National Geographic : 1934 Jul
MADEIRA THE FLORESCENT Drawn by Newman Bumstead A TINY PORTUGUESE SPECK ON THE WORLD MAP IS TEEMING MADEIRA Long-extinct volcanoes reared it from the depths of the Atlantic off northwest Africa. On its fertile and mountainous surface lives one of the world's densest populations-an estimated 761 persons to each of its 285 square miles. Nearly a third of the mass of humanity clusters in and about Funchal, the capital. Off at a respectful distance lie its satellites, Porto Santo and the lonely, un inhabited Desertas (see text, page 101). be made through the island, the beauty of whose inland scenery is renowned; but the majority of visitors from the cruising ships see only the outstanding features of the port and the mountain heights above. The sturdy country people who come to town with their wares, suitably shod for cobbled roads in soft-hued, yellow goat skin boots resembling the old cavalier pat tern, are mighty burden-bearers. Children shoulder amazing weights, heavier than themselves. The manner of carrying bas kets at each end of a pole borne across the shoulders, to the accompaniment of a rhythmic trot, has its counterpart in far- away Portuguese Macao, on the coast of China.* Narrow cargo sledges, drawn by bullocks or mules, which conquer incredible grades, glide along the cobbles. The unique type of transportation and the tranquil nature of the island people make for a quiet, rest ful town in marked contrast to the roar of Lisbon's streets, more than 600 miles away in the motherland. There is the tinkle of the bell on the neck of the oxen, the call of the driver as * See "Macao, 'Land of Sweet Sadness,'" by Edgar Allen Forbes, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, September, 1932.