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Slavery, Memory and Orality in Northern Ghana Archive

This archive was created by Emmanuel Saboro, Ph.D. as a participating scholar in Brown University’s International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI) at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. The aim of this collection is to preserve and publicly disseminate the images of historical sites, and the video and audio recordings of traditional performances and interviews related to the memories of slavery and the slave trade in northern Ghana. Dr. Saboro collected these sources while conducting field work in the Bulsa and Kasena traditional areas for his Ph.D. dissertation, “Slavery, Memory and Orality: Analysis of Song Texts from Northern Ghana” (University of Hull, 2014).

Dr. Saboro’s research explores the memories of slavery and the slave trade among the Bulsa and Kasena of northern Ghana and focuses on late nineteenth century internal slave trafficking. Previous studies on memories of the slave trade in Ghana have focused on the transatlantic slave trade and the trauma of the Middle Passage and have relied on the use of conventional historical methodology such as shipping records, missionary and traveller accounts and the perspectives of colonial officials leaving out the experiences of the descendants of those who were mostly considered as victims. Dr. Saboro’s work on songs and oral traditions, by contrast, adopts an interdisciplinary approach and engages with new material from the interior of Africa where most slaves were captured and aims at shifting the focus from the use of conventional historical methodology by seeking to establish the voices of descendants of enslaved communities in northern Ghana through a critical study of their songs.

All participants have consented to the retention and online public sharing of their images, interviews, and performances. If any resources in this archive are used, then please include the DOI in your citation for the resource as well as the one for this site: Files in this collection are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 License.

Subcollections (2)