Malacca
units of mass

16th century

The Portuguese controlled Malacca from 1511 to 1641; the names are those used by the Portuguese. Their equivalents in later romanizations are pretty obvious; e.g., cate = catty, cumduryn = condorim, and so on.

For trade in cloves, nuts, mace, sandalwood, pepper, pucho (huma droga da Asia”--Morais 1789, page 263), incense, oak galls, myrrh, brazil wood, iron, sulfur, saltpeter:

baar of the large dachem*

cate

200

1.05144 kg

210.2883 kg

Metric equivalents calculated by de Lima Felner from 1 cate = 2 arrateis, 4 omças, 5 octauas, 15 grãos, 3 dezauos.

 

For trade in pewter, China silk, ivory, “amfião” (anafáia, the first silk yarn spun by a silkworm. Transtagno 1773; Morais 1813 v1 page 128), rose water, roçamalha (“a sort of drug” -- Transtagno), Chinese camphor, and other merchandise:

baar of the small dachem*

cate

200

0.91800 kg

183.6 kg

*A dachem is a municipal steelyard or balance. See footnote 1, page 101, of Tomé Pires.

Metric equivalents calculated from 1 cate = 2 arrateis.

 

For trade in gold, seed-pearls, coral, “calambuco” (a type of wood, “the same as the calamba, but less aromatic”--Morais 1813 v1 page 323), roots from Manica, musk:

         

cate

       

tael

20

     

paual

4

80

   

maz

4

16

320

 

cupão

4

16

64

1280

cumduryn

5

20

80

320

6400

0.12
g

0.64
g

2.57
g

13.0
g

41.23
g

803.25
g

Metric equivalents calculated from 1 cate = 28 omças.

 

Sources: Antonio Nunes (1554), page 39 (manuscript folio 31). Tomé Pires.

19th century

bahar

pecul

3

kip

6 2/3

20

bedur

50

150

tampang or catty

2

15

100

300

buncal

20

40

300

2000

6000

miam

16

320

640

4800

32,000

96,000

as gold and silver weights,
per Doursther, 1840

2.90
g

46.47
g

929.4
g


 


 


 


 

ordinary commerce

1.9
g

30.6
g

612.5
g

1.23
kg

9.19
kg

61.25
kg

183.8
kg

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