CONCERNING THE PROVINCE OF LAR WHENCE THE BRAHMINS COME.
Lar is a Province lying towards the west when you quit the place where the
Body of St. Thomas lies; and all the Abraiaman in the world come
from that province.[NOTE 1]
You must know that these Abraiaman are the best merchants in the world,
and the most truthful, for they would not tell a lie for anything on
earth. [If a foreign merchant who does not know the ways of the country
applies to them and entrusts his goods to them, they will take charge of
these, and sell them in the most loyal manner, seeking zealously the
profit of the foreigner and asking no commission except what he pleases to
bestow.] They eat no flesh, and drink no wine, and live a life of great
chastity, having intercourse with no women except with their wives; nor
would they on any account take what belongs to another; so their law
commands. And they are all distinguished by wearing a thread of cotton
over one shoulder and tied under the other arm, so that it crosses the
breast and the back.
They have a rich and powerful King who is eager to purchase precious
stones and large pearls; and he sends these Abraiaman merchants into the
kingdom of Maabar called Soli, which is the best and noblest Province of
India, and where the best pearls are found, to fetch him as many of these
as they can get, and he pays them double the cost price for all.