Abu Nasr Mutahhar al-Maqdisi: Kitab al bad wal-Tarikh

(book of the creation and of history). (966)


Taken from ; Gabriel Ferrand; Relations des voyages et textes geographiques.. ..
Le livre de la creation et de l’histoire d’Abou-Zeid Ahmed Ben Sahl el-Balkhi. Publie et traduit par Cl. Huart
 - Maqdisi, Mutahhar ibn Tahir, fl. 966
First page of a printed edition.

Volume 1

(in a list of the names of God) The Zendjs say: Malalori and Djahr; they say this means the supreme God.


Volume 2

Qatada has said: The world is 24.000 parasanges; the empire of the Nefroes is 12.000 parasanes, the one of the Greek

8.000, of the Persians 3.000 of the Arabs 1.000. Abdalla ben Omar has said: The part inhabited by the naked negroes is

bigger than the rest.


Some person said that Adam got his name because God had created him from the skin (adim) of the land……..Because

God took a handful of dirt about everywhere, including the areas with lots of salt, the swamps, the black soils, the red soils;

and because of this the posterity of Adam has many colors, white, black and red.


Kuch became the father of the Abyssinians and the people of Sind and India. Chanaan from the Negroes, the Nubiens,

the people of Fezzan, the Zendjes, the Dhaghal, the Zagliawa and the Berbers. Fout became the father of the Copts.

These people are divided in 17 languages.


Volume 3

As to the two small seas of streaming water of which the number is used to complete the seven seas mentioned in the

Koran, they are supposedly situated behind the equator, behind Nubia, and they feed the Nile.

In the Sea of the Zendjes, one does not find any animal, the water is to hot and inaccessible. One does not find pearls

and jewels in the sweat waters, except in the sea of China….


The Nile comes out of the mountains of Qomr and enters into two lakes behind the equator; then it goes around the

territory of Nubie and divides in several branches.


It is said that the eastern part of the Indian sea starts in Mekran and ends in China and that its eastern part starts at Aden

and ends in the land of the Zendjs, who are a different people from the Zendjes (that we know)


To the east of India is found: China and Qachmir; to the north Sind; south, unkown lands, burned by the sun, and seas;

in the west the Zendjes, Ranedj and Yemen.


The Zendjes have a black skin, a broken nose, crisp hair; little intelligence and are slow in understanding. Their territory,

which is bordered in the east by the western side of India and in the west by the sea is sponch-like, falling into dust,

unfertile and does not allow trees to grow; to them are imported food and clothes, exported are gold, slaves, and coconuts.


In the farthest regions of the Zendjes, there are people who have no other food then  sea food burned by the sun at its

going under; they have no other clothes then the leaves of the trees and no other dwellings then holes in the ground; they

are cannibals; none of them knows his father; the institution of marriage does not exist with them.


 It is said that Abdallah ibn Omar has said: the part of the negroes that walks completely naked is bigger than the all the other people.


(when talking about the people of Iran) …they don’t have the black skin of the Abyssinians or the craziness of the Zendjes…… 


The Kark: This is a nation that descends from Sudan son of Kanaan, they live close to the people of Sind and Zandjs, who

are their enemies.

The Kark are strong people of high statue, long hair, a beautiful face, skilled in the art of war.....

The Kark have as neighbors on the side of the Zandjs more nations and tribes then can be written down.

The Zandj and the Kark touch at the people of Sind and Hind and to the Band.....


Note; in this last paragraph the Zandj may well be the Negroid people in Indonesia