One of the dangers the web resources can have is the inaccurate information that some website might publish. Most people think that what they read on the web … must be also true. Unfortunately not everything what you see here is true. I could tell you now that I am 27 years, good looking, have blue eyes and millionaire … but not all of this is true (guess which one is).
There are websites that publish lot of inaccurate rubbish (as some of you would say). One of the areas is for example the History of Madeira. Take for example the following case. I went searching in Google for history data about the former builders of the levadas here on the island. This is what I found on various (English) websites:
â€œIn 1461, an irrigation system called the levadas built by North African slaves…â€
â€œ… However, the mandatory maintenance was carried out by African and Arab slaves who were transported to the island in large numbers.â€
â€œLand for the growing of wine was always rare and had to be cultivated with great efforts. This was only possible with the help of slaves, mostly Guanches. They also built the irrigation-system, the levadas.â€
â€œThe earliest settlers on Madeira began cultivating the lower slopes in the south of the island, cutting out terraces (`poios’ in Portuguese). Working with contractors (who sometimes used slave or convict labour), they built the first small `levadas’, which carried water from springs higher up the mountainsides to irrigate their lands.â€
At least these websites think that slaves did build the levadas, but do not agree where they came from.
And now the question: how come that the Portuguese (official) History archives and information does not mention about any slaves building the levadas? As far as the historical information states that the levadas were built by the Portuguese settlers (ancestors of Madeira).
However … I could also be wrong. But the important thing is … that you think twice (even three times) before believing anything you read and see on the web. If possible, verify it with information from books or reliable sources (on the web).