Journal of Antonio Pigafetta

15th of December, 1521

The king had informed us that the King of Bachian would soon arrive, with a brother of his who was going to marry one of his daughters, and had asked us to do him honour by firing bombards on his arrival. He arrived on Sunday the 15th of December, in the afternoon, and we did him honour as the king had desired; we did not, however, discharge the heavier cannon, as we were heavily laden. The king and his brother came in a prahu with three banks of rowers on each side, a hundred and twenty in number. The prahu was adorned with many streamers made of white, yellow and red parrot’s feathers. They were sounding many cymbals, and that sound served to give the measure to the rowers to keep time. In two other prahus were the damsels who were to be presented to the bride. They returned us the salute by going round the ships and round the port.

As it is the custom that no king disembarks on the land of another king, the King of Tadore came to visit him of Bachian in his own prahu: this one, seeing the other coming, rose from the carpet on which he was sitting, and placed himself on one side to make way for the king of the country; but he, out of ceremony, would not sit on the carpet, but sat on the other side of it, leaving the carpet between them. Then the King of Bachian gave to him of Tadore five hundred patol, as if in payment of the daughter he was giving as a wife to his brother. Patols are cloths of gold and silk worked in China, and are very much prized in these islands. Each of these cloths is paid for with three bahars of cloves more or less, according as they are more or less rich in gold and embroidery. Whenever one of the chief men die, his relations put on these cloths to do him honour.