Kunta Kinte is a central charcter of a book and TV mini-series called Roots by author Alex Haley. Haley is an African-American who spent a great deal of time researching his own roots going all the way back to Africa and through American slavery. When Kunta Kinte attempted to escape part of his foot was chopped off as punishment.
He didn't get his leg cut off. Just the front of his feet was cut off so that he could not run away. It didn't work. He learned how to run again.
Couldn't have said it better..