The Fardle of Facions, by Johannes Boemus

The vj. Chapitre.

Of the Poeni, and thother peoples of Aphrique.

Of the Penois there are many and sondrie nacions. Adrimachidæ lieng toward Egipte, are like of maners to Thegiptians, but their apparell is like to the other Penois. Their wiues haue vpon eche legge, a houpe of Latton [Transcriber’s note: “Lat houpe ofton” in original]. Thei delight in long heare, and looke what lyce it fortuneth any of them to take aboute them: thei bite theim, and throwe them awaie, the whiche propretie, thei onely of all the Poeni haue. As also to present their maidens that are vpon mariage, to the kyng, whiche choosyng emong them the maiden that liketh hym beste, sieketh in her lappe, that aftre can neuer bee founde. The Nasamones (a greate and a terrible nacion, spoilers of suche Shippes as fortune to be throwen vpon the Sandes in the streightes) towarde Sommer, leauyng their cattle vpon the Sea coaste, goe doune into the plaine countrie to gather Dates, whiche are there very faire, and in greate plentie. Thei gather the boughes with the fruicte, not yet perfectely ripe, and laie them a Sonnyng to ripe. Afterward thei stiepe theim in Milke, and make soupinges and potages of theim. It is the maner emong theim, for euery man to haue many wiues: and the felowship of their wiues, that other vse in secrete: thei vse in open sights, in maner aftre the facion that the Massagetes vse. It is also the maner of the Nasamones, when any man marieth his first wife, to sende her about to euery one of the ghestes, to offer hym her body. And asmany as receiue her into armes, and shewe her the curtesie she comes for, must giue her some gifte, whiche she hath borne with her, home to her house. Their maner of takyng an othe, and foreshewyng of thinges to come, is thus.

Thei sweare by the menne that ware (by reporte) the best and moste iuste men emong them, layeng their handes on their Graues, or Tumbes. But for the fore knowledge of thynges, thei come to the Graues of their kyndreade, and there when thei haue praied their stinte, laye them doune vpon them to slepe: and loke what thei dreame, that, doe thei folowe. Where in confirmyng of our promise, we vse to strike handes (as we calle it) thei vse to drincke one to another: or elles if thei lacke liquour, to take duste fro the earth, and one to licke part of that to another. The Garamantes shonne the felowship and the sighte of all other peoples, and neither vse any kinde of weapon, or armour, ne yet dare defende them selues against other that vsed them. They dwell somwhat aboue the Nasamones, more vp londe. Aboute the sea coaste towarde the weste, ther bordereth vpon them the Maces: whiche shaue their heades in the crowne, and clyppe them rounde by the sides. The Gnidanes (nexte neighbours to the Maces) when they giue battaylle to the ostruthes, their brieding vnder the grounde, are armed with rawe felles of beastes. Their women ware prety wealtes of leather, euery one a greate manye whiche (as it is sayde) they begge of suche menne as haue lien with them. So that the moe she hath, the more she is estemed, as a deinty derling beloued of many. The Machlies dwelling aboute the mershe of Tritonides, vse to shaue their fore parte of their heade, and the Anses their hindre parte. The maydens of the Anses, at the yerely feastes of Minerua, in the honoure of the goddesse their country woman: deuiding them selues into two companies, vse to giue battaile, one parte to another with staues, and with stones: sayeng that thei obserue the maner of their country in the honour of her that we calle Minerua. And the maiden that departeth the battayle without wounde, thei holde her for no maide. But before ther battayle be fought, they determine that what mayden so euer beareth her selfe mooste valeaunte in the fielde, all the other maydens with commune consente shall garnishe her, and arme her, both with the armour of Grecia, and the helmet of Corinthe. And shal sette her in a chariot, and carye her rounde about the mershe. The same menne vsen their women as indifferently commune, as kyen to the bulle. The children remaine with the women vntil they be of some strengthe. Ones in a quartre the men do assemble wholy together, and then looke with whome the childe fantasieth mooste to abide, him do they compte for his father.

There is a people named Atlantes, of the mounte Athlas, by the whiche they dwell. These giue no names one to another as other peoples do, but echeman is namelesse. When the sonne passeth ouer their heades, they curse him, and reuyle him with all woordes of mischiefe: for that he is so broiling hote, that he destroieth bothe them and ther countrye.

They eate of no kinde of beaste, neither dreame in their sliepe. The Aphres (whice are all brieders of catteile) liue with flesshe and milke, and yet absteine they fro cowes milke, and all cowe fleshe, according to the maner of the Egiptians, and therefore kepe they none vp. The women of Cyrene thincke it not lawfull to strike a cowe, for Isis sake that is honoured in Egipt, to whome also they appoincte fasting, and feastefull daies, and obserue them solempnly. But the women of Barcea absteine bothe from cowe fleshe and sowe flesh. When their children are iiii. yeare olde they vse to cauterise them on the coron22 vaine (and some on the temple also) with a medecine for that purpose, made of woolle as it is plucked fro the shiepe: because thie should not at any time be troubled with rheumes or poses,23 and by that meanes they say they liue in very good health. Thei sacrifie after this maner. When in the name of their firste frutes they haue cutte of the eare of the beaste, they throwe it ouer the house. That done, they wring the necke on the one side. Of all the goddes they offre sacrifice to no more but Sonne and Mone. All the Aphres burye their deade as the Grecians doe, sauing the Nasamones, which bury them as thoughe they ware sitting: wayting well when any man lieth in drawing on, to set him on his taile, leaste he should giue vp the ghoste lieng vpright. Their houses are made of wickers, and withes, wrought aboute trees, moch like vnto those that we calle frankencence trees, and in suche sorte that they may tourne them rounde euery waye. The Maries, shaue the lefte side of their heade, and lette the heare growe on the right. They die their bodie in redde, and vaunte that they come of the Troianes. The women of the Zabiques (which are the next neighbours to the Maries) driue the cartes in the warres, in the which the men fight. Ther are a people called Zigantes, wher beside the great plentye of hony that they gather fro the Bies, they haue also certeine men that are makers of honye. They all die them selues with red, and eate apes fleshe, wherof thei that dwel in the mounteines haue great plentye. These al being of the part called Libye, liue for the moste parte a wilde lyfe abrode in the fieldes like beastes, making no household prouision of meate, ne wearing any maner of appareil but gotes felles. The gentlemen, and men of honour emong them, haue neither cities nor townes, but Turrettes builte vpon the waters side, in the which they laye vp the ouerplus of that that they occupy. They sweare their people euery yere to obeye their Prince, and that they that obey in diede, shoulde loue together as felowes and companions: but that the disobediente shoulde be pursued like felons and traitours. Their armour and weapon, are bothe acording to the nature of the country and contrimen: for wher thei of themselues are very quicke, and deliure 24 of bodye, and the country champaigne, and playne, they neither vse swearde, dagger, ne harneis, but onely cary thre Iauelines in their hande, and a nombre of piked and chosen stones, in a case of stiffe leather hanging aboute them. With these they vse bothe to fight and to skirmishe. In his coming towarde the ennemy, he throweth his stone, fetching his ronne, and maketh lightlye a narowe mysse, thoughe it be a good waye of: suche continuall practise they haue of it. They kiepe neither lawe ne faithe.

The Troglodites (whiche are also named of the Grecians pastours, for their fieding and brieding of catteille) a people of Ethiope, do lyue in companies, and haue their heade ouer them, whome they call Tiraunte. But not meaninge in him so much tirany in diede, as some time some of our gouernours vnder a fayrer name do execute. None of them hathe any seuerall wife, and therfore no seueral children, but bothe those in commune, the tiraunte excepted: Who hathe but one wyfe onely. To the which yf any manne do but approach or drawe nighe: he is condempned in a certeine nombre of cattaile to be paied to the Tiraunte. From the beginning of Iuly vntle about middle August (at the which time thei haue great plenty of raine) thei nourishe them selues with milke, and bloude, sodden a litle together. The pasture vplond being, dried away with the heate of the Sonne: They sieke downe to the marshe, and lowe groundes, for the whiche onely they be often at debate. When their catteil waxeth olde or sicke, they kyll them, and eate them, and altogether liue vpon such. They do not giue the childe the name of the father, but name him aftre a bull, a rambe or an eawe. And those call thei father (the beastes I meane of the masle kinde) and thother of the femel kynde, they call mother, because their daily fode is giuen by them. The people called Idiote, vse for their drincke the iuyce of a whinne named Paliurus. But the men of worshyp and gentlemen vse the iuce of a certeine floure they haue emonge them, whiche maketh drincke moche like the worste of the Renishe muste. And because thei cary great droues of catteile with them, they chaunge their soile often. Their bodies are all naked, sauing their priuities, whiche they hide with felles of beastes. All the Troglodites are circumcised aftre the maner of the Egiptians, sauing only the Claudians: whiche they so terme of claudicacion or limping. They onely, dwellinge from their childe hode within the country of the Hesternes, are not touched with rasour or knife. The Troglodites that are called Magaueres, carye for theyr armour and weapon, a rounde buckler of a rawe oxe hide, and a clubbe shodde with yron. Other haue bowes, and Iauelines. As for graues or places of buriall, they passe not. For they binde the heade, and the fiete of the dead together with witthes of Paliurus, and then setting it vp vpon some hilly place, haue a good sporte to all to bethwacke it with stones, vntle they lie heaped ouer the corps. Then laye they a goates horne on the toppe and departe, biddinge sorrowe go plaie him. They warre one with another, not as the Griekes vpon rancour and Ambicion, but onely for foode sake. In their skirmishes, firste they go to it with stones, as afore ye haue hearde, vntle it fortune some nombre to be hurte. Then occupieng the bowe (wherin they are very sure handed) thei kille one another vpon hepes. Those battayles are attoned by the women of mooste auncient age. For when they be ones comen into the middle emong them (as they maye do withoute harme, for that is compted abhominacion in any wise to hurte one of them) the battaille sodenly ceaseth. They that are nowe so fiebled with age, that they can no longer followe the heard: winding the tayle of an oxe aboute their throte choke vp and die. But he that differreth to rydde him selfe in this sorte: It is laweful for another (aftre a warninge) to doe it. And it is there compted a friendly benefaicte. Men also diseased of feures, oranye other incurable malady, they doe in lyke maner dispatche: iudginge it of all griefes the woorste, for that manne to liue, that canne nowe nothinge doe, why he shoulde desyre to lyue. Herodote writeth, that the Troglodites myne them selues caues in the grounde, wherin to dwell. Men not troubled with anye desire of riches, but raither giuing them selues to wilfull pouertie. They glory in nothing but in one litle stone, wherin appere thre skore sondry colours: which we therfore calle Exaconthalitus. They eate sondry kindes of venemous vermyne. And speake any distincte worde they cannot, but sieme rather to busse or thurre betwene thetiethe, then to speake.

There is another people dwelling in that Ethiope that lyeth aboue Egipte, called Ryzophagi, whiche bestowe muche time in digging vp of the rootes of Riedes growing niere aboute them, and in wasshing and clensing of the same, whiche afterward they bruse betwixt stones till thei become clammie, and so makes wiete cakes of them, muche facioned like a brick a hande broade. Those bake thei by the Sonne, and so eate them. And this kinde of meate onely, serueth them all they life tyme plentifully and enough, and neuer waxeth fulsome vnto theim. Thei neuer haue warre one with another, but with Lions, whiche comyng out of the deserte there, partly for shadowe, and partly for to praie vpon smaller beastes, doe oftymes wourie diuers of the Æthiopes, comyng out of the Fennes. In so muche that that nation had long sences bene vttrely destroyed by the Lions, excepte nature of purpose, had shewed them her aide. For toward the dogge daies, there come into that coaste, infinite swarmes of Gnattes, without any drifte of winde to enforce them. The men then flieng to the fennes, are not harmed by them. But thei driue the Lions with their stingyng and terrible buszyng, cleane out of that quartre. Next vpon these, bordre the Ilophagi and Spermatophagi, the one liuynge by suche fruicte as falleth from the trees, in Sommer, and the residew of the yere by suche herbes as thei picke vp in the shadowed groundes. The other, the Ilophagi, siekynge to the plaines with their wiues and their children, climbe trees, and gather, eate, and cary home: the tendre croppes and buddes of the boughes. And thei haue by continualle practise, suche a nimblenes in climbyng, that (a wondrefull thynge to be spoken) thei wille leape from boughe to boughe, and tree to tree like Cattes or Squirelles, and by reason of their slendrenes and lightenes, wille mounte vp on braunches and twigges, without daunger or hurte. For thoughe their fiete slippe, yet hange thei feste by the handes: and if thei bothe faile theim, yet falle thei so light, that thei be harmelesse.

These folkes go naked, and hold their wiues and children in commune. Emong them selues they fighte for their places without weapon: but against foreiners with staues. And wheare thei ouercome, there chalenge thei Lordeshippe. Thei communely dye for hongre, when their sight faileth them: whiche was their onely instrumente to finde their foode. The residewe of the countrie there aboute, do those Æthiopians holde, which are named Cynecy, not very many in nombre, but muche differing in life from the rest. For their Countrie beyng wooddie, and wilde, fulle of thicquettes, and skante of watre, thei are forced by night, for feare of wilde beastes, to slepe in trees: and toward the mornyng, all weaponed together, to drawe doune to the waters, wher thei shroude them selues into couert, and so abide close till the heate of the daie. At the whiche tyme the Bugles, Pardales, and other greate beastes, what for the heate, and what for thriste, flocke toguether to the watres. Assone as thei haue druncken, and haue well laden their beallies with watre, the Ethiopes startynge out vpon them with stakes, sharpened and hardened in the fire, and with stones, and with arrowes, and suche like weapon, at this aduauntage, slea them vpon heapes, and deuide the carkesses by compaignies to be eaten. And sometyme it happeneth that thei theim selues are slaine by some beast of force, howbeit very seldome. For thei euer by their pollicies and traines, doe more damage to the beastes, then the beastes can doe vnto them. If at any time thei lacke the bodies of the beastes, then take thei the rawe hides of suche as thei lateliest before had slaine, and clensyng them cleane fro the heare, thei sokynglie laie them to a softe fire; and when thei be throughly hette, deuide them emong the compaignie, whiche very griedely fille themselues of them.

They exercise their children whilest thei be boies, to throw the darte at a sette marke, and he that hitteth not the marke receiueth no meate. By the whiche maner of trainyng, hongre so worketh in the boies that thei become excellente darters.

The Acridophagie (a people borderyng vpon the deaserte) are somewhat lower of stature then the residewe, leane, and exceding blacke. In the Spring time, the Weste, and Southwest winde, bringeth vnto them out of the Deaserte, an houge nombre of Locustes, whiche are of verie greate bodie, and of wynge very filthily coloured. The Ethiopians well accustomed with their maner of flighte and trade, gather together into a long slade betwixte two hilles, a great deale of rubbeshe and mullocke, from places nighe hande, apte for fingry, and the grasse and all wiedes there aboute. And laieng it ready in heapes aforehande, a long the slade, when thei see the Locustes come with the winde like cloudes in the aire, thei set al on fire, and so swelte theim in the passing ouer, that thei bee skante full out of the slade, but thei fall to the grounde in suche plentie, that thei be to all the Acridophagi, a sufficient victuallyng. For thei poudre them with salte (wherof the countrie hath plentie) and so continually from yere to yere, liue by none other foode. For thei neither haue any kinde of catteille, ne fisshe can haue, beyng so farre fro the sea. And this maner of meate siemeth to theim, verie pleasaunte and fine.

Of bodie thei are very lighte, swifte of foote, and shorte liued as not passyng xl. yeres, he that liueth longest. Their ende is not more incredible, then it is miserable. For when their drawe into age, their briedeth a kinde of winghed lice in their bodies, of diuers colours, and very horrible, and filthie to beholde: whiche firste eate out their bealies, and then their brest, and so the whole body in a litle space. He that hath this disease, first as thoughe he had on hym some tickelyng ytche, all to beskratcheth his bodie with suche pleasure, as is also mingled with some smart, And within a litle while aftre, when the lyce beginne to craule, and the bodie beginneth to mattre, enraged with the bittrenes and grief of the disease, he teareth and mangleth his whole bodie with his nailes, putting furth in the mean while many a greuous grone. Then gussheth there out of hym, suche aboundaunce of lice, that a manne would thinke they had bene barelled in his body: and that the barel now broken, the swarme plomped out. And by this meanes, whether throughe the enfectious aire, or the corrupcion of their fieding, thei make a miserable ende.

Vpon the Southe border of Affrike, dwell there menne called of the Grekes Cynnamie, and of their neighbours Sauluages: Bearded, and that with aboundaunce of heare. Thei kiepe for the saufegarde of their liues, greate compaignies of wilde Mastiues: for that from midde Iune, till midde Winter, there entreth into their countrie, an innumerable sorte of Kine of Inde. Whether thei flie thether to saue them selues from other beastes, or come to sieke pasture, or by some instincte of nature vnknowen to manne, it is vncertaine. Against these, when the menne of their owne force, are not able to resist: thei defende themselues by the helpe of their dogges, and take many of them. Whereof thei eate parte whilest thei are freshe, and parte reserue thei in pouldre, for their aftre niede. Thei eate also many other kindes of beastes, whiche thei hunt with their dogges.

The laste of all the Affriens Southewarde, are the Ichthiophagi. A people borderyng vpon the Troglodities, in the Goulfe called Sinus Arabicus: whiche vnder the shape of man, liue the life of beastes. Thei goe naked all their life time, and make compte of their wiues and their children in commune. Thei knowe none other kindes of pleasure or displeasure, but like vnto beastes, suche as thei fiele: neither haue thei any respecte to vertue, or vice, or any discernyng betwixte goode or badde. Thei haue litle Cabanes not farre from the Sea, vpon the clieues sides: where nature hath made greate carfes, diepe into the grounde, and hollowe Guttres, and Criekes into the maigne lande, bowting and compayng in and out, to and fro, many sondrie waies. Whose entringes thenhabitauntes vse to stoppe vp with great heapes of calion and stones, whereby the criekes serue them now in the steade of nettes. For when the sea floweth (which happeneth there twise in the daye, aboute the houres of thre, and of nyne) the water swelleth so highe, that it ouerfloweth into the maigne shore, and filleth those crieques with the sea. And the fisshe folowing the tide, and dispersinge them selues abrode in the maigne londe to seeke their foode: at the ebbe when the water withdraweth, retiring together with it alway to the dieper places, and at laste remaining in these gutters and crieques, they are stopped in with the stone heapes, and at the lowe water lye drie. Then come the enhabitauntes with wyfe and children, take them, and laye them oute vpon the rocques against the midday sonne, wher, with the broiling heate of the same, they be within a while skorched and parched. Then do they remoue them, and with a litle beating separate the fysshe fro the bones. Then put they the fisshe into the hollowes of the rocques, and beat it to pomois, minglinge therewith the side of the whynne Paliurus. And so facion it into lumpes muche like a bricke, but somewhat longer. And when they haue taken them againe a litle by the sonne, they sitte them downe together, and eate by the bealy.

Of this haue thei alway in store, accordinge to the plenty that Neptune gyueth them. But when by the reason of tempest the sea ouerfloweth these places aboue his naturall course, and tarieth longer then his wonte, so that they can not haue this benefight of fisshing, and their store is all spent: they gather a kynde of great shelle fysshe, whose shelles they grate open with stones, and eate the fisshe rawe, in taste muche like to an oyster. If it fortune this ouerflowing by the reason of the winde, to continue longe, and their shellefysshe to fayle them: then haue they recours to the fysshebones (which they do of purpose reserue together in heapes) and when thei haue gnabeled of the softest and gristely partes with their tiethe, of those that are newest and beste, they beate the harder with stones into pieces, and eate them. Thei eate as I haue said in the wilde field together abrode, reioicing with a semblaunte of merinesse, and a maner of singyng full vntuned. That done they falle vppon their women, euen as they come to hande withoute any choyse: vtterly voide of care, by reason they are alwaye sure of meate in good plentye.

Thus foure daies euer continual, busied with this bealy bownsing chiere, the v. daie thei flocke together to go drincke, al on a droue, not vnlike to a heard of kiene to the waters, shouting as they go with an Yrishe whobub. And when they haue dronke till their bealies stonde a strutte, so that they are skant able to retourne: euerye bodie layes him downe dronckardelike to reste his water bolne bealy, and that daye eateth nothing. The next daye agayne they fall to their fyshing: And so passe they their lyfe continually.

Thei seldome falle into any diseases, for that they are alway of so vniforme diete. Neuerthelesse they are shorter lyued then we are. Theyr nature not corrupted by any perswasion taken of other, compteth the satisfieng of hongre, the greatest pleasure in the world. As for other extraordenary pleasures, they seke them not. This is the maner of liuing propre vnto them that lye within the bosome of the sayde Arabique sea. But the maner of them that dwell without the bosome, is moche more merueilous. For thei neuer drinke ne neuer are moued with any passion of the mynde. These beynge as it ware by fortune throwen oute into the desertes, farre from the partes miete to be enhabited, giue them selues altogether to fyshing, which they eate haulfe rawe. Not for to auoyde thirste (for they desire no moyste thynges) but rather of a nature sauluage and wilde, contented with such victualle as commeth to hande. They compte it a principall blessednes to be withoute those thinges what so euer they be, that bringe sorowe or griefe to their hauers. Thei are reported to be of such patience, that though a manne strike them with a naked sweard, thei will not shonne him, or flye from him. Beate them, or do theim wronge, and they onely wil looke vppon you, neither shewinge token of wrathe, nor countenaunce of pitie. Thei haue no maner of speache emong them: But onely shewe by signes of the hande, and nodding with the heade, what they lacke, and what they would haue. These people with a whole consent, are mayntayners of peace towarde all men, straunger and other. The whiche maner althoughe it be wondrefull, they haue kept time oute of mynde. Whether throughe longe continuance of custome, or driuen by necessitie, or elles of nature: I cannot saye. They dwell not as the other Icthiophagi doe, all in one maner of cabanes, but sondry in diuers. Some haue their dennes, and their cabanes in them opening to the North: to the ende they might by that meanes be the bettre shadowed fro the sonne, and haue the colder ayre. For those that are open toward the Southe, by the reason of the greate heate of the sonne, caste forthe such a breathe, fornais like, that a manne can not come niere them. They that open towarde the Northe, builde them preaty Cabanes of the ribbes of whales (whiche in those seas they plentuously find) compassing them aboute by the sides, accordynge to their naturall bendinge, and fasteninge them together at bothe endes with some maner of tyenge. Those do they couer with the woose and the wiedes of the sea tempered together. And in these they shroude them selues fro the sonne: nature by necessitie diuising a way how to helpe and defende her selfe.

Thus haue ye hearde the lyfe of the Icthiophagi, and now remaineth there for Aphrique onely the Amazones to be spoken of, which menne saye in the olde tyme dwelte in Libye. A kinde of warlike women, of greate force, and hardinesse, nothing lyke in lyfe vnto our women. The maner amonge them was to appointe to their maidens a certein space of yeres to be trayned, and exercysed in the feictes of warre. Those beynge expired, they ware ioyned to menne for yssues sake. The women bare all the rule of the commune wealthe. The women ware princes, lordes, and officiers, capiteines, and chiefteines of the warres. The menne had noughte to doe, but the drudgery at home, and as the women woulde appoincte them. The children assone as thei ware borne, were deliuered to the men to nouryshe vp with milke, and suche other thinges as their tendrenes required. If it ware a boye, they eyther brake the right arme assone as it was borne, that it mighte neuer be fytte for the warres, or slue it, or sente it oute of the country. If a wenche, they streighte ceared the pappes, that thei might not growe to hindre them in the warres. Therefore the Grecians called theim Amazones, as ye woulde saie, pappelesse. The opinion is, that thei dwelt in the Ilonde named Hespera, which lieth in the marsshe, named (of a riuer that runneth into it) Tritonis, ioyning vpon Ethiope, and the mounte Atlas, the greatest of all that lande. This Ilonde is very large and greate, hauyng plentie of diuers sortes of fruictes, whereby the enhabitauntes liue. Thei haue many flockes of shiepe, and goates, and other small catteile, whose milke and flesshe they eate. They haue no maner of graine, ne knowe what to doe therwith.

22 Query, frontal.

23 A local name for a cold in the head. (See N. Bailey’s Dict., vol. i.)

24 Nimble. “All of them being tall, quicke, and deliver persons.” Hollinshed, vol. ii., ccc. 5.

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:27