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Title: A Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar in the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century
Author: Barbosa, Duarte, -1521
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar in the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century" ***

Transcriber's Note

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enclosed within '{ }' denote superscript text.

Hyphenation has been standardised.


  The Hakluyt Society.

















  111 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10003
  Berkeley Square House, London, W1X6BA

_Landmarks in Anthropology_, a series of reprints in cultural

  _General Editor_: Weston La Barre

  First reprinting 1970, Johnson Reprint Corporation

  Printed in the United States of America

_Note to Thirty-fifth Publication of the Hakluyt Society,
"Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar."_

This volume was published by the Hakluyt Society as the work of
Duarte Barbosa on the authority of Ramusio, for neither the three
Spanish MSS. of Barcelona and Munich, nor the Portuguese MS., give
his name; it is probable that Barbosa contributed a largo part of
it, for Damian de Goes refers his readers for an account of Malabar
and its religion and customs to a book by Duarte Barbosa, who is
stated to have spoken the language of Malabar with great
correctness, and who resided a long time in that country; yet the
authorship must be ascribed to Magellan, for I have just seen, in
the possession of Don Pascual de Gayangos, another Spanish MS. which
states at the top of the first page,--"Este libro compuso Fernando
Magallanes Portugues piloto lo qual el vio y anduvo." "This book was
composed by the Portuguese Fernando Magellan the pilot, the things
narrated in which he saw and visited." This heading is in the same
writing as the rest of the MS., which is clear handwriting of the
sixteenth century, and like that of the second part of the MS. No
571 of the Munich Library. The MS. of Mr. Gayangos appears to be
part of a larger book, since its second leaf is numbered 111 (the
corner of the first is worn off), and the last is numbered 170, and
ends with the description of the Lequeos. The _Epitome de la
Biblioteca Oriental, Occidental, Nautica y Geografica_ of D. Antonio
de Leon Pinelo, Madrid, 1737, mentions, at p. 667 a work of
Magellan's under the following heading: _Fernando de Magallanes,
Efemerides, or Diary of his Navigation_, a MS. which existed in the
possession of Antonio Moreno, Cosmographer of the House of Trade,
according to Don Nicolas Antonio.


  _Madrid, February 1867._


  Page iii, line 11, _for_  "dearer,"      _read_ "clearer."
   "   44    "   34,   "    "Atuxsia,"       "    "Atauxia."
   "   73,   "   19,   "    "albejas,"       "    "mussels."
   "   96,   "   13,   "    "laced,"         "    "placed."
   "  159,   "    8,   "    "antoridade,"    "    "autoridade."
   "  200,   "    7,   "    "they burn,"     "    "they burn it."
   "  232,   "   10,   "    "et d'aller,"    "    "est d'aller."

NOTE TO pp. 228-229.--See pages 249-251 of _The Travels of Ludovico
de Varthema_ Hakluyt Society, and notes, also Mr. R. Major's able
Introduction to the _Early Voyages to Terra Australis, now called
Australia_. This passage, written about five years later than when
Varthema wrote, is a fuller statement than Varthema's: and taking
the two together, there can be little doubt that the information
they contain was based on actual knowledge of Australia.




  D.C.L., Corr. Mem. Inst. F., Hon. Mem. Imp. Acad. Sc.
  Petersburg, etc., etc., PRESIDENT.

  R. W. GREY, ESQ.
  R. H. MAJOR, ESQ., F.S.A.



The Spanish manuscript from which this volume has been translated is
in the handwriting of the beginning of 1500, full of abbreviations,
and without punctuation or capital letters at the beginnings of
sentences or for the proper names, which adds much to the difficulty
of reading it. It contains eighty-seven leaves. The handwriting more
resembles an example of the year 1510 than those dated 1529 and
1531, given at p. 319 of the "Escuela de Leer Letras Cursivas
Antiguas y Modernas desde la entrada de los Godos en España, por el
P. Andres Merino de Jesu Christo, Madrid, 1780." This work was
translated into Spanish from the original Portuguese in 1524, at
Vittoria, by Martin Centurion, ambassador of the community of Genoa,
with the assistance of Diego Ribero, a Portuguese, cosmographer and
hydrographer to his Majesty Charles V. There are reasons (as will be
shewn in the notes) for supposing that the Spanish translation,
probably this copy and not the Portuguese original, assisted the
compilers of the early atlases, especially that of Abraham Ortelius,
of Antwerp, 1570, other editions of which were published in
succeeding years.[1] The similarity of the orthography of this
manuscript and of that of the names in maps as late as that of
Homann, Nuremberg, 1753, shews how much geography up to a recent
period was indebted to the Portuguese and Spaniards. It may also be
observed that from their familiarity at that time with the sounds of
Arabic, the proper names are in general more correctly rendered in
European letters, than used to be the case in later times.

This MS. is in the Barcelona Library and is there catalogued "Viage
por Malabar y costas de Africa, 1512: letra del siglo xvi." It was
supposed to be an original Spanish work, for the statement of its
having been translated is in the body of the MS., no part of which
can be read without more or less difficulty. This work is not a book
of travels as the title given in the catalogue, though not on the
MS., indicates; it is rather an itinerary, or description of
countries. It gives ample details of the trade, supplies, and water
of the various seaports mentioned in it. It contains many
interesting historical details, some of which, such as the account
of Diu, the taking of Ormuz, the founding of the Portuguese fort in
Calicut, their interruption of the Indian trade to Suez by capturing
the Indian ships, the rise of Shah Ismail, etc., fix pretty nearly
the exact date at which this narrative was composed as the year

Two other MS. copies of this work are preserved in the Royal Library
at Munich: the first of these, No. 570 of the catalogue of that
library, is in a handwriting very similar to that of the Barcelona
MS., and apparently of the same period. It consists of one hundred
and three leaves, and is stated to have proceeded from the episcopal
library of Passau. This MS. does not contain the appendix respecting
the prices of the precious stones. The other MS. No. 571, is of
fifty-three leaves, and is written in two handwritings, both of
which are much rounder and clearer than that of No. 570; the
catalogue states that this MS. came from the library of the Jesuits
of Augsburg. There are several verbal differences between the two
MSS., and perhaps No. 571 agrees more exactly with the Barcelona MS.
The two Munich MSS. frequently write words such as rey with a double
r, as _rrey_, which does not occur in the Barcelona MS., where,
however, words begin with a large r, which is also used for a double
r in the middle of a word.

The piracies of the Portuguese are told without any reticence,
apparently without consciousness of their criminality, for no
attempt is made to justify them, and the pretext that such and such
an independent state or city did not choose to submit itself on
being summoned to do so by the Portuguese, seems to have been
thought all sufficient for laying waste and destroying it. This
narrative shows that most of the towns on the coasts of Africa,
Arabia, and Persia were in a much more flourishing condition at that
time than they have been since the Portuguese ravaged some of them,
and interfered with the trade of all. The description of the early
introduction of the cultivation and weaving of cotton into South
Africa by the Arab traders will be read with interest; and the
progress then beginning in those regions three hundred and fifty
years ago, and the subsequent stand still to which it has been
brought by the Portuguese and by the slave-trade to America, may be
taken as supporting the views lately put forward by Captain R.
Burton and others at the Anthropological Society.

The greater part of this volume was printed in Italian by Ramusio in
1554 in his collection of travels (Venetia, nella Stamperia de'
Giunti), as the narration of Duarte Barbosa, and a large part of
this work must have been written by Barbosa; and a Portuguese
manuscript of his was printed at Lisbon in 1812 in the "Collecção de
noticias para a historia e geografia das nações ultramarinas." This
manuscript of Barbosa's, however, is much less full than this
Spanish MS. of Barcelona, or than the Italian version of Ramusio,
and the Lisbon editors have added from Ramusio translations of the
passages which were wanting in their MS. These publications do not
contain the number of leagues between one place and another which
are given in the Spanish translation.

That the Portuguese manuscript printed at Lisbon in 1812 belongs to
Barbosa, stands only on the authority of Ramusio, who gives an
introduction by Odoardo Barbosa of the city of Lisbon, which is not
to be found either in the Barcelona MS. or in the Portuguese MS.,
and which has been translated from the Italian of Ramusio and
published in the Lisbon edition. The introduction to the Lisbon
edition states that the Portuguese MS. is not an autograph MS., and
that the account of Barbosa is bound up along with other papers.
This introduction refers to the passages in the Portuguese MS. which
are not to be found in Ramusio, and says it may be doubted whether
these were additions posterior to the work of Duarte Barbosa.

It had occurred to me that this work might be attributed to the
famous navigator Magellan, and that it must have been through him
that it found its way to Charles the Fifth's court: there are
several reasons for this supposition, and some difficulties in the
way of it; I will, however, follow Sr. Larrañaga's advice, and state
both sides of the question.

Duarte Barbosa, cousin of Magellan, Alvaro de Mezquita, Estevan
Gomez, Juan Rodrigues de Carvalho were Portuguese employed by Spain
along with Magellan[2] in the fleet which sailed on the 21st
September 1519, from San Lucar de Barrameda to Brazil and the
straits which bear the name of that Admiral.

Now the _Panorama_ or Spanish version of the _Univers Pittoresque_
states (page 140):

    "It was at that time, although it has not been possible to
    ascertain exactly the year, when the illustrious Viceroy of the
    Indies sent Francisco Serrano to the Moluccas, a friend, and
    also, as it is believed, a relation of Magellan, the same person
    who by reason of the exact and precise data which he furnished
    to the celebrated navigator deserved later to see his name
    inscribed amongst those of other notable persons, whose fame
    will last as long as history endures."

       *       *       *       *       *

    "At the beginning of the same century Duarte Barbosa also
    proceeded to the Moluccas, and cruised among those countries for
    the space of sixteen years, collecting interesting notes, which
    although they were not published till three centuries after the
    event, are not on that account the less admirable and precious;
    these reports were published in Lisbon in a work which bears the
    following title: _Collecção de noticias para a historia e
    geografia das nações ultramarinas_; those reports which relate
    to Barbosa are contained in the second volume."

Now this Barcelona MS. contains in an appendix the voyage of three
Portuguese, a Spaniard, and five Malays, whose captain was Francisco
Serrano, to the Moluccas in the year 1512: this supplies the date of
his voyage which the above quoted paragraph says could not be
ascertained, and this account is not in Ramusio's collection, and
there is every reason to suppose that it was as yet unpublished.

In addition to what has been said by the writers of the _Panorama_
and _Univers Pittoresque_, in which statement they follow the 3rd
Decade of the "Asia" of Barros, lib. v. cap. 8:--

    "We wrote before how Francisco Serrão wrote some letters from
    the Maluco Islands where he was, to Fernão de Magalhães, on
    account of being his friend from the time when both were in
    India, principally at the taking of Malaca:"

it was to be expected that Barbosa and Serrano would furnish their
information to Magellan, whether as the head of their family, or as
the Portuguese who had been longest at the Spanish Court, and
through whom they might hope for advancement and further employment,
such as Duarte Barbosa obtained with the fleet which discovered the
Straits of Magellan.

Magellan returned to Europe in 1512. Duarte Barbosa probably did not
return till 1517, since he is said to have remained sixteen years in
the Indian Ocean, and in that case he could not have returned before
1515--however, it is said in the introduction to the Lisbon edition
that he is the son of Diego Barbosa, named in the Decades as having
sailed in 1501 with the first fleet with João de Nova: the same
introduction also says that the time of his departure to and return
to India are unknown.

Ramusio's edition of Barbosa's narrative says the writing of it was
finished in 1516; it does not, however, mention any facts which
occurred later than the year 1514. There is reason to suspect that
Ramusio obtained his copy from the same source as the Barcelona
manuscript, because the name of the precious stone zircon is spelled
differently, giagonza, jagonza, and gegonza, and this difference of
orthography coincides in the same places in the Spanish manuscript
and in Ramusio. Ramusio gives an appendix containing the prices of
precious stones and of spices, but has not got the voyage to the
Moluccas of Francisco Serrano. The only reason I can conjecture for
this not having reached Ramusio is, that it was a confidential
paper, on account of the rivalry of Spain and Portugal with regard
to those islands; and it is stated in history that Serrano increased
the distances so as to enable Magellan to persuade the Spaniards
that the Moluccas were more to the eastward, and that they fell
within the demarcation of territories assigned by the Pope to
Castille. This account of Francisco Serrano's voyage, and of his
remaining behind married at Maluco, was either written by the
Spaniard who accompanied him, or was translated by some other person
than Diego Ribero and the Genoese ambassador Centurione, since all
the points of the compass which in the body of the work are
indicated by the names of winds, are here described by their names,
as este, sudoeste, etc. Tramontana, greco, maestro, siloque, are all
Spanish terms, but are less literate than the names of the points of
the compass, and seem to be owing to the Genoese translator, to whom
they would be familiar. It must be observed that the handwriting and
paper of the narrative and two appendices of the Barcelona MS. are
identical, and the leaves are numbered consecutively, so that there
is no reason for supposing that the whole papers were not
originally, as they now are, placed together.

Ramusio in various parts of the narrative leaves a blank with the
words, _Here several lines are wanting_; this may be owing to
passages having been struck out for political reasons. The
Portuguese edition has a short passage not in the Spanish MS., the
only apparent motive for its omission being that it was to the
glorification of the Portuguese.

Since so large a portion of the present volume is contained in the
Portuguese manuscript of Barbosa printed at Lisbon, it would be
natural to follow Ramusio in attributing the work to him: at the
same time it is not easy to understand how Barbosa, who was in the
Indian Ocean at the time, should have confounded the two naval
actions at Diu in 1508 and 1509, which he relates as one only,
although the Portuguese were beaten in the first and victorious in
the second. It is also difficult to imagine that one person visited
all the places described in this volume, even in the space of
sixteen years, at a period when travelling was slower than at
present: and the observations on the manners and customs show a more
intimate knowledge than what could be acquired by touching at a port
for a few days only.

This work is that of no ordinary capacity; it shews great power of
observation, and also the possession by the writer of great
opportunities for inquiry into the manners and habits of the
different countries described. It could hardly have been drawn up by
an ecclesiastic, there is too great an absence of condemnation of
idolatrous practices, and the deficiencies of St. Thomas's
Christians are too lightly spoken of. An ecclesiastic would not have
been so indifferent to their mode of communion and to the sale of
the sacraments, which caused many to remain unbaptized. The scanty
mention of Albuquerque and of Goa, and its being the sort of
political memorandum which a person in Magellan's position, seeking
service from Spain, and desirous of pushing the Spanish government
to eastern as well as western enterprise, would be likely to write;
the commercial details, which are not those of a merchant, but
rather of a soldier, for the prices given chiefly relate to
provisions, horses and elephants, things useful in war, whilst the
prices of jewels and spices, drawn up in a business-like manner, are
in an appendix and not referred to in the narrative,--all these
circumstances seem almost to justify the conclusion that this volume
was drawn up by Magellan, or under Magellan's guidance, for the
purpose of being laid before Charles V, at the time that Magellan
was seeking the command which he received a short time later.

This volume derives additional value from the numerous passages in
which it runs parallel to the _Lusiad_, so that the two confirm one
another, and this prose description serves as a commentary to
Camoens. Several passages descriptive of the customs of the nairs of
Malabar in this work present very forcibly the connection between
Plato and the Hindus.

The travels of Varthema, a former publication of the Hakluyt
Society, gave evidence of the good administration of India
especially in regard to justice in olden times; similar testimony
will be found in this volume. The expedient of the King of Narsinga
for correcting his high officials, without either removing them or
lowering them in the eyes of those they had to rule, has not, I
believe, been before narrated. Though Suttee has been so often
described, the account of it in these pages possesses much interest
and novelty, probably from having been written by an eye-witness,
before that institution was disturbed by European influence. An
allusion to the English longbow as to a weapon in actual use, gives
an appearance of antiquity to this narrative even greater than that
which belongs to its date. The orthography of the manuscript is not
always uniform, therefore where a name is spelt in two different
ways, I have left them as they are given. I have altered the
original spelling of the names of only a few familiar places, and
have retained the Portuguese expressions of Moor and Gentile, which
mean Mussulman and heathen, one of which has survived up to the
present time in Southern India as Moorman.

Any further observations I may have to make on this manuscript will
be found in the notes.

I wish to express my thanks to Sr. D. Gregorio Romero Larrañaga, the
head of the Barcelona Library, and to the other gentlemen of his
department, for the cordial manner in which they have supplied me
with the contents of their Library, and for their assistance in
discussing doubtful points.

  London, October 21, 1865.

[Illustration: facsimile of handwritten manuscript.]

[Illustration: facsimile of handwritten manuscript.]



I, Duarte Barbosa, a native of the very noble city of Lisbon, having
navigated for a great part of my youth in the Indies discovered in
the name of the king our lord, and having travelled through many and
various countries neighbouring to the coast, and having seen and
heard various things, which I judged to be marvellous and
stupendous, and which had never been seen nor heard of by our
ancestors, resolved to write them for the benefit of all, as I saw
and heard of them from day to day, striving to declare in this my
book the towns and limits of all those kingdoms to which I went in
person, or of which I had trustworthy information; and also which
were kingdoms and countries of the Moors and which of the Gentiles,
and their customs. Neither have I left in silence their traffic, the
merchandise which is met with in them, the places where they are
produced, nor whither they are transported. And besides what I saw
personally, I always delighted in inquiring of the Moors,
Christians, and Gentiles, as to the usages and customs which they
practised, and the points of information thus gained I endeavoured
to combine together so as to have a more exact knowledge of them,
this being always my special object, as it should be of all those
who write on such matters; and I am convinced that it will be
recognized that I have not spared any diligence in order to obtain
this object, as far as the feeble extent of the power of my
understanding allows of. It was in the present year of 1516 that I
finished writing this my book.



Having passed the Cape of Good Hope in a north-easterly direction,
at Cape San Sebastian, there are very fair mountain lands, and
fields, and valleys, in which there are many cows and sheep, and
other wild animals; it is a country inhabited by people who are
black and naked. They only wear skins with the fur of deer, or other
wild animals, like some cloaks in the French fashion, of which
people the Portuguese, up to the present time, have not been able to
obtain information, nor to become acquainted with what there is in
the interior of the country. They have no navigation, neither do
they make use of the sea, neither have the Moors of Arabia and
Persia, or the Indies, ever navigated as far as this, nor discovered
them, on account of the strong currents of the sea, which is very


Having passed Cape San Sebastian towards the north-east for India,
there are some islands close to the mainland to the east, which are
called the Great Uciques; in which, on the side towards the mainland
there are a few small towns of Moors, who deal with the people of
the continent, and they provision themselves from them. In these
Uciques much amber is found of good quality, which the Moors collect
and sell in other places, and likewise many pearls and small seed
pearls are found in the sea in beds (crusts), which they cannot
gather or fish up, and whenever they do get them out they boil them,
and extract the said pearls and seed pearls dingy and burnt, and
there is no doubt that there are many and good ones, if they knew
how to extract them, as is done in Sael, Cochoromandel, and in
Barahe,[5] which will be mentioned hereafter.


Having passed the Vciques grandes towards Sofala, a fortress which
the King of Portugal made there, and where there is much gold, at
xvii or xviii leagues from it there are some rivers, which make
between their branches, islands, called the Little Vciques, in which
there are some villages of the Moors, who also deal with the
Gentiles of the mainland in their provisions, which are rice,
millet, and meat, and which they bring in small barks to Sufala.[6]


Having passed the Little Vciques, for the Indies, at xviii leagues
from them there is a river which is not very large, whereon is a
town of the Moors called Sofala,[7] close to which town the King of
Portugal has a fort. These Moors established themselves there a long
time ago on account of the great trade in gold which they carry on
with the Gentiles of the mainland: these speak somewhat of bad
Arabic (garabia), and have got a king over them, who is at present
subject to the King of Portugal.[8] And the mode of their trade is
that they come by sea in small barks which they call zanbucs
(sambuk), from the kingdoms of Quiloa, and Mombaza, and Melindi; and
they bring much cotton cloth of many colours, and white and blue,
and some of silk; and grey, and red, and yellow beads, which come to
the said kingdoms in other larger ships from the great kingdom of
Cambay, which merchandise these Moors buy and collect from other
Moors who bring them there, and they pay for them in gold by weight,
and for a price which satisfies them; and the said Moors keep them
and sell these cloths to the Gentiles of the kingdom of Benamatapa
who come there laden with gold, which gold they give in exchange for
the before mentioned cloths without weighing, and so much in
quantity that these Moors usually gain one hundred for one. They
also collect a large quantity of ivory, which is found all round
Sofala, which they likewise sell in the great kingdom of Cambay at
five or six ducats the hundred weight, and so also some amber, which
these Moors of Sofala bring them from the Vciques. They are black
men, and men of colour--some speak Arabic, and the rest make use of
the language of the Gentiles of the country. They wrap themselves
from the waist downwards with cloths of cotton and silk, and they
wear other silk cloths above named, such as cloaks and wraps for the
head, and some of them wear hoods of scarlet, and of other coloured
woollen stuffs and camelets, and of other silks. And their victuals
are millet, and rice, and meat, and fish. In this river near to the
sea there are many sea horses, which go in the sea, and come out on
land at times to feed. These have teeth like small elephants, and it
is better ivory than that of the elephant, and whiter and harder,
and of greater durability of colour. In the country all round Sofala
there are many elephants, which are very large and wild, and the
people of the country do not know how to tame them: there are also
many lions, ounces, mountain panthers, wild asses, and many other
animals. It is a country of plains and mountains, and well watered.
The Moors have now recently begun to produce much fine cotton in
this country, and they weave it into white stuff because they do not
know how to dye it, or because they have not got any colours; and
they take the blue or coloured stuffs of Cambay and unravel them,
and again weave the threads with their white thread, and in this
manner they make coloured stuffs, by means of which they get much


On entering within this country of Sofala, there is the kingdom of
Benamatapa, which is very large and peopled by Gentiles, whom the
Moors call Cafers. These are brown men, who go bare, but covered
from the waist downwards with coloured stuffs, or skins of wild
animals; and the persons most in honour among them wear some of the
tails of the skin behind them, which go trailing on the ground for
state and show, and they make bounds and movements of their bodies,
by which they make these tails wag on either side of them. They
carry swords in scabbards of wood bound with gold or other metals,
and they wear them on the left hand side as we do, in sashes of
coloured stuffs, which they make for this purpose with four or five
knots, and their tassels hanging down, like gentlemen; and in their
hands azagayes, and others carry bows and arrows: it must be
mentioned that the bows are of middle size, and the iron points of
the arrows are very large and well wrought. They are men of war, and
some of them are merchants: their women go naked as long as they are
girls, only covering their middles with cotton cloths, and when they
are married and have children, they wear other cloths over their


Leaving Sofala for the interior of the country, at xv days journey
from it, there is a large town of Gentiles, which is called
Zinbaoch; and it has houses of wood and straw, in which town the
King of Benamatapa frequently dwells, and from there to the city of
Benamatapa there are six days journey, and the road goes from
Sofala, inland, towards the Cape of Good Hope. And in the said
Benamatapa, which is a very large town, the king is used to make his
longest residence; and it is thence that the merchants bring to
Sofala the gold which they sell to the Moors without weighing it,
for coloured stuffs and beads of Cambay, which are much used and
valued amongst them; and the people of this city of Benamatapa say
that this gold comes from still further off towards the Cape of Good
Hope, from another kingdom subject to this king of Benamatapa, who
is a great lord, and holds many other kings as his subjects, and
many other lands, which extend far inland, both towards the Cape of
Good Hope and towards Mozambich. And in this town he is each day
served with large presents, which the kings and lords, his subjects,
send to him; and when they bring them, they carry them bareheaded
through all the city, until they arrive at the palace, from whence
the king sees them come from a window, and he orders them to be
taken up from there, and the bearers do not see him, but only hear
his words; and afterwards, he bids them call the persons who have
brought these presents, and he dismisses them. This king constantly
takes with him into the field a captain, whom they call Sono, with a
great quantity of men-at-arms, and amongst them they bring six
thousand women, who also bear arms and fight. With these forces he
goes about subduing and pacifying whatever kings rise up or desire
to revolt. The said king of Benamatapa sends, each year, many
honourable persons throughout his kingdoms to all the towns and
lordships, to give them new regulations, so that all may do them
obeisance, which is in this manner: each one of the envoys comes to
a town, and bids the people extinguish all the fires that there are
in it; and after they have been put out, all the inhabitants go to
this man who has been sent as commissary, to get fresh fire from him
in sign of subjection and obedience; and, whoever should not do this
is held as a rebel, and the king immediately sends the number of
people that are necessary to destroy him, and these pass through all
the towns at their expense: their rations are meat, rice, and oil of


Leaving Sofala for Mozambich, at forty leagues from it, there is a
very large river, which is called the Zuama;[11] and it is said that
it goes towards Benamatapa,[12] and it extends more than 160
leagues. In the mouth of this river there is a town of the Moors,
which has a king, and it is called Mongalo.[13] Much gold comes from
Benamatapa to this town of the Moors, by this river, which makes
another branch which falls at Angos, where the Moors make use of
boats (almadias), which are boats hollowed out from a single trunk,
to bring the cloths and other merchandise from Angos, and to
transport much gold and ivory.


After passing this river of Zuama, at xl leagues from it, there is a
town of the Moors on the sea coast, which is called Angoy,[14] and
has a king, and the Moors who live there are all merchants, and deal
in gold, ivory, silk, and cotton stuffs, and beads of Cambay, the
same as do those of Sofala. And the Moors bring these goods from
Quiloa, and Monbaza, and Melynde, in small vessels hidden from the
Portuguese ships; and they carry from there a great quantity of
ivory, and much gold. And in this town of Angos there are plenty of
provisions of millet, rice, and some kinds of meat. These men are
very brown and copper coloured; they go naked from the waist
upwards, and from thence downwards, they wrap themselves with cloths
of cotton and silk, and wear other cloths folded after the fashion
of cloaks, and some wear caps and others hoods, worked with stuffs
and silks; and they speak the language belonging to the country,
which is that of the Pagans, and some of them speak Arabic. These
people are sometimes in obedience to the king of Portugal, and at
times they throw it off, for they are a long way off from the
Portuguese forts.


Having passed this town of Anguox, on the way to India, there are
very near to the land three islands, one of which is inhabited by
Moors, and is called Mozambique.[15] It has a very good port, and
all the Moors touch there who are sailing to Sofala, Zuama, or
Anguox. Amongst these Moors there is a sheriff, who governs them,
and does justice. These are of the language and customs of the Moors
of Anguox, in which island the King of Portugal now holds a fort,
and keeps the said Moors under his orders and government. At this
island the Portuguese ships provide themselves with water and wood,
fish and other kinds of provisions; and at this place they refit
those ships which stand in need of repair. And from this island
likewise the Portuguese fort in Sofala draws its supplies, both of
Portuguese goods and of the produce of India, on account of the road
being longer by the mainland.

Opposite this island there are many very large elephants and wild
animals. The country is inhabited by Gentiles, brutish people who go
naked and smeared all over with coloured clay, and their natural
parts wrapped in a strip of blue cotton stuff, without any other
covering; and they have their lips pierced with three holes in each
lip, and in these holes they wear bones stuck in, and claws, and
small stones, and other little things dangling from them.


After passing this place and going towards India, there is another
island close to the mainland, called Quiloa,[16] in which there is a
town of the Moors, built of handsome houses of stone and lime, and
very lofty, with their windows like those of the Christians; in the
same way it has streets, and these houses have got their terraces,
and the wood worked in with the masonry, with plenty of gardens, in
which there are many fruit trees and much water. This island has got
a king over it, and from hence there is trade with Sofala with
ships, which carry much gold, which is dispersed thence through all
Arabia Felix, for henceforward all this country is thus named on
account of the shore of the sea being peopled with many towns and
cities of the Moors; and when the King of Portugal discovered this
land, the Moors of Sofala, and Zuama, and Anguox, and Mozambique,
were all under obedience to the King of Quiloa, who was a great king
amongst them. And there is much gold in this town, because all the
ships which go to Sofala touch at this island, both in going and
coming back. These people are Moors, of a dusky colour, and some of
them are black and some white; they are very well dressed with rich
cloths of gold, and silk, and cotton, and the women also go very
well dressed out with much gold and silver in chains and bracelets
on their arms, and legs, and ears. The speech of these people is
Arabic, and they have got books of the Alcoran, and honour greatly
their prophet Muhamad. This King, for his great pride, and for not
being willing to obey the King of Portugal, had this town taken from
him by force, and in it they killed and captured many people, and
the King fled from the island, in which the King of Portugal ordered
a fortress to be built, and thus he holds under his command and
government those who continued to dwell there.


Passing Quiloa, and going along the coast of the said Arabia Felix
towards India, close to the mainland there is another island, in
which there is a city of the Moors, called Bombaza,[17] very large
and beautiful, and built of high and handsome houses of stone and
whitewash, and with very good streets, in the manner of those of
Quiloa. And it also had a king over it. The people are of dusky
white, and brown complexions, and likewise the women, who are much
adorned with silk and gold stuffs. It is a town of great trade in
goods, and has a good port, where there are always many ships, both
of those that sail for Sofala and those that come from Cambay and
Melinde, and others which sail to the islands of Zanzibar, Manfia,
and Penda, which will be spoken of further on. This Monbaza is a
country well supplied with plenty of provisions, very fine sheep,
which have round tails, and many cows, chickens, and very large
goats, much rice and millet, and plenty of oranges, sweet and
bitter, and lemons, cedrats, pomegranates, Indian figs, and all
sorts of vegetables, and very good water. The inhabitants at times
are at war with the people of the continent, and at other times at
peace, and trade with them, and obtain much honey and wax, and
ivory. This King, for his pride and unwillingness to obey the King
of Portugal, lost his city, and the Portuguese took it from him by
force, and the King fled, and they killed and made captives many of
his people, and the country was ravaged,[18] and much plunder was
carried off from it of gold and silver, copper, ivory, rich stuffs
of gold and silk, and much other valuable merchandize.


After passing the city of Mombaza, at no great distance further on
along the coast, there is a very handsome town on the mainland on
the beach, called Melinde,[19] and it is a town of the Moors, which
has a king. And this town has fine houses of stone and whitewash, of
several stories, with their windows and terraces, and good streets.
The inhabitants are dusky and black, and go naked from the waist
upwards, and from that downwards they cover themselves with cloths
of cotton and silk, and others wear wraps like cloaks, and handsome
caps on their heads. The trade is great which they carry on in
cloth, gold, ivory, copper, quicksilver, and much other merchandise,
with both Moors and Gentiles of the kingdom of Cambay, who come to
their port with ships laden with cloth, which they buy in exchange
for gold, ivory, and wax. Both parties find great profit in this.
There are plenty of provisions in this town, of rice, millet, and
some wheat, which is brought to them from Cambay, and plenty of
fruit, for there are many gardens and orchards. There are here many
of the large-tailed sheep, and of all other meats as above; there
are also oranges, sweet and sour. This King and people have always
been very friendly and obedient to the King of Portugal, and the
Portuguese have always met with much friendship and good reception
amongst them.[20]


Opposite these places, in the sea above the Cape of the
Currents,[22] at a distance of eighty leagues, there is a very large
island, which is called San Lorenzo, and which is peopled by
Gentiles, and has in it some towns of Moors. This island has many
kings, both Moors and Gentiles. There is in it much meat, rice, and
millet, and plenty of oranges and lemons, and there is much ginger
in this country, which they do not make use of, except to eat it
almost green. The inhabitants go naked, covering only their middles
with cotton cloths. They do not navigate, nor does any one do so for
them; they have got canoes for fishing on their coast. They are
people of a dark complexion, and have a language of their own. They
frequently are at war with one another, and their arms are azagayes,
very sharp, with their points very well worked; they throw these in
order to wound, and carry several of them in their hands. They are
very well built and active men, and have a good method of wrestling.
There is amongst them silver of inferior quality. Their principal
food is roots, which they sow, and it is called yname,[23] and in
the Indies of Spain it is called maize. The country is very
beautiful and luxuriant in vegetation, and it has very large rivers.
This island is in length from the part of Sofala and Melinde three
hundred leagues, and to the mainland there are sixty leagues.


Between this island of San Lorenzo and the continent, not very far
from it, are three islands, which are called one Manfia, another
Zanzibar, and the other Penda;[24] these are inhabited by Moors;
they are very fertile islands, with plenty of provisions, rice,
millet, and flesh, and abundant oranges, lemons, and cedrats. All
the mountains are full of them; they produce many sugar canes, but
do not know how to make sugar. These islands have their kings. The
inhabitants trade with the mainland with their provisions and
fruits; they have small vessels, very loosely and badly made,
without decks, and with a single mast; all their planks are sewn
together with cords of reed or matting, and the sails are of palm
mats. They are very feeble people, with very few and despicable
weapons. In these islands they live in great luxury, and abundance;
they dress in very good cloths of silk and cotton, which they buy in
Mombaza of the merchants from Cambay, who reside there. Their wives
adorn themselves with many jewels of gold from Sofala, and silver,
in chains, ear-rings, bracelets, and ankle rings, and are dressed in
silk stuffs: and they have many mosques, and hold the Alcoran of


After passing Melinde, and going towards India, they cross the Gulf
(because the coast trends inwards) towards the Red Sea, and on the
coast there is a town called Pate,[25] and further on there is
another town of the Moors, called Lamon;[26] all these trade with
the Gentiles of the country, and they are strongly-walled towns of
stone and whitewash, because at times they have to fight with the
Gentiles, who live in the interior of the country.


Leaving these places, further on along the coast is a town of the
Moors, well walled, and built of good houses of stone and whitewash,
which is called Brava. It has not got a king; it is governed by its
elders,[27] they being honoured and respectable persons. It is a
place of trade, which has already been destroyed by the Portuguese,
with great slaughter of the inhabitants, of whom many were made
captives, and great riches in gold, silver, and other merchandise
were taken here, and those who escaped fled into the country, and
after the place was destroyed they returned to people it.


Leaving the before-mentioned town of Brava, on the coast further on
towards the Red Sea, there is another very large and beautiful town,
called Magadoxo, belonging to the Moors, and it has a king over it,
and is a place of great trade in merchandise. Ships come there from
the kingdom of Cambay and from Aden with stuffs of all sorts, and
with other merchandise of all kinds, and with spices. And they carry
away from there much gold, ivory, beeswax, and other things upon
which they make a profit. In this town there is plenty of meat,
wheat, barley, and horses, and much fruit; it is a very rich place.
All the people speak Arabic; they are dusky, and black, and some of
them white. They are but bad warriors, and use herbs with their
arrows to defend themselves from their enemies.


Having passed the district and town of Magadoxo, further on along
the coast is another small town of the Moors, called Afuni, in which
there is abundance of meat and provisions. It is a place of little
trade, and has got no port.


After passing this place the next after it is Cape Guardafun,[30]
where the coast ends, and trends so as to double towards the Red
Sea. This cape is in the mouth of the Strait of Mecca, and all the
ships which come from India, that is to say, from the kingdom of
Cambay, of Chaul, Dabul, Baticala, and Malabar, Ceylon, Choromandel,
Bengal, Sumatra, Poggru, Tanaseri, Malacca, and China, all come to
meet at this cape, and from it they enter into the before-mentioned
Red Sea with their merchandise for Aden, Berbera, and Zeyla, and
Guida, the port of Mecca, for which ships the ships of the King of
Portugal sometimes go and lie in wait and take them with all their


In doubling this Cape of Guardafun, towards the inner part of the
Red Sea, there is, just near the said cape, a town of the Moors
called Met,[31] not very large, where there is plenty of meat; it is
of little trade.


Further on, on the same coast, is a town of the Moors called
Barbara;[32] it has a port, at which many ships of Adeni and Cambay
touch with their merchandise, and from there those of Cambay carry
away much gold, and ivory, and other things, and those of Aden take
many provisions, meat, honey, and wax, because, as they say, it is a
very abundant country.


Having passed this town of Berbara, and going on, entering the Red
Sea, there is another town of the Moors, which is named Zeyla,[33]
which is a good place of trade, whither many ships navigate and sell
their cloths and merchandise. It is very populous, with good houses
of stone and whitewash, and good streets; the houses are covered
with terraces, the dwellers in them are black. They have many
horses, and breed much cattle of all sorts, which they make use of
for milk, and butter, and meat. There is in this country abundance
of wheat, millet, barley, and fruits, which they carry thence to


After continuing along the coast from the town of Zeyla, there is
another place of the Moors, called Dalaqua,[34] the seaport which is
most made use of by the Abaxins[35] of the country of Prester John.
And all round this place there are much provisions, and much gold
comes there from the country of Prester John.


Leaving Dalaqua for the interior of the Red Sea, there are Massowa,
Suakin, and other towns of the Moors; and this coast is still called
Arabia Felix, and the Moors call it Barra Ajan,[37] in all which
there is much gold which comes from the interior of the country of
Prester John, whom they call Abexi. All these places on this coast
trade with the country with their cloths and other merchandise, and
they bring from it gold, ivory, honey, wax and slaves; and sometimes
they are at war with them, for they are Christians, and they capture
many of them; and such captives are much valued by the Moors, and
amongst them are worth much more money than other slaves because
they find them sharp and faithful, and well-built men in body, and
when they turn Moors, they become greater emperors than the original
Moors. These Moors of Arabia Felix are all black[38] and good
fighting men; they go bare from the waist upwards, and from thence
downwards they cover themselves with cloths of cotton; and the more
honourable men amongst them wear their cloths over them like
Almalafas,[39] and the women are covered in the same way:[40]...


Leaving these towns of the Moors and entering into the interior of
the country, the great kingdom of Prester John is to be found, whom
the Moors of Arabia call Abexi;[41] this kingdom is very large, and
peopled with many cities, towns, and villages, with many
inhabitants: and it has many kings subject to it and tributary
kings. And in their country there are many who live in the fields
and mountains, like Beduins: they are black men, very well made:
they have many horses, and make use of them, and are good riders,
and there are great sportsmen and hunters amongst them. Their
provisions are flesh of all kinds, milk, butter, and wheaten bread,
and of these things there is a great abundance. Their clothes are of
hides because the country is wanting in cloths; and there is a law
amongst them by which certain families and ranks of persons may wear
cloths, and the rest of the people may wear only hides well dressed
and tanned. Amongst them there are men and women who have never
drunk water, but only milk, which greatly supports them, and
quenches the thirst, on account of its being more healthy and
substantial, and there is great abundance of it in the country.
These people are Christians of the doctrine of the blessed Saint
Bartholomew, as they say; and their baptism is in three kinds, of
blood, fire, and water: that is to say, that they circumcise
themselves, and mark themselves on the temples and forehead with
fire, and also in water, like the Catholic Christians. Many of them
are deficient in our true faith, because the country is very large,
and whilst in the principal city of Babel Malech, where Prester John
resides, they may be Christians, in many other distant parts they
live in error and without being taught; so that they are only
Christians in name.


In the interior of this country is the great city of Babel
Melech,[42] where Prester John holds his residence. The Moors call
him the great King of the Habeshys: he is Christian, and lord of
many extensive countries and numerous people, with whom he makes
subject many great kings. He is very rich, and possesses more gold
than any other prince. This Prester John holds a very large court,
and he keeps many men at arms continually in his pay, whom he takes
about with him. He goes out very rarely from his dwelling; many
kings and great lords come to visit him. In this city a great feast
takes place in the month of August, for which so many kings and
nobles come together, and so many people that they are innumerable:
and on this day of the feast in August they take an image out of a
church, which is believed to be that of Our Lady, or that of St.
Bartholomew, which image is of gold and of the size of a man; its
eyes are of very large and beautiful rubies of great value, and the
whole of it is adorned with many precious stones of much value, and
placing it in a great chariot of gold, they carry it in procession
with very great veneration and ceremony, and Prester John goes in
front of this car in another gold car, very richly dressed in cloth
of gold with much jewellery. And they begin to go out thus in the
morning, and go in procession through all the city with much music
of all sorts of instruments, until the evening, when they go home.
And so many people throng to this procession, that in order to
arrive at the car of the image many die of being squeezed and
suffocated; and those who die in this wise are held as saints and
martyrs; and many old men and old women go with a good will to die
in this manner.


Leaving this country of Prester John and the coast of the sea of
Arabia Felix, and turning to the other part of the Red Sea, which is
also called Arabia, and the Moors call it Barra Arab, there is a
village, a seaport called Suez,[43] and thither the Moors of Guida,
the port of Mecca, bring all the spices, drugs, precious stones,
seed pearl, amber, musk, and other merchandise of great value from
the parts about India; and from there they load them on camels to
carry them by land to Cairo, and from Cairo other merchants carry
them to Alexandria; and from there the Venetians and other
Christians usually export them. And this trade now, in a great
measure, ceases on account of the Portuguese, whose fleets prohibit
the navigation of the Moors from India to the Red Sea.[44] And the
Great Sultan, lord of Cairo, who loses most by this, ordered a fleet
to be built in the port of Suez, for which he had the wood and
artillery, and other equipments transported by land, in which much
money was expended; and this fleet was of ships and galleys, in
order to pass with it to India and there forbid the Portuguese from
cruising. And when this fleet was built many people of different
nations went with it to the first India, which is the Kingdom of
Cambay; and the Captain of it was Amir Uçen,[45] and with this fleet
they met that of Portugal in front of a city named Dyu, and there
they fought vigorously, and many people were killed, and at last the
Moors, Turks, and Mamelukes were conquered and all their fleet was
taken and part of it burned, and on this account and several other
victories which the Portuguese gained over the before-mentioned
Moors, they lost their navigation in the Red Sea, and the said port
of Suez remains without the trade in spices.


Near the said city of Suez there is in the country of Arabia on the
Red Sea, the mountain of Sinai, where lies the blessed Saint
Catharine in a church, in which there are Christian friars, under
the lordship of the Sultan, to which building the devout of all
Christian countries come in pilgrimage, and the chief part of those
that throng thither are from the country of Prester John and
Armenia, Babilonia, Constantinople, and Jerusalem.


Having passed Mount Sinai, which the Moors call Tur, along the coast
of the Red Sea going out of it, there is a village of the Moors, a
seaport called Eliobon,[46] and it is a port where they disembark
for Medina, which is another town of the Moors, up the country at
three days' journey from the port, and the body of Mahomed is buried
in it.


Leaving the port of Eliobon to go out of the Red Sea, there is a
town of the Moors, called Guida, and it is the port of Mecca,
whither the ships used to come every year from India with spices and
drugs, and they returned thence to Calicut with much copper,
quicksilver, vermillion, saffron, rose-water, scarlet silks,
camelots, tafetans and other goods, of stuffs used in India, and
also with much gold and silver; and the trade was very great and
profitable. And from this port of Guida these spices and drugs were
transported in small vessels to Suez, as has been already said.


At one day's journey up the country from the port of Guida is the
great city of Meca, in which there is a very large mosque, to which
all the Moors from all parts go in pilgrimage, and they hold for
certain that they are saved by washing with the water of a well
which is in this mosque: and they carry it away from there in
bottles to their countries as a great relic. In the aforesaid Guida
port of Mecca a fortress has been lately built by Emir Hussein, the
Moorish captain of the ships of the Sultan, which the Portuguese
destroyed in India: this captain when he saw himself defeated, did
not dare return to his country without performing some service to
his king, and he decided on begging of the King of Cambay (who is
called Sultan Mahamud) assistance in money, and so also from the
nobles and merchants of his kingdom and from other Moorish kings, in
order to construct this fortress, saying: that since the Portuguese,
(whom they call Franks) were so powerful, it would not be wonderful
if they were to come into this port and were to go and destroy the
house of Mahomet. And these Moorish kings and people hearing his
petition, and seeing the power of the King of Portugal, it seemed to
them that this might come to pass, and thus all gave him great
gifts, by means of which he loaded three ships with spices and other
merchandise, and went with them to the Red Sea, and arrived at
Guida, where he sold them, and with the money he made the said
fortress, and during the time that he was building it, the
Portuguese were making another inside the town of Calicut,[47] and
the King of Calicut begged the Captain Major of the King of Portugal
to give him permission to send then a ship laden with spices to
Mecca. And this permission was given him, and the ship was sent. And
there went in it as captain an honourable person of the Moors named
Califa, and he arrived at Guida the port of Mecca, where he came on
shore very well dressed out, along with his people, and he found
Emir Hussein building his fortress, and was asked by him news of the
Portuguese. And this Califa answered him, telling him how they were
in great peace at Calicut, and making a handsome fortress. And Emir
Hussein asked him, how dare you come to Mecca being a friend of the
Portuguese? Califa answered him, I am a merchant and am unable to do
anything, but you who are a captain of the great Sultan if you go to
India to turn them out of it, how came you to leave them there, and
to make a fortress here? At which Emir Hussein was much put out, and
ordered Califa immediately, and well dressed as he was, to take
stones and mortar, he and his people, and help to build the
fortress: and he made him work for the space of an hour.[48] And
Califa related this in Calicut later when he returned there.[49]


Leaving Jiddah the port of Mekkah, to go out of the Red Sea there
are three towns of the Moors, which have got kings over them, one is
called Jazan,[50] another Hali, and the other Alhor; in these there
are many horses and plenty of provisions. This king does not obey
the Sultan nor any other king whatever; he holds many countries
under him in which he has many towns with many sea ports, from which
the Moorish merchants used to export a few horses to India in their
merchant ships, because there they are worth a good deal.


Having passed these places and kingdom, there are three places
further on the coast which belong to the kingdom of Aden; the one
they call Hodeyda, the other Maha,[51] the other Babelmende, which
is in the mouth of the strait of the Red Sea where the ships enter
it, and at this place the ships take pilots as far as Jiddah, who
live by it.


In the sea of these other places, there is a small island called
Camaron,[52] inhabited by Moors, in which the ships were accustomed
to take refreshments when they passed by it to Jiddah. This island
was ravaged by Alonso de Alboquerque, captain of the King of
Portugal; and he staid there for some days repairing his fleet in
order to leave the Red Sea, for the season did not allow him to go
as far as Jiddah, to which he wished to arrive.


Coming out of the Red Sea by Babelmendel, which is in the straits,
as has been said, towards the open sea, further on the coast there
are several towns of Moors, which all belong to the kingdom of Aden,
and having passed these villages you arrive at the town of Aden,
which belongs to the Moors, and has a king over it. It is a very
handsome city, with very large and fine houses, and a place of much
trade, with good streets, and surrounded with a strong wall in their
fashion. This city is on a point between a mountain and the sea; and
this mountain ridge on the side of the main land is a precipitous
rock, in such manner that on that side it has no more than one
entrance, and on the top of this ridge, where the town is, there are
many small towers, which look very pretty from the sea. Inside the
city there is no water at all, and outside of the gate towards the
main land there is a building to which they make water come in pipes
from another mountain at some little distance from there, and
between one ridge and the other ridge there was a great plain. In
this city there are great Moorish merchants, and many Jews.[53] They
are white men, a few of them black, they dress in cloth of cotton,
silk, scarlet wool, and camelots. Their clothes are long robes, and
they wear caps on their heads, and with low shoes on their feet.
Their victuals are plenty of meat, wheaten bread, and rice which
comes from India: there is plenty of fruit as in our parts, and
there are in this place many horses and camels. The king is always
in the interior of the country, and he maintains his governor in
this city. Many ships, great and small, come there from many parts;
that is to say, from Jiddah, whence they bring them much copper and
quicksilver, and vermillion, coral, cloths of wool and silk. And
they take from here in return spices, drugs, cotton cloths, and
other things from Cambay, with provisions and other goods. Many
ships also touch there from Zeyla and Berbera with provisions and
other goods, and carry away from there stuffs from Cambay,
alaquequas,[54] and large and small beads perforated for stringing,
with which they trade in Arabia Felix, and in the country of Prester
John. Some ships from Ormuz likewise touch there to trade, and also
from Cambay, whence they bring much cotton stuff, spices, drugs,
jewels and pearls, alaquequas, spun cotton, and unspun; and they
take from these madder, opium, raisins, copper, quicksilver,
vermillion, rose-water which they make there, woollen and silk
stuffs, coloured stuffs from Mecca, and gold in ingots or coined,
and thread and camelots. And these ships of Cambay are so many and
so large, and with so much merchandise, that it is a terrible thing
to think of so great an expenditure of cotton stuffs as they bring.
There come likewise to this port of Aden many ships from Chaul and
Dabul, and from Bengal and the country of Calicut; they used to come
there with the before-mentioned goods and with a large quantity of
rice and sugar, and cocoa-nuts which grow on the palm trees, and
which are like nuts in flavour, and with the kernels[55] they make
drinking cups. There also arrive there ships from Bengal, Samatra,
and Malaca, which bring much spices and drugs, silks, benzoin,
alacar,[56] sandal-wood, aloes-wood, rhubarb, musk, and much cotton
stuffs from Bengal and Mangala,[57] so that it is a place of as much
trade as there can be in the world, and of the richest merchandise.
The fleet and armament of the King of Portugal came to this city,
and took and burned in its harbour several ships laden with much
merchandise, and several empty ships, and it made an assault to
enter the town, and mounted the walls with scaling ladders, which
broke with the weight of the many people on them; so that the
Portuguese went out again, and abandoned the town: and at this entry
the Moors defended themselves very vigorously, and many of them
died, and some of the Christians.


Having passed the said kingdom of Aden, going out of the strait
towards the East, there is another kingdom of the Moors about
twenty-five leagues off, near the sea, it has three or four towns on
the coast, and they are called Xebech, Diufar,[58] and Fartach.[59]
These Moors have got a king over them and are very good fighting
men: they have got horses which they make use of in war, and good
arms with short blades; the said king is subject to the King of Aden
and is his servant.


In this country and kingdom there is a cape which is called Cape
Fartach, where the coast turns and makes a bend towards the said sea
between north-east and east,[60] and between this cape and that of
Guardafun, is the mouth of the strait of Mecca, which runs
north-west and south-east,[61] and it is xl leagues in width, where
all the ships pass for those voyages and to the Red Sea. Above Cape
Guardafun, to the north-east by east, twenty-seven leagues off, is
an island called Sacotora, with very high mountains, it is inhabited
by dusky people, who are said to be Christians; but they are
deficient in the teaching of the Christian law and baptism, and have
got only the name of Christians: they have in their chapels crosses,
+.[62] It was in former times a country of Christians, and the
Christian doctrine was lost there on account of Christian navigation
having ceased there; and the Moors say that this was an island of
Amazons, who later in the course of time mixed with men, and
something of this appears to be the case, since there the women
administer property and manage it, without the husbands having a
voice in the matter. These people have a language of their own; they
go without clothes, and only cover their nakedness with cotton
cloths and skins: they have many cows and sheep, and date palms.
Their victuals are meat, milk, and dates. In this island there is
much dragon's blood[63] and aloes of Socotra. And the Moors of
Fartach built in it a fortress, to subjugate them, and turn them
Moors; and some of those that lived around the fortress were Moors,
and served the Moors of the fort like their slaves, both in their
persons and property. A fleet of the King of Portugal arrived at
this island, and took this fortress by force of arms from the Moors
of Fartach, fighting with them: and they defended themselves much
more vigorously than any men of these parts; so that they never
would give themselves up, and all died in the fight, for none of
them escaped; so that they are very good and daring fighting men.
The Captain of this fleet left troops and artillery in this fortress
in order to keep it in the name of the King of Portugal. And quite
near to this island of Sacotora there are two other islands
inhabited by coloured people and blacks, like the people of the
Canary Islands, without law or knowledge, and they have no dealings
with any other people. In these two islands much amber and of good
quality is found, and many shells of the valuable and precious kind
in the mine, and much dragon's blood and aloes of Socotra; and there
are large flocks of sheep and oxen.


Leaving Cape Fartach towards the coast of the open sea to the
north-east by east, going along the coast L leagues off is a town of
the Moors and seaport called Diufar,[64] a city of the kingdom of
Fartach, in which the Moors of Cambay trade in cotton stuffs, rice,
and other goods.


Further on from this place, in the direction of the same wind, at xx
leagues off, along the same coast, is another town of the Moors,
called Xeher; it also belongs to the kingdom of Fartach, and is very
large; it has a large trade in the stuffs, which the Moors of
Cambay, Chaul, Dabul, and Baticala, and the country of Malabar,
bring in their ships to this port and town of Xeher; these are
coarse and fine cotton stuffs, with which they clothe themselves;
granates on strings and several other jewels of small value, much
rice, sugar, and spice of all kinds, cocoa-nuts, and other goods,
which they sell there to the merchants of the country, who carry
them from there to Aden and all this part of Arabia. And the
importers afterwards employ the money in horses for India: these are
very large and very good, and each one of them in India is worth
five or six hundred ducats. And they also take from there much
wormwood,[66] which grows in that country. And in the interior of
the country all the people are Beduins: in this country there is
much wheat and plenty of meat and dates, grapes, and all other
fruits which are in our parts. And all the ships which sail from
India for the Red Sea, and having been delayed cannot arrive in good
time[67] with their merchandise at the place of their destination,
remain to sell them in this port of Xeher, and from there they go to
India along the coast to Cambay. And so this port is large and of
much trade at all times. This King of Fartach is, with the whole of
his kingdom, in obedience to the King of Aden, because he holds a
brother of his a prisoner. The wormwood which grows in this country
of Xeher is carried from here to all the world, and the ships of
this place load[68] the said wormwood, which is there worth a
hundred and fifty maravedis the hundred weight.


Having passed this town of Xeher, along the coast there are other
small towns, and Beduins in the interior of the country. This coast
lasts as far as Cape Fasalhat, which is xxv leagues from Xeher,
between north-east and east, where the kingdom and rule of the King
of Ormuz begins. At this cape there is a fortress which the King of
Ormuz holds there which is called Cor: and from there the coast
begins to bend inwards towards Ormuz.


After passing this Cape of Fasalhat along the coast to the
north-east, there are many towns and castles of the kingdom of Ormuz
in Arabia, fifty leagues to the north-east, and then twenty-five
leagues to the east, and as much again to the north-east and north,
and then it makes a bay to the north-west for twelve leagues, and
turns to the north-east twenty-five leagues as far as Cape
Refalcate,[69] and then it turns to the north-west, making bays
until Madea, which are eighty-six leagues off, and from there it
trends to the north-east by north thirty leagues until Cape
Mocondon,[70] which is at the mouth of the sea of Persia, which is
twelve leagues in width, and on this sea also further on, this rule
and lordship continue to extend, and there are in it many towns and
forts; and islands which are in the midst of the said sea of Persia,
inhabited by Moors. These places belonging to this kingdom are the
following. In the beginning of this kingdom on the coast outside of
this sea of Persia, is:--

First Calhat,[71] a very large town of handsome houses, and well
situated; the inhabitants are rich nobles and merchants: it is
forty-four leagues from Cape Fasalhat. Thirty-two leagues further on
there is another small place called Tybi, which has good water with
which the ships navigating all this coast provide themselves.

Twenty-five leagues further on is another small place called Daxnia,
also a seaport.

Thirty leagues further on is another large place which is a very
good town of much trade in merchandise, which is called Curiat,[72]
in which, as well as in the others in the neighbourhood, there is
plenty of meat, wheat, dates, and other fruit in abundance: there
are plenty of horses, which are bred in the country, and they are
very good, and the Moors of Ormuz come to buy them for exportation
to India.

Leaving this town of Curiat, at twelve leagues along the coast is
another place with a fortress which is called Sar,[73] which the
King of Ormuz keeps there.

Having doubled the Cape of Resalcate, the coast turns to the sea of
Persia. Forty leagues further on from this cape is another town upon
the coast itself called Mazquate. It is a large town, and of very
honourable people, and of much trade in merchandise, and a place of
great fisheries: they catch large fish there, which they export
dried and salted to other parts.

Going along the coast further on to the sea of Persia there is at a
distance of ten leagues another place called Sohar.[74]

Leaving this town of Sohar, further inland from the coast, at
fourteen leagues off is another fortress of the King of Ormuz called
Rosach; and with these fortresses this king is better able to keep
all this country in subjection.

Having passed the fortress of Rosach, there is another fortress
called Nahel twelve leagues off.

Twelve leagues further on is another place they call Madeha; it is a
small place, of few inhabitants, inside the mouth of the Sea of
Persia, thirty leagues to the south-west.[75]

Further on, there is a large place of many inhabitants called
Corfasan,[76] around which and the other neighbouring places are
many very agreeable country houses belonging to the chief men and
most honoured of the Moors of Ormuz, who come during certain months
of the year there to repose, and to collect their provisions, and
enjoy their fruit.

Fifteen leagues further on there is another place on the coast,
called Dadena.

As much again further on to the south-west, another place called
Daba. Further on, on the coast to the south-west by west, at a
distance of lxxxv leagues, is another very large town called
Julfar,[77] where there are many very respectable people, and many
merchants and sailors. And there they fish up many large pearls and
seed pearls, which the merchants of the city of Ormuz come there to
buy, to carry them to India and other parts. This place is one of
much trade, and produces a great deal to the king of Ormuz.

Further along the coast of the Persian Sea, in the before-mentioned
inner part, are three other places belonging to the king of Ormuz:
Raçolhiman,[78] which is a good town, at a distance of twenty-four
leagues, and another beyond this, called Melquehoan,[79] and six
leagues further on there is a fortress called Calba,[80] which the
king maintains to defend his country from the Bedouins, who live in
the interior of the country, and who are governed by sheikhs; and at
times they go against these towns of the kingdom of Ormuz, and make
war upon them, and sometimes they make them rebel against the king.

This king of Ormuz possesses, besides these places already
mentioned, on the coast of Arabia, many other towns in the country
of Persia, on the sea-coast, and in the midst of the Persian Sea
many islands inhabited by Moors, in which he has many large towns,
very rich and handsome, all of which are named separately further
on, and afterwards the island and city of Ormuz and its customs are

On this coast the king of Ormuz has a town called Baha,[81] in which
he maintains his governors.

Having passed this place, further along the coast is another place
called Dexar.

Further on another place called Xahen.

Further on another place called Ygun.[82]

Further on another place called El-guadun.

Further on another place called Nabani,[83] from which place they
carry much water to drink to Ormuz, because there is no drinkable
water there; and from this and all those other places they carry to
Ormuz all its supplies.

Further on is another place called Guan-meda, and from there further
on there are also some other places belonging to the king of Ormuz,
which are the following--Lefete, Quesebi,[84] and from here further
on the coast turns to the north-west by north as far as the mouth of
the river Eufrates, and it begins here to be a wide estuary.
Berohu,[85] Caljar, Xuza, Mohimasim,[86] Lima,[87] Gorbaz, Alguefa,
Carmon.[88] Which lasts two hundred and forty leagues, and then
Bazera, a castle of Sophi. At the entrance of the river Eufrates the
land turns to the sea in a southerly direction eighty leagues, and
then returns as much again to the north, and after that turns again
to the south, when there begin these towns--Cohomo, Barque Guex,[89]
Ganguan, Basido,[90] Goxtaque, Conch, Conga, Ebrahemi,[91] and as
far as this there are one hundred and sixty-five leagues, and after
that Xenase,[92] Menahao Xamile, Leytam, Bamtani, Doani,[93] and
from this point the coast trends to the east for a distance of
thirty leagues as far as Lorom.[94] Between these places there are
many large towns with much trade, and very respectable inhabitants,
and great merchants; and many castles, which the King of Ormuz
maintains for the defence of his country, and they are all on the
coast of the Persian Sea. They are places abundantly supplied with
meat and wheaten bread, barley, vines, and all other things which
are found in our parts, and many dates; and the inhabitants of these
towns are white, and very polite people; they dress in long clothes
of silk and cotton stuffs and camelots; and this is a very rich


In the mouth of this sea of Persia there are the following islands
belonging to the king of Ormuz. Cuyx, Andrany,[95] Baxeal,
_Quiro_,[96] _Lar_,[97] Cojar,[98] Tomon,[99] _Firror_ Guolar,
Melugan,[100] Gory, Queximi,[101] Baharem.[102]

These two islands of Queximi and Baharem are large; and Queximi has
eight inhabited towns and has plenty of provisions. Baharem has a
large town of many Moors, important and honourable personages. And
it is distant from Lorom to the north-east xxxiv leagues, and to the
island of Queximi fifty leagues of channel; and between it and the
mainland from two to four leagues; and after that the coast turns
between north-east and east, until the island of Ormuz for xxxv
leagues, of which island mention is made lower down.[103]

Merchants from many parts reside in this island, and it is situated
in the middle of this sea, and many ships with great merchandise
sail to it; and here and in the neighbourhood much seed pearl and
many pearls are produced, and they fish them on the island itself,
from which there is a great profit to the inhabitants; and the king
draws from this island and from all the others large revenues. The
merchants of Ormuz go to this island of Baharem to buy the pearls
and seed pearl for India and other parts where they find it
profitable, and for the kingdom of Narsinga; and also those of
Persia and Arabia go there to buy them, and in all this sea of
Persia these pearls are found, but not in such quantity as in this
island of Baharem.


After passing these countries along the coast of Persia, there are
many towns, places, and villages of the Moors, very handsome and
rich enough. From here further on it is no longer the country of the
king of Ormuz, but belongs to other lords, of whom we do not possess
so much information, except that Xeque Yzmael[104] subjugates and
governs them. He is a Moor, and a young man, who in a short time has
subjugated these parts, and a great part of Persia and Arabia, and
many kingdoms and lordships of the Moors, not being a king nor the
son of a king, except that he was only a sheikh of the house and
lineage of Aly, the brother-in-law[105] of Mahomed; and, being poor,
he united with other young Moors, and they took up the habit of
going without clothes, which is a custom amongst them; they
abandoned their property, honours, and clothes, and only covered
themselves with skins of goats, and leopards, and deer with the fur,
which many are in the habit of carrying, and they mark their arms
and breasts with many scars of burns; and they carry heavy iron
chains, and in their hands some weapons, different from those of
other people, such as small battle-axes of much workmanship, and
iron maces; they go as pilgrims, and do not sustain themselves
except by alms; and to such people, wherever they go, much honour
and entertainment is shown by the other Moors; and they always go
shouting and crying out in the villages the name of Mahomet. So this
Sheikh Ismail took this habit, and determined to shout and cry out
for Aly, whilst he took no heed of Mahomed. Many people began to
collect round him, so that he began soon to take towns and to grant
property to the persons who flocked to him, and were with him at a
conquest; and, in case they took nothing, he decided on making some
hoods of scarlet wool, of ample dimensions, and ordering them to be
worn by the persons who followed him;[106] thus he collected many
people, and with them he went on taking many towns, and making war
in many parts; and he did not choose to be called king, but the
leveller of property, who took from those who had much, and gave to
those who had little; neither did he choose to rest in any place.

But all that he conquered he gave away and distributed to those who
followed and obeyed him; whenever he found any very rich people
whose riches did not profit any one, he took them away and
distributed them amongst honourable people and the poor; and to the
owners of the property he left a share equal to that which he gave
to each one of the others; this he did many times, on which account
they called him the Equaller. This king sent ambassadors to all the
Moorish kings to persuade them to wear those coloured hoods, and if
they did not choose to accept them, he sent to challenge them, and
to say that he would come against them, to take their country, and
make them believe in Aly. He sent this embassy to the great Sultan
of Cairo and to the Grand Turk, who gave him a hostile answer and
made a league against him. As soon as Sheikh Ismail saw their
answers he determined to go against the Grand Turk, and he went
against him with large forces, horse and foot, and the Turk came out
to receive him, and they had a great battle,[107] in which the Grand
Turk was the conqueror, on account of the quantity of artillery
which he brought with him, which Sheikh Ismail did not bring, and he
only fought with his men with the strength of their arms. They
killed there many of his people, and he took to flight, and the Turk
followed him, killing many of his troops, until he left him within
Persia, when he returned thence to Turkey. This was the first time
that this Sheikh Ismail was routed, for which he said that he wished
to return to Turkey with greater power and provided with artillery.
This king ruled over a part of Babilonia, and Armenia, and Persia,
and a large part of Arabia, and of India, near to the kingdom of
Cambay. His design was to get into his hands the house of Mekkah.
This sheikh sent an embassy with many presents to the captain of the
king of Portugal, who was exercising his functions in India, and
asked him to agree to peace and friendship. And the Portuguese
captain-major received this embassy and presents, and in return sent
another embassy.[108]

At the extremity of this Sea of Persia there is, as has been said, a
fortress called Basera, inhabited by Moors, in subjection to Sheikh
Ismail, at which there comes out from the mainland to the sea a very
large and beautiful river of good fresh water, which is called
Frataha.[109] This is said to be one of the four rivers which flow
out of the terrestrial Paradise, which river is the Eufrates, and
these Moors say it has sixty thousand branches, and that one of the
principal ones comes out at the kingdom of Dahulcino, in which is
the first India, which we call the river Indus; and the river Ganges
is the other branch, which comes out in the second India to the sea;
and the Nile, which is another branch, which comes through the
country of Prester John, and waters Cairo.[110]


On coming out of the Sea and Strait of Persia, in its mouth there is
a small island, in which is the city of Ormuz, which is small and
very handsome, and with very pretty houses, lofty, of stone,
whitewash, and mortar, covered with terraces, and because the
country is very hot, they have fans made in such a manner that they
make the air come from their summits to the lower part of the houses
and rooms. It is a very well situated town, which has very good
streets and squares. Outside of this city, in the island itself,
there is a small mountain, which is entirely of rock salt and
sulphur; this salt is in great lumps, and very white and good: they
call it Indian salt, because nature produces it there; and the ships
which come there from all parts take this salt as ballast, because
in all other parts it is worth much money.

The inhabitants of this island and city are Persians and Arabs, and
they speak Arabic and another language which they call Persian. They
are very white, and good-looking people, of handsome bodies, both
men and women; and there are amongst them black and coloured people
also, who are from the country of Arabia. And the Persians, who are
very white, are fat and luxurious people, who live very well. They
are very voluptuous, and have musicians with various instruments.
There are among them very rich merchants, and many ships, because
they have a good port, and they trade in many kinds of goods, which
are imported there from many parts, and exported thence to other
parts of India. They bring there all sorts of spices, drugs,
precious stones, and other goods, such as pepper, ginger, cinnamon,
cloves, mace, nutmeg, long pepper, aloes-wood, sandal-wood,
brasil-wood, balsam, tamarinds, Indian saffron, beeswax, iron,
sugar, rice, cocoa-nuts, rubies, sapphires, giagonzas,[111]
amethysts, topazes, chrysolites, hyacinths, porcelain, benzoin; and
upon all these goods much money is made, and many stuffs from the
kingdom of Cambay, Chaul, Dabul, and Bengala, which are called
Sinabasos, Chautars, Mamonas, Dugasas, Soranatis, which are kinds of
stuffs of cotton very much valued amongst them for caps and shirts,
which are much made use of by the Arabs and Persians, and people of
Cairo, Aden, and Alexandria. They also bring to this city of Ormuz,
quicksilver, vermillion, rose-water, brocade and silk stuffs,
scarlet woollens, coarse camelots, and silk. And from China and
Catuy they bring to this city by land much fine silk in skeins, and
very rare musk and rhubarb;[112] and they bring from Babilonia very
fine torquoises, and some emeralds, and very fine lapis lazuli from
Acar. And from Baharem and Julfar they bring much seed pearl and
large pearls, and many horses from Arabia and Persia, of which they
carry away to India every year as many as five or six hundred, and
at times a thousand; and the ships which export these horses load
much salt, dates, and raisins, and sulphur, and of the other goods
which the Indians are pleased with.

These Moors of Ormuz are very well dressed, with very white, long,
and fine cotton shirts, and their fine drawers[113] of cotton, and
above that, very rich silk clothes and camelots, scarlet cloth, and
very rich gauzes, with which they wrap their waists[114], and they
wear in their girdles daggers and knives, ornamented with gold and
silver, and some heavy short swords, all adorned with gold and
silver, according to the rank of the wearers: and large round
shields, richly garnished with silk, and in their hands they carry
Turkish bows, painted with gold and very pretty colours, and their
cords are of silk. These bows are of stiff wood and of buffaloe's
horn; they carry very far, and these people are very good archers;
their arrows are slender and well worked. Others carry in their
hands iron maces, well wrought and elegant; others again,
battle-axes of various patterns and of very good temper, and inlaid
or enamelled.[115] They are very agreeable and polite people, and
very civil in their mutual relations. Their food is of very good
meats, very well cooked, wheaten bread, and very good rice, and many
other dishes very well prepared, and many kinds of conserves, and
preserved fruits, and others fresh: that is to say, apples,
pomegranates, peaches, apricots, figs, almonds, melons, radishes,
salads, and all the other things which there are in Spain; dates of
many kinds, and other eatables and fruits not used in our parts.
They drink wine of grapes in secret, because their law forbids it
them; and the water which they drink is flavoured with pistachio
nuts, and set to cool, for which purpose they employ and seek many
methods for cooling and preserving it cool. And all the noblemen and
honourable merchants always take, wherever they go, both in the
streets and public places, and on the road, a page with a bottle of
water, which is covered underneath with silver, or with a silver
cup, as much for state and show as for use and comfort. All these
people possess gardens and farms, to which they go to enjoy
themselves for some months of the year.[116]

This city of Ormuz is, as has been said, very rich and well supplied
with everything in the way of provisions, but everything is very
dear, because it is brought by sea from the towns of Arabia and
Persia, for in the island there is nothing that can be made use of
except salt; neither have they water to drink, for they bring it
each day in boats from the mainland or other neighbouring islands.
But for all that, the squares are full of all sorts of things, and
everything is sold by weight, and with great order and regulation.
And they give a very proper punishment to whoever falsifies the
weights or sells above the regulation price; and they also sell
cooked and roasted meat by weight, and so with all other cooked
victuals; and all these so well arranged and so clean that many
people do not have cooking done in their houses, but eat in the

The king is always in this city of Ormuz, in which he has some
beautiful palaces, and a fortress, where he has his residence, and
where he keeps his treasury; and there he holds all his court, and
out of it provides governors or judges for all his states and
lordships. But it is his council that does everything; and he does
not meddle with any affair, but only amuses himself, neither would
it have been in his power to do otherwise; for if he wished to
govern in person, and wished to be free and exempt like other kings,
immediately they would put his eyes out, and would put him in a
house with his wife, and maintain him there miserably; and they
would raise up another son of his as king, or some one else more
fitting for it, of his lineage, in order that his council may govern
all his kingdoms and territories peacefully in his name. And with
respect to all the other heirs of the kingdom, as they grow up and
become persons able to command and govern, if it should appear to
the council that they desire to meddle with the government, they
take them and put their eyes out also, and put them also in a house;
so that there are always ten or twelve of these blind men, and those
who reign live with this fear before them.[117] They give food there
to them and to their wives and children. This king has many
men-at-arms, and many gentlemen who guard and serve him, and they
receive very good pay and rations, and are always at the court with
their arms; and they send some to the frontiers on the mainland
whenever they are required.

They make gold and silver money in this city; the gold coins are
called Sarafin, and are worth three hundred maravedis, and most of
them are halves, which are worth a hundred and fifty, a round coin
like ours,[118] and with Moorish letters on both sides, and about
the size of a fanon of Calicut, with Moorish letters, and it is
worth fifty-five maravedis; they call these tanga, and they are of
very fine silver, and of the standard of twelve dinars.[119] There
is a large quantity of this money, both gold and silver, and much of
it goes out to India, where it has much currency.

There came a Portuguese fleet to this kingdom of Ormuz, and its
captain-major was Alfonso de Alborquerque, who attempted to come to
an understanding with this kingdom of Ormuz, but the Moors would not
agree, and on that account this captain began to make war upon the
whole kingdom at all the seaports, and he did them much injury, and
at last he came and touched at the port of Ormuz with his fleet, and
there was a great battle there, with many and great ships full of
many and smart well-armed men. And the said captain routed the fleet
of the Moors, and killed many of them, and sunk many of their ships,
and took and burned many which were moored in the harbour, drawn up
by the wall of the city. And when the king and the governors of the
country saw such great destruction of their people and ships,
without being able to assist them, they offered peace to the
before-mentioned captain, who accepted it under the condition that
they should let him make a fortress at one extremity of the city;
and they agreed, and this began to be done; and the work having
commenced, the Moors repented again, and did not choose that more
should be built; and then the Portuguese began again to make war
upon them, and they did them so great damage, and slaughtered so
many people, that they made them tributary to the King of Portugal
to the amount of fifteen thousand serafins of gold each year.

Some years from that time the king and governors of Ormuz sent an
ambassador with offers of services and letters to the King of
Portugal, and the before-named captain returned with his answer and
a good fleet to the city of Ormuz,[120] and there they received him
very peacefully in this city, and at once gave him permission and a
place in which to built the fortress, which on a former occasion the
Portuguese had begun to build: and he ordered it to be built at
once, very large and magnificent. At this time the king, who was a
Moor, and very young, and in the power of the governors, and so
ruined that he did not dare do anything of himself, found the means
to inform the captain-major secretly of the little liberty he
enjoyed, and that the governors kept him like a prisoner, and that
they had forcibly taken the government which belongs to others who
were accustomed to exercise it, and that it appeared that they were
exchanging letters with Sheikh Ismail in order to give him the
kingdom. The captain-major kept this very secret, and determined to
have an interview with the king; and they agreed that this interview
should be in some large houses near the sea. On the day on which the
interview was to take place, the captain-major entered the houses
with ten or fifteen captains, leaving his people well arranged, and
all concerted as was most convenient. So the king and his principal
governor came there with many people, and the king and the governor
entered the houses with ten or twelve honourable Moors, and the door
was well shut and guarded. Then the captain-major ordered them to
kill the governor[121] with their daggers in his presence and that
of the king: and he said to the king, "Have no fear, Sir, for I do
this to make you absolute king." However those who were without
heard the noise, and began to raise a disturbance, that it to say,
the relations, servants, and friends of the said governor, who were
many in number, and all came armed, so that it was necessary for the
captain-major to take the king by the hand; they went up on to the
roof, both of them armed, in order that the king might speak thence
to the Moors, and might pacify them; so he spoke to them, but could
do nothing with them. They, on the contrary, required that he should
confide to them his brother and lord: and they went thence to
establish themselves in the king's palace, saying they would make
another king. The captain-major wished to lay hands upon them, and
thus they remained a great part of the day, and the king sought how
to turn them out, and the captain-major determined to kill them by
force or to drive them out, as they did not choose to go out of the
fortress. So when the Moors saw that the captain-major, with the
king, was determined to attack them, they resolved to give the
fortress to the king; and when they gave it up, the king commanded
that they should be banished immediately, they and their families;
and this was done, and they went to the mainland.

The captain-major conducted the king from these houses to the palace
in triumph and honourably, and with many people, both of ours and of
his, and entrusted him to the other governor who was so before. He
then committed to him his palaces and the city very freely, and told
the governor to serve the king very honourably, and to leave him to
govern his country at his pleasure, and only give him advice, as
happens with other Moorish kings: and thus he put him at liberty. He
then left in the fortress that was built a captain and many men of
Portugal, and ships, in order to favour this king, who does nothing
without the advice of the captain of the fort. And he is in
submission to the King of Portugal, with all his kingdoms and

After the captain-major had put everything in quiet and order, and
under his command, he then had banished by the public crier, and
turned out of the island all the paiderastoi, with a warning that if
they returned there again they would be burned, at which the king
showed great satisfaction. He likewise ordered all the blind kings
who were in the city to be taken, and there were thirteen or
fourteen of them, and put in a large ship, and he sent them to
India, and they were landed at Goa, where he gave orders for them to
be maintained at the expense of his revenues, so that they might end
their days there, and not cause any disturbance in the kingdom of
Ormuz, and be in peace and quietness.


Leaving the kingdom of Ormuz, from the mouth of the Sea of Persia
the coast goes to the south-east for a hundred and seventy-two
leagues as far as Diulcinde,[122] entering the kingdom of
Ulcinde,[123] which is between Persia and India. It is a kingdom,
and has a Moorish king over it, and most of the inhabitants of the
country are Moors, and there are some Gentiles subject to the Moors.
This king has an extended rule over the country in the interior, and
few seaports. They have many horses. On the eastern side this
country is bounded by the kingdom of Cambay, and on the west by
Persia. It is in obedience to Sheikh Ismail. The Moors are white and
coloured; they have a language of their own, and also speak that of
the Persians and of Arabia. There is much wheat and barley in this
country, and plenty of meat. It is a level country, with little
timber. They make little practice of navigating the sea; they
possess extensive sea-beaches, where there are great fisheries, and
they catch large fish, which they dry and salt, both for consumption
in the country and for exportation in small vessels to other
kingdoms. In this country they give dried fish to their horses to
eat. A few ships which sail to this country from India, bring rice,
sugar, and some spices, timber, planks, and Indian canes, which are
as thick as a man's leg. And in all this trade they make much money;
and from this place they carry away cotton, horses, and cloth. A
great river comes into the sea through this kingdom; it comes
through the middle of Persia, and they say that it comes out of the
river Eufrates. Along this river there are many large and rich towns
of Moors. It is a very fertile and fruitful land, and very abundant
in provisions.


Leaving the kingdom of Ulcinde, in the same direction, at a distance
of fifty leagues, the traveller enters the first[124] India, in the
great kingdom of Guzarat, which kingdom had belonged to King Darius.
And the Indians have long histories of him and of King Alexander.
This kingdom has many cities and towns in the interior of the
country, as well as ports along the sea; and very much shipping. It
has many merchants and shipowners, both Moors and Gentiles.

The king, and the men-at-arms, and nobles of the country were all
Gentiles formerly, and now they are Moors, since the Moors conquered
the country in war, and hold the Gentiles subject to them, and
molest them and treat them ill. There are three qualities of these
Gentiles, that is to say, some are called Razbutes, and they, in the
time that their king was a Gentile, were knights, the defenders of
the kingdom, and governors of the country; they used to carry on
war, and even now there remain some towns of them in the mountains,
which have never chosen to pay obedience to the Moors, but, on the
contrary, make war upon them; and the King of Cambaya is not
sufficiently powerful to destroy them or subject them. They are very
good knights and great archers, and they have many other kinds of
arms with which they defend themselves from the Moors, without
owning any king or lord to govern them. The others are called
Banians, and are merchants and traders. These live amongst the
Moors, and trade with them in their goods. They are men who do not
eat meat nor fish, nor anything that has life; neither do they kill
anything, nor like to see it killed, because their idolatry forbids
it them; and they observe this to such an extreme that it is
something marvellous. For it often happens that the Moors bring them
some worms or little birds alive, saying they intend to kill them in
their presence; and they ransom them, and buy them to set them
flying, and save their lives for more money than they are worth. And
in the same way, if the governor of the country has got a man to be
executed, these Banians unite together and buy him from the officers
of justice, that he may not die; and frequently they sell him to
them. And in the same manner the Moors who beg for alms, when they
want alms from these people, take great stones and strike themselves
with them on the shoulders and the breast, and on their stomachs, as
if they were going to kill themselves with them, and they receive
alms not to do it, and to go away in peace. And others bring knives
and stab themselves in the arms and legs before them, in order to
extract alms; and others come to their doors to decapitate rats and
snakes and other reptiles, and they give them money not to do it, so
that they are very ill-treated by the Moors. If these people meet
with a band of ants in the road, they hasten out of the road, and go
and look for a place to pass without treading upon them. They
likewise sup in the daytime because they do not light candles at
night, in order that the mosquitoes and other insects may not come
and die in the flame; and if of necessity they must have a candle,
they keep them in lanterns of paper, or of stuff dipped in gum, so
that no living thing can get there to suffer. If these people have
lice they do not kill them, and if they worry them very much, they
send to fetch some men whom they have amongst them, also Gentiles,
whom they esteem of holy lives, like hermits, and who live in much
abstinence for the love of their idols, and these people pick out
their insects, and all those that they extract they put in their own
heads, and they nourish them on themselves and on their flesh for
the service of their idols. And so this law of not killing anything
is held in great observance. On the other hand, they are great
usurers and falsifiers of weights and measures, and merchandise, and
coin; and liars and cheats. These Gentiles are brown people, well
built and of good proportions, smart in their dress, and delicate
and temperate in their food. Their victuals are milk, butter, sugar,
rice, preserves of many kinds, many fruits, bread, vegetables, and
field herbs; they all have gardens and orchards wherever they live,
and many pools of water where they bathe twice every day, both men
and women; and having ended their washing, they hold the belief that
they are pardoned for all the sins which they have committed up to
that time. They wear the hair very long like the women in Spain, and
they wear it gathered on the top of the head, and made into a band
which is much adorned, and upon this a cap to fasten it; and they
always wear many flowers stuck into their hair, and sweet smelling
things. They also anoint themselves with white sandal mixed with
saffron and other scents; they are much given to fall in love. They
go bare, only covering themselves from the waist downwards with very
rich silk stuffs; they wear embroidered shoes of very good leather,
well worked, and some short silk skirts, and other short ones of
cotton, with which they cover their bodies. They do not carry arms,
only some small knives garnished with gold and silver, for two
reasons: one because they are persons who make little use of arms,
the other because the Moors forbid it to them. They use many
ear-rings of gold and jewellery in the ears, and many rings, and
belts of gold and jewellery upon the cloths with which they gird
themselves. The women of these Gentiles have very pretty, delicate
faces, and well made bodies, a little dark. Their dress is silk
stuff like their husbands' as far as the feet, and jackets[125] with
narrow sleeves of silk stuff, open at the shoulders, and other silk
cloths with which they cover themselves in the manner of morisco
almalafas; their heads bare, the hair gathered up upon the head;
they wear thick ankle rings of gold and silver on the legs, and
rings on their toes, and large coral beads on their arms, with beads
of gold filigree, and gold and silver bracelets; and round their
necks, necklaces of gold and jewellery, fitting closely; they have
large holes pierced in their ears, and in them rings of gold or
silver large enough for an egg to pass through them. They are modest
women, and when they go out of their houses they are much covered up
with their wraps over their heads. The other set of people are
called Bramans, and are priests and the persons who administer and
direct the idolatry; they have very large houses of prayer, some of
them with revenues, others are maintained by alms. In these they
keep many idols: some of stone, some of wood, and other of copper.
In these houses and monasteries they always perform many ceremonies
to their gods; they make feasts for them magnificently, with
instruments and songs, and with many lights of oil, and they have
bells in our fashion. These Bramans have got images which represent
the Holy Trinity: they pay much honour to the number three, and in
trine make their adoration to God, whom they confess to be the true
God, Creator, and Maker of all things, which are three things in one
sole person; and they say that there are many other gods governed by
him, in which they also believe. These Bramans, wherever they find
our churches, enter willingly into them, and adore our images; and
they always ask for Santa Maria, our Lady, like men who have some
knowledge of her. And as they see our manner of honouring the
churches, they say that there is no great difference between them
and us. These Bramans go bare from the waist upwards; they wear upon
their shoulder a thread of three threads, which is a sign by which
they are known to be Bramans. They are men who also do not eat
anything which receives death, nor do they kill anything. They hold
it to be a great ceremony to wash their bodies, and say that they
wash on that account. These Bramans, and also the Banians, marry in
our fashion, with one woman only, and only once. They make great
feasts at their weddings, which last many days, and there are many
people assembled at these very well dressed and decked out. These
festivities are magnificent. For the most part they are married when
very young, both men and women, and on the day of the betrothal, and
of the wedding, the couple are both of them seated on a
platform,[126] very much bedizened with gold and jewellery and
precious stones, and in front of them is a small table with an idol
covered with flowers, and many lighted oil lamps all round it; and
both of them have to remain there with their eyes fixed on that idol
from the morning until the evening, without eating or drinking, or
speaking to anybody during that time. The people make great
rejoicings over them with their instruments and songs and dances;
they let off many cannons, rockets and other fireworks to divert
themselves. And if the husband dies the woman does not marry again,
and so also does the husband should the wife die. And the children
are his rightful heirs; and Bramans must be sons of Bramans, amongst
whom there are some of a lower rank who serve as messengers and
travellers, and they go in security to all parts without any one
vexing them in any way. Even if there should be war or thieves, they
always pass safely. These are called _pater_.


The King of Guzarat is a great lord, both in revenue and people, and
extensive and rich territory. He is a Moor, as also are his
men-at-arms, as has been said. He has a large court of many knights,
and he is the lord of many horses and elephants, which are brought
for sale to this kingdom from the country of Malabar and Ceylon. And
with the horses and elephants he makes war upon the Gentiles of the
kingdom of Guzarat who do not pay obedience to him, and upon some
other kings with whom at times he is at war. And they make wooden
castles on the top of the elephants, which hold four men, who carry
bows and guns, and other weapons, and fight thence with the enemy.
And the elephants are so well trained, that they know how to take
part in the battle, and with their tusks wound the men and horses so
severely, that in a very short time they put any array into
confusion. But they are so timid, and subject to pain when wounded,
that they take to flight at once, and put one another into
confusion, and rout their own side. This king has four or five
hundred of these at his residence, very large and fine. They buy
them for one thousand five hundred ducats each, at the seaports
where the Malabars bring them for sale. And they make war much with
the horses bred in the country, for it has a wonderful quantity; and
the Moors and Gentiles of this kingdom are bold riders, ride small
saddles,[127] and use whips. They carry very thick round shields,
edged with silk, and two swords each man, a dagger, and a Turkish
bow, with very good arrows; and some carry steel maces, and many of
them coats of mail, and others tunics quilted with cotton. And the
horses have housings and steel head pieces, and so they fight very
well and are light in their movements; and they are so supple in
their saddles that they can play on horseback at the choga[128] or
at any other game. They have amongst them the game of the jerid, as
in Spain. These Moors are white, and of many countries: both Turks
and Mamelukes, Arabs, Persians, Khorasanys, Turkomans, and from the
great kingdom of Dily, and others born in the country itself. These
people come together there on account of the country being very
rich, and well supplied; and the king gives good pay and rations,
and regularly paid. These people are very well dressed, with very
rich stuffs of gold, silk, cotton, and goats' wool, and all wear
caps on their heads, and their clothes long, such as morisco shirts
and drawers, and leggings to the knee of good thick leather, worked
with gold knots and embroidery; and their swords are borne in their
girdles, or in the hands of their pages. They are richly ornamented
with gold and silver. Their women are very white and pretty, also
very richly decked out. They may marry as many as they like and are
able to maintain, to honour the sect of Mahomed; and so there are
many of them who have three or four or five wives, and of all of
them they have sons and daughters. And these Moors of Cambay speak
many languages, that is to say, Arabic, Persian, Turkish,[129] and
Guzaraty. They eat wheaten bread, rice, meat of all kinds, leaving
aside pork, which is against their law. They are luxurious people,
who live well and spend much money. They always go with their heads
shaved, and the women with very fine hair. When they go out of their
houses, they go on horses, or in cars, and so covered up that nobody
can see them. They are very jealous men, and can unmarry themselves
when they please, on paying to the wife a certain sum of money
(which is promised when they marry them), if at any time they repent
of it; and the women have also the same liberty.

This King of Cambay has been king since a short time only, and his
father was called Sultan Mahomed, who was brought up from a child
and nourished with poison, for his father desired that he should so
be brought up in order that it should not be possible to kill him
with poison; for the Moorish kings of these parts often have one
another killed by poison. And this king began to eat it in such a
small quantity that it could not do him any harm, and from that he
went on increasing this kind of food in such manner that he could
eat a great quantity of it; for which cause he became so poisonous
that if a fly settled on his hand it swelled and immediately fell
dead. And many wives with whom he slept died at once of his poison,
which he was unable to leave off eating, for he feared if he did not
use it, to die soon after; as we see by experience with the opium
which the Indians eat, for if they leave off eating it they die
immediately, that is, if they begin as children to eat it in such a
small quantity that it can do them no harm, for some length of time,
and then increasing the quantity by degrees until they remain
accustomed to it. This anfion is cold in the fourth degree, and on
account of being so cold it kills. We call it opio, and the women of
India when they wish to kill themselves in any case of dishonour or
of despair, eat it with oil of sesame, and so die sleeping without
feeling death.


This King possesses great cities in his kingdom, and especially the
city of Champaver, where he resides continually, with all his court.
This city is to the north of Guzerat, eighty leagues inland. It is a
very fertile country: of abundant provisions, wheat, barley, millet,
rice, peas and other vegetables, and many cows, sheep, goats, and
plenty of fruit, so that it is very full of all things; and it has
in its neighbourhood many hunting grounds, and deer and other
animals, and winged game. And this country possesses dogs and
falcons for the chase, and tame leopards for hunting all sorts of
game. And the King for his pastime keeps many animals of all kinds,
which they send to find and bring up. This King sent a Ganda[131] to
the King of Portugal, because they told him that he would be pleased
to see her.


Leaving this city and going further inland there is another city
called Andavat, which is larger than the said city of Champaver, and
it is very rich, and well supplied. The former kings used always to
reside in this city. These towns are walled, and embellished with
good streets and squares, and houses of stone and whitewash, with
roofs in our fashion; and they have large courts, and much water in
wells and pools. They make use of horses, donkeys, mules, camels and
carts, and have fine rivers, with plenty of fresh water fish, and
many orchards and gardens. There are also in this kingdom, inland,
many cities, towns and villages, in which the king keeps his
governors and collectors of his revenue. If these commit a fault he
summons them, and after having heard them he bids them drink a cup
of poison, with which anyone dies immediately; and in this way he
chastises them, so that they are in great fear of him.


The places which this king has on the sea coast are these. Firstly,
leaving the kingdom of Ulcinde for India at a distance of
thirty-seven leagues, is a river, on the shore of which there is a
great city called Patemxi, a good seaport, very rich, and of great
trade. In this city many silk stuffs are made, coloured with much
embroidery, which are used over the whole of India, Malacca, Bengal,
and also many cotton stuffs. To this port come many Indian ships
laden with cocoa nuts, sugar of palms which they call xagara[132],
and from there they carry away a great quantity of cloth and much
cotton, horses, wheat, and vegetables, by which much money is made.
Their voyage, with the delays, is of four months.


Passing by this city, further on the coast to the east and south, at
fifteen leagues distance, there is another town of commerce, which
has a very good port, and is called Suratimangalor, where also many
ships from Malabar touch, for horses, wheat, rice, cotton cloths,
vegetables and other goods which are of use in India. And they bring
cocoa nuts, hurraca[133] (which is something to drink), emery,
beeswax, cardamums, and all sorts of spices, in which trade and
voyage great profit is made in a short time.


Fifty leagues further along the coast, towards the south, there is a
promontory, and joining close to it is a small island, which
contains a very large and fine town, which the Malabars call
Diuixa[134], and the Moors of the country call it Diu. It has a very
good harbour, and is a port of much trade in merchandise, and of
much shipping from Malabar, Baticala, Goa Dabul and Cheul; and the
people of Diu sail to Aden, Mekkah, Zeyla, Barbara, Magadoxo, Brava,
Melinde, Mombaza, Xer[135], Ormuz, and all parts of the kingdom. And
the Malabars bring hither rice, cocoa nuts, jagara, wax, emery,
iron, and sugar from Baticala, and all the spices that can be got in
India and Malacca; and from Chaul and Dabul they bring a large
quantity of cotton stuffs, which they call _beyranies_, and caps for
women, which are carried from this place to Arabia and Persia. And
they load at this port for the return voyage cotton cloths of the
country and silk stuffs, horses, wheat, vegetables, sesame, cotton,
oil of sesame, and opium, both that which comes there from Aden, and
that which is made in the kingdom of Cambay, which is not so fine as
that of Aden; and they export many coarse camlets and silk stuffs
made in this kingdom of Cambay, and thick carpets,[136] taffeta,
scarlet cloth, and of other colours. They also export the spices and
things brought to them from India, by the people of the country, to
Aden, Ormuz, and all parts of Arabia and Persia, so that this town
is the chief emporium of trade which exists in all these parts. This
town gives such a large sum of money as revenue to the king, for the
loading and unloading of such rich goods, that it is a subject of
marvel and amazement; for they also bring to it from Mekkah much
coral, copper, quicksilver, vermillion, lead, alum, madder,
rose-water, saffron, and much gold and silver coined and uncoined.
The king keeps a Moorish governor in this place called Melquiaz; an
old man, and a very good gentleman, discreet, industrious, and of
great information, who lives with great order and regularity in all
his affairs. He makes much artillery, and has many rowing barges,
very well arranged, small and very light, which are called
Talayas.[137] He has had constructed in the port a very strong and
fine bulwark, in which he has very good artillery, with many
lombards,[138] and he always keeps with him many men-at-arms, to
whom he pays very good appointments. They are very well armed. He is
always on his guard, and is very apprehensive of the power of the
King of Portugal.[139] He shows great honour and attention to the
ships and people of Portugal who come to his port. The people of his
country are kept in very good order, and governed with much justice
and good treatment; he dispenses many favours and presents to
voyagers and strangers in his country.

A large fleet of the Great Sultan[140] of sailing ships and row
galleys arrived at this port, well equipped, with large crews and a
good armament; its captain was Emir Hussein. He came to reinforce
himself in this port with the assistance of the king of Cambay and
the before-mentioned governor Meliquiaz, and from thence to go to
Calicut, to fight with the Portuguese, and turn them out of India.
He was for some time in the port making many preparations, and the
Portuguese fleet came there to seek for them, of which Don Francisco
de Almeyda, viceroy of India, was the captain major. And the Moors
put out to sea to meet them, and the two fleets fought in the
entrance of this roadstead vigorously, and many people were killed
and wounded on both sides; and at the end the Moors were beaten and
captured with great slaughter, and the Portuguese took their ships
and galleys, with all their arms and heavy artillery. They captured
there many Moors, and the said Emir Hussein escaped, and left his
fleet to suffer as has been told; and when Meliquiaz, who assisted
and favoured them with his guard-boats and forces, saw the havoc, he
at once sent messengers to the before-mentioned viceroy to seek
peace of him, and he sent many provisions and refreshments and other
presents as a sign of peace.[141]


Further on after this the coast begins to make a bend into Cambay
towards the north, in which bend are several seaports of the same
king, and towns of great trade. One of these is Guogari, at a
distance of twenty-five leagues (from Diu), which is a very large
town and a good port, where they always load many ships from Malabar
and other parts of India; and many other ships bound for Mekkah and
Aden. At this place all sorts of merchandise are dealt in, as at


Another is called Barbesy, a seaport twelve leagues further on to
the north, in which stretch of coast are several seaports of the
King of Cambay. All sorts of goods are traded in for all parts, and
the dues upon them produce very much to the king, who has in each of
these two places his custom houses, and all are well supplied with


Further on, to north-west by north, there is another place in the
mouth of a small river which is called Guendari, twenty leagues
distant from Barbesy. And it is a very good town, a seaport of the
same trade, because further up that river is the great city of
Cambay. There arrived there many zambucos,[142] which are small
vessels of the Malabar country, with areca (nuts), spices, wax,
sugar, cardamums, emery, ivory, and elephants:[143] and these goods
are sold there very well. And from there they carry away cotton,
sesame, thread, wheat, peas, horses, alaquequas, and many other
goods. The navigation of these places is very dangerous, especially
for ships with keels which draw much water, because in this gulf
which the coast here makes, the ebb and flow is so great, that in a
very short space of time the sea leaves uncovered four or five
leagues of dry land, and in some places less; and it is expedient
for those who go in there to take country pilots, because, when the
tide runs down, they may know how to remain in pools of deep
water[144] such as there are there, and sometimes they make mistakes
and remain upon rocks, where they are lost.


Entering this river of Guendari, to the north-east is the great city
of Cambay, inhabited by Moors and Gentiles. It is a very large city
of handsome houses of stone and whitewash, very lofty, with windows,
and covered with roofs in the Spanish fashion; it has very good
streets and squares, and is situated in a rich, fertile, and pretty
country, full of abundant provisions. There are in it rich merchants
and men of great property, both Moors and Gentiles; and there are
many workmen and mechanicians of subtle workmanship of all sorts,
after the fashion of Flanders, and all very cheap. They make there
many cloths of white cotton, fine and coarse, and other woven and
coloured fabrics of all kinds; also many silk fabrics, of all kinds
and colours; and camlets of silk and velvets of all colours, both
smooth and fluffy, coloured tafetans, and thick alcatifas. The
inhabitants of this city are all white, both men and women, and
there are many people from outside living in it who are very white
and very well dressed, and of luxurious lives, much given to
pleasure and amusement. They are very much accustomed to wash
themselves; they eat very well, and always go perfumed and anointed
with sweet smelling things. They wear in their hair, both men and
women, many jessamine and other flowers that grow amongst them. They
have many musicians, and various kinds of instruments and songs.
There are always carts with oxen and horses going about the city, of
which they make use for everything; and they go in these with rich
mattrasses, shut up and well fitted up with their windows, after the
manner of cabins; furnished and ornamented with silk stuffs, and the
seats within with cushions and pillows of silk and stamped kid
skins:[145] and with their waggoners. Men and women go in these to
see amusements and diversions, or to visit their friends, or
wherever they wish, without being known, and they see all that they
wish. And they go singing and playing on instruments in these same
waggons for their amusement. And these people possess many orchards
and gardens, where they go to take their ease, and where they grow
much fruit and vegetables for the sustenance of the gentiles, who do
not eat meat nor flesh. In this city a very large quantity of ivory
is employed in very delicate works, well known in commerce, like
inlaid works of gold, and things made by turning, and handles of
knives and daggers, bracelets, games of chess and chess-boards.
There are also great artists with the turning lathe, who make large
bedsteads, and they make beads of great size, brown, yellow, blue
and coloured, which they export to all parts. There are also great
lapidaries, and imitators of precious stones of all kinds, and
makers of false pearls which seem real. So also there are very good
silversmiths of very skilful workmanship. In this city they make
very delicate cushions, and pretty ceilings (or canopies) of
bedsteads, of delicate workmanship and paintings, and quilted
clothes for wearing. There are many Moorish women who produce very
delicate needlework. They work there too in coral alaquequas and
other stones.


Leaving this city of Cambay there is a town inland called Limadura,
where there is a stone with which they make aquequas, for making
beads for Berberia. It is a stone white as milk, and has some red in
it, and with fire they heighten the colour, and they extract it in
large blocks. In these places there are great artists who
manufacture and pierce these beads in various fashions, oval,
octagonal, round, and of other shapes; and with this stone they make
rings, buttons, and knife handles. And the Cambay merchants go there
to buy them, and they harden[146] them to take them away to sell in
the Red Sea, from whence they are in the habit of arriving in our
parts by way of Cairo or Alexandria: and they also carry them
throughout all Arabia, Persia, and Nubia, and now they take them to
India, because our people buy them. They also find in this town much
chalcedony, which they call _babagore_. They make beads with it, and
other things which they wear about them, so that they touch the
skin, as they say that it is good for chastity. These stones are of
little value there, for there are many of them.


Returning to the towns on the sea, and passing Gandar, to the east
there is a good river twenty leagues further along the coast, and on
this side of it there is a good town of the Moors, called
Ravel,[147] built of very pretty houses and squares. It is a rich
and agreeable place, because the Moors of this town trade with their
ships at Malacca, Bengal, Tarvasery, Pegu, Martaban, and Samatara,
in all sorts of spices, drugs, silks, musk, benzoin, porcelain, and
all other valuable merchandise. They possess very large and fine
ships, so that those who would wish to get Chinese articles, will
find them there more completely than in any other part, and at very
fair prices.

The Moors of this place are white and well dressed, and very rich.
They have very pretty wives, and in the furniture[148] of their
houses they have many china vases of different shapes, and they keep
them in glass cupboards very well arranged. These women are not
secluded like those of other Moors and other places, but go about
the city in the daytime attending to their business, with the face
uncovered as in our parts.


Having passed this river of Ravel, at twenty leagues to the south is
a city called Surat, at the mouth of a river. This also is a city of
very great trade, in all classes of merchandise. Many ships of
Malabar and all other parts sail thither continually, and discharge
and take in goods, because this is a very important seaport, and
there are in it very vast quantities of merchandise. Moors,
Gentiles, and all sorts of people live in this city. Its
custom-house, which they call the Divana,[149] produces a very large
revenue for the King of Guzarat: and until now Malaguioy, a Gentile,
commands in, and governs it, as lord of it. And he is the greatest
nobleman in all India, and he gave orders to kill the King of
Guzerat for some gossip which they reported respecting him.


After leaving the town of Surat, at ten leagues along the coast to
the south, there is place called Denvy, of Moors and Gentiles, also
of great trade, where many merchant ships from Malabar and many
other parts always take in cargo.


Having passed this town of Dendi, twenty leagues further on to the
south[151] is another town of Moors and Gentiles, a good seaport,
which also belongs to the King of Guzarat, in which much goods are
exchanged; and there is a great movement of the shipping which comes
there from all parts, and many Zambucs from the Malabar country
laden with areca, cocoas, and spices, which they delight in, and
they take thence others which are used in Malabar.


Twenty-five leagues further on the coast is a fortress of the before
named king, called Tanamayambu, and near it is a Moorish town, very
pleasant, with many gardens, and very fertile--a town of very great
Moorish mosques, and temples of worship of the Gentiles. It is
nearly at the extremity of the kingdom of Cambay or Guzarat, and it
is likewise a seaport, but of little trade. And there are in this
port small vessels of rovers like watch boats, which go out to sea,
and if they meet with any small ship less strong than themselves,
they capture and plunder it, and sometimes kill their crews.


On coming out of this kingdom of Guzarat and Cambay, towards the
south and the inner parts of India, is the kingdom of Dacani, which
the Indians call Decani. The king is a Moor, and a large part of his
people is Gentile. He is a great lord, and possesses many subjects
and an extensive territory, which stretches far inland. It has very
good seaports, of great trade in the goods used on the mainland, and
they are the following places:


Leaving the kingdom of Cambay, along the coast towards the south, at
eight leagues distance, there is a fine large river, and on it is a
place called Cheul,[152] not very large, of handsome houses, which
are all covered with thatch. This place is one of great commerce in
merchandise, and in the months of December, January, February and
March there are many ships from the Malabar country and all other
parts, which arrive with cargoes. That is to say, those of Malabar
laden with cocoa nuts, arecas, spices, drugs, palm sugar, emery, and
there they make their sales for the continent and for the kingdom of
Cambay; and the ships of Cambay come there to meet them laden with
cotton stuffs, and many other goods which are available in Malabar,
and these are bartered for the goods which have come from the
Malabar country. And on the return voyage they fill their ships with
wheat, vegetables, millet, rice, sesame, oil of sesame, of which
there is much in this country; and these Malabars also buy many
pieces of fine muslin[153] for women's head dress, and many
beyranies, of which there are plenty in this kingdom. A large
quantity of copper is sold in this port of Cheul, and at a high
price, for it is worth twenty ducats the hundred weight, or more,
because in the interior money is made of it, and it is also used
throughout the country for cooking pots. There is also a great
consumption in this place of quicksilver and vermilion for the
interior, and for the kingdom of Guzarat, which copper, quicksilver
and vermilion is brought to this place by the Malabar merchants, who
get it from the factories of the King of Portugal; and they get more
of it by way of the Mekkah, which comes there from Diu. These people
wear the beyranies put on for a few days nearly in the raw state,
and afterwards they bleach them and make them very white, and gum
them to sell them abroad, and thus some are met with amongst them
which are torn. In this port of Chaul there are few inhabitants,
except during three or four months of the year, the time for putting
in cargo, when there arrive merchants from all the neighbourhood,
and they make their bargains during this period, and despatch their
goods, and after that return to their homes until the next season,
so that this place is like a fair in those months. There is a
Moorish gentleman as governor of this place, who is a vassal of the
King of Decani, and collects his revenues, and accounts to him for
them. He is called Xech, and does great service to the King of
Portugal, and is a great friend of the Portuguese, and treats very
well all those that go there, and keeps the country very secure. In
this place there is always a Portuguese factor appointed by the
captain and factor of Goa, in order to send from this place
provisions and other necessaries, to the city of Goa, and to the
Portuguese fleets; and at a distance of about a league inland from
Cheul is a place where the Moors and Gentiles of the cities and
towns throughout the country come to set up their shops of goods and
cloths at Cheul during the before-mentioned months; they bring these
in great caravans of domestic oxen, with packs like donkeys, and on
the top of these long white sacks placed crosswise, in which they
bring their goods; and one man drives thirty or forty beasts before


Having passed this place, Cheul, at twelve leagues further on along
the coast to the south towards Malabar is another town and seaport,
also belonging to the kingdom of Dacani, called Damda; where there
enter and go out many Moorish ships, both Guzaratis and Malabaris,
with cloth and other goods, as at Cheul.


Five leagues further on is a river called Mandabad, on which is a
town of Moors and Gentiles, of the same kingdom of Decani; likewise
a seaport. Many ships from various parts congregate at this harbour
to buy stuffs, particularly from the Malabar country. And they bring
there many cocoa-nuts, arecas, and also a few spices, copper and
quicksilver: for the merchants of the country buy all these goods.


Having left this place, Mandabad, and going along the coast to
Malabar and the south, at eight leagues distance is another fine
large river, at the mouth of which is a large town of Moors and
Gentiles, belonging to the same kingdom of Decani. It is called
Dabul,[154] and in the mouth of the river near this same town there
is a rampart, with artillery to defend the entrance of the river.
This town of Dabul has a very good harbour, where there always
congregate many Moorish ships from various parts, and especially
from Mekkah, Aden, and Ormuz with horses, and from Cambay, Diu, and
the Malabar country. It is a place of very great trade in all sorts
of merchandise; there are in it very respectable Moors and Gentiles,
and Guzarati merchants. Much copper, quicksilver, and vermilion is
sold here for the interior of the country: a great quantity of
country fabrics are brought to this town down the river for
embarcation in the ships, and also much wheat and vegetables of all
sorts. The custom-house of this port produces much money, and the
collectors take the dues there for the lord of the town. And this
town is pretty and well situated, but its houses are covered with
thatch, and it also has very beautiful mosques. Higher up this
river, on either bank there are many pretty towns, plentifully
supplied, and owning much cultivated land and flocks. A fleet of the
King of Portugal arrived at this city, of which the viceroy was the
captain, and landed his people on the shore for the purpose of
taking and destroying this town.[155] And the Moors put themselves
on the defensive, and fought very courageously with the Portuguese.
In the fight many Moors and Gentiles died, and at last the
Portuguese took this city by assault, making a great slaughter of
the inhabitants, and plundering and burning the city, in which much
wealth and merchandise were burned, and at the same time several
ships which were lying in the river. And those who escaped thence
returned later to restore this city, so that now it is already
inhabited as before.


Ten leagues further on from this river, along the coast southwards,
is another river called Singuycar, upon which is a town of much
commerce and merchandise. And many ships from divers parts put in
there; and it is a town of Moors and Gentiles, and belongs to the
kingdom of Dacani.


Twelve leagues further along the coast, to the south, is another
river called Dobetela; and there are along its course several small
places, with very pretty gardens and orchards, where they gather a
great quantity of betel; this is a leaf which they eat, and it is
put on board small vessels, and carried away for sale in other towns
and seaports. We call this betel Indian leaf, and it is as large as
a leaf of the plantain,[156] and about of the same pattern; and it
grows like ivy, and climbs up other trees by means of poles placed
for that purpose: it does not give any fruit or seed. It is a very
favourite leaf, and all the Indians both men and women eat it both
day and night in their houses, in the streets, and on the road, and
in their beds. They always go about eating this leaf, which they mix
with some small fruits called arecas, and the leaf is smeared with
moistened lime, which is made with sea-shells, and the shells of
oysters and mussels. And these three things being added together,
they eat this betel, not swallowing more than the juice; and it
colours the mouth and makes the teeth brown: and they say that it is
good for drying and purging the stomach, and for preserving the
brain, and it drives out flatulence, and quenches thirst: so that it
is very much esteemed among all Indians, and in general use from
this place further on throughout India. There are great quantities
of it, and it is one of the principal revenues which the kings of
the country possess. The Moors and Arabs and Persians call it
tanbul. After passing this river of Betala, further along the coast
are other small places and seaports, likewise belonging to the
kingdom of Dacani, in which small vessels from Malabar enter to take
on board inferior rice and vegetables which are found there: and one
of them is called Arapatani, and another Munaryni.[157]


After leaving these places, about six leagues along the coast
southwards is a river, upon which is a town of Moors and Gentiles
called Banda, in which there are many merchants who trade on the
continent with the merchants whom the Malabars bring thither. And
many ships come there from many parts on account of its being a good
harbour, and there is a great exportation of goods and provisions
from the interior of the country. Many ships fill here with rice,
coarse millet, and other vegetables that are profitable to them; and
they bring to this place cocoa-nuts, pepper, and other spices and
drugs which have a good sale there, because thence they ship them
for Diu, Aden, and Ormuz. And leaving this place, between it and Goa
there is another river called Bardes, on which there are other towns
which are not of much trade.


Leaving these places, there are twenty leagues of coast southwards
as far as a cape, which must be doubled to enter Goa; and after that
ten leagues to the north-west, then ten more to the east, and
south-south-west twenty leagues, then seventeen leagues to the
north-west, as far as the Cape Rama. And in this gulf there are many
small islands, the chief of which is Goa. There is a large river
which issues by two branches into the sea, between which is formed
the island of the city of Goa, which belonged to the kingdom of
Decani, and was a lordship of itself along with other towns in the
neighbourhood; and the king gave it to a vassal of his, a great lord
called Vasabaxo, who was a very good knight, and on account of his
being very distinguished and skilful in warlike matters, this
lordship of Goa was given him, in order that he might carry on war
thence with the King of Narsinga, as he always did until his death.
This city then remained to his son, Sabaym Delcani, and it was
inhabited by many Moors, respectable men, and foreigners, white men
and rich merchants, and several of them are very good gentlemen.
There are also many great Gentile merchants, and others, gentlemen
and cultivators, and men-at-arms. It was a place of great trade in
merchandise. It has a very good port, to which flocked many ships
from Mekkah, Aden, Ormuz, Cambay, and the Malabar country. And the
before mentioned Sabaym Delcani resided much in this place, and he
kept there his captain and men-at-arms, and no one entered or went
out of this island and city, either by sea or by land, without his
permission; and all those who entered there were registered with all
their signs and particulars, and from whence they came; and so, with
this precaution and arrangement, they allowed them to return. This
town was very large, with goodly edifices and handsome streets and
squares, surrounded by walls and towers. There is a very good
fortress in it, and in the environs many gardens and orchards of
fine trees and fruits, and many pools of good water. There were many
mosques and houses of worship of the Gentiles. The country all round
was very fruitful and well cultivated, and enjoyed much produce both
from sea and land. This Sabaym, as soon as he knew that the
Portuguese viceroy had routed the Rumes[158] and the fleet of the
great sultan before Diu, immediately sent to call the Rumes,
knights, and other people of the sultan, who having escaped thence,
arrived, leaving their captain in the kingdom of Guzarat. And this
Sabaym Delcani received them very well, and determined on putting
all India at their disposition for their assistance, and to refit
them again with the aid of all the Moors and kings of India, in
order to again carry on war against the Portuguese. They then
collected together much money and began to build in this city of Goa
very large ships, and handsome galleys and brigantines, all after
the manner and fashion of ours, and likewise to prepare much
artillery of brass and iron, and all other munitions of maritime
war. And the Moors were so expeditious in this that they had got a
large part of the fleet made, and vast magazines of munitions for
the fleet; and they already went out with guard boats and rowing
galleys, to take the Sambuks which passed by, because they carried
Portuguese safe-conducts. And Alfonso de Albuquerque, who was then
captain-major in India, had information of all this, and determined
to go and seek them, and drive them from their design. He therefore
collected the most that he could of a fleet of ships, caravels, and
galleys, and with these entered the before mentioned river, and
attacked the city of Goa[159] and took it. Upon which many great
things occurred, which I say nothing about, in order not to be more
prolix. He captured many people, and all the ships and galleys of
the Rumes, and he burned some of them; and the city submitted to the
commands of the King of Portugal, as it now is. And he fortified it
with several castles. This city is inhabited by Portuguese, Moors
and Gentiles; and the fruits of the earth and provisions now produce
a yearly revenue to the King of Portugal of twenty thousand ducats,
without the port, which has much trade in merchandise of Malabar,
Cheul, Dabul, Cambay and Diu. They sell there many horses for other
parts, at two, three and four hundred ducats each, according to
their quality, and upon each the King of Portugal levies forty
ducats as duty; and although they pay less dues than in the time of
the Moors, this harbour produces much revenue to the King of

In this kingdom of Decani there are many great cities, and many
other towns within the country inhabited by Moors and Gentiles. It
is a country very well cultivated, and abundantly supplied with
provisions, and it has an extensive commerce, which produces much
revenue to the king, who is called Mahamuza, and is a Moor; and he
lives very luxuriously, and with much pleasure, in a great city
inland, which is called Mavider. This king holds the whole of his
kingdom, divided amongst Moorish lords, to each one of whom he has
assigned cities, towns, and villages; and these lords govern and
rule, so that the king does not give any orders in his kingdom, nor
does he meddle except in giving himself a pleasant life and
amusement. And all these lords do obeisance to him, and bring him
the revenue, with which they have to come into his presence. And if
any one of them were to revolt or disobey, the others go against him
and destroy him, or reduce him again to obedience to the king. These
lords frequently have wars and differences among one another, and it
happens that some take villages from others; but afterwards the king
makes peace, and administers justice between them. Each one has many
horsemen, very good archers with the Turkish bow, white people, of
good figures. Their dress is of cotton stuffs, and they wear caps on
their heads. They give large pay to the soldiers: they speak Arabic,
Persian and the Decani language, which is the natural language of
the country. These Moorish lords take tents of cotton cloth into the
field, in which they dwell when going on a journey, or to war.

They ride a small saddle, and fight tied to their horses. They carry
in their hands very long light lances, with four-sided iron points,
very strong, and three palms in length. They wear tunics quilted
with cotton, which they call _laudes_, and some wear tunics of mail,
and their horses caparisoned; some carry iron maces and battle-axes,
two swords and a buckler, Turkish bows supplied with many arrows, so
that each man carries offensive weapons for two persons. Many of
these take their wives with them to the wars; they make use of pack
oxen, on which they carry their chattels when they travel. They are
frequently at war with the King of Narsinga, so that they are at
peace but for a short time. The Gentiles of this kingdom of Decani
are black, well made and courageous; most of them fight on foot, and
some on horseback: and these foot soldiers carry swords and shields,
bows and arrows, and are very good archers. Their bows are long,
after the fashion of Englishmen. They go naked from the waist
upwards, and wear small caps on their heads; they eat all meats
except cow; they are idolaters, when they die their bodies are
burned, and their wives burn themselves alive with them voluntarily,
as will be related further on.


Seventeen leagues further along the same coast to the south-east,
and towards Malabar, there is another river called Aliga,[161] which
separates the kingdom of Decani from the kingdom of Narsinga, and at
the mouth of the river on the top of a hill is a fortress,
Cintacola;[162] and it belongs to the Zabayo, for the defence of his
country. In it he continually keeps horse and foot soldiers. Here
the said kingdom of Decani comes to an end at its southern portion,
and the northern part ends at Cheul; and from one place to the other
along the coast there are eighty leagues.


Beyond this river commences the kingdom of Narsinga, which contains
five very large provinces, with a language of their own. One
province is along the coast, and is called Tulinat; another has the
name of Legni, which confines with the kingdom of Tisa; another is
Canari, in which is the great city of Visenagar,[163] and the other
is Chomendel,[164] a kingdom which they call Tamul. This kingdom of
Narsinga is very rich and well supplied with provisions, and is very
full of cities and large townships; and all the country is very
fertile and brought into cultivation. The province of Tulinat
contains many rivers and seaports, in which there is much trade and
shipping bound for all parts, and many rich merchants dwell in them.
Between the others there is a very large river called Mergeo, from
which is produced a large quantity of inferior rice for the common
people, which the Malabars come here to buy, with their sambuks, in
exchange for cocoa nuts, oil, and jagra, which are much used in this


Having passed this river Aliga,[165] and going along the coast to
the south-east, there is another river, at ten leagues distance,
with a good town near the sea, called Honor,[166] and the Malabars
call it Povaran; many of them come to this place to fetch cargoes of
inferior brownish rice, which is their peculiar food: and they bring
cocoa nuts, oil and jagra, and wine of the palm trees, from which
grow the cocoa nuts.


Ten leagues further along this coast to the south is another small
river, with a large town called Baticala,[167] of very great trade
in merchandise, inhabited by many Moors and Gentiles, very
commercial people. And at this port congregate many ships from
Orguz, to load very good white rice, sugar in powder, of which there
is much in this country, for they do not know how to make it in
loaves; and it is worth at the rate of two hundred and forty
maravedis the arroba.[168] They likewise load much iron, and these
three kinds of goods are what are chiefly shipped at this place: and
also some spices and drugs, which the Malabars import. There are
many myrobalans of all sorts, and very good preserves are made with
them, which the ships of Ormuz, which traffic at this place, export
for the Arabs and Persians. They used each year to bring to this
port many horses and pearls, which were there sold for the whole
kingdom of Narsinga, and now they take them all to the city of Goa,
on account of the Portuguese. Some ships are also laden at this
place for Aden, risking themselves, although it is forbidden them by
the Portuguese. Many Malabar ships and sambuks also come to this
port to take in rice, sugar, and iron; and they bring cocoa nuts,
palm sugar, cocoa nut oil, and palm wine, in return for these
things, and spices and drugs, concealed from the Portuguese who
prohibit them. This town produces much revenue to the king. Its
governor is a Gentile; he is named Damaqueti. He is very rich in
money and jewels. The king of Narsinga has given this place and
others to a nephew of his, who rules and governs them, and lives in
great State and calls himself king, but he is in obedience to the
king his uncle. In this kingdom they make a great practice of
duelling, for on account of anything they at once challenge one
another, and the king at once grants them a field and arms, and
appoints a time for killing each other, and gives them seconds, who
back up each his own man. They go to fight one another bare from the
waist upwards, and from the waist downwards wrapped in cotton cloths
drawn tightly round, and with many folds, and with their arms, which
are swords, bucklers and daggers.[169] And the king appoints them of
equal length. They enter the lists with great pleasure, first saying
their prayers, and in a very few passes they kill each other in the
presence of the king and many people, without any one speaking
except the seconds, of whom each encourages his own man. This town
of Baticala pays a yearly tribute to the king of Portugal; much
copper is also sold in it each year, which is taken into the
interior of the country to make money, and cauldrons and other pans
which they use. There is also sold there much quicksilver,
vermilion, coral, alum and ivory. This town is situated in level
country, it is very populous, and not walled; it is surrounded with
many gardens, very good estates, and very fresh and abundant water.
There is in this place gold coin called Pardan,[170] and it is worth
three hundred and twenty maravedis; and there is another silver coin
called _dama_, worth twenty. The weights are called bahars, and each
bahar is equal to four quintals of Portugal.[171]


Having passed Baticala, at ten leagues towards the south is another
small river, on which there is a town called Mayandur, under the
jurisdiction of Baticala, in which much rice is gathered of a good
quality, which is shipped at Baticala. The people of this town sow
it principally in certain watery valleys, which they plough with
oxen and with buffaloes, two and two, in couples, with their ploughs
after our fashion, and they put the rice for seed in some hollow
irons placed in the ploughshare, which entering the earth ploughing
it and making a furrow, leave behind the seed in it, because
otherwise they would not be able to sow it on account of the
quantity of water; and on dry land they sow it by hand. They gather
the harvest twice every year from this watery land, and it is of
four sorts of rice. The first they call girazat, which is the best;
the second jani bazal,[172] the third camagar, and the fourth
pachari: each one has its price, and there is a great difference
between one and the other.


There are two small rivers ten leagues further along the coast to
the south, and on both of them towns, one of which is called
Bacavor, and the other Basalor;[173] both belong to the kingdom of
Narsinga. In these also there is much rice of good quality, which is
there shipped for all parts: and many ships come from Malabar, and
sambuks great and small, which take this rice on board in sacks of a
fanega[174] each, which is worth from one hundred and fifty to two
hundred maravedis each fanega, according to its goodness. Ships also
put in here from Ormuz, Aden, Xeher, and many other places, to take
in cargo for Canaor and Calicut. They also ship there much rice in
exchange for copper, cocoa nuts, jagra, oil of cocoa nuts, for the
Malabars maintain themselves with scarcely anything else but rice,
since the country of Malabar is small and very populous: so full of
inhabitants, that it may almost be said that all the country is one
single city from the mountain Deli to Coulam.


Having left these places, at ten leagues distance there is another
large river towards the south, along the sea-shore, where there is a
very large town, peopled by Moors and Gentiles, of the kingdom of
Narsinga, called Mangalor.[175] There many ships always load brown
rice, which is much better and more healthy than the white, for
Malabar, for the common people, and it is very cheap. They also ship
there much rice in Moorish ships for Aden, also pepper, which
henceforward the earth begins to produce, but little of it, and
better than all the other which the Malabars bring to this place in
small vessels. The banks of this river are very pretty, and very
full of woods and palm trees, and are very thickly inhabited by
Moors and Gentiles, and studded with fine buildings and houses of
prayer of the Gentiles, which are very large, and enriched with
large revenues. There are also many mosques, where they greatly
honour Mahomed.


Ten leagues further along the same coast to the south, is another
town of the Gentiles, of the kingdom of Narsinga, which is called
Cunbala. In it also much brown and very bad rice is harvested, which
the Malabars go to buy there, and load it in their vessels for the
lowest people amongst them, and of the Mahaldiu islands, which are
across from Malabar, because it is very cheap, and the people poor;
and they sell it there in exchange for thread for making cordage for
ships. This thread is made of a covering and integument which grows
upon the cocoa nuts of the palm trees, and a great quantity of it is
produced; and in that place it is a great article of commerce with
all parts. This town of Cunbala has a lord to rule and govern it for
the kingdom of Narsinga, and it is frontier to the kingdom of
Cananor: because here the kingdom of Narsinga comes to an end along
the coast of this province of Tulinat.


Leaving this sea coast, and going inland into the kingdom of
Narsinga, at twelve or fifteen leagues distance there is a very high
mountain range, precipitous and difficult of ascent, which stretches
from the beginning of this kingdom to Cape Comeri,[176] which is
beyond the Malabar country; and the before-mentioned province of
Tulinat is at the foot of this range, between it and the sea. And
the Indians say that in former times all these low grounds were sea,
which reached to the said range, and that in process of time the sea
uncovered it, and swelled it up in other parts, and to the foot of
those mountains. There are many traces of things of the sea, and all
the low ground is very level like the sea, and the mountain chain is
very craggy, and seems to rise to the heavens; and it is not
possible to ascend, except in a few parts, and with difficulty,
which is a cause of great strength to the Malabars, for were it not
for the difficulty of entering their country on account of the
roughness of these mountains, the King of Narsinga would already
have conquered them. This range is peopled in several parts, with
good towns and villages, very luxuriant in water and delicious
fruit: and in it there are many wild boars, and large and fine deer,
many leopards, ounces, lions, tigers, bears, and some animals of an
ashy colour, which look like horses, very active, and which cannot
be caught.[177] There are serpents with wings, which fly, very
venomous, so that their breath and looks kill whatever person places
himself very near them, and they always go amongst the trees. There
are also many wild elephants, and many stones of gegonzas,[178]
amethysts, and soft sapphires, are found in the rivers where they
are deposited. They carry them from the mountains to sell them in
the Malabar towns, where they are wrought. After passing this
mountain range, the country is almost entirely plain, very fertile
and abundantly supplied in the inland districts, which belong to the
kingdom of Narsinga, in which there are many cities and villages and
forts, and many large rivers run through it. There is in this
country much cultivation of rice and other vegetables, with which
they maintain themselves, and many cows, buffaloes, pigs, goats,
sheep, asses, and diminutive ponies, all of which they make use of;
and they carry their goods by means of buffaloes, oxen, asses, and
ponies, and do their field work with them. Almost all the villages
are of Gentiles, and among them are a few Moors; some of the lords
of these villages are of these last, to whom the king of Narsinga
has granted the villages, and others are his, and he keeps his
governors and tax collectors in them.


Forty-five leagues from these mountains inland, there is a very
large city which is called Bijanaguer, very populous and surrounded
on one side by a very good wall, and on another by a river, and on
the other by a mountain. This city is on level ground, the King of
Narsinga always resides in it. He is a Gentile and is called Raheni:
he has in this place very large and handsome palaces, with numerous
courts in which are many mounds, pools of water with plenty of fish,
gardens of shrubs, flowers, and sweet-smelling herbs. There are also
in the city many other palaces of great lords who live there. And
all the other houses of the place are covered with thatch, and the
streets and squares are very wide: they are constantly filled with
an innumerable crowd of all nations and creeds; for, besides many
Moorish merchants and traders, and the Gentile inhabitants of the
country who are very rich, an infinite number of others flock there
from all parts, who are able to come, dwell, trade, and live very
freely and in security, without anyone molesting them, or asking or
requiring of them any account of whence they come, or in what creed
they live, whether they be Moors, Christians, or Gentiles; and each
one may live according to any creed, or as he pleases. There is an
infinite trade in this city, and strict justice and truth are
observed towards all by the governors of the country. In this city
there are very many jewels which are brought from Pegu and Celani,
and in the country itself many diamonds are found, because there is
a mine of them in the kingdom of Narsinga and another in the kingdom
of Dacani. There are also many pearls and seed-pearls to be found
there, which are brought from Ormus and Cael; and all these jewels
and pearls are much esteemed among them, because they adorn
themselves much with them, and on that account a great quantity are
poured in. In this city they wear many silks and inferior brocades,
which are brought from China and Alexandria, and much scarlet cloth,
and of other colours, and much coral worked into round beads; and
they import copper, quicksilver, vermilion, saffron, rose-water, much
anfiani which is opium, sandal and aloes wood, camphor, musk,
because the inhabitants of this country are much in the habit of
anointing themselves with these perfumes.

There is also a great consumption in this place, and in the whole
kingdom, of pepper, which is brought from Malabar on oxen and asses.
The money is of gold, and is called parda, and is worth three
hundred maravedis;[179] it is coined in certain cities of this
kingdom of Narsinga, and throughout all India they use this money,
which passes in all those kingdoms; its gold is a little inferior.
This coin is round, and made in a mould. Some of them have some
Indian letters on one side, and two figures on the other of a man
and a woman, and others have nothing but the lettering on one side.


This king constantly resides in the before-mentioned palaces, and
very seldom goes out of them: he lives very luxuriously and without
any labour, because he discharges it all upon his governors. He and
all the dwellers in this city are Gentiles, coloured men and nearly
white, of long and very smooth black hair; they are well
proportioned men, of features and ----[180] similar to our own, and
so likewise are the women. The costume of the men is from the waist
downwards with many folds and very tight, and a short shirt which
reaches half way down the thigh, made of white cotton stuff, silk,
or brocade, open down the front, small caps on their heads, and the
hair gathered up on the top, some caps of silk or brocade, and their
sandals on their bare feet, cloaks of cotton stuff or silk on their
arms, and their pages with their swords behind them, and their
bodies anointed with white sandal, aloes-wood, camphor, musk, and
saffron; all ground together with rose-water. They bathe every day,
and after bathing, anoint themselves. They wear small gold chains
and jewels round their necks, and bracelets on their arms, and rings
on their fingers of very valuable jewels, and also many jewels in
their ears of pearls and precious stones. And they take a second
page who carries for them a slender canopy with a long handle with
which to shade them and protect them from the rain. These shades are
of silk stuff, much ornamented with gold fringes, and some of them
have jewels and seed-pearls, and made in such a manner that they
shut up and open; and some of these cost three or four hundred gold
pieces, according to the quality of the persons. The women wear a
cloth of very fine white cotton, or of silk of pretty colours, which
may be about six cubits long; they gird themselves with part of this
cloth from the waist below, and the other end of the cloth they cast
over the shoulder and the breasts, and one arm and shoulder remain
uncovered; on their feet sandals of gilt and well-worked leather;
their heads bare, only their hair combed, and they put a plait of it
over their heads, and in this many flowers and scents; and in the
nostrils a small hole on one side, and in it a gold thread with a
drop, either a pearl, or a ruby, or a sapphire drilled with a hole;
their ears also are bored and in them they wear many gold rings with
pearls and precious stones; and jewel necklaces round their throats,
bracelets on their arms of the same fashion, and also strings of
fine round coral on their arms, many rings with precious stones on
their fingers; and girt over their clothes with belts of gold and
jewels; and rings of gold on their legs; so that for the most part
these are very rich and well-dressed people. They are great dancers;
they sing and play on various instruments; they are taught to tumble
and to perform many feats of agility. They are pretty women, and of
a grand presence. These people marry in our manner; they have a
marriage law, but the great men marry as many women as they can
maintain, and the king has with him in his palaces many wives,
daughters of the great lords of his kingdom; and, besides these, he
has many others as concubines, and others as serving women who are
chosen throughout the kingdom as the most beautiful. And all the
attendance on the king is done by women, who wait upon him within
doors; and amongst them are all the employments of the king's
household: and all these women live and find room within these
palaces, which contain apartments for all. They bathe every day in
the pools of water, they sing and play on their instruments, and in
a thousand ways amuse the king: and he goes to see them bathe, and
from thence sends to his chamber the one that pleases him most; and
the first son that he has from any of these, inherits the kingdom.
Amongst them there is so much envy and rivality for the preference
of the king, that sometimes they kill themselves with poison. This
king has a house in which he meets with the governors and his
officers in council upon the affairs of the kingdom; and there all
the great men of the realm go to see him with great gifts; and he
dispenses great favours and likewise great punishments to those that
deserve them. These great men, his relations and those of great
lineage, when they do anything ill-done or prejudicial to his
service, are summoned to him; and they have to come immediately: and
they come in very rich litters on men's shoulders, and their horses
are led by the bridle before them, and many horsemen go in front of
them. They get down at the door of the palace and wait there with
their trumpets and musical instruments, until word is brought to the
king, and he commands them to come to his presence; and if they do
not give a good excuse and account of themselves and of the evil of
which they are accused, he commands them to be stripped and thrown
on the ground, and there bids them to receive many stripes. If such
a person were a near relation of the king's or a very great
personage, the king himself scourges him with his own hand, and
after he has been well beaten, the king orders very rich garments to
be given him from his own clothes chests, and then directs him to be
reconducted to his litter, and carried with great honour and great
clang of musical instruments and festivity to his abode. Many
litters and many horsemen always stand at the door of this palace:
and the king keeps at all times nine hundred elephants and more than
twenty thousand horses, all which elephants and horses are bought
with his money: the elephants, at the price of fifteen hundred to
two thousand ducats each, because they are very great and
well-fitted for war, and for taking about with him continually for
state. And the horses cost from three to six hundred ducats each,
and some of the choicest for his personal use, nine hundred or a
thousand ducats. These horses are distributed amongst the great
lords who are responsible for them, and keep them for the gentry and
knights to whom the king bids them to be given: and he gives to each
knight a horse and a groom and a slave girl, and for his personal
expenses four or five pardaos of gold per month, according to who he
is; and, besides that, each day's provisions for the horse and
groom; and they send to the kitchen for the rations both for the
elephants and horses. The kitchens are very large and numerous, they
contain many cauldrons of copper, and several officials who cook the
food of the elephants and horses; which, it must be said, is rice,
chick-peas, and other vegetables. In all this there is much order
and arrangement, and if the knight to whom the king has given a
horse cares for it and treats it well, they take away that one and
give him another and a better one; and if he is negligent, they take
his away and give him another that is worse. And thus all the king's
horses and elephants are well fed and cared for, at his cost: and
the grandees, to whom he gives a great quantity of them, act in the
same manner with their knights. These horses live but a short time;
they are not bred in this country, for all of them are brought there
from the kingdom of Ormuz and that of Cambay, and on that account,
and for the great need of them, they are worth so much money. This
king has more than a hundred thousand men, both horse and foot, to
whom he gives pay: and fully five or six thousand women, to whom
also he gives pay. And wherever there is war, according to the
number of men-at-arms whom he sends there, he likewise sends with
them a quantity of women; because they say that it is not possible
to bring together an army, nor carry on war well, without women.
These women are like enchantresses, and are great dancers; they play
and sing, and pirouette. And whenever the king's officers take and
enrol any man, they strip him and look what marks he has got on his
body, and measure what his stature is, and set it all down in
writing, and from whence he comes, and the names of his father and
mother: and so he remains enrolled with all these particulars in the
pay books. And after being enrolled, it is with difficulty that he
can again obtain permission to go to his country; and if he flies
and is taken, he runs great danger, and is very ill treated. Among
these men-at-arms there are many knights, who arrive there from many
parts to take service, and these do not cease to live in their
creeds. In this kingdom there are three sects of Gentiles, and each
one of them is distinguished from the others, and their customs are
different. In the first place, the king and the grandees, and lords
and chief people of the men-at-arms, can marry more than one wife,
especially the grandees, who can maintain them: their children are
their heirs. The wives are bound to burn themselves and to die with
their husbands when they decease, because when the people die, their
bodies are burned, both of men and women. And the wives burn
themselves alive with them to honour them, in this manner: that is
to say, if she is a poor woman of little rank, when the body of the
husband is borne out to be burned in an open space outside the city,
where there is a great fire, and whilst the body of the husband is
being consumed, the wife casts herself, of her own will, into the
fire, and burns there with him. And if she is some honourable woman,
and of much property, and whether she be a young woman of beautiful
presence, or old, when her husband dies, the relations all go to the
before mentioned open space, and make a wide grave as deep as a
man's height, and fill it with sandal and other wood, and place the
dead body within and burn it; and his wife, or wives, weep for him,
and then, should she desire to honour her husband, she asks for a
term of a certain number of days to go and be burnt with him. And
they bid all her relations, and those of her husband, come and do
her honour, and give her a festal reception. And in this manner all
collect together, and entertain and pay court to her, and she spends
what she possesses among her relations and friends, in feasting and
singing, in dances and playing on musical instruments, and
amusements of jugglers. And when the term fixed has ended, she
dresses herself in her richest stuffs, and adorns herself with many
precious jewels, and the rest of her property she divides amongst
her children, relations, and friends, and then mounts a horse, with
a great sound of music, and a large following. The horse must be
grey, or very white if possible, for her to be seen better. And so
they conduct her through the whole city; paying court to her as far
as the place where the body of her husband was burned; and in the
same grave they place much wood, with which they light a very great
fire, and all round it they make a gallery with three or four steps,
whither she ascends with all her jewels and robes; and when she is
upon the top she takes three turns round it, and raises her hands to
heaven, and worships towards the east three times. And having ended
this, she calls her relations and friends, and to each she gives a
jewel of those which she wears: and all this with a very cheerful
demeanour, not as though she were about to die. And after she has
given them away, and there only remains a small cloth with which she
is covered from the waist downwards, she says to the men, "See,
gentlemen, how much you owe to your wives, who, whilst enjoying
their freedom, burn themselves alive with their husbands." And to
the women she says, "See, ladies, how much you owe to your husbands,
for in this manner you ought to accompany them even in death." And
when she has concluded uttering these words, they give her a pitcher
full of oil, and she places it on her head and says her prayer, and
takes three more turns and worships to the east, and casts the
pitcher of oil into the pit where the fire is: and she springs into
it, after the pitcher, with as much good will as though she were
jumping into a pool of water. And the relations have ready for this
occasion many pitchers and pots full of oil and butter, and dry
wood, which they immediately throw in, so that so great a flame is
at once kindled, that she is suddenly reduced to ashes. And
afterwards they collect these ashes, and cast them into flowing
rivers. All perform this in general, and if any women do not choose
to do this, their relations take them, shave their heads, and turn
them out of their houses and families with disgrace. And so they
wander through the world as lost ones. And those of this sort to
whom they may wish to show favour, are sent to the houses of prayer
of the idols, to serve and gain for that temple with their bodies,
if they are young women. And of these houses there are many, which
contain fifty or a hundred women of this sort; and others, who of
their own accord, being unmarried, place themselves there.[181]
These have to play and sing, for certain hours of the day, before
their idols, and the rest of the time they work for themselves.

So also when the king dies, four or five hundred women burn
themselves with him in the same manner, and they throw themselves
suddenly into the pit and fire where they burn the body of the king:
for the pit and fire are very large, and a great quantity can be
burned in it, with great abundance of wood, sandal, brasil, eagle
wood, aloes wood, and much oil of sesame and butter to make the wood
burn well. So great is the haste of those who wish to burn
themselves first, that it is something wonderful, and many men,
confidants of the king, burn themselves with him. These people eat
meat, fish, and all other viands, only cow is forbidden them by
their creed. There is another sect of Gentiles who are called
Bramans, who are priests and directors of the houses of prayer.
These do not eat meat or fish, they marry only one wife, and if she
dies they do not marry again: their children inherit their property.
They wear over the shoulder three threads as a sign of being
Bramans. These do not die for any cause, or crime which they may
commit; they are very free and easy, and are very much venerated
amongst the people. They enjoy amongst them large alms from the
kings, lords, and honourable people, with which they maintain
themselves; and many of them are rich, and others live in the houses
of prayer which there are about the country, after the manner of
monasteries. These temples also have great revenues. These people
are great eaters, and do no work except in order to eat: and they at
any time go eight leagues to satisfy themselves with food, which
they can eat on the road. Their food is rice, butter, sugar,
vegetables, and milk. In this country there is another sect of
people, who are like Bramans: they wear round their necks hung with
silk cords and wrapped in coloured cloth, a stone of the size of an
egg, and they say that it is their god. These people are much
venerated and honoured in this country; they do them no harm for any
offence which they may commit, out of reverence for that stone,
which they call tabaryne.[182] Neither do these people eat flesh nor
fish; they go safely in all countries, and they transport from one
kingdom to another much merchandise and money of the merchants, on
account of their greater security from thieves. And there are some
of them who deal in merchandise with their tani bar ine round their
necks. These likewise marry only one woman, and if they die before
their wives, they bury these alive in this manner.[183] It must be
said, that they make a grave for her a little deeper than she is
tall, and put her in it standing, and while she is quite alive they
throw in earth all around her, and press it down with their feet
until she is walled in with earth much pressed down, which reaches
to her neck, and then they put some large stones above her, and
leave her there alive covered with earth until she dies; and on this
occasion they perform great ceremonies for them. The women of this
country are so enterprising and idolatrous, that they do marvellous
things for the love of their idols, in this manner. There are
amongst them young girls who desire to marry some man for whom they
have a liking, and one of these will promise her idol to do it a
great service if she should marry such a one whom she wishes for.
And if she marries that one, she then says to him, I have to make a
feast for such a god, and I have to offer my blood before I deliver
myself to you. And so they appoint a day for celebrating that feast.
And she takes a large waggon with oxen, and they fix it in a very
high crane, such as those with which they draw water, and they
fasten it to an iron chain with two iron hooks, and she comes out of
her house with great honour, accompanied by all her relations and
friends, men and women, with much singing and playing of
instruments, and many dancers and jesters; and she comes wrapped
very tightly round the waist with her white stuffs, covered from the
waist to the knees, the rest bare, and at the door of her house,
where the car stands, they lower the crane, and stick the two hooks
into her in the loins between the skin and the flesh, and put into
her left hand a small round shield, and a little bag with lemons and
oranges. They then raise the crane with great shouting and sound of
instruments, firing guns, and making other festal demonstrations:
and in this manner the car begins its march on the way to the house
of the idol to which the promise was made, and she goes suspended by
those hooks fastened into her flesh, and the blood runs down her
legs. And she continues to sing and shout for joy, and to strike
upon the shield, and to throw oranges and lemons to her husband and
to her relations, who go with her in this manner to the door of the
said house of prayer, where they take her down, and cure her, and
deliver her to her husband; and she gives at that place great alms
to the Bramans and offerings to the idols, and a great feast to as
many as accompanied her.

There are other persons also who offer the virginity of their
daughters to an idol, and as soon as they are ten years of age they
take her to a monastery and the house of prayer of that idol, with
great honour, and accompanied by her relations, entertaining her
like one that is going to be married. And outside of the monastery,
at the door, there is a bench of hard black stone, square, of half a
man's height, and surrounded with wooden steps, with many oil lamps
placed on the steps, which are lit at night.[184]

       *       *       *       *       *

This King of Narsinga is frequently at war with the King of Dacani,
who has taken from him much of his land; and also with another
Gentile King of the country of Otira,[185] which is the country in
the interior. And he always sends his captains and troops to this
war, and on some occasions, if of necessity, he goes to the war in
person; and as soon as it is determined on, he goes out to the
country, on a certain day, on an elephant or in a litter, very
richly adorned with gold and jewels, accompanied by many knights and
horse and foot-men: and many elephants go before him, all covered
with scarlet cloth and silk, and much bedizened and dressed out as
for a feast. And as they go through the fields they bring the king a
horse, on which he rides, and a bow and an arrow, which he shoots
towards the part where he intends to go and make war. And they name
the day of his setting out, and this news immediately runs
throughout all the kingdom. He then pitches his tents and camp in
the country, and there remains until the appointed term of days is
accomplished for his departure. When this is concluded he orders the
city to be set on fire, and directs it all to be burned except the
royal palaces, castles, houses of prayer, and those of some of the
grandees which are not covered with thatch, in order that all may go
to the war to die with him, and with his wives and children, whom he
has with him in the wars. In order that these may not take to flight
he directs large pay to be given to all: in the first place, to the
enchanting single women, who are numerous, and who do not fight, but
their lovers fight for love of them very vigorously. And it is also
said that many men come from all the other kingdoms to this king's
camp for the love of these women,[186] amongst whom there are many
very honourable ones, great confidantes of the king, who come of
great houses, and are very rich. Each one of them keeps seven or
eight pretty waiting women, who are given to them by their mothers
to bring them up, and put them in the court enrolled on the pay
list. They hold this service in great honour, and it is but a short
time since one of them died who had no son nor heir, and left the
king for her heir; and he gathered from the inheritance sixty
thousand gold pardaos, besides twelve thousand which he gave to a
waiting woman of his, whom he had brought up from a girl: which is
not to be wondered at for the great wealth of the kingdom.

In this kingdom jewels are esteemed as treasure by the king and also
by the rich, who buy them at large prices. The people of this
kingdom are great hunters both of flying game and wild beasts. There
are many small hacks, and very good ones to go.


Having passed the said kingdom of Narsynga inland, there is next
another kingdom called Hotisa,[187] which confines with it on one
side, and on another with the kingdom of Bengal, and on the other
with the kingdom of Dely: and it is inhabited by Gentiles. The king
is also a Gentile, very rich and powerful, who has many foot
soldiers; he is frequently at war with the kingdom of Narsinga, from
which he has taken lands and villages; and the King of Narsinga has
taken others from him: so that they are rarely at peace. Of the
customs of these people I have little information, on account of
their being placed so much in the interior of the country. It is
only known that in that country there are very few Moors, and that
they are almost all Gentiles and very good fighting men.


Having passed this kingdom of Otisa, more inland there is another
great kingdom, which is called Dely, of many provinces, and of large
and rich cities of great trade. This kingdom is of the Moors, and
has a Moorish king, a great lord; and in former times this kingdom
was of the Gentiles, of whom there are still many who live amidst
the Moors, with much vexation. And many of them nobles and
respectable people, not to be subject to the Moors, go out of the
kingdom and take the habit of poverty, wandering the world; and they
never settle in any country until their death; nor will they possess
any property, since they lost their lands and property, and for that
go naked, barefooted, and bareheaded; they only cover their
nakedness with coverings[188] of brass, in this manner: it must be
said, that they wear belts of Moorish brass of pieces fitted
together, of four fingers in breadth, carved with many images of men
and women, sculptured and shining: and they wear it so tight that it
makes their guts rise high up; and from the girdle below the hips
there comes a bandage of the same brass, and in front it forms a
sort of braguette, which comes and fastens in the girdle in front
with its fastenings: all very tight. Besides this, they carry very
heavy chains round their necks, and waists, and legs; and they smear
all their bodies and faces with ashes. And they carry a small brown
horn at their necks, after the fashion of a trumpet, with which they
call and beg for food at the door of any house where they arrive:
chiefly at the houses of kings and great lords and at the temples;
and they go many together, like the gipsies.[189] They are
accustomed to stop very few days in each country. These people are
commonly called jogues, and in their own speech they are called
zoame, which means servant of God. They are brown, very well made
and proportioned, of handsome faces; they wear their hair without
ever combing it, and made into many plaits, wound round the head.
And I asked them many times why they went in this fashion. And they
answered me, that they wore those chains upon their bodies as
penance for the sin which they committed for allowing themselves to
be captured by such bad people as the Moors, and that they went
naked as a sign of dishonour, because they had allowed their lands
and houses to be lost, in which God brought them up; and that they
did not want more property since they had lost their own, for which
they ought to have died; and that they smeared themselves with ashes
in order to remind themselves perpetually that they were born of
earth and had to return again to the earth, and that all the
rest[190] was falsehood. And each one of them carries his little bag
of these ashes with him; and all the Gentiles of the country honour
them greatly, and receive from them some of these ashes, and put it
on their heads,[191] shoulders, and breasts, making a few lines with
it. And throughout all the country the Gentiles are in the habit of
doing this. And so also throughout all India among the Gentiles,
many of them turn jogues; but most of them are from the kingdom of
Dely. These jogues eat all meats and do not observe any idolatry,
and they mingle with all kinds of people: neither do they wash like
other Gentiles, except when the wish to do so comes to them.

In this kingdom of Dely there are many very good horses, which are
born and bred there. The people of the kingdom, both Moors and
Gentiles, are very good fighting men and good knights, armed with
many kinds of weapons; they are great bowmen, and very strong men;
they have very good lances, swords, daggers, steel maces, and
battle-axes, with which they fight; and they have some steel wheels,
which they call chacarani, two fingers broad, sharp outside like
knives, and without edge inside; and the surface of these[192] is of
the size of a small plate. And they carry seven or eight of these
each, put on the left arm; and they take one and put it on the
finger of the right hand, and make it spin round many times, and so
they hurl it at their enemies, and if they hit anyone on the arm or
leg or neck, it cuts through all. And with these they carry on much
fighting, and are very dexterous with them.

This king of Dely confines with Tatars, and has taken many lands
from the King of Cambay; and from the King of Dacan, his servants
and captains, with many of his people, took much, and afterwards in
time they revolted and set themselves up as kings. In this kingdom
of Dely there are some trees, the root of which is called
Baxarague,[193] and it is so poisonous that any one who eats it dies
at once; and its fruit is called Nirabixy,[194] and it is of such
virtue that it extinguishes all poison, and gives life to any one
poisoned with the said root or with other poisons. These jogues, who
come from the kingdom of Dely, carry this root and fruit; some of
them give it to some Indian kings; and so likewise they carry with
them sometimes rhinoceros' horn and Pajar stone, which possess great
virtue against all poisons. And this stone, Pajar, is grey and soft,
of the size of an almond; and they say that it is found in the head
of an animal: it is greatly esteemed amongst the Indians.[195]


Having passed the province of Tulynate, which is of the kingdom of
Narsinga, along the coast of the sea, which province begins from
Cinbola near the mountain Dely, and ends at the Cape of Conmery,
which is a distance of seventy leagues along the coast towards the
south and south-east. And there begins the country of Malabar, which
was governed by a king who was called Sernaperimal,[196] who was a
very great lord. And after that the Moors of Mekkah discovered
India, and began to navigate near it, which was six hundred and ten
years ago; they used to touch at this country of Malabar on account
of the pepper which is found there. And they began to load their
ships with it in a city and seaport, Coulom,[197] where the king
used frequently to be. And so for some years these Moors continued
their voyages to this country of Malabar, and began to spread
themselves through it, and became so intimate and friendly with the
said king, that they made him turn Moor, and he went away with them
to die at the house of Mekkah, and he died on the road. And before
he set out from his country, he divided the whole of his kingdom of
Malabar amongst his relations; and it remained divided amongst them
and their descendants as it now is. And when he distributed the
lands, he abandoned those that he gave, never to return to them
again; and at last, when he had given away all, and there did not
remain anything more for him to give, except ten or twelve leagues
of land all round the spot from which he embarked, which was an
uninhabited beach, where now stands the city of Calicut. And at that
moment he was accompanied by more Moors than Gentiles, on account of
having given to the latter almost all that he possessed, and he had
with him only one young nephew, who waited on him as a page, to whom
he gave that piece of land; and he told him to get it peopled,
especially that very spot whence he embarked. And he gave him his
sword and a chandelier, which he carried with him for state. And he
left an injunction to the other lords, his relations to whom he had
made grants of lands, that they should obey him, only leaving exempt
the King of Coulam and the King of Cavanor:[198] so that he
instituted three kings in the country of Malabar, and commanded that
no one should coin money except the King of Calicut. And so he
embarked at the same place where the city of Calicut was founded;
and the Moors held this time and place in much veneration, and would
not after that go and load pepper any more in any other part since
the said king embarked there after becoming a Moor and going to die
at Mekkah. This city of Calicut is very large, and ennobled by many
very rich merchants and great traffic in goods. This king became
greater and more powerful than all the others: he took the name of
Zomodri,[199] which is a point of honour above all other kings. So
that this great King of Malabar did not leave more kings than these
three: that is to say, the Zomodry, who was named Cunelava-dyri, and
the King of Culaon, who was named Benate-diry, and the King of
Cananor, who was named Coletry.[200] And there are many other lords
in the country of Malabar, who wish to call themselves kings; and
they are not so, because they are not able to coin money, nor cover
houses with roofs under penalty of all the others rising up against
whomsoever should do such a thing, or of having to destroy them. And
these kings of Culam and Cananor afterwards struck money for a
certain time in their countries without having the power of doing
so. In all the country they use one language, which is called
Maleama, and all the kings are of one sect, and almost of the same

In these kingdoms of Malabar there are eighteen sects of Gentiles,
each one of which is much distinguished from the others in so great
a degree that the ones will not touch the others under pain of death
or dishonour or loss of their property: and all of them have
separate customs in their idol-worship, as will be set forth further


In the first place, the Kings of Malabar are, as has been said,
Gentiles, and honour their idols: they are brown, almost white,
others are darker; they go naked from the waist upwards, and from
the waist downwards are covered with white cotton wraps and some of
them of silk. Sometimes they clothe themselves with short jackets
open in front, reaching halfway down the thigh, made of very fine
cotton cloth, fine scarlet cloth, or of silk and brocade. They wear
their hair tied upon the top of their heads, and sometimes long
hoods like Galician casques, and they are barefooted. They shave
their beards and leave the moustaches[201] very long, after the
manner of the Turks. Their ears are bored, and they wear in them
very precious jewels and pearls set in gold, and on their arms from
the elbows upwards gold bracelets, with similar jewels and strings
of very large pearls. At their wrists over their clothes they wear
jewelled girdles three fingers in width, very well wrought and of
great value.

And on their breasts, shoulders, and foreheads, they make marks by
threes with ashes, which they wear in accordance with the custom of
their sect, saying that they do it to remind themselves that they
have to turn to ashes: for when they die they burn their bodies, and
so this ceremony continues among them. And many use it mixed with
sandal wood, saffron, aloes wood, and rose water, all this ground
up. When they are in their houses they always sit on high benches,
and in houses without stories; these benches are very smooth, and
are slightly smeared once every day with cow dung. And they keep
there a stand very white and four fingers high, and a cloth of brown
wool undyed, after the manner of a carpet of the size of a
horsecloth[202] folded in three folds; and upon this they sit, and
they lean upon pillows, round and long, of cotton, silk, or fine
cloth. And they also sit on carpets of cloth of gold and silk; but
they always keep under them, or near them, that cloth of brown wool,
on account of their sect, and for state. And frequently they happen
to be lying on couches and cushions of silk and very fine white
sheets, and when any one comes to see them, they bring him this
brown woollen cloth and put it near him, and when he goes out, a
page carries the cloth folded before him for state and ceremony. And
likewise he always keeps a sword near him, and when he changes from
one spot to another, he carries it in his hand naked, as they always
keep it. These kings do not marry, nor have a marriage law, only
each one has a mistress, a lady of great lineage and family, which
is called nayre, and said to be very beautiful and graceful. Each
one keeps such a one with him near the palaces in a separate house,
and gives her a certain sum each month, or each year, for expenses,
and leaves her whenever she causes him discontent, and takes
another. And many of them for honour's sake do not change them, nor
make exchanges with them; and they seek much to please their king,
for that honour and favour which they receive. And the children that
are born from these mistresses are not held to be sons, nor do they
inherit the kingdom, nor anything else of the king's; they only
inherit the property of the mother. And whilst they are children,
they are favoured by the king like children of other people whom he
might be bringing up; but not like his own, because since they are
men, the children are not accounted for more than as children of
their mothers.[203] The king sometimes makes grants of money to
them, for them to maintain themselves better than the other nobles.
The heirs of these kings are their brothers, or nephews, sons of
their sisters, because they hold those to be their true successors,
and because they know that they were born from the body of their
sisters. These do not marry, nor have fixed husbands, and are very
free and at liberty in doing what they please with themselves.

In this wise the lineage of the kings of this country, and the true
stock, is in the women: that is to say, if a woman[204] gives birth
to three or four sons and two or three daughters, the first is king,
and so on, all the other brothers inherit from one another; and when
all these have died, the son of the eldest sister, who is niece of
the king, inherits, and so also his other heirs after him; and when
these have deceased, the children of the next sister. And the
kingdom always goes in this way to brothers, and nephews sons of
sisters, and if by good or evil fortune these women happen not to
give birth to male children, they do not consider them as capable of
inheriting the kingdom; and these ladies, in such a case, all unite
in council and institute some relation of theirs as king, if they
have one, and if there is none, they name any other person for this
office. And on this account the kings of Malabar are old men when
they succeed to reign, and the nieces or sisters from whom has to
proceed the lineage of the kings are held in great honour, guarded
and served, and they possess revenues for their maintenance. And
when one of these is of age to bring forth, on arriving at from
thirteen to fourteen years, they prepare to make festivity and
entertainment for her, and to make her enceinte. And they summon
some young man, a nobleman and honourable person, of whom there are
many deputed for this. And they send to fetch him that he may come
for this purpose. And he comes, and they give him a great
entertainment, and perform some ceremonies, and he ties some gold
jewel to the neck of the damsel, and she wears it all her life in
sign of her having performed those ceremonies, in order to be able
to do with herself whatever she chooses; because, until the
performance of this ceremony, she could not dispose of herself. And
the before mentioned youth remains with her for some days, very well
attended to, and then returns to his land. And she sometimes remains
in the family way, and sometimes not, and from this time forth for
her pleasure she takes some Braman, whomsoever she likes best, and
these are priests among them, and of these she has as many as she

This King of Calicut, and so also the other kings of Malabar, when
they die, are burned in the country with much sandal and aloes wood;
and at the burning all the nephews and brothers and nearest
relations collect together, and all the grandees of the realm, and
confidantes of the king, and they lament for him and burn him. And
before burning him they keep him there when dead for three days,
waiting for the assembling of the above mentioned persons, that they
may see him if he died of a natural death, or avenge his death if
any one killed him, as they are obliged to do in case of a violent
death. And they observe this ceremony very rigidly. After having
burned him, all shave themselves from head to foot, excepting the
eyelashes, from the prince, the heir to the throne, to the smallest
child of the kingdom: that is, those who are Gentiles, and they also
clean their teeth, and universally leave off eating betel for
thirteen days from that time; and if in this period they find any
one who eats it, his lips are cut off by the executioner. During
these thirteen days the prince does not rule, nor is he enthroned as
king, in order to see if in this time any one will rise up to oppose
him; and when this term is accomplished, all the grandees and former
governors make him swear to maintain all the laws of the late king,
and to pay the debts which he owed, and to labour to recover that
which other former kings had lost. And he takes this oath, holding a
drawn sword in his left hand, and his right hand placed upon a chain
lit up with many oil wicks, in the midst of which is a gold ring,
which he touches with his fingers, and there he swears to maintain
everything with that sword. When he has taken the oath, they
sprinkle rice over his head, with many ceremonies of prayer and
adoration to the sun, and immediately after certain counts, whom
they call caymal,[205] along with all the others of the royal
lineage, and the grandees, swear to him in the same manner to serve
him, and to be loyal and true to him. During these thirteen days one
of the caymals governs and rules the State like the king himself: he
is like an accountant-general of the king, and of all the affairs of
the kingdom. This office and dignity is his by right and
inheritance. This person is also the chief treasurer of the kingdom,
without whom the king cannot open or see the treasury; neither can
the king take anything out of the treasury without a great
necessity, and by the counsel of this person and several others. And
all the laws and ordinances of the kingdom are in the keeping of
this man. No one eats meat or fish in these thirteen days, nor may
any one fish under pain of death. During that period large alms are
given from the king's property, of food to many poor people, and to
Bramans; and when the thirteen days are ended, all eat what they
please, except the new king, who observes the same abstinence for
one year, neither does he shave his beard, nor cut a hair of his
head nor of his body, nor his nails: and he says prayers for certain
hours of the day, and does not eat more than once a day. And before
he eats he has to wash himself, and after washing, he must not drink
anything until he has eaten. This king is always in the city of
Calicut, in some very large palaces which he possesses outside of
the city, and when the year of this mourning is accomplished, the
prince who is to succeed him, and all those of the royal family and
all the other grandees and nobles of the country, come to see him,
and to perform a ceremony, which takes place at the end of the year,
in honour of the death of his predecessor: at which great alms are
given, and much money is spent in giving food to many Bramans and
poor people, and to all those who come to visit him, and to their
retinues, so that more than a hundred thousand people are assembled
there. And on this occasion he confirms the prince as the heir, and
likewise the others as his successors step by step. And he confirms
to all the lords their estates, and he confirms or changes as he
sees fit the governors and officers who were under the former king.
And he then dismisses them, and sends each to his duties, and he
sends the prince to the estates which are assigned to him. And he
must not re-enter Calicut until the king dies; and all the other
successors may go and come to the court, and reside with the king.
When the before mentioned crown prince departs, after he has left
Calicut, and on passing the bridge of a river, he takes a bow in his
hand and shoots an arrow towards the residence of the king, and then
says a prayer with uplifted hands in the manner of prayer, and then
goes on.

This prince, when he comes to visit the king at the said feast and
ceremony, brings all his nobles with him, and his instruments of
music, which are kettle-drums,[206] drums of many shapes, trumpets,
horns, flutes, small brass plates,[207] and lutes;[208] these come
making a great harmony, and the nobles in front, all drawn up in
order, as they regulate processions here. That is to say, the bowmen
in the van, next the lancers, after them the bearers of sword and
buckler. And the king issues from the palaces and places himself at
a great door, on foot, and there he stands looking at all these
people who come up to him with great reverence, and do as though
they worshipped him. All retire after a while, and so he remains for
the space of two hours, until all have done, and the prince appears
at a considerable distance[209] with a drawn sword in his hand,
which he brandishes as he advances, with his face raised up, and
eyes fixed upon the king. And on seeing him, he worships him and
throws himself with his face upon the ground, and with outstretched
arms; and he lies thus for a short time, then gets up again, and
goes forward very slowly brandishing his drawn sword in his hand,
and with his eyes still fixed upon the king, and at half way he does
the same thing again, and the king looks at him fixedly, without
making any movement, and the prince gets up again, and so arrives
where the king stands: and there he again throws himself on the
ground in front of him. The king then goes forward two steps and
takes him by the hand, and raises him up, and so they enter both
together into the palaces. The king then sits on his dais, and the
prince with all the other heirs, stand in front with their drawn
swords in their right hands, and their left hands placed upon their
mouths out of respect, withdrawn a little from the king's dais. They
speak there to the king with much reverence, without speaking to one
another, and if it is necessary for one to say anything to another,
they speak so softly that no one hears them: so much so, that there
are two thousand men before the king in the palace, and no one hears
them; and they may not spit or cough before the king.

This King of Calicut keeps many clerks constantly in his palace,
they are all in one room, separate and far from the king, sitting on
benches, and there they write all the affairs of the king's revenue,
and his alms, and the pay which is given to all, and the complaints
which are presented to the king, and, at the same time, the accounts
of the collectors of taxes. All this is on broad stiff leaves of the
palm tree, without ink, with pens of iron: they make lines with
their letters, engraven like ours. Each of these clerks has great
bundles of these leaves written on, and blank, and wherever they go
they carry them under their arms and the iron pen in their hand: in
this way they are known to all people as scribes of the palace. And
among these there are seven or eight who are great confidants of the
king, and the most honoured, and who always stand before him with
their pens in their hand, and writings under their arm, ready for
the king's orders to do anything, as he is in the habit of doing.
These clerks always have several of these leaves subscribed[210] by
the king in blank, and when he commands them to despatch any
business, they write it on those leaves. These accountants are
persons of great credit, and most of them are old and respectable:
and when they get up in the morning and want to write anything, the
first time that they take the pen and the leaf in their hand, they
cut a small piece off it with the knife which is at the end of the
pen, and they write the names of their gods upon it and worship them
towards the sun with uplifted hands; and having finished their
prayer, they tear the writing and throw it away, and after that
begin writing whatever they require.

This king has a thousand waiting women, to whom he gives regular
pay, and they are always at the court, to sweep the palaces and
houses of the king: and this he does for state, because fifty would
be enough to sweep. These women are of good family, they come into
the palace to sweep and clean twice every day, and each one carries
a broom and a brass dish with cow dung dissolved in water; and all
that they sweep, after having swept it, they smear it with their
right hand, giving a very thin coating, which dries immediately. And
these women do not all serve, but take turns in the service; and
when the king goes from one house to another, or to some temple, on
foot, these women go before him with these dishes of the said cow
dung, spilling it on the road by which he has to pass. And these
thousand women give a great feast to the king when he newly comes to
the throne, after he has finished his year of mourning and
abstinence. It is fitting to know that all the thousand assemble
together, both the old and the young ones, in the king's house, very
much adorned with jewellery, gold belts, pearls, and many bracelets
of gold, and many rings with precious stones, and ankle rings of
gold on their legs, and dressed from the waist downwards with very
rich silk stuffs, and others of very fine cotton, and from the waist
upwards bare, and anointed with sandal and perfumes, and their hair
wreathed with flowers, and rings of gold and precious stones in
their ears, the feet bare, as they always are accustomed to be. And
they have there all sorts of musical instruments, and many guns and
other fireworks of various kinds. Many nobles who accompany them
come there very smart and gay, and are their admirers: and seven or
eight elephants covered with silk housings and small bells in great
quantity hanging to them, and large chains of iron suspended from
their backs. And the ladies take an idol for their protector,[211]
and put it on the top of the biggest elephant, and a priest who
carries it in his arms sits on the back of the elephant. So they set
out in procession with their music and rejoicing, and much firing of
guns, going along a very broad street to a house of prayer. There
they lower the idol which is to be seen with another which is in
that temple, and they perform to them great ceremonies, and many
people assemble to see and adore those idols, and pay honour to
their images. These thousand women have each got a brass dish full
of rice, and on the top of the rice lamps full of oil, with many
lighted wicks, and between the chandeliers are many flowers. And at
nightfall they set out from the temple with their idol for the
king's palace, where they have to place it; and all come in
procession before the idol which is set upon the elephant, in bands
of eight, with the before mentioned salvers, and many men accompany
them with oil, with which they replenish the lamps. And the nobles,
their admirers, go along with them, talking to them with much
courtesy; and they remove the perspiration from the ladies' faces,
and from time to time put into their mouths the betel, which both
men and women are constantly eating; and they fan them with fans,
because their hands are fully occupied with the salvers. And all the
instruments are sounding, and there is a great firing of rockets,
and they carry some burning shrubs, so that it is a very pretty
sight. Also at night some gentlemen go in front of the idol
inflicting wounds with their swords upon their own heads and
shoulders, and shouting like madmen, and foaming at the mouth like
persons possessed: and they say that the gods enter into them and
make them do this. Many tumblers and buffoons also go along
performing feats of agility, and the governors and chief men of the
city go there to direct and arrange that procession, which is
conducted with much order until it arrives at the king's palace,
where it disperses.

This king is for the most part sitting on his dais, and sometimes
his confidential advisers are there, rubbing his arms and legs, or
his body, and a page with a napkin round his neck full of betel,
which he gives him to chew, and sometimes it is kept in a gilt and
coloured casket edged with silver, and at times in a gold plate, and
the page gives it to him leaf by leaf, smeared with a little lime of
sea shells diluted with rose water, like a sauce, which he keeps in
a small box[212] of gold; and he also gives him areca, which is a
small fruit, cut into pieces, and he chews it all together; and it
colours his mouth, and what he spits is like blood. And another page
holds in his hand a large gold cup, into which he spits the juice of
that leaf which he does not swallow, and he washes his mouth from
time to time, so that he is almost always munching these leaves.

His manner of eating is that no one sees him eat: only four or five
servants wait upon him. First of all, when he wishes to eat, he
bathes in a pool of water which he has in his palaces, very clean
and prettily kept; and there, when undressed, he performs his
ceremonies and worships three times to the east, and walks three
times round, and plunges three more times under the water, and after
that dresses in clean clothes, each time fresh washed; and then he
goes and sits in the place which he has appointed for eating, the
ground having been swept, or on a very low, round stand. There they
bring him a large silver tray, and upon it are many small silver
saucers, all empty. And they are set before him on the ground upon
another low stand: and the cook comes, who is a Braman, and brings a
copper pot with cooked rice, which is very dry and entire, and with
a spoon they take it out, and make a pile of it in the middle of the
said large tray; afterwards they bring many other pans with divers
viands, and put portions of them into the small saucers. He then
begins to eat with the right hand, taking handfuls of the rice
without a spoon, and with the same hand he takes some of all the
dishes and mixes it with the rice; and with his left hand he must
not touch anything of what he eats; and they set near him a silver
pitcher of water; and when he wants to drink, he takes it with the
left hand, and raises it in the air, and pours the water into his
mouth in a small jet; thus he drinks without the pitcher touching
his mouth;[213] and the viands which they give him, both of flesh
and fish, or vegetables and herbs, are done with so much pepper, so
that no one from our parts could endure them in his mouth. And he
never cleans his right hand, nor uses a napkin or cloth for that,
whilst eating, until he has done eating, when he washes his hand.
And if, during his meals, there should be present with him any
honourable Bramans, in his confidence, he bids them eat there apart
from himself on the ground; and they set before them leaves of the
Indian fig-tree, which are very large and stiff, a leaf for each
man, and upon these they set food before them, the same as for the
king; and he who is not going to eat there goes away, because no one
else may be where the king eats; and when he has ended his meal, the
king returns to his dais, and is almost always chewing betel.
Whenever the king goes out of the palace to amuse himself, or to
pray to some idol, all his gentlemen are summoned who are in
waiting, and also the minstrels, and they carry the king in a
litter, which is borne by men, and is covered with silk stuffs and
jewels. Many jugglers and tumblers go before the king, with whom he
amuses himself, and he stops frequently to look at them, and praises
the one who performs best. And one Braman carries a sword and
shield, and another a long gold sword, and another a sword in his
right hand, which the King of all Malabar, who went to die at
Mekkah, left behind him; and in his left hand a weapon which is like
a fleur-de-lis. And on each side go two men with two fans, very long
and round, and two others with two fans made of white tails of
animals, which are like horses, and which are much valued amongst
them, set on gold spears; these men fan the king, and close to them
is a page with a gold pitcher full of water, and on the left side
another with a silver one; and a page with a napkin, for when the
king wishes to clean his nose, or if he touch his eyes or mouth,
they pour water and wash his fingers, and the other gives him the
napkin to dry them; they also carry vases, in which the king spits
the betel. His nephews, governors, and other lords go along with
him, and all accompany him with their swords drawn and shields. And
a great quantity of buffoons, musicians, tumblers, and musqueteers
firing guns accompany the king; and if he goes by night, they carry
four large chandeliers of iron full of oil with many lighted wicks.


In the said city of Calicut there is a governor, whom they call
Talaxe, a gentleman appointed by the king,[214] who has under him
five thousand gentlemen, to whom he pays their salaries from the
revenue, which is assigned for that purpose. This person administers
justice in the city of Calicut, and gives an account of everything
to the king. And justice is administered according to the qualities
of the persons, because there are divers sects and laws amongst
them; that is to say, of gentlemen, Chetres, Guzurates, Brabares,
who are very honourable people; and thence downwards there are also
divers sects of low and base people who are all serfs of the king,
or of the other lords and governors of the country. And if any of
these low people commits a robbery, concerning which a complaint has
been made to the king or to the governor, they send to take the
robber, and if they find the thing stolen in his hands, or if he
confess that he did it, if he is a Gentile, they take him to a place
where they carry out executions, and there they set some high posts
with sharp points and a small stand, through which passes one of
those points; and there they cut off his head with a sword, and spit
him through the back and the pit of the stomach, and that point
comes out about a cubit, and on it they also spit his head. And they
tie ropes to his legs and arms, and fasten them to four posts, so
that the limbs are stretched out and the body on its back upon the
stand. And if the malefactor is a Moor, they take him to a field,
and there kill him by stabbing him; and the stolen property is
appropriated to the governor without its owner recovering anything;
because their law so disposes, doing justice on the thief. And if
the stolen property is found and the thief escapes, it is for a
certain number of days in the charge of the governor; and if during
that time they do not catch the thief, they return the stolen goods
to its owner, a fourth part of it, however, remaining for the
governor; and if the thief denies the robbery, they keep him eight
days in prison, making his life uncomfortable, to see if he will
confess, and throwing him his food; and when the eight days are
passed without his confessing, they call the accuser, and he is told
that the accused does not confess, and they ask him if he requires
them to take his oath or let him go. If the accuser then requires
the accused to swear, they make him wash and commend himself to his
gods, and eat no betel, and cleanse his teeth from the blackness
caused by the betel, in order that he may swear next day, and that
he may prepare himself for it. Next day they take him out of prison,
and take him to a pool of water where he washes, performing his
ceremony, and from there they take him to a house of prayer where
his idols are kept, before which he takes his oath in this manner.
It must be known that, if he is a Gentile, they heat a copper-pot
full of oil until it boils, and they throw in a few leaves of trees,
and with the great heat of the pot the leaves fly out, and this is
in order that the parties may see that the oil is hot and boiling;
and then two scribes come near, and take the right hand of the
accused and look if he has any wound of itch or other disease, and
write down in what condition his hand is, in the presence of the
party. Then they bid him look at the idol, and say three times "I
did not commit this theft of which I am accused, nor do I know who
did it," and then put his two fingers up to the middle joints in the
oil which is boiling upon the fire; and he does so; and they say
that if he did not commit the theft, that he does not burn himself,
and that if he did it, he burns his fingers.

[And then the scribes, and governor and party, look at him again,
and the scribes write down the condition in which his hand is, and
they tie it up with a cloth whether it is burned or not, and put
seals on the fastenings of the cloth, and send him back to prison.
And three days later, all return to the same place where the oath
was taken, and they untie his hand before the governor and party,
and if they find it burned they kill him, but first give him so many
torments that they make him confess where he has got the stolen
property, or that he did it. And even if he does not confess, all
the same he suffers the penalty because his hand was burned; and if
they find his hand not burned, then they let him go, and he who
accused him pays a certain sum as a fine to the governor. And they
have the same method for him who kills another, or for him who kills
a cow, or raises his hand in anger against Bramans or noblemen. And
this is to be understood as amongst the Gentile peasants and low
people. And if it is a Moor who does such things, he passes through
the same examinations, only that instead of putting his fingers in
oil, they make him lick with his tongue a red-hot axe, and if he
does not burn himself he remains free, and if he burns his tongue he
suffers death.

And if any of the common people, whether Gentiles or Moors, commit
other offences for which they do not deserve death, they punish them
with a pecuniary penalty for the governor, and this produces much
revenue to him; and he lays hold of vagabonds as slaves, and he has
the power of selling them, and sells them without any opposition
whatever, at a price of from four to five ducats.

The nobles enjoy exemption and the privilege, that they cannot be
taken and put in irons for anything which they do. And if a noble
were to rob or kill any one, or kill a cow, or were to sleep with a
woman of low caste, or of the Bramans, or if he eat or drank in the
house of a low caste man, or spoke ill of his king--this being
established by his own words--they call three or four honourable
gentlemen in whom the king places confidence, and he bids them go
and kill this noble wherever they may meet with him, and they give
them a warrant[215] signed by the king for them to kill him without
penalty. They then kill him with daggers or spears, or shoot him
with arrows, because at times these men who are accused are such
that before being put to death, they wound two or three of the
slaughterers, if they have been forewarned. And after he is dead
they lay him on his back and place that king's warrant upon his
breast. And if they kill him in the country they leave him there,
and no one comes near him, so that the fowls and dogs devour him.
And if they kill him in the city, the people of the street where he
lies dead go and beg the king to order his removal; and the king
gives the orders, sometimes as a favour, sometimes with a

And if any noble comes to the king or to the governor, and complains
to him of any other noble who has robbed or murdered or done any
other evil deed, the governor reports it to the king, and the king
gives orders to summon the accused, and if he absents himself they
hold him guilty, and he is ordered to be executed in the same manner
without further investigation. And if he presents himself, they
summon the accuser, and examine both of them together. And the
accuser takes a small branch of a tree or green herbs in his hand,
and says, such a one did such a thing; the other one takes another
branch, and denies it. The king then bids them return eight days
thenceforward to the house of the governor to take oath and prove
that which each one asserts; and so they depart, and return on the
day fixed to the house of the governor, where the accused swears in
the manner already described with boiling butter, and having
concluded taking the oath, they tie up his fingers as has been said,
and both of them are detained in a house under a guard, so that
neither of them can run away. And on the third day they untie his
fingers, and clear up the truth, and if they find the fingers
burned, they kill the accused; and not finding them injured, they
kill the accuser. And if the accused is not of as great value, they
do not kill the accuser, on whom in such case they inflict a
pecuniary penalty and that of banishment. And if such a noble was
accused of a great robbery of the king's property, they have him
imprisoned in a close room and well guarded, and conduct him thence
to take the oath.

In this kingdom of Calicut there is another governor, who is like
the chief justice of all the kingdom, with the exception of the city
of Calicut. This chief justice is called Coytoro tical carnaver; he
has his lieutenants in all the villages, to whom he farms the
administration of justice: that is to say, the fines, not capital
penalties. And people come to this chief justice for any injury, and
he gives an account of it and reports to the king, and renders
justice in the manner followed at Calicut.

In this kingdom of Calicut no women ever die by sentence of law for
any offence whatever; they are only subject to pecuniary penalties.
And if any woman of Nayr family should offend against the law of her
sect, and the king know of it before her relations and brothers, he
commands her to be taken and sold out of the kingdom to Moors or
Christians. And if her male relations or sons know of it first, they
shut her up and kill her with dagger or spear wounds, saying that if
they did not do so they would remain greatly dishonoured. And the
king holds this to be well done.


The Gentile Bramans are priests all of one lineage, and others
cannot be priests, but only their own sons. And when these are seven
years old, they put round their necks a strap two fingers in width
of an animal which they call Cressua-mergan,[217] with its hair,
which is like a wild ass; and they command him not to eat betel for
seven years, and all this time he wears that strap round the neck,
passing under the arm, and when he reaches fourteen years of age
they make him a Braman, removing from him the leather strap round
his neck, and putting on another of three threads, which he wears
all his life as a mark of being a Braman. And they do this with much
ceremony and festivity, just as here at the first mass,[218] and
from this time forward he may eat betel. They do not eat flesh nor
fish, they are much reverenced and honoured by the Indians, and they
are not executed for any offence which they may commit: but their
chief, who is like a bishop, chastises them in moderation. They
marry only once, and only the eldest brother has to be married, and
of him is made a head of the family like a sole heir by entail,[219]
and all the others remain bachelors, and never marry. The eldest is
the heir of all the property. These Bramans, the elder brothers,
keep their wives very well guarded, and in great esteem, and no
other man can approach them; and if any of the married ones die, the
person who becomes widowed does not marry again. And if the wife
commits adultery, the husband kills her with poison. These young men
who do not marry, nor can marry, sleep with the wives of the nobles,
and these women hold it as a great honour because they are Bramans,
and no woman refuses them. And they must not sleep with any woman
older than themselves. And these live in their houses and estates,
and they have great houses of prayer, in which they do service as
abbots, and whither they go to recite their prayers at fixed times
of the day, and worship their idols and perform their ceremonies.
And these temples have their principal doors to the west, and each
temple has three doors, and in front of the principal gate, outside
of it, is a stone of the height of a man, with three steps all round
it, and in front of that stone inside the church is a small chapel,
very dark, inside of which they keep their idol, of gold, silver, or
metal, and three lamps burning. And no one may enter there except
the minister of that church, who goes in to set before the idol
flowers and scented herbs, and they anoint it with sandal and rose
water, and take it out once in the morning, and another time in the
evening with sound of trumpets and drums, and horns. And he who
takes it out first washes thoroughly, and carries it on his head
with the face looking backwards, and they walk with it three times
in procession round the church, and certain wives of the Bramans
carry lighted lamps in front, and each time that they reach the
principal door, they set the idol on that stone and there worship
it, and perform certain ceremonies; and having ended the three turns
with music and rejoicing, they again place it in the chapel, and
each day they do this twice, by day and at night. And around this
church there is a stone wall, between which and the church they walk
in the before mentioned procession, and they carry over the idol a
very lofty canopy upon a very long bamboo for state as for kings.
They place all the offerings upon the stone before the principal
gate of the temple, and twice a day it is washed, and they set
cooked rice upon it to feed the crows twice a day with great
ceremony. These Bramans greatly honour the number trine: they hold
that there is a God in three persons, and who is not more than one.
All their prayers and ceremonies are in honour of the trinity, and
they, so to say, figure it in their rites, and the name by which
they call it is this, Berma Besnu Maycereni, who are three persons
and one sole god,[220] Thus they confess him to be from the
beginning of the world. They have no knowledge or information of the
coming of Jesus Christ. They believe many more vain things, which
they speak of. These people each time that they wash put some ashes
upon their heads, foreheads and breasts, in token that they have to
turn again into ashes; and when they die they have their bodies
burned. When the wife of a Braman is in the family way, as soon as
the husband knows it he cleans his teeth, and eats no more betel nor
trims his beard, and fasts until his wife gives birth to her child.
The kings make great use of these Bramans for many things, except in
deeds of arms. Only Bramans can cook the king's food, or else men of
the king's own family, and so all the king's relations have this
same custom of having their food cooked by Bramans. These are the
messengers who go on the road from one kingdom to another, with
letters and money and merchandise, because they pass in safety in
all parts, without any one molesting them, even though the kings may
be at war. These Bramans are well read in the law of their idolatry,
and possess many books, and are learned and masters of many arts:
and so the kings honour them as such.


In these kingdoms of Malabar there is another sect of people called
nairs, who are the gentry, and have no other duty than to carry on
war, and they continually carry their arms with them, which are
swords, bows, arrows, bucklers, and lances. They all live with the
kings, and some of them with other lords, relations of the king, and
lords of the country, and with the salaried governors; and with one
another. And no one can be a nair if he is not of good lineage. They
are very smart men, and much taken up with their nobility. They do
not associate with any peasant, and neither eat nor drink except in
the houses of other nairs. These people accompany their lords day
and night; little is given them for eating and sleeping, and for
serving and doing their duty; and frequently they sleep upon a bare
bench to wait for the person whom they serve, and sometimes they do
not eat more than once a day; and they have small expenses for they
have little pay. Many of them content themselves with about two
hundred maravedis[221] each month for themselves and the servant
that attends to them. These are not married nor maintain women or
children; their nephews the sons of their sisters are their heirs.
The nair women are all accustomed to do with themselves what they
please with bramans or nairs, but not with other people of lower
class under pain of death. After they are ten or twelve years old or
more, their mothers perform a marriage ceremony for them in this
manner. They advise the relations and friends that they may come to
do honour to their daughters, and they beg some of their relations
and friends to marry these daughters, and they do so. It must be
said they have a small gold jewel made, which will contain half a
ducat of gold, a little shorter than the tag of a lace, with a hole
in the middle passing through it, and they string it on a thread of
white silk; and the mother of the girl stands with her daughter very
much dressed out, entertaining her with music and singing, and a
number of people. And this relation or friend of hers comes with
much earnestness, and there performs the ceremony of marriage, as
though he married with her, and they throw a gold chain round the
necks of both of them together, and he puts the above mentioned
jewel round her neck, which she always has to wear as a sign that
she may now do what she pleases.[222] And the bridegroom leaves her,
and goes away without touching her nor having more to say to her, on
account of being her relation; and if he is not so, he may remain
with her if he wish it, but he is not bound to do so if he do not
desire it. And from that time forward the mother goes begging some
young men, "que le desvirguen aquella hija, porque lo an entre sy
por cosa sucia y casi vileza a desvirgar mugeres." And after she is
already a woman the mother goes about seeking who will take her
daughter to live with him. But when she is very pretty three or four
nairs join together and agree to maintain her, and to live all of
them with her; and the more she has the more highly is she esteemed,
and each man has his appointed day from midday till next day at the
same hour, when the other comes; and so she passes her life without
anyone thinking ill of it. And he who wishes to leave her, does so
whenever he pleases, and goes to take another. And if she takes a
dislike to any of them she dismisses him. The children which she has
remain at the expense of the mother and of the brothers of the
mother, who bring them up, because they do not know the fathers, and
even if they should appear to belong to any persons in particular,
they are not recognised by them as sons, nor do they give anything
for them. And it is said that the kings made this law in order that
the nairs should not be covetous, and should not abandon the king's
service.[223] These nairs, besides being all of noble descent, have
to be armed as knights by the hand of the king, or lord with whom
they live, and until they have been so equipped they cannot bear
arms nor call themselves nairs, but they enjoy the freedom and
exemption and advantages of the nairs in many things. In general
when these nairs are seven years of age they are immediately sent to
school to learn all manner of feats of agility and gymnastics for
the use of their weapons. First they learn to dance, and then to
tumble, and for that purpose they render supple all their limbs from
their childhood, so that they can bend them in any direction. And
after they have exercised in this, they teach them to manage the
weapons which suit each one most. That is to say bows, clubs, or
lances; and most of them are taught to use the sword and buckler,
which is of more common use among them. In this fencing there is
much agility and science. And there are very skilful men who teach
this art, and they are called Panicars;[224] these are captains in
war. These nairs when they enlist to live with the king, bind
themselves and promise to die for him; and they do likewise with any
other lord from whom they receive pay. This law is observed by some
and not by others; but their obligation constrains them to die at
the hands of anyone who should kill the king or their lord: and some
of them so observe it; so that if in any battle their lord should be
killed, they go and put themselves in the midst of the enemies who
killed him, even should those be numerous, and he alone by himself
dies there: but before falling he does what he can against them; and
after that one is dead another goes to take his place, and then
another: so that sometimes ten or twelve nayrs die for their lord.
And even if they were not present with him when he was killed, they
go and seek him who killed him, or the king who ordered him to be
killed: and so one by one they all die. And if anyone is in
apprehension of another man, he takes some of these nairs, as many
as he pleases, into his pay; and they accompany and guard him; and
on their account he goes securely, since no one dares to molest him;
because if he were molested they and all their lineage would take
vengeance on him who should cause this molestation. These guards are
called Janguada:[225] and there are some people who sometimes take
so many of these nairs, and of such quality, that on their account
they no longer fear the king, who would not venture to command the
execution of a man who was guarded by these, in order not to expose
many nairs to danger for it. And even if the nairs were not in his
company when the man they guard was killed, they would not any the
less revenge his death.

These nayrs live outside the towns, separate from other people, on
their estates which are fenced in. They have there all that they
require; they do not drink wine. When they go anywhere they shout to
the peasants that they may get out of the way where they have to
pass; and the peasants do so, and if they did not do it the nayrs
might kill them without penalty. If a young man of family who is
very poor meets a rich and respectable peasant, one favoured by the
king, he makes him get out of the road in the same manner, as if he
were a king. These nayrs have great privileges in this matter, and
the nayr women even greater with the peasants, and the nairs with
the peasant women. This, they say, is done to avoid all opportunity
of mixing their blood with that of peasants. And if a peasant were
by misfortune to touch a nayr lady, her relations would immediately
kill her and likewise the man that touched her, and all his
relations. When these nayrs order any work to be done by the
peasants, or buy anything of them which they take, being between man
and man, they are not exposed to any other penalty on touching one
another than the not being able to enter their houses without first
washing themselves and changing their clothes for others that are
clean. And likewise as regards the nair women and the peasant women:
these practices are more observed in the country.

No nair woman ever enters the towns under pain of death except once
a year, when they may go for one night with their nayrs wherever
they like. On that night more than twenty thousand nair women enter
Calicut to see the town, which is full of lamps in all the streets,
which the inhabitants set there to do honour to the nairs, and all
the streets are hung with cloth. And the nair women come in to see
the houses of their friends and of their husbands, and there they
receive presents and entertainment, and are invited to eat betel:
and it is held to be a great politeness to receive it from friends.
Some of them come wrapped up,[226] and others uncovered; and the
women relations of the kings and great lords come also to see the
city on this night, and to walk about it, looking at the property of
the great merchants, from whom they receive presents, in order that
they may favour them with the king.

Those nayrs whom the king has received as his, he never dismisses
however old they may be; on the contrary, they always receive their
pay and rations, and he grants favours to whoever has served well.
And if some years should pass without their being paid, some four or
five hundred of the aggrieved rise up, and go in a body to the
palace, and send word to the king that they are going away
dismissed, to take service with another king, because he does not
give them food. Then the king sends to beg them to have patience,
and that he will send and pay them immediately. And if he does not
immediately give them a third part of what is due, and an order for
the payment of the rest, they go away to another king, wherever it
appears to them that they can best suit themselves; and they engage
with him, and he receives them willingly, and gives them food for
thirteen days before he has them enrolled for pay. And during this
time this king sends to inquire of their king if he intends to send
and pay them; and if he does not pay them, then he receives them in
his pay, and gives them the same allowances which they had in their
own country, from which and from their king in such a case they
remain disnaturalized. And many undertake, but few perform this,
because their king grants them a remedy, and holds it to be a great
disgrace should they go away.

When these nayrs go to the wars their pay is served out to them
every day as long as the war lasts; it is four taras per day each
man, which are worth five maravedis each,[227] with which they
provide for themselves. And during the time that they are at war,
they may touch any peasant, and eat and drink with them in their
houses, without any penalty. And the king is obliged to maintain the
mother and family of any nayr who may die in the war, and those
persons are at once written down for their maintenance. And if these
nayrs are wounded, the king has them cured at his expense, besides
their pay, and has food given them all their lives, or until they
are cured of their wounds.

These nayrs show much respect to their mothers,[228] and support
them with what they gain, because besides their allowances, most of
them possess houses and palm trees and estates, and some houses let
to peasants, which have been granted by the king to them or to their
uncles, and which remain their property. They also have much respect
for their elder sisters, whom they treat as mothers. And they do not
enter into a room with those that are young girls, nor touch them
nor speak to them, saying that it would give occasion to sin with
them, because they are younger and have less understanding, which
could not happen with the elder ones, on account of the respect they
have for them. These nair women every month set themselves apart in
their houses for three days without approaching anyone; at which
time a woman has to prepare her food in separate pots and pans. And
when the three days are ended, she bathes with hot water which is
brought there, and after bathing dresses in clean clothes, and so
goes out of the house to a pool of water and bathes again, and again
leaves those clean clothes, and takes other fresh ones, and so
returns home, and talks with her mother and sisters and the other
people. And the room where she was for those three days is well
swept and wetted, and plastered with cow dung, because otherwise no
one would dwell there. These women when they are confined, three
days afterwards are washed with hot water, and after getting up from
their confinement they bathe many times each day from head to foot.
They do no business, eat the bread of idleness, and only get their
food to eat by means of their bodies: because besides each one
having three or four men who provide for them, they do not refuse
themselves to any braman or nayr who pays them. They are very clean
and well dressed women, and they hold it in great honour to know how
to please men. They have a belief amongst them that the woman who
dies a virgin does not go to paradise.[229]


In this kingdom of Calicut, and in all the other Malabar kingdoms,
there is a sect of gentile merchants who are called amongst them
brabares, who trafficked also before foreign persons came to port or
navigated in these seas. These still deal, especially in the
interior, in all sorts of goods, and collect all the pepper and
ginger from the nayrs and cultivators, and frequently buy them in
advance in exchange for cotton stuffs, and other goods which come
from beyond the sea. These people are also great changers, and gain
much upon coin. They enjoy such freedom in this country that the
kings cannot sentence them to death, but the chief men of these
brabares assemble together in council, and having arrived at the
knowledge that the offender deserves death, they kill him, the king
having information thereof: and if the king knows first of the
offence before them, he informs them of it, and they kill him with
dagger or lance thrusts. For the most part they are very rich
people, and possess in the country many estates inherited from old
times. They marry only one wife in our fashion, and their sons are
their immediate heirs; and when they die their bodies are burned,
and their wives accompany the body weeping for him: and she takes
from her neck a small gold jewel which he gave her when he married
her, and she throws it into the fire upon him, and then returns to
her house, and never more can be married, however young she may be.
And if she were to die before her husband he has her burned, and may
marry again.

These people are of as pure lineage as the nairs, men and women, and
they may touch one another.


There is another sect of people among the Indians of Malabar, which
is called Cujaven, and which is only separated from the nayrs on
account of a fault which they committed.[230] For this reason they
remained as a separate sect. Their business is to work at baked
clay, and tiles for covering houses, with which the temples and
Royal buildings are roofed; and by law no other persons may roof
their houses except with palm branches. Their idolatry and their
idols are different from those of the others; and in their houses of
prayer they perform a thousand acts of witchcraft and necromancy;
they call their temples pagodes, and they are separate from the
others. Their descendants cannot take any other sect nor any other
occupation. In their marriages they follow the law of the nayrs. The
nayrs may cohabit with their women, provided that they do not
re-enter their houses without washing themselves from that sin, and
putting on a change of clean garments.


In this country there is another sect of gentiles whom they call
manatamar,[231] and their business is only to wash the clothes of
the bramans, kings, and nayrs; and they live by this business, and
they cannot adopt other employments, nor can their descendants. The
men are those that wash, and they wash in their houses in large
tanks and reservoirs which they have got for this purpose. They have
constantly in their houses such a large quantity of clothes to wash,
both of their own and of strangers, that they hire out many of them
day by day to the nayrs who have not got their own, and they pay so
much a day for them when clean; and so each day they return them the
dirty ones, and fetch away clean clothes. And the clothes have to be
suitable to each person. They wash for a great many people for
money, so that they serve all with cleanliness, and they all gain
their livelihoods very sufficiently. Their lineage does not mix with
any other, neither can any other with theirs; only the nayrs can
have mistresses from amongst the women of this lineage, with the
condition that each time that they approach them, they have to bathe
themselves and change their garments before entering their houses.
These washermen have got idolatries of their own, and their houses
of prayer are separate, and they believe in many extravagant things.
They marry like the nairs, their brothers and nephews inherit their
property, and they do not recognise their sons.


There is another set of gentiles, still lower, whom they call
chalien, who are weavers and have no other business except to weave
cloths of cotton, and some of silk, which are of little value, and
are used by the common people. And these also have a sect and form
of idolatry apart. Their lineage does not mix with any others; only
the nairs may have mistresses amongst the women of these people, so
that they do not enter their houses without bathing and changing
their clothes, whenever they have visited them. Many of these are
sons of nairs, and so they are very fine men in their figures; and
they bear arms like the nayrs and go to the wars, and fight very
well. In marriages they have the law of the nairs, and their sons do
not inherit. Their wives have the power of doing what they please
with themselves with the nairs, or with other weavers: and they
cannot mix with any other lineage under pain of death.[232]


Of low people zevil tiver,[233] there are eleven sects, which no
respectable people touch under pain of death: and between each other
there is a great difference and separation, and one family does not
mix with another. The best of these are labourers, whom they call
tiver. Their principal employment is to till the palm trees, and
gather their fruits; and to carry everything for hire from one point
to another, because they are not in the habit of transporting them
with beasts of burden, as there are none: and they hew stone, and
gain their livelihood by all kinds of labour. Some of them learn the
use of arms, and fight in the wars when it is necessary. They all
carry a staff in their hand of a fathom's length as a sign of their
lineage. Most of them are serfs of the nayrs, to whom the king of
the country gives them, in order that their masters may be supported
by their labour, and these protect and shew favour to these slaves.
These people have an idolatry of their own, and believe in their
idols. Their nephews are their heirs, and their sons do not inherit,
because the wives whom they marry get their livelihood with their
bodies, and give themselves to the Moors, natives of the country,
and also to foreigners of all kinds; and this very publicly, and
with the knowledge of their husbands who give them opportunities for
so doing. They make wines in the country, and they alone can sell
it. They take much care not to touch other people lower than
themselves; and live separate from other people. Of this sect
sometimes two brothers have one wife only and both of them live with


I find another sect of people still lower, moguer, which they call
moguer,[234] who are almost like the tivers, but they do not touch
one another. These are the people who transport the king's property
from one place to another when he moves. There are very few of these
in the country, they have a sect of their own, and have no law of
marriage; their wives are public for all, and for strangers. These
people for the most part get their living at sea, they are mariners
and fishermen. They have a separate idolatry: they are slaves of the
kings and nayrs and bramans. There are some of them very rich men
who have got ships with which they navigate, for they gain much
money with the Moors. Their nephews are their heirs, and not their
sons, because they do not marry. They take care not to touch other
people lower than themselves. These people live in separate
villages: their women are very pretty, and whiter than others of
this country, because they are for the most part daughters of
foreigners who are white: they are very smartly dressed and adorned
with gold.


There is another lower set of gentiles called canion. Their business
is to make shields and shades[235]: they learn letters and
astronomy, and some of them are great astrologers, and they foretell
many future things, and form very accurate judgments upon the births
of men. Kings and great persons send to call them, and come out of
their palaces to the gardens and pleasure grounds to see them and
ask them what they desire to know: and these people form judgments
upon these things in a few days, and return to those that asked of
them, but they may not enter the palaces, nor may they approach the
king's person on account of being low people. And the king is then
alone with them. They are great diviners, and pay great attention to
times and places of good and bad luck, which they cause to be
observed by these kings and great men, and by the merchants also:
and they take care to do their business at the times which these
astrologers advise them, and they do the same in their voyages and
marriages. And by this means these men gain a great deal. They
reckon the months, seasons, signs and planets as we do, except that
they have months of twenty-nine, thirty, thirty-one and thirty-two
days: and their first month of the year is April. From May till the
middle of October they have their winter, and during this time it
rains much in that country, and there are frequent storms, without
any cold: and from the middle of October till the end of April is
the summer, of great heat and little wind. And on the coast there
are many land breezes, and frequent changes in the sea breezes. They
navigate their ships in the summer, and in the winter they draw them
up on shore, and cover them up on account of the heavy falls of


Another lower lineage amongst these gentiles is called ajare. Their
business is that of quarry men and carpenters, and others are
blacksmiths, carvers of metals, and silversmiths. These are all of a
sect different from the idolatry of the other people. These people
marry and their sons inherit their property and employments which
they teach them from their childhood. They are slaves of the king
and the nairs, and very skilful in their business.


There is another lower sect of gentiles called mucoa, who are
fishermen and mariners, without other business. They sail in ships
of moors and gentiles, and are quite at home on the sea: they also
live in separate villages. They are great thieves, and shameless:
they marry and their children inherit, and their wives sleep with
whom they like without their thinking ill of it. They have a
separate sect and form of idolatry, and are also slaves of the king
and the nayrs of the country. They do not pay any duty on the fresh
fish which they sell, and if they dry it they pay four per cent.
duty: and the fresh fish is very cheap. This is the chief food in
use amongst the Indians, for they are people who eat very little
meat on account of the country being very populous[236] and of few
flocks. There are some of these fishermen who are very rich and well
supplied, they have large houses and property. The king takes them
when he pleases, and puts much pressure on them because they are


There is another lower sect of gentiles called betua. Their business
is to make salt, to plough and sow rice, and they do not live by
anything else: they have houses in the country apart from the roads
where respectable people pass. These people have a form of idolatry
of their own: they also are slaves of the king and of the nayrs.
They live very miserably: the nayrs make them keep far aloof from
them, and speak to them from a great distance: they have no
intercourse with other people. They are married and their children


There is another sect even lower of these people, called paneu,[237]
who are great practisers of witchcraft, and they do not gain their
living by anything else than charms. They visibly speak with devils
who put themselves within them, and make them do awful things. When
any king falls ill of fevers or any other illness, he immediately
sends to call these men and women; of whom the most accomplished
charmers come with their wives and children. Twenty-two families
establish their dwellings at the gate of the palace of the king, or
house of the person who is suffering, and has sent to call them: and
there they set up a tent of coloured cloth in which they all place
themselves. And there they paint their bodies with colours, and make
crowns of painted paper and cloth, and other inventions of many
sorts, with plenty of flowers and herbs, and great bonfires, and
lighted lamps, and kettle-drums, trumpets, horns, and lutes, which
they sound; and in this manner they come out of the tent two and
two, with their swords in their hands, shouting and jumping, and
running about the place or the court of the palace, and they jump
upon one another's backs, and go on this way for some time, sticking
one another with knives, and pushing one another naked and
barefooted into the fire, until they are tired; and so they come out
both men and boys two and two together to do the same thing again:
and the women shout and sing with a great noise. And they go on this
way for two or three days, night and day, always performing
together, and they make rings of earth, and lines of red ochre and
white clay, and spread upon them rice and flowers of various
colours, and put lights all round, and go on this way until the
devil, for whose service they do all this, enters into one of them,
and makes him say what the king is suffering from, and what must be
done to cure him. And then they tell it to the king, and he remains
satisfied and gives them many presents, and does what they tell him,
either as to making offerings to their idols, or any other matter
which they enjoin him to do. And so he gets well by the work of the
devil, to whom they all belong. These also live separated from
intercourse with the nayrs and respectable people, and do not touch
any other sect. They are great hunters and archers: they kill many
boars and stags upon which they maintain themselves. They are
married and their children inherit.


There is another sect of people still lower, who are called
renoleni,[238] who live in the mountains very poorly and miserably.
And they have no other occupation than bringing wood and grass to
the city for sale, to support themselves. And these people have no
intercourse with any others, nor others with them, under pain of
death; and they go naked, covering only their middles, many of them
do so with only leaves of trees, and some with small and very dirty
cloths. They marry and their children are their heirs. The women
wear much brass on their ears, necks, arms, and legs, in bracelets,
rings, and beads.


There is another lower sect of gentiles called puler.[239] These are
held as excommunicated and accursed; they live in swampy fields and
places where respectable people cannot go: they have very small and
abject huts, and plough and sow the fields with rice, they use
buffaloes and oxen. They do not speak to the nairs, except from a
long way off, as far as they can be heard speaking with a loud
voice. When they go along the road they shout, so that whoever comes
may speak to them, and that they may withdraw from the roads, and
put themselves on the mountains. And whatever woman or man should
touch these, their relations immediately kill them like a
contaminated thing: and they kill so many of these pulers until they
are weary of it, without any penalty. These low people during
certain months of the year try as hard as they can to touch some of
the nair women, as best they may be able to manage it, and secretly
by night, to do harm. So they go by night amongst the houses of the
nayrs to touch women, and these take many precautions against this
injury during this season. And if they touch any woman, even though
no one see it, and though there should be no witnesses, she, the
nair woman herself, publishes it immediately, crying out, and leaves
her house without choosing to enter it again to damage her lineage.
And what she most thinks of doing is to run to the house of some low
people, to hide herself, that her relations may not kill her as a
remedy for what has happened, or sell her to some strangers as they
are accustomed to do. And touching is in this manner, that even if
there is no contact from one person to another, yet by throwing
anything, such as a stone or a stick, if the person is hit by it, he
remains touched and lost. These people are great charmers, thieves,
and very vile people.


There is yet another sect of people among them still lower, who live
in desert places, called pareni. These likewise do not converse with
any one. They are looked upon as worse than the devil, and as
altogether condemned:[241] so that by looking at them only they
consider themselves as defiled and excommunicated, which they call
contaminated. They support themselves on yname, which is like the
root of the maize which is found in the island of Antilla, and on
other roots and wild fruits, and they cover themselves with leaves
and eat the flesh of wild animals. And with these ends the diversity
of the sects of the gentiles, which are in all eighteen, each one by
itself: they live without intercourse or intermarriage of one with


In these kingdoms of Malabar, besides the races of the kings and
gentiles and natives of the country, there are other foreign people
who are merchants and traders in this country, in which they possess
houses and estates; and they live like natives of the country, and
observe their own sect and customs, which are the following.


Some of these are called Chetis,[242] who are gentiles, natives of
the province of Cholmender, which will be mentioned further on. For
the most part they are brown men, and some of them are almost white;
they are tall and stout. These people are considerable merchants and
changers, they deal in precious stones of all sorts, and in seed
pearl, coral, and other valuable merchandise; and in gold, silver,
either bullion or coined, which is a great article of trade amongst
them, because they rise and fall many times. They are rich and
respected, and live very decently; they have very good houses in
streets set apart for themselves; and also their temples and idols
are different from those of the country. They go bare from the waist
upwards, and have cotton cloths many cubits in length wrapped round
them; on their heads they wear small caps, and very long hair
gathered up inside the caps; their beards shaved, and a few pinches
of ashes with sandal and saffron, on their heads, breasts, and arms.
They have holes in their ears, so large that they would almost hold
an egg, full of rings of gold and jewelry, and many gold rings with
jewels on their fingers, and round their waists gold belts, some of
them studded with precious stones. They also carry with them
continually large bags in which their scales and weights are kept,
and their money, and jewels and pearls. And their sons as soon as
they have passed the age of ten do the same, and go about changing
small coin. They are great clerks and accountants, and make out all
their accounts on their fingers: they are great usurers, so much so
that from one brother to another they do not lend a real without
gain. They are very orderly people in their food and expenditure;
they keep account of everything, and are very subtle in their
dealings. Their language differs from that of the Malabars, like
that of Castilians and Portuguese. They marry in our fashion, and
their children are their heirs: and if their wives become widows,
they never marry again, however young they may be; but if the
husband becomes a widower he may marry again. Should the wife commit
adultery the husband may kill her with poison. And these people have
their own jurisdiction, and the king cannot have anything to say in
their deeds and faults; they do justice amongst one another, with
which the king is well-satisfied. When they die their bodies are
burned. They eat all flesh except cow.


There is another sect of gentile merchants in the city of Calicut,
which they call Guzarates, who are natives of the Kingdom of Cambay,
whose customs have already been related; and they observe them in
this city as in their own country. They are men who possess ships,
and trade in spices, drugs, cloth, copper, and other kinds of
merchandise from this place to the kingdom of Cambay, and that of
Decan, where they have other correspondents; and they at the same
time are correspondents of others. They have very good houses in
separate streets, and their temples and idols different from the
others, and many large and small bells in our fashion. The king
shows them great honour and favour, and is much pleased with them
because they give him much revenue from their trade. Some of them
also live in the city of Cananor, and others in Cochin; and so also
in other ports of Malabar. But in general most of them reside in


In all this said country of Malabar there are a great quantity of
Moors, who are of the same language and colour as the gentiles of
the country. They go bare like the nairs, only they wear, to
distinguish themselves from the gentiles, small round caps on their
heads and their beards fully grown. So that it appears to me that
these people are a fifth part of all the inhabitants that there are
in this country. They call these Moors Mapulers, they carry on
nearly all the trade of the seaports: and in the interior of the
country they are very well provided with estates and farms. So that
if the King of Portugal had not discovered India this country would
have had a Moorish king: because many of the gentiles turned Moors
for any offence which they received amongst one another: and the
Moors did them great honour, and if they were women they immediately
married them. These people have many mosques in the country in which
they also unite in council.


There were other foreign Moors in Calicut, whom they call Pardesy.
These are Arabs, Persians, Guzarates, Khorasanys, and Decanys: they
are great merchants, and possess in this place wives and children,
and ships for sailing to all parts with all kinds of goods. They
have among them a Moorish governor who rules over and chastises
them, without the king meddling with them. And before the King of
Portugal discovered the country they were so numerous and powerful
in the city of Calicut, that the gentiles did not venture to dispute
with them. And after that the King of Portugal made himself master
there, and these Moors saw that they could not defend it, they began
to leave the country, and little by little they went away from it,
so that very few of them remain. And at the time that they prospered
in their trade, without any exaggeration, they made ships in this
city of a thousand and of eleven hundred bahars bulk, which make
four quintals each.[243] These ships are with keels like ours and
without any nails, because they sew the planks with mat cords, very
well pitched, and the timber very good. The upper works are of
different patterns from ours, and without decks,[244] with divisions
in which they used to stow much pepper, ginger, cloves, cinnamon,
mace, nutmeg, long pepper, sandal and brazil wood, lac, cardamoms,
myrabolans, tamarinds, bamboos,[245] and all sorts of jewels and
pearls, musk, amber, rhubarb, aloes-wood, many fine cotton stuffs,
and much porcelain. And in this manner ten or twelve ships laden
with these goods sailed every year in the month of February, and
made their voyage to the Red Sea: and some of them were for the city
of Aden, and some for Jiddah the port of Mekkah, where they sold
their merchandise to others, who transported them thence in other
smaller vessels to Turkey and to Suez, and thence by land to Cairo,
and from Cairo to Alexandria. And these ships returned laden with
copper, quicksilver, vermilion, coral, saffron, coloured velvets,
rose-water, knives, coloured camlets, scarlet and other coloured
cloths, gold and silver, and other things, and they returned to
Calicut from August to the middle of October of the same year that
they sailed. These Moors were very well dressed and fitted out, and
were luxurious in eating and sleeping. The king gave to each one a
nair to guard and serve him, a Chety scribe for his accounts, and to
take care of his property, and a broker for his trade. To these
three persons such a merchant would pay something for their
maintenance, and all of them served very well, and when the merchant
bought spices the sellers gave him for each farazola of ginger,
which is of twenty-five pounds, three or four pounds of it for them;
and so of some other goods, which duties the merchant collects to
pay these officials of his. [_Here follow eleven lines in the Lisbon
edition, saying_:--These are white men and very gentlemanlike and of
good appearance, they go well dressed, and adorned with silk stuffs,
scarlet cloth, camlets and cottons: their head-dress wrapped round
their heads. They have large houses and many servants: they are very
luxurious in eating, drinking, and sleeping; and in this manner they
prospered until the Portuguese came to India: now there are hardly
any of them, and those that there are do not live at liberty.
Hitherto I have spoken at length of all the sects, and different
kinds of people of Malabar, and of some set apart in Calicut: now I
will relate the position of each kingdom by itself, and how the said
country of Malabar is divided.]

[_Here follows in the MS. No. 570 of the Munich Royal Library...._


You must know that from Cunbala, country of the King of Narsynga,
towards the south and along the coast to the kingdom of Cananor, and
within it there is a town called Cotcoulam, and on the sea-shore a
fortress in which is a nephew of the King of Cananor, as guardian of
the frontier. And further on there is a river called Nira-pura, in
which is a good town, and seaport, of Moors and Gentiles, and of
trade and navigation: in this town resides the said nephew, who at
times rises up in rebellion: and the king goes to overthrow him with
large forces, and puts him down under his authority. After passing
this place along the coast is the mountain Dely, on the edge of the
sea; it is a round mountain, very lofty, in the midst of low land:
all the ships of the Moors and Gentiles that navigate in this sea of
India, sight this mountain when coming from without, and make their
reckoning by it. When they are going away the ships take in much
good water and wood.... After this at the foot of the mountain to
the south is a town called Marave, very ancient and well off, in
which live Moors and Gentiles and Jews: these Jews are of the
language of the country, it is a long time since they have dwelt in
this place. There is much fishery in the neighbourhood of this
mountain of Dely: which at sea is seen at a great distance by the
ships that are trying to make it.

Further on along the coast is a river in which is a handsome town
entirely of Moors, and all round many Gentiles, and at the entrance
is a small hill on which is a fortress in which the King of Cananor
constantly resides. It contains very good wells and which are very
capacious. This city is called Balapatan, at four leagues from it is
a city of Moors and Gentiles, very large, and of much trade with the
merchants of the Kingdom of Narsynga; this town is called eah
paranco, in which much copper is expended.


Coming to the sea, and passing this town of Balapatan, in which the
king lives, towards the south is a very good town called Cananor.]


On the sea coast near the kingdom of Calicut towards the south is a
city called Cananor, in which there are many Moors and Gentiles of
many kinds, who are all merchants, and possess many large and small
ships. They trade in all sorts of goods, principally with the
kingdom of Cambay and Ormuz, Colan, Dabul Banda, Goa, Ceylon, and
the Maldiu Islands. In this city of Cananor the King of Portugal has
a fortress and a factory and very peaceable trade, and all round the
fortress a town of Christians of the country, married with their
wives, who were baptized after the fortress was made, and each day
some are baptized.


Having passed the said city along the coast towards the south, there
is a town of Moors, natives of the country, which also possesses
much shipping, named Ciecate.[246] [_Here Ramusio says_: Some lines
are wanting here.]


Having passed beyond this place, there is a river which makes two
arms, and near it a large town of Moors, natives of the country, and
very rich, great merchants who likewise possess much shipping. It is
called Tarmapatam, and has many and very large mosques; it is the
last town of the kingdom of Cananor on the side of Calicut. These
Moors when they receive any injury from the king of Cananor,
immediately rise up, and withdraw their obedience until the king
goes in person to remove the injury, and to cajole them. [_Here the
Lisbon edition adds_: and if the Portuguese had not discovered
India, this town would already have a Moorish king of its own, and
would convert all Malabar to the sect of Mahomed.]


At four leagues higher up the said river there is another city of
Moors, very large, rich, and of much trade, which deals with the
people of Narsinga by land, and is called Cotaogato.[247]


Very good pepper grows in this kingdom of Cananor, but there is not
much of it; much ginger is also produced in it, which is not of a
very good quality, called _Hely_ because it is near the mountain
Dely. There grow also much cardamoms, myrobolans, bamboos,
zerubs,[248] and zedoary.[249] There are in this country, especially
in the rivers, very large lizards which eat men, and their scent
when they are alive smells like civet. And throughout the country in
the brushwood there are two kinds of venomous serpents, some which
the Indians call murcas, and we call hooded snakes,[250] because
there is something like an hood on their heads. These kill with
their bite, and the person bitten dies in two hours, though he
sometimes lasts two or three days. Many mountebanks carry some of
these alive in earthen jars, and charmed so that they do not bite,
and with them they gain money, putting them round their necks, and
exhibiting them. There is another kind of more venomous serpents,
which the Indians call mandal, and these kill suddenly by their
bite, without the persons bitten being able to speak any more, nor
even make any movement.


Leaving the kingdom of Cananor towards the south, on the further
side of the river of Tarmapatam, there is a town of Moors of the
country, called Terivangaty, which has shipping; and beyond that
there is another river on which there is another large place, also
belonging to Moors, great merchants and shippers, which is called
Mazery; and beyond Mazery there is another town also of the Moors,
which is called Chemonbay, which also possesses shipping. And the
country inland of these three places is thickly peopled by Nairs,
good men who do not obey any king, and they have got two Nair lords
who govern them, the before-mentioned Moors are under their rule.


Having passed these places there is a river called Pudopotani on
which is a good town of many Moorish merchants, who own many ships;
here begins the kingdom of Calicut.


Further along the coast to the south south-east, is another village
of the Moors called Tircore.


Further on south south-east is another Moorish place, which is
called Pandarani, in which also there are many ships.


Further on to south south-east is another town, at which there is a
small river, which is called Capucad, where there are many
country-born Moors, and much shipping and a great trade of exporting
the goods of the country. In this place many soft sapphires are
found on the sea beach.


Having passed the said place at two leagues further to the south and
south-east, is the city of Calicut, where the King of Portugal has a
very good fortress, made with the good will of the King of Calicut,
after that the Portuguese had routed him; and they have there their
principal fortress.


Beyond this city, towards the south is another city, which is called
Chaliani, where there are numerous Moors natives of the country and
much shipping.


Further on there is another city of the King of Calicut, called
Purpurangari, inhabited by Moors and Gentiles who deal much in


Further on in the same direction are two places of Moors five
leagues from one another. One is called Paravanor and the other
Tanor, and inland from these towns is a lord to whom they belong;
and he has many nairs, and sometimes he rebels against the King of
Calicut. In these towns there is much shipping and trade, for these
Moors are great merchants.


Having passed these towns along the coast to the south there is a
river on which is another city of Moors, amongst whom a few Gentiles
live, and it is called Pananx.[251] The Moors are very rich
merchants and own much shipping. The King of Calicut collects much
revenue from this city.


There is another river further on called Chatna,[252] and higher up
the stream there are many Gentile villages, and much pepper comes
out by this river.


Further on there is another river which divides the kingdom of
Calicut from the country of Cochin, and on this side of the river is
a place called Crongolor,[253] belonging to the King of Calicut. The
King of Cochin has some rights in this place. There live in it
Gentiles, Moors, Indians, and Jews, and Christians of the doctrine
of Saint Thomas; they have there a church of Saint Thomas and
another of our Lady, and are very devout Christians, only they are
deficient in doctrine, of which more will be said hereafter, because
from this place further on as far as Cholmender there dwell many of
these Christians.


In the kingdom of Calicut, as has been said, there grows much pepper
on trees like ivy, which climbs up the palms and other trees, and
poles, and makes clusters; and much very good ginger of the
country,[254] cardamoms, myrobolans of all kinds, bamboo canes,
zerumba, zedoary, wild cinnamon; and the country produces this
though covered with palm trees higher than the highest cypresses:
these trees have clean smooth stems without any branch, only a tuft
of leaves at the top amongst which grows a large fruit which they
call tenga: by this they make profit, and it is a great article of
trade, for each year more than four hundred ships are laden with it
for many parts. We call these fruits cocoas: these trees give their
fruits the whole year without any intermission; and there are others
which support the people of Malabar, so that they cannot suffer
famine even though all other provisions should fail them: because
these cocoas, both green and dry, are very sweet and agreeable, and
they give milk, like that of almonds. Now each of these cocoas when
green has inside it a quart[255] of water very fresh, savoury, and
cordial; it is very nourishing, and when they are dried that water
congeals inside in a white fruit the size of an apple, which is very
sweet and delicious: they eat the cocoa also when dry. They make
much oil of these cocoas in presses as we do, and with the rind
which these cocoa-nuts have close to the marrow, they make charcoal
for the silversmiths, who do not work with any other charcoal. And
with another husk which it has outside the first, which makes many
threads, they weave cordage, which is a great article of trade; and
from these trees they make wine with the sap, which is like spirits,
and in such great quantities, that many ships are laden with it.
With the same wine they make very good vinegar, and they also make
very sweet sugar, which is yellow like honey, and is a great article
of trade in India. With the leaves of the tree they make mats of the
size of the leaf, with which they cover all their houses instead of
with tiles: and with the tree they also make wood for their houses
and for other services, and firewood.[256] And of all these things
there is so great abundance that ships are laden with them. There
are other palm trees of other kinds, and shorter, from which the
leaves are gathered upon which the Gentiles write. There are other
palms, slender and very lofty, and of very clean stems, upon which
grow clusters of fruit the size of walnuts (which the Indians eat
with the betel, which we call Folio Indio), and they call Areca. It
is much esteemed among them and is very acid: there is such a
quantity of it that they fill many ships with it for Cambay and the
kingdom of Decan, and many other parts, after drying and packing it.


Having passed the town of Crongolor, the extremity of the kingdom of
Calicut, towards the south extends the kingdom of Cochin, in which
also there is much pepper. It possesses a very fine large river
where many and great ships enter, both Portuguese and Moorish. And
within it is a large city inhabited by Moors and Gentiles, who are
Chetis and Guzaratys, and Jews natives of the country. The Moors and
Chetis are great merchants and own many ships, and trade much with
Chormandel, Cambay, Cheul, and Dabul, with areca, cocoas, pepper,
and jagara, which is sugar of palm trees. The King of Portugal has a
very good fortress at the mouth of this river, all round which is a
large village of Portuguese and Christians, natives of the country,
who were baptised since the Portuguese have inhabited the country;
and every day many more are converted. And there are likewise many
of the above-named Christians of the doctrine of Saint Thomas, who
come there from Culan and other Gentile places, where they are
accustomed to live. In this fortress and town of Cochin there is
much machinery and apparatus for caulking and refitting ships, and
also galleys and caravels, with as much perfection as in our parts.
And much pepper is put on board at this place, and spices and drugs
which come from Malacca and which are transported every year to

This King of Cochin has but a small country, and he was not a king
before the Portuguese went there, because all the kings of Calicut
when newly come into power, had the custom of entering Cochin and
depriving the king of his state and taking possession of it, and
afterwards they restored it to him again for life. The King of
Calicut observed this as a law, and the King of Cochin used to give
him a tribute of elephants, and so he returned to Calicut. And the
King of Cochin could not coin money, nor roof his houses with tiles,
under pain of losing his state. And now since the Portuguese went
there, the King of Portugal made him exempt from all this; so that
he lords it absolutely and coins money according to his custom.


Beyond this kingdom of Cochin towards the south, the kingdom of
Coulam is entered; between these kingdoms there is a place which is
called Porca, it belongs to a lord. In this place dwell many Gentile
fishermen who have no other business than to fish in the winter, and
in summer to plunder at sea the property of whoever is weaker than
themselves: they have small vessels like brigantines, good rowers,
and they assemble in numbers with bows and arrows, and go in such a
crowd all round any ship that they find becalmed, that they make it
surrender by discharging arrows, and take the vessels or ships and
put the people safe on shore; and what they steal they divide with
the lord of the country, and so they maintain themselves. They call
these vessels catur.


Having passed this place the kingdom of Coulam commences, and the
first town is called Caymcolan in which dwell many Gentiles, Moors,
and Indian Christians of the before-mentioned doctrine of Saint
Thomas. And many of these Christians live inland amongst the
Gentiles. There is much pepper in this place, of which there is much


Further on along the same coast towards the south is a great city
and good seaport, which is named Coulam, in which dwell many Moors
and Gentiles, and Christians. They are great merchants and very
rich, and own many ships, with which they trade to Cholmendel, the
Island of Ceylon, Bengal, Malaca, Samatara, and Pegu: these do not
trade with Cambay. There is also in this city much pepper. They have
a Gentile king, a great lord of much territory and wealth, and of
numerous men at arms, who for the most part are great archers. At
this city, withdrawn a little from it, there is a promontory in the
sea where stands a very great church which the apostle St. Thomas
built miraculously before he departed this life.[257] It must be
known that on arriving at this city of Coulan where all were
Gentiles, in a poor habit, and going along converting some poor
people to our holy faith he brought with him a few companions
natives of the country, although they were very few: and while he
was in this city, one morning there was found in this port of Coulam
a very large piece of timber which had been stranded on the
sea-beach, and news of it was immediately brought to the king. He
sent many people and elephants to draw it out upon dry land, but
they could never move it; and the king himself went in person to it
later, and they were unable to draw it out. And as soon as St.
Thomas saw them despair of the timber, he went to the king, and said
to him: "If I were to draw out this timber would you give me a piece
of land upon which to build a church with it, to the praise of our
Lord God, Who sent me here." And the king laughed at him, and said
to him: "If you see that with all my power it cannot be dragged out,
how do you hope to draw it out." And Saint Thomas answered him: "To
draw it out by the power of God, which is greater." The king
immediately ordered all the land which he asked for this purpose to
be given to him. And when it was granted to him, by the grace of the
Lord, he went alone to the timber, and tied a cord to it, with which
he began to draw it on shore without anyone assisting him. And the
timber followed behind him as far as the place where he wished to
build the church. The king seeing such a miracle commanded that they
should let him do what he pleased with the timber and the land which
had been given him; and that he should be shewn favour, because he
held him to be a holy man. But he did not choose to turn Christian,
and many people became converted to our holy faith. And the said
Apostle whom they call Martoma,[258] called many carpenters and
sawyers of the country, and began to have the timber worked, and it
was so large that it was sufficient by itself for the building of
the whole church. And it is a custom amongst the Indians that when
the workmen or any persons are going to set to work, the master of
the work gives them at midday a certain quantity of rice to eat, and
at night he gives to each man a small coin of inferior gold called
fanam.[259] And St. Thomas at midday took a measure full of sand,
and gave to each of these workmen his measure, which turned into
very good rice, and at night he gave to each one a little bit of the
wood which he was hewing, and they turned into fanams; so that they
went away well satisfied, and so the said Apostle finished the
church of Coulam. And when those people saw these miracles and many
others which our Lord did by this glorious saint, many Indians
turned to the Christian faith, through the whole kingdom of Coulam,
which reaches to the frontier of Ceylon, so that there are more than
two thousand houses of Christians scattered throughout the country
among the Gentiles; and they have a few churches, but most of them
are deficient in teaching and some of them wanting in baptism. And
when the King of the Indians saw so great a change he feared that if
he gave more opportunity for it, the said Christians would multiply
so much that they would be able to rise and possess the country. And
so he began to persecute the said St. Thomas, who withdrew himself
to Cholmendel, and then to a city which was called Muylepur,[260]
where he received martyrdom, and there he is buried, as will be
mentioned hereafter. And so the Christians remained in the kingdom
of Coulam with the before mentioned church which St. Thomas built,
and with others about the country. This church was endowed by the
King of Coulam with the revenue from the pepper, which remains to it
to this day. These Christians had not any Christian doctrine amongst
them, nor were they baptized, only they held and believed the faith
of Christ in a gross manner. And at a certain period they held a
council amongst them and sent men about the world to study the
Christian doctrine, and manner of baptism; these men reached
Armenia, where they found many Greek Christians and a patriarch who
governed them, who seeing their good intention sent with them a
bishop and six priests to baptize them and administer the sacraments
and perform divine service, and indoctrinate them in the Christian
faith. And these remain there for five or six years and then are
relieved for an equal period of time, and so on. And in this manner
they improved themselves somewhat. These Armenians[261] are white
men; they speak Arabic, and have the sacred scriptures in Chaldean,
and recite the offices in that language in our fashion. They wear
tonsures on their heads the opposite of ours; that is to say, that,
where ours shave they wear hair, and where we have the hair they
shave it. They go dressed in white shirts and caps on their heads,
barefooted, and with long beards; they are very devout people, and
say mass on altars like ours with a cross (+) in front of them. And
he who says mass is in the middle of the altar, and those who assist
him are at the sides. They communicate with salt bread instead of a
wafer, and they consecrate of that bread enough for all that are in
the church, and they give it to all of them divided like blessed
bread.[262] Each one who communicates goes to receive it at the foot
of the altar with his hand.[263] The wine is in this manner, because
there is no wine in India; they take raisins which come from Mekkah
and Ormuz, and put them for a night in water; and on the next day
when they have to say mass they squeeze them and with the juice they
say their mass. These priests baptize for money,[264] and go away
from this country of Malabar very rich when they return to their own
country. And many remain unbaptized for want of money.


Further on along the same coast towards the south, is a town of
Moors and Gentiles called Tirinamgoto, which also possesses
shipping. The town and territory belong to a lord, a relation of the
King of Coulam; it is abundantly supplied with provisions, rice and


[Further along the coast is the Cape of Comery where the Malabar
country finishes; but the kingdom of Coulam reaches thirty leagues
further, as far as a city which is called Cael.][265] [At this Cape
Comory there is an ancient church of Christians, which was founded
by the Armenians, who still direct it, and perform in it the divine
service of Christians and have crosses on the altars. All mariners
pay it a tribute, and the Portuguese celebrate mass there when they
pass. There are there many tombs, amongst which there is one which
has written on it a Latin epitaph: "Hic jacet Cataldus Gulli filius
qui obiit anno...."][266][267]


Opposite this country of Malabar, forty leagues to the west in the
sea, there is an archipelago of isles, which the Indians say amount
to twelve thousand; and they begin in front of the mountain Dely,
and extend southwards. The first are four small flat islands, which
are called Malandiva; they are inhabited by Malabar Moors, and they
say that they are from the kingdom of Cananor. Nothing grows in
them, except palm trees (cocoa-nut), with the fruit of which and
rice brought them from Malabar, they maintain themselves. These
islands make much cordage of palm trees, which they call cayro


Over against Panam, Cochin, and Coulam, to the west and south-west,
at a distance of seventy-five leagues are other islands, of which
ten or twelve are inhabited by Moors, brown and small in stature,
who have a separate language and a Moorish king who resides in an
island called Mahaldiu.[268] And they call all these islands
Palandiva. The inhabitants are ill-formed and weak, but are very
ingenious and charming. Their king is elected by some Moorish
merchants, inhabitants of Cananor, and they change him when they
please. These persons receive tribute of him every year in cordage
and other produce of the country. They go there to load their ships
without money, because the people of the country, with or against
their will, have to give these said Moors whatever they wish. There
is much fish in these islands, of which they prepare much
dried,[269] which is a great article of trade. And as ballast for
the ships which take on board these things, they carry away
sea-snails, which are worth a good deal in many parts, and in some,
especially Cambay, they serve as small change. Many fine cotton
cloths are manufactured in these islands, and others of silk and
gold, which are worth a good deal amongst the Moors. They gather
much amber in these islands, of a good quality and in large pieces,
white, grey, and brown; and I asked several of these Moors various
times how the amber was produced: they hold that it is the droppings
of birds, and say that in this archipelago in the uninhabited
islands there are some large birds which perch on the rocks near the
sea, and there void that amber, which becomes refined by exposure to
the air, the sun and the rain, until some storms arise and gales of
wind, which drive the sea waves over the rocks, and this bird-dung
is torn off the rocks in large and small pieces, and so carried out
to sea, where it floats till they meet with it, or it is cast up on
some beach, or that some whales swallow it. And they say that what
is found of a white colour, and which they call ponabar, has been in
the sea only for a short time, and this they value most highly
amongst themselves; and that the other which is found of a greyish
colour, and which they name puambar, has been, they say, in the sea
for a long time, and has taken that colour from floating about in
the water; this also is very good, but not equal to the white; and
what they find of a brown colour and bruised, has been swallowed,
they say, by whales, and turned brown in their bodies, and that it
has such a quality that the whale cannot digest it, and they eject
it whole just as they swallowed it; this they call minabar, and it
is that which among them has least value. In these isles of Maldiva
they construct many large ships of palm tree, sewn together with
matting, for there is no other wood there. Some of these sail to the
mainland, and are ships with keels and of much tonnage; they also
construct there other small rowing vessels, like brigantines and
_fustas_, very pretty and good for rowing, which they use to go from
one island to another; and they likewise cross over to the Malabar
country. Many Moorish ships touch at these islands from China,
Malacojana, Malaca, Samatra, Bengala, Ceylan, and Peygu, on their
passage to the Red Sea: and there they take in water and
refreshments for their voyage. Sometimes they arrive so shattered
that they unload their cargo there, and they let it be lost. Many of
these ships get lost amongst these islands because they do not
venture to come to the Malabar coast from fear of the Portuguese.


Leaving these islands of Mahaldiva further on towards the east,
where the cape of Comory is doubled, at thirty-eight leagues from
the cape itself, there is a very large and beautiful island which
the Moors, Arabs, Persians, and our people call Ceylam,[270] and the
Indians call it Ylinarim. It is a rich and luxuriant land, inhabited
by Gentiles, and ruled by a Gentile king. Many Moors live in the
seaports of this island in large quarters, and all the inhabitants
are great merchants. There are fifty leagues of channel towards the
north-east from the said cape until passing the island of
Maylepur.[271] Both Moors and Gentiles are well-made men, and almost
white, and for the most part stout, with large stomachs, and
luxurious. They do not understand, nor possess arms, they are all
given to trade and to good living. They go bare from the waist
upwards, and below that cover themselves with good cloths of silk
and cotton, caps on their heads, and the ears pierced with large
holes in which they wear many gold rings and jewellery, so much that
their very ears reach to their shoulders: and many rings and
precious jewels on their fingers; they wear belts of gold richly
adorned with precious stones. Their language is partly Malabar and
partly of Cholmendel, and many Malabar Moors come to live in this
island on account of its being so luxuriant, abundant, and very
healthy. Men live longer here than in other parts of India. They
have a great deal of very good fruit; and the mountains are full of
sweet and sour oranges of three or four kinds, and plenty of lemons
and citrons, and many other very good fruits which do not exist in
our parts, and they last all the year. And there is plenty of meat
and fish, little rice, for most of it comes from Cholmendel, and it
is their chief food; much good honey and sugar brought from Bengal,
and butter of the country. All the good cinnamon grows in this
island upon the mountains, on trees which are like laurels. And the
king of the country orders it to be cut in small sticks, and has the
bark stripped off in certain months of the year, and sells it
himself to the merchants who go there to buy it, because no one can
gather it except the king. There are likewise in this island many
wild elephants which the king orders to be caught and tamed; and
they sell them to merchants of Cholmendel, Narsynga, and Malabar,
and those of the kingdoms of Decam and Cambay go to those places to
buy them. These elephants are caught in this manner: it must be
known that they have got other elephants with which they manage it,
and they fasten them with chains in the mountains and woods where
they are bred; and at the foot and all round a tree near the
elephant they make three or four very large pits, covered over with
slender poles, and they strew earth on the top, so that nothing
appears: and the wild elephants seeing the female come to her, and
fall into these pits, where they keep them seven or eight days
half-dead of hunger, and so many men watch them by day and night,
always speaking to them so as not to let them sleep, until they tame
and render them domestic, giving them their food with their hands.
And after they have got them broken in and tame, they take them with
strong chains, and by degrees throw so much earth and branches into
the pit that the elephant gradually rises until he comes out of the
pit, and then they tie him to some tree and keep him some days
watching, with fire, and men who always talk to him, and give him
food in moderation until they make him domestic and obedient. And in
this way they catch them male and female, great and small, and
sometimes two at once in one pit. They make great merchandise of
them, and they are worth much, because they are much valued by the
kings of India for war and for labour, and they become as domestic
and quick at understanding as men. The very good ones are worth in
the Malabar country and in Cholmendel from a thousand to one
thousand five hundred ducats, and the others from four to six
hundred ducats according as they may be, but in the island they are
to be had for a small price. And all have to be brought and
presented to the king. There are also many jewels in this island,
rubies which they call manica, sapphires, jacinths, topazes
jagonzas,[272] chrysoliths, and cat's eyes, which are as much
esteemed amongst the Indians as rubies. And all these stones are all
gathered in by the king, and sold by himself. And he has men who go
and dig for them in the mountains and shores of the rivers, who are
great lapidaries and who are good judges in those matters: so much
so that if they have a few handfuls of earth brought them from the
mountain, at once on seeing it they know if it is of rubies or of
any other stones, and where it comes from. And the king sends them
to look there, and after they have brought them he orders to set
aside each kind, and pick out the good ones, and he has them worked
to have them sold when cut, which he does himself to foreigners; and
the other inferior ones he sells at once to the country merchants.
These rubies which grow here, for the most part, are not of so
brilliant a colour as these which grow in Ava and Capelam, of which
mention will be made further on; and some which come out perfect in
colour are much more highly prized by the Indians than those of
Paygu, because they say that they are stronger. And in order to make
them of a deeper colour they put them into the fire. These
lapidaries whom the king has near him, on seeing a stone before it
is cut, say: this ruby will endure so many hours of fire, and will
remain very good. And the king risks it, and orders it to be put in
a very strong charcoal fire for that space of time which the
lapidary has mentioned to him: and if it endures it without danger,
it comes out more perfect in colour, and is worth very much. And all
the other stones are found and worked in the same manner: and some
stones are found which are half ruby and half sapphire, and others
half topaze and half sapphires, and also cat's eyes. The king has a
great treasure of these jewels, for whenever he meets with any very
good stone he puts it in his treasury.

Close to this island of Ceylam in the sea there is a sand-bank
covered with ten or fifteen fathoms of water, in which a very great
quantity of very fine seed pearls are found, small and great, and a
few pearls: and the Moors and Gentiles go there from a city which is
called Sael, belonging to the King of Coulam, to fish for this seed
pearl, twice a year by custom, and they find them in some small
oysters, smoother than those of our parts. And the men plunging
under the water, where they remain a considerable time, pick them
up: and the seed pearl is for those who gather them, and the large
pearls are for the king, who keeps his overseer there, and besides
that they give him certain duties upon the seed-pearl.

The King of Ceylan is always in a place called Columbo, which is a
river with a very good port, at which every year many ships touch
from various parts to take on board cinnamon and elephants. And they
bring gold and silver, cotton and silk stuffs from Cambay, and many
other goods which are saffron, coral, quicksilver, vermilion which
here is worth a great deal; and there is much profit on the gold and
silver, because it is worth more than in other parts. And there come
likewise many ships from Bengal and Cholmendel, and some from Malaca
for elephants, cinnamon and precious stones. In this island of
Ceylan there are four or five other harbours and places of trade
which are governed by other lords, nephews of the King of Ceylan, to
whom they pay obedience, except that sometimes they revolt. In the
middle of this island is a very lofty mountain range in which is a
very high stone peak, and upon it a pool of spring water, and on
this stone there is the form of a man's foot,[273] which the Indians
say is the footmark of father Adam, whom they call Adam Baba. And
from all those parts and kingdoms the Moors come in pilgrimage,
saying that father Adam went up from there to heaven, and they go in
the habit of pilgrims, with chains of iron, and clothed with skins
of leopards, lions, and other wild animals, and on their arms and
legs they inflict wounds continually along the road to keep up open
sores, saying that they do that for the service of God, and honour
of Mahomed and Adam Baba. And some of them go well provided with
money which they carry hidden to spend it on the jewels of Ceylon.
Before they arrive at this mountain where Adam's footstep is, they
go through swampy land, through valleys full of water, and by the
banks of water, and they have five or six leagues to go with water
to the waist, and all carry knives in their hands to rid themselves
of the leeches which fasten on their legs, and which are
innumerable. And on arriving at the mountain they make the ascent of
it, and they cannot mount up to the pinnacle except by ladders of
iron chains,[274] which it has put round it, of a great thickness.
And on the top of it they wash with the water of that pool, and
perform their prayer: and they say that with that they remain free
and pure of all sin. The said island of Ceylon is very near the
mainland, and between it and the continent are some banks which have
got a channel in the midst, which the Indians call Chylam,[275] by
which all the Malabar sambuks pass to Cholmendel. And every year
many are lost upon these banks because the channel is very narrow:
and in the year that the Admiral of Portugal went the second time to
India, so many ships and sambuks of Malabar were lost in those
shallows, that twelve thousand Indians were drowned there, who were
coming with provisions, and were determined on driving the
Portuguese fleet away from India, without allowing it to take any


Leaving the island of Ceylon and returning to the mainland, after
doubling Cape Comory at twenty leagues to the north-east, is the
country of the King of Colam and of other lords, who live in it
subject to him. And the first place is named Quilacare, in which
country there are many and great towns of Gentiles and several
harbours, where dwell many Moors born in the country. They perform
their voyages in small vessels which they call champana.[276] The
Malabar Moors come to these towns to trade and to bring Cambay
goods, which are worth a good deal there, and a few horses. And they
take in rice and cloths for Malabar. And in this province of
Quilacare there is a Gentile house of prayer, in which there is an
idol which they hold in great account, and every twelve years they
celebrate a great feast to it, whither all the Gentiles go as to a
jubilee. This temple possesses many lands and much revenue: it is a
very great affair. This province has a king over it, who has not
more than twelve years to reign from jubilee to jubilee. His manner
of living is in this wise, that is to say: when the twelve years are
completed, on the day of this feast there assemble together
innumerable people, and much money is spent in giving food to
Bramans. The king has a wooden scaffolding made, spread over with
silken hangings: and on that day he goes to bathe at a tank with
great ceremonies and sound of music, after that he comes to the idol
and prays to it, and mounts on to the scaffolding, and there before
all the people he takes some very sharp knives, and begins to cut
off his nose, and then his ears, and his lips, and all his members,
and as much flesh off himself as he can; and he throws it away very
hurriedly until so much of his blood is spilled that he begins to
faint, and then he cuts his throat himself. And he performs this
sacrifice to the idol, and whoever desires to reign other twelve
years and undertake this martyrdom for love of the idol, has to be
present looking on at this: and from that place they raise him up as


Having left Quilacare, further along the coast, at ten leagues to
the north-east, is another town called Çael,[277] which belongs to
the King of Colam: it is inhabited by Gentiles and great Moorish
merchants, and is a seaport where many ships touch every year from
Malabar, Cholmendel, and Bengala. They deal in all kinds of goods
from all parts at this place. The Chetis of this city are great
lapidaries and artists for setting[278] pearls, which fishery
belongs to the King of Sahel, who has farmed it for many years
forward to a very rich Moorish merchant, who is almost as important
in the country as the king. And this person administers justice
amongst the Moors, without the king's mixing himself up in it. Those
who fish up the pearls, as has been said, fish all the week for
themselves, and on the Friday for the owner of the boat; and all of
them together fish at the end of the season during which they are
there a whole week for this Moor. The king of Colam lives always
near this city, and is very rich and powerful on account of his many
men at arms, who are very good bowmen. He always has in his guard
four or five hundred women, trained from girls to be archers: they
are very active. He sometimes is at war with the King of Narsinga,
who wishes to take his country, but he defends himself very well.


Twelve leagues further on the coast turns to the north, the country
is called Cholmender,[279] and it extends seventy or eighty leagues
along the coast. In it there are many Gentile cities, towns and
villages, and it belongs to the King of Narsinga; it is a land
abounding in rice, meat and wheat, and all sorts of vegetables,
because it is a country which has very beautiful plains. And many
ships of Malabar come here to load rice, and they bring goods from
Cambay to this country, that is to say, copper, quicksilver,
vermilion, pepper and other goods. And throughout all this
Cholmender much spice and drugs, and goods of Malaca, China, and
Bengal are to be met with, which the Moorish ships bring here from
those parts, since they do not venture to pass to Malabar from dread
of the Portuguese. And although this country is very abundantly
provided, yet if it should happen any year not to rain it falls into
such a state of famine that many die of it, and some sell their own
children for a few provisions, or for two or three fanoes, each of
which will be worth thirty-six maravedis. And in these times the
Malabars carry rice and cocoa nuts to them, and return with their
ships laden with slaves, and all the chetis, Gentile merchants, who
live throughout India, are natives of this country of Cholmender;
they are very sharp, great accountants, and dexterous merchants. And
many country-born Moors, mercantile and seafaring men, live in the


Further along this coast, which makes a bend to the north-west and
then turns to the north-east, having left the Cholmendel country, at
a distance of twelve leagues there is a city almost uninhabited and
very ancient, which is called Maylepur; in former times it was a
considerable place of the kingdom of Narsinga. In this city is
buried the body of the apostle St. Thomas, in a small church near
the sea. And the Christians of Cuolam, who are of his doctrine, say
that when St. Thomas left Cuolam, on being persecuted by the
Gentiles, he went with a few companions to that country, and settled
in this city of Maylepur, which at that period was twelve leagues
distant from the sea, which later eat away the land, and came in
upon it. And there he began to preach the faith of Christ, to which
he converted some, whilst others persecuted and wished to kill him,
and he separated himself from the people, and went about frequently
among the mountains. And one day as he wandered about in that
manner, a gentile hunter, with a bow, saw many peacocks together
upon the ground in that mountain, and in the midst of them one very
large and very handsome standing upon a stone slab; this hunter shot
at it, and sent an arrow through its body, and they rose up flying,
and in the air it turned into the body of a man. And this hunter
stood looking until he saw the body of the said apostle fall. And he
went to the city where he related that miracle to the governors, who
came to see it, and they found that it was indeed the body of St.
Thomas, and then they went to see the place where he had been
wounded, and they saw two impressions of human feet marked on the
slab, which he left impressed when he rose wounded.[280] And when
the governors of the country saw so great a miracle, they said this
man was holy, and we did not believe him; and they took him and
buried him in the church where he now is, and they brought the stone
upon which he left the said footmarks, and they placed it close to
his grave; and they say that on burying him they could never put his
right arm in the tomb, and it always remained outside; and if they
buried him entirely, next day they found the arm above the earth,
and so they let it be. The Christians, his disciples and companions
who built the said church, and the Gentiles already held him for a
saint, and honoured him greatly. He remained thus with his arm
outside of the grave for a long time, and they say that many people
came there from many quarters in pilgrimage,[281] and that some
Chinese came also, who wished to cut off his arm and carry it away
as a relic, and that when they were about to strike at it with a
sword, he withdrew his arm inside, they say, and it was never seen
again. So he remains still in that hermitage, very humbly, and
lighted up by the grace of God, because the Moors and Gentiles light
him up, each one saying that he is something belonging to them. And
the house and church are ordered in our fashion, with crosses on the
altar, and at the top of the vault a great wooden cross, and
peacocks for a device: this church is much deteriorated. All round
it there is much brushwood, and a poor Moor takes care of that
building and begs alms for it, and for the lamp, which still
continues burning. The Christians of India still go there as
pilgrims, and carry away thence as relics some little pellets of
earth of the tomb of this blessed apostle.


Further on this coast goes forty-three leagues to the north-east and
twelve leagues to the north, there is another city of the kingdom of
Narsinga, inhabited by Moors and Gentiles, great and rich merchants,
it is called Palecate,[282] and is a harbour at which many Moorish
ships touch, coming from divers parts with all kinds of goods. It
also has much trade with the interior of the kingdom, and they sell
there many jewels which are brought from Peygu, especially rubies
and spinel-rubies of a good quality, and much musk. These jewels may
be had for very little there, by whoever knows how to buy well. The
King of Narsynga keeps his governors in this city, and collectors of
his revenues. In this place they make many good coloured cotton
stuffs which are worth much in Malaca, Peigu, and Samatra, also in
the kingdom of Guzurate and Malabar they are much valued for the
clothing both of Moors and Gentiles. Copper, quicksilver, vermilion,
opium, and many Cambay goods fetch a good price, so also scarlet
cloth, coral, saffron, velvets from Mekkah, and rose water.


Having passed this city of Palecate further along the coast which
trends to north-east by north as far as Marepata, a distance of a
hundred and forty leagues, in which there are many other places
belonging to the kingdom of Narsynga, as far as the kingdom of


Further on after passing Marepata, along the coast which trends from
hence to north-east by east, the kingdom of Horisa commences. It is
of the Gentiles, very good fighting men, and the king is frequently
at war with the king of Narsynga, and is powerful in the numbers of
his foot soldiers. The greater part of his country is withdrawn from
the sea, and has few seaports and little trade. His territory
extends seventy leagues along the coast as far as the river Ganges,
which they call Guenga,[283] and on the other side of this river
commences the kingdom of Bengala, with which he is sometimes at war.
And all the Indians go in pilgrimage to this river to bathe in it,
saying that with this they all become safe, because it issues from a
fountain which is in the terrestrial paradise. This river is very
great and magnificent, it is studded on both banks with opulent and
noble cities of the Gentiles. Between this river and the Eufrates
are the first and the second India, a territory very abundant and
well provided, very healthy and temperate, and from this river
further on to Malaca is the third India, according as the Moors say.


Having passed the river Ganges, along the coast twenty leagues to
north-east by east and twelve leagues to the south-west, and then
twelve leagues to the east until reaching the river Paralem,[284] is
the kingdom of Bengala, in which there are many towns, both in the
interior and on the sea-coast. Those of the interior are inhabited
by Gentiles, subject to the King of Bengal, who is a Moor; and the
seaports are inhabited by Moors and Gentiles, amongst whom there is
much trade in goods and much shipping to many parts, because this
sea is a gulf which enters towards the north, and at its inner
extremity there is a very great city inhabited by Moors which is
called Bengala,[285] with a very good harbour. Its inhabitants are
white men and well formed. Many foreigners from various parts live
in this city, both Arabs and Persians, Abyssinians[286] and Indians,
who congregate here on account of the country being very fertile and
of a temperate climate. They are all great merchants, and own large
ships of the same build as those of Mekkah, and others of the
Chinese build which they call jungos, which are very large and carry
a very considerable cargo. With these ships they navigate to
Cholmender, Malabar, Cambay, Peigu, Tarnasari, Samatra, Ceylon, and
Malaca; and they trade in all kinds of goods, from many places to
others. There is much cotton in the country, and sugar cane
plantations, and very good ginger and much long pepper. They
manufacture many kinds of stuffs, extremely fine and delicate,
coloured for their own use, and white for trade to all parts; they
call them saravetis, and they are excellent for women's head gear,
and much valued for that purpose: the Arabs and Persians make caps
of this stuff, in such great quantities, that every year they fill
several ships with them for different places. And they make others
which they call mamuna, and others duguza, and others chautar, and
others called topan and sanabafos which are the most valued for
their shirts, and which are very durable. They are all of the length
of twenty cubits, very little more or less, and in this city they
are all at a low price. They are spun by a man with a wheel and
woven. White sugar of very good quality is made in this city, but
they do not know how to join it to make loaves, and so they pack it
up in powder in stuff covered over with raw hide, well sewn up. They
load many ships with it and export it for sale to all parts. And
when these merchants were accustomed to go freely and without dread
to the parts of Malabar and Cambay with their ships, the quintal of
this sugar was worth two ducats and a half in Malabar, and a good
sinabafo was worth two ducats, and a piece of muslin for women's
caps three hundred maravedis; and a chautar of the best quality six
hundred maravedis. And those who brought them gained much money.
They likewise make many preserves in this city of Bengal, very good
ones of ginger, and of oranges, lemons and other fruits which grow
in the country. There are also in this country many horses, cows and
sheep, and all other meats in great abundance, and very extremely
large hens. The Moorish merchants of this city go into the interior
of the country and buy many Gentile children of their fathers and
mothers, or of others who steal them, and castrate them, cortandole
todo de manera que quedan rasos como la palma de la mano. Some of
them die of it, and those who recover they bring them up very well,
and sell them as merchandise for twenty or thirty ducats each to the
Persians, who value them much as guards to their wives and
houses.[287] The respectable Moors of this city go dressed in long
morisco shirts reaching to the instep, white and of slight texture,
and underneath some cloths wrapped round below the waist, and over
the shirt a silken sash round the waist, and a dagger set with
silver; they wear many jewelled rings on their fingers, and fine
cotton caps on their heads. They are luxurious people, who eat and
drink a great deal, and have other bad habits. They bathe frequently
in large tanks which they have in their houses: they have many
servants, and have each of them three or four wives, and as many
more as they can maintain. They keep them very much shut up and very
richly dressed and adorned with silks and jewels set in gold; they
go out at night to visit one another and to drink wine, and hold
festivals and marriage feasts. They make various kinds of wine in
this country, chiefly of sugar and palm trees, and also of many
other things. The women are very fond of these wines, and are much
accustomed to them. They are great musicians both in singing and
playing on instruments. The men of the common people wear short
white shirts half way down the thigh, and drawers, and very small
head wraps of three or four turns; all of them are shod with
leather, some with shoes, others with sandals, very well worked,
sewn with silk and gold thread. The king is a great lord and very
rich, he possesses much country inhabited by Gentiles, of whom every
day many turn Moors, to obtain the favour of the king and governors.
This king possesses more territory further on the before named gulf,
inhabited by Moors and Gentiles, both inland and on the sea coast,
which turns to the south.


Having passed the kingdom of Bengala, along the coast which turns to
the south, there is another kingdom of Gentiles called Berma.[288]
In this there are no Moors, nor are there sea ports which can be
made use of for trade in merchandise. The people of this kingdom are
black men and go naked, for they only cover their middles with
cotton cloths. They have their idolatries and houses of prayer. They
frequently are at war with the King of Peigu. We have no further
information respecting this country because it has no shipping. It
is only known that it borders on the kingdom of Bengala on one side,
and on the kingdom of Peigu on the other. And it has a gulf in the
middle which enters the country in a direction north-east by east
forty leagues, and is fourteen leagues wide at the mouth and twenty
leagues wide further in, and in the middle of it is a large island
which is thirty-six leagues long and from four to ten leagues broad.


Inland of this kingdom of Berma towards the north is another kingdom
of Gentiles, very large and which has no sea ports. It also borders
on the kingdom of Bengal and the kingdom of Ava, and it is called
Ere can guy. The king and people of this kingdom are Gentiles. It is
said that this king possesses many cities and towns, and horses and
elephants. These elephants are brought from the kingdom of Peigu.
These people are brown men, naked from the waist upwards, and
wrapped round below the waist with cotton and silk cloths; they use
many ornaments of gold and silver. They venerate idols and have
large houses of prayer. This king is very rich in money, and
powerful from the number of his men at arms: he is often at war with
his neighbours, and some of them obey him against their wills, and
render him tribute. He lives in great luxury, and possesses very
good houses in all the towns where he resides, which have got many
pools of water, green and shady gardens, and good trees. They have
also got many women at their caprice, and have no law of marriage.
In twelve towns of his kingdom he has twelve first-rate palaces in
which he has many women brought up; that is, in each of these cities
he has a governor who each year takes twelve girls born in that
year, daughters of persons of the highest rank and the prettiest to
be found; and he has them carefully brought up at the expense of the
king, in these palaces, up to the age of twelve years; they are very
well dressed, and taught thoroughly to dance and sing and play on
musical instruments; in this way each palace constantly contains
many of them of tender age. And at the end of the year the governor
conducts to the king at whatever place he may be at, twelve damsels
of the age of twelve years. The king orders them to be well dressed
and to have the name of each one written on their clothes, and the
next morning he orders them to be sent up to a terrace in the sun,
and there remain fasting until midday. And they perspire so much
with the heat of the sun that their clothes become damp, and then
the king orders them to be taken to a room where they change their
clothes. And the damp garments which they have thrown off are all
carried to the king, who smells them, and those which do not smell
bad he keeps for himself, and those which smell bad from the
perspiration he makes a present of to those of his courtiers who are
there present, as also the damsels who had worn them, who are known
by the names written on the clothes. The other damsels whose clothes
did not smell ill from the perspiration the king keeps for
himself.[290] And thus he is always accustomed to do, and in this
way they bring to him from all these twelve cities a hundred and
forty-four girls, whom he distributes in the manner above described.
And he has many amusements in the way of hunting, games, music,
feasting and other things.


Returning to the sea coast, after passing the kingdom of Berma,
towards the south and south-east, there is another kingdom of
Gentiles, very wealthy, well supplied with everything, and of great
trade in merchandise by sea. It is called Peygu,[291] and extends
seventy-five leagues. This kingdom has three or four sea ports in
which are many Moorish and Gentile inhabitants, who are very great
merchants. And the actual city of Peigu is seven or eight leagues
distant from the sea,[292] on the arm of a very great river which
runs through this kingdom, and comes from some very high mountains.
During certain months of the year there is so great an increase of
water, that the river leaves its bed and irrigates a large extent of
land, from which a great deal of rice is gathered. They ship from
these ports a great quantity of provisions in vessels which have
three or four high masts, which they call jungos, for Malaca,
Samatara, and other parts, and amongst other things much rice is
shipped, and cane sugar, brown and loaf. Many Moorish ships from
different parts assemble at these ports of Peigu, and bring thither
much cloth of Cambay and Palacate, coloured cottons and silks, which
the Indians call patola, which are worth a good deal there; they
also bring opium, copper, scarlet cloth, coral in strings, in
branches, and polished, quicksilver, vermilion, rose water, and a
few drugs from Cambay. In this kingdom they ship very fine lac which
grows there. There is much trade in cloves and mace and other
Chinese goods, and musk and rubies, which come thither from inland
from a city called Ava, of which mention will be made hereafter. The
people of this kingdom go undressed, they only cover their middles.
They are not warlike, and possess few weapons, and those wretched
ones. They are very voluptuous, y traen en los capirotes de sus
miembros unos cascaveles redondos cosydos soldados entre la carne y
el cuero por hazerselos mayores, algunos traen tres, y algunos
cinco, y algunos syete, y dellos de oro y de plata, y otros de
metal, los quales les van sonando de que andan y an lo por mucha
gentileza y las mugeres huelgan mucho con ellos y no quieren hombres
que no los tengan, y los que mas honrados son, esos los traen mas y
mayores. (_The Lisbon edition continues_: e nom diga mais deste
costume pola desonestidade.)[293] The king is called the King of the
White Elephant, and in this kingdom there are very high mountains
where many wild elephants are bred; and they have a rule to catch
one every day, and the king orders food to be sent them and has them
brought up. He has a great quantity of them which he sells to
merchants who come there to buy them, to take them to Pelecate,
whence they go on to Narsynga, Malabar and Cambaya. There are
likewise many small horses which go at an amble, which they make
great use of; they also have horses on which they ride à la
bastarda,[294] and with these and the elephants, and infantry, they
carry on war. There are also many sheep and swine, wild and domestic
in this kingdom, and the people are great sportsmen and hunters.


In this same kingdom of Peygu towards Malaca, there are three or
four seaports, of which I do not know the name, amongst them is one
very good sea port called Martaban,[295] which is seventy-five
leagues to the south south-east from the before-mentioned gulf. Many
ships touch at it, and trade there and stow provisions and other
goods, especially lac of a very good quality, which grows in the
country itself; and the Moors of Persia and India call it
lucomartaban. And it also grows in the country of Narsinga, but not
so good as this: they say of this lac that it is gum of trees,
others say that it grows on the slender branches of the trees, just
as in our parts the berries grow. And this explanation appears the
most natural. And so they bring it in small sticks, which naturally
cannot produce so much gum. In this town of Martaban very large and
beautiful porcelain vases are made, and some of glazed earthenware,
of a black colour, which are highly valued amongst the Moors, and
they export them as merchandise, and they also carry away from this
country much benjuy in large loaves.


Inland beyond this kingdom of Peigu between the kingdom of Daran
cangui and the kingdom of Dansiam, to the east there is another
kingdom of Gentiles which has a king who resides in a very great and
opulent city called Ava,[296] eight days' journey from the sea; a
place of rich merchants, in which there is a great trade of jewels,
rubies, and spinel-rubies, which are gathered in this kingdom. Many
foreign merchants flock thither from many parts to buy these jewels,
and likewise much musk which is found there. And the king commands
all to be gathered for himself, and sells it himself to the
merchants of the country who sell it to the foreign merchants. The
merchants bring there for sale quicksilver, vermilion, coral,
copper, saffron, rose-water, opium, scarlet cloth, coloured velvet
from Mekkah, and many other things from the kingdom of Cambay, and
the jewels and musk are sold here at a low price in exchange for
these goods. These rubies and spinel-rubies are found in the
mountains and banks of rivers, by making many holes, and mines where
they find these spinel-rubies; and on the surface of the earth and
underneath it the rubies are found. The men of the country are very
skilful lapidaries who know and cut them well. The musk is found in
some small white animals, like gazelles, and they have teeth like
elephants, but small.

These animals are born with sorts of tumours under the belly and the
breast, and these ripen, and after they are mature and have formed
like matter, they have so much itching in them that they go to rub
themselves against the trees, and the drops which fall from these
tumours are of the best and most excellent musk, and the hunters,
who pursue them with dogs and nets and other snares, follow their
tracks by the smell, and they find these grains of fine musk, and by
following them they catch them alive, and bring them to houses
appointed for that purpose, where they entirely cut off these
tumours with the skin, and they let them dry. These are the genuine
musk pouches, of which very few are exported, because they falsify
them, and they do it in this way. It must be known that on taking it
from the living animal, they place many leeches on the wounds, and
allow them to gorge themselves with blood, and when full they put
them in the sun to dry, and of these they put so many that the
animal falls dead without any blood, and afterwards they skin it,
and with the skin they make several counterfeit pouches, which look
like the real ones. Having pounded the leeches and reduced them to
powder; with the powder they make grains in their hands, and add one
weight of good musk taken from the real pouches, to a hundred of
this blood of the leeches, and having mixed up the whole, they fill
with it the counterfeit pouches, and they look very good. And they
also esteem it in these parts as very fine, because the merchants
through whose hands it passes adulterate it still further. The real
musk is so strong that on putting it to the nostrils it causes the
blood to issue. In this kingdom there are many elephants, horses and
men devoted to war: and it is a country well supplied with


Further inland than the said kingdom of Ava, at five days' journey
to the south-east is another city of Gentiles which has a ruler who
is subject to the said King of Ava. This city is called
Capelan,[297] and all round it are likewise found many and excellent
rubies, which they bring to sell at the city and fair of Ava, and
which are better than those of Ava.


Having passed the kingdom of Peigu, further along the coast to the
south south-east towards Malaca, eighty-seven leagues from Martaban
towards Malaca, and further on in the country is the kingdom of
Ansiam,[298] which is of the Gentiles. And the king is a Gentile and
a great ruler, and inland his borders are from this coast unto the
other side, which is the coast of China: and he has seaports on both
sides. He is the lord of many people both horse and foot, and of
many elephants. And he does not allow any Moor to bear arms in his
country. And from the kingdom of Peigu as far as a city which has a
seaport, and is named Tanasery,[299] there are a hundred leagues. In
this city there are many Moorish and Gentile merchants, who deal in
all sorts of goods, and own ships, with which they navigate to
Bengal, Malaca, and other parts. In the inland parts of this kingdom
there grows much good benjuy, which is a resin of trees which the
Moors call luban javi,[300] and it is of two kinds, that is to say,
one which does not smell except in the fire, and the other of much
scent, of which the good and genuine storax is made in the Levant,
before extracting from it the oil, which in the Levant is extracted
from it. And many ships of Moors and from other parts congregate at
this port of Tanasary, and bring them copper, quicksilver,
vermilion, scarlet cloth, silks, coloured velvets from Mekkah,
saffron, coral, wrought and in strings, rose-water from Mekkah in
little bottles of tinned copper, and it is sold by weight with the
bottle; opium, Cambay stuffs, and all these goods fetch a high price
at this place.


Having left this town of Tanasery further along the coast towards
Malaca there is another seaport of the kingdom of Ansiam, which is
called Queda,[301] in which also there is much shipping, and great
interchange of merchandise. And many ships of the Moors and from
other parts come there. Very good pepper grows in the country, which
they carry to Malaca, and thence to China. This King of Ansiam has
three other sea ports between Malaca and Tenasery, of which I do not
know the names, and he possesses many cities, towns, and other
villages. Throughout the country in the interior the people are
Gentiles, and Moors do not enter there, and if at any time any Moor
goes there to trade with them, they do not permit him to carry arms.
There is much gold in this kingdom which is collected in the
country, particularly in the lordship of Pani[302], which is beyond
Malacca towards China, and has always belonged to the kingdom of
Siam, until now that it has risen up against it, and does not obey
it, but has rather placed itself in subjection to the King of
Malacca. And so likewise in this kingdom of Siam, there is another
lordship and country of Gentiles, in subjection to it, which is
called Sara hangor,[303] in which there is much tin, which they
carry to the city of Malacca as merchandise, and hence they carry it
to all parts. The king and people of the kingdom of Ansyam, who are
Gentiles, greatly honour their idols, and have many customs
different from those of the other nations. They go naked from the
waist upwards, and some wear small jackets of silk stuffs. The
country is very well supplied with provisions, flesh of domestic and
wild animals, and rice. They have many horses of a small breed, and
much fruit of various qualities. The men are great hunters and
sportsmen. In the interior of the country towards China, there is
another kingdom of Gentiles which is in obedience to him, (the King
of Siam) and there, when a relation or a friend dies, they eat him
roasted before a great fire in the middle of a field, where they set
up three poles stuck in the earth, and between them a chain with two
hooks of iron, and they bring the body of the man who has died of
illness or of any other death, and they hang him up there by the
hams, roasting him, and his children and relations are there
bewailing him, and after he is well roasted they take wine in cups,
and they have knives with which they all cut from the body and eat
of it, weeping all the while, and they drink their wine; and the
nearest relations begin first to eat, and in this manner they finish
eating him, and leave only the bones, which they burn afterwards;
and they say that they give such a burial to their relations on
account of their being of their own flesh, and that they cannot be
any where better buried than in their bodies.[304] And in all the
kingdom of Ansyam they burn the dead bodies, because that is the
custom of all the Gentile countries.


The said kingdom of Ansyane throws out a great point of land into
the sea,[305] which makes there a cape, where the sea returns again
towards China to the north; in this promontory is a small kingdom in
which there is a large city called Malaca; and in former times it
belonged to the kingdom of Ansyam. And the Moors of the town and
foreign Moors, established their trade in this city, in which they
increased so much in wealth, that they revolted with the country and
caused the neighbouring inhabitants to turn Moors, and they set up a
Moorish king over them, without paying further obedience to the said
King of Ansyam. Many Moorish merchants reside in it, and also
Gentiles, particularly Chetis, who are natives of Cholmendel: and
they are all very rich and have many large ships, which they call
jungos. They deal in all sorts of goods in different parts, and many
other Moorish and Gentile merchants flock thither from other
countries to trade; some in ships of two masts from China and other
places, and they bring thither much silk in skeins,[306] many
porcelain vases, damasks, brocades, satins of many colours, they
deal in musk, rhubarb, coloured silks, much iron, saltpetre, fine
silver, many pearls and seed pearl, chests, painted fans, and other
toys, pepper, wormwood,[307] Cambay stuffs, scarlet cloths, saffron,
coral polished and rough, many stuffs of Palecate, of coloured
cotton, others white from Bengal, vermilion, quicksilver, opium and
other merchandise, and drugs from Cambay; amongst which there is a
drug which we do not possess and which they call puchô, and another
called cachô, and another called magican, which are gall nuts, which
they bring from the Levant to Cambay, by way of Mekkah, and they are
worth a great deal in China and Java. There also come thither many
ships from Java, which have four masts, very different from ours,
and of very thick wood. When these become old they fish[308] them
with other new planks, and in this manner they carry three or four
coverings of planking one above the other; and the sails are of
woven osiers,[309] and the cordage of the same. These bring much
rice, meat of cows, sheep, pigs and deer, dried and salted, many
chickens, garlic and onions. They also bring thither many weapons
for sale, that is to say, lances, daggers and swords, worked with
inlaid metal and of very good steel, they bring likewise cubebs and
a yellow die which they call cazunba, and gold which is produced in
Java. They bring their wives and children in these ships, and there
are some mariners whose wives and children never leave the ship to
go on shore, nor have any other dwelling, but there are born and
die. From this place many ships sail to the Molucca Islands, which
will be mentioned further on, to ship cloves, and they carry there
as merchandise Cambay cloths, and all sorts of cottons, silks, and
other stuffs of Palacate and Bangala, quicksilver, tin, copper
unwrought and wrought into bells, and in a coin which they bring
from China, like ceutis[310] of Portugal, pierced in the middle,
pepper, porcelain, garlic and onions, with other things and drugs
from Cambay; and they traffic much in them. So they navigate in
these ships to other islands which are scattered over all the sea,
that is to say, to Timor, whence they bring white sandal, which the
Indians make great use of; and they carry to them iron, hatchets,
knives, swords, cloths of Palacate and Cambay, copper, quicksilver,
vermilion, tin and lead, little beads from Cambay of all sorts. And
in exchange for these things they carry away the before named
sandal, honey, wax, slaves; and at the Isles of Bandam they ship
nutmeg and mace. These islands supply themselves with goods from
Cambay. These ships also fetch pepper from Samatra, silk in skeins,
benjuy, and fine gold; and from other islands they fetch camphor and
aloes wood; and they also navigate to Tanasery, Peygu, Bengala,
Palecate, Cholmender, Malabar, Cambay, and Aden, with all kinds of
goods, so that this city of Malaca is the richest trading port and
possesses the most valuable merchandise, and most numerous shipping
and extensive traffic, that is known in all the world. And it has
got such a quantity of gold that the great merchants do not estimate
their property, nor reckon otherwise than by bahars of gold, which
are four quintals each bahar. There are merchants among them who
will take up singly three or four ships laden with very valuable
goods, and will supply them with cargo from their own property. They
are very well made men, and likewise the women, they are of a brown
colour, and go bare from the waist upwards, and from that downwards
cover themselves with silk and cotton cloths, and they wear short
jackets half way down the thigh of scarlet cloth, and silk, cotton
or brocade stuffs; and they are girt with belts, and carry daggers
in their waists wrought with rich inlaid work, these they call
querix.[311] And the women dress in wraps of silk stuffs, and short
shirts much adorned with gold and jewellery, and have long beautiful
hair. These people have many mosques, and when they die they bury
their bodies. Their children inherit from them. They live in large
houses, and have their gardens and orchards, and pools of water
outside the city for their recreation. They have got many slaves who
are married with wives and children. These slaves live separately
and serve them when they have need of them. These Moors who are
named Malayos are very polished people, and gentlemen, musical,
gallant, and well proportioned. The Chety merchants from Cholmendel
are for the most part stout and corpulent. They also go bare from
the waist upwards. In this city there are also many people from Java
dwelling in it; they are small stout men, whose breasts and faces
are long and ill formed. They are Moors and go bare from the waist
upwards, and wear cloths ill put on from the waist downwards. They
wear nothing on their heads, and their hair is curled with art, and
some of them are shaved. They are ingenious and subtle in all their
work, and very cunning and treacherous, and of little truth, daring
in all mischief, and unto death. They have very good arms and fight
valiantly. There are some of them who if they fall ill of any severe
illness, vow to God that if they remain in health they will of their
own accord seek another more honourable death for his service,[312]
and as soon as they get well they take a dagger in their hands and
go out into the streets and kill as many persons as they meet, both
men, women and children, in such wise that they go like mad dogs,
killing until they are killed. These are called amuco. And as soon
as they see them begin this work, they cry out saying, amuco,
amuco,[313] in order that people may take care of themselves, and
they kill them with dagger and spear thrusts. Many of these Javans
live in this city with wives and children and property. This city
possesses very good water and fruit, and is very healthy. Other
provisions are brought from outside. The King of Malaca has got much
treasure, and a large revenue from the duties which he collects. To
him the lord of Pam made himself tributary, who was a ruler in the
kingdom of Ansyam, and he raised himself up against it. In this
country of Pam much gold of inferior quality is found. This country
of Malaca was discovered by Diego Lopez de Sequeyra, a Portuguese
gentleman, and after it was discovered the Moors of the country took
certain Portuguese and merchandise by stratagem,[314] and killed
some, on account of which Alfonso de Alborquerque, Captain General
of the King of Portugal in the Indies, moved his fleet, and went
against Malaca to avenge this event, and he attacked and took it by
assault, and drove out the King of Malaca, notwithstanding that the
Moors made a vigorous defence with artillery, spears, arms, guns,
and arrows, and with elephants armed with wooden castles, in which
were good soldiers with their weapons. So that the merchants and
traders of this city surrendered into subjection to the King of
Portugal, without any vexations being done to them. And the
Portuguese immediately built a handsome fortress in this city, which
entirely commands the town and all its trade, as it was before. Much
spoil was taken in this city, and great wealth from those who had
fled. The ruler of Pam, the lord of a gold mine, on knowing that
Malaca was in subjection to the King of Portugal, at once sent an
ambassador to this Captain Major General, offering obedience to the
King of Portugal.


In front of the before named island of Samatra across the Gulf of
the Ganges, are five or six small islands, which have very good
water and ports for ships, they are inhabited by Gentiles, poor
people, they are called Niconbar,[315] and they find in them very
good amber, which they carry thence to Malaca and other parts.


Having passed these islands near the Cape of Malaca, about twenty
leagues to the south[316] there is a large and very beautiful island
which is called Samatara,[317] which has in circumference seven
hundred leagues reckoned by the Moors, who have sailed all round it:
and it has many seaports and kingdoms of Moors and Gentiles. The Moors
live in the seaports, and the Gentiles in the interior of the country.
The principal kingdom of the Moors is called Pedir.[318] Much very
good pepper grows in it, which is not so strong or so fine as that of
Malabar. Much silk is also grown there, but not so good as the silk of
China. Another kingdom is called Birahem,[319] and another Paser,[320]
and another Campar,[321] another Andraguide,[322] another
Manancabo,[323] where much fine gold is collected, which is taken
thence to Malaca, most of it in dust; and another kingdom called Haru,
of Gentiles, who eat human flesh, and any person whom they can catch,
they eat him without any mercy. And it also contains many other
kingdoms of Gentiles in the interior of the country. In some parts of
this island there grows much benjuy, pepper, and long pepper, camphor,
and some ginger, and wax. Many ships sail to this island for these
goods. Cloths and goods from Cambay are worth a good deal in it, and
so also coral, quicksilver, rose-water, dried fish from Maldiu. These
Moors are very disloyal, and often kill their kings and set up others
who are more powerful. The King of Portugal has a fortress in this
island, and trade. And having passed Samatara towards Java there is
the island of Sunda,[324] in which there is much good pepper, and it
has a king over it, who, they say, desires to serve the King of
Portugal. They ship thence many slaves for China.


Further on than this said island towards the western quarter and the
south[325] there are many islands small and great, amongst which
there is one very large which they call Java the Great;[326] it is
one hundred and twenty leagues distant from the Cape of Malaca to
the south south east, and it is inhabited by many Gentiles and
Moors. And in its seaports there are many towns and villages and
large settlements of Moors, with Moorish kings. But they are all
obedient to the king of the island, who is a Gentile, and lives in
the interior of the country, and is a great lord called
Patevdara,[327] and sometimes some rebel against him, and afterwards
he again subjugates them. Some of these Moorish rulers and
inhabitants of Java desire to serve the King of Portugal, and others
are ill affected towards him. They say that this island is the most
abundant country in the world. There is in it much good rice, and
various meats of all kinds, domestic and wild, they make in this
place much dried and salted flesh for many parts. There grows in
this island pepper, cinnamon, ginger, bamboos, cubebs, and gold. Its
inhabitants are short and stout in stature with broad faces.[328]
Most of them go bare from the waist upwards, others wear silk
clothes down to the middle of the thigh, and their beards thin;[329]
the hair shaven on the top and curled upwards, they wear nothing on
their heads, and say that nothing must be on their heads, nor
anything whatever, and if any person ware to put his hand upon their
head they would kill him: and they do not build houses with stories,
in order that they may not walk over each other's heads. They are
very proud men, liars and treacherous; very ingenious as carpenters
and masons, and very good artillerymen. They make in this country
many guns and long muskets, and many other fireworks. And in all
other parts they are much esteemed for this and as artillerymen.
They have got many ships and great navigation, and many rowing
galleys. They are great corsairs and mariners, and they make many
kinds of arms of good temper and of good steel, wrought with very
pretty inlaid work of gold and ivory: they are great sorcerers and
necromancers, and they make arms in certain places and hours, and
they say that those cannot die by steel who wear them, and that they
kill by drawing blood: and others of which they say that those who
bear them cannot be conquered. And they say that there are arms
which they employ eight or ten years to complete, watching for
places, hours and minutes, disposed for these effects: and the kings
prize and take great care of these. They are great sportsmen and
hunters, they have plenty of horses and many good hunting dogs, and
birds of prey for the chase. When they go to hunt they take their
wives with them in handsome carts with canopies and curtains; and
the kings and great lords also go in those carts, which are drawn by
horses when they go hunting. The ladies are white and very pretty in
figure and of pleasing countenances though rather long; they sing
well, are polished in manner, and are very industrious workwomen.


Further out to sea five leagues to the east of the said island of
Java Major is another island also very well supplied with provisions
of all kinds, inhabited by Gentiles, with a Gentile king, and a
language of its own. A few Moors subjects of the Gentile king live
in the seaports. This island is called amongst them Sumbava, and the
Moors, Arabs, and Persians call it Java Minor.[330] And after
passing the said island there is another small island called Oçare,
and a fire always burns in the centre of it. They go much on
horseback and are hunters, and the women take much care of the


Having passed these islands of Java Major and Minor, forty-two
leagues distant from Java Minor to the east south-east there are
many other islands great and small, inhabited by Gentiles and by a
few Moors, amongst which there is an island called Timor,[331] which
has a Gentile king, and a language of its own. Much white sandal
grows there, and those who go for it carry as goods to this island
iron hatchets, large and small, knives and swords, stuffs from
Cambay and Palecate, porcelain, small beads of all kinds, tin,
quicksilver and lead. They also ship in this island honey, wax,
slaves, and some silver which is found in these islands.


Fifteen leagues more to the north-north-west there are five other
islands almost close together, which make a pool between them into
which ships enter. And they enter there on two sides, and these are
called the Bandan Islands,[332] they are inhabited by Moors and
Gentiles, and in three of them there grows much nutmeg and mace upon
trees like laurels, whose fruit is the nutmeg, and upon the nutmeg
is the mace like a flower, and above this there is another thick
rind: and in these islands one quintal of mace is worth as much as
seven of nutmeg, for there is such a quantity of the nutmeg that
they burn it, so that it is almost worth nothing. And to purchase
this mace and nutmeg the merchants carry the following goods: cotton
and silk stuffs of all kinds from Cambay, drugs from Guzerat,
copper, quicksilver, lead and tin; and some coloured caps[333] with
long pile, which they bring from the Levant, and bells from Java
which are worth each one of the large ones twenty bahars of mace,
and each bahar is four quintals. From this island of Bandam to
Maluco, which is towards the north, there are many islands inhabited
and uninhabited, in these they keep as treasure very large metal
bells; ivory, Cambay silk stuffs which they call patolas, and very
fine porcelain. There is no king in these islands, nor do they obey
any one: on some occasions they obey the King of Maluco.


A hundred leagues further on to the north-east towards Maluco, there
are many other islands peopled by Gentiles, they are called the
Dandon islands, each one has a king and a language of its own. In
these islands there are many rowing boats which go out to rob one
another, and make prisoners, whom they kill, or ransom for Cambay
stuffs, which are highly valued amongst them; and each man labours
to obtain such a quantity of these cloths that when placed upon the
ground the bundle would rise to the height of a man's stature; and
those who have as much as that consider themselves as free, since
the ransom of those who are captured is not greater than this


Beyond these islands twenty-five leagues towards the north-east
there are five islands one before the other, which are called the
islands of Maluco,[335] in which all the cloves grow, and they are
of Gentiles and Moors. Their kings are Moors, and the first of them
is called Bachan, the second Maquian, which contains a very good
harbour, the third is called Motil, the fourth Tidory, and the fifth
Ternaty,[336] in which there is a Moorish king who is called Sultan
Benarra Sorala. He was king of all these islands of cloves, and now
all the four have revolted, and have each got a king of their own.
The hills in these five islands are all of cloves, which grow on
trees like laurel, which has its leaf like that of the arbutus, and
it grows like the orange flower, which in the beginning is green and
then turns white, and when it is ripe it turns coloured, and then
they gather it by hand, the people going amongst the trees, and they
put it to dry in the sun, where it turns brown, and if there is no
sun they dry it with the smoke, and after it is very dry they
sprinkle it with salt water for it not to crumble, and that it may
preserve its virtue. And there are such quantities of these cloves
that they never can finish gathering them, so that they let much of
it be lost. And the trees from which they do not gather it for three
years, after that become wild, so that their cloves are worth
nothing. Every year the people of Malaca and Java come to these
islands to ship cloves, and they bring as merchandise, quicksilver,
vermilion, stuffs from Cambay, Bengal and Palecate, drugs from
Cambay, some pepper, porcelain, large metal bells which are made in
Java, dishes of copper and tin. The cloves are worth very little in
these islands, so as to be almost for nothing. This King of Maluco
is a Moor, and almost a Gentile; he has a Moorish wife, and three or
four hundred Gentile damsels whom he keeps in his house, and he has
of many of them Gentile sons and daughters, and only the children of
the Moorish women become Moors. He is served by humpbacked women,
whom he orders to have their spines bent from childhood, for state
and show; and he may have eighty or a hundred of these, who always
go with him and serve him as pages; some give him betel, others
carry his sword, and they render all other services. In these
islands there are many coloured parrots, of very splendid colours;
they are tame, and the Moors call them nure,[337] and they are much
valued amongst them.


Having passed these islands of Maluco to the west of Motil and
Machian, at a distance of a hundred and thirty leagues, there are
other islands to the west, from which sometimes there come white
people, naked from the waist upwards, and they wear cloths round
them made of straw, and have a language of their own. They bring
some ill made boats to ship cloves in the before mentioned islands,
and copper, tin and Cambay stuffs. They bring for sale very long and
broad swords of one edge and other manufactures of iron,[339] and
much gold. These people eat human flesh, and if the King of Maluco
has any person to execute they beg for him to eat him, just as one
would ask for a pig, and the islands from whence they come are
called Celebe.[340]


At no great distance from this island to the west-south-west, at
thirty-six leagues off, is another island of Gentiles which has a
Gentile king over it. The inhabitants of it are accustomed to saw
off their teeth at the roots of the gums. It is called Bangaya,[342]
there is much iron in it, which they carry to all parts.


Seventy-five leagues further on to the north-east in the direction
of China is a very large island and well supplied with various
provisions, which is called Solor,[343] it is inhabited by Gentiles,
almost white men, and well made; they have a Gentile king and a
language of their own. In this island there is much gold, which is
found in the earth; and all round this island the Moors gather much
seed pearl and fine pearls of perfect colour and not round.


Beyond this island to the north more towards China is another island
also very well supplied with provisions, inhabited by Gentiles, who
have a Gentile king and a language of their own. In this island much
camphor for eating is gathered, and the Indians value it highly. It
is worth its weight in silver, and some of it even more. They bring
it made into powder in tubes of cane; and it is worth a great deal
in Narsinga, Malabar, and Decan.[344] This island is called


Having passed this island thirty leagues to the west towards the
country of Ansiam and China, there is another great island of
Gentiles, which is called Champa,[346] which has a king and a
language of its own; and many elephants which are bred there, and
they carry them to many places. There also grows in it aloes wood
which the Indians call eagle, and calambuco; it must be said that
the very fine calambuco and the other eagle wood is worth at Calicut
a thousand maravedis the pound.[347] Between these islands there are
many other islands inhabited by gentiles, and others uninhabited
amongst which there is one in which there are many diamonds which
the people of the country collect and export for sale to many parts
but they are not such nor so fine as those of Narsynga.


Leaving these islands which are many, almost unnumbered, of all of
which the names are not known; and they are towards the north and in
the direction of China, and there is not much information about
them; it is only known that after passing the kingdom of Ansyam and
other kingdoms, there is the kingdom of China, which they say is a
very extensive dominion, both along the coast of the sea and in the
interior of the country; it is a country of Gentiles, and it
possesses many islands in the sea also inhabited by Gentiles,
subject to it, in which the King of China keeps his governors and
officers of his appointment. This king always resides in the
interior of the country in very large and good cities. No foreigner
enters within the kingdom, they can only trade in the sea ports, and
in the islands; and if any ambassador from another kingdom comes to
it by sea, he first gives information of it in order that he may
enter, and afterwards the king bids him be conducted to where he is
staying. The inhabitants of the country are white men, tall,
well-made and gentlemen; and so likewise the women. They have got
only one defect, that their eyes are very small, and on their chins
they have three or four hairs and no more; the smaller their eyes
are, so much the prettier they think them; and the same as regards
the women. They are very smartly dressed, clothed in silk and cotton
and woollen stuffs, and their costumes are like those of Germans;
they are shod with soft leather boots[348] and shoes, like the
people of a cold country. They have a language of their own, and the
tone of it is like that of Germans. They eat on high tables like
ourselves, with their napkins, and for as many as may be there to
eat, they set before each one a plate, a small roll, and a knife,
and a silver cup; they do not touch the food which they are going to
eat with their hands, but eat it with little pinchers of silver or
wood, and they hold in their left hand the dish or porcelain in
which they eat, brought very close to the mouth, and with those
pinchers they eat very quickly. They prepare various kinds of
viands, and eat all meats, and wheaten bread. They drink several
kinds of wine, and many times during their meals. They also eat the
flesh of dogs which they hold to be good meat. They are men of truth
and[349] good gentlemen: they are great merchants of all sorts of
goods. They make much porcelain in the country, and very good, which
is a great article of commerce for all parts. They make them of sea
snail shells well ground and with the whites and shells of eggs, and
of other materials, of which they make a dough, which they put under
the earth to ripen and mature itself, for a space of eighty or a
hundred years, and they leave this mass as a treasure and
inheritance, because as the time approaches for working it so it
becomes more valuable, and in this way they leave it to their sons
and grandsons;[350] and after the time has arrived they work it into
vases of all patterns, and after they are made they enamel and paint
them. There also grows and is produced in this country of China much
very good silk, of which they make a great quantity of stuffs; that
is to say, damasks of all colours, satins of several kinds, and
brocade. There is much rhubarb in this country, and much musk, very
fine silver, seed pearl, and pearls that are not very round. They
also make many other very pretty gilded things in this country; that
is to say, very rich chests and trays of gilt wood, salt dishes,
fans, and other delicate works of ingenious men. They are also great
navigators in very large ships which they call jungos, of two masts,
of a different make from ours, the sails are of matting, and so also
the cordage. There are great corsairs and robbers amongst those
islands and ports of China. They go with all these goods to Malaca,
where they also carry much iron, saltpetre and many other things,
and for the return voyage they ship there Samatra and Malabar
pepper, of which they use a great deal in China, and drugs of
Cambay, much anfiam, which we call opium, wormwood, Levant gall
nuts, saffron, coral wrought and unwrought, stuffs from Cambay,
Palecate and Bengal, vermilion, quicksilver, scarlet cloth, and many
other things. In this country of China the pepper is worth fifteen
ducats the quintal, and more according to the quantity they carry
there, which pepper they buy in Malaca at four ducats the quintal.
Many of these Chinese take their wives and children continually in
the ships in which they live without possessing any other dwelling.
This China borders on Tartary towards the north, and it is a
thousand leagues distant to the north-north-west from the Malucos.


Opposite this country of China there are many islands in the sea,
and beyond them at a hundred and seventy-five leagues to the east
there is one very large which they say is the mainland, from whence
there come each year to Malaca three or four ships like those of the
Chinese, of white people whom they describe as great and wealthy
merchants. They bring much gold in bars, silver, silk and many very
rich silk stuffs, much very good wheat, beautiful porcelain and
other merchandise. And they ship pepper and other things which they
carry away. These islands are called Lequeos,[351] the people of
Malaca say that they are better men, and greater and wealthier
merchants, and better dressed and adorned, and more honourable than
the Chinese. There is not much information about these people up to
the present time, because they have not come to India since the King
of Portugal possesses it.[352]


An end was made of transferring this book from its original in the
Portuguese language, translated into Castilian language, in Vitoria,
the Emperor and King of Spain residing there, on the first day of
March, of the year one thousand five hundred and twenty-four years,
by Min. Cinturion,[353] Ambassador of the Community of Genoa, with
the interpretation of Diego Ribero, Portuguese, Cosmographer of His
Majesty, and Master of the Sailing charts.


Firstly, the rubies grow in the third India, and are for the most
part gathered in a river which is called Peygu, and these are the
best and the finest, which the Malabars call nir puco. Those which
are sold for the prices written below must be very good, without any
blemish: and in order to know their fineness the Indians put the
point of their tongue upon them, and that which is the coldest and
hardest is best: and in order to see its purity they take it up with
wax by the finest point, and so look at it by the light, by which
they see any blemish which it may have got. They are found in very
deep caves which there are amongst the mountains. And in this river
and country of Peygu they clean them, but do not work them, for they
take them to other parts to be worked, principally in Palecate and
the country of Narsynga.

      In Calicut and the whole Malabar country,
      eight fine rubies of the weight of one
      fanam are worth ten fanaes[354]               x fs.         10

      Four rubies of the said weight in perfection
        xx fanaes                                   xx fs.        20

      Two weighing one fanam                        xl fs.        40

      One weighing one fanam                        l fs.         50

      One weighing three quarters of a fanam        xxx fs.       30

      One weighing a fanam and a quarter            lxxv fs.      75

      One weighing a fanam and a half is worth      c fs.        100

      One which should weigh a fanam and
        three quarters                              cl fs.       150

      A ruby which weighs two fanaes is worth       cc fs.       200

      One which should weigh two fanoes and a
        quarter                                     ccl fs.      250

      One of two and a half                         ccc fs.      300

      One of two and three quarters and a half      cccc fs.     400

      One of three fanoes                           ccccl fs.    450

      One of three fanoes and a quarter             d fs.        500

      One of three and a half                       dl fs.       550

      One of three and three quarters               dc fs.       600

      One of three fanoes three quarters and a
        half                                        dcxxx fs.    630

      One of four fanoes                            dclx fs.     660

      One of four fanoes and a quarter              dcc fs.      700

      One of four fanoes and a half                 dcccc fs.    900

      One of five fanoes                            IU fs.     1,000

      One of five fanoes and a half                 IUCC fs.   1,200

      One of six fanoes                             IUd fs.    1,500

They are usually worth these prices if they are perfect, and those
which should not be perfect, or may have any spots, or have not got
a good colour are worth much less, according to the choice of the
buyer. A fanam weighs something more than two carats of our parts,
and eleven fanoes and a quarter are a mitigal,[355] and six mitigals
and a half make an ounce, and each fanan is worth here a real of


There is another kind of rubies which we call spinel rubies, and the
Indians call them carapuch, which are produced in the same country
of Peygu, where the fine rubies grow, and they find them in the
mountains near the surface of the ground. These are not so fine nor
of so bright a colour as the rubies, but they have rather the colour
of scarlet: and those which are perfect in colour and pure, are
worth half less than the rubies.


In the second India there is an island called Ceylan, where many
rubies are found, which the Indians call manica, most of these do
not reach the perfection of the others in colour, because they are
red, and pale, and ruddy.[357] They are very hard and very cold,
and, those which are found in all their perfection of colour are
very highly valued amongst them. And the king of that island has
them found, and keeps the perfect ones for himself, which he sells
with his own hand: and when the lapidaries clean them if they find
one very white they put it by his orders into the fire for a certain
number of hours, and if it endures the fire and comes out sound it
remains of a brighter colour. Such a stone is of great value, and
those of this kind which the King of Narsynga can get into his
hands, he orders them to be bored with a very fine hole on the
underneath side so that the hole reaches to the centre, and they do
not pass it, because the stone can no longer leave the kingdom, and
that it may be known that it has been tried in the fire. And so also
these are worth more than those of Peygu. Their prices are the
following if they are perfect in colour and purity:--

      One which weighs a carat, which is half a
        fanam, is worth in Calicut thirty fanoes      xxx fs.     30

      One of two carats                          lxxv fs.    75[358]

      One of three carats                             cl fs.     150

      One of three carats and a half                  cc fs.     200

      One of four carats                              ccc fs.    300

      One of four carats and a half                   cccl fs.   350

      One of five carats                              cccc fs.   400

      One of five carats and a half                   ccccl fs.  450

      One of six carats                               dxxx fs.   530

      One of six carats and a half                    dlx fs.    560

      One of seven carats                             dcxxx fs.  630

      One of seven carats and a half                  dcclx fs.  760

      One of eight carats very good and tried in
        the fire is worth                             dccc fs.   800

      Such a one of eight carats and a half           dcccc fs.  900

      Such a one of nine carats                       IUC fs.  1,100

      Such a one of ten carats                       IUCCC fs. 1,300

      One of eleven carats of this kind               IUDC fs. 1,600

      One of twelve carats                            nU fs.   2,000

      One of fourteen carats                          mU fs.   3,000

      One of sixteen carats                           VIU fs.  6,000


These balasses are of the class of rubies but not so strong as them,
their colour is rosy and some are almost white, they are found in
Balaxayo[359] which is a kingdom of the mainland near Peygu and
Bengal. The Moors bring them out of that country to all parts; that
is to say, the good and picked ones, cut or uncut, they clean and
work them in Calicut, and they are sold for the prices of spinel
rubies. Those which are not good, and are bored, are bought by the
Moors of Mekkah and Aden for the whole of Arabia, where they are
accustomed to take them.


These diamonds are gathered in the first India in a kingdom of Moors
called Decan, and they carry them thence to all parts. There are
other diamonds which are not so good; some are white and are said to
be of the new mine which is in the kingdom of Narsynga; these are
worth less by a third in Calicut and the country of Malabar, than
those of the old mine; and they are worked in the kingdom of
Narsynga itself. And those of the old mine are not worked in India.
They likewise make false diamonds in India with white rubies,
topazes and sapphires, which look like fine gems and these are found
in Ceylon, and they only differ from diamonds in the colour which
they have by nature. And some of these stones are found half of
which have the colour of the ruby and the other of the colour of the
sapphire, and others of the colour of the topaze, and some of them
have got all these colours mixed. They bore these stones with two or
three very fine threads through them, and they remain as cats' eyes.
And with the stones which turn out white they make a great quantity
of small diamonds which cannot be distinguished from the other
genuine ones, except by the touch[360] and by those who have much
acquaintance with them.

      Eight fine diamonds which weigh a manjar[361]
        are worth xxv or                                xxx fs.   30

      Six weighing one manjar                            xl fs.   40

      Four weighing one manjar                           lx fs.   60

      Two weighing one manjar                          lxxx fs.   80

      One weighing one manjar                             c fs.  100

      One weighing a manjar and a quarter              clxv fs.  165

      One of one and a half                           clxxx fs.  180

      One of one and three quarters                    ccxx fs.  220

      One of one and three quarters and a half         cclx fs.  260

      One of two manjars                              cccxx fs.  320

      One of two and a quarter                        ccclx fs.  360

      One of two and a half                         ccclxxx fs.  380

      One of two and three quarters if in full
        perfection                                   ccccxx fs.  420

      One of this said perfection of three manjars    ccccl fs.  450

      One of three manjars and a half              cccclxxx fs.  480

      One of four manjars                                dl fs.  550

      One of five manjars                              dccl fs.  750

      One of six manjars                              dcccc fs.  900

      One of seven manjars                            IUCC fs. 1,200

      One of eight manjars                          IUCCCC fs. 1,400

These go on increasing in price in proportion, and each manjar
weighs two taras and two-thirds, and two taras make a carat even
weight, and four taras weigh a fanam.


The best and most genuine sapphires are found in Ceylon, they are
very strong and fine, and those which are in all perfection, and
purity, and of a fine blue colour, are worth the following prices.

      One which weighs a carat two fanaes                ii fs.    2

      One weighing two                                   vi fs.    6

      One weighing three carats                          x fs.    10

      One weighing four carats                            xv fs.  15

      One weighing five carats                         xviii fs.  18

      A weight of six                                    xxv fs.  25

      One of seven                                      xxxv fs.  35

      One of eight carats                                  l fs.  50

      One of nine                                        lxv fs.  65

      One of ten carats                                 lxxv fs.  75

      A sapphire weighing eleven carats is worth         xc. fs.  90

      One of twelve                                     cxx fs.  120

      One perfect in purity and colour weighing
        thirteen carats                               cxxxv fs.  135

      One of fourteen carats                            clx fs.  160

      One of sixteen two hundred fanoes                  cc fs.  200

      One of eighteen                                   ccl fs.  250

      One of twenty                                     ccc fs.  300

      One weighing a mitical which is xi fanams
        and a quarter                                  cccl fs.  350

There is also in Ceylam another kind of sapphires, which are not so
strong, which they call quirin genilam,[362] and they are of a
darker colour. These are worth much less, however good they may be,
for one of the above-mentioned is worth as much as thirteen of

In the kingdom of Narsynga in a mountain above Bancanor and Mangalor
there is another kind of sapphires softer and inferior in colour,
which they call cringanilan;[362] they are somewhat whitish; these
are worth very little, so much so that the most perfect of them
which weighs twenty carats will not be worth a ducat. Their colour
is also somewhat yellow.

There is another sort of sapphires which are found on the sea beach
of the kingdom of Calicut in a place called Capucad,[363] the
Indians call these carahatonilam, they are very blue and cloudy and
do not glitter, except setting them in the light.[364] They are soft
and break like glass. An opinion is held by some who say that in
former times there was by the sea of this Capurad the house of a
king and that its windows were of blue glass, and that the sea
having covered it over the pieces of glass are thrown up ashore; but
they are very large, and on the other hand they seem to be glass.
These are worth very little among them.


The natural topazes are found in Ceylon which the Indians call pur
ceraga, it is very hard stone and very cold and heavy like the ruby
and sapphire, because all three are of one kind. Its perfect colour
is yellow like beaten gold, and when their colour is perfect and
pure, whether they be great or small, in Calicut they are worth
their weight in fine gold, and this is their price usually; and if
the colour is not so perfect they are worth their weight in gold of
fanams which is less by half, and if it is almost white they are
worth much less, and they make small diamonds of them.


The true turquoises are found in Niexer[365] and Quirimane,[366]
country of Sheikh Ismail, in mines and dry ground,[367] and they are
found upon black stones, and the Moors detach them there in small
pieces, and bring them thence to Ormuz, whence they are sent out to
many countries by sea. The Indians call them peyrosa. It is a soft
stone and of little weight, and not very cold; and in order to know
that it is good and true, by day it will seem to you of a blue
colour, and at night by candle light it turns green; and those which
are not so perfect, do not change from one appearance. If this stone
is pure and of a fine colour, underneath at its base it will have
brown stone upon which it grew, and if any little vein or point were
to come out above the black stone itself, then it is known as very
genuine indeed, and of greater value, because it is a sign of being
a true turquoise, and for greater certainty putting upon it a little
virgin lime, white and moistened like ointment, the lime will appear
coloured. And when they have this perfection they are worth the
following prices:--

      If the turquoise is of the said perfection
        and weighs a carat, it will be worth in
        the Malabar country                            xv fs.     15

      One of two carats                                xl fs.     40

      One of four carats                               xc fs.     90

      One of six carats                                cl fs.    150

      One of eight carats                              cc fs.    200

      One of ten carats                               ccc fs.    300

      One of twelve carats                          ccccl fs.    450

      One of xiiij carats                              dl fs.    550

They take no account of the larger ones, from their being light
pieces of much bulk. The Moors and Guzuratys wear the large ones.


The hyacinths are produced in Ceylan, and are soft yellow stones,
and those which are of a stronger colour are the best; most of them
have within some grains which impair their beauty, and those which
have not got them, and are pure, in perfection of this colour, are
worth little in Calicut where they arrange them; one which weighs a
fanam is not worth more than three fanams, and one of xviij fanams
is not worth more than xvi fanams.

There are also other gems, cat's eyes, chrysoliths, and amethists,
of which no other distinction is made on account of their being of
little value, and so also with regard to the jagonzas.[368]


The emeralds are produced in the country of Babilonia, which the
Indians call Maredeygua;[369] and they likewise grow in many other
parts; they are green stones of a good colour and pretty; they are
light and soft, and many counterfeits are made of them which
resemble them, but looking at them in the light they show the
counterfeit and some little globules such as all glass makes; and if
they were genuine they would not show any. But the sight of them
would give great satisfaction and the good ones shew rays inside
them like of the sun, and being touched by a touchstone leaves on it
a copper colour. And the real emerald is such that they are worth
the same as diamonds in Calicut, and something more, not according
to the weight but the size, because the diamond is much heavier than

There are likewise other emeralds which are green stones, and these
are not so much valued, but the Indians make use of them in jewellery.
These do not leave a copper colour on the touchstone.[370]


Pepper grows in all Malabar, firstly in the kingdom of Calicut, and
there it is worth from two hundred to two hundred and thirty fanoes
the bahal, which weighs four quintals of the old weight of Portugal
at which all spice is sold in Lisbon: and they pay twelve fanoes per
bahar duty for taking it out of the country to the King of Calicut;
and those who buy it are used to take it to Cambay, Persia, Aden,
Mekkah, from whence they also transport it to Cayro, and thence to
Alexandria. And now they give it to the King of Portugal at the rate
of iiijulx (4,060)[371] the bahar, with the duties, which are cxciij
fanoes (193) and 1/4, on account of so great a variety of merchants no
longer resorting there to buy it, and on account of the agreement
which the King of Portugal made with the kings and Moors and
merchants of the country of Malabar. Much pepper also grows in
Sumatra which is an island near Malaca, and it is larger and better
looking than that of the Malabar country: but this pepper is not so
fine nor so strong as that. This pepper is carried to Bengal and
China and Java, and some of it is carried to Mekkah without the
knowledge of the Portuguese, who do not allow it to be taken. It is
worth 400 to 600 maravedis the quintal of Portugal, in this case of
the new weight. And between the new and the old one in Portugal
there is a different of two ounces per pound.


The cloves grow in an island beyond Java called Maluco, and from
thence they bring it to Malacca, and from there to Calicut and all
the Malabar country. Each bahar is worth in Calicut 500 and 600
fanoes, and if it is clean of husks and sticks, at seven hundred
fanoes, and xviiij fanoes per bahar are paid as export duty. At
Maluco where it grows it is worth from one to two ducats the bahar;
according to the multitude of buyers who go for it. In Malacca the
bahar of these cloves is worth as much as fourteen ducats the bahar
according to the demand of the merchants.


Good cinnamon grows in the island of Ceylam, and in the county of
Malabar there grows a very inferior quality; the good sort is worth
little in Ceylam, and in Calicut it is worth three hundred fanoes
the bahar, new and very choice.


Beledyn[372] ginger grows at a distance of two or three leagues all
round the city of Calicut, and the bahar is worth lx[373] fanoes,
and sometimes fifty, they bring it to the city for sale, from the
mountains and estates. The Indian merchants buy it in detail and
collect it together, and then in the season for loading ships they
sell it to the Moors at prices from ninety to a hundred and ten
fanoes; its weight is the greater weight.[374]


The Ely ginger grows in the mountain Dely as far as Cananor, and is
smaller and not so white, nor so good. The bahar in Cananor is worth
forty fanoes, and six fanoes duty is paid per bahar, and it is sold
without being packed.[375]


In Bengal there is also much ginger of the country and there they
make with it a large quantity of preserves with sugar, very well
made; and they bring it in Martaban jars to sell at Malabar, and the
farazola, which is twenty-two pounds, is worth xiiij and xv or xv;
fanoes. And that which is now preserved with sugar in Calicut is
worth xxv fanoes the farazola on account of sugar being dear there.

Green ginger for making preserves is worth three quarters of a fanam
the farazola[376] in Calicut.


      Lac of Martaban, very good, is worth the
        farazola, which is twenty-two pounds and
        six ounces and a half of Portugal, of xvj
        ounces to the pound                         xviij fanoes  18

      Lac of the country, the farazola                xij fs.     12

      Coarse camphor in loaves of lxx to eighty
        fanoes the farazola                           lxxx fs.    80

      Very good borax[377] in large pieces at xxx,
        xl, or l fs. the farazola                     xl fs.      40

      Camphor for anointing the idols at the rate
        of one fanam and a half the mitical, six
        and a half of which make an ounce          i fm. & a half 1-1/2

      Camphor for eating and for the eyes at
        iij fs. the mitical                           iij fs.      3

      Eagle wood at cccl and cccc fs. the farazola  ccclxxv fs.  375

      Genuine aloe-wood, and very choice black
        and heavy is worth i fs. the farazola       iu fs.     1,000

      Musk in powder of good quality, the ounce
        xxxvi fs.                                     xxxvi fs.   36

      Benjuy each farazola lx and the very good
        lxx fs.                                       lxv fs.     65

      Fresh tamarinds at iij fs. the farazola         iij fs.      3

      Sweet flag[378] the farazola                    xij fs.     12

      Indigo, coarse and heavy, which contains
        sand, seventeen to twenty-two fs. the
        farazola                                      xx fs.      20

      Encienzo the best when in grain is worth        v fs.        5

      Encienzo[379] in paste and inferior is worth    iij fs.      3

      Very good amber is worth ij to iij fs. the
        mitical                                       iij fs.      3

      Mirobolans in sugar conserve are worth
        from sixteen to xxv fs. the farazola          xx fs.      20

      Coloured sandal v and vi fs. the farazola       vi fs.       6

      Spikenard, fresh and good, from xxx to
        xl fs. the fa.                                xl fs.      40

      White sandal, and of a lemon colour xl to
        lx fs. the farazola, it grows in an
        island called Timor                           1 fs.       50

      Nutmeg x and xi fs. the farazola, it
        comes from Bandam, where the bahar is
        worth viij or x fs.                           xi fs.      11

      Mace from xxv to xxx fs. the farazola,
        this also comes from Bandan, where it
        is worth 1 fs. the bahar.                     xxx fs.     30

      Good herb lonbreguera[380] at xv fs. the farazola  xv fs.   15

      Turbiti,[381] at xiij fs. the farazola         xiij fanoes  13

      Zerumba is worth the farazola                   ij fs.       2

      Zedoary is worth the farazola                   i fm.        1

      Serapine gum[382] is worth the farazola         xx fs.      20

      Socotra aloes are worth the farazola            viij fs.     8

      Cardamums in grain at xx fs.                    xx fs.      20

      Rhubarb, there is much of it in the Malabar
        country, and what comes from China by
        Malaca is worth cccc to d fs. the farazola    ccccl      450

      Mirobolans, ynblicos, are worth, the farazola   ij fs.       2

      Mirobolans, belericos, are worth, the farazola  i fm.        1

      Mirobolans of a citron colour and quebulos
        which are one kind                                 ij fs.  2

      Mirobolans yndos, which are from the same
        trees as the citron coloured, are worth           iij fs.  3

      Tutty,[383] the farazola                           xxx fs.  30

      China cubela,[384] which grows in Java, is
        given there at a low price without
        weight or measure, by eye.

      Opium is worth the farazola in Calicut,
        and comes from Aden, where they make
        it, it is worth from cclxxx to cccxx fs.        ccc fs.  300

      Another opium which is prepared in
        Cambay is worth from cc to ccl fs.
        the farazola                                  ccxxv fs.  225



A pound of the old weight contains xiiij oz. A pound of the new
weight contains xvi oz., eight quintals of the old weight make seven
quintals of the new, and each quintal of the new weight is of
cxxviij pounds of xv oz., each old quintal is three quarters and a
half of a new quintal, and is of cxxviij pounds of xiiij oz. each.


A farazola is xxij pounds of xvi oz. and vi oz. 2/7 more. Twenty
farazolas are one bahar. One bahar is four old quintals of
Portugal.[385] All spices and drugs and anything which comes from
India is sold in Portugal by old weight, at present all the
rest[386] is sold by new weight.


In the name of God: we left the city of Malaca in a caravel with
five Malay mariners and pilots; the captain was Fran^{co} Serano,
with three other Christians, who in all were nine; the mariners,
natives of Malaca; the Christians, three Portuguese and a Castilian.
In the year one thousand five hundred and twelve we sailed to the
city of Pegu, and this city is on the mainland, and not very far
from the sea, more on this side of Malaca, east (and) west[388] of
the island Care ca Faya, north (and) south, with the Malacca channel
and island Quendan, it must be said, the river higher up towards the
east passes close by it: this river is very large and clear, by it
enters and goes forth the merchandise, which many Christians traffic
with; these are clothed in camlets and bocasi.[389] They believe in
one only true God. They are natives of these parts these married
Christians. They trade with Upper and Lower India. The king of this
country is an idolater; he uses another dress, which reaches from
his head to his feet, full of gold rings and jewellery and seed
pearl. These stones are brought from the kingdom of Pegu itself,
about three days' journey inland.

In this country, when the husbands die, their wives burn themselves
and throw themselves into the fire.

This King of Pegu is continually at war with some other powerful
king, who may be the King of Camboja, Siam, or Conchin Chinan.

Leaving Pegu and the bar of the river and continuing to the
south-west, inclining to the south south-west,[390] we arrive at the
island Samatra, for so is named a city of this northern part, as I
will relate further on, at a port which is very large and called
Pedir. It is near the extremity of the island, placed more to the
north, which looks to the north west.[391] The harbour of Pedir is
very large and the city very populous, the best of the island, which
the Malay pilots said had a circuit of two hundred and fifty
leagues, according as we can collect from their day's journey and
our day's run.[392] We gathered from the position of the country and
sayings of the pilots and ancient geographers that this island is
Traprobana, in which there are four idolatrous kings. The wives of
the natives of the country burn themselves when their husbands are
dead, as in Pegu and in Malabaria.

The people are white; they have wide foreheads, the eyes greyish and
round, the hair long, the nose flat; they are small in stature. Much
silk is produced in this island, and grows of itself on the
mountains, in which there are many trees of storax and benjuy some
way inland; and if it is not brought so much hither, the reason is
that they use it there, for they all anoint themselves: many various
kinds of lignum aloes grow in the mountains.

Having left Pedir and gone down the northern[393] coast, I drew
towards the south and south-east[394] direction, and reached to
another country and city which is called Samatra, in which we saw
many merchants; and in a single quarter we counted five hundred
changers, besides other quarters where there were many others. There
are innumerable silk workshops. The people are all dressed in
cotton. They navigate with vessels made of a certain wood which
looks like canes: they call them juncos in Malay language: they
carry three masts and two helms: when they pass any stiff gulf, the
wind being contrary they hoist other sails, and they are raised on
the second mast, and so they make their voyage.

The houses of this city of Samatra and its island, which are all
named from it, as I said speaking of Pedir, are of stone and lime,
low and covered with shells of tortoises or turtles. Each one of
these shells covers as much as two or three bucklers; they are
painted of their natural colour like ours. From here we stood to the
east until the Bandan Islands, and we found near this, which gives
name to the others, twenty islands. It is a dry country which bears
fruit; some of these islands are inhabited, the people are like the
peasants of Malabaria and Calicut, who are called poliares and
gicanales,[395] they are of a low way of living, and coarse
intelligence. A profitable commodity is found in Bandan, namely
nutmeg, which grows here in great quantity and kinds. Thence we
departed to other islands standing to the north-east and
east-north-east[396] through many channels as far as the islands of
Malut. In them grows much cloves, they are five in all, the largest
of them is smaller than Bandan. The Maluquese people are very
wretched, and worth little, they are very beastly, and of a brutal
mode of living, they do not differ from animals in their customs but
only in possessing the human face. They are whiter than other races
of these islands. The cloves grow in another island which is
smaller, and is called Tidory, the tree on which it grows is like
the box or buxo. When the cloves are ripe on the trees they stretch
cloaks or sheets on the ground and sweep the tree, and the
inhabitants gather the most they can. The country is of earth clay
and sand; it is so near the line that the north star cannot be seen,
and then they sail by certain stars which the orientals are
accustomed to. And having departed from here to another second isle,
there we the four Christians and some Malays remained; and there the
King of Maluco shewed great honour to Fran^{co} Serano, the
before-named captain, and married him with honour to his daughter,
and to the others who wished to go he gave permission to go and see
the city and island of Java. On the road we found an island which is
called Borney, which is fifty leagues from Maluco, and it is
somewhat larger than Maluco, and much lower. Its people adore idols,
they are rather white, and go dressed with shirts like those of
sailors, and in face they are like the people of the city of Cayro:
they dress in camlets.

From this island we went to another and took other mariners. Tn this
country there grows much camphor, because there are many trees in
which it grows, and from there we set out to the island of Zaylon,
at which we arrived in three days; and so the mariners whom we took
in Borney carried a map for navigating, and they had a needle and
loadstone, and a chart in which they had many lines and strokes at
which we were greatly amazed[397], and spoke to them of it in the
Malay language: and the north star having disappeared from us in
those countries the mariners told us that they guided themselves
throughout all that region by five stars, principally by one star
opposite to the north to which they continue to navigate, and for
this they always carry a needle and loadstone because that stone
always follows the north, towards which they continue to sail, and
it never turns away from the north, and they look on it on that
account; and the mariners of Borneo told us that in that part of
that island there was a people which used the contrary stars
opposite to the north, for their navigation; and which seemed to be
almost the antipodes of Tropia and Sarmatia, and that this people
inhabited in the frigid zone near the antarctic pole, which appeared
in that country not to have more than four hours of daylight; for
the country is very cold to a wonderful degree, on account of the
climate being like that which exists near the Arctic Pole.

Having left this island, we went to the island of Java, in which we
found four kinds of kings, who follow different rites, all
idolators, who worship idols, others the sun, others the moon, and
others worship the cows, and things to eat, and others worship the
devil. There are other races which go dressed with cloaks and
bornusses of silk and camlet.

There are in this Java some who sell their parents when they see
that they are old and decrepit, to another nation, who are called
canibals or anthropophagi, who are pagans, and likewise brothers
sell their brothers when they are sick: when their recovery is
despaired of they bring them out into the market-place and sell them
to those Caribs, saying that man's flesh is brought up with so much
care and luxury, that it would not be in reason that the earth
should consume it.

NOTE TO pp. 228-229.--See pages 249-251 of _The Travels of Ludovico
de Varthema_ Hakluyt Society, and notes, also Mr. R. Major's able
Introduction to the _Early Voyages to Terra Australis, now called
Australia_. This passage, written about five years later than when
Varthema wrote, is a fuller statement than Varthema's: and taking
the two together, there can be little doubt that the information
they contain was based on actual knowledge of Australia.


    I have read with great interest the passages of the manuscript
    relating to precious stones, and I have admired their
    conscientious appreciation and exactness in details.

    A doubt was raised with respect to stones of combined colours;
    they do exist, but are by no means valued in Europe.

    The proportions of the prices in regard to weights, are still
    very exact as to the Indian market, and uncut stones.

    Experiments similar to those here described have been made in
    Europe, and chiefly in Germany, to heighten the colour of gems,
    rubies especially, by exposing them to fire, but their success
    has been so hazardous, nay costly, that speculation has been
    unwilling to expose itself to so much risk.

    Jargon-corindon or circon was much used in the sixteenth
    century, and is now without value: it has the merit of
    possessing the hardness of the sapphire.

    HENRY CAPT, 17,
    Rue du Rhône, Geneva.              Jeweller.


The Munich MS. No. 571, like the Barcelona MS., has: "y las naos de
alli se enpeguen el dicho yncenso el qual le vale alli de ciento
cinquenta [=mrs] el quintal." But the Munich MS. No. 570 has: "e las
naos desta costa son _embreadas_ en el e vale el quintal de ciento o
ciento y cinquenta reaes en la tierra en donde nace."

So that the meaning of the passage is that the ships are caulked or
pitched with this herb or gum.


The Munich MS. No. 571 is like the Barcelona MS., but the MS. No.
570 gives this list of places:--"Lefete, quesebey, tabla, beroho,
cal, cor, juza, mohymacim, lima, horbaz, alguefa, carmoni,
cohmobarque, conch, conga, ebrahemi, xenaa, menacio, xamyle, leytan,
bamtani, doam, loram," and leaves out the words which in the other
two MSS. follow after the names of _Quesebi_, _Carmoni_, and
_Ebrahemi_. From this MS. No. 570 it is clear how _tabla_ got into
the maps.


Devadachi, femmes des Pagodes, servantes des dieux. Chap. 17.

Ce sont ordinairement les tisserants qui vouent leurs filles aux
pagodes, les parents ne leur demandent pas pour cela leur
consentement, ils n'attendent pas même qu'elles soient en age de le
donner, puisqu'ils les destinent au service des dieux dès qu'elles
commencent de naître: ils ont grand soin de les préparer à cet état
par un continuel exercice de la danse, du chant, et des jeux; il y a
un maître exprès de ces exercises, qui enseigne les jeunes filles
que l'on a destinées et devouées aux pagodes, et qui les dirigent
dans les cérémonies: lorsqu' elles sont devenues devadashi, c'est à
dire servantes des dieux, lorsqu' elles ont atteint l'âge de 9 ou 10
ans, leurs pères vont convier toutes les castes de venir assister à
la consécration de leurs filles. On les conduit solemnellement à la
pagode, devant d'y entrer elles donnent à tout le monde des marques
de leur habileté dans la danse, dans le chant, et dans le jeu, et
selon qu'on est content d'elles on leur fait des présents, ensuite
elles entrent dans la pagode, elles se prosternent devant les dieux.
Les Brahames qui sont là présens, les font relever, allors le prêtre
offre la fille aux dieux, en leur disant, Seigneurs voilà une fille
que je vous offre, daignez la prendre pour votre servante. Le
Brahame officiant met dans la main de la fille un peu de Tirouniron,
et un peu de l'eau qui a servi à laver l'idole: elle delaye tout
cela ensemble, et elle s'en met au front pour marquer qu'elle se
devoue d'elle-même avec joye pour être toute sa vie la servante des
dieux. Cette cérémonie suppose que c'est à la pagode de Siva qu'elle
se devoue particulièrement, car si c'est à la pagode de Vishnou elle
se met le tirounamam[398] et on lui fait boire un peu de l'eau dans
laquelle il y a quelques feuilles de Toulachi qui est une espèce de
basilic. Ensuite soit que ce soit dans l'une ou dans l'autre pagode,
le Brahamme officiant delaye dans un bassin de cuivre un peu de
sandale avec de l'eau qui a servi à l'idole, et il en jette avec les
doigts sur la fille. Cela marque la consécration parfaite. Il met au
col une guirlande qui a servi à l'idole pour luy témoigner qu'elle
est agréable aux dieux et qu'ils l'ont prise sous leur protection:
le Brahamme luy dit qu'elle est présentement Devadashi, et qu'il
l'exhorte à se comporter en digne servante des dieux, après cela
elle se prosterne devant l'idole: le Brahamme la fait relever et
ordonne à ses parents de l'aller conduire dans une maison
particulière qui est proche la pagode, les parents y donnent du
Bethel aux conviez et regalent toutes les devadachis. Toutes celles
qui sont ainsi consacrées aux pagodes ne peuvent jamais se marier,
ny elles ne peuvent plus retourner à leurs familles, ny en hériter.
Elles font profession d'etre publiques à tout le monde, et les
malabares croyent qu'il y a du mérite d'habiter avec les servantes
des dieux. Elles n'ont point parmy elles de supérieures; chacune
fait son menage separément si elles veulent on tire leur subsistance
des revenus de la pagode, mais ce n'est pas ce qui les enrichit
beaucoup; le commerce charnel qu'elles entretiennent avec tout le
monde leur est bien plus lucratif, et celles qui font ainsi fortune
ont grand soin de se bien habiller et de s'orner de pendants
d'oreilles, de colliers et d'anneaux d'or, et de cercles d'argent
aux bras et aux pieds l'employ des Devadashis est d'aller trois fois
le jour à la pagode, c'est à dire le matin vers le midi et le soir,
qui sont les temps que ce font les sacrifices et les cérémonies de
la pagode, elles y dansent et chantent, et font des jeux pour le
divertissement des dieux; elles font la même chose aux processions,
et aux mariages.

"Tout est odieux et criminel dans la condition de ces Devadashis, la
cruauté des pères qui forcent la liberté de leurs enfants, l'impiété
des pères qui prostituent leurs filles."

The above extract is taken from a manuscript in the Royal Library,
Munich, No. 1165 (Gall. 666), called La Religion des Malabares; it
is supposed to have been written between 1705 and 1720, and to have
belonged to the Missions Etrangères; later it was presented by the
Abbé Clément to the library of the Oratoire St. Honoré. The MS.
contains 546 pages and three parts. The first is an exposition of
Christian doctrine; the second of the Malabar religion; the third
sets forth the doctrinal differences between the Christians and
Hindus, and shows how to proceed in arguing with the latter. The
whole tenour of the book is, however, chiefly an attack on the
Jesuits, whom it accuses of laxity, and of having sought to multiply
the number of Christians rather than to secure the truth. It
reproaches them with allowing Christian Malabars to play musical
instruments in the pagodas, and pagan Malabars to play their
instruments in Christian churches, and with having allowed various
idolatrous ceremonies to have become perpetuated under a fresh
dedication. This tenour of the MS. is the cause stated in a
manuscript note by Abbé Clément, for the book having been removed
from the missions étrangères when the credit of the Jesuits
prevailed, and caused the departure from that establishment of the
missionaries who were hostile to that body. From this work marriage
seems to have been more general amongst the Malabars than would be
supposed from the account of the early Portuguese voyagers in which
much stress is laid upon the absence of marriage amongst the nairs.
This missionary in treating of divorce amongst the Malabars says the
husband retains the children, if there are any, and the wife returns
to the husband the _taly_ which she had round her neck (probably the
jewel which has been mentioned in the text;) and she resumes her
dower if she brought any at her marriage. Amongst other
objectionable practices of the Jesuits, blamed in this work, is the
having adopted the Malabar name of Sarounasouren (signifying Lord of
all) for the True God, since Sarunasuren is properly applied to Siva
because he is the first human form which Carsa (or the most subtle
of the five elements) took on forming the world; whilst the True God
is neither Carsa nor Siva, and Sarunasuren is the name of an idol.

Carsa is further described as supreme intelligence, the soul of the
universe, and the most subtle of the five elements, water, fire,
earth, air, and wind, and is said to have taken a human form which
he called Shiva; and as Shiva was to disappear into Sattyaloguen or
the most perfect heaven, he transformed himself into another human
figure which he named Roudra, and also in others called Vishnou and
Broumha. Carsa filled these three persons with intelligence, in
order that they might remain in the world with men. _Section de la
divinité des Malabars et de leur fausse Trinité._ Maycereni, the
name of the third person of the Indian trinity given in the text,
does not appear in this work, and may be an epithet of Rudra. The
following is one of the most remarkable passages in this manuscript,
and is much in accordance with M. E. Burnouf's recent publications
in the Revue des deux Mondes. "Et comme ils ne rendent en
particulier aucun culte extérieur à Carsa, ils croyent le dédommager
suffisament par celui qu'ils rendent à tous les dieux; on voit par
là combien l'erreur aveugle l'esprit des hommes qui s'éloignent du
vray Dieu. Il n'est personne qui ne convienne que la cause est plus
noble que son effet. Si donc ils supposent que ces dieux sont les
effets de la puissance de Carsa, pourquoi leurs rendent-ils plus de
culte qu'à ce Dieu, qu'ils disent être le principe de toute chose.
N'est-ce pas faire de Carsa un dieu chimérique?" p. 539.

The reader may see in Mr. Frank's book on the Kabbala, with respect
to the Adam Kadmon, how much Hindu ideas, and especially the Hindu
theory of the formation of the world, had penetrated into Syria, and
corrupted the Jews, before the Christian era.


      Abyssinia, 19

      Aden, 26

      Afuni, 16

      Albuquerque, 46

      Amber, 165

      Andavat, 58

      Angoxe, 9

      Ava, 186

      Bacavar, 82

      Bahrein Island, 37

      Banda, 74

      Bandan Islands, 192, 199

      Banians' aversion to destroy life, 51

      Barbesy, 63

      Basalor, 82

      Baticala, 79

      Baxay, 68

      Bengal, 178

      Betel, 73

      Bijanagur, 85;
        its just administration, 86

      Bramans, their customs, 121

      Brava, its republic, 15

      Bueneo, 204

      Buendari, 64

      Burmah, 181

      Calicut, 152

      Camaran island, 26

      Cambay, 55, 64

      Cananor, 149, 150, 151

      Cannibals, 190, 196

      Celebes, 203

      Ceylon, 166

      Chalderan, battle of, 40

      Champa, 204

      Champaver, 57

      Chaul, 69

      China, 190, 192

      Chittagong, 178

      Cinnamon, 219

      Cintacola, 78

      Cloves, 184, 219

      Coinage of Ormuz, 45;
        Baticala, 81;
        Narsinga, 86

      Comorin Cape, its church, 163

      Dabul, 71

      Dalaqua, 18

      Damda, 71

      Decan, 69

      Delhy, 98

      Denvy, 68

      Diquirmale mountain, 177

      Diu, battle of, 61

      Duels in Southern India, 80

      Elephants, their price, 168;
        way of catching, 167

      Erecanguy, 182;
        mode of selection of damsels by the king, 183

      Fartak country, 28, 29

      Gandos, hill tribes of Central India, 58

      Guardafun, 16

      Goa, 74

      Goyari, 63

      Guzerat, 50, 55

      Hindu marriages, 54;
        Trinity, 53

      Horses, their price, 76, 89;
        fed on dried fish, 49;
        on cooked grain, 90

      Hussein, Admiral, 25, 62

      Humpbacked maids of honour, 202

      Idolatrous rites, 53

      Ismail Shah, his rise and policy, 38, 39, 40

      Java, 192

      Jiddah, 26-27

      Joghis, 99, 100, 101

      Junks, 206

      Keddah, 189

      Kulam, 157, 172;
        king's guard of women, 173

      Lapidaries, Ceylon, 169

      Limadura, 66

      Madagascar, 13, 14

      Magadoxo, 16

      Malabar, 101

      Malaca, 190

      Maldive islands, 164;
        division of by the king, 103;
        customs, 104;
        king's coronation oath, 107;
        his funeral ceremonies, 108;
        clerks and writing, 110;
        king's waiting women, 111;
        their festival on king's accession, _ib._;
        king's customs, 113;
        justice, 116

      Malays, 191

      Mandabad, 71

      Manfia, 14

      Mangalor, 82

      Marepata, 177

      Martaban, 185

      Maylepur, encroachments of the sea, 174

      Medina, 23

      Mekkah, 23, 188

      Melinda, 12, 13

      Mokhah, 26

      Moluccas, 192

      Mombaza, 11, 12

      Monomotapa, 6, 7

      Mozambique, 9, 10

      Musk, adulteration of it, 187

      Nairs, 124;
        customs, 124

      Narsinga, 84;
        council, 89;
        king's household, 87;
        punishment of high officers, 89;
        army, _ib._;
        vivandières, 90;
        enlistment, 91;
        king's method of carrying his subjects to the wars, 96

      Nestorians, 162

      Nicobar islands, 195

      Onor, 79

      Orissa, 98, 177

      Ormuz, 32 _et seq._;
        council, 44;
        blind kings, 44;
        council put down by Albuquerque, 47

      Pahang, 189

      Palecate, 176

      Pardan coins, 81

      Patemshi, 58

      Pearl fishery, 170

      Pegu, 183

      Pepper, its price, 207, 218

      Porcelain manufacture, 185

      Portuguese piracy, 46, 72, 76

      Prester John, 19

      Price of drugs, 220, 221, 222;
        eagle-wood, 221;
        elephants, 168;
        horses, 76, 89;
        pepper, 217, 218;
        rice, 82;
        rubies, 210;
        spices, 220, 221, 222

      Quicksilver trade, 81, 174

      Quilacare, self-immolation of its king, 172

      Quiloa, 10, 11

      Rajputs, 50

      Ravel, 67

      Rice, kinds of, 82

      Rubies, 168, 169

      Sael, 173

      Self-torture by girls, 95

      Shehir, 3, 4, 30

      Siam, 188

      Sinai, mount, 22

      Socotra, its Christians, 29;
        its Amazons, 29

      Sofala, 4;
        cotton cultivation, 6

      Suez, 21

      Sumatra, 195

      Sunda, 196

      Surat, 67

      Suratimangalor, 59

      Suttee, 91

      Taborine, sacred stone worn by Joghis, 101

      Tanasery, 188

      Thomas, St., his miracles, 160, 161, 175;
        his death, 175;
        his Christians, 176

      Tree which produces poison and the antidote, 101

      Ucique islands, 3, 4, 5

      Voyage of Francisco Serrano from Malacca, 224

      Weights, Portuguese and Indian, 223

      Zanzibar, 14

      Zeyta, 17

      Zimbao, 7

      Zuama, 8



  [1] I have been informed by Mr. Winter Jones that Diego Ribero drew
  up a map of the world in 1529, of which Sprengel wrote an account in
  1795, called, Über J. Ribero's alteste Weltcharte. He gives the
  western hemisphere only, the eastern hemisphere has been published
  by the Vte. Santarem. This might be the means by which the
  orthography and errors of this work passed into the maps of

  [2] The Portuguese are scarcely justified in their censure of
  Magellan for serving Spain, after the neglect he had met with at the
  hands of the King of Portugal, since disnaturalisation was a custom
  of the country frequently practised at that period: and it is the
  necessary complement of naturalisation.

  [3] Here the Barcelona manuscript begins.

  [4] Insula Bocicas, 23 deg. S. lat., just N. of C. S. Sebastian,
  Homann's Atlas, Nuremberg, 1753.

  [5] Probably Bahrein.

  [6] Cujus rex Quitove, Atlas, 1753. Reg. Munica cujus rex Chicanga.

  [7] Cefala, Ortelius.

  [8] Lusiadas, Canto v, stanza 76.

        Ethiopes são todos, mas parece,
        Que com gente melhor communicavam:
        Palabra alguma Arabia se conhece
        Entre a linguagem sua, que fallavam:
        E com panno delgado, que se tece
        De algodão, as cabeças apertavam,
        Com outro, que de tint azul se tinge,
        Cada hum as vergonhosas partes cinge.

  [9] Zimbro, Ortelius, Zimbaon, Atlas, 1753. Sedes Regia.

  [10] Ajonjo (Agiongoli) plant with a viscous substance. Ajonjoli
  Sesame plant. Ajonjera, carlina aqualis bruised in water makes

  [11] Zuama, Ortelius.

  [12] Vê do Benomotapa o grande imperio,
       De selvatica gente, negra e nua,
       Onde Gonçalo morte e vituperio
       Padecerá pela Fé sancta sua:
       Nasce por este incognito hemispherio
       O metal, porque mais a gente sua
       Vê que do lago, donde se derrama
       O Nilo, tambem vindo está Cuama,
                         Camoens, Canto x, stanza 93.

  [13] The old maps have a kingdom of Mongale stretching N. from the
  R. Zuama.

  [14] Angoches, 16 deg. S. lat., Homann.

  [15] Mozambique, Ortelius.

  [16] Quiloa, Ortelius.

  [17] Mombaza, Ortelius.

  [18] Camoens confirms the author's statement of the flourishing
  condition of Mombaza, and of its devastation by the Portuguese.
  Canto x, stanzas 26, 27--

        Ambos darâo com braço forte armado
        A Quiloa fertil aspero castigo,
        Fazendo nella Rei leal e humano,
        Deitado forá o perfido Tyranno.

        Tambem farâo Mombaça, que se arrea
        De casas sumptuosas e edificios,
        Co'o ferro e fogo seu queimada e fea
        Em pago dos passados maleficios.

  [19] Melinde, Ortelius.

  [20] Melinde hospicio gazalhoso e charo.
                       Camoens, Canto x, stanza 96.

  [21] Lusiade, Canto x, stanza 137--

        De Sâo-Lourenço vê a ilha affamada,
        Que Madagascar he d'alguns chamada.

  [22] Cabo dos Corrientes, Ortelius.

  [23] Yname, in Portuguese, Inhame. Root in the form of a gourd,
  composed of two bulbs, which grow one above the other, the larger
  one below the smaller one. It is cut into slices and eaten instead
  of bread. It throws out very large leaves, without fruit. The
  ancients erroneously called it Fava Ægyptia, others have called it
  Arum Egyptium, which Bahuino, in his Historia Universal das Plantas,
  does not approve of. Bluteau, Dict., Coimbra, 1713. ñame--Genus of
  monocotyledonous plants of the family of the dioscoreas. Dico.
  Encyclopedico, Madrid, 1855. The "maize" mentioned in the text must
  be a mistake of the author or of the translators: it should be yams.

  [24] Penda and Zenzibar, Ortelius.

  [25] Pato, Ortelius, Homann.

  [26] Lamon, Ortelius.

  [27] Brava, Ortelius. The German Atlas of 1753 adds Respubl. to the
  name of Brava.

  [28] The river of this place is called Mecadesso in the German
  Atlas, which shows the Arabic origin of the name; in Ortelius

  [29] Orfuni, in Atlas of 1753.

  [30] Guardafun, Ortelius.

  [31] Met, Ortelius, and the Atlas of 1753.

  [32] Barbara, Ortelius.

  [33] Zeila, Ortelius.

  [34] Dalacca, Ortelius.

  [35] Abyssinians, Habeshin in Arabic.

  [36] Saachem, Ortelius.

  [37] Berr Ajem. The spelling of this name is a proof that the
  Spanish j still had the value of the English j and the Arabic jim.

  [38] This refers to the Sawahily of Abyssinia, not to the people of
  Arabia, and applies to them.

  [39] Almalafa, a cloak, plaid, old Spanish, not in dictionaries,
  from Arabic.

  [40]  "Estas cosen a sus hijas sus naturas quando son chiquitas
        dexandoles solamente un meadero y asi las traen cosidas fasta
        que son en hedad de casar y las entregan a sus maridos y
        estonces les cortan la carne questa soldada como sy nacieron

  The Portuguese edition states that Barbosa knew this by experience.

  [41] Habeshy, Abyssinian.

  [42] Babel Mandel, Ortelius.

  [43] Zues, Ortelius.

  [44] Camoens thus describes the interruption by the Portuguese of the
  Indian voyages to the Red Sea. Canto ix, stanzas 3 and 4:--

        Gidá se chama o porto, aonde o trato
        De todo o Roxo mar mais florecia,
        De que tinha proveito grande, e grato
        O Soldão, que esse reino possuïa.
        Daqui os Malabares, por contrato
        Dos infieis, formosa companhia
        De grandes naos pelo Indico Oceano
        Especiaria vem buscar cada anno.

        Por estas nãos os Mouros esperavam,
        Que, como fossem grandes e possantes,
        Aquellas, que o commercia lhe tomavam,
        Com flammas abrazassem crepitantes:
        Neste socorro tanto confiavam,
        Que já não querem mais dos navegantes,
        Senão que tanto tempo alli tardassem,
        Que da famosa Meca as naos chegassem.

  And Canto x, stanza 50:--

                    Barbará se teme
        Do mal, de que o emporio Zeila geme.

  [45] Hussein.

  [46] Eliobon, Atlas of Ortelius and Iambut or Yembo.

  [47] Voyages and Travels by R. Kerr, vol. ii, p. 512. Letter from
  merchants of Spain to their correspondents respecting a treaty of
  peace and league between the Kings of Portugal and Calicut.

  We have been informed by those who were on board the fleet which
  sailed from Lisbon to India in May, 1502, and returned on the 15th
  December, 1503, that the King of Calicut has concluded a peace with
  our Sovereign on the following conditions.... That our king, if so
  inclined, may build a fort at Calicut, and shall be supplied with a
  sufficient quantity of stones, lime, and timber for that purpose.

  [48] Probably Admiral Hussein had heard of Monçaide, the spy of
  Vasco de Gama, of whom Camoens says:--

        Estava para dar ao Gama aviso
        E merecer por isso o Paraiso.
        Este, de quem se os Mouros naô guardavam,
        Por ser Mouro, como ellos, antes era
        Participante em quanto machinavam.
                            Canto ix, stanzas 5 and 6.

  [49] The above anecdote of the fortitude and perseverance of Mir
  Hussein after his defeat, is new; and seems conclusive as to this
  MS. having remained unpublished, and almost unread; since, the
  _Panorama_ (or Spanish version of the _Univers Pittoresque_)
  _Historia de Portugal_, por M. Fernando Denis, Conservador de la
  Biblioteca de Santa Jenoveva: traducida por Una Sociedad Literaria,
  Barcelona, Imprenta del Fomento, 1845; says at p. 123:--

      "This battle, as Simon Goulard relates it, brought the power of
      the Mussulmans of Egypt to an end, and so convinced of this was
      Melek-Jaz that he hastened to conclude a peace with the
      Portuguese. Mir-Hosein, who had manifested such distinguished
      valour and such profound knowledge in this struggle, fearing the
      inconstancy of Melek-Jaz, who might have given him up to
      Almeida, went off hurriedly to the kingdom of Cambay, and later
      removed himself to Upper Hindustan: but the historians lost his
      trace here and never again make any mention of the chief of the
      confederation of the Rumys."

  [50] Jizan.

  [51] Mocha.

  [52] Camaran, Ortelius.

  [53] Or Indians.

  [54] Alaquequa is an Indian stone which stops the flow of blood;
  alaquequas are glass beads. Dictionary of V. Salva, Paris, 1856.

  [55] The cocoa-nut shell is within a very thick husk, and so maybe
  called a kernel.

  [56] Lac.

  [57] Mangala, fortress of Sumatra, in the country of Lampong, on the
  shore of the Tulang-Buvang, nine leagues and two-thirds from the
  mouth of that river. _Geographical Dictionary_, Barcelona, 1832.

  [58] Dhafar.

  [59] Fartach, Ortelius, Fartaque, Atlas of 1753.

  [60] Greco y levante, N.E.E., Gregal, Grech, N.E. wind, still used
  in Catalan.

  [61] Mastro y Soroco, Mistral & Sirocco.

  [62] Marked with a cross thus in the MS.

  [63] Sangre de dragon.

  [64] Dolfar, Ortelius.

  [65] Shehir, one of the chief seaports of Hadramant. Zehar,

  [66] Enciencio, antient for ajenjo, Absinthe; perhaps the Kat or
  Katta, a very expensive leaf of a shrub.

  [67] This refers to the monsoon; if it is unfavourable the ships
  cannot get up the Red Sea.

  [68] This word is illegible, it reads _se enpegen_.

  [69] Probably an error of the pen for Ras al Gat.

  [70] Cape Mussendom, in Ortelius and the German Atlas of 1753 also
  Mocandon, here it is evident that the cedilla of the c has been
  forgotten, and the error has been perpetuated. Ç is often used for s
  in old manuscripts.

  [71] In the German Atlas there is a place called Kellat, and another
  close by called Calajute; Calata, Ortelius.

  [72] Curiate in Ortelius and the German Atlas.

  [73] This may be read Sar, or Sari.

  [74] Soar Ortelius, Sohar in the German Atlas (map of Persia).

  [75] Lebeche or leveche, S.W. wind.

  [76] In the German Atlas Corscan, there is also another place there
  inland a long way off called Orfacan, both these seem to be
  corruptions of the name in the text Khor Fakan.

  [77] Julphar or Giotoffar in the German Atlas.

  [78] Roccalima in the Atlas of Abraham Ortelius, Antwerp, 1570: the
  Ras el Khyma of Captain Felix Jones's Chart.

  [79] Probably Amulgowein of Captain F. Jones.

  [80] Calba, Ortelius.

  [81] Baha, Ortelius.

  [82] Iguir in Ortelius, 1570.

  [83] Naban, Ortelius, 1570.

  [84] Quesibi, Ortelius.

  [85] Berou, ibidem.

  [86] Moy Macina, Ortelius, 1570.

  [87] Lima, Ortelius.

  [88] Carmon, Ortelius.

  This list of towns is thus introduced without anything to connect it
  with the narrative; they would apparently be places on the Shat el
  Arab, between the sea and Basrah, but from the Atlas of Ortelius it
  is clear that they are intended to follow after Quesebi, from which
  word to "estuary" should be read in a parenthesis: from the entire
  absence of punctuation and capital letters in the MS. there is great
  difficulty in ascertaining always the correct meaning. This passage
  seems to show that those who made the early maps had had a copy of
  this MS. under their eyes. "Quesebi: y dende aqui adelante da vuelta
  la costa a maestro y tramontana hasta la boca del Rio eufrates y
  comiença en esa vuelta una tabla berohu caljar," et cetera. The word
  _tabla_ can hardly as here placed mean a list, and one of its
  meanings, dead water, or water without a current, in speaking of a
  river, seems here most applicable. Ortelius, however, followed by
  the German Atlas of 1753, has got _Tabla_ as a town between Quesibi
  and Berou, in which case the sense of comienza and una would be
  imperfect. As the word _tabla_ is Spanish, and in Portuguese is
  _tabula_, it would appear that this Spanish translation and not the
  Portuguese original has been made use of for the ancient atlases.
  This view is confirmed by there being no such place as Tabla in
  Captain F. Jones's Chart. Ramusio's edition has Tabla between
  Quesibi and Berohu.

  [89] Gues, Ortelius, on the Persian shore.

  [90] Gues, before named, re-appears as Cuez, Basida, Costaque,
  Conga, which are placed on the Arabian shore: Gonga also appears on
  the Persian shore in Ortelius's Atlas, 1570.

  [91] Braimu, Ortelius.

  [92] Denaze, ibid.

  [93] Doan, ibid., on Persian shore.

  [94] Laron, ibid.

  [95] Andrani, Ortelius.

  [96] Quaro, ibid.

  [97] Lar, ibid.

  [98] Coiar, ibid.

  [99] Tome, ibid.

  [100] Mulugan, ibid.

  [101] Quezimi, ibid.

  [102] Baharem, ibid. Besides these islands, Ortelius has got Gicolar
  and Ficor, which names might have been made out of the above list
  from this very MS. by reading differently the names which are
  written in italics.

  [103] Here there appears to be a gap in the MS. of three quarters of
  a line.

  [104] Shah Ismail, King of Persia, contemporary of the writer of
  this MS. and founder of the Shiah rite as at present existing.

  [105] Son-in-law. This account is like that of Ramusio and differs
  somewhat from the Portuguese.

  [106] The origin of the Kizilbashes.

  [107] Chalderan, 3rd Rejeb 920, or August 1514. Vicente Rocca, in
  his history of the Turks, printed at Valencia 1556, says that the
  corpses of many Persian women who had accompanied their husbands in
  disguise, were found after the battle, and that Sultan Selim ordered
  them to receive an honourable burial.

  [108] This embassy came to Albuquerque when he was at Ormuz the last
  time, the envoy sent by Albuquerque was Fernan Gomez. San Roman
  Hist. de la India, pp. 239, and 246-249. Valladolid, 1603.

  [109] Frat, with a Persian termination.

  [110] With respect to this geography of the four rivers of Paradise,
  see M. Renan's remarks on the Persian traditions, in his Hist. des
  Langues Semitiques, pp. 481-483. Paris, 1863.

  [111] Zircon or jargon, a stone of which false diamonds are made.

  [112] Reubarbaro.

  [113] Sarahueles, Serwal or Shalwar.

  [114] Almaizar.

  [115] Atauxsia, Moorish workmanship of inlaying metals.

  [116] This description of Persian customs is very exact.

  [117] The Jewish traveller Pedro Teixeira (or Teireira, according to
  Rodriquez de Castro, Biblica, Rabinica Esp.) at the end of the
  sixteenth or beginning of the seventeenth century, wrote a history
  of Persia, translated from Mirkhond, and a "Journey from the East
  Indies to Italy Overland," Antwerp, Jerome Verdassen. Teixeira wrote
  the first part of this work in Portuguese, and afterwards translated
  it into Spanish, adding the second part. Both were translated into
  French by C. Cotolendi in 1681, and printed at Paris under the title
  of "Voyages de Teixeira, ou l'Histoire des Rois de Perse." He died
  at Verona. Teixeira says:

      "It was a custom much in use, both formerly and in later times
      among the kings of Persia and Harmuz, in order to assure
      themselves of those whom they might have reason to fear, and who
      commonly were their relations. And even this day may be seen at
      Harmuz, on a hill near the hermitage of Santa Lucia, at a little
      more than a mile from the city, the ruins of some towers, in
      which the kings placed their relations who had been blinded for
      this reason. The method which they used for depriving them of
      sight was this: they took a brass basin, and heating it in the
      fire as much as possible, passed it two or three or more times
      before the eyes of the person they intended to blind; and
      without other lesion of the eyes they lost their sight, the
      optic nerves being injured by the fire, but the eyes remaining
      as limpid and clear as before." Amador de Los Rios, Estudios
      sobre los Judios de España, p. 557. Madrid, 1848.

  Ramusio has translated to blind "cavar gli occhi," which in this
  case would not apply.

  [118] This observation is owing to the Moorish coins of the Almohade
  dynasty having been square, which gave rise to the Spanish saying of
  spendthrifts: "My money rolls, as it is not Moorish."

  [119] The standard of modern Spanish silver coin is eleven dinars,
  or dineros.

  [120] The Portuguese force is said to have consisted of fifteen
  hundred Portuguese and six hundred Indian soldiers; this took place
  in 1514. Panorama or Univers Pittoresque. According to San Roman
  Hist. de la India Oriental in the beginning of 1515, Albuquerque's
  force consisted of 26 sail, 1500 Portuguese, and 600 Malabars.

  [121] This governor's name was Rais Hamid; one account says so many
  daggers were drawn against him that the Portuguese wounded one
  another's hands: the other governor mentioned later was named Rais
  Nordim, i.e., Nureddin.

  [122] In Ortelius's Map of Asia Dulcinda is some way up a river; in
  the German Atlas of 1753 no trace of it appears.

  [123] Ulcinde, Camoens, canto x, stanza 106.

  [124] Or hither.

  [125] Cogecillos.

  [126] Or gallery.

  [127] A la bastarda.

  [128] The Chaugan, Persian game of hockey on horseback.

  [129] Urdu perhaps is meant by the writer.

  [130] Campanero in Ramusio, Champanel in Portuguese edition.

  [131] Gandos, people of Hindustan, established in the mountainous
  parts of the province of Ganduana: they live by the chase and the
  produce of their flocks, and, contrary to the custom of other
  Indians, eat fowls and bury their dead. The women are obese, and
  stronger than the men; they wear a dress all of one piece, paint all
  their body, and become bald in the prime of life. Ganduana, between
  17 deg. and 24 deg. N. lat. and 81 deg. and 88 deg. E. long.
  Diccionario Encic., Madrid, Gaspar y Roig, 1855.

  [132] Jagri.

  [133] Arrak.

  [134] This name might also be read Dvuxa or Dimxa.

  [135] Shehir.

  [136] This word alcatifa might also mean velvets, at least that is
  its meaning in Arabic and Wallachian; in modern Spanish it means a
  fine carpet.

  [137] Coast guards, watch boats.

  [138] Kind of artillery.

  [139] This passage seems to fix the date of this work as previous to
  1515, since in that year the Portuguese made themselves masters of
  Diu, in which they built a fortress in 1536. (Diccion. Geog.
  Universal, Barcelona, 1831.)

  [140] Of Egypt.

  [141] This author seems to have confused the account of two naval
  battles, reducing them to one; the above account, as far as the
  description of the meeting of the hostile fleets, refers to the
  battle in 1507, in which the Portuguese, commanded by Lorenzo son of
  Francisco de Almeyda, were routed and Lorenzo slain. Melik Az saved
  twenty prisoners alive from Lorenzo's ship, which would not strike,
  treated them well, and wrote to condole with the father, Francisco
  de Almeyda, for the death of his son. Almeyda prepared a fleet of
  nineteen sail to avenge his son's death, when Albuquerque arrived to
  supersede him; he had been sent from Europe in 1506. In spite of
  this Almeyda sailed for Diu, where Emir Hussein, instead of waiting
  for him, put out to sea against the advice of Melik Az and was
  defeated. Vasco Pereyra, captain of the ship that carried Admiral
  Hussein's ship by boarding, was killed, and his lieutenant, Tavora,
  took Emir Hussein's ship, killing or capturing all those who did not
  save themselves by swimming ashore. The captured ships were richly
  laden, and Almeyda distributed all the spoil amongst his crews.
  (This action was fought on the 3rd February, 1509.) Melik Az sued
  for peace after this defeat. His proposals were received with
  arrogance and a demand for the surrender of Emir Hussein: this Melik
  Az refused, but gave up all his Portuguese prisoners. Almeyda
  accepted this, but cut the heads off all his Moorish prisoners in
  cool blood at Cananor. Panorama, India, pp. 358-360, Barcelona,
  1845; Translation of the Univers Pittoresque. The same work in the
  volume on Portugal, speaking of the first battle of Diu, merely
  says, "Mir Hosein routed the Portuguese, and Don Lorenzo lost his
  life," p. 121.

  Camoens thus describes the second battle of Diu, in his 10th canto,
  stanzas 35, 36.

        E logo, entrando fero na enseada
        De Dio, illustre em cercos e batalhas,
        Fará espalhar a fraca e grande armada
        De Calecut, que remos tem por malhas:
        A de Melique Yaz acautelada,
        Co 'os pelouros que tu, Vulcano, espalhas,
        Fará ir ver o frio e fundo assento,
        Secreto leito do humido elemento.

        Mas a de Mir-Hocem, que, abalroando,
        A furia esperará dos vingadores,
        Verá bracos, e pernas ir nadando,
        Sem corpos, pelo mar, de seus senhores:
        Raios de fogo irão representando
        No cego ardor os bravos domadores:
        Quanto alli sentirão olhos, e ouvidos,
        He fumo, ferro, flammas e alaridos.

  The last speech of Don Lorenzo d'Almeida is given in the following
  words in a MS. belonging to the Duke of Gor, at Granada, which
  describes the voyages to India from 1497 to 1509; it differs a
  little from that given in the second decade:

      "Dom Lourenzo lhe disse Snõres companheiros e irmaos, minha vida
      he acabada que este mundo me tinha emprestada e minha alma ira
      dar conta ao Snõr Deos que a fez. En vos mando, e muito rogo que
      tomandonos Meliquiaz sobre si como diz aventureis as vidas em
      sua palavra, porque de o nõ fazerdes tao certas aqui tendes as
      mortes se Ds' nõ acodir cõ sua m[=i]a (misericordia) que lhe
      pezo que aja cõ minha alma, que em suas sanctas mãos encomendo:
      e deu a alma," f. 406 v.

  Don Lorenzo said to them:

      "Gentlemen, companions and brothers, my life which this world
      had lent me is ended, and my soul will go to give an account to
      the Lord God who made it. I charge you, and beg much of you,
      that as Melikiaz will take us on his own responsibility, as he
      says, that you adventure your lives upon his word, because if
      you do not do so, you have before you certain death, unless God
      succour you with his mercy: which I pray him to have with my
      soul, which I commend into his holy keeping."

  And he gave up his spirit.

  [142] Sambuks, Arab undecked boats.

  [143] This may have been intended for ivory of elephants, it would
  seem difficult to get an elephant into a sambuk.

  [144] _Pozos_, wells, hollows.

  [145] Guadamecil, _aluta celata_.

  [146] This word is very clearly _enyertan_, which is an old word
  meaning to freeze, to congeal, to make _yerto_--hard: so that this
  stone would be like the Chinese soap stone, which is soft and easily
  carved when first extracted. _Ensartan_ would apply, meaning to
  string beads, but the writing does not admit of it.

  [147] Ravel in Ortelius's map of India, 1570.

  [148] Axuar, the household furniture which a wife has to bring to
  her husband on her marriage.

  [149] The writer had forgotten that _aduana_ (custom-house) and
  _divan_ are the same word.

  [150] Or Denby.

  [151] Mezzo giorno, the Italian, instead of medio dia, a slip of the
  writer, the Genoese envoy.

  [152] Chaul, Ortelius, 1570.

  [153] Beatilla, bétille in French.

  [154] Dabul, Ortelius, 1570.

  [155] This was done by Don Francisco de Almeyda on his way to Diu in
  the beginning of 1509.

  [156] Llanten, _plantago_. The leaf is chewed, not eaten, and
  assists the digestion.

  [157] Munacem in Ramusio, and Muruary in the Portuguese edition.

  [158] _Rumys._ Turks are so called east of Turkey. These Turks may
  have served in the Egyptian fleet, but did not belong to the Ottoman
  forces, as Egypt was not united to the Ottoman Empire till later in

        Traz este vem Noronha, cujo auspicio
        De Dio os Rumes feros affugenta,
        Dio, que o peito e bellico exercicio
        De Antonio da Sylveira bem sustenta.
                            Camoens, canto x, stanza 72.

  [159] February 25th, 1510, or on the 17th February according to San
  Roman; Albuquerque was driven out of Goa, and reconquered it on the
  25th November 1510.

  [160] San Roman says that the revenue of Sabayo was five hundred
  thousand ducats; and that Goa produced much more in the hands of the
  King of Portugal (p. 183).

  [161] Aliga R., German Atlas, 1753.

  [162] Cintacola, Ortelius, 1570.

  [163] Bisinagar, Ortelius.

  [164] Cholmandel, Ortelius.

  [165] In the Italian and Portuguese editions Mergeo.

  [166] Onor, Ortelius.

  [167] Batticalla, Ortelius.

  [168] Quarter of a hundredweight.

  [169] Gomio, this word is intended, perhaps, for gumia, a kind of
  dagger, a Marocco word not Arabic; these words are neither of them
  to be found in the old dictionaries. The dagger is not mentioned in
  the Italian or Portuguese editions.

  [170] Pardao, an Indian coin worth 300 reis coined at Goa by the
  Portuguese, with the figure of King Sebastian. Dict. of P. Raphael
  Bluteau, Lisbon, 1720.

  [171] Bahar, an Indian weight varying from 4-1/2 quintals to 5 quintals
  3-1/2 arrobas.

  [172] Or Jauibasal, these names are variously spelled in the Italian
  and Portuguese editions.

  [173] Bacanor and Barsalor, German Atlas.

  [174] Fanega--4 bushels or 84 lbs. French.

  [175] Mangalor, Ortelius.

  [176] Cape Comori, Ortelius.

  [177] The Nil Gau or Blue Cow.

  [178] Ramusio coincides with this MS. in writing giagonzas on a
  former occasion, and on this gegonzas.

  [179] The abbreviation is [=m] [=mrs]; this might stand for ccc or
  three hundred, the value given by Ramusio.

  [180] Filosañias, may be intended for physiognomy. It is so
  translated by Ramusio.

  [181] The Arab travellers of the ninth century mention this.

  [182] Tambarme in Ramusio.

  [183] This is the probable origin of the story in Sinbad the Sailor.
  The Arabian Nights are not entirely fiction, as is usually supposed:
  the story of Seif el Muluk refers to facts in the Malay Annals, and
  describes the people, country, and winds about Sumatra.

  [184] "Y sobre el dicho palo esta una piedra de altura de un cobdo y
        en el medio un agujero en el qual meten un palo agudo y arman
        las gradas paramentadas con paños de seda para que la gente de
        fuera no vea el secreto de dentro y la madre de la moza con
        algunas otras mugeres entran en aquel lugar despues de hechas
        muchas cerimonias y alli sobre aquel palo agudo rompen la moza
        su virginidad y deraman la sangre sobre aquella piedra."

  [185] Apparently Orissa.

  [186] Compare Plato's views on this subject:--

      "But if a soldier highly distinguishes himself and gains himself
      credit, ought he not, think you, in the first place, while the
      army is still in the field, to be crowned with a garland by each
      of the youths and children in turn among his comrades in arms?"
      "Yes, I think so." "But I suppose you will hardly extend your
      approbation to my next proposition?" "What is that?" "That he
      should kiss and be kissed by them all." "Most certainly I do;
      and I would add to the law, that during the continuance of the
      campaign, no one whom he has a mind to kiss be permitted to
      refuse him the satisfaction; in order that, if any soldier
      happens to entertain an admiration for either a male or female
      comrade, he may be the more stimulated to carry off the meed of
      valour." "Good, I replied; and we have already said that a brave
      man will be allowed to enter into marriage relations more
      frequently than others will, and to exercise more than the usual
      liberty of choice in such matters, so that as many children as
      possible may be obtained from a father of this
      character."--Republic of Plato, book v, § 468, p. 201.
      Translation by Davies and Vaughan, Cambridge, 1858.

  [187] Orissa: in this MS. it is clearly a _t_, but _t_ and _r_ are
  easily confounded in the handwriting of this period.

  [188] Bragueros de laton.

  [189] Eyicianos.

  [190] Lo al, old expression for Lo demas.

  [191] The Chulias or people of Southern India do this always.

  [192] Or--these on being opened.

  [193] Baxana in Ramusio, and Braechagua in the Lisbon edition.

  [194] Nirabixi in Ramusio and Miralexy in Lisbon edition.

  [195] People in the East carry stones of this description, which are
  said to draw out the venom from the bite of a serpent.

  [196] Camoens addresses the King of Malabar as: "O nobre successor
  de Perimal" Canto viii, stanza 82.

  [197] This agrees with the account of the Arab travellers of the
  ninth century. Paris, Langles.

  [198] Cananor.

  [199] Called Zamorin in other works, and Samorim by Camoens.

  [200] Ramusio calls them Cunelanadyri, Benatederi, and Coletri; the
  Lisbon edition, Maly Couadary, Benatady, Cobertorim.

  [201] Mostasos: old word, before introduction of bigotes from the
  German soldiers, and still used in Majorca.

  [202] Repostero: a cloth marked with the arms of a grandee for
  putting over a beast of burden, or hanging in a doorway,--a

  [203] No valen mas de que ser hijos de sus madres.

  [204] Sister of the king, apparently, from what follows.

  [205] Ramusio, Caimaes; Lisbon edition, Cahimal.

  [206] Atabal.

  [207] Cymbals.

  [208] Sistra.

  [209] Of a cross-bow shot.

  [210] Sygnadas.

  [211] Valedor.

  [212] Buxen, not in the dictionaries: buxeta, a small casket for
  perfumes to put in the pocket, so called because made of bux or box;
  Anglicè, box.

  [213] If the writer had been a Spaniard, especially from Catalonia,
  he would have added here, "in our fashion." This way of drinking
  extends into Roussillon, and this custom was not introduced by the

  [214] Hidalgo por el Rey: an expression meaning a modern noble, not
  one whose origin is anterior to the Spanish monarchy: here it may
  imply official position only. Ramusio, Talassen; Lisbon edition,

  [215] Albalá, from Alberat, Letters Patent, Brevet, Warrant, Letter
  for drawing Pay. This word is in little use in Castile, but is
  common in Valencia and Aragon. Spanish, Latin, and Arabic Dict., Fr.
  Francisco Cañes. Madrid, 1787.

  [216] This part is wanting in Ramusio, who says a little lower down,
  "Here several lines are wanting."

  [217] Or it may be read Ciessua; Ramusio, Cressuamengan; Lisbon
  edition, Cryuamergam.

  [218] That is, the first mass said by a new priest.

  [219] Como mayorazgo.

  [220] See Cardinal Wiseman's Lectures with regard to this subject,
  also the work of another Catholic author, where this Hindu doctrine
  is termed an _adumbration_. The Abbé Huc is opposed to the
  above-mentioned divines, and calls this a _counterfeit of Satan_.
  Unless his theory, or another alternative, be adopted, it must be
  assumed, since the Brahminical books were contemporary with David,
  perhaps with Moses, that the Hindus were more favoured than the
  Chosen People of Israel: which is impossible.

      "Il faut ajouter que la science brâhmanique n'a pas été
      étrangère au développement du génie grec, l'une des sources de
      notre civilisation, ni à la formation du christianisme, religion
      de tout l'Occident." M. Emile Burnouf, La Civilisation
      Chrétienne en Orient, Revue des deux Mondes, 1er Juin, 1865, pp.
      632, 633; see also pp. 638, 639.

  [221] This may be estimated from the value of rice, 150 to 200
  maravedis the 4 bushels or 90 lbs. See above.

  [222] The explanation of this ceremony is to be found in Plato:--

      "We said, you remember, that the children ought to be the issue
      of parents who are still in their prime." "True." "And do you
      agree with me that the prime of life may be reasonably reckoned
      at a period of twenty years for a woman, and thirty for a man?"
      "Where do you place these years?" "I should make it the rule for
      a woman to bear children to the state from her twentieth to her
      fortieth year: and for a man, after getting over the sharpest
      burst in the race of life, thenceforward to beget children to
      the state until he is fifty-five years old." "Doubtless," he
      said, "in both sexes, this is the period of their prime both of
      body and mind." "If, then, a man who is either above or under
      this age shall meddle with the business of begetting children
      for the commonwealth, we shall declare his act to be an offence
      against religion and justice; inasmuch as he is raising up a
      child for the state, who, should detection be avoided, instead
      of having been begotten under the sanction of those sacrifices
      and prayers, which are to be offered up at every marriage
      ceremonial by priests and priestesses, and by the whole city, to
      the effect that the children to be born may ever be more
      virtuous and more useful than their virtuous and useful parents,
      will have been conceived under cover of darkness by aid of dire
      incontinence." "You are right." "The same law will hold should a
      man, who is still of an age to be a father, meddle with a woman,
      who is also of the proper age, _without the introduction of a
      magistrate; for we shall accuse him of raising up to the state
      an illegitimate, unsponsored, and unhallowed child_." "You are
      perfectly right." "But as soon as the women and the men are past
      the prescribed age, we shall allow the latter I imagine to
      associate freely with whomsoever they please, so that it be not
      a daughter, or mother, or daughter's child, or grandmother; and
      in like manner we shall permit the women to associate with any
      man, except a son or a father." Republic, book v, sect. 461.
      Davis and Vaughan's Translation, p. 190.

      "Explicemus jam tandem, quam nam florentem ætatem in utroque
      sexu existimemus, mulierem porro florenti esse ætate arbitramur,
      si a vigesimo ætatis suæ anno usque ad quadragesimum generationi
      incumbat, virum autem a trigesimo usque ad quinquagesimum
      quintum operam suam in gignendo civitati præbere præcipimus, in
      hoc enim annorum cursu et robur corporis, et prudentiæ vim sexus
      utriusque consistere certum est. Si quis igitur vel senior vel
      junior his generationes eas, quæ ad publicum civitatis commodum
      ordinatæ sunt, attigerit profanum et illegitimum hoc esse
      censebimus, quasi civitati foetum largiatur, qui si latuerit
      non sacrificiorum vel præcationum fiat inauguratione, quas tamen
      in singulis nuptiis cum universâ civitate peragent sacerdotes,
      ut ex bonis meliores et ex utilibus utiliores semper enascantur
      vota concipientes; sed id fiat sub tenebris ex vehementis
      cujusdam incontinentiæ libidine, eadem autem lex etiam erit
      servanda, si quis eorum qui et in ætate sunt apta ad matrimonium
      contrahendum, non assentiente tamen magistratu ad mulieres ætate
      nubiles accesserit, hunc enim statuemus edere civitati spurium
      profanum, et illegitimum partum; ubi vero et mulieres, et viri
      statutum generationi tempus pertransierint, _immunes a lege
      faciemus ut possint cum quacumque libuerit commisceri_; præter
      quam cum filia et matre et filiis filiarum ac matris
      ascendentibus; _et parem concedemus quoque libertatem
      mulieribus, ut possint cum quovis conjungi_, præter quam cum
      filio, vel patre, et ascendentibus, vel descendentibus ex his,
      quæ omnia, ubi mandaverimus curabimus, ne partus ullus omnino ex
      hujusmodi coitibus ortus in lucem proferatur, quod si proferetur
      sic expositus sit perinde ac quasi nulla ei adsint alimenta."
      Plato's Republic, book v. Translation of John Sozomenus, Venice,

  [223] Plato perhaps got this idea as well as others from India:

      "Consider, then, I continued, whether the following plan is the
      right one for their lives and their dwellings, if they are to be
      of the character I have described. In the first place no one
      should _possess any private property_, if it can possibly be
      avoided: secondly, _no one should have a dwelling or storehouse
      into which all who please may not enter_; whatever necessaries
      are required by temperate and courageous men who are trained to
      war, they should receive by regular appointment from their
      fellow-citizens, as wages for their services, and the amount
      should be such as to leave neither a surplus on the year's
      consumption nor a deficit...; but whenever they come to possess
      lands and houses and money of their own, they will be
      householders and cultivators instead of guardians, and will
      become hostile masters of their fellow-citizens rather than
      their allies." Republic, book iii, sect. 417. Davis and
      Vaughan's Translation, pp. 129, 130.

      "Itaque Adiutores communes habere filios et uxores summopere
      expedit, quæ et consentiunt omnino iis quæ superius a nobis
      dicta sunt, diximus enim _hos neque domos proprias habere
      debere; neque terram possidere, vel aliud quidpiam in bonis
      adnumerare_: sed a cæteris enutritos hanc quasi custodiæ
      mercedem accipere, quam et in communi positam consumant, si re
      vera custodes futuri sunt; ut et quæ prius a nobis dicta sunt,
      et quæ nunc etiam dicuntur efficiant ipsos veros custodes, et ne
      Rempublicam in partes dividant; sed ut uno potius animo de
      propriis judicantes, et ad id tendantes omnes, uno eodemque et
      doloris et voluptatis sensu afficiantur." Platonis de
      Rebuspublicis, liber quintus. A Joanne Sozomeno, Venetiis, 1626.

      "Etenim Plato cum multas Regiones lustrasset, et mores hominum
      varios inspexisset, ac sui temporis Respublicas contemplatus
      abundé fuisset, nec non antiquorum philosophorum ac legumlatorum
      monumenta studiosissime perquisivisset, senior tandem factus,
      politias quidem omnes nihil aliud esse intelligens, nisi
      concordem quandam in societate civili Regulam, ac ordinem quo
      eædem continerentur." Joannes Sozomenus Lectoribus.

  [224] Or it might be Pasicars.

  [225] Ramusio, _Sanguada_. Not in Lisbon edition.

  [226] Enbarbatadas.

  [227] That is 20 maravedis a day, about three times the peace
  allowance. See p. 124. Ramusio says 40 cas a day, which are 40
  maravedis; the Lisbon edition has 4 taras a day.

  [228] Though the nairs were deprived of their fathers, it appears
  that they retained their own family relations: the "divine Plato!"
  however, goes beyond his Hindu teachers, and would have reduced men
  altogether to the condition of brutes. He says:

      "But how are they to distinguish fathers and daughters, and the
      relations you described just now?" "Not at all, I replied; only
      all the children that are born between the seventh and tenth
      month from the day on which one of their number was married, are
      to be called by him, if male, his sons, if female, his
      daughters; and they shall call him father, and their children he
      shall call his grandchildren; these again shall call him and his
      fellow-bridegrooms and brides, grandfathers and grandmothers;
      likewise all shall regard as brothers and sisters those that
      were born in the period during which their own fathers and
      mothers were bringing them into the world; and as we said just
      now, all these shall refrain from touching one another. But the
      law will allow intercourse between brothers and sisters, if the
      lot chances to fall that way, and if the Delphian priestess also
      gives it her sanction." Republic, book v, §461. Davies and
      Vaughan's Translation, p. 190.

      "At dices quomodo patres, et filiæ, ac cæteræ hujusmodi personæ,
      inter quas interdicta est conjunctio, cognoscent se invicem;
      siquidem, ut dictum superius est _post editos partus permiscendi
      sunt in ovili foetus omnes, ut neque mater, quæ genuit, vel
      proprium filium a ceteris dignoscat_? Verum tamen non est
      difficile hanc solvere difficultatem, etenim quicumque nascentur
      partus, a quo primum die quis sponsus factus fuerit post decimum
      mensem vel post septimum, hos omnes filios suos nominabit, et
      foeminas pari modo filias, et illi vice versa ipsum patrem
      appellabunt, eosque qui ex his nascentur filios filiorum
      vocabit; illi è contra hos et avos, et avias, eos verò omnes,
      qui eodem tempore nati fuerint, quo matres ipsorum generabant,
      sorores, ac fratres nuncupabunt; quæ servata regula quod modò
      dicebamus a mutuo hi concubitu abstinebunt; fratres autem ac
      sorores, si sors ita tulerit, et annuerit Pithiæ oraculum, lex
      cohabitare permittet: talis erit itaque nobis constituenda,
      inter custodes nostros communitas mulierum et filiorum." De
      Rebuspubl., liber quintus.

  [229] This legalised disorder appears to be exaggerated, but it is
  the natural consequence and result of the carrying out of Plato's
  theories with regard to the destruction of family among the nairs or
  military caste. It is singular that the author of such extravagant
  abominations should have found acceptance because he wrote in the
  Hellenic language.

      "Such are the main features of Plato's Republic, in reference to
      his Guardians. They afford a memorable example of that
      philosophical analysis, applied to the circumstances of man and
      society, which the Greek mind was the first to conceive and
      follow. Plato lays down his ends with great distinctness as well
      as the means whereby he proposes to attain them. Granting his
      ends, the means proposed are almost always suitable and
      appropriate, whether practicable or otherwise." Grote's Plato,
      vol. iii, p. 207.

  [230] "If one of the soldiers deserts his rank or throw away his
        arms, or is guilty of any such act of cowardice, must we not
        degrade him to the rank of an artisan, or an agricultural
        labourer?" "Decidedly." Republic, book v, sect. 468. Davis and
        Vaughan's Translation, p. 200.

        "Existimo autem imprimis ego eum, qui ordinem deseruevit, vel
        arma abjecerit, vel tale quid ex ignavia commiserit, in
        Opificum aut Agricolarum ordinem amandandum esse." Platonis de
        Rebuspubl., liber quintus.

  [231] Ramusio, Manantamar; Lisbon edition, Mainatos.

  [232] Plato explains the object of this regulation:

      "Itaque sacra deinceps connubia quam maxime fieri poterit
      efficiemus: erunt autem sacra constituenda, quæ utilissima
      fuerint, utilissima verò erunt, si lege marium cum feminis
      conjunctiones præscribantur, et tale quid in his conjunctionibus
      observetur, quale in propagatione ceterorum animalium ab iis
      observatum videmus, quibus id est propositum, ut quam generosi
      partus edantur, etenim licet sæpe sæpius animadvertere eos qui
      vel canes venatorios alunt, vel generosas aves enutriunt, et si
      generosas omnes existiment, eximias tamen ac præstantissimas
      quasdam e reliquarum numero eligere, ex quibus præcipue
      progenies suscipiatur." De Rebuspubl., liber quintus.

         *       *       *       *       *

      "Oportet enim ut ex hactenus dictis constitit optimos viros cum
      optimis mulieribus sæpissime congredi, deteriores verò cum
      deterioribus per raro, et illorum quidem editos partus nutrire,
      horum verò nequaquam: si modo præstantissimum sit futurum
      ovile." De Rebuspubl., liber quintus.

      "It follows from what has been already granted, that the best of
      both sexes ought to be brought together as often as possible,
      and the worst as seldom as possible, and that the issue of the
      former unions ought to be reared, and that of the latter
      abandoned, if the flock is to attain to first-rate excellence."
      Republic, bk. v, sect. 459. Davis and Vaughan's Translation, p.

  [233] As no explanation of Zevil is given, it is possible that it is
  a slip of the pen for _e vil_ and vile. Ramusio, Tiberi; Lisbon
  edition calls them Tuias; in the Portuguese this caste is called
  tiar and _civel_ or rustic by antiphrasis, which has been mistaken
  by the translators for an Indian word.

  [234] Repeated thus in the manuscript.

  [235] Or hats.

  [236] Apretada or hard pressed.

  [237] Ramusio, Paneru; Lisbon edition, Panceni.

  [238] Ramusio, Revoler; Lisbon ed., Revoleens.

  [239] Ramusio, Puler; Lisbon, Poleas.

  [240] Ramusio, Pareas; Lisbon, Parcens.

  [241] Dañados de todo, this might be intended for dañosos, hurtful
  in every way; the word occurs before and is translated contaminated,
  but hurtful or noxious would make a better reading.

  [242] Ramusio, Cheliis; Lisbon, Chatis.

  [243] About two hundred tons.

  [244] Cubiertas.

  [245] Caña fistola.

  [246] Ramusio, Crecati; Munich MS. 571, Crecate.

  [247] Ramusio, Capogato; Lisbon ed., Quategatam.

  [248] Or ezerubs.

  [249] Root of ginger and other plants used in medicine.

  [250] Culebras de sombrero, a shade, canopy, hood, hat.

  [251] Ramusio, Pananie; Lisbon edit., Pananee; Munich MS. 570,
  Panane, 571, Pananx.

  [252] Ramusio, Catua; Lisbon, Chatua; Munich, 570 and 571, Chatua.

  [253] Caranganor, Ortelius: Cranganor, Homannus: it was taken by the
  Portuguese in 1505.

  [254] Beledy: Arabic word no longer in use.

  [255] Cuartillo, fourth part of an azumbre, equal to 2 litres and

  [256] Notwithstanding the extreme value and utility of these trees,
  as here described, some thousands of them were lately cut down to
  make way for sugar canes, and in spite of the remonstrances of the
  inhabitants, by a European who had got the loan of some land for a
  term of years, in one of the Comoro Islands. The loss to the islands
  was still greater from the fact that they depend chiefly on their
  own resources, being out of the regular track of trading vessels.

  [257] Here Ramusio adds: "which the Christians of the country
  affirmed to me was described in their books, which they preserve
  with great veneration."

  Camoens puts this event, as well as the tomb of St. Thomas at
  Mailapur. Canto x, stanza

    108.  Olha que de Narsinga o senhorio
          Tem as reliquias santas, e bemditas
          Do corpo de Thomé, varão sagrado
          Que a Jesu Christo teve a mão no lado.

    109.  Aqui a cidade foy, que se chamava
          Meliapor, formosa, grande e rica:
          Os idolos antiguos adorava,
          Como inda agora faz a gente inica:
          Longe do mar naquelle tempo estava
          Quando a Fé, que no mundo se publica,
          Thomé vinha pregando, e ja passara
          Provincias mil do mundo, que ensinara.

    110.  Chegado aqui pregando, e junto dando
          A doentes saude, a mortos vida,
          A caso traz hum dia o mar vagando
          Hum lenho de grandeza desmedida:
          Deseja o Rei, que andava edificando,
          Fazer delle madeira, e não duvida
          Poder tira-lo a terra com possantes
          Forças d'homens, de engenhos, de elefantes.

    111.  Era tão grande o pezo do madeiro,
          Que, só para abalar-se, nada abasta;
          Mas o nuncio de Cristo verdadeiro
          Menos trabalho em tal negocio gasta:
          Ata o cordão, que traz por derradeiro
          No tronco, e facilmente o leva, e arrasta
          Para onde faça hum sumptuoso templo,
          Que ficasse aos futuros por exemplo.

    112.  Sabia bem que se com fé formada
          Mandar a hum monte surdo, que se mova,
          Que obedecerá logo á voz sagrada;
          Que assi lho ensinou Christo, e elle o prova:
          A gente ficou disto alvoroçada,
          Os Brãhmenes o tem por cousa nova
          Vendo os milagres, vendo a sanctidade,
          Hão medo de perder autoridade.

    113.  São estes sacerdotes dos gentios,
          Em quem mais penetrado tinha inveja,
          Buscam maneiras mil, buscam desvios,
          Com que Thomé, não se ouça, ou morto seja.
          O principal, que ao peito traz os fios,
          Hum caso horrendo faz, que o mundo veja,
          Que inimiga não ha tão dura, e fera,
          Como a virtude falsa da sincera.

    114.  Hum filho proprio mata, logo accusa
          De homicidio Thomé, que era innocente:
          Dà falsas testemunhas, como se usa,
          Condemnaram-no á morte brevemente:
          O Sancto, que não vê melhor escusa,
          Que appellar para o Padre Omnipotente,
          Quer diante do Rei, e dos senhores,
          Que se faça hum milagre dos maiores.

    115.  O corpo morto manda ser trazido,
          Que resuscite, e seja perguntado
          Quem foi seu matador, e será crido
          For testemunho o seu mais approvado:
          Viram todos o moço vivo erguido
          Em nome de Jesu crucificado:
          Da graças a Thomé, que lho deo vida,
          E descobre seu pai ser homicida.

    116.  Este milagre fez tamanho espanto,
          Que o Rei se banha logo na agua santa,
          E muitos após elle: hum beija o manto,
          Outro louvor do Deos de Thomé canta.
          Os Brahmenes se encheran de odio tanto,
          Com seu veneno os morde inveja tanta,
          Que, persuadindo a isso o povo rudo,
          Determinam mata-lo em fin de tudo.

    117.  Hum dia, que pregando ao povo estava,
          Fingiram entre a gente hum arruido:
          Ja Christo neste tempo lhe ordenava
          Que, padecendo, fosse ao ceo subido,
          A multidão das pedras, que voava,
          No Sancto dá já a tudo offerecido:
          Hum dos maos, por fartarse mais depressa,
          Com crua lança o peito lhe atravessa.

    118.  Choraram-te, Thomé, o Gange e o Indo;
          Chorou-te toda a terra, que pizaste;
          Mais te choram as almas, que vestindo
          Se hiam da sancta Fé que lhe ensinaste.

  [258] Mar Thomas is Syriac for St. Thomas; this word must have been
  introduced by the Nestorians or Armenians, as they are called here,
  though St. Thomas may have carried the word there himself in
  speaking of others, as of Mar Elias.

  [259] Ancient coin equal to two reals vellon or sixpence.

  [260] Mailapur, a league and two-thirds south of Madras, seat of a
  catholic bishop and two churches, was taken by the Portuguese in
  1545 and by the French in 1672.

  [261] These were Nestorians, who call themselves in Mesopotamia Esky
  Chaldany, old Chaldæans. In 1599 Archbishop Alexander Menezes held a
  conference at Culam, for the purpose of uniting the Roman Catholics
  and Nestorians.

  [262] Blessed bread, is bread in little pieces distributed in
  churches on great feast days.

  [263] It is hardly necessary to state that this is absolutely
  opposed to catholic practice.

  [264] Selling the sacraments, canonically a great offence: it was
  condemned by the 48th Canon of the Council of Elvira, A.D. 305.

  [265] This passage is translated in the Lisbon edition from Ramusio;
  the next paragraph is not to be found in either of them.

  [266] It is vexatious that the date should be wanting; it is
  probable, however, that this was an Italian and an overland
  traveller, for if not he could not have been buried more than
  fifteen years, and a fresh tomb would have hardly called for notice
  from the writer.

  [267] This passage is not in the Italian or Portuguese edition of
  Barbosa. It is in the MS. No. 571 of the Munich Library, and the
  date is also wanting; in the Munich MS. No. 570 this paragraph is
  entirely wanting, as in Ramusio.

  [268] This group is called Maldivar in Ortelius, and is there stated
  to contain seven or eight thousand isles. One of the islands is
  called Y^a de Ilheos, or island of small islands, the second word
  being Portuguese and apparently not understood by the compiler of
  the atlas.

  [269] Muxama or mojama, preserved tunny fish.

  [270] "Vês corre a costa celebre Indiana
        Para o Sul até o cabo Comori,
        Já chamado Cori, que Taprobana
        (Que ora he Ceilão) defronte tem de si."
                               Os Lusiadas, canto x, stanza 107.

  [271] There is something wrong here; for, from Cape Comorin to
  Maylepur is more than double fifty leagues; the direction of the
  compass and length of the channel, make it probable that the island
  of Manar was intended instead of Maylepur.

  [272] Jargon or Zircon is a stone having a superficial resemblance
  to a diamond. Milburn's Oriental Commerce, p. 361. Possibly this
  stone may be connected with the jarkna stein mentioned in the Edda,
  and supposed by Grimm to be the opal. In Ramusio the spelling is the
  same as in this MS. The whole of this passage is much shortened in
  the Lisbon edition.

  [273] "Olha em Ceylão, que o monte se alevanta
         Tanto, que as nuvens passa, ou a vista engana
         Os naturaes tem por cousa sancta,
         Por a pedra em que està á pegada humana."
                                 Lusiadas, canto x, 136.

  [274] The ascent is still performed in the same manner, and is
  difficult in windy weather.

  [275] Chilao in Ortelius's Map of Asia, the Portuguese way of
  writing Chilam.

  [276] Comp. Malay sampan.

  [277] Cael in Ortelius and Homannus, the cedilla has been omitted in
  another part of this work.

  [278] Maestros: this may also mean dealers.

  [279] Cholmandel, Ortelius.

  [280] This story is evidently of Hindu origin, since the peacock is
  respected by the Hindus. It also in some measure confirms the
  antiquity of the establishment of Christianity in India, which from
  this story must have been established before the arrival in India of
  any of the Nestorian priests: since they came from a country where
  the peacock is associated with the devil, especially amongst the
  devil-worshiping Yezidys, who have got a peacock for an idol, which
  was seen and described by Mr. Layard. Many of their superstitions
  come down from the Manichees of the second century. Besides this, I
  have seen an Arabic description of animals written in Syria, in
  which the peacock is described as the first creature expelled out of
  Paradise, on account of its pride. This idea and the Yezidy love for
  it, probably have a common origin.

  [281] Romeria: this word here translated pilgrimage, means a visit
  to a shrine or holy place, and is inferior to peregrinage: it
  implies a shorter distance, and is equivalent to ziaret.

  [282] Paleacate, Ortelius.

  [283] Guenga, Ortelius; it should be Gunga.

        "Ganges, no qual os seus habitadores
        Morrem banhados, tendo por certeza,
        Que inda que sejão grandes peccadores,
        Esta agua sancta os lava, e da pureza."--Lusiad. x, 121.

  [284] In Ortelius there is a place called Aralem, east of Bengala.

  [285] Bengala, Ortelius, and on the same spot in Homannus Chatigan;
  in our maps Chittagong, which name was changed by the Moghuls in
  1666 to Islam Abad.

        "Vê Cathigão cidade das melhores
        De Bengala provincia; que se preza
        De abundante; mas olha, que está posta
        Para o Austro de aqui virada a costa."--Lusiad. x, stan. 121.

  [286] Abasis.

  [287] The employment of eunuchs was forbidden by the Prophet, since
  their employment induced people to supply the demand. Hidayah, vol.
  iv, p. 121.

  [288] Verma, Ortelius and Ramusio.

  [289] Aracangil, Lisbon edit.

  [290] Here Ramusio adds: "And they say that by this trial they know
  which of them are healthy and of a good temperament."

  [291] Pegu, Ortelius and Ramusio.

  [292] The Dicco. Geogo. Universal, Barcelona, states the distance at
  twelve leagues, as this work is chiefly translated from French
  authorities, these distances would agree, and the river deposit may
  have increased the distance.

  [293] This is also related by Nicolo Conti, India in the Fifteenth
  Century, Hakluyt Society.

  [294] Saddle between _à la gineta_, a high saddle and short
  stirrups, and _à la brida_, long stirrups and hardly any saddle at

  [295] Martabam, Ortelius.

  [296] Ava, Ortelius.

  [297] Capelan, Ortelius, near the mouth of the river Menam.

  [298] Sian, Ortelius.

  [299] Tanazaru, Ortelius.

  [300] Java frankincense, in Arabic.

  [301] Queda, Ortelius; Keddah, Malay State tributary to Siam, it
  derives its name from the Arabic, a cup. Ramusio and Lisbon edit.,

        "Olha Tavay cidade, onde começa
        De Syão o largo imperio tão comprido
        Tenessary, Queda, que he so cabeça
        Das que pimienta aly tem produzido;
        Mays avante fareys que se conheça
        Malaca, por Emperio ennobrecido,
        Onde toda a província domar grande,
        Suas mercadorias ricas mande."--Lusiadas, x, stanza 123.

  [302] Paam, Ortelius; Pahang, now an independent Malay State.

  [303] Not in Ortelius; Salangore, an independent Malay State.

  [304] "Vé nos remotos montes outras gentes
        Que Gueos se chamão de selvages vidas;
        Humana carne comem, mas a sua
        Pintão com ferro ardente, usança crua."
                                   Lusiade, stanza 126.

  [305] "Mas na ponta da tierra Gingapura
        Veràs, onde o caminho às naos se estreyta,
        De aqui tornando a costa à Cynosura
        Se encurva, e para a Aurora se endereyta.
        Ves Pam, Patàne reynos, e alongura
        De Syão, que estes, e outros mays sogeyta.
        Olha o rio Menão, que se derrama
        Do grande lago, que Chiamay se chama."
                                  Lusiade, x, stanza 125.

  [306] The Lisbon edition has _sulia_, and explains the word in a
  note as translated above.

  [307] Encienço is the old word for ajenjo, absinthe, or it may be
  the old form of incenso, incense.

  [308] The English word to _fish_ a mast or fishing rod, comes from
  the Spanish word used here, fajar; anciently pronounced as the
  Catalan faixar, to wrap or wind a sash, to swathe.

  [309] Rattan.

  [310] Small coins, three ceutis make one blanca, an ancient coin.
  Escuela de leer letras Antiguas, p. 207: not in the dictionaries.

  [311] Kris.

  [312] This passage fixes the Hindu origin of running amok, which
  from this seems to have been connected with the worship of Shiva or
  Bhowani. Now it would be difficult to get any other explanation than
  that of _adet_, custom.

  [313] The Barcelona MS. has plainly Amuco, which is correct. Ramusio
  has Amulos, and the Lisbon edition Guanicio.

  [314] Thirty men according to other accounts.

  [315] Nicobar, Ortelius' map of Asia, and Nicovan in map of India;
  Ramusio, Navacar.

  [316] Medio _giorno_, Italian.

  [317] Samotra and Sumatra, Ortelius.

  [318] Pedir, Ortelius.

  [319] Biraen, Ortelius, on the north-west coast.

  [320] Pasem and Pazer, Ortelius; Passam, Homannus.

  [321] Camper, Ortelius and Homannus, between Siuk and Jambi.

  [322] Amdaragui, Ortelius; Andragari, Homannus; east coast.

  [323] Menancabo, Ortelius, south-west coast.

  [324] Sunda, Ortelius.

  [325] Ramusio has here translated south-east, the Lisbon edition has

  [326] Java Maior, Ortelius. It is still called Java Major by the

  [327] Ramusio, Palevdora; Lisbon, Pateudru.

  [328] They look very like Crim Tatars.

  [329] Raydas.

  [330] Java Minor, Ortelius, now Bali, the inhabitants are still
  pagans; the island Sumbawa also in Ortelius is not the same as Java
  Minor, but apparently the one here called Oçare, as it contains a
  great volcano. Here Ramusio says some lines are wanting; he calls
  the island Oçare, Nucopora.

  [331] Timor, Ortelius:--

        "Aly tambien Timor, que o lenho manda
        Sandalo salutifero, e cheyroso.
        Olha a Sunda tão larga, que humabanda
        Esconde para o Sul difficultuoso.
        A gente do sertão, que as torras anda,
        Hum rio diz que tem miraculoso,
        Que por onde elle so sem outro vae
        Converte em pedra o pao que nelle cae."
                                Lusiad. x, stanza 134.

  [332] Bandan, Ortelius:--

        "Olha do Bandá asilhas que se esmaltão
        Da varia cor, que pinta o rosco fruto,
        As aves, variadas, que aly saltão,
        Da verde Noz tomando seu tributo.
        Olha tambem Borneo, onde não faltaõ
        Lagrimas, no licor qualhado, e enxuto,
        Das arvores, que camphora he chamado
        Com que da ilha o nome he celebrado."
                                Lusiad., 133.

  [333] Chapel is also the same as chapin, a slipper or sandal.

  [334] Ramusio, Ambon; Lisbon, Andam.

  [335] Molucos, Ortelius.

  [336] Bachian, Machian, Motir, Tidore, Tarenate, Ortelius; Bluteau's
  dictionary names them Bachan, Maquien, Moutel, Tidor, Ternate, and
  says they were anciently named Seque, Mara, Moutil, Duco, Gape. The
  only remaining possession of the Portuguese in the Malay Archipelago
  is Dili in the island of Timor.

  [337] Nury is the real name of Molucca parrots, which has been
  changed to loro and lori. Ramusio calls them mire, and the Lisbon
  ed. noire.

  [338] This section is not in the Lisbon MS.

  [339] The Bugis of Celebes still make the best krises.

  [340] Celebes, Ortelius.

  [341] This section is not in the Lisbon MS.

  [342] Ramusio and the Lisbon ed., Tendaya. Banguey island, north of
  Borneo, 7 deg. 13 min. N. lat. and 120 deg. 12 min. E. long.; 6-3/4
  leagues long and 3-1/2 broad: it is desert. Geographical Dict.,
  Barcelona, 1831.

  [343] The island now called Solor is in another direction E. of the
  island Flores, 8 deg. 30 min. S. lat. and 126 deg. 52 min. E. long.

  [344] Ramusio stops here and says several lines are wanting.

  [345] Borneo, Ortelius.

  [346] Champa, Ortelius and Homannus, the southern portion of Cochin
  China next to Cambodia; it is not an island as here stated.

  [347] Ramusio says three hundred maravedis, the Lisbon MS. says
  thirty or forty pardoes.

  [348] Borceguies--the Turkish mest.

  [349] There is a _no_, not, here in the manuscript, which seems to
  be put in by mistake; the Spanish idiom does not allow of adding
  another negative at the beginning of the sentence; the one negative
  alone makes nonsense, and is contrary to what has been said above.

  [350] A French missionary, quoted in the "Dictionnaire de la
  Conversation," does not believe this story, which he assumes to be
  invented for the sake of increasing the value of the porcelain.

  [351] The Liu Kiu Islands. Lequio major and minor, Y^{a.} Fermosa,
  and Reix magas, form a group in Ortelius: in Homannus Formosa is in
  its proper place, and the group is called Lequeyo or Riukiu Islands.

  [352] Here the Lisbon edition says that the manuscript of Duarte
  Barbosa ends, and that what follows about the precious stones has
  been translated from the Italian of Ramusio: this appendix about
  precious stones is wanting in the Munich MS. No. 570.

  [353] Martin Centurion according to the Munich MS. No. 571, where
  the name is given in full.

  [354] Fano, fanam, fanão--a weight for weighing rubies, according to
  Bluteau = 1 quilat or carat; according to the Dicco. Enciclopedico,
  Madrid, 1853, and the Encyclopedie of Diderot and D'Alembert = to 2
  carats of Venice. Also a coin equal to two Spanish reals or twenty
  Portuguese reis, or ten of which made a cruzado. The author has said
  in another place that it is equal to thirty-six maravedis. The
  following table of coins will be useful with reference to the prices
  named in this work.

        Ducado =      375 maravedis.
        Dobla  =      365   "
        Florin =      265   "
        Real   =       34   "

  These maravedis were worth double those of the present time, in
  which a real contains 34 maravedis, so that a fanam would be worth 2
  reals or half a peseta = 6d. The author of the Escuela de leer
  Letras Antiguas, from which these figures are taken, has added lists
  of prices at different times as guides to the value of coins.

                  In 1348, law of Don John I.

        Fanega of wheat                         15 maravedis.
        Ditto     barley                        10      "
        Ditto     oats                           8      "
        Cubit of French cloth                   60      "
        Ditto    Flanders or English cloth      50      "
        Day's wages from November to March       3      "
        Ditto   ditto    March to November       4      "
        Each yoke for ploughing all day         10      "
        A servant by the year                  100      "
        A maid     ditto                        50      "
        For grinding a fanega of wheat           2      "
        A thousand tiles                        60      "
        Ditto      bricks                       55      "
        A fanega of mortar                       6      "
        Ditto       lime                         5      "
        An ox                                  200      "
        A calf                                 180      "
        A pound of mutton                        2      "
        A hare                                   3      "
        A rabbit                                 2      "
        A fowl                                   4      "
        A goose                                  6      "
        A pigeon                                 3      "
        A partridge                              5      "

  These maravedis were worth 22-1/2 actual maravedis, or about 2d. each.

        In 1524 the fanega of wheat was fixed at 70 maravedis.
        Ditto    ditto     of barley     "       40    "

  These maravedis were worth two of the actual ones.

        1865, a fanega of wheat =      50 reals.

  [355] A miskal.

  [356] A real de plata means two reals vellon, or actual reals of the
  present time.

  [357] Son bermejos y deslavados, y encarnados.

  [358] 65 in Ramusio.

  [359] Balassia in Ramusio.

  [360] Toque or proof.

  [361] Equal to a carat and a third.

  [362] These two names must be the same word Kringa-nila; blue stone,
  perhaps. In Ramusio, Quiniganilam.

  [363] Capucar in Ramusio.

  [364] A jour.

  [365] Exer in Ramusio.

  [366] Kerman. Chiraman, Ortelius.

  [367] In the MS. the passage reads _as mina y tierra seca_.

  [368] The _Times_ reviewer of Mr. Emmanuel's book _On Precious
  Stones_, April 5, 1866, is in error in saying that "the zircon is
  known in trade as the jacinth or hyacinth".

  The jargon, corindon or circon, which was much used in the xvi^{th}
  century, is not held in any estimation at the present time; it has
  the merit of possessing the hardness of the sapphire.

  [369] Mar Deignan in Ramusio.

  [370] I have been informed by Mr. Capt, jeweller, of Geneva, that
  the proportions of the prices of precious stones, according to their
  weight, are still very exact for uncut stones in the Indian market,
  and that the general accuracy of the details given in this MS. is
  very great. With respect to the doubts which had been expressed as
  to the stones of combined colours, they do exist, but are held in no
  estimation in Europe. Experiments have been made in Europe, and
  especially in Germany, for the purpose of deepening the colour of
  precious stones, particularly rubies, by the process here mentioned;
  but success was so hazardous, and so costly, that speculators would
  no longer incur the risks of it.

  [371] 6562 in Ramusio.

  [372] Beledin, of the country, local; Arabic. Ramusio has not
  translated it.

  [373] xl in Ramusio.

  [374] El peso del es el mayor. This may refer to the old and new
  weights, or it may mean that this ginger is heavier than the other

  [375] Syn enbarar.

  [376] Faratela, Indian weight equal to seven and a quarter pounds.
  Encicloped. Dict., Madrid, 1853.

  [377] Atincar, Anglicè tincal, when refined, borax.

  [378] Calamo aromático, also called acoro, a kind of aquatic plant
  used in medicine.

  [379] This may be either incense or wormwood. Incenso in Ramusio.

  [380] Lombriguera, southernwood, wormwood: Artemisia abrotanum.

  [381] Turbith, Convolvulus turpethum; its root is used as a
  purgative, and it comes from India and Ceylon.

  [382] Gum from the giant fennel: also called sagapeno, is known in
  commerce as yellowish white drops of a strong aromatic smell
  something like garlic; is used for diachylum.

  [383] Atulia, a sublimate of calamine.

  [384] Probably cubebs.

  [385] Or four hundredweight English.

  [386] Lo al, old Spanish.

  [387] This voyage is not in Ramusio nor in the Lisbon edition, and
  apparently has been hitherto unpublished. The Munich MS., No. 570,
  gives the date 1522, but 1512 is the correct reading.

  [388] Leste o este.

  [389] Surat glaized cotton stuff.

  [390] Sudueste and su sudueste, these terms have not been ever used
  in the body of the book.

  [391] Norueste.

  [392] Singaduras for Singladuras, Portuguese Singradura, derived by
  Bluteau from French Cingler, and that from the German Segelen.

  [393] Setentrional.

  [394] Del sur al sueste.

  [395] Or Colayres and giravales according to another reading.

  [396] Les nordeste.

  [397] This passage important. Los marineros q. tomamos en borney
  llevaban carta de marear e trayan una aguja y piedra yman e una
  carta en q. trayan muchas rayas e lineas de lo qual nos espantamos
  mucho. See the Pillars of Hercules, by D. Urquhart with respect to
  the Phenician compass.

  [398] Line across the forehead.

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