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Five Hundred Slaves For Sale.

These hungry creatures form, indeed, a truly pitiable sight. After suffering this captivity for a short time they become mere skeletons. All ages,' of both sexes, are to be seen ; mothers with their babes; young men and women.; boys and girls ; and even babies who cannot yet walk, and whose mothers have died of starvation, or perhaps been' killed by the Lufembe. One seldom sees either old men or old women ; they are all killed m the raids. Their marketable value being very small, no trouble is taken with them. Witnessing groups of these poor, helpless wretches, with their emaciated forms and sunken eyes, their faces a very picture of sadness, it is not difficult to perceive the intense grief that they are inwardly suffering ; but they know too well it is no use to appeal for sympathy to their merciless masters, who have been accustomed from childhood to witness acts of cruelty and brutalitjr, so that to satisfy their insatiable greed they will commit themselves, or permib to be committed, any atrocity, however great. Even the pitiable sight of one of those slavesheds does not half represent the misery caused by this traffics—homes broken up, mothers separated from their babies, husbands from wives, and brothers from sisters. When last at Masaukusu, I saw a slave woman who had with her one child, whose starved little body she was clutching to her shrunken breast. I was attracted by her sad face, which betokened, great suffering. I asked her the cause of it, and she told me m a low, sobbing voice the following tale :— ' I was living witk my husband and three children m an inland village, a few miles from here. My husband was a hunter. Ten days ago the Lufembe attacked our settlement; my husband defended himself, but was oyerpoweired and speared to death with several of the other villagers. T was brought herewith my three children, two of whom have already been purchased by the traders. I shall never see them any more. Perhaps they will kill them at the death of some chief, or perhaps kill them.for food. My remaining child, ycu see, is ill, dying from starvation ; they give us nothing to eat. I expect even this one will be taken from me to-day, as the chief, fearing lest it should die and become a total loss, has offered it for a small price. As for myself, she said, ' they will sell me to one: of the neighbouring tribes to toil m thai plantations, and when I become old and unfit for work I shall be killed.' There were certainly 500 slaves ex-;j posed)i for sale m $ this village alone.;; Large canoes were constantly arriving from clown the river with merchandise of all kinds with which they buy these slaves. A large trade is carried on between the Übangi and Lulungu rivers. The peopW inhabitating the mouth of thei IJbangi buy the Balolo slaves at Masaukusu and! the other markets. They then take them up the Übangi river and exchange them with the natives there for ivory. These natives buy their slaves solely for food. Having purchased slaves, they feed them on ripe bananas, fish, and oil, and when they get them into good condition they kill them. Hundreds of the Balolo slaves are taken into the liver and disposed of m this way each month. A great many other" slaves are sold to tfyd large villages on the ; Congo ■■ to. supply victims for the execution ceremonies. Much life is lost m the capturing of slaves, and during their captivity many succumb to starvation. Of the remainder, numbers are sold to become victims to cannibalism and human sacrifice ceremonies. There are few indeed who are allowed to live and prosper., —E. J. Glave m the "Century."

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Bibliographic details

Five Hundred Slaves For Sale., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2478, 30 July 1890

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Five Hundred Slaves For Sale. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2478, 30 July 1890