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

Chapter 4. Which discusses the Kingdom of Borçalo, where Jalofos and Barbacins live; and all else in this district. [translated text],   pp. 30-40 and 41


Page 33

33.


Some of the slaves they own or sell were prisoners of war, and
others were condemned to slavery judicially. Particularly they condemn
witches, whom they sell with all their lineage down to the fourth
generation. They tear the eyes out of some witches, male and femzle,
and others they throw to lions and leopards.
6.T      Throughout Guinea, it is the custom for men to make a marriage
payment, but women bring no dowry. The mun who wishes to marry gives
to the father of the woman, or to her uncle, - her father's brothery
whom women treat as a father - slaves, cows and other goods, which
are lilce money with them.  The marriage payment varies according to
the rank of the persons involved. When a divorce is sought, the
father returns what was given him, and the daughter becomes free to
do with herself as she wishes. The blacks set no limit to the number
of wives they can have. They take wives to the extent that they can
maintain them and can find marriage payments to give to their fathers.
7.       In this land of Brocalo can be found all the foodstuffs previously
mentioned, and all the birds and animals.  One thing I saw in this land
which greatly astonished me was that the king who ruled at that time had
the paoer to cure snake-bite.  As soon as anyone was bitten, the other
members of the household made a signal with a drum, and this signal
indicated that there was a case of anake-bite in the house, in order
that the king might come and cure the victim. Or if the king could
not go there immediately, he sent the cap from his head, or one of his
spears. The blacks said that since this object came from the hand of
the king the snake-bite was checked, and when the kinc (himself) cane,
he cured and healed the victim. This is what the king used to do, and
he healed many individuals. I do not know by what power he did it.


 


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