In northern Ghana, in the East Gonja District, sits the City of Salaga.
Upon disembarking from the ferry and traversing the bank, I came to a fast-moving town. Beyond the rotary below, was a busy market place. Some merchants sold from wheeled carts and some from the ground. My favorites amongst the shoppers were the women, dressed in colorful long dresses, who carried babies on their backs and large bags of goods on their heads; the bags of goods would often be wrapped in material to match their dress.
Salaga had sights to see. I recall women selling yams that were as big as a strongman’s forearm. Another woman was making cocoa butter, as she stirred what looked like cookie batter in a large bowl.
In looking through my photo albums, it was the slave market history that stood out. I recall that walking about the few sites and collections that spoke of this history prompted an eerie sensation.
Salaga served as the terminus for slave trading routes in the 1800s so it was a slave trading center.
A Baobong tree, approximately 300 years old, marks the site where bodies of those, who were captured to be sold as slaves but died before reaching Salaga’s marketplace, were tossed for four hundred years of slave trade.
Locals say the vultures only left this site in the 1930s.
“Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!”—Robert Burns
“Human compassion is equal to human cruelty, and it is up to each of us to tip the balance.”—Alice Walker
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