A Call To The Ancestors by Cinque

 

A call to the ancestors:
I met my ancestors. I will call into the past. Far back to the beginning of time and beg them to come and help me at the judgement. I will reach back and draw them into me and they must come. For at this moment I am the whole reason they have existed at all.

The above clip from the movie Amistad is a demonstration of the power of the human spirit. Sengbe Pieh was to born Mende parents in the country now known as Sierra Leone sometime around 1814.

Pieh became known as Joseph Cinque, during the events which unfolded in August 1839 surrounding the schooner ‘Amistad.’

singbe pieh
Description of Cingue or Cinque born Singbe Pieh in the country now known as Sierra Leone from the book A history of the Amistad captives (1840.)

SING-GBE, [Cin-gue,] (generally spelt Cinquez) was born in Ma-ni in Dzho-poa, i.e. in the open land in the Men-di country. The distance from Mani to Lomboko, he says, is ten suns or days. His mother is dead and he lived with his father. He has a wife and three children, one son and two daughters. His son’s name is Ge-waw (God.) His king, Ka-lum-bo lived at Kaw-men-di, a large town in the Mendi country. He is a planter of rice, and never owned or sold slaves. He was seized by four men, when traveling in the road, and his right hand tied to his neck. Ma-ya-gi-la-lo sold him to Ba-ma-dzha son of Shaka, king of Gen-du-ma, in the Vai country. Bamadzha carried him to Lomboko and sold him to a Spaniard. He was with Mayagilalo three nights; with Bamadzha one month, and at Lomboko two months. He had heard of Pedro Blanco, who lived at Te-i-lu near Lomboko.

Ishakamusa Barashango’s Oath to the Ancestors expresses a similar feeling. It can be viewed here.