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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.


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-These lords arehnot without those who incite to military.
prowess while a war..lasts. /f.5v/   No-one'does this better than the
Jews (JudeAs).  According to popular tradition the Jews were among
the~ arl fist inhabitants of the district we are discussing, but
: after these were conquered their (exact) origins have by today been
almost forgottena.  These heathen excel in airs and graces, and they
are no different from the Jalofo heathen in good looks.   The women
wear many sorts of garment that the kings give them. The Jews are
clowns and singers;  they play drums and in time of war march in
front (ofthe'army) playing them, to excite their betters by their
actions and to enable them to find new strength when they are exhauste
If any _  (soldiers) lack courage and a virile soul Athey call them
cowards and say to them with a great show of sorrow and passion:
"Ah, your father did not behave like thi*A    Your ancestors behaved
differently on like occasions and in similar enterprises Do not
-,inflict the infamous mark of cowardice on the head of your line and
on the lineage from which you descendl wIn times of peace, they place
themselves at the doors of kings and lords, although they are not able
to pass within. From here they call out to these important persons
and make such pointed remarks, inventing an interminable litany of
praise and a history of their prowess, at the same time makting such
an uproar on their drums that the poor men are worn out;   and since
no offence can be taken with the Jews or with their actions, if the
grandee has nothing else at hand to give them in order to gain his
freedom from that inferno of importunity, he takes off his shirt or
his cutlass and gives them that. The Jews have other tricks. As
nothing makes them blush, the whites have no better debt-collectors
when kings and grandees are debtors. So much is this the case that
if the king himself is a debtor these clowns provide a means of
extracting payment from him. The whites speak to one of the Jews and
explain the position, and at the same time give him a fee for the job.


 


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