126 SOFALA, SHUPANGA book ii
horses, which were all that remained out of thirty he had taken from
his country, the others having died in the vessel when crossing the sea
from Mocha to Surat. Also a number of young slaves of both sexes ; and
finally, this being the most important and worthy to be admired, there
was a tree of gold 2 feet 4 inches high, and about 5 or 6 inches round
the stem.1 It had ten or twelve branches, some of which were
nearly half a foot long and an inch broad, others being smaller. In
some parts of the large branches there was to be seen some roughness,
which in a manner resembled buds. The roots of this tree which had been
thus naturally formed, were small and short, the longest not being more
than 4 or 5 inches.
The people of this Kingdom of Monomotapa, knowing the time that the calicoes and other goods arrive at Sofala 2 and
Shupanga, come punctually to provide themselves with what they require.
Many Cafres from other Kingdoms and Provinces also come, and the
Governors of these two towns sell them calicoes and other things of
which they have need, trusting for the payment which they undertake to
make the following year by bringing gold, to the amount agreed upon ;
for if the Governor did not trust them thus there would be no trade
between the Portuguese and the Cafres. It is almost the same with the
Ethiopians who every year carry gold to Cairo, of which I have spoken
in my account of the Seraglio of the Grand Seigneur. These people of
Monomotapa do not live a long time on account of the bad water in their
country. At the age of twenty-five years they begin to be dropsical, so
that it is considered a marvel when they exceed forty years in age. The
Province where the river Sena rises is called Moukaran,3 and belongs to another King, commencing at 100 leagues or thereabouts above
This description suggests a manufactured article, but it is possible
that it was really, as Tavernier supposed, a natural arborescent nugget.
Sofala, a district and town on the East African coast, the most remote
settlement towards the south made on that coast by the Arabs (Yule, Hobson-Jobson, 849 ; Barbosa, ed. Dames, Hakluyt Society, i. 6 ff. Shupanga is situated on the lower Zambezi (Eney. Brit., xxviii. 952).
3 Sir H. H. Johnston kindly writes: ' Sena is the lower Zambezi: Moukaran is probably the country of Karana or Karanga '.