PhotographybyAbi

11 Feb 2007 1,194 views
 
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photoblog image "Door of No Return"...Elmina Castle, Elmina Ghana

"Door of No Return"...Elmina Castle, Elmina Ghana

 

Theme:- The Legacy of Slavery in Africa contd


Photo Editing:- Curves,Channel Mixer & Dodging tool.


This is an Image of the "Door of No Return" At the seaboard side of Elmina Castle, The Door of No Return, the infamous portal through which slaves boarded the ships that would take them on the treacherous journey across the Atlantic known as the Middle Passage. By the 18th century, 30,000 slaves on their way to North and South America passed through Elmina's Door of No Return each year.

 

Elmina Castle

The Portuguese founded Castle "Sao Jorge and Mina" in 1482 to protect the gold-rich lands discovered in 1471. The castle was completed according to its original plan in 1486 and the town was raised to the status of a "city".

Portuguese navigators carefully selected the castle’s site, because it was strategically located at the end of a narrow promontory bounded on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean and the Benya River or lagoon. Here, in the lee of a low headland, a natural harbour provided sheltered anchorage.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Portuguese enjoyed a trade boom in spite of numerous attempts by Castilians and later the French and the English to break the Portuguese trade monopoly.

The Portuguese imported vast quantities of old and new cloths, blankets and linen from Morocco, North European copper and brassware, millions of "manilas" (metal bracelets) and iron kettles and bars in exchange for gold dust and ornaments supplied by Mina. So extensive and popular was the cloth trade that a factor maintained a large shop for old linen c.1500-1507. The commander of the castle wrote to King Manuel in 1503: "Sir, I, Diego d' Alvarenga, kiss the royal hands of your highness and I report that I have received the old linen."
The import trade raised the issue of porterage, as the natives needed assistance in conveyance of large quantities of European goods into the hinterland and coastlands. To meet this need, the Portuguese initiated, in the early 16th century, the importation of slaves from Benin to Elmina in exchange for gold, ivory, etc. As it turned out, however, the price of gold slumped in Europe in the 16th century due to massive importation of superior gold from Mexico. At the same time, the Portuguese Crown spent vast sums of resources on defensive works, artillery, galleys, warships and convoys related to Mina. Thus weakened, the Portuguese succumbed to Dutch attacks and were dislodged from Elmina in 1637.

http://www.ghanatourism.gov.gh/regions/highlight_detail.asp?id=&rdid=116#


 

"Door of No Return"...Elmina Castle, Elmina Ghana

 

Theme:- The Legacy of Slavery in Africa contd


Photo Editing:- Curves,Channel Mixer & Dodging tool.


This is an Image of the "Door of No Return" At the seaboard side of Elmina Castle, The Door of No Return, the infamous portal through which slaves boarded the ships that would take them on the treacherous journey across the Atlantic known as the Middle Passage. By the 18th century, 30,000 slaves on their way to North and South America passed through Elmina's Door of No Return each year.

 

Elmina Castle

The Portuguese founded Castle "Sao Jorge and Mina" in 1482 to protect the gold-rich lands discovered in 1471. The castle was completed according to its original plan in 1486 and the town was raised to the status of a "city".

Portuguese navigators carefully selected the castle’s site, because it was strategically located at the end of a narrow promontory bounded on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean and the Benya River or lagoon. Here, in the lee of a low headland, a natural harbour provided sheltered anchorage.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Portuguese enjoyed a trade boom in spite of numerous attempts by Castilians and later the French and the English to break the Portuguese trade monopoly.

The Portuguese imported vast quantities of old and new cloths, blankets and linen from Morocco, North European copper and brassware, millions of "manilas" (metal bracelets) and iron kettles and bars in exchange for gold dust and ornaments supplied by Mina. So extensive and popular was the cloth trade that a factor maintained a large shop for old linen c.1500-1507. The commander of the castle wrote to King Manuel in 1503: "Sir, I, Diego d' Alvarenga, kiss the royal hands of your highness and I report that I have received the old linen."
The import trade raised the issue of porterage, as the natives needed assistance in conveyance of large quantities of European goods into the hinterland and coastlands. To meet this need, the Portuguese initiated, in the early 16th century, the importation of slaves from Benin to Elmina in exchange for gold, ivory, etc. As it turned out, however, the price of gold slumped in Europe in the 16th century due to massive importation of superior gold from Mexico. At the same time, the Portuguese Crown spent vast sums of resources on defensive works, artillery, galleys, warships and convoys related to Mina. Thus weakened, the Portuguese succumbed to Dutch attacks and were dislodged from Elmina in 1637.

http://www.ghanatourism.gov.gh/regions/highlight_detail.asp?id=&rdid=116#


 

comments (13)

  • jose
  • 11 Feb 2007, 10:40
If I were to look at this image without the context then I would say good image but knowing what it represents, it leaves me feeling unsettled; its earlier history overshadowed by its slave trade use. If I was wanting to impact on people the door's use in the slave trade, I would question the light coming through the door. It makes me think of 'light at the end of the tunnel' whereas for the innocent victims that had to exit via this door, there was no light for them. (I hope you don't mind the comment as I can see you are yellow. Jose)
Photography by Abi: Absolutely Thank you very much for the comment,in the original photograph the doorway looked a bit too dull and you couldnot see the door.

Open to intrepretation..... I think for me the sunlight represents "Hope Of Deliverance".
A nice shot, and a very interresting text too - Thanks !
very nice shot well done
keep it up
thanks for sharing this image...
i was there when you took this
Photography by Abi: i know
wow. This is a really nice picture. I saw it when i was on vacation there a few years ago. I can't say i had the liver to go close to the ruins at elmina. nice one mate!!
  • cornel grant
  • uk
  • 12 Feb 2007, 00:11
Being of African Caribbean descent I find this image powerful. Before reading the text, and realising that this was taken in Ghana's Elmina Castle I felt quite claustrophobic. The image gives the impression that you are inside a cell, with only the light from outside penetrating in. The pattern on the gate reminds me of an Adinkra symbol, as it is is very symmetrical. I am yet to visit Elmina Castle myself.
  • Fola77
  • 12 Feb 2007, 10:17
i hear their wails, i see their tears, i feel their pain... there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel ;-)

well done, thanks for sharing

peace and blessings
Nice shot Abi, Elmina is a very interesting place for a phototgrapher.
  • nev
  • Australia
  • 12 Feb 2007, 13:22
Like Josie i find the images dark history unsettling. Interesting is the pattern in the gate. knowing what we now know if we saw someone on the other side of the gate they would look like they were in a guns target. If there was no gap it would almost look like a cross which would be a very unholy juxtaposition. nice work
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 12 Feb 2007, 21:19
Very powerful, Abi. Thank you....
Photography by Abi: you are welcome
  • Ayo
  • Lagos, Nigeria
  • 19 Feb 2007, 00:34
This brings back memories again. There was no metal gate at the time I visited the castle. Wish u could also show the entrance to the room as u are expected to go in 'fat', but by the time u are passing thru the door to be loaded on the slave ships u are as lean as 'whatever'.
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