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

Chapter 3. Which discusses the Kingdom of Ale Embiçane (of the) Barbacins, which is next to the Jalofos, and its customs, which are like those (of the Jalofos). [translated text],   pp. 27-29


Page 29

29.
6.       There are no bixirins in this nation; (but) there are other
fortune-tellers called jo.ibcoces,, who are not literate.  The 1!arbacins
live in thatched houses like the Jalofos, and eat their food in the same
way. All the Guinea blacks at night-tine eat in the dark without a light,
and even in day-time prefer to eat where they cannot be seen, turning
their backs on those around them so that they do not see them eat.
7.       In this country they have that same dye-stuff from which true indigo
is made, but all along this coast they make it in balls, by rolling up
the crushed material. They dye in the sate way as the Jalofos. There is
cotton in the land, but they lack the many cleths which the Jalofos and
neighbouring kingdoms have.
8.       All the animals mentioned and discussed czalier arc regularly hunted
here. The foodstuffs available are grain, rice, and beans - iore beans
than rice, since the land is poor and lacks standing water. They drink
a beverage made from grain, which is like beer, and another, a wine made
from a fruit called shobiro, which is also intoxicating: the wine is
white and the fruit is like a plum but larger. From this wine they also
make a good syrup wine, though it is not as good as ours. They obtain
another wine from palm-trees, a white wine, which is sweet when drawn but
turns very sour after a few days.
9.       These Barbacin heathen have many religious practices. They revere
the new moon. They have certain large trees which they treat as shrines,
and they colour them with rice-flour, and with the blood of animals they
kill and sacrifice to the trees, or to certain poles which they fix
upright in the ground for this purpose.
10.       The kingdom of this monarch extends -p the river, on the North
bank,
where it has several ports, with wells and settlements nearby, such as the
ports of Littlo-Palmtree, Gomar and Guindim. Guindin is the last port on
the river fien is near the royal court, called jagao, the best defended
place in the kingdom. The king used to pay our people most generously;
(but) today they have abandoned this tradc, because of the Enlaish, and
because the adventurers, who act as agents for the enemy)live in this
country,.


 


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