Who were the Enslaved? Commemorating lives under enslavement at the Cape of Good Hope
We have renamed the spaces in the Iziko Slave Lodge Museum as we seek to answer the questions: Who were the enslaved? What work did they do? How did they manage to survive a new, unwelcoming and often violent environment once they arrived? How were they able to communicate with each other when they came from far-flung regions: South Asia, South East Asia, Madagascar, East Africa and initially West Africa? As you explore the ground floor, with its renamed rooms, you will find their stories. These are narratives of the enslaved, free blacks, the formerly enslaved and the Khoi. You will sense their resilience amid hardship.
Image of artist Wilhelm Heinrich Franz Ludwig Langschmidt’s oil painting depicting Long Street, Cape Town, in 1845. When looking across Long Street into Pepper Street, St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church is visible in the distance, below Devil’s Peak. Although we do not know their names, the street is filled with people, such as a washerwoman carrying a bundle of laundry on her head, a trader carrying baskets filled with fresh cauliflowers and carrots, free black women dressed in coloured skirts and embroidered scarfs, as well as a man with an umbrella wearing pointed shoes – a testimony to Cape Town’s varied post emancipation society. Iziko William Fehr Collection Iziko William Fehr Collection CD115.