Benin’s Ouidah, Traded Slaves And A Point Of No Return!

Ouidah is located in the South of Benin, on the Atlantic Ocean, and from here many slaves were traded by the Portuguese, French and English, each building forts in the city to protect their slaving interests. The Portuguese reached the area in 1580, and their Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá, now houses a Slave Museum where you can hire a guide for a very informative tour. The Fort remained with Portugal until 31 July 1961.

Just South of the Fort on the coast is the arched monument depicting the area where the slaves were marched to the boats. It’s aptly and sadly named The Point Of No Return.

Shackled together and loaded into the boats … Heart wrenching stuff!

Further along the beach is a smaller statue showing some of those that returned, in Western clothes and suitcases in hand. This monument is called The Door Of Return.

It would be interesting to know the numbers, how many slaves departed, how many returned home free.

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Dawn Bradnick Jorgensen
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