Slave Acculturation Essay examples

1320 Words 6 Pages
Slave Acculturation The seasoning process, as applied to the treatment of plantation slaves, was designed to ensure not only that the slaves would become totally dependent upon the dictates of their owners but also to destroy the cultural links which the slaves had with their former homelands. In the West African kingdoms which provided one of the major source of slaves at the height of the triangle trade, slavery was part of the indigenous culture; however, the motivation behind African domestic slavery was for the main part political, and intricately bound up with the way in which the capture of those from neighbouring tribes would allocate bargaining power to the captors; it was not necessary to impose a process …show more content…
As Burnard and Morgan (2001) point out, the value of a slave who was already acculturated was considerably greater than one who was a ‘new Negro’. There were a number of methods by which this was accomplished. For example, since the newly arrived Africans had come from a social culture in which they had had position and status within the community, one of the priorities of the slave merchants was to make it evident that whatever their social position in their previous life, they were now accorded a status similar to that of draft animals, and their humanity disregarded.(William and Quarterly) The privations of the sea voyage, in which the slaves were crammed together in appalling conditions and suffered a high mortality rate despite the shippers’ vested interest in preserving at least some percentage of their cargo alive, had served to initiate this process of dehumanization.

At the markets, slaves were herded together with little regard for age or gender, and this denial of human rights and aspects of decency which were considered normal amongst the white population also served to ensure that the slaves were made aware of their inferior status. There was a deliberate effort to separate Africans who came from the same geographical region or who spoke the same language, since this had a double
Open Document