University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Africa Focus

Page View

Almada, André Alvares d', fl. 1594, et al. / Brief treatise on the rivers of Guinea
Part I (1984)

Introduction [with maps],   pp. 1-12 ff.

Page 10

(c) Ethnonyms employing peculiarly Portuguese plurals have been
given English plurals, thus Papeis, Chaos, Bisaos and Bolo'es
have become Papels, Chans, Bisans and Bolons.
(d) The translation is not infrequently inconsistent in the
application of the above rules.
5.   Cedilla
As in other contemporary Portuguese texts, the cedilla is often
omitted in names, e.g. Brocalo for Brocalo.
6.   Glossary
See my glossary in Donelha (pp.180A-B) for comments on the meaning
of a dozen Portuguese terms, most of which are also found in Almada.
Add the following comments.
Rivers and streams
Because the Portuguese saw waterways as paths to the interior, they
invariably described them as beginning at the coast and finishing
at either their source or the head of navigation. This contrasts
with the modern way of describing the course of waterways in terms
of the direction of flow, so that a literal translation would read
strangely. My translation normally adjusts the text to the modern
Literally 'those thrown away', to some extent in the sense of 'those
throwing themselves away', the term lancados was much used by Almada
and his CVI contemporaries and clearly had emotive overtones.
Originally and officially it was pejorative, and could be translated
'run-aways', with the possible further implication of 'gone native'.
But at least by Almada's day, and even in writings such as Almada's
which generally express official attitudes, the enterprise of those
Portuguese who, for reasons good or bad, had transferred themselves
from the CVI to the mainland and therefore lived and worked wholly
or partly outside official surveillance, was capable of being
regarded in a less unfavourable light. 'Frontiersmen' would be
expressing it too strongly. But the term 'adventurer' combines
something of the two morally opposed senses, adventurers being
persons who can both be admired for being venturesom and condemned
for wholeheartedly seeking their own advantage.
7.   Notes
Notes are not indicated in the text. Each note identifies the
passage in the text to which it applies by having at the head a
chapter/paragraph number (e.g.10/2) and the citation of the opening
words of the passage, in Portuguese and in English.

- 10 -


Go up to Top of Page