A Curious and Exact Account of a Voyage to Congo, in the Years 1666-1667.


Tall 4to. 483-519 pp. Printed in two columns; light foxing. Handsomely bound in period-style half calf marbled boards, five raised bands, gilt-stamped dark leather spine label. Near fine. Extracted from: vol. 1 of Awnsham Churchill's Collection of voyages and travels, 3rd ed., 1744-1746. // The author's account of native attire and his own views: "He only wore a clout of the bigness of a handkerchief made of palm-tree leaves, for decency sake, to cover that which modesty requires should be cover'd, and a cloke of European cloth reaching down to the ground; it was blue, a colour much esteem'd among them; the rest of his body was naked. The Blacks that attended the macolonte, and who were his officers, had only one of those handkerchiefs, which they send to be dy'd blue at Loanda: The rest of the people had only leaves of trees, and monkeys skins; and those who live in the open country, and lie under the trees, whether men or women, wear nothing at all, but go quite naked without any sense of shame." (p. 493). He describes musical instruments ("a piece of stake, which they tie and bend like a bow, and bind to it fifteen long, dry, and empty gourds, or calabashes of several sizes, to sound several notes, with a hole at top with a little thin bit of board, somewhat lifted above the hole. Then they take a cord made of the bark of a tree, and fastening it to both ends of the instrument, hang it about their neck. To play upon it they use two sticks, the ends of which are cover'd with a bit of rag, with which they strike upon those little boards, and so make the gourds gather wind, which in some manner resembles the sound of an organ, and makes a pretty agreeable harmony, especially when three or four of them play together." (p. 493). The author then talks of drums, beats, extraordinary birds, the colla [kola = caffeine, often chewed in Africa] nut, the death reported of Fra Michael Angelo of Gattina (p. 502) – after a prolonged and unknown sickness which was treated variously including by bleeding, anointed with oil (to lessen pain), then the swelling increased, they stopped applying the oil (for fear it made matters worse), after fifteen days he died. Another account tells of "a useful monkey" – the author being bothered by rats, and a smell by some natives, and a remedy was called "infallible … against those two inconveniences" was offered: a little monkey would protect him from rats by [the monkey] blowing on them [the rates], "when he spied them and would expel the ill scent by that of his skin, which smelt of musk…" Problems with ants, a voyage to Lisbon, and to Cadiz, a sea-battle of a Christian ship against that of Turkish origin. More voyaging, and a report that F. Philip de Galesia, a missioner, was killed and eaten by "Blacks". // "Dionigi da Palacenza Carli was a Capuchin missionary in Africa, in the seventeenth century. He was one of a band of Franciscan friars of the Capuchin Reform, sent out to the Congo in 1666. One of his companions was Padre Michele Angelo Guattini da Rhegio, who wrote an account of the voyage of the missionaries from Genoa to Lisbon and thence to Brazil, Loanda, and the Congo, that being the route the missionaries had to take to get to their destination. Padre Michele Angelo died shortly after his arrival in the Conga, leaving his manuscript in the hands of Dionigi Carli, who, on his return to Italy a few years afterwards owing to sickness, wrote an account of his own experiences in the Congo and on his homeward journey. Carli gives a detailed description of the manners and customs of the natives and of the doings of the missionaries. He tells how the friars died in numbers, owing to the climate, and speaks with discouragement of the peculiar difficulties of the situation. He trusts that some of the 2700 children he baptized will reach Heaven and be to his credit as a missionary in the judgment book of God. Finally he gives some account of the various cities he passed through in Portugal, Spain, and France on his way home. Carli published at Rhegio in 1672 his own work together with that of Guattini under the title: "Il Moro transportato in Venezia ovvero curioso raconto de' Costumi, Riti et Religione de' Populi dell' Africa, America, Asia ed Europa". A second edition appeared at Bologna in 1674. An English translation is published in Churchill, "Voyages" (London, 1704), I." (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913). // Michael Graves-Johnston, a British bookseller wrote a paper, "Early Africa Travel Literature", identify the English translations as part of "Churchill's Collection of Voyages and Travels of 1704 as A Curious and Exact Account of a Voyage to the Congo in the years 1666 and 1667. In the same volume was the work of another Capuchin; Father Jerome Merolla da Sorrento entitled A Voyage to Congo, and several other countries chiefly in Southern-Africk, in the year 1682." – ABAA.org.

Title: A Curious and Exact Account of a Voyage to Congo, in the Years 1666-1667.

Author Name: GUATTINI, Le P. Michele Angelo de (d.1668) [of Gattina]; Denis DE CARLI of Piacenza.

Categories: Africa,

Publisher: [London]:, for Henry Lintot and John Osborn, [circa 1744].: 1744

lbs: 9.00 lbs

Seller ID: ME1040

Keywords: Africa