University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Africa Focus

Page View

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 13

All of them are traders. The Jaofo people in the kingdom
of Lambaia are so enthusiastic that they give pledges to the
Portuguese and go up-country to trade in the three fairs which are
normally held every week. The main fair is called Ricai fair, and 2000
persons go there. The products of the country are sold; that is,
cow-hides, cotton cloths, goats and hens - the latter in great
quantities and so cheap that one can be bought for four strings of
pocate beads worth at most 60 reis. The currency in use here is what
the ships bring from all kinds of traders, coral etc. The main
occupations of the women are to sew, cook and grind milho in wooden
mortars which resemble our own grinding-bowls, these ones being
an ell in height.     They do this last task from midnight onwa:.ds,
in order not to be seen at work, and during the day they take it easy
and treat it as time off. I have spoken about idolatry. For the
heathen who live near the sea, the burial rites of the Jalofo are in
every respect the same as those of other idolaters, and they have
celebratory feasts in which food abounds, etc.
(1) Jagomai, king of the Berbecis, challenged the king of Bercalo,
sending him in scorn a spindle. Bercalo attacked him, making
his araga about a league (away). Each king at the same time
sends out his jagarefe, and they both finish up speared on the
road. The kings are surprised at the delay on the part of
their ambassadors, and send others, who come with news of what
has happened. Jagomai orders his filada, and clears a village
which lay right across the road. The village was wholly
encircled by thorn-trees. The Jalofo struck at the village, and
bury themselves with loot. They lose their lives when Jagomai
falls on them with fury, not with a spindle.


 


Go up to Top of Page