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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)

Chapter 2: The Kingdom of Jagau and the Grand Borçalo: the character of the land and people,   pp. [unnumbered]-4 ff.


Page 3

extent of land or in those other things necessary so that a
king may sustain himself in peace or in war. This chief has
subordinates among whom he has divided his monarchy, to facilitate
its direction: all of these are his tributaries, is are the other
nobles of the land, called jagras. These jagras are the sons of
sisters (of nobles), and only these, since sons of brothers are
no lconsidered legitimate (heirs) here and hence are excluded from
the succession i4o the kingdom. As regards the fertility of
its situation, it is totally different from that of Jagau since
it is better provided with cattle and other stock. Similarly its
trade is greater: it has cotton cloth which the Portuguese carry
away from here in large quantities.   Tile king possesses certain
Mandinga lands which are subject to him. From these the Fulos
make their way down to pasture their cattle, since //f.8/ the
pastures are excellent: they pay tribute for these to Borcalo, but
S
what the jagras take when they plunder the herds at their whim is
normally larger. It may be gathered from their attitude what the
attitude of the common people is, for this is always worse when
governed by self-interest.
The affluence of the Fulos enables us to appreciate the
quality of the land. The quality of the people shows that the
way of life and its organisation are sound, so much so that it is
evident that they are only spoilt by incompetence in government.
They are idolaters like all the other heathen, and are great
witches and sorcerers, the most adept being expert in the herbs
used in their rites. This can be szen markedly in their hunting,
the stalking of elephants. Although these animals are most
frightening, a Ful    m'sielf underneath one with his weapons, and
kills it from there.


 


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