A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 647 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels Volume 01.

Beyond these islands, and in the sea of Herkend, is Serendib[4] or Ceylon, the chief of all these islands, which are called Dobijat.  It is entirely surrounded by the sea, and on its coast they fish for pearls.  In this country there is a mountain called Rahun, to the top of which Adam is said to have ascended, where he left the print of his foot, seventy cubits long, on a rock, and they say his other foot stood in the sea at the same time.  About this mountain there are mines of rubies, opals, and amethysts.  This island is of great extent, and has two kings; and it produces aloes wood, gold, precious stones, and pearls, which last are fished for on the coast; and there are also found a kind of large shells, which are used for trumpets, and much esteemed.  In the same sea, towards Serendib, there are other islands, not so many in number as those formerly mentioned, but of vast extent, and unknown.  One of these is called Ramni, which is divided among a number of princes, and in it is found plenty of gold.  The inhabitants have cocoa nut trees, which supply them with food, and with which also they paint their bodies, and oil themselves.  The custom of the country is, that no man can marry till he has killed an enemy, and brought off his head.  If he has killed two he claims two wives, and if he has slain fifty he may have fifty wives.  This custom proceeds from the number of enemies with which they are surrounded, so that he who kills the greatest number is the most considered.  These islands of Ramni abound with elephants, red-wood, and trees called Chairzan, and the inhabitants eat human flesh.

These islands separate the sea of Herkend from the sea of Shelabet, and beyond them are others called Najabalus, which are pretty well peopled, both men and women going naked, except that the women wear aprons made of leaves.  When shipping goes among these islands, the inhabitants come off in boats, bringing with them ambergris and cocoa nuts, which they barter for iron; for, being free from the inconveniencies either of extreme heat or cold they want no clothing.  Beyond these two islands is the sea of Andaman.  The people on this coast eat human flesh quite raw; their complexion is black, with frizzled hair, their countenance and eyes frightful, their feet very large, almost a cubit in length, and they go quite naked.  They have no sort of barks or other vessels, or they would seize and devour all the passengers they could lay their hands upon.  When ships have been kept back by contrary winds, and are obliged to anchor on this barbarous coast, for procuring water, they commonly lose some of their men.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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