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the door of no return benin

Although Africans captured and sold into slavery were required to abandon their religion and cultural traditions, those cultures and traditions survived in places like Haiti, Brazil and Cuba alongside of the slave master’s religion of Catholicism. In Benin, where the government plans to build two museums devoted to the slave trade in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, slavery is an embattled subject. But most others are cautious. “Is this about reconciliation, or is it just about attracting tourists? That’s something we need to be vigilant about,” he said. A modern-day king of Dahomey, Dédjalagni ­Agoli-Agbo, still presides, even though the title is now a largely ceremonial one. The Door of No Return is a memorial arch in Ouidah, Benin.The concrete and bronze arch, which stands on the beach, is a memorial to the enslaved Africans who … “We don’t want to be known for this dirty thing.”. (Jane Hahn/For The Washington Post). The Smithsonian Institution has signed a memorandum of understanding to provide help with the new museums, although details have yet to be worked out, officials said. At a time when Americans are again debating how slavery and the Civil War are memorialized, Benin and other West African nations are struggling to resolve their own legacies of complicity in the trade. It is estimated that 15 million slaves have arrived in the Americas, to which millions of men and women who have lost their lives before leaving, the sick and wounded who were left to die, are added, the rebels who were killed and to these the number of those who committed suicide must be added, it can be assumed that Western slave trafficking involved about 30 million individuals. Many slaves, malnourished and abused, have died while waiting to be taken aboard the negro ships, within these dark huts and their bodies were thrown into a common pit where now stands a memorial, the Memorial of Memory called also the Wall of Lamentations, because sometimes people were still living in the pit. The most haunting thing about this place is the “door of no return.” It’s been visited by Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, and represents the moment of farewell – a final goodbye to the continent many called home. “But the elite don’t want to talk about what happened here.”. The descendants of slave merchants, like the de Souza family, remain among the nation’s most influential people, with a large degree of control over how Benin’s history is portrayed. “People here are trying to find work. “He was a man who helped modernize our nation,” said Judicael de Souza, 43, noting his ancestor’s role in expanding agricultural trade with Europe. The strongest were held for 2 weeks locked in the same position, chained and with a bite in the mouth in order to tamper and weaken them to avoid possible rebellion or alliances with other prisoners. The survivors were led to the Tree of Return, this tree has survived over the centuries and it is still visible on the Street of the Slave; here a ceremony was held which ensured the slaves the return of their soul home, in the form of spirit, after death. These rivers only run for a few hours a year. The Door of No Return is located on the beach about three miles south of Ouidah. Ouidah (We-DAH) , a historical town with lots of cultural richness, … Continue reading → “In the past, the country had a hard time telling the story of the victims of the slave trade. Snake Temple, Sacred Forest & Door Of No Return Thursday – August 27, 2020. Glasses of champagne were poured. In 1999, President Mathieu Kérékou visited a Baltimore church and fell to his knees during an apology to African Americans for Africa’s role in the slave trade. A group of American anthropology students, almost all of them white, had been allowed inside to watch. After completing this ritual, the slaves were taken to the beach, at the point where today is the monument of the Door of No Return, and they were loaded on the shallops that would take them to the ships; the most combative or desperate, would prefer to commit suicide by throwing themselves out of the boats and drowning or trying to swallow their tongue in the act of suffocating themselves, rather than going to the unknown. Benin’s conflict over slavery is particularly intense. Stepping through Ghana's 'Door of No Return' The remote beauty of the Kidepo Valley National Park. He is a construction engineer named Moise de Souza who lives in a concrete apartment building with a poster-size picture of himself on the wall. The Slave Route runs from the town to the Door of No Return, … Thousands of people left their families, their homes and their land for the purpose of survival of their loved ones. with the Zangbeto (the haystack), the night watchmen who were once in charge of keeping a village or community safe. In an interview, he acknowledged his ancestors’ role in the slave trade. Voodoo is a religion. This website uses cookies to improve your experience and analyze site traffic. Benin’s government has also appointed several scholars, including Yai, to ensure the accuracy and credibility of the exhibits in one of the museums, in the city of Allada, about 20 miles from Ouidah.

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