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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)

Part two: The Province of Sierra Leone, chapter 1: the name, situation and bounds of this province and the nature of the land,   pp. 1-18


Page 2

Nature was far from mean to the Province, since it provided
the ornamentation of several well-situated islands, which between t
occupy a large part of the district. Those called the Wild Islandsj arito
the South side, almost facing Cabo Ledo. The name is fitting, ina       
af
they are not inhabited nowadays, yet they deserve less harsh a name.   For
the name tWild' is, on deeper consideration, wide of the mark - as witne;
the abundance of their Indian fruits, their citrus trees, their palm groves,
with a variety of timber for many uses.  The three islands called the
0Islands of Idols are renowned, so it appears, for their fertility. One of
them is very hilly, is full of many different kinds of trees, and is
crossed and watered by rich streams; and because it is so comfortable for
human existence, it has been chosen by the heathen for settlement.  The00','
other two, which are not very different, are used by them for their crops,
and cattle.  Strictly speaking, these islands do not belong to the distict
of the Serra; nor do other islands nearer the Serra, to the North, and
divided from thrt realm only by a river.  These latter islands are feril
and full of all kinds of plants, herbs, and vegetables.  One of them,
Tasso Island, is well-known, and is so suitable for human life that even-
if one wished to take things easy, this island would never play the tcruel:
stepmother, but would in all respects act as a loving mother.
Coming back to our'Serra and its district, the land is throughou so
fertile and so responsive to enterprise that the man who has had and
continues to have sufficient experience of the area will have erased tSa~ee:
from his mind all confidence in that ill reputation which envious people00)fE
have spread about it.  This they have done, to th  great scandal of our,
holy faith, because they are a worldly rabble,/with their licence and;u',,0,
loose habits, are only interested in profits.  They lack concern for the,0,,
great cause of bringing a multitude of souls to Christ.  The lives of thesetf
wretches exhibit on the one hand an obsession with merely temporal things,
which destroys their consciences, and on the other a forgetfulness of
Eternal matters and their own rf.48: salvation.
Another point must now be dealt with, the bounds of the Serra. Here
follow the true ones. On the North side, along the coast, the bounds are
the kingdom (sic) and lands of the Boulons, Casses, and Calus. Or rather,
for Calus substitute Dagunchos, because these were driven out of the Serra
by the Manes, and hence have had to settle in foreign lands, lands which
seem to have been abandoned and left to them by the natives.  Today they
live in the valleys and plains of the renowned Serra Macamala, where'people


 


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