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

Chapter 15. How they create a king in the land of the Sapes, and the ceremonies involved, and how they invest solateguis, who are the noblemen. [translated text],   pp. 14-22 and 23


Page 16

16.


with blows, unless the king rescues his by throwing himself over him,
and putting his own cap on the outsiders head. In this case, the
outsider becomes a solategui and can observe and take part in the
contuberia.
4.       It is normal in these kingdoms to have a large house set apart
from the others, called the House of Religion, whose guardian is an
old noble, considered among them to be a good-living man. All the young
maidens of the village or hamlet gather together in this house, in
retirement from the world, and stay there for a year or more, being
taught by the old man. Dvmry day their fathers send them food, but they
do not see them or talk with them. The old man changes the names of the
girls, giving them different ones from the names they formerly had. When
the girls emerge, they do so all together, in groups of singers, all very
finely bedecked and decorated in their own style. They (make their way)
through the village to the arifal. which is the central open place, where
they dance to the sound of instruments called halo, which we have
already discussed; and there are large and small forms of this instruant,
and all of them play together harmoniously. At these balls or dances, the
fathers come to see their daughters; and nobles and young ami flock here,
to look at the girls and ask for them as wives. The suitors give marriage
payments to the fathers of the girlsand pay something to the old man who
kept watch ovar them. They call these secluded girls mg     ,g just as we
call ours 'nuns.
S.7     -  Their burial practice is to bury the dead within their 'on houesu
in their clothes and with gold in their ears and noses, which are pierced
for this purpose, as has already been said, and with bracelets as their
hands; and the ear-rings they carry, masucos as they are called in
these parts, are worth up to twenty or thirty crusados. The wake is
performed according to the rank of those involved, in the way already


 


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