Book 1, Chapter 5

Concerning the way in which the Giagas of the Kingdom of Matamba and others spread out over this black Ethiopia,part of Southern Africa observe the laws mentioned above.

Chapter V.

This black Ethiopian woman, enemy of human propagation ordered in her first quixilla that no woman should have her own child and so on.  This law was observed ad litteram for over 150 years[1] according to the reckoning of the Giaga people and it has only been about 20 years since any of them gave birth and raised children even if only a few, and this was at the exhortation of the Knight Salvator Correa, Capitain General and Governor of Angola, who, in the year 1648, restored the square[2] of Loanda from the power of the Dutch who had held it for seven years;[3] when he took over the government he heard of the inhuman ways of the Giaga concerning the slaughter of children and prohibition of human propagation.  Like a zealous knight in the service of God and his king he warmly recommended to the governor whom he sent overseas, the conversion of the heathens to our [49] Holy Catholic Faith and to the destruction their heathen and barbarous customs.  He wrote to the Giaga Cassange Calunga Calunga Cajombe[4] and to Queen Ginga how he had arrived at the Port of Loanda and retrieved the square from the power of the Dutch and that they must do all that their king could do, and that he wanted their good and preservation, but this in a different way from past times; that if they would mitigate their barbarities and cruelties, particularly their custom of killing children and forbidding human propagation and adorning the exhortations with a thousand courtesies, offerings, and gifts. To captivate them better he sent an ambassador to both, carrying letters from his king and also from himself, the first of which were to the Giaga Cassange, who received it with great courtesy, was greatly pleased by the letter, accepted and esteemed his gift as a present, and the offerings were to them a great comfort, and he showed himself very content with their happy progress and whether this was through fear or love, he showed a willingness to give signs of the esteem which he had for the announcement, communicating with the Lord Governor, with slaves and sent ambassadors with the answer and began to give birth to children even if [only a] few.  But Queen Ginga, who was displeased with the progress of the Portuguese lords, and who wanted to see them annihilated; even though she accepted the gift for convenience, did not accept the giver nor his letter; with all that, she communicated with slaves and sent an ambassador, but she did nothing to carry out the desires of the zealous knight; but persevered in her barbarity, until the year 1655, as is told in her history in the second book.[5] The other Giagas continued in the observance of the quixillas of their mother without transgressing them.  A missionary once asked a baptized lady if she had observed that quixilla, she replied “Father, I gave birth to five fine children, and I left all them to feed the animals,” and another confirmed she had done the same with seven and another with nine.  O unheard of cruelty, only to relate the cruelty of the Ethiopian mothers towards their children it would be necessary to spend much time and paper.  I speak of what I have seen and not heard, o the unhappy condition of the black people of this Western Ethiopia.[6]

Quÿari quixilla.  Second Law.

It could not be forbidden to the women who were already pregnant to give birth but [50] in the second law it is prohibited that any women should dare to give birth in the quilombo, but must go outside to give birth etc.  Of this (dear readers) they are such zealous observers that they would not allow any woman whatever to give birth in the quilombo (quilombo means army and this serves as notice to the readers)[7] and if by chance any woman gives birth she is condemned to death and her offspring to be pounded in a mortar and it is then necessary to bless the quilombo again with the deaths of men and animals (as I have said in more detail in its place)[8] and yet it is against the law of nature and each of the wild animals of the woods observes it, for within their cavernous habitations they give birth to their young and raise them with love and feed them; then when they [the  Giagas] take their children who already have teeth, according to their barbarous custom they go with armed soldiers and rub them with the oil of their mother Tembo Andumba which they call maggi ÿa Samba, that is holy oil, each one taking a small part in putting the ointment with the foot of a chicken on the chest, spine or on the right arm.  I have not been able to know the significance of this dignified ceremony as they allege no other reason or cause except it is an ancient ceremony of their mother, but I say they do this on the chest as on the arm to give strength to each one, as this is done with human fat.  The arm and chest being the strengths of a man, and also they sustain themselves with the first and wound with the second and also kill, an exercise practiced by the Giaga people.

If two are born from one birth, there where other heathens would honor and revere them and dedicate them to the service of their false Gods and they are even called children of Frucono; in this and in the neighboring kingdoms they kill them, or at least one of them, and they are called by the names of Cacullo and Cabazzo[9] that is to say, first and second,[10] and Jacob and Esau too, fought in their mothers womb,[11] a manifest sign that outside also they would be more enemies than friends they must

be.   Such are twins usually as I have often seen them more enemies than friends to each other to the point that one wanted to take the life of the others.  These Ethiopians take the birth of two children from one birth as an omen of their destruction and annihilation and give one life and the other gets death these cannot live as their birth signifies some monstrosity or if by birth mother [51] nature has given them more than the ordinary number of limbs such as extra fingers or extra skin, they cannot enter the quilombo unless met by deputies with the remains of their ancestors and of their gods, not in order to honor and revere them but in order to know if those monsters are agreeable to them.  These [monsters] if they are noble children have the extra member cut off and they remain alive but if they are born slaves they are deprived of their life in order to observe that ancient law which ordered that such children should be killed[12] and if they observe this, they do the opposite of that other law which ordered fathers with many children who did not want more to bring about an abortion in the mother’s womb, but they themselves become murderers as if they love to do so and to their vast pleasure they sell them for some European wine or something else edible or drinkable which the sale will fetch, and this they do without feeling pain but with great comfort.[13] Everyone who has children in order to enter into the quilombo must pay tribute to the Lord of the Army according to each one’s means, the rich pay slaves or European wine; the poor hens, goats, etc., but ordinarily he makes little profit from the poor and makes a practice of not letting them give birth and if they give birth not letting them raise the children up but killing them, or else leaving them as food for animals so that they should not be a barrier to the service of the lords.  Here, for the comfort of the readers, I wish to relate the method and manner in which they take the recently born children who already have teeth according to their custom.  I speak of what I have seen.

The method which the Giagas observe when they take their children who already have teeth to enter the army.

To fulfil their laws, rites and custom; when it pleases the lord of the army to receive the recently born children who already have teeth in particular the lower teeth.[14] He makes his resolution [52] by public proclamation the day ahead of time.  He gives orders to make the necessary preparations to each man who has concubines outside who have already given birth.  He orders him to be found with his child on the appointed day in the customary place chosen for this.  Each lord who has such caskets of relics of his ancestors by their ancient customs and introduced in law is obliged to appear with these [their children] in the principal square of the court where the lord is who commands over all.  You will therefore see (readers) [them] carrying the caskets or Misettos which they call them with much devotion and reverence as if they were walking in a devout procession, loaded with chosen things covered not only with special cloth, but moreover sheltered with a great parasol or umbrella, they are followed and preceded by their chosen musicians and ministers with such order and devotion that they form that procession as if they were carrying the Holy Sanctuary to the confusion of those Christians who even in processions of the Holy Sanctuary go boldly, talking, laughing, joking and making various faces at their lovers as if this were the object of it, I leave than their custom of following and preceding the remains of their dead of whom only a very small part is kept in that receptacle, or else a piece of clothing used by him while he was living; they go, I say, dancing, leaping and relating all the miracles the dead person had worked; this is also to the confusion of those nations who on the designated days do not carry a relic of a saint, but they carry the true Ark the Holy Sanctuary sanctified by loving Christ and it is preceded, not by the minister and musicians designated to the spiritual service of the Holy Church, but by dancing people, musicians and expert masters in various other arts which they represent who do not accompany the Holy Ark with devotion, but making various gestures and faces to move the spectators to laughter and convert other peoples’ devotion into ridiculous jokes.  Dear readers, having then readied the designated place with their procession each places his casket on the stools chosen for this purpose with people who guard it, ministers who assist, and afterwards they go to the principal lord who holds those [relics] of their ancestors, having for each [53] house designated musicians and ministers; these also take their place on the stools.  Having done this the lord with his principal wife comes accompanied by many people and rubbed with the oil of Tembo Andumba and to the sound of their instruments or else of that plant called mona mona that is fig of Hell[15] and with a great cry they go to the division of the city or what we wish to call the open place and on arriving at the designated place the principal wife called Tembanzo which is to say principal lady, lady of the house,[16] places herself on one side and her husband on the opposite side with the casket in the middle.  The musicians begin to play their instruments and the soldiers to make various gestures of war as if they were near their enemy and would be engaging in action with him, the women who are hidden with their children, leaving these go also towards their husbands also making various gestures as if they were coming from a great enterprise showing to their lovers the bush where their child is hidden.  The men run quickly at the sign and seeing their babies they give with their light bow a blow on the head this alluding action to how they take people in war, next comes the ceremony of rubbing them as I have said above.[17] Having completed this law each one is free to enter the quilombo by whatever part he wants, but the women may not sleep inside for more than one night during which these occupy themselves not only with satisfying their lust but in various ceremonies greatly offensive to blessed God; in the morning each returns outside until the chosen order their return, this is it for the said ceremony.

Quitatu quixilla  Third law

This quixilla is observed ad literam because it is the custom of these Ethiopians, Giagas and non-Giagas, to rub themselves with various oils, colors, juice of herbs so that they look like so many devils and all the Giagas rub themselves with the oil of their mother and renew it according to law with the human fat of a noble person taken in war, and they carry right up to the present day a mortar with its pestle in memory of their mother and mistress.  Equally they carry some of the above mentioned oil, much esteemed among them, and yet I advise you the carrying of the mortar is not always because of the oil [54] but to pound various herbs and leaves to rub themselves with that juice as they are taught by their priests, as for example in order that arrows will not harm them, or so as not to be poisoned and they keep other observances, but for the most part they use it as a preservative as is seen in many examples, and these unhappy people without recognizing the fraud and trickery of their priests pay them well and generally the result is the loss of their money, damage to their persons and shame as well.

Quixilla Givana  Fourth Law

The Sacrifice which the fourth orders to be made of men and animals before going out to war is faithfully observed with great zeal, because they do this for their ancestors both before and after (as is said in its place where Sacrifices are dealt with).[18] It was ordered to give burial in their own bellies to those whom they killed in war, not only the Giagas but the non-Giagas observe it faithfully and sometimes it is not even well cooked when they send it to their stomachs and they are greedier of it than of salvation.[19] I have more than once heard it said by similar people that they would leave any other meat, however precious, for human flesh.  I have[20] seen with my own eyes killing, dispatching butchering, cooking and eating, something which is horrible even to hear told and makes one’s blood freeze in one’s veins, but what is it like to see, know and converse with such people?[21] I knew that this black people eat snakes, toads, worms, and and other dirty animals, and this can be seen every day and just seeing it nauseates one; but can it be wondered at? while they eat their own species, something which the wild beasts of the woods do not do, o miserable Ethiopia.

Quixilla quitanu  Fifth law

The killing of people belonging to someone who dies to serve him in the other life is an error followed by all the heathens both Orientals and occidentals who believe little in the immortality of the soul; but stupidly believe that they go roaming in the world undergoing the ordinary troubles of hunger, thirst, and clothing as they did when living or that they entered into other [55] individuals and also that they were transformed into various animals[22] according to Pythagorias’ opinion, and for this reason where they bury their dead they kill men, women, and animals and pour wine and other beverages over them and it is customary at the tomb for them to maintain some animal which is supposed to be the soul of the dead person, but it is to be noted that of the animals and men whom they kill for the dead person they do not give them anything except the blood which they spread over the grave and the way in which this is observed is to cut the head of the animals and holding it up in their hands, like a hyssop they run along with it over the grave letting it drip, and they do the same with the wine or other liquors, but the least part is for the dead, all the rest is for the living; one cannot distinguish their tears from smiles, because everything ends with singing, feasting much eating and drinking and this law is faithfully observed even by non-Giagas; such is the condition of the inhabitants of this black Ethiopia.[23]

Quixilla Samano  Sixth law

This quixilla is observed to the cost of the patient in its true vigor and force because they are marked or branded doubly:  the first mark is of their reforming mother which is as horrible as it is painful, that is pulling out, I say, the two upper middle teeth and for many also the lower ones, and this so excellent manner and custom they have never learned in Italy.  They acknowledged a master and mother in the arts, these experts pull teeth so as not to impede their removal nor to smash the dog[24] nor to inconvenience the patient with the flow of blood.  They take a piece of wood one half palm long with a square end and having adjusted this above the teeth they give one or more blows with a hammer, stone or piece of iron as the occasion suggests, which is able to move or pull not just one but however many teeth are in the mouth and this so excellent way to pull teeth is confined to the last and also it renders it impossible to take the food necessary for the human individual for many days and to this an Ethiopian was reduced as the master of this art gave him eight blows.  The second mark is no less horrible and monstrous; it is a brand of iron which they call quirimbo[25] which they put in the fire and having heated it well they touch the person where they want to mark him with it which is ordinarily [56] on the arms and chest with such mastery and skill that I have often seen these people marked with less care and circumspection than is had for horses in Europe to such an extent that they are not content with a single brand they brand the black person two or four and even six times and not content with [marking him] chest and arm they make him distinctive by marking him on the shoulders with such skill that it makes any one who sees it have compassion and many who are not able to revenge themselves in war want with the horrible brand to revenge themselves in peace.[26] The mark of the whites[27] has the name of the lord of the people, but that of the Jagas varies.  Cassange is formed like ox’s hoof, Queen Ginga’s like a grate[28] and others diversely one horrible and another terrifying.  Such is the misfortune of this people descended from Ham, for ones more unfortunate cannot be found in the world.

Quixilla Sambuari  Seventh Law

She conceded to her followers and observers of her laws that they should be able to eat human flesh except that of women, they are faithful observers of this and the non-observation is not to be attributed to a lack of desire but of means.  The law relating to women is not generally kept.  Cassange eats them [women] with great gusto, particularly their feet, hands and breasts.  In some provinces where I was they observed it faithfully.  Dear readers, this law of eating human flesh is terrifying even to the beasts without reason because it deals with eating those of the same species and in spite of this it is faithfully observed which is not always so with the laws of other nations even though they are known to be barbarous.  The Scythians were cruel because they wrapped those of their own species in the skins of brutish animals,[29] and in this way they died but one does not read that they ate their flesh even though some are known to have quenched their thirst with the blood of human individuals.  Fallare and Perillo invented that unheard of barbarity, the bronze bull in which they caused to those who disobeyed their orders to die miserably, but they did not eat their flesh or [57] drink their blood.  Diomede and Basiride were cruel because they fed their horses with human flesh, but they did not eat it; but these barbarous and cruel Ethiopians, crueller than the Scythians do not wrap up those of their own species in animal skins, but they put them in their own bellies make use of them as Fallare and Perillo used their a bronze bull to cook and bury those of their own species and worse than the horses of Diomede and Basiride they eat their flesh and drink their blood; o barbarous people who take so much delight in satisfying yourselves with human flesh and appear as content as if they were guests of Mark Antony when he took more pleasure in Cicero’s head, than in the food which was on the table or else that man who held the scepter of the Lusitanians who with great gusto caused the sides of two living people to be opened and their hearts pulled out, but he did not taste them himself, nor did he do more than take pleasure in their heads; but these barbarians do not stop at looking, nor even smelling, but they want to taste the flavor and the great pleasure in it, and many open up the side not just to look at the heart but to eat it eagerly, o unheard of cruelty, o never since heard barbarity.

Quixilla naque  Eighth Law

They do not observe this one much because ordinarily the Lord does not go to war but sends his officials and when he goes the main wife remains at home, as he does not lack others to bring with him because a Giaga may have two or three hundred at his command and when he does need to take her he observes the quixilla leaving another in her place giving her orders to execute and ordinarily to observe chastity until his return and other quixillas at his pleasure and if you want to know the test that the husband or concubine as we like to call him makes, it is to bring from the war a part of the heart or brain of enemies killed by his hands or those of others, if she eats it without repugnance and balking it is taken as a sign of her fidelity to her husband and if she refuses and does not eat it she confesses herself guilty.  When I found myself in a province of the Kingdom of Matamba[30] after the return [58] of soldiers from the war a great company of them took arms and seeing their spirits much changed in order to avoid some evil which might be about to take place I asked the cause of this quarrel I was given the answer that the wife of one of the quarrellers had been unfaithful to him and on my asking if he had sufficient proof he answered yes, as she did not want to eat the flesh which was brought back from the war according to their barbarous custom.  See what barbarous and heathen customs their priests invented and this I heard of many times taking place in various provinces.  Therefore before returning from war to the quilombo, the principal wife must sleep with her concubine, I am speaking of the great men and officials and not the ordinary people, at the outskirts of the quilombo,[31] then they enter with much feasting and joy leading many enemy prisoners.  Their concubines also clear themselves of infidelity [charges] with their regular oaths.  Besides, the non-Giaga people do not usually eat anything cooked by the hand of a woman when she is “in the month”, and this is also observed by many whites.[32]

Quixilla Vua  Ninth Law

This quixilla is generally observed among Ethiopian, Indian and other nations because that woman who does not get her first flower is not considered worthy to live, but those worthy are honored with the following function.  They take one who is already capable of giving birth and assign for her on a designated day a young man as husband and her as a wife and both are carried on people’s shoulders, each carrying the head of a human being in their hand, and they go on foot, and they are annointed with aromatic and precious oils according to the custom of the country and they go festively in this way to the house of their relatives accompanied by various instruments making, I do not know whether it is hellish music or just the confused cries of the inmates of Hell, they go singing various songs, surrounded by some old ladies, who so appear, adorned as they are with various colors according to the black people’s custom and with feathers on their heads that one would judge them to be some furies who fled from the Tartarean habitations and with this ceremony they make a great collection of goats, hens, beverages and also slaves.  Those which Cassange accumulated for the function [59] for his daughter at the end of the year 1660 cost more, just for European wine, than 600 ducats[33] not counting goats, etc. and at the beginning of the same year it happened that I wanted to prevent such a diabolical ceremony and I had great opposition, but finally reached my aim, this was the daughter of one of the principal officers of the army and they paid the penalty for their boldness because fifteen days did not pass before she died, and they attributed the cause of her death to me, as heathens and some new converts to our Holy Faith, for having disturbed their ancient ceremony full of observances and immoral arts, Dear readers:  this ceremony is general even if there are differences in their way of doing it, and first of all I say that they make a house in which the girl must stay after the above-mentioned ceremony and this they call the house of blood.[34] Here they prepare various pots with various washes made for the purpose, and also various ointments with which she must wash and rub herself and whenever they enter or leave from it they make a bequest with the assistance of the priest; some heathens make an offering of this blood to heaven without any other ceremony or invocation, others do otherwise according to the custom of each province others immediately obtain a man who cohabits with her.  If she becomes pregnant, this is not dishonored as an evil deed, instead they glory in it and her relatives enjoy seeing her size increase; others do not make a house on purpose but make use of anything nor are they are able to hold such a ceremony or even a similar one; they maintain that the woman who has intercourse before having her first flower remains for ever sterile and among them it is a great crime both for the woman and for the man; but the woman suffers more than the man because normally she is killed so as not to have the dishonor of sterility even though they are most barbarous and inimical to human propagation.

Quixilla Cuim  Tenth Law

They observe this law with much zeal because not only do they keep cloth belonging to the departed person but also keep some part of the body, like the head, hairs, fingernails,[35] [60] and these [they keep] in boxes which they call Misettos[36] of which some are inlaid with gold, some with silver and some have signs and they adore and revere these as if there were enclosed in them the author of life to whom one ought to give all honor and glory.  Queen Ginga did this way with a silver one dedicated to king Ngolambande her brother in which there was nothing of the departed king but a tooth, the head, and a few bones, the skin of a wild animal called Zinzo, a belt, a sheep skin, which she adored and to which she made sacrifices, as I will relate in its place when I deal with her life in the second book.[37] The Giaga Cassange, they say, has in his box the head of a famous Giaga who was his ancestor.  The Giaga Gonga Caango in his keeps that of a brother of his (and this I have seen) who was killed by the Portuguese[38] and he holds it in great veneration as among Christians the relic of a saint, and he keeps it well guarded by his ministers and musicians in their barbaric fashion.  The Giaga Culemba keeps the head of their old second Giaga also called Culemba[39] and other lords and the commoners too keep something of their relatives’ as their relics and when the carry the above mentioned boxes it is with great reverence and accompaniment of various instruments which they call Vnzindi.[40] It is to be observed that among the black Giaga people when one is made king or lord he cannot call himself crowned, nor are they able to pass sentence or settle cases unless they first put on some cloth of their dead predecessor:  but after having put on some of these clothes he can sentence to death or settle cases as he wishes as if those clothes had taught him knowledge and the opinions of doctors and lawyers.  With all of that that they observe in the administration of temporal justice and also to confirm and stabilize his absolute command and dominion he must also be rubbed on the arms and chest with chalk which they call Pemba[41] to confirm his status as lordly.

Quixilla Cuim ne moxi.  Eleventh Law

They observe the new moon with diligence and [when] it appears they give cries and signs of joy and have a great festival and they observe this ordinarily as an occasion for war as for travelling and their other affairs undertaking them at the time the new moon and only on rare occasions they leave when the sky is not completely clear.  If there is the “little rains” and mist and they call this rain muzumbo[42] [61] and when this rain comes no one who is Lord can come out in public and in those days the slaves customarily go around and visit the lords and ask them for the muzumbo, which is to say to be given something to eat.  Even if this is not generally observed but is particular to Kingdoms and provinces such is the observation of the ancient custom not only in this Ethiopia, but in India, also they display the casks or Missettos of their relics at the new moon and they do various ceremonies, but all heathen and barbarous.

Quixille Cuim ne aÿari  Twelfth Law

This law is not observed in the Kingdom of Matamba, nor yet in the provinces subjected to it, but in other provinces they observe it, but they do not give the reason for their carnal abstinence and not only the men but the women also remain to keep up the house and the baggage and as I have said above, they must on returning from war sleep in the outskirts of the city with their concubines and slake their libidious appetite for lust, I leave aside many other diabolical ceremonies which they do because whoever does not have comfort searches for it with the promise of restitution o barbarous blindness, people without counsel and prudence, and mad enough to be chained up.

Quixilla Cuim ne quitatu  Thirteenth Law

They observe this quixilla inviolably and promptly do what their Singhilos order and they give them whatever they require, honor and revere them like God, the powerful men of this black Ethiopia bend their knees before them and lower their necks, in no way do they neglect their commands, at their request they kill innumerable people, of any quality and quantity which pleases them, they eat human people and drink blood as if it were  precious liquor and make their assistants do the same and perform various diabolical ceremonies.  One of the many concubines of the Giaga Cassange, who they affirm exceed two hundred in number, for when I was standing looking at them I could not finish counting them and calculating their numbers, was found having intercourse with a young man and she being his [Giaga Cassange's] concubine he did not want to kill her according to their barbarous custom and Giaga style, but to escape death he committed an act of great barbarity [62] towards her lover and killed him with his own hands and drank his blood and rubbed his body with his fat and also he made food from his flesh and after this cruelty he called himself Singhilla representing his deceased ancestor Cassange Calunga Cajumbo,[43] and many times I have seen this done ordinarily by the hellish ministers at the new moon according to their heathen custom.

Quixilla Cuim ne vana  Fourteenth Law

This quixilla of sambaring[44] is observed by the principal lords with the death of men and animals on the assigned day and by the officials sacchella[45] themselves, that is they make divinations with their priests also with the death of men and animals and as all the force and vigor of this law consists of evil acts and I will skip it all so as not to contaminate the reader’s ear nor make a revelation to the world of those barbarians [and] their brutish way of living and behaving.  These Ethiopians take a diabolical precaution before war, which is done by their minister (as I will describe in dealing with their priests) but as it will come in that place under another name[46] I will now give only a brief notice of it as the topic does not justify a long discourse  This is called Cuota muamba.[47] They gather together a quantity of wood, after which the priest strikes fire not from a stone but from a piece of wood and sets it alight and pulls alongside the fire, a cord a little above the earth, somewhat like a snare.[48] The lord with the most important people remains present until the wood is consumed without anyone being able to leave that place and if anyone stumbles on the cord immediately they cut off his head and eat his flesh.  Later, they go with the priest in the rearguard which they call Iquoquo and there they kill men and animals and throw oil of human fat as if it were holy water and they were taking it to drive out any hellish fear and were throwing it so as to fear no more.  Having done this they go to the right horn of the army which they call Mutunda, meaning eastern part and they also do the same with the left horn which they call Muÿa, the west side and the vanguard which they call Muta ita, that is the head of war they do the same, and they call this fortifying their army without these entrenchments and parapets and demilunes.[49] This is truly what they do and what I can present to you, and do not wonder at my giving you the particulars of these things in detail because I was a spectator of them as well as hearing of them from many people and I have dealt with such people that my escaping [63] from their hands, seems to me to be attributed to nothing less than to a miracle.  It is enough to hear “quibangala”[50] that is to say Giaga, and all flee to save their lives and they do not wait to see them, but the name alone is enough.  This inhuman people, observers of the quixillas of Tembo Andumba are naturally black, tall in body, fast in walking, very strong in combat, resolute in enterprises, cruel, and inhuman even with those of their own blood, they feed on human flesh, live by constant robbery, live in the fields like shepherds they are like home grown wolves[51] ever hungry and never satisfied.  It is a nation which includes within itself all the evil of the world, in one place in the evening, in another in the morning and such that upon ones’ rising from bed without having called them they are found at the door; it is a people who more often behave like the irrational beasts than rational people, people without God and without faith, the most unhappy that there is in the world, unhappy in birth because they are born like animals in the field, or at least outside their own hovel; and also worse than animals who are fed and nurtured by their fathers and mothers; but these being born are left by their own mothers as food for the animals and if some remain alive they are reared and nourished in every sort of barbarity and cruelty and these therefore become like poisonous animals which while they stay in their dens and caves and other habitations do no one any harm; but although they do no offense no one can call them innocent because this effect of good does not come from their will, but from the constraints of their dens but every time that they have the opportunity to offend they send forth the person which they had kept hidden, and show the ferocity of their natures.  These [Giagas] do the same and worse because if they do not offend others is not through necessity of place but through not having occasion to, when they have it they show their ferocity not against wild animals; but against those of their own species.  The snake bites, killing the body, but it does not go on to any other cruelty, the evil Giaga people not only bite, but wound and kill, and more than this, eat the flesh and drink the blood, and make drinking cups from skulls, use the fat as oil to rub the body, and they live more unhappily because they live in constant fear and they are always, even when sleeping like hares with [64] their eyes open, or like a sentry with a coiled rope and all they are afraid of is not to be transmitted from the mouth to the stomach (ie eaten):  but well most they be called miserable and unhappy as they live in a constant tangle of every vice and wickedness without any whips of punishment not being worthy to be healed with light and rapid medicine, but it is kept for the other life; and they finish unhappily the course of this mortal life and as they sailed so they reach the port and, miserable and foolish people, they have to pay and pass against their will the horrible pass of Charon to keep company with their mother and reformer who now is paying the required tribute to the Infernal Lord this is all I can present, kind readers of their observance of the iniquitous quixillas of the Giagas and others too; not children of such a mother, which has been observed.  There remains also for me to speak of their instability and inconstancy; to this effect I present the following short but detailed chapter because to describe their instability would require much time and paper.

[1].  According to this reckoning, Tembo Andumba was ruling about 1515.  In Istorica Descrizione, Book 2, no. 10 he says it was 100 years ago (i.e. circa 1565).  The chronological value of the statement is weakened because Cavazzi does not specify how he or his informants came upon it.

[2].  In the original “piazza di Loanda”, meaning literally “square of Loanda” is translated here.  Presumambly Cavazzi simply means the city.

[3].  For this period, see Book 2, 67-75.

[4].  The Jaga Cassange Calunge Calunga Cajombe= Imbangala of Kasanje Kalunje Kalunga Kaiombe.  Book 3, p. 7 Cavazzi mentions this mission which went to the Imbangala of Kasanje, although nowhere in another seventeenth century source, or in Cavazzi is the ruler called by this name.  See also Book 3, note 1.

[5].  Book 2, pp. 100-130 on this mission.

[6].  Here follows what appears to be a summary of the observation of the quixillas, such as Cavazzi does elsewhere.  Although it would seem that the introduction to this section and the first quixilla are ommitted, there is not an obvious break in the MS or its pagination.  It is possible that he was copying an earlier draft and left out a page.

[7].  See p. 45-6 above.

[8].  See pp. 51-3 below.

[9].  Cacullo and Cabazzo= Kakulu and Kabaso.  The same names are given in Simões Brandão, “Ritos gentilicos” (ed. d’Assumpção), p. 37.

[10].  These names do not mean “first” and “second” in Kimbundu.

[11].  Genesis 25: 22.

[12].  In the cosmology of Kongo, and probably elsewhere in central Africa, twins as well as people with abnormalities are regarded as “recycled dead”, a condition which is dangerous, although the actural treatment of them varies, Wyatt MacGaffey, Religion and Society, pp. 85-88.

[13].  That is, they are sold in the slave trade.

[14].  This would be, perhaps, children of two to four months old.

[15].  Mona mona, “Fig of Hell”.

[16].  Tembanzo= tembanza, Miller ,Kings and Kinsmen, pp. 164-5, derives this name from Cokwe roots, arguing on the basis of his interview with Sousa Calunga of 11 September 1969, that modern Imbangala do not know the term, but believe it to have come from Cokwe country.  Miller only found the term sambanza in Cokwe however, and then only for the husband of the ruler’s sister.  This MS proves that the discrepancy between sambanza and “tembanzo” is not the result of clerical errors, as it is in Cavazzi’s own hand.In the 1890s, the term mvuale was used as “queen” or wife of a ruler, see Chatelain, Folk-Tales, p. 66.    The term mbanza, meaning palace, city, or seat of government is also used by indirection to mean the ruler himself in modern Kimbundu ibid, p.64, and n. 241, p. 276).  Note that Cavazzi’s translation of “Lady of the House”, comes closest to such an interpretation.

[17].  See p. 150 above. Miller, Kings and Kinsmen, p. 223 sees this as a type of rite of passage.

[18].  Pages 70-1 below.

[19].  The text has “salvaticine” which may be an error for “salvatione”.

[20].  The words “(carrico lettore)” have been crossed out following this word.

[21].  See note 76 above.

[22].  This belief is still widespread, see Chatelain, Folk-Tales, pp. 289, 307-308; and UMP: Johnson Papers 3/80, [W]ukongo = act of turning into an animal.  For a cosmological analysis from Kongo materials, see MacGaffey, Religion and Society, pp. 14, 56, 132-34.

[23].  Cadornega observed such a ceremony conducted by the Imbangala of Kabuku following the Portuguese defeat of Njinga in 1646, Historia 1: 424.

[24].  “…per non frustarare il discalciatoio, ne rompere il Cane,…, this latter apparently a reference to the canine teeth.

[25].  Quirimbo = kirimbo

[26].  This branding passage is very obscure. “…negro indiuiduo due, o quatro, & anco sei an iua, & non contento del petto, & bracia lo rende riguardeuole marchandolo nelle spalle con tale magestria che rende compassione a chi lo mira, & molti che non hanno puotuto uindicarsi nella guerra vogliono con l’horrido impronto uindicarsi nella pace.”

[27].  Probably the practice of branding slaves, either for domestic use in Angola, or export to the New World.

[28].  See pp. 141-44 below for more on these marks.  A description of central African marks can also be found in Alonso de Sandoval, ed. Angel de Valtierra, De Instauranda Etiopia salute:  El mundo del esclavitud negra (Bogota, 1956, original edition Seville, 1627), pp.

[29].  “…animali bruti…” could also mean “ugly animals”, but this meaning seems more appropriate.

[30].  This could refer to his stay in Kasanje, which he considered part of Matamba, in 1660, or it might be when he was resident in Njinga’s court.

[31].   “nella tagliata del quilombo”, an obscure phrase, but probably referring to the edge of the clearing of the quilombo, perhaps just outside, from the context.

[32].   Cf. Santos Brandao, “Ritos gentilicos” (ed d’Assumpcao), p. 372, who also complains of it being practiced by whites.

[33].   Cavazzi’s price data, here and elsewhere, is probably converted from Portuguese reis, a unit of account which was based on the value of local commodities in local currency when sold in Brazil, to ducats a Mediterranean money of account, whose actual value (expressed in silver) fluctuated, but probably had little meaning in the Angolan setting.

[34].   Belotti, “Avvertimenti” (ed. Maconi), Avvertimento XXXVI and “Giornate apostoliche” (ed. Maconi), fols. 308-11; Santos Brandão, “Ritos gentilicos” (ed. d’Assumpção), p. 372.

[35].   The MS is unclear, but the word appears to be “ungie”.

[36].  In the text, “missetti” = Italian plural, probably of a singular term, mussetto, a reliquary.  Nouns commencing with mi- in Kimbundu are already plurals.  Cavazzi may have made a double plural, thus pluralizing the form accoring to both Kimbundu and Italian.  Alternatively, he might have followed the more common custom of using an Italian plural or a Kimbundu singular, but mistaken the very short “u” of museto for an “i”.  Cavazzi was very careless of grammatical niceties, even in Italian.

[37]. Book 2, pp. 135-6.  Zinzo = nzinzo, perhaps the quimzunzo of Cadornega, História 3:  350.

[38].   Cavazzi gives a detailed description of the Imbangala group which came to assist the Portuguese campaign in Lubolo in 1659 in MS B, pp. 525-26, repeated in Istorica Descrizione, Book          Cavazzi gives their home as Rimba, a province on the north side of the central Angolan plateau.  Gonga Caango = Ngonga ka Hango.

[39].   This Jaga Kulemba may well have been the one mentioned in 1645 by Sottomayor, see note xx[92].  He was the second Jaga in Cavazzi’s reckoning, Njimbo and Tembo Andumba being the first.

[40].   See note xx [83] above.

[41].  Pemba = mpemba, a white chalk, kaolin.  Removable white “skin” (chalk dust) connects the wearer with the dead, hence the significance of this substance in anointing rulers.

[42].  “Muz_bo” in the text.  This short rainy season, muzumbo, in April and May is not described in the list of seasons, below, pp 102-03; see also Istorica Descrizione, Book 1, no. 45.

[43].  Possibly the same ancestor mentioned as the Jaga who received the mission of Salvador Correia de Sá in 1648 on p. 49 above.  This passage with its many pronouns without clear antecedents, seems to suggest that the Jaga killed the lover of his concubine, and then after eating him, decided that he would also act the role of Xingilo, and be possessed by his own ancestor.

[44].  “quixilla di Sambare” an Italian verb made from kusamba, on which, see note xx [89] above.

[45].  Sachella = [ku]sakela, to divine.

[46].  See p. 78 below.

[47].  Cuota muamba = kuota mwamba, here Cavazzi treats the Kimbundu verb as in Kimbundu, with the ku- infinitive prefix, rather than his usual practice of converting it to Italian as perhaps “Cuotare muamba”.

[48].  “& accende quelle, al longo del fuoco tira una corda puoco alta da terra quasi come laccio…” an obscure phrase.

[49].  The organization of the kilombo is detailed on pp. 45-7 above.

[50].  Singular form of Imbangala, see note xx [66] above.

[51].  “Lupi casalini”, a rather quaint expression.