Printed for the Hakluyt Society,
Text on page 166
THE EAST AFRICAN
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 Mal-diva 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, Malaeojana, Malaca, Samatra, Bengala, Ceylan, and Peygu, on their passage to the Eed 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.
ISLAND OF CEYLAM.
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,1 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 sea-ports 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.3 Both Moors and Gentiles are well-made men,
1 a Yes corre a costa celebre Indiana Para o Sul ate o cabo Comori,
Ja chamado Cori, que Taprobana (Que ora he Ceilao) defronte tem de si.a
Os Lusiadas, canto x, stanza 107.
2 There is something wrong here ; for, from Cape Comorin to Mayle-2 There is something wrong here ; for, from Cape Comorin to Mayle-