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Mota, A. Teixeira da (Avelino Teixeira); Hair, P. E. H. (Paul Edward Hedley) / Jesuit documents on the Guinea of Cape Verde and the Cape Verde Islands, 1585-1617: in English translation
(1989)

24,   pp. [unnumbered]-4 ff.


Page 17

17.
they run a sharp stick through their necks and so they die miserably.
Other chinas who will follow them in dying from the same torture are
present at the spectacle, and these exhibit, not long faces or gloom,
but great joy, and they take part in the musical proceedings. (Yet)
the wretches will die this way without exception.
Imagine the joy it brought our madres to see this ritual put an
end to, so that it is no longer used and no-one is killed3 Instead,
the ritual is prohibited under severe penalties, so that when two
nobles died, there was no killing, except of oxen. When this had been
agreed on, great was the Joy and relief of the king, the nobles, and
the Portuguese, so that all took part in celebrations, the Portuguese
firing off their muskets, the blacks shooting with their bows.
The decision having been taken in the presence of the nobles and
Portuguese, the king stated that (the padres) should make him a
Christian, and the same was said by the governor of the kingdom, who
immediately brought them a son of his. The nobles are seeking the
same thing, and if what they are saying had already come about, there
would have been baptized not one king, but two, and many other persons.
But since the padres aim, with divine favour, to make a successful
beginning to this process of conversion, so that they should not
always be apprehensive lest (4hei converts) return to the erroneous
beliefs they have so long held, the padres are waiting for the right
moment as these people increase in their knowledge of our Holy Faith,
to ensure that from being heathens they do not become heretics. For
this reason the Dadres have not baptized them, /f.85v/ although they
have been strongly pressed by them to do so.
A capitgo, a man of standing among them, met the padres as they
left the king's house, and presenting himself together with a single
wife, he having given up all his other wives, he begged them to make
him a Christian. They told him in reply that they would do all this
when they had word from Portugal, where they were asking for support
in the matter about which the king of Bigoba, the king of Guinela,
and the king of Bisege, who most insistently were seeking Holy Baptism,
were writVn; to His Majesty. Capitjo Sebastian Fernandes Caolo wished
to give a feast in honour of the governor of the kingdom of Guinela,
the most important person in the kingdom after the king, and he
invited him to dinner on Easter Day. Believing that this was in
order to give him baptism, he came in great excitement; and as soon
as the king of Guinela and the king of Biguba are baptised all these
heathen will receive Holy Baptism.


 


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