First European Description of Philippines (1521) // Magellan’s Last Days // Pigafetta Primary Source

published on July 17, 2020

At dawn on Saturday March 16th 1521 we came upon the higher land at a distance of 300 leagues from the islands of latrone II an island named Zama the following day the captain general desired to land on another Island which was uninhabited and lay to the right of

The above-mentioned island in order to be more secure and to get water and have some rest on Monday afternoon March 18th we saw a boat coming towards us with nine men in it therefore the captain general ordered that no one should move

Or say a word without his permission when those men reached the shore their chief went immediately to the captain general giving signs of joy because of his arrival five of the most ornate the adorned of them remained with us while

The rest went to get some others who were fishing and so they all came the captain general saying that they were reasonable men ordered food to be set before them and gave them red caps mirrors combs bells ivory and other

Things when they saw the captain's courtesy they presented fish a jar of palm wine which they called barakah figs more than one Palma long and others which were smaller and more delicate and two coconuts they had nothing else then

But made us science with her hands that they would bring boom I or rice and coconuts and many other articles of food within four days this video is sponsored by Magellan no further than Magellan he's pushing no longer with us

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High-quality 4k click on the link in the description for an exclusive month-long free trial for voices of the past viewers thanks coconuts fruit of the palm tree just as we have

Bread wine oil and milk so these people get everything from that tree they get wine in the following manner they bore a hole into the heart of the set palm at the top called palmetto from which distills a liqueur which resembles white

Must that liqueur is sweet but somewhat tart and is gathered in canes of bamboo as thick as the leg and thicker they fastened the bamboo to the tree at evening for the morning and the morning for the evening that palm bears a fruit

Namely the coconut which is as the large as their head or there abouts it's outside husk is green and thicker than two fingers certain filaments are found in their husk whence is made cord for binding together their boats and it has

A taste resembling the almond it could be dried and made into bread these people became very familiar to us they told us many things their names and those of some of the islands that could be seen from that place

These people go naked wearing but one piece of palm tree cloth around their privies the male's large and small have their privies pierced from one site to the other near the head with a gold or tin bolt as large as a goose quill in

Both ends of the same bolt some have what resembles a spear with points upon the ends others are like the head of a cart nail I very often asked many both old and young to see their previous because I could not believe it

In the middle of the bolt is a hole through which they urinate the bolt and the Spurs always hold firm they say that their women wish it so and if they did otherwise they would not have communication with them those people

Make use of that device because they are of weak nature they have as many wives as they wish but one of them is the principle wife whenever any of our men went to shore both by day and by night everyone invited him to eat and drink

Their viens are half cooked and very salty they drink frequently and copiously from the jars through those small reeds and one of their meals lasts for five or six hours the women loved us very much more

Than their own men they practice the following ceremonies when one of their Chiefs dies first of all the chief women of the place go to the house of the deceased the deceased is placed in the middle of the house in

A box ropes are placed around the box in the manner of a palisade to which many branches of trees are attached in the middle of each branch hangs a cotton cloth like a curtain to canopy the most principal women sit under these hangings

And all covered with white cotton cloth each one by a girl who fans her with a palm leaf fan the other women sit around the room sadly then there is one woman who cuts off the hair of the deceased very slowly with a knife another who was

The principal wife of the deceased lies down upon him and places her mouth her hands and her feet upon those of the deceased when the former is cutting off the hair the latter weeps and when the former finishes the cutting the latter

Sings there are many porcelain jars containing fire about the room and myrrh store axe and bezel in which makes her strong odor through the house then they buried the body and the same box which is shut in a log by means of wooden

Nails and covered in enclosed by logs of wood every night about midnight in that city a jet-black bird as large as a crows want to come and no sooner had it thus reached the houses then it began to screech so that all the dogs began to

Howl and that screeching and howling would last for four or five hours but those people would never tell us the reason for it on Friday April 26th Zula a chief of the island of Martin sent one of his sons to

Present two goats to the captain general and to say that he would send him all the de promised but that he had not been able to send it to him because of the other chief sailor palapa he refused to obey the king of Spain he requested the

Captain to send him only one boatload of men on the next night so that they might help him and fight against the other chief the captain general decided to go thither with three boat loads we begged him repeatedly not to go but he liked a

Good shepherd refused to abandon his flock at midnight sixty men of us set our armed with Corps slits and helmets together with the Christian King the Prince some of the chief men twenty or thirty Balon Gaius we reached Matan

Three hours before dawn the captain did not wish to fight them but sent a message to the natives by the morrow that if they would obey the king of Spain recognized the Christian King as their sovereign and pay us our tribute

He would be their friend but that if they wished otherwise they should wait to see how our Lance's wounded they replied that if we had Lance's they had Lance's of bamboo and steaks hardened with fire when morning came 49 of us

Leaked into the water up to our thighs and walked through water for more than two crossbow flights before we could reach the shore the boats could not approach nearer because of certain rocks in the water the other eleven men

Remained behind to guard the boats when we reach land those men had formed in three divisions to the number of more than 1,500 persons when they saw us they charged down upon us with exceeding loud cries two divisions on our flanks and

The other on our front when the captain saw that he formed us into two divisions and thus did we begin right the Musketeers and crossbowmen shot from a distance for about half hour but uselessly for the shots only passed

Through the shields which were made of thin wood and the arms of the bearers the captain cried to them cease firing cease firing but his order was not at all heeded when the natives saw that we were shooting

Our muskets to no purpose crying out they determined to stand firm when our muskets were discharged the natives would never stand still but lept hither and thither covering themselves with their shields they shot so many arrows

At us and held so many bamboo spears some of them tipped with iron at the captain-general besides pointed steaks hardened with fire stones and mud that we could scarcely defend ourselves seeing that the captain general sent

Some men to burn their houses in order to terrify them when they saw their houses burning they were roused to greater fury two of our men were killed near the houses while we burn to twenty or thirty houses so many of them charged

Down upon us that they shot the captain through the right leg with a poisoned arrow on that account he ordered us to retire slowly but the men took to flight except six or eight of us who remained with the captain the natives shot only

At our legs for the latter were bare and so many were the spears and stones that they hurled at us that we could offer no resistance the mortars in the boats could not aid us as they were too far away so he continued to retire for more

Than a good crossbow flight from the shore always fighting up to our knees in the water the natives continued to pursue us and picking up the same spear four or six times hurled at us again and again

Recognizing the captain so many turned upon him that they knocked his helmet off his head twice but he always stood firmly like a good knight together with some others thus did we fight for more than an hour refusing to retire further

An Indian hurled a bamboo spear into the captain's face but the latter immediately killed him with his Lance which he left in the Indians body then trying to lay hand on sword he could draw it out but halfway because

He'd been wounded in the arm with a bamboo spear when the natives saw that they all hurled themselves upon him one of them wounded him on the left leg with a large Cutlass which resembled the scimitar only being larger that caused

The captain to fall face downward when immediately they rushed upon him with iron and bamboo spears until they killed our mirror I liked our comfort and our true guide when they wounded him he turned back

Many times to see whether we were all in our boats thereupon by holding him dead we wounded retreated as best we could to the boats which were already pulling off had it not been for the unfortunate captain not a single one of us would

Have been saved in the boats for while he was fighting the others retired to the boats I hope through the efforts of your most illustrious lordship that the fame of our so noble captain will not become a faced with the times he was

More constant than ever anyone else in the greatest of adversity he endured hunger better than all the others and more accurately than any man in the world did he understand sea charts and navigation that battle was fought on

Saturday April 27th 1521 you

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