A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 8 - By Robert Kerr












































 -  Their
native language is quite different from Arabic, which however most of
them understand. They live very miserably, many of - Page 430
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Their Native Language Is Quite Different From Arabic, Which However Most Of Them Understand.

They live very miserably, many of them being famished with hunger.

They are not permitted to kill any flesh, so that they are forced to live on such fish as they can catch in the sea, and what dates they may procure, having no means to purchase rice, except by means of their women prostituting themselves to the Guzerats when they reside here. Such as are employed to keep the cattle belonging to the Arabs maintain themselves on milk.

I could not learn of any merchandize produced in this island, except aloes and dragon's blood; and some black ambergris is said to be got on the shores of Abba del Curia. They could make, in my opinion, more aloes than could be used in all Christendom, as the plant from which it is procured grows every where in great abundance, being no other than the semper vivum of Dioscorides, with whose description it agrees in seed, stalk, &c. It is all of the red prickly sort, much chamferred in the leaves, and so full of resinous juice as to be ready to burst. The chief time of preparing the aloes is in September, when the north winds blow, after the fall of some rain. Being gathered, it is cut in small pieces, and cast into a pit in the ground, which is paved and cleaned from all filth. It lies here to ferment in the heat of the sun, which causes the juice to flow out; which is put into skins that are hung up in the wind to dry and grow hard.

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