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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)

Of the Province of the Sousos: single chapter,   pp. 1-8 ff.


Page 2

2.
from the East, coral, basins, manchelas, that is, seed-pods of a kind
with lcrge briAioes, pierced and threaded on a string, 'dove's eye' beads
v.+ i c, are greatly esteemed here, and other sorts of beads such as minina
and 'milk-curds', marfara, etc. As for the natives, they are all corrupt
like the rest: they only care for those who make them gifts, and then they
are very Crateful.  Apart f rom the fit Propensity for farming, hurting
and fi.ching, they are also remarkable traders, an occupation which they
practice from childhood. 1While going about this business, when they
have to st,%y overnight and sleep, they build a hut to shelter them and their
merchandise, so that the rain will do them no harmra) The Sousos are wont
to
suffer much from their toils and from hunger and thirst. A Souso may go three
or four days without eating, making do (by chewing) a cola nut. They are
excessively mercenary, to the extent that they would kill their own parents
for a drop of wine. They need no requesting to go to war or to begin an at-ck,
for they are the first to strike. When they do this on the king's orders,
as
commonly happens if (his) debtors fail to arrive with their payment, then
these
soldiers are feasted with a great deal of meet and honey wine; he who eats
and drinhs at these banquets never turns back, sinee he knows (? that if
he does)
he will not bring from the battle any booty other than an old mat.
They are great weavers, hence their regular trade in cates. The women
spin (? weave) and help in the fields. And as potters they are famed, because
their cooking pots are better than those of any of the other heathen in these
partes; this is the occupation which in Ethiopia belongs to this sex. Fine
mats are also made here, and other objects of interest. They behave respect-
fully towards individuals according to their rank. Now let us talk about
the
government of this heathen people.
(a) They are heathen of great intelligence, astute, treacherous and
deceitful.


 


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