Travel Photography Photos tagged as slaves
Contrasted to the Officers Cell next door, the Condemned Slaves cell had no windows and had a solid wood and steel door. Whilst not as air tight as the Condemned Slaves cell at Cape Coast, most slaves here died of starvation and dehydration. No one left this cell alive.
The Officers Cell had a barred gate and windows. Soldiers were sent here for a few days for transgressions such as breaking curfew or getting too drunk. No one is recorded to have died inside the Officers Cell.
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.
A picture of one slave's punishment for whatever his transgression. 'Crimes' ranged from tasting sugar to attempting to escape.
Slave ships (this one was built in Liverpool) were designed to be as efficient as possible with their cargo. From this image you can see the design for 4 levels of storage in the two-tiered hull of the ship, and two levels in the one-tier hull.
Slaves on the floor of each hull tier were packed head to toe laterally in two rows, with a few slaves placed down the central aisle perpendicular to the others.
slaves on the open-plan second level of each hull-tier were laid feet to the hull and their heads next to the edge of the shelf on which they were stacked, with the second layer of slaves below them on the floor. The height of each layer was only approximately 3 feet: not enough to sit upright. Slave ships could take 6 months to cross the Atlantic, a long trip during which almost half of the slaves on board would die. When discussion of abolition of the slave trade started, illicit trade still continued. Ships who were trading illegally would throw their entire cargo overboard if a patrol ship was sighted. Other ships were documented to have thrown all their slaves overboard to claim the insurance on their cargo as this was worth more than actually selling the slaves.
These shackles are more typical of the type used to move slaves overland, chained together by the neck.
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.