Journal of Antonio Pigafetta

10th of April, 1521

Wednesday morning, because the night before one of our men had died, the interpreter and I, by order of the captain, went to ask the king for a place where we might bury the deceased. We found the king accompanied by a good many people, and, after paying him due honour, we told him of the death of our man, and that the captain prayed him that he might be put into the ground. He replied that if he and his people were ready to obey our master, still more reason was there for his land and country being subject to him. After that we said we wished to consecrate the grave in our fashion and place a cross on it. The sovereign said that he was content, and that he would worship that cross as we did. The deceased was buried in the middle of the open space of the town, as decently as possible, and performing the above-mentioned ceremonies to set them a good example, and in the evening we buried another. This done, we brought a good quantity of merchandise into the town of this king, and placed it in a house, and he took it under his charge and promised that no one would do harm or injury to the king. Four of our men were chosen to despatch and sell this merchandise. These people live with justice, and good weight and measure, loving peace, and are people who love ease and pleasure.[178] They have wooden scales, after the fashion of those of north of the Loire,[179] for weighing their merchandise. Their houses are made of wood and beams and canes, founded on piles, and are very high, and must be entered by means of ladders; their rooms are like ours, and underneath they keep their cattle, such as pigs, goats, and fowls. The young people sound bag-pipes,[180] made like ours, and call them Subin.[181]

In this island of the king’s there is a kind of animal carrying a shell called carniolle, fine to look at, which cause the whale to die. For the whale swallows them alive; then, when they are inside its body, they come out of their shell and go and eat the whale’s heart: and the people of this country find this animal alive inside the whale. These animals, the carniolles, have the teeth and skin black, and their shell is white. Their flesh is good to eat, and they call them Laghan.[182]