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

Page View

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

Chapter 16. Which discusses the Sumbas, called among themselves Manes; how they came, and the wars they made. [translated text],   pp. 24-31

Page 29

bracelets an their arms, and in their ears moNM    of thirty cruados
and more in weight, and in their noses another ornament like a bridle
bit; and this is the reason they dug up the bodies.
11.;      It was the practice of those who controlled this army, when they
came near a place, to send ambassadors to the governors and to the king,
bearing smocks and trousers of their own sort as a present, together with
a quiver of their arrows, a bow, a shield, and a spear, in short, they
sent a specimen of all the weapons they carried. The ambassadors said
that they offered then the clothes as a sign of friendship, but if they
did not wish friendship they gave then a sample of the weapons with which
they would conquer them if they spurned friendship. And they said that
they were leading a great number of men whose stomachs would then serve
as their graves. The poor people could not decide whose command and
jurisdiction to obey: if they surrendered, the Sumbas would not hesitate
to eat them, if they fought, they would be defeated and still eaten.
Mere was much cowardice among these nations of Sapes, for though there
were so many of them that they peopled more than eighty leagues of
coastline and many leagues inland, they never cam  together to fight
against the enemy. They did nothing; it seem this must have been
because they had little practice with weapons. For when the enemy came
to a settlement or a village, and the Sapes sought help from their
neighbours, their neighbours replied that they must fight and defend
themselves (as best they could), and that when the esem reached thes,
they too would fight. Because of this lack of organisation, the Sapee
were crushed, so that many villagos were emptied of peoples they were
destroyed and burnt, and the inhabitants, done to death, were burnt or
eaten. Others abandoned what they possessed and cam aboard our sHips.
Like birds, which, when a wood is set on fire, often fly alongsides,
hoping that some creature will come out that they can snap up, our


Go up to Top of Page