It Is Very
Populous, The Inhabitants Having Many Cities And Towns Of Different
Extent And Grandeur.
The country is fertile and well watered, and
everywhere diversified with mountains, vallies, rivers, bays, and ports.
The natives have no general name for the island, and are entirely
ignorant of those of Madagascar and St Lawrence, which are given to it
The general population of the island consists of a nation
called _Buques_, who have no religion and consequently no priests or
places of worship, yet all their youth are circumcised at six or seven
years old, any one performing the operation. The natives are not all of
one colour; some being quite black with crisp or curled hair like
negroes; others not quite so black with lank hair; others again
resembling mulatoes; while some that live in the interior are almost
white, yet have hair of both kinds. They are of large stature, strong
and well made, of clear judgment, and apt to learn. Every man has as
many wives as he pleases or can maintain, turning them off at pleasure,
when they are sure to find other husbands, all of whom buy their wives
from their fathers, by way of repaying the expence of their maintenance
before marriage. Their funeral obsequies consist chiefly in feasting the
guests; and their mourning in laying aside all appearance of joy, and
cutting off their hair or daubing their faces and bodies with clay.
Their government is monarchical, their kings or chiefs being called
_Andias_, _Anrias_, and _Dias_, all independent of each other and almost
continually engaged in war, more for the purpose of plunder than
slaughter or conquest.
Enter page number
Page 7 of 842
Words from 1518 to 1794