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Almada, André Alvares d', fl. 1594, et al. / Brief treatise on the rivers of Guinea
Part I (1984)

Chapter 15. How they create a king in the land of the Sapes, and the ceremonies involved, and how they invest solateguis, who are the noblemen. [translated text],   pp. 14-22 and 23


Page 14

14.


Chapter 15
How they create a king in the land of the Saaeg. and the ceremonies
involved, and how they invest solateguis. who are the noblemen.
1.:      In this land of the Sapes, sons and brothers, the relatives
closest to the king, inherit the kingdoms, and this is the procedure
among them. Whenever a king dies, after his death and after the funeral
is completed, and if it is not a case where someone has already acquired
the kingdom by conquest, they immediately hasten to the house of the man
who ought to inherit. They tie him up and give him several lashes with a
whip, in the royal palace where he has been brought. And after whipping
him, they untie him, and everyone behaves very calmly as if nothing had
happened. They wash him and dress him in the royal robes, the shirts,
breeches and red cap, and (they produce) a weapon called gueto used as a
ceremonial baton, which they put in his hand, to serve as a sceptre; and
they bring him to the chief apartment, the funco. near the palace. When
the leading men of the nation are assembled there, one of the chief
solateguis, the oldest, makes a speech saying that by law it is right
that this man should inherit the kingdom, on the death of his father or
brother; and since it is necessary that the one who has to govern the
kingdom should dispense justice most fairly to all parties, for this
reason they began with him first, in order that he might adAini ter it
similarly to others, punishing those who deserve punishment and rewarding
those who deserve well. When the speech finishes, they put in his hand
the weapon called Veto, the sceptre, with which the head* of those
condemoed are cut off. All the kings of the Serra carry in their hands
these weapons, which are royal insignia. When this ceremony is finished,
he becomes the king and is obeyed and feared by all.


 


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