Hello dear readers,
in this article, I really wanted to talk to you about the House of Slaves. This historic place is a must to visit if you have the opportunity to travel to Senegal.
This building, now a historical monument, is located on the island of Goree near the coast of Dakar (the capital). The current House of Slaves dates from 1776. It is located on St. Germain street, on the east side of the island.
As its name indicates, this place has a great symbolic significance as an emblem of the slave trade.
This house would have been the last slave house in Goree. The first dates back to 1536, built by the Portuguese, the first Europeans to come to the island in 1444.
On the ground floor are the cells (men, children, weighing room, girls, temporary unfit). In those reserved for men, each of 2.60m by 2.60m was put up to 15 to 20 people, all sitting back against the wall, chains handcuffed their necks and arms.
The capacity in this small slave house ranged from 150 to 200 slaves. The wait for the slaves departure sometimes lasted nearly three months. All went to the Americas, but the country of destination depended on the needs of the buyers. The father could, for example, go to Louisiana in the United States, the mother to Brazil or Cuba and the child to Haiti or the West Indies.
Nearly 8 million slaves passed the door of no-return.
Being half Senegalese, I am particularly sensitive to the history of the island of Goree and I never miss going back every time I come to Dakar!
Don’t forget to read my other articles on Senegal …