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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 43


at the tips of their wings. Amid there are many arnimals to hunt,
gazelle, deer, and Bany other sorts.
4.        The river brings down fresh water. In sumner, fresh water is
found to within thirty leagues from the sea, and in winter when the
river is in spate to within six or seven leagues. It is a river
which possesses a large trade in slaves, in black and white cotton
cloths, in raw cotton, and in wax - although no hives are built, the
bees are so numerous, and the forest so great, that honey and wax are
plentiful. Much ivory is obtained there, more than in any other
river of Guinea. When travelling by boat on the river it often
happens that one sees elephant on the land in herds, like cattle, and
ships often meet herds crossing the river from one siqe to tAhe other.
From the river one also sees herds of buffalos gazene, and another
animal called in the language of the blacks dacoi, the size of a
buffalo, which they say is the true anta.
5.        The whole land furnishes foodstuffs in abundance, rice, the
milho called tnacarocat, and other earth-crops. Most of the settle-
ments are near the river, because of the trade with our opeple, and
there are many well-built villages along it, containing large numbers
of houses and inhabitants. Some of the houses are of clay and wattle,
round in shape, and covered with straw or palm-thatch; others of straw,
not clay, but are built the same round shape.
6.        These blacks are very war-like, and in this land there are more
weapons than in any other land in Guinea. The reason for this is that.
as they have iron here which they smelt, they make spears, darts,
knives and arrows in quantity. The poison used by the Handingas is
more venomous than any other (known in Guinea). (This we know from
what) we saw at the port of Pecan. At nine or ten in thc morning,
the blacks and our men had a serious affray which left dead on each
side. At vespers, when the blacks had uithdraWn and our people sought
to bury the dead, those who had been struck by poisoned arrows could


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