Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2014
During times of famine, if a father wanted to sell a child in order to buy food, he would first scatter a little millet on the ground and tell the children to gather it up. He would then tell the slave merchant, with whom he had already negotiated a price, to choose the one he wanted. The victim would then be tied up and taken away. In this way, children were sold just like chickens. With the proceeds gained, food could be purchased to sustain the family.
Long ago the people up the river were very hungry, and I took some food in my canoe and went to visit them. For this food I bought two little boys, and then returned to my house. When the boys had grown fat and strong, I bought them a gun and gave them spears. Then we went up the river, and the gun frightened the people. They ran away, but we caught three and brought them down with us. I made them build a house for me, and soon I had a town all my own, and my name was feared. So when I went up the river the third time, I easily took more slaves and in this way I became very rich and great.