Relation du voyage du Royaume d'Issyny, Cote d'Or, Païs de Guinee, en Afrique. La description du païs, les inclinations, les moeurs, & la religion des habitans : avec ce qui s'y est passé de plus remarquable dans l'établissement que les François y on fait

Author: Loyer, Godefroy
Year: 1714
Edition: First edition
Publisher: Paris, Arnoul Seneuze et Jean-Raoul Morel
Category: Africa

Contemporary full calf, 12mo, 6 ƒƒ, pp. 298. Illustrated with 8 engravings.

Some very minor browning and foxing, frontispiece slightly protruding, extremities worn, boards rubbed.
From the library of René Basset with his name handwritten on the first free endpaper.

The spine richly gilt, divided in six compartments by 5 raised bands with the titles in the second compartment.

An early detailed description of the Kingdom of Issini on the western coast of Africa. Godefroy Loyer (1660-1715), a Frenchman, was the Apostolic Prefect of the Missions of Preaching Friars to the coasts of Guinea. Loyer was one of the early Europeans to explore this region and he spent several years there. As a missionary living among local people and learning their language, he gained an in-depth understanding of the culture, politics and economy of the local society.

An interesting and valuable account of West Africa before it was completely transformed by slavery and colonialism.
This early account is of particular importance as Loyer acted as an anthropologist avant la lettre by describing the indigenous people of this part of Africa after careful observations. Although a priest he had a keen eye for their civilizations, cultures and habits, sometimes describing events awestricken, other times with admiration.
In this he differs greatly from other early accounts, however interestingly they may be, where often economic aspects prevail.

Cette relation décrit différents peuples d'Afrique équatoriale. L'auteur a bien soin de différencier ces ethnies qui n'ont souvent rien de commun entre elles, si ce l'est la même couleur de peau. L'auteur rencontre à la fois des nations très policées, très organisées, et d'autres groupes humain qui vivent "comme des poissons" ou "comme des vers", c'est à dire dans un état de nature total. Une partie de l'ouvrage concerne l'histoire des comptoirs, en particulier français, de cette côte.

The first few pages deal with Martinique and Grenada, where he was sent to before he went to West Africa.

Chadenat 3810, Joucla, p. 163; Gay 2858 bis (for the 2nd edition of 1723).

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