University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Africa Focus

Page View

Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)
(1990)

Chapter 12: About the government of the heathen, the elevation of their king, and their war medicines,   pp. 1-5


Page 1

Chapter 12
About the government of the heathen, the elevation of their king,
and their war medicines.
*       The domestic customs of this people are those normal among the
natives; they have borrowed almost all of them from the natives.    (But)
their public affairs are conducted i     t  in a different way. They
have their own form of procedure in legal causes, and their own councillors
(or judges) who are normally those who are the oldest and who are
governors of settlements. In either civil or criminal cases, the party
is cited, and sometimes comes in custody before the court, which is
composed of funcos. The case is conducted verbally before the Icing, and
he decides the justice or injustice of the plea viva voce. If he has to
give sentence, officers see to its being carried out. The symbol of his
judicial power is a bunch of straw shaped like a brush and fixed to the
head of a wooden pole:   this is carried by an officer. When he reaches
the village where he is going, he conceals the symbol. He orders the
Council to assemble, the Council being composed of all the leading persons.
The man accused is arrested, and proceeded against according to the
established procedure, in the way described when the government of the
natives was discussed.
Succession to the throne is on the lines usually followed by the
Manes, although the Manes have no right or title here other than by
conquest. The elevation of a new king follows this procedure. By is
summoned, if away. When he reaches the town of the principal king, he
retires into a house. The consultation begins concerning the new king,
with the lesser kings and chief nobles (present). After taking a vote,
a proclamation is made to the effect that the notables have agreed to
raise him to the throne, to crown him and to present him with the royal
insignia. He is brought out of the house and is publicly prespnte       by
t r,           ni t  a* .~
a chief4 who holds this office w     the royal insigl.      a shield which
belonged to the dead king, his bow and quiver'. Thven he is shown, bylitis
chief, the drums and trumpets. He is dressed in a fine smock, and given
a bandolier with his .scimitar and binte, an instrument of execution, and
then the royal crown, which. is a cap. Finally, he receives a military
baton, which corresponds to the sceptre as already stated:    this"
  a
token of regard and safe-conduct for all those in their lands to whom
kings give it.   Thi.  B  the way in which Farma, King of the Logos, was
enthroned. Dressed in a brocade smock, his cap is made of nachul (raffia),
worked in a thousand colours, and underneath this, which is his cvwn, he
wears his own cap. After being presented with his insignia, l/f.81v/ the


 


Go up to Top of Page