Ancestors Cry, Elmina Dungeon: A Journey Through Pain and Reflection.

The solo walk through Edina, the heart of a bustling fishing village, was a sensory delight. The aroma of freshly fried fish, the vibrant everyday life, and the warmth of hospitality enveloped me. Yet, beneath this picturesque scene lay a haunting history—one that took me to the depths of Elmina Dungeon, where the cries of ancestors echoed through time.


A Meal Shared, An Ancestral Connection

Amidst the laughter and camaraderie, a simple meal became a poignant experience. Banku, a local delicacy made from corn, accompanied by the fiery shito sauce, was savored in good company. An elderly man’s ritual of dropping a piece to the ground in honor of ancestors stirred emotions. In that moment, the cultural threads binding generations became tangible, and the taste of history lingered on my palate.


Edina Fishing Village

The Fishing Village Symphony

As I strolled along the bridge, the rhythmic singing of fisher folks serenaded the air. Young lads played freely, reminiscent of birds in flight. The vibrancy of life in Edina momentarily shielded me from the impending weight of history.


Canons pointing at township

The Unsettling Echoes of Atrocity

The castle tour, while not a fond memory, was a necessary plunge into the abyss of history. The magnitude of the trans-Atlantic slave trade that unfolded within the walls of Elmina Dungeon was incomprehensible. As I walked through the dungeons, confusion gripped me. How could a place that housed a Portuguese church above be the same space where my ancestors suffered unimaginable horrors?


Portuguese Church, Elmina

Confronting Darkness in the Light of Faith

Standing in the dungeons, the air grew heavy with the scents of the past. The holding cells told stories of condemned soldiers and the brave who resisted colonization. The writing on the wall, Psalm 137, resonated with rage—a justified anger at the inhumanity. Yet, within that anger, compassion stirred, a testament to the complexity of emotions this place evokes.


Ancestors exiting boats waiting area

The Door of No Return: A Gateway to Unbearable Suffering

Gazing through the doorway, I saw the point of no return—a harrowing exit for those whose lives were forever altered. The window of light above the door offered a cruel glimpse into a world where weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth became a symphony of despair. This was the hell on earth, and the weight of it settled deep within my soul.


Holding cell of Otumfuo Prempeh I while awaiting exile to Seychelles Island.

Holding Cells: Condemned, Forgotten, Resilient

The holding cells, from soldiers with relative comfort to condemned ancestors with skulls and no ventilation, told a tale of ruthless disregard for human life. The cells where resistance met brutality stood as testaments to the unyielding spirit that refused to be broken.


Holding cells for captured ancestors and soldiers.

Remembrance and Resolve

Elmina Dungeon is a place where humanity was stripped bare, and the cries of ancestors reverberate through time. Psalm 137, etched on the walls, speaks of pain and anger, but within it, there is a call for compassion and understanding. As we stand in the shadows of this despicable history, we must remember and resolve never to condone such acts. Let Elmina Dungeon be not just a repository of anguish but a reminder of our shared humanity and the responsibility we carry to ensure history’s darkest chapters are never repeated.


Governors Dining Room


View from dungeon over looking Fort Jago.

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One thought on “Ancestors Cry, Elmina Dungeon: A Journey Through Pain and Reflection.

  1. Hello My Friend Paa! This is the best writing I have found from you. Your day begins in blessed community and winds up in the isolation of the living past. I am grateful to know you.

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