Memories of the Slave Expereince in Ghanaian Folklore


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of English


The aim of the project is to produce a monograph from my PhD dissertation which explores Memories of the Slave Experience in Ghanaian Folklore and focuses on late nineteenth century internal slave trafficking. Although previous studies on memories of the slave trade in Ghana have been rich and insightful, these studies have often relied on the use of conventional historical methodology such as shipping records, missionary and traveler accounts and the perspectives of colonial officials often ignoring the experiences of the descendants of those who were mostly considered as victims of the slave experience. Drawing largely from fieldwork through the recording of songs and traditonal performances within two communties in northern Ghana: the Bulsa and Kasena, this project, by contrast adopts an interdisciplinary approach and engages with the oral tradition and aims at shifting the focus from the use of only written sources as a basis for continual reflection and reconstructing memories of the slave experience in Ghana.