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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 19

19.
hiding in the forest, since he found himself hard-pressed; and he
goes about in fear lest they seize him and his sons, as he himself
says in the letterihe ha":written to His Majesty.
The Bijagoa are not content with harassing the blacks but they
also want to wipe out the Portuguese found in those partas and they will
do so unless His Majesty sends some aid. Whatever it be, the importance
till be great, and on it depends the conversion of all these heathen.
Since the King of Guinela is the principal king, as soon as he is
baptized, all will be over, and God will be greatly served in those
parts. Hence, when the word comes, it will bb necessary for the padres
to baptize him and the others who have already been catechized.
The kings who at present wish for baptism are the following.
Eachabole, king of Biguba. He has three kings whom he crowns. On the
East he is a neighbour of the Nalus, who are very warlike blacks, but
they do not fear these or any other blacks,, except the Bijagos, who are
very harmful to Lhem because tnoy live on islands end make assaults
(on them).
Another is the king of Guinela, by name Bamala, who is a kind of
emperor over seven kings,,to whom he presents their cap, which
corresponds to a crown. Apart from these seven kingdoms, the Bijagos
have taken six kingdoms from him. They neighbour him on the South.
Another king is called Mangali, king of the kingdom of Bisege.
He nas five kings on whom he places the cap or crown. To the Easto
South East he is a neighbour of the Bijagso, and he is also a
neighbour of the Nalus.
These kings, who are all of the Biafar nation, and also the
fidalgos who have public officesgo around clothed. The kings wear
cotton breeches, over that a cloth also of cotton but very fine, and
over the top of everything a wide smock; and they have a royal cap on
the head.  When they give audience they are seated and enthroned in a
chair formed from a single piece of wood, and they hold in one hand a
bunch of sticks. Those who do any wrong they punish severely, by
seizing them and their whole family. Uncles sell their nephews when-
ever they find this 'nicssary, without any blame accruing, since they
say that they can do this because (the victims) are their relatives.
The lands of these#three kings all border each other, and they are
divided by three rivers 0which penetrate inland from the Bijagos Islands
and through these three kingdoms. From these three rivers emerge many
tributaries and creeks, on account of which the kingdoms are much
subject to (attacks from) the Bijagos, who, in their boats, which are
Very light, enter (any waterway) they please and make their attacks


 


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