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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 35

35.
PA wretched race is minel Would God had made me a rat or a dog and
not a Jewl Rats and dogs enter the kingts house but I cannotl t
After this he uttered many groans, and exhausted went away. When
these Jews die, they do not bury them in the ground like other blacks,
but (leave their bodies) in holes in trees.  If there are none, they
hang their bodies in the trees, because the other blacks hold the erron-
eous belief that if Jews are buried with other persons, the rains will
not come and there will be no new crops on the land that year.
211.      The other blacks on this coast are buried in the following way.
Their cemeteries are beside the villages in which they live; but when
they die, they are not buried in the earth as we are. A wooden frame-
work is built like that of a two-storAcd housa, and within tais they
fix a plank on which a bed is made. Here they lay the dead person,
covered with his black and white cloths.  They close the door, and using
spades cover the wooden frame with a large quantity of earth. There
are royal graves which have five or six stages of woodwork, one above
the other, and which are covered with earth from the first to the last.
In this way they make very high mounds of earth. When kingzs die, they
have only to open the doors and lay them on these beds. In pots standing
besides the graves, they offer to their dead wine, milk, and other
provisions, which are consumed by birds and beasts.  Poor wretches,
they have the notion that their dead ones consume whatever they offer
them. When they go by these cemeteries they salute the dead, by kneeling
down and saying certain words. They show grief by shaving their heads.
and they do not allow the hair to grow while they are in mourning. The
wake lasts many days. They assemble Lu Ze quantities of provisions,
(especially) meat and wine, and those who come to the wake also bring
food. When they are all gathered together, an old woman or an old man
in a high voice begins to praise the deceased and recite his deeds, and
when this is finished all join in loud wailings in distorted voices.
This goes on for several days, as long as the provisions last. For a


 


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