A Royal Procession – Of the Zamorin by Duarte Barbarossa

When the King goes forth to amuse himself, or to perform his orisons before some idol, all the Nayres who are near by are summoned to accompany him and the Officers of the State and the Pagans; and the King comes forth in his litter borne by two men, which is lined with silken cushions And the litter is of silk and is slung on a bamboo pole, covered with precious stones; it is as thick as the arms of a fat man; and they carry him with certain turns and stops to which they are trained from their birth. These two men raise the bamboo on their shoulders from which the aforesaid litter hangs.
[The King carries an infinite number of golden crowns] and precious stones, and on his right foot a very rich and heavy anklet. Many instruments of music are played before him, and many Nayre-archers with bows and arrows like those of the English, and others with long spears with heads an ell in length and metal tings on their butt ends, go before him. They brandish them as they go, and other Nayre bucklermen also go with him with drawn swords in their hands, and they have other rings on the hilts thereof, with which they make great disturbances, and as they go, they shout one to the other in a loud voice in their own tongue, “Go on ; go on.” Some of them fence with one another as they go in front of the King, and clear the space so that he may see them. They are very active, and great masters of the art of fencing, which art they hold in higher esteem than we hold that of horsemanship.
“The King often halts to let them continue their play at his pleasure, praising and commending those who do best. In front of him the King takes a page who carries his sword and shield, another who bears a golden sword of state,’ and yet another the sword” which belonged to that King who ruled over the whole of Malabar, and who became a Moor, and departed to go and remain at Meca, which they keep as a relic. And in his left hand he carries a weapon which is like unto a flower de luce.
“And on each side he has with him two men, one carrying a large round fan, and the other a fan made from the white tail of an animal like a horse, which among them is much esteemed, fixed on a golden staff.
“Three men continue to fan him, two on one side and two on the other, and on his right hand walks a page bearing a golden ewer full of water, and on his left another with one of silver, and yet another with a towel, and when the King wishes to put his hand to his nose or eyes or mouth, they pour some water from
the ewer on his fingers, and the other hands him the towel, which he carries, to wipe himself. Other pages also accompany him, of whom, one on his right side bears a golden cup, and one on his left side a silver cup, in which he spits out the betel he is always chewing, “which another page continues to hand to
“Behind him they bear two large round water-pots, one of silver on the left, and one of gold on the right, full of water. Further, in front of him go four parasols on their staves, that is to say, two of very fine white cloth, and two of worked and embroidered silk. Near him they carry an umbrella on a high support which keeps off the sun.
“Behind the King walk his nephews and the Governors of the country and the Officers all on foot, and all bearing drawn swords and bucklers, and thus they proceed in good order with extreme slowness, looking at the games and the jesters, tumblers, and musqueteers, who entertain them. If the King goes forth by night he goes in the same manner, but be takes with him four large iron lamp-stands, with branches like our cressets (fogares) full of oil, with very thick wicks ; two go in front, and two behind, and there are many torches of wood which burn a long time.”

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