Journal of Antonio Pigafetta

11th of November, 1521

Monday, the 11th of November, Chechilideroix, one of the above-mentioned sons of the King of Tarenate, came with two prahus to the ships sounding drums: he was dressed in red velvet. We learned that he had near him the widow and sons of Francisco Serrano. When we knew him, being aware that he was an enemy of the King of Tadore, we sent to ask him whether we might receive him in the ships, which, as we were in his port, we would not do without his consent. The king sent us word to do whatever we pleased. But meantime Chechilideroix, seeing our hesitation, had some suspicion, and moved further off from the ships. We then went to him in a boat, and made him a present of an Indian cloth of gold and silk, with some looking-glasses, knives, scissors, etc.: these things he accepted but disdainfully, and soon after departed. He had with him an Indian who had become a Christian, named Manuel, the servant of a certain Pedro Alfonzo de Lorosa, a Portuguese, who, after the death of Serrano, had come from Bandan to Tarenate. Manuel being able to speak Portuguese, came on board the ships, and told us that although the sons of the King of Tarenate were enemies to the King of Tadore, yet they were disposed towards the service of Spain, Then, by means of him, we wrote to De Lorosa to come to our ships without any suspicion or fear.

These kings have as many ladies as they please, but one only is the principal wife, and all the others are subject to her. The King of Tadore had a large house outside the city, where there were two hundred of the ladies he was most fond of, and as many more to serve them. The king eats alone, or with his principal wife, on a kind of raised dais, from which he can see all the others sitting round, and he decides upon the one who most pleases him to come to him. When the king’s dinner is finished, the ladies all eat together if he permits it, or else each one goes to eat in her own room. No one without special permission from the king can see those ladies, and if anybody by day or by night were found near their house he would be killed immediately. Each family is bound to give one or two daughters to the king. Rajah Sultan Manzour had twenty-six children, of whom eight were boys and eighteen girls. In the island of Tadore there is a kind of bishop, and the one that was there in our time had forty ladies and very many children.