Analysis Of The Piece ' Cannibals, Witches, And Slave Traders Of The Atlantic World ' By John Thornton

Analysis Of The Piece ' Cannibals, Witches, And Slave Traders Of The Atlantic World ' By John Thornton

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1: In the piece “Cannibals, Witches, and Slave Traders in the Atlantic World” by John Thornton, Thornton explains the mentality of the native Africans during the slave trade. The mentality of these people is something that Americans and British people have misconceived “The beliefs of slaves from the Kikongo- and Kimbundu-speaking regions of West Central Africa (see Figure I), discernable in a variety of documents from the African side”(Thornton 275). The African people had beliefs of cannibalism and witchcraft. These ideas were instilled into their culture by the way of their religions. The people that were “witches” were those who were very greedy people. Africa was a very community based area and because of this the people all attempted to contribute positively towards the community. The real people that were the witches in the minds of the African people were the governments. These people were very greedy people in the minds of the Africans. This created an interesting divide between the people and the government. Another issue that the African people has issues with were the Warlords that would create their own armies and conquer others to sell to Europeans as slaves. Instead of dealing with the prisoners the Warlords created a business of trading African slaves and making a lot of money doing it. Because of this hatred of witchcraft the African people did not think that the Europeans were the bad guys because from the view of the Africans the greedy government and Warlords were the ones that were taking advantage of the little communities and selling them as slaves. This idea of witchcraft was alongside the idea of cannibalism. This was the idea that the whites that were taking the slaves from Africa were eating them. The Af...


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... of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African: Written by Himself (Thornton, 274, Fn. 2). This last source is another primary source because it is a story about Equiano written by Equiano.
4: The limitations of these sources are all similar because of the limitation on the people in Africa at the time. The story of Folupo and Monzolo have almost the same exact limitations. These testimonies were going up against white cannibalism. The people that were being tried were saying honestly what they knew about the situation, but where the limitations of the two testimonies begin is that they were written down by Europeans. This could cause for a change in certain phrases of ideas and limit the quality of these sources. The last source of Equiano is the best source as far as being a primary source that has little limitations because of the fact that he wrote it himself.

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