A King and his Judicial Court, Sierra Leone, 1764
In a chapter on the trade of West Africa, various regions are described, including Sierra Liona [sic]. Based on unidentified sources the author gives an overview of the people and customs of the area. For this image, titled Roy qui rend la justice (King who dispenses/administers justice), the text notes that the people in this area only enslave people who they capture in warfare and criminals or evil-doers. The king is the chief judge; he chooses several counselors to help him decide different cases among his subjects who plead their own causes/or defend themselves. . . but so that the judges cannot show favoritism, the litigants are required to wear masks over their faces (pp. 166-67; our translation).
M. Chambon, Le commerce de l'Amerique par Marseille (Avignon, 1764), vol. 2, plate X, facing p. 166. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)
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"A King and his Judicial Court, Sierra Leone, 1764 ", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed October 16, 2021, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/1578