Printed for the Hakluyt Society,
Text on page 99
NAMES OF THE ATOLLS.
is under the eighth degree from the line to the northward, at the same altitude as Cochin,1 and no more. So the first atollon is called Tilla dou matis; the second, Milla doue madoue ; the third, Padypolo; the fourth, Malos madou ; the fifth, Ariaiollon ; the sixth, MaU atollon, which is the principal one, having in it Male island, the capital of all the others; the seventh, Poulisdous; the eighth, Molucque; the ninth, Nillandous; the tenth, Collo madous; the eleventh, Adoumatis; the twelfth, Souadou; the thirteenth, Addou and Poua Molucque, which are two little ones, distinct and separate like the others, but so small that they are only counted as one. Generally Addou, being the chief, gives its name to the other. During my sojourn I was in all the atollons, and sailed about them with the natives.2 Each of these atollons is separated from its neighbour by a sea channel, and these vary, some being narrow and some wide ; but whichever they be, you cannot pass them in large ships without disaster. Albeit, there are four much wider than the others, which the largest ships can pass; but even these are very dangerous, and it is hazardous to go by them, especially by night; for then you are infallibly lost, as we were, for you must meet with some shallows and reefs, which ought to be avoided. I have seen at the Maldives many marine charts, in which all this was very precisely laid down.3 The people
1 The northernmost island of the Maldives is in 7A 6' N.; Cochin is in 9A 55'.
2 This statement may be taken generally. He does not describe any trips made round the atolls.
3 These charts (M. muruba, Chr.; mouraban, Pyr., Yoc.) have been seen in Ceylon (Tennent, Ceylon, i, 612, note). Sir A. Johnston, a former Chief Justice of Ceylon, obtained two of them, which he presented to the Royal Asiatic Society (Christopheras paper in J. R. A. S.9 vol. vi); but these appear to have been lost. Mr. Bell has in his possession several charts of the coasts of India and Ceylon; but he never saw among them any of the Maldives themselves. From the photographs of these charts most of them seem fairly good copies of European originals: the one of Ceylon and the Coromandel coast given here is the worst of the lot, i.e., the most purely native production.
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