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Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)
(1990)

Chapter 3: The lands peopled by the Mandingas and Sonequei,   pp. 1-12 ff.


Page 11



directions. To the SE this great multitude of savages stretches through
the interior to meet the Casangas, to whose emperor some of the Mandingas
are still tributary.
Now let us say something about the Cassangas, etc. To proceed
rapidly and follow the model of a nautical guide, let us reveal what.
exists in the districts extending as far as Cabo Roxo. A river separates
the Mandingas from the heathen we call Cassangas, whose emperor is
to
superior to kings and/he neighbouring Suzes. I called him Iemperor'
because as well as being king of his own subjects he possesses the higher
title in relation to (his rule over) the Banhus. This empire acquired a
king called Massatamba who was the family head and progenitor of the
rulers who reign today. Massatamba was the best friend the Portuguese
nation has had in these parts. If he took a boat full of goods he was
most strict in paying the owners. Since he was so attached to us, he
used to be greatly pleased when he was called the brother-in-arms of the
King of Portugal. Further along the seaboard is the coast of the Banhu
iHeathen, which stretches as far as a creek from which a single tide carries
one to Cacheu. From Cape St. Mary the coast runs South to Cabo Roxo,
another lair /f.13v/ and coastal strongpoint of pirates. There they lie
in wait for ships of all kinds, whether from Iberia or from the rivers,
in order to attack them and seize great loot. One cannot fail to note
the laxity in this matter on the part of the contractors for these rivers.
So many thousands of cruzados are received by them from His Majesty, or
are kept back from him,(a)without their building the coastal patrol ships
for which the money is intended. Regular large losses result from this,
losses greater than need be, and affecting not only those involved but
also the Crown revenue. Experts assert that these losses could be easily
avoided if the lapse was corrected or if in the public interest the
contractors proposed (other measures) to his Majesty, as they should.
Cabo Roxo lies in 11 2/30 , and Cape St Mary, 18 leagues to the windward,
in 12 2/30 . All the heathen here (whom I shill not discuss as they have
little trade with our people, such having been the case up to the present
day on the part of Falupos and Arriatas) are mortal enemies of all kinds
(a) Otherwise their 'farms', as they call their Guinea very contempt-
uously. Others call it table-silver more fitting for Epicurius.


 


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