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

Chapter 6. Which discusses the other features of the Gambia River. [translated text],   pp. 52-59 and 60


Page 53

S3.


3.       Iron can be obtain-ed in this river: (the ore) i3 dug locl-'ly.
The blacks smel&t it, and make bars one hand-span long, and three
fingers wide at one end and tawo fingers wide at the other. Our
people trade for this iroa and bring it to the Rio Grande and the
Xio de &.o Domxigos. There is (also) silver here, seermingly of good
quality, and the blacks makce bracelets and rings.e But our silver-
smiths cannot make good articles out of it, because they say that it
breaks, as if it contained some other metal.
4.       I must not fail to report something I saw in this river, at a
place called Fulost Pass. The, river is a very large one, very
fast-flowing, very deep and very wide. There (once) came here, in the
course of a war, an army of F   8los which had already reduced to subject-
ion the Mandingas in every district it came through. It was so great
that it covered all the lalaz. The army decided to cross to the other
bank of the river, but had no bo ts to do this. Though the river is a
league or more across, the Fulos flung in stones (and made a ford), so
that the whole army could pass over.  Many assert that so numerous was
the army that it was only necessary for each soldier to bring one stone.
Be that as it may, they filled up the river, and the whole army went
across with its baggage, which was very considerable, since they brought
with them many horsemen, and (also) donkeys, and herds of cows, which
marched with them. (In battle,) the archers took up their position
among the cows, and shot arro;s from there. When the Fulos wanted nhe
cows to halt, they spoke to them Li their language and they stopped, and
when they wanted them to restumc the mirchthey spoke (again) anxd they
set off. The Fulos carried swarms of bees, which they launched against
their enemies when the wind was blowing towards theme. The army was a
terrifying one. Never had a military force on such a scale l.been seen
by these nations. Desixoying and ravaging all, it passed throunh the
lands of the M.andingas, the Cassangas, the Banhuns and the aarai-1.s, for
more than CO leagues, It crossed everything in its path until it


 


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