Wooden Yoke Used in Coffle, East Africa, 1882

Click on the image to open a larger version in a new window.
previous image return to thumbnails next image

If you are interested in using this image, please consult Acknowledging the Website.

Image Reference

Alfred J. Swann, Fighting the slave-hunters in Central Africa, a record of twenty-six years of travel & adventures round the Great Lakes (London, 1910; reprinted London 1969), p. 51.

Captioned, “A method of securing slaves,” the author, a lay missionary for the London Missionary Society, writes that “when traveling a shorter pole is used, one end being held up by the preceding person. The neck is often broken if the slave falls when walking.” In late 1882, shortly after arriving in Tanganyika, about 200 miles from the coast he witnessed a slave caravan whose captives were destined for the market at Zanzibar. He vividly describes the condition of the enslaved, and reports that “many were chained together by the neck,” while “others had their necks fastened into the forks of poles about 6 feet long, the ends of which were supported by the men who preceded them” (p. 48).