Travels In The Interior Of Africa - Volume 1 of 2 - By Mungo Park













 -   A
little attention to cultivation procures a sufficiency of corn, the
fields afford a rich pasturage for cattle, and the - Page 9
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A Little Attention To Cultivation Procures A Sufficiency Of Corn, The Fields Afford A Rich Pasturage For Cattle, And The Natives Are Plentifully Supplied With Excellent Fish, Both From The Gambia River And The Walli Creek.

The grains which are chiefly cultivated are - Indian corn (zea mays); two kinds of holcus spicatus, called by the natives soono and sanio; holcus niger, and holcus bicolor, the former of which they have named bassi woolima, and the latter bassiqui.

These, together with rice, are raised in considerable quantities; besides which, the inhabitants in the vicinity of the towns and villages have gardens which produce onions, calavances, yams, cassavi, ground nuts, pompions, gourds, water-melons, and some other esculent plants.

I observed likewise, near the towns, small patches of cotton and indigo. The former of these articles supplies them with clothing, and with the latter they dye their cloth of an excellent blue colour, in a manner that will hereafter be described.

In preparing their corn for food, the natives use a large wooden mortar called a paloon, in which they bruise the seed until it parts with the outer covering, or husk, which is then separated from the clean corn by exposing it to the wind, nearly in the same manner as wheat is cleared from the chaff in England. The corn thus freed from the husk is returned to the mortar and beaten into meal, which is dressed variously in different countries; but the most common preparation of it among the nations of the Gambia is a sort of pudding which they call kouskous.

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