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"Copyright © – Attila Szili.
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Among these thick and gorgeous palmtrees, human tragedies were perpetrated for centuries. This beach is located on the Atlantic Ocean and was the dead end of the sadly well-known "Route des Esclaves" (Slaves'Road), started from the town of Ouidah, in south Benin. The slave trade "flourished" from 17th to 19th century and during this time it is estimated that nearly 1,000,000 of individuals were boarded onto ships from the beach at Ouidah and were transported across the Atlantic.
Originally, Ouidah (once Gléwé) was a small village in the small Xwéda kingdom which supported itself through agriculture, hunting and fishing in the coastal lagoons. In 1580 the Portuguese were the first Europeans who reached the town and after that, grew around the slave trade.
When in the late 1800s the slave trade declined, the inhabitants of Ouidah began to focus its commercial efforts on much less lucrative palm oil export.
At the same time, began the repatriation of many of the descendants of slaves sent to the Americas. Most of these were third-generation enslaved individuals living in Brazil, and as they returned to Benin (and particularly to Ouidah) they brought many of their customs and traditions. To this day there are many examples of Afro-Brazilian architecture in Ouidah originating from that period.
Ouidah is also one of the most remarkable center of the Voodoo religion in the world.

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Additional Photos by Attila Szili (atus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2069 W: 207 N: 4541] (15878)
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