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Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)

Chapter 7: The offerings of these heathen, and the society of Menas,   pp. 1-4

Page 1

Chapter 7
The offerings of these heathen, and the society of Menas
As these barbarians are extremely superstitious, and find omens in
dreams and in any of lifels happenings, they try in an manner of ways
to propitiate their intercessory spirits. They rise very early in the
morning and go to the open place where the idols are sited. Each person
takes a gift according to his means, and they generally do this before
sun-rise. They take a basin or caro, and put water in it, and salt, which
they consider a substance of great value; and on top, they put cola, which
is used in all sacrifices, some of the nuts white, some red. On the
ground nearby they place a round stone which they always bring with them
when they come to these cetecas. Then standing '-right and facing East,
they hold the offering in their hands above their heads, and begin to
repeat, "Cru cola camu", meaning, "God, here is your cola
I Give me health,
money, ricel May I kill (many) animalsl May no-one do me harm" "All
demands are for material benefits. When the offering and the prayers atr
completed, they leave everything there. The offerings are sometimes so
substantial that even black (slaves) are offered, something which Farma of
the Logos has been known to do. They normally leave before sun-rise,
because always the ceremony takes place and is completed before then, and
the stone remains behind as a token.
The offerings belong to the first taker. The savages go away pleased
with themselves and very confident that they will receive what they ask,
because it seems to them that God will be grateful. If things g, well with
them afterwards, they say that God likes them and has accepted their cola.
But if the opposite happens, they immediately utter a thousand absurdities,
saying that God wishes them ill, as a Christian once said to me. If Our
Lord did not prize so greatly our naming of him as the Merciful one, this'
(human) timber would burn today in hell: the same God has given it anr
continues daily to give it many blows, in preparation for the time when he
will cut it down, to deliver it to the eternal flames. Their sins and the
sensual excesses of their lives they take no account of. The public
ceremony of cetecas is more especially practiced by kings and lords: the
inferior sort perform the rites in the street, at their doors, and they
always place the stone beside their offering. Those (acquaintances) who
call on them (at their houses),. to give them /f.69v/ their daily Greetings,
eat the sacrificial cola they find there. Cocks, etc., are oftered on this
occasion : anyone who cares to remove them (afterwards) does so, al:.. 4id
pagans and the Christians who imitate them have some misgiving** BSzt those
who know what goes on, remove from their own idols whole capons AM qturters
of goat-meat, which will after all only go bad soon. often God rerzits


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