Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Slave Museum

Before we left Curacao we took a walk across the floating bridge to the north side, Otrabanda. The Kura Hulanda Slave Museum ( is here, located in a former slave yard and slave merchant’s home. The 18-19th century buildings have been restored for a 3 or 4 block area of the old town. The museum is large, much bigger than I expected and covers a huge range of history from tribal Africa to the Babylonian times, some Egyptian artifacts and, of course, much on the slave trade itself, and its after effects up to the 20th century. It was much more interesting than I had expected and well worth a visit if you find yourself in Curacao.
 curacaoIMG_5849 This sign showed a timeline of slavery. It was tucked behind a large bush, so it was hard to see the whole thing. The interesting part to me was the note at the end showing abolition of slavery in the USA. Its date is set as 1863 to 1964. It took us a long time to actually commit. (The dates shown above it are from the Dutch point-of-view).
curacaoIMG_5858I come from the niggeryard of yesterday, leaping from the oppressors hate and the scorn of myself…”   Martin Carter
The leg and arm shackles make an impressive display.
curacaoIMG_5859  A sea chest full of hundreds of shackles.
This is a model of the area below decks on a slave transport ship showing the few foot high area where 5 or 6 slaves would be shackled and kept for all most the entire passage across the Atlantic  -- weeks on end. Even though this took place hundreds of years ago, the merchants were very advanced for their time. You can see the security camera they setup in the upper right to keep an eye on their cargo.
curacaoIMG_5861 The legal end of slavery was clearly not the end of oppression. These are genuine US of A  Ku Klux Klan (KKK) robes.
Along the restored narrow streets around the museum is a really nice hotel. The rooms each have separate entrances along the alley.
curacaoIMG_5867  There’s a few restaurants and cafes. I stopped to read my paper and talk about local politics with a dapper local.
curacaoIMG_5874 I was completely minding my own business when these two floozies tried desperately to pick me up. (“Trouble ahead, a lady in red, take my advice you’d be better off dead” as Jerry Garcia advises, although I’m pretty sure he was talking about drugs at the time.)
curacaoIMG_5878 Do you think this balcony on this old store front could hold one more air-conditioner? It was already drooping with the current cooling load.
Walkers on the Willemstad, Curacao floating bridge at night.

1 comment:

  1. I have an ancestor in-law, Andrew Phillips, a slaver, hanged by his own crew. Cold justice.
    Anon y mouse