Page:A voyage to Abyssinia (Salt).djvu/337

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329
ADOWA.

dered unrivalled in any other part of the country, and the latter being thought little inferior to those manufactured at Gondar. The quantity of cloth made at Adowa occasions a great demand for cotton, a considerable portion of which is procured from the low countries bordering on the Tacazze: and this is considered of a finer quality, and consequently more valuable, than that brought up from Massowa. The latter, notwithstanding, finds a ready sale, and though its importation be hampered by arbitrary exactions on the road, and a heavy duty on its being landed, sells to a considerable profit. The other imports, which pass through Adowa for the Gondar market, are lead, (in small quantities) block tin, copper, and gold foil; small Persian carpets, of a shewy pattern and of low price, raw silks from China, a few velvets, French broad cloths, and different coloured skins from Egypt; glass ware and beads, which find their way from Venice, and a number of other petty articles, which are brought by different conveyances to Jidda.

The exports which are carried down to the coast in return, most of which pass through the hands of the traders at Adowa, consist of ivory, gold, and slaves; a very considerable quantity of the first article is procured in the province of Walkayt, and in the low country northward of Shiré: and the sale of it is so certain at Massowa, that the price at Adowa only differs in the expenses of carriage being deducted. A great part of the gold collected in the interior finds also its way through Adowa; but this commerce is carried on by the traders with so much secrecy, that it is impossible to form any accurate estimate of the quantity. The number of slaves exported, may be computed annually at about a thousand, part of whom are sent to Massowa, and the rest to the small ports northward of that place, whence they are privately shipped off by the natives, for the purpose of avoiding the duties levied by the Nayib. The provinces to the south of Adowa chiefly abound in cattle and corn, which, together with the salt procured on the borders, constitute their chief articles of barter. There is a manufactory of small carpets carried on in the province of Samen, some of which were shewn to me at Adowa: and they really were much superior to what might have been expected,