- Series: Macmillan Collector's Library (Book 84)
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan; New Ed edition (June 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330418793
- ISBN-13: 978-0330418799
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Travels of Ibn Battutah (Macmillan Collector's Library) New Ed Edition
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“A group of these Blacks who eat the sons of Adam came to the Sultan Mansa Sulaiman with their amir. It is their custom to put into their ears big pendants, the opening of each pendant being half a span across. They wrap themselves in silk, and in their country is a gold mine. The sultan treated them with honor and gave them in hospitality a slave woman, whom they killed and ate. They smeared their faces and hands with her blood and came to the sultan to thank him. I was told that this is their custom whenever they come on an embassy to him. It was reported of them that they used to say that the best parts of the flesh of human females were the palm of the hand and the breast.”
Basically, Ibn Battutah’s sensibilities and mine are 180 degrees apart. I cite this passage as an example: “We came first to the country of the Bardamah, who are a Berber tribe. Their women are the most perfectly beautiful of women and have the most elegant figures; they are pure white and very fat. I have never seen any who are as fat as they. They feed on cows’ milk and pounded millet, which they drink mixed with water, uncooked, night and morning. Anyone who wants to marry among them settles with them as near to their country as possible and does not go with them further than Gawgaw and Iwalatan.”
I did not enjoy the book as much as Marco Polo’s, but I did find it compelling reading which provided a lot of food for thought. Four stars.
This is a great way to hear ibn Battutah's story in his own words. The translation is clear and accessible, without seeming "modernized." Ibn Battutah's personality definitely comes through.