The Landscapes of Slavery in Kenya

Date

2019-03-25

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Research Gate

Abstract

Cultural landscapes impacted by slavery and its effects ineighteenth-century Kenya included coastal trading entrepôts,interior caravan trade routes, coastal plantation complexes,European mission stations, freed slave settlements, and runawayslave settlements. Landscapes represent the values, symbols, andmeanings that societies have imbued upon them. A culturallandscape is not only a physical place, but also encompasses thememories associated with that space. Studies of such landscapesenable understanding of the histories of peoples, places, andevents. This article works to understand how the people wholived in landscapes of slavery in Kenya perceived and interactedwith those terrains. Former slaves and their descendants usedtangible and intangible elements of landscapes to constructplaces of memory; these memories not only connect them to thelandscapes they presently occupy but also to an imaginary,ancestral homeland that they have never seen.

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