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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 4

have confidence in a servile heart. Their presence did not last long,
since in the war which Farma had with his captain Sacena, one of them
died paralysed, and the other died from poison.
I: Now I want to explain how it was that Faire advanced himself to
the extent that he gained a name as famous as that of the general Farma
Mane, a name already indicated; and that he became as remote from those
of-inferior status as any general born to the rank, and unlike one born
of common stock. And in turn we shall speak about the real reasons why
Messera remained (in Goia). As for Fairets (new) name, Xere Ira,
father of Bogo, King of the Casses, took one of his 'Faire', that is,
a linguist or cassane in the native tongue, /f.84v/ and made him King
of the Cubas, giving him with the kingdom the name of 'Messera' as a
token of authority.
'  FaireIs lords (the original Messera)) carried away with anger,
gave his Faire the name of Farmt, Mande Mansa's first general and the
companion of Feraguira, thus compensating the more pointedly for the
injury because it came from the other general. Fera Messera was
Mand+ ansa's general in GoraAfter making his conquests, and         he
felt old and very weary, Fera Messera gave his Faire the bow of command,
as a reward for the good services he had received from him, and awarded
him the advance guard in the hinterland.   To Mareco, father of Fatema,
he gave the sea-coast. In keeping with the dispositions and plans of
Messera, the army of savages came marching on, under the command of two
Now let us discuss the second point of the chapter, the military
order and ceremony of the army. These were exactly the same as in
Messera's army, or to put it more pointedly, in the devil's army, the
military standard being an image of his people and the standard-bearcr
a virgin savage youth. The youth carried the wooden idol which was a
cubit in height, and covered all over with amulets and war-medicines.
The savages had so much confidence in these devilish inventions that
there was not one of them who dared to fight without them : for they
believed that they afforded absolute security of life, as duly mentioned
earlier. The infernal idol hung from the neck of the standard-bearer
in a halter, and he supported it and carried it with the utmost respect
and reverence. With this cursed reliquary and without swaying to
either side, this officer led the great horde of savages. This multi-
tude from hell marched on in this fashion, destroying all it could.
Not one savage turned back nor even looked round, out of fear of the
captain who followed at the rear during these conquests, with his


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