A Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar in the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century
Excerpt: ...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. 232 137 SECTION OF LOW PEOPLE: ZIVIL TIVER. 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, 138 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...
- 189 x 246 x 4mm | 168g
- 13 Sep 2013
- United States
- black & white illustrations