A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 750 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06.

The 4th of May we rowed along shore, and came to anchor near sunset, in a small but excellent harbour named Azallaihe, two leagues S.E. beyond Shakara between that place and the black hillock.  We lay at anchor all night, the wind at N.N.W. Bohalel Shame is a deep, safe, and capacious port, in which many ships may ride at anchor.  It was named from one Bohalel, a rich chief of the Badwis who dwelt in the inland country, and used to sell cattle to the ships frequenting this port. Shame signifies land or country; so that Bohalel Shame signifies the Land of Bohalel[327].  At this place we found an honourable tomb within a house like a chapel, in which hung a silk flag or standard, with many arrows or darts round the grave, and the walls were hung round with many bulls[328].  On an upright slab or table at the head of the grave there was a long inscription or epitaph, and about the house there were many sweet-scented waters and other perfumes.  From the Moors and Arabs I was informed that an Arabian of high rank of the lineage of Mahomet was here buried; and that the Sharifs of Jiddah and other great prelates gave indulgences and pardons to all who visited his sepulchre:  But the Portuguese sacked the house and afterwards burnt it, so that no vestige was left.  On the shore of this harbour we saw many footsteps of tigers and goats, as if they had come here in search of water.

[Footnote 327:  Rather perhaps Bohalel Shomeh, meaning the lot or portion of Bohalel.—­Astl.]

[Footnote 328:  Perhaps Bells.—­E.]

Having often occasion to mention the Badwis or Bedouins while voyaging along the coasts of their country, it may be proper to give some account of that people.  These Badwis are properly the Troglodites ophiofagi, of whom Ptolemy, Pomponius Mela, and other ancient writers make mention.  These Badwis or Troglodites live on the mountains and sea-coasts from Melinda and Magadoxa to Cape Guardafu, and thence all along the coasts of the Red Sea on both sides, and along the outer coast of Arabia through the whole coast of the Persian Gulf; all of which land they may be more properly said to occupy than to inhabit.  In Good Arabic, Badwi signifies one who lives only by cattle[329].  Those who dwell along the Red Sea from Zeyla to Swakem, and thence to al Kossir, are continually at war with the Nubii or Nubians; while those from Kossir to Suez perpetually molest the Egyptians.  On the eastern coast of the Red Sea the Badwis have incessant contests with the Arabians.  They are wild men, among whom there is no king or great lord, but they live in tribes or factions, allowing of no towns in their country, neither have they any fixed habitations, but live a vagabond life, wandering from place to place with their cattle.  They abhor

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