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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)

Ethiopia Minor: a geographical description of the Province and Kingdom of the Jalofo Heathon, part I, chapter I: the location and fertility of the land, and the nature and occupations of its inhabitants,   pp. [unnumbered]-14 ff.


Page 6

The king who governs it today is 23 years old, a young man o
great energy, who being so, has seized the kingdom which did not
belong to him, since the legitimate heir was a brother of his deceas
father, brothers being the obligatory heirs and not sons. This youn
man is a pagan and does not profess the Moslem faith as his father
(g)
did, the father never drinking wine.      For this reason the son
differs in every respect. Ile is a very good friend of the Portugues
which his father particularly failed to be, for if ho had any feelin, i
for us he concealed it beneath his self-interest.   The son's name is
Dechapir. Ile has a gentle nature, which promises well in terms of
affection for our holy faith; and when the Lord grants that he
receive holy baptism, great will be the gains, not only for Grace
but also for His Majesty's royal treasury and for his vassals who
throughout these parts are continually assailed by various pirates
and are daily vexed by them.  The king is powerful and much feared
*by his own people'l He can put into the field 1000 mounted men armed
with shields and spears, and 300 archers.
From Sereno to Rio Berbecim the coast runs SE, and belongs
to the King of Jagau, a Berbecim.  The country is 11 leagues in
length, and in the middle the Portuguese have a settlement called
Porto de Joala which is used as a base and a route for trade with the
heathen. Trading vessels from Cacheu come here to participate in the
exchange ashore. The port is a very convenient one on account of a
river which enters the land about half a league further on and
curves around to run alongside the houses of the residents. The entr
to the river has nine spans of water at high tide, and once within it
boats are secure from the regular threats from pirates. But apart
from the vessels of merchants who trade only with the native heathen
fewer ships come here than to Porto de Ale.
(g) Spirits in quantity.


 


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