History

The Branding and Baptism of Slaves

The Portuguese began the practice, in Arguin in the l440s, of the carimbo, the branding of a slave with a hot iron, leaving a mark in red on the shoulder, the breast, or the upper arm, so that it was evident that he or she was the property of the king of Portugal, or some other master, and that a proper duty had been paid. This procedure survived from the Middle Ages — indeed, from antiquity.

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