Travel Photography Photos tagged as forts
Unlike it's counterpart at Cape Coast Castle, the Door of No Return at Elmina remains the same size that it was when first designed. It is approximately 1 foot wide and 4 feet high, forcing the slaves into single file and stooped as they exited the castle into the bright daylight beyond (This would've temporarily blinded them as they wouldn't have seen full sunlight for a few months). Someone half blind and on their knees is much easier to herd into a boat.
The main inlet for air (the door would've been closed) in the mens dungeon at Elmina Castle
The Officers cell was were disobedient officers and soldiers were sent as punishment.
Women who had refused the sexual advances of their captors were chained to this ball in the main courtyard outside the women's dungeon in the sun with no water or food.
This chamber (recently renovated) was where slaves were bought and sold to various merchants
A beachcomber walks the rocks in search of shellfish below the main parapet of Cape Coast Castle
The Condemned Cell was guarded and locked by 3 heavily fortified doors. Once all closed, they effectively cut off air supply to the Cell. Apparently the main cause of death was asphyxiation.
The lighting provided here is modern: no light was available when the cell was in use.
Condemned slaves sent to the Cell to die would scratch the walls in desperation. Similar scratchings have apparently been found in the walls of the gas chambers of Auschwitz.
The room is incredibly claustophobic, with no windows at all. Access is gained through 3 consecutive and heavily fortified doors.
The women were separated between 2 smaller dungeons. Women from either dungeon would often be selected by the governor himself or lesser ranking officers and be taken from the dungeon to the officers bed quarters where they would be raped. After the ordeal, they would be returned to the dungeon. Women who fell pregnant by their captors were shown a little more mercy and taken out of the dungeon to live in the town with their newborn child. Children of the officers would often be given their name with the suffix 'son', hence the origins of names such as Williamson, Johnson, Peterson, Jackson etc.
This photograph gives the viewer a length-view of the mens dunegon below the castle. It consists of 3 main interlinked 'rooms' into which up to 1000 men were crammed at any one time. The line down the centre of the floor was the only toilet and sewerage system supplied. There was no space to lie down and most of the time the slaves had to sit or stand in their own excrement.
A tribute to the hope that led many slaves who were filed through Cape Coast Castle to survive their arduous journey or give up their lives in an attempt to win back their freedom.