Monday, April 9, 2012

The Sale

Before landing on the ground, the slave ship coming from Africa is quarantined to ensure that it carries no epidemic. When forty days have passed, it "puts the slave state" to sell as dearly as possible. They cut their hair and beards, their bodies are smeared with oil palm, and the most obvious physical defects are disguised by surgeons (ie bleaching). The sale can begin.

The sale is announced several days in advance by posters or criers.

The captured African person is offered for sale and must stand on a table or a barrel to be seen by as many people. It is scrupulously examined by buyers who make him take different postures (arms and legs move in a certain way), look at the teeth. Some even lick the slave to his dripping sweat all this to check his health, his physical strength, and general appearance.

After examination of the slave, the price is discussed between the captain and the buyer. The price depends on:
- the age of the slave (it is considered old at age 35-40 years)
- His health
- His physical strength
- Her general appearance
Sick slaves are often purchased by smallholders because they are cheap.

Selling is a very humbling moment for the slave who is treated like cattle; They are no longer a human being, let alone an African, they are a piece of property, a "thing" like furniture or a slab of beef.

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