Duarte Barbosa on Mozambique Island

 Island of Mozambique, Pieter van den Keere, 1598. (Source.)

Having passed this town of Anguox, on the way to India, there are very near to the land three islands, one of which is inhabited by Moors, and is called Mozambique.

It has a very good port, and all the Moors touch there who are sailing to Sofala, Zuama, or Anguox. Amongst these Moors there is a sheriff, who governs them, and does justice. 

These are of the language and customs of the Moors of Anguox, in which island the King of Portugal now holds a fort, and keeps the said Moors under his orders and government. At this island the Portuguese ships provide themselves with water and wood, fish and other kinds of provisions; and at this place they refit those ships which stand in need of repair. 

Fort of São Sebastião, Portuguese fort off Mozambiaue Island. (Source.)

And from this island likewise the Portuguese fort in Sofala draws its supplies, both of Portuguese goods and of the produce of India, on account of the road being longer by the mainland.

Opposite this island there are many very large elephants and wild animals. The country is inhabited by Gentiles, brutish people who go naked and smeared all over with coloured clay, and their natural parts wrapped in a strip of blue cotton stuff, without any other covering; and they have their lips pierced with three holes in each lip, and in these holes they wear bones stuck in, and claws, and small stones, and other little things dangling from them.

This excerpt is from Henry E. J. Stanley's translation of Ramusio: A Description of the Coasts of East Africa and Malabar in the Beginning of the Sixteenth Century, published for the Hakluyt Society, London, 1867. The book is available in multiple formats at Gutenberg.org.

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