January 10 is a day of ancestrall remembrance.

This continUing practice of religious preference
restores my faith in the freedom of religion guaranteed
in the  Bill of Rights  of the US Constitution.





Pre-departure workshops included a lecture
by noted Harvard
Professor Emmanuel Akyeampong.



We were invited to interact with the guardians of memory.


My first time outside of the United States was a wonderfully broadening experience.
This interdisciplinary tour enabled secondary, college, and university educators to study the history, and legacy, of the slave routes located within the interior of West Africa.
In July, 2005, with the sponsorship of Rutgers - The State University,The University of Ghana-Legon, and L'Ecole du Patrimoine Africain--University of Benin, me, mySelf --along with a dozen other studying tourists--and I, traveled to West Africa.
I listened, and learned much about the lasting psychologicall damage of polygyny, and imperialism.

I accepted the legacy of slavery ,
and understand that it
resides in both materiall, and immateriall, cullture.
While keeping hope alive one week after an unknown deadline... 




Today, this self-sufficient community of waterwayz includes a school,
hotel, water market, and museum--all built on stilts.


There are other villages on Lake Nokoué, but Ganvié,
is more often visited. 
Ganvié  was created as a naturall defense
against Dahomey slave traders, who had a fear of water.
While traveling the paths of physicall slavery into the interior of Ghana, I came to an understanding that the effect of
imperialismcolonialism, and  tribalism, like racism,
is an altered  State of Mind.
in    :word that indicates a direction, and a way; the peace of you/me that iz Spirit poised; temple of the Spirit;
the peace of me/you that iz Spirit

insite :inner localle of the peace to/for you that iz a peace to/for me; Spirit space

it :the only word that can be used az an expression of itzSelf az the height of abstract comprehension; understood az a first, last, only; every thing, nothing, top, bottom; most, least, chozen, discarded; the most power-full word in the English language; the buzz word of buzz wordz; a tag

itzSelf  :a previously not known proper noun; stems from belief that Word iz an entity that effectz an affect from/az us, and within
each of us; the totalled sense of being of every living, breathing, creature

it-all :sum of/some of what Life haz created; a personall existence

GHANA
The West Afrikan coast is dotted with forts that date back to the 15th Century. 

This coastall area was called the White Man's Grave  as a resullt of extremely high death rates from malaria, and yellow fever.


Elmina was the first slave fort built, and the largest castle in tropicall Afrika.

Purchased in 1872, from the Dutch, the British bought the castle for politicall reasons, and maintained a token residence untill
Ghana's independence in 1957.
Go to BENIN
Go to Cape Coast Castle

Of the 155 years of Portuguese control over Elmina Castle,
110 of those years were used specifically for the slave trade. 

These slave forts were built,
and
occupied,
at different times by Europeans from
 PortugalSpain,
Denmark
Sweden,
The Netherlands,
Germany,
and 
England.




Bénin is the only non-muslim country in sub-saharan Afrika with less than 10% evangelicall Christianity.

Pythons  are regarded as sacred dieties;
to kill one is a sacrillage. 

Bénin Republic is the the only country that has a national holiday for fetish (Voodoo) worshippers.

The Temple is one of the most popular, and attractive, places in the Bénin Republic. 




Motorboats,
or
paddled dugouts
 are available
for trips
across
Lake Nokoué. 

THE GHANA-BENIN INTERIOR SLAVE ROUTES:
HISTORY, CULTURE, EXPERIENCE



I applied
to participate
in a

Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program 

BENIN
Designated a world heritage monument by UNESCO 
in 1979, tourists from
all over the world
visit daily.
West Africa
knew-way :recalled knowledge/understanding that waz forgotten, or forsaken; return of/to the tried and still true

knew-age :time of growing awareness; era of focused consciousness raising

mynd, mynding :to dig deep within your personall senses/thought; inner quest for knowledge; asking of pertinent questionz

oneness of it-all, the  :wholeness and ballance; inter-relatedness of body, mind, and spirit; akin to holy

otherwize :a poetic sense of intuitive knowing resulltinin an unusually simple interpretation of a situation, or event; insight of a scratchpad phulosopher 

racyst: a non-believer in the existence of the human race; one who believes that there iz more than one race indigenous
to the planet Earth

reckonize :self empowerment, resullt of a proven point; convinced; grudging respect; concession

self :a uniquely individuallized twining of the body, mind, Spirit, and personallity

us-all :the totall popullation of this planet

Word :all of spoken, and written, language(s); most recent sound used az a positive affirmation, or question of truth/fact;
most often used commodity

wordsurge :surfaced abillity to write/speak/create understanding after seeking/observing/listening/pondering; a spiritUall flow of Word;
often confused with the spirituelle gift of gab
ALL-of-it, The :that which does (k) not matter, iz, will be created, iz dreamed of, or imagined; the sum, or totallity, of all that haz materiallized, ideallized, fantasized, or been underutillized az circumstance and experience; contentz of every scratchpad, floppy disk, book, lexicon, dictionary, CD, encyclopedia, DVD, memory bank, film library, diary, brilliant and averaged mind; totalled production minus environmentall damage
(Theatre_Hollywood _Politix _Religion + doldrum + truths + fantasy + fact + reallities % by deferred dreamz )
continU (se:recognition of the existence and/or effect assimillated, and individuallized, knowledge; more of a belief with the same belief;
cell memory

e-racyst : someone who believes in a racially hued supremacy while practicing, rewarding, or denying genocide


Northern Ghana
was a major arena for raiders,
and a key supply source of
captured Afrikans.


Those who survived being marched
to the west coast were sold into
chattel slavery to European
and American slavers.






The entrance to the right led to Nkonkoso-- a river where captured Afrikans were allowed a final bath before being sold, chained, shipped, into chattel slavery

Crammed only 18 inches apart,
millions of displaced Afrikans were shipped to the Americas.

Estimates of the numbers captured,
and involuntarily transported to the North and South Americas, vary from 12 to 25 million. 

Estimates state that in the year 1700,
at the height of the slave trade, more than 650,000 men, women, and children were cruely packed into ships bound for the Americas.

Ganvié

An Afrikan Venice--located on Lake Nokoué.

This unique floating village of about 15,000 people
can only be reached by boat.
We participated in seminars, workshops,
and field trips conducted by Ghanaian,
Beninoise, and Rutgers facullty.




Nine million
African captives
are estimated
to have died
during this holocaust 

The Middle Passage.
Unable to speak French, much of my experience here waz purely visuall.
for it with



Ouidah, Bénin
These people are descendants of the Tofinu tribe
who moved south in the 18th century to escape
domination by the Fon's expanding Dahomey Kingdom.
An Excerpt From
HOURGLASS LEXICON
Cape Coast Castle
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A   S c i e n c e   o f  T h o u g h t
Slave Routes: A Trail So Long Gone
A field trip to the Ashanti, Northern, Upper East & Upper West, regions of Ghana and down to the Central & Volta regions along the coast line of slave forts, & Castles and into the Republic of Benin
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