In today’s featured image, Vasco da Gama meets Zamorin.
When Vasco da Gama arrived in Kappadu near Calicut in 1498, he met with the King of Calicut, the Samudiri (Zamorin).
Da Gama was received with traditional hospitality, including a grand procession of at least 3,000 armed Nairs, but an interview with the Zamorin failed to produce any concrete results.
The presents that da Gama sent to the Zamorin as gifts from Dom Manuel—four cloaks of scarlet cloth, six hats, four branches of corals, twelve almasares, a box with seven brass vessels, a chest of sugar, two barrels of oil and a cask of honey—were trivial, and failed to impress.
Zamorin’s officials wondered at why there was no gold or silver, and tensions later ensued. Nevertheless, da Gama’s expedition was successful beyond all reasonable expectation, bringing in cargo that was worth sixty times the cost of the expedition.
In the Medieval ages, exploring the New World was very dangerous, but the profits of the trading often made the risk well worth it.
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Source: From Wikipedia.org. The portrait is a steel engraving from the 1850’s, with modern hand coloring (ebay, Feb. 2007).