26.8.04

The Island of Gold

The Lamacheres Fishermen of the Island of Solor, while engaged in fishing, were caught in a storm so fierce that they were quite unable to return to land; so they yielded to the force of the storm, which was such that in five days they were carried to the Island of Gold, which is situated in the Sea off the opposite or outer coast of Timor, which is properly called the Southern coast.

And so the Fishermen reached the land of Gold and attempted to find food, as they had eaten nothing during the period of the storm. They enjoyed such excellent good fortune that while they were raking the earth in search of Yams and Potatoes, they found so much Gold that they filled their Boat until it could carry no more cargo.

After taking in water and provisions necessary for the return journey to their native Country, they waited for another storm in the opposite direction, and when the storm came they went from the said Island of Gold until they reached the Island of Ende Grande, where they discharged all their Gold, much to the envy of the Endes.

In consequence, these same Endes and the Lamacheres Fishermen determined to repeat the voyage, and when they were all about to set out both the Endes and the Lamacheres were overtaken by a fear so great that they did not dare, owing to ignorance, to cross the Sea of Gold.

And it may well seem that the Almighty God desires to entrust this work to Manoel Godinho de Eredia, the Cosmographer, by Order of the most happy Lord Count Admiral, Viceroy of India intra- and extra-Ganges, that the said Eredia may be the instrument of effecting an increase in the new Patrimonies of the Crown of Portugal, and of enriching the said Lord Count and the Lusitanian Nation.

from: Report on the Golden Chersonese or Peninsula and on the Auriferous, Carbuncular and Aromatic Islands, drawn up by Manoel Godinho de Eredia, Cosmographer, 1597-1600.

3 comments:

Robin said...

I was wondering if you know the derivation of the words Luca Antara. I am building a sailing proa in Portugal and it is designed by an Australian. While googling 'descobridor' to see if it might be a suitable name for the boat I came across the words Luca Antara and googling them I came upon your blog. I've tried Portuguese translations but they do not seem to be of that origin unless they are archaic.
Looking forward to when your book is available at Amazon.co.uk early next year.

Best regards,
Robin.

Martin Edmond said...

I think Luca Antara would be an excellent name for a proa, Robin ... though I can't tell you exactly what the words mean - there's a lot of speculation about that very subject in the book. 'Antara' is clear enough - it means 'between' in Bahasa Indonesian and in Malay. Some think the 'luca' is more properly 'nusa' which is a word for 'island' in those same languages. Hence, 'the islands between' or 'all the many islands'. But Eredia wrote 'Luca' ... maybe he was remembering Lucach, which is from Marco Polo and from which, ultimately, our word beach is derived. Maybe he had Lusitania in mind. I use Luca Antara as he did, as the name of an unknown land to the east of Malacca, which I associate with Australia. Good luck ... !

Robin said...

Many thanks Martin. My wife, who is Malay/Chinese, says that antara can also mean 'among'. She reckons Luca is not Malay as it would translate something like 'obscene' or if it was Luka it would be 'injury' neither of which really fit..... I'll let you know if I come up with anything else.

The two words stand out and the sentiment... "who knows what other travellers might not have set out with a wild surmise for these shores? Looking perhaps for Luca Antara; perhaps just for the day after tomorrow"....well that just caps it for me. He (Large proas are male)will be named Luca Antara.