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

Part two: The Province of Sierra Leone, chapter 1: the name, situation and bounds of this province and the nature of the land,   pp. 1-18

Page 13

Turning to the different kinds of monkeys, their ruler and
leader has four fingers on its hand. It is called          ;/f.51v/
it does not touch the ground. When ithas to drink, it does so from
a tree hanging over water, and close enough to the water for it to
drink from it. When it shouts, all the others keep silent.(i) When
it goes among the others, they all make way for it and show respect,
after their fashion. There are other monkeys called sanchos, who
live in -4a4-    tv&Oe, and are very playful.  When they see the
children whose job it is to help in the fields, by guarding the crops
when they are most open to damage, the monkeys seize their sticks,
frighten the children with their grimaces, and make them run away.
They do this in order to get into the young rice. Other monkeys
called jagalacet, the most attractive and the longest livedare so
tame that they never forget the homes where they have been reared.
They too are very versatile. Near here, there are others with stars
on their coat, others with a white tail; others grey, and so on.
Saninhas, which are the size of a small cat, have bushy tails. The
tutos, with a body like a dormouse, are great enemies of all sorts of
snakes, and by fighting them, they help us to find an antidote to
their venom. The compolous, which are the size of a cat, are net
liked by the wine tappers, because they go up palm trees and drink
the wine out of the vessels in which it is collecting. These vessels
resemble a narrow mouthed pitcher, but they are cut away a little on
the top in order to make them fit more closely to the hole from which
the wine is drawn.
There are various other small animals, with coats of different
colours. The musk-cat, which is so valuable -- the Serra is full of
them. Chameleons are found here, and snakes of various kinds. The
black ones, called simply this, are so venomous that their bite kills
(j) God allows such animals among us so that the devil may keep these
people in their firm belief. When one of the heathen dies, the
animals hold a great mourning near the village of the deceased.
I had an argument with this family and they realised that they
were not descended from the animal.



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