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Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)

Chapter 13: Reasons for the impact of this army of Manes, its marching order and its ceremonial,   pp. 1-6

Page 3

was Farma.   He was a vigorous young man of great ambition, and widel
recognised as such. He was seized with the desire to obtain the title
already he saw himself stepping forward, and in his mind's eye he 14
hands on the bow.   He was ready to do it and was held back only byh{
lowly status, which always discourages action. But evil has never
lacked tenacity, and so to no small extent it was with Farma. He
opened his heart to a man who was a close acquaintance of Fera Mess
stating that as soon as he knew that he had gained the attention of his
captain and lord, /f84r/ there would be little delay in the completion
of his task. The confidant went away to consider the matter, and to
Messera. The latter was so pleased that he renewed the proclamation, I
declaring that its terms applied to anyone serving in his army, of
whatever status or rank. At this period, Faire (who became Farma) was
a drummer, a post of consequence in the army which is normally
allocated to nobles and those of particular courage, who when they
leave this post may as a reward take up the bow.    Faire's doubts were
dissolved (?).   The conclusion of the proclamation meant the end of t
life of the savage's mother. He laid hands on the bow, held it up
respectfully, and did not know where to put it.    He sought out his
mother, and killed her in the open place publicly, with all standing
around to see the pitiful spectacle. Faire tore out those entrails of
his mother which had borne him, and in absolute cruelty cooked that
heart which had suffered so much on behalf of the savage. The
voracious wolf sliced off those breasts which had lovingly nourished
him and amputated the hands which had cared for him. Then on the spo ~g
he made a diabolical oath, never to lay the bow down.
He was treated by Messera with all the caresses and gifts the
latter could bestow, and then as a token of his affection and a rewarcf|
he gave him one of his best-loved wives, who was pregnant, declaring    
she would be a companion for his journey during his conquests. 'If she
bears a son - as in fact happened, the son being Sambalete the Cruel,
already mentioned - you will give him all the lands you gain, and wilI
recognise him as your king and supreme lord. If she bears a daughter,
you will divide the lands between AU your children, passing on to    hear
the duty of paying tribute'.   It is generally held that he further ga  
him, as a controlling influence (?), his own sons Bofio and Bere Bere,,
in order to satisfy any doubts he felt about his Faire, for no-one carQ*


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