See also: frasoulla, frasla.

This unit descends from an old Arabic unit of mass, variously romanized as the farcel, farzil, frazil, and farecelle. It was smaller than a behar and bigger than a maund, but the ratios between the units varied greatly. In the mid 19th century, for example, at Beit-el-fakir a farcel was a fortieth of a behar and 1 farcel was approximately 9.25 kilograms; but at Mocha (of coffee fame), a farcel was a tenth of a behar and 1 farcel was approximately 13.62 kilograms. [Doursther, page 146.]

In Jedda, Arabia, 19th century: chart symbol

In Mocha, Arabia Felix, 19th century: chart symbol


In Aden (Yemen), 20th century, a unit of mass, = 28 pounds avoirdupois, approximately 12.7 kilograms.1,2

Lejeune (1894) reported that in Aden, Harrar coffee was sold by a frasella of 35 pounds (but Mocha coffee by the maund of 28 pounds); mother of pearl by a frasella of 32 pounds; and ivory by a frasella of 32½ pounds. Compare frasoulla.

1. United Nations 1966.

2. Technical Conversion Factors…, 1972, page 350.


In Tanzania, 20th century¹, a unit of mass, = 36 pounds avoirdupois, approximately 16.33 kilograms.

1. United Nations 1966, and
D. V. Perrott.
Teach Yourself Swahili.
The English Universities Press, 1957.

On page 152, the frasila is said to be “about 35 pounds.”


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