Traditional African scars are helping researches tell the stories of the slave trade


Relying on careful analysis of traditional scarification, researchers from two Ontario universities are trying to rediscover the individual lives and stories of thousands of African people whose history had been erased by the transatlantic slave trade.

When people from Africa were taken from their communities and shipped across the ocean, languages, religions and names were ripped away.

But as Trent University adjunct professor Katrina Keefer explained on Ontario Morning, the traditional scarification and markings worn by many African people who were sold into slavery can fill in part of their stories.

Keefer has been poring over descriptions of the markings documented in archival drawings and ledgers to built a picture of where people came from, and where they ended up.

The 1815 Register of…

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