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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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foreigners.-Maany of themspeaking French as if it were thieir nativc
languageshave developed such ways by their regular trade with the
pirates.  Cape Verde is a true training-ground for these pirates.
They regularly live there while they careen their ships, and build
launches and sloops to enable them to rob the entire coast of
these provinces, from which they carry off in an average year 200,0C
cruzados (worth of goods). Their seizures have left the coast as
poor in wealth as it is rich in misery and destitution for the
Portuguese, who suffer great losses on the coast because of their
enemies.  This could be remedied by means of two or three warships,
which would patrol the coast, go in to the cape, and rout the pirate
in this way greatly benefitting not only our sea routes within this
Ethiopia, but also those to the Malagueta Coast, to Mina, and to
Brazil. Of no less value would be the prizes which by this strategy
would be taken from among the ships which anchor in Biziguiche lay,
in its renowned port of Arrecife, nine leagues from Porto de Ale.
Annually three or four ships anchor here; and the French and some
Flemings, who also anchor a mile away from Porto de Ale because of
the bad bottom and poor anchorage, annually export 50,000 hides and
200 quintals of ivory, together with the ambergris and gold which
comes to this place and to the renowned port of Joala from the entir
coast of Ethiopia. What was stated above about the royal officers
who live in the sea-ports and receive presents (for the king) is the
general practice /f.6v/.    These officers are admirably punctilious
in what they do, in order to cultivate the goodwill of the lords and
keep them friendly.
To conclude this chapter, let us speak of the occupations of
the heathen. The men work in the fields and they fish and weave,
making their very well-known cotton cloths by sewing together from
six to twelve strips.   Some of these cloths are so valuable that
those that are taken from these parts to Spain are worth 6000 reis.
The looms are different from ours.


 


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