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Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)

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 9


X                                                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~9.
without;  it is also good to quench thirst, on account of its
juiciness, and it was used by the Manes,, on their journeys when
they were conquering these and other parts.
The thick bush shelters a great many animals and,-beasts of
-various sorts, /f.50r/ apart from the ones I named before.  We will
deal now with the others, and begin with the elephant, because of
certain characteristics of this great animal.  It is the most fear-
-  - some and terrible of all beasts.   There are many of-them in this
Province and hence there is a large amount of ivory.  This is
-another commodity commonly traded in the Province.  The best cola
is so appreciated by the heathen that it is carried by Mandinga
merchants as far as Mecca; and there is no heathen sacrifice in which
it does not play a part.  As for the elephant, let us speak about the
inatural charity these animals have towards each other. When a
companion happens to fall into the traps which are dug in the woods
*   to catch them, they pull it out; and if one of them is wounded, they
take branches in their trunk, which serves as a kind of hand, and
with these they fan away the flies from the wound and drive away
other small creatures.  With this thand',which is pierced on the palm,
they pluck fruit and carry it to their mouth, and through its hole
they drink or suck up water.  Though this animal is so frightening,
a mere mosquito can kill it:  the mosquito gets into its trunk, which
it then shakes so much, hitting it against trees, that the trunk
swells and the elephant dies.  Other animals here are leopards, lions,
wolves and deer, although these are diferent from ours, also various
sorts of gazelles, and numos. The numos live in streams which
produce slime, and on this they feed: when they move they walk back-
wards: their meat is very tasty. Pangles I have mentioned; and
there are rhinoceros, but these belong to the land of the Limbas, in
whose ranges of mountains one can see at night great burning lights,
as if of fires; and there are many other kinds of land animals.,
(g) The Manes carried r      and by keeping it in their mouths they
were able to go a long time without eating.


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