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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 25

25.
2.0      This nation of blacks which came to wage war against the others
is coonly called, by all, the ISwbas' *. Today it is not certainly
knIohn where these people originated nor does anyone know where they
began their march with their army. ForI, up to the present time, which
is aore than forty years since they conquered Serra Leoaj, the Saps
have only seen the vanguard of the army and the rearguard has not yet
arrived. Old men among the Sapes say that these nations of blacks
come to this land century after century bringing war. They ought to be
telling the truth in this matter, and it seems to me that, an far as we
can surmise, what these blacks say is true. And so, from the year 1550
onwards, these (Samba) blacks have penetrated into Guinea with more
force and ferocity than ever seen in any other nation. For if the
Numantines began to eat hnman flesh, that was because they found themselves
besieged for a long period and lacked food, which made it necessary for
them to eat the flesh of those they killed. But these people were not
besieged, on the contrary, they were themselves the besiegers. They had
no lack of food for they had more than enough. It appears to me that what
led the Manes to make the soldiers they brought with then eat hImwn flesh
was shoer ferocity and bloody-mindedness, for they themselves do not eat
it.
3*       I return to what those (old men) of this (Sape) nation say, that
century after century war comes to these parts. Hence, when the &umba$
cane to this land, there was already here a nation of blacks who at:
human flesh. This suggests that they must have remained here after
another war like the one under way. So it was about forty years ago
that the Sumbas began to conquer the land, and as they found it a good
land they halted here. Nowthey inhabit it and are dwvlla    bhere.
a-f


 


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