Of the Baboon

But to speak of the Baboon, I must say, it is a wonderful thing, to observe a kind of common-wealth that is amongst them; they have none but their own kind together, and are in herds, of three or four thousand in a company; as they travel, they go in rank, whereof the leaders are certain of the greater sort, and there is as great, and large of them, as a Lyon, the smaller following, and ever now and then as a Commander a great one walks (...). [W]e have seen in the desert places they use, trees and plants, wound and made up together in that artificial manner, and wrought together with that thickness over head, to keep away the sun, and shade the ground, which hath been beaten, & smoothed underneath, and all things in the manner and shape of an excellent arbour, which place they have only used, and kept for their dancing and recreation; that no man living that should have come by chance, and seen the same, without knowledge of these unlucky things, but would have confidently supposed, it had, and must have been the handy work of man.

Richard Iobson, 1620/21


From: The Golden Trade: A discovery of the River Gambra, and the Golden Trade of the Aethiopians. Set downe as they were collected in travelling, part of the yeares, 1620. and 1621.
By Richard Iobson, Gentleman.
Printed by Nicholas Okes, LONDON, 1623.
Online-Version by James Eason:
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/jobson/jobson8.html