The Wages Of Free Laborers, When Employed
In Such Work As Gold-Washing, Agriculture, Or Digging Coal,
Is 2 Yards Of Unbleached Calico Per Day.
They might be got to work cheaper
if engaged by the moon, or for about 16 yards per month.
For masons and carpenters even, the ordinary rate is 2 yards per day.
This is called 1 braca.
Tradesmen from Kilimane demand 4 bracas,
or 8 yards, per day. English or American unbleached calico
is the only currency used. The carriage of goods up the river to Tete
adds about 10 per cent. to their cost. The usual conveyance
is by means of very large canoes and launches built at Senna.
The amount of merchandise brought up during the five months of peace
previous to my visit was of the value of 30,000 dollars, or about 6000 Pounds.
The annual supply of goods for trade is about 15,000 Pounds,
being calico, thick brass wire, beads, gunpowder, and guns.
The quantity of the latter is, however, small, as the government of Mozambique
made that article contraband after the commencement of the war.
Goods, when traded with in the tribes around the Portuguese,
produce a profit of only about 10 per cent., the articles traded in being
ivory and gold-dust. A little oil and wheat are exported, but nothing else.
Trade with the tribes beyond the exclusive ones is much better.
Thirty brass rings cost 10s. at Senna, 1 Pound at Tete, and 2 Pounds
beyond the tribes in the vicinity of Tete; these are a good price for
a penful of gold-dust of the value of 2 Pounds.
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