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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 18

18.


In these parts there are certain heathen called Mandingas, and
they are the worst sort for they follow the religion of the Moors.
They are close to the Moors in their customs, and they live next to
the Jalofos.. These (Moors ?) make their way among the heathen and
deceive them by giving them amulets and reliquaries which they wear
around their necks in the same way an we wear an agnus dei or relics.
The amulets are formed from pieces of leather sewn together in various
ways, and they carry in them what the Moors give them, and (thus) the
false beliefs of their perverse sect are also scattered around.
The Mandingas were greatly saddened by the celebrations of the
Portuguese and others when the rite of chinas was prohibited.   The
padres discussed the Holy Baptism they sought with some heathen who
were wearing these amulets. and they immediately threw them away.
One of them took his from his neck and threw it in the sea, and others
hid theirs when they came to talk to the padres.
The governor of the kingdom, otherwise called the larego, the
leading person in the kingdom after the king, brought the padres to
the king's house, together with a great crowd of his followers, where
they entertained them in the local fashion with instrumental music,
which they normally only do when the king goes out. The Portuguese
also held festivities.  On the return journey, they accompanied them
almost half-way, and were festive to an extent that is beyond descrip-
tion, (going through the motions of) shooting off their bows without
(actually) shooting arrows, something they only do on great feast days.
A regiment of archers arrived with bows and quivers, some of them
singing, some dancing, (all) wearing-chaplets of greenery, and (all)
overjoyed by the victory. In this fashion they reached Porto de Santa
Cruz, which contains their chief oracle, and they continued feasting
all night. The following day Father Gaspar Gonialves Pereira, the
Visitor to this port, sang a mass in honour of the Virgin of the
Conception, in gratitude for such a signal victory as the abandonment
of the chinas and of the ceremonies at death connected with them. Not
all the Portuguese attended these festivities for some were keeping
watch at the port against the threat from the enemy Bijagos whom the
settlers fear, and so the padres spent the whole night here with the
guard.
These Bijagos have inflicted great damage, by burning and laying
waste everything, for apart from the loss suffered by the kingdom of
Biguba, as stated above, a great deal has also been suffered by the
kingdom of Bisege. A large part of King Mangali's kingdom has been
destroyed, and he was forced to flee, leaving his residence and


 


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