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

Chapter 14. The Kingdom of the Sapes, which begins at Cape Verga, in 9° 40', and stretches to the Shoals of St. Anne, in 7°; their customs, trade, wars and other matters. [translated text],   pp. 9-12 and 13


Page 11

11.
demands that the guest should choose the one who seem to him the
best, arnd the wife who is selected ie obliged to serve him all the
time he stays there, in all =Mior of service, so that the guest will
have no excuse to take any of the other wives, and for this reason he
is given this particular one of his choice. And if it comes about that
he takes any of the others, by their laws he in obliged to forfeit the
goods he brought. After this, no matter where he goes, each time he
returns to the house this woman is under the same obligation as before
to serve him. (In return,) the obligation of the guest to the woman
gpes him, to keep her content, is to give her clothes, that is, a
length of cotton cloth, or some wraps, and a *pan of white India cloth
or cotton cloth for' a sash. The children the Sapes get by the wives
they give to their guests are considered children of the master of the
house, like the other children, but if one happens to be begotten by a
white, he gives it to the father who takes it away.
6. *     Government and justice among these nations of the Sapes are
conducted in the following way. In towns and villages they haye a lauge
house with a round porch, the residence of the king; and in the porch,
which they call funco the king has a seat, which corresponds to the
throne in the Portuguese court from which our king or his representative
listens to pleas, The funco which is reached from the king's house, is
decorated with a covering above and below, made up of finely-coloured
mats. In this place the king is joined by the solateuis. who are the
chief men of the kingdom, either in secret session, or in order to
administer justice to %be parties seeking it. When the king come to the
funco he places himeelf on the high seat and the *osg teV remai n
below him, seated on each side. On this porch the parties who are seeking
justice appear and as their advocates there arrive certain men called
arco  who are dressed in a costume of feathers and bells, and have their
faces covered by very ugly masks, and carry spears in their handst, en


 


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