[Footnote 145: On former occasions these amochi have been explained as devoted naires, under a vow to revenge the death of their sovereign.—E.]
From Cochin I went to Coulan, at which is a small fort belonging to the Portuguese, 72 miles from Cochin. This is a place of small trade, as every year a ship gets only half a lading of pepper here, and then goes to Cochin to be filled up. From Cochin to Cape Comorin is 72 miles, and here ends the Indian coast. Along this coast, and also at Cape Comorin, and down to the low lands of Chialon, which is about 200 miles, there are great numbers of the natives converted to the Christian faith, and among them are many churches of the order of St Paul, the friars of which order do much good in these places, and take great pains to instruct the natives in the Christian faith.
[Footnote 146: These geographical notices are inexplicable, unless by Chialon is meant the low or maritime parts of Ceylon, which Cesar Frederick afterwards calls Zeilan.—E.]
Of the Pearl Fishery in the Gulf of Manaar.
The men along the coast which extends from Cape Comorin to the low land of Chioal, and the island of Zeilan or Ceylon, is called the pearl-fishery. This fishery is made every year, beginning in March or April, and lasts fifty days. The fishery is by no means made every year at one place, but one year at one place, and another year at another place; all however in the same sea. When the fishing season approaches, some good divers are sent to discover where the greatest quantities of oysters are to be found under water; and then directly facing that place which is chosen for the fishery, a village with a number of houses, and a bazar all of stone, is built, which stands as long as the fishery lasts, and is amply supplied with all necessaries. Sometimes it happens near places already inhabited, and at other times at a distance from any habitations. The fishers or divers are all Christians of the country, and all are permitted to engage in this fishery, on payment of certain duties to the king of Portugal, and to the churches of the friars of St Paul on that coast. Happening to be there one year in my peregrinations, I saw the order used in fishing, which is as follows.
[Footnote 147: This word is unintelligible, having no similar name in modern geography. From the context, it seems to signify the maritime coast of Tinnevelly and Marwar, or the most southern part of the Carnatic, opposite to Ceylon; and may possibly be that called Chialon immediately before—E.]