyone! The cries it makes as it twists its
mouth to produce high and low notes, now higher now lower, are unique.
Think of this hairy head appearing in a theatre in Europel The sight
of allkthe tMdmal does would bring its owner a good supper and
better dinner! These animals have no tail. The females have breasts
like women, located in the same /f.50v/ place. When they walk they
go on the backs of their hands, placing them on the ground. They have
two hands and two feet, and on each five fingers with long nails. It
is such a well-built and strong animal., that it can tear cut the palm
cabbage from a palm-tree, hence they ruin the trees in those parts of
the forest where they alone feed. They are great fencers, and when
they meet any human being they go through the motions very enthus-
iastically.   Ten or eleven years ago, a dari met certain blacks of
Tombo, a village of the Boulons, and when it caught one of the men it
gave him a hiding with a stick. The man was so badly treated that even
today he has not recovered completely. They are fond of wrestling,
chest to chest.   If the female animal gives birth to a female, she
abandons it in disgust; but a male offspring she always nurses and
cossets. They are great enemies of elephants. Wherever elephants go,
they flee from the daris, because if the daris see them it means that
they go up to them with their sticks and give them a hard time.
However, this more often happens when daris find a dead elephant in
the forest, for they hit it such great smacks and blows with the
sticks they seize for this purpose that it is a sign that an elephant
is dying when one hears these blows andibellowings of the animal.
Daris are robbers, to an extraordinary extent. It has been known
,to happen that they have even stolen children from their parents.
During the period of the         one took a little girl and hid her in
the bush, feeding her for six days by bringing her fruits, until it
was observed taking her the food, when she was rescued.    What is
especially amazing in this animal is that it climbs up a palm tree


 


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