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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 58

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14.       There is m.uch timber in this river and rany boats could be built,
oared vessels as well as decked slips. On Oabopa Island theare is mach
tiL-ber, (especi.alJly) sore very large spars which are used for mi~Sts of
ships of large tonnage, or are sawed into planks. There are many wild
fruits, seina and tamarinds being plentiful : the pulp of the latter
is sold in large balls.
15.       All these Mandinga blacks, together with the jalofos, Barbacins
and Fulos, wear white striped caps, shaped like crowns; and when they
speak to each other they take them off as we do.
16.       Above the port of a Faran called Jaroale, on the South side, about
ten leagues up-stream from the bar, ships of up to sixty tons can go
alorg a creek ealled Baibaro. iThis penetrates to the land of the
Banhuns, where much cotton, wax and ivory is traded.
17.       The river we are discussing used to be the best in Guinea, with
more trade than all the others. With five or six different types of
goods one could buy a slave who could not have been bought for five
cruzados of good money. Today all is changed and prices are high, due
to whites who have spoilt and corrupted everything. There is no
village on the coast or for many leagues into the interior which lacks
white adventurers (resident there),4 and acting as trading agents for
the English and the French. This has reached the point where the
blacks no longer respect the whites, saying that they are as persistent
as flies in milk: even if one falls in and dies, this does not stop
more coning. For it has happened that the blacks have killed whites
in this river, yet it has not scared off the other whites. Before
these (.ntruders) came, the river was more peaceful than it is today,
and the blacks used to come aboard ship to sell cloths and food.


 


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