Paternal Lineage


African Ancestry




The Balanta People


Nigerian Connection


The Fulani People


The Yoruba People


How Did We Get Here








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The Book









       Slavery has always existed from very early times as people and nations conquered others through tribal wars and in various other ways. The victor would slay many and capture mostly women and children whom they enslaved for there own purposes, or sold them to others.
       African kings and chiefs were selling and trading slaves long before the European slave trade began. Slaves were sold to the Arab traders who traveled the Sub Saharan trade route in exchange for goods, especially iron. Also the king could enslave you for his personal use such as to work his farms, or sell you to another village, especially if you were considered to be a liar or a thief.
       In the 13th and 14th century, the Europeans began showing up on the west coast of Africa, in large ships. They had many goods that the Africans wanted such as iron, cloth, guns, and other valuable goods. Since the discovery of the new world, Spain, England, Portugal, and other European countries needed slave labor to work the fields, clear the lands etc. The Bight of Benin was controlled by the Kings of Dahomey, now present day Benin and Nigeria. They traded slaves for enormous wealth. Villages were raided to supply the slavers ships with human cargo. Wars were waged and the captured was sold into slavery. If you were found guilty of crimes or if your neighbors complain about you, you could be sold into slavery.
       In Guinea Bissau or the Gabu region, people were decentralized. They did not have a form of government or kings. The merchants in the coastal cities began to procure slaves for the Portuguese ships in exchange for goods, in which they became very wealthy. Eventually people began to raid other villages, for example some Balanta’s would raid another Balanta village and sell the captives to the port slavers. Many Balanta’s did this to protect their own villages and bought iron from the port merchants to forge weapon and tools. All the other groups in Guinea Bissau were selling each other as well.