Assin Manso Slave River (Donkor nsuo)
There has been a sad part of our history as people where one group of people bought a fellow human being just as goats and sheeps.During the slave trade,many towns and villages played critical roles either as markets,resting place or storage place for the captives.Assin Manso played a dual role as site for the last bath and a market.
Assin Manso is a town in the Assin south district of the central region.It is the paramount seat for the Assin Apimanim traditional council.It is located on the Cape Coast-Kumasi road.The town is about 3hrs drive from Accra and 45mins from Cape Coast.
The town served as the final link in the slave route from the northern sector of the country and other countries in the sahel .The slave market in Assin Manso was the largest during the slave trade.
The journey from the place of capture to the markets at the south was a horrible experience.The captives walked barefooted through the forests for over hundreds of miles. They suffered abuse,were starved and beaten into compliance by the hired drivers of the slave merchants.Some of them were even attacked by wild animals but unable to run or fight because they remain chained and shackled. Many spirits and lives were lost during this wicked journey.
On reaching Assin Manso,the captives were made to rest,have their last bath in the donkor nsuo(slave river) and then sold to the white merchants.The bath helps them refresh their body after the long distance they’ve covered on the journey.The strong ones get much attention and sold higher than the weak ones.The few that die on the journey are left in the bush where they died.Those that died around the river were thrown into a very deep hole dug around the river.The healthy ones that were finally bought were branded by their new owners .The branding helps them to be easily identified by their owners on reaching their final destination.There were taken to the Americas and the Caribbeans to work on plantations and to do other difficult jobs.
In the year 1998,the remains of two descendants of those captured during the slave trade from Africa were brought back “Home” to be buried at Assin Manso.One of the remains was brought from America and the other from Jamaica.The remains are still at the ancestral graveyard at Assin Manso.During the Year Of Return(2019) the remains of a third person was brought from Barbados to be buried beside the other two who were buried earlier.
There is a memorial wall of return at the Assin Manso slave site.The returnees are offered the opportunity to write their names on the wall to symbolise their return back to their motherland.So far people of African descent from all parts of the world have written their names on the wall.
Cheifs played a critical role during the slave trade .The Assin Apimanin overlords have their names written on the wall of a room from the main yard to the river side.The list helps visitors to the site know the various paramount chiefs and the years they ruled the Apimanim state.
After the celebration of the first panafest and emancipation, Assin Manso has been a memorial ground for tourists from all parts of the country and the world.Emancipation has now become an annual event .It is celebrated on the first day of august every year with a lot of activities before the final day where a durba is held.