How The Bijago Survived
A essay entitled "African Societies Were Transformed by the Slave Trade" by Walter Rodney explains how different tribes in Africa survived or were defeated. The Bijago were one of the tribes most mentioned which lead me to believe that they were very well off. Rodeny then went on to describe how they were able to survive. I will discuss why I believe they did survive so long and so well.
First off, I do not agree with how the Bijago handled their survival. Raging war and capturing your own neighbors is what the Bijago had to do though. Rodney describes the tribe as geared towards war and the men were great warriors (56). The Bijago would burn down a village and if the people fought on their way from the burning huts, the Bijago men would cut them to pieces. The ones that did not fight would be taken captive for the Europeans. Sine the Bijago tribe were such great warriors, they were very near able to avoid enslavement of their own people. Along with their talent of fighting, they were very easily manipulated by the Europeans.
Because the Bijago were so easily manipulated, the Europeans could get however many slaved they wanted or needed. Like I mentioned before, I do not agree with their way of survival but at the same time I can understand why they did what they did. Being under the thumb of the Europeans is better than being a slave. I do believe that that was their same logic as well. Considering their situation, I would agree just this once, that I would have done what they did to at least have a 90% chance of survival.
Rodney, Walter. African Societies Were Transformed by the Slave Trade. Oxford University Press: Copy
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