The Catalan map of the Sahara
Catalan map (part of the Mapamundi) was drawn by Abraham Crepques
of Mallorca and has a section dealing with NW Africa which is
reproduced below. It shows the King Mansa Musa of Mali (holding
a large nugget of gold) trading with the nomad on the left. The
Atlas mountains are clearly visible.
section to the right translates as: This
Negro lord is called Musa Mali, Lord of the Negroes of Guinea.
So abundant is the gold which is found in his country that he
is the richest and most noble king in all the land.
The section top left translates as:
Through this place pass the merchants who travel
to the land of the negroes of Guinea, which place they call the
valley of the Dra'a.
The section middle left translates as
All this region is occupied by people who veil their mouths; one
only sees their eyes. They live in tents and have caravans of
camels. There are also beasts called Lemp from the skins of which
they make fine shields.
Out of interest I append below the map of
Scotland, England and Wales from the same Atlas made in 1375.
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