These are the sons of Cush, who read the stars, and are all black in color. They are honest in commerce. When merchants come to them from distant lands and enter the harbor, three of the king’s secretaries go down to them and record their names, and then bring them before the king, whereupon the king makes himself responsible even for their property which they leave in the open, unprotected. There is an official who sits in his office, and the owner of any lost property has only to describe it to him when hands it back. This custom prevails in all that country. […] And throughout the island [Quilon, Malabar], including all the towns, there live several thousand Israelites. The inhabitants are all black, and the Jews are also. The latter are good and benevolent. They know the law of Moses and the prophets, and to a small extent the Talmud and halacha.
Benjamin de Tudela (circa 1180)