Journal of Antonio Pigafetta

29th of March, 1521

The next day which was Good Friday, the captain sent on shore the before-mentioned slave, who was our interpreter, to the king to beg him to give him for money some provisions for his ships, sending him word that he had not come to his country as an enemy, but as a friend. The king on hearing this came with seven or eight men in a boat, and entered the ship, and embraced the captain, and gave him three china dishes covered with leaves full of rice, and two dorades, which are rather large fish, and of the sort above-mentioned, and he gave him several other things. The captain gave this king a robe of red and yellow cloth, made in the Turkish fashion, and a very fine red cap, and to his people he gave to some of them knives, and to others mirrors. After that refreshments were served up to them. The captain told the king, through the said interpreter, that he wished to be with him, cassi[154] cassi, that is to say, brothers. To which the king answered that he desired to be the same towards him. After that the captain showed him cloths of different colours, linen, coral, and much other merchandise, and all the artillery, of which he had some pieces fired before him, at which the king was much astonished; after that the captain had one of his soldiers armed with white armour, and placed him in the midst of three comrades, who struck him with swords and daggers. The king thought this very strange, and the captain told him, through the interpreter, that a man thus in white armour was worth a hundred of his men; he answered that it was true; he was further informed that there were in each ship two hundred like that man. After that the captain showed him a great number of swords, cuirasses, and helmets, and made two of the men play with their swords before the king; he then showed him the sea chart and the ship compass, and informed him how he had found the strait to come there, and of the time which he had spent in coming; also of the time he had been without seeing any land, at which the king was astonished. At the end the captain asked[155] if he would be pleased that two of his people should go with him to the places where they lived, to see some of the things of his country. This the king granted, and I went with another.

When I had landed, the king raised his hands to the sky, and turned to us two, and we did the same as he did; after that he took me by the hand, and one of his principal people took my companion, and led us under a place covered with canes, where there was a ballanghai, that is to say, a boat, eighty feet long or thereabouts, resembling a fusta. We sat with the king upon its poop, always conversing with him by signs, and his people stood up around us, with their swords, spears, and bucklers. Then the king ordered to be brought a dish of pig’s flesh and wine.[156] Their fashion of drinking is in this wise, they first raise their hands to heaven, then take the drinking vessel in their right hand, and extend the left hand closed towards the people. This the king did, and presented to me his fist, so that I thought that he wanted to strike me; I did the same thing towards him; so with this ceremony, and other signs of friendship, we banqueted, and afterwards supped with him.

I ate flesh on Good Friday, not being able to do otherwise, and before the hour of supper, I gave several things to the king, which I had brought. There I wrote down several things as they name them in their language, and when the king and the others saw me write, and I told them their manner of speech, they were all astonished. When the hour for supper had come, they brought two large china dishes, of which one was full of rice, and the other of pig’s flesh, with its broth[157] and sauce. We supped with the same signs and ceremonies, and then went to the king’s palace, which was made and built like a hay grange, covered with fig and palm leaves. It was built on great timbers high above the ground, and it was necessary to go up steps and ladders to it. Then the king made us sit on a cane mat, with our legs doubled as was the custom; after half an hour there was brought a dish of fish roast in pieces, and ginger fresh gathered that moment, and some wine. The eldest son of the king, who was the prince, came where we were, and the king told him to sit down near us, which he did; then two dishes were brought, one of fish, with its sauce, and the other of rice, and this was done for us to eat with the prince. My companion enjoyed the food and drink so much that he got drunk. They use for candles or torches the gum of a tree which is named Animé, wrapped up in leaves of palms or fig trees. The king made a sign that he wished to go to rest, and left with us the prince, with whom we slept on a cane mat, with some cushions and pillows of leaves. Next morning the king came and took me by the hand, and so we went to the place where we had supped, to breakfast, but the boat came to fetch us. The king, before we went away, was very gay, and kissed our hands, and we kissed his. There came with us a brother of his, the king of another island,[158] accompanied by three men. The captain-general detained him to dine with us, and we gave him several things.

In the island belonging to the king who came to the ship there are mines of gold, which they find in pieces as big as a walnut or an egg, by seeking in the ground. All the vessels which he makes use of are made of it, and also some parts of his house, which was well fitted up according to the custom of the country, and he was the handsomest man that we saw among these nations. He had very black hair coming down to his shoulders, with a silk cloth on his head, and two large gold rings hanging from his ears, he had a cloth of cotton worked with silk, which covered him from the waist to the knees, at his side he wore a dagger, with a long handle which was all of gold, its sheath was of carved wood.[159] Besides he carried upon him scents of storax and benzoin. He was tawny and painted all over. The island of this king is named Zuluan and Calagan, and when these two kings wish to visit one another they come to hunt in this island where we were.[160] Of these kings the painted king is called Raia Calambu, and the other Raia Siani.[161]