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

Chapter 5. Which discusses the Kingdom of Gambia, otherwise called the Kingdom of Cantor, which is the Kingdom of the Mandingas, and of great extent. [translated text],   pp. 42-51

Page 46

10.      To roturn to the river. In this district there are more ff thle
devozt biirise  thais  i_ all the rest ef Guinea, because there mare
ray establislhxcnts of this religion tbroughout the district, and many
pilgrims who go from kingdom to kingdom. On the North side of the
river, there are three large major establishments, corresponding to
monasteries with us, which arouse great religious feeling and devotion
in the blacks, and in which these 'monks' live, and (also) those who
are studying to become bixirins. The first establishment is at the
mouth of the river and is greatly venerated by them, because from it
the open sea can be seen, which they say is an extraordinary sight.
The second is located 70 leagues further up the river, in a stretch
where it narrows and forms three channels  which (later) meiet again;
making some of the land at this point an island. The stretch of river
where the monastery is found is called Kalor. The third establishment -
which is also the object of great religious devotion - is located 50
leagues away from the second and 120 from the first, in a town one
league inland (from the river), called Sutuco. The chief of these
'monksl, a rank like that of Robot or Provincial with us, they call
Alemamp, and he wears a ring like a bishop. All three establishments
are on the North side of the river. The bixirins write in luound books,
which they make themselves, as already stated. In these they tell many
lie; and the devil gives others blacksears to hear and believe the lies.
These heathen priests go about looking thin and worn out by their
abstinences, their fasts and their dieting, since they will not eat
flesh of a creature killed by any person who is not one of them. They
wear long clothes, and over lthaS capes -nd tippets of baize or leather,
with large black and white hats, which are brought them by our traders.
They make their ritual prayers with their faces turned towards the East,
and before doing this, first wash their nether parts and then their face.


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