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

[Notes for chapter 18]


18/1  como ja se disse.

MANE-SUSU WAR      Almada referred to the geographical location of the
Susu in 15/6. He now supplies the earliest reference in any source to
the Mane attack on the Susu, which probably took place within a decade
or two of the conquest of the Sierra Leone district c.1550. Although
the Manes were at war with the Limba in the interior, the neighbours of
the Susu, as late as 1582 (FENTON,p.108), Almada's account of the Susu
war does not read like a narrative of an event a mere dozen years
before he prepared his text (particularly when he notes that since the
war the Susu have returned to their old trade-routes, because the Manes
have become less alien, "most of them today having been born".in
Leone, 18/8). Unfortunately none of the Portuguese sources gives a
clear indication of the interval between the first invasion of Sierra
Leone and the attack on the Susu. It is conceivable that the occupation
of the Iles de Los in 1561 was part of a Northward movement which
included the attack on the Susu, but again there is no firm evidence.
Apart from a very brief reference in Dornelas ("they advanced to attack
the Susu... with whom they had many encounters and great battles, but
they were unable to advance further", DORNELAS, f.13v), the only other
account of the war was given by Alvares, writing in 1616. The accounts
of Almada and Alvares agree in outline but differ in detail. It is
likely that both were drawing on popular traditions in Sierra Leonei,
which had developed in relation to a fairly distant historical event;
and this might explain why both accounts are dramatic but factually

... as already stated.


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