Jato Muso

The Slave Trade - History Assignment

Chapter One - The Capture

I was the jato muso. I was the leopard girl. I was the one who would never be caught. I was the one who could never be tricked. I was the one who would always escape, or so I thought.

This is the start of my story, or at least this is how I think it started. Anyway, It was yet another hot scorching day in the African Savannah making it a good day for hunting, actually in my opinion everyday was good for hunting, but I had decided to take a break seeing how I had not found anything to kill yet. As usual I took my break sitting underneath the leopard tree, I called it the leopard tree because it was where a group of leopards had saved my life once, hence my name Jato Muso. Jato Muso was not actually my real name, my real name was Ami, but that is what my villages people called me. So I was sitting under my tree in the cool tree, dreaming about running through the grassy plains of Africa with nothing but my leopards beside me, until a hand grabbed me from behind and pinned me to the floor, skilfully tying me up with rope. A hand then came over to cover up my mouth which was letting out howls of fear and pain, I struggled underneath the weight of the person on top of me, trying to keep me down as I tried to turn around. Why was the person capturing me? Was this one of the people the other villages had warned us about? I hope not. Finally my capture picked me up of the floor turned me around so I could come face to face with them, however, I did not like what met my eyes when they did because in front of me was none other than my friend, Nyima. Though I could not work out why Nyima would do such a thing, First of all we came from the same village, so she was bound to get caught sooner or later. "Nyima why did you capture me? What are you going to do to me?" I asked in pain and extremely confused.

"I'm sorry Ami but the village and my family in particulate my family are running low on supplies, and If we sell you of to the strange people we will get what we need." Nyima replied in a much to sorry tone.

"Well you could get them another way instead of selling your own friend!" I shouted back at her out of hate and betrayal. Nyima did not say anything and instead just pulled me along with the ropes across the African Savannah to my very doom.

After a week of none stop walking we finally reached our destination, Nyima exchanged me for pots and pans without a second thought, however when she left for our village she went in the opposite direction to ashamed for what she had done. I was left for the strange people to do what ever they liked with me, so they put me in a cage and left me on the floor, dreaming and waiting. I dreamed about my little village in the Savannah plains, all my friends and family living in their little houses made from mud, wood and straw. Everybody working on the farm, hunting and celebrating. Everybody was safe except for me.

Chapter Two - The Middle Passage

Finally, after about a week the slave ship arrived on the beach ready to take the poor people in the cages over to Africa. The ship itself was fairly large it looked like it could hold a good 200 people if they were all squashed together, like many slaves on ships were at the time. Luckily for Ami in this case they had a lot less slaves to fit onto the ship meaning she would have more space to move about, that is if she made it through the whole journey.

When the Slaves on the beach saw the ship arriving there were many mixed reactions; a lot of people coward back in fear and shock, some rebelled and started to try and attack the traders on the beach, whilst a few others along with Ami just looked up at the ship in amazement. Ami did not get to see many big bodies of water let alone ships in the Savannah, so all she could feel herself doing now was looking up at the majestic wooden beast in ore and horror. Roughly by those strange people to all the children of Africa y#they were bored onto the ship, layed down and chained up. The Captain of the ship was a humble man, who did not care much for the slave trade, unlike a fair few members of his crew. The captain himself wanted to get the best profit so tried to keep his slaves in the best conditions possible by packing them lose and trying to get to the banks of America as soon as possible.

Ami had now been on the ship for about two weeks, but unfortunately was growing very ill. The small space beneath the deck that she was stored in was full of decease and had a horrible stench. Ami was fed one small meal a day, hardly enough to keep a growing girl going, and had not been washed as the captain claimed sailing conditions were good and they would be in America with in the next few weeks. However, Ami new she was growing weaker, she just did not know the circumstances that would come of it.

Chapter Three - The Slave Auction

Suddenly the big wooden beast stopped moving and the crew members came into the suffocating hollow they stored us in, but to my surprise they did not beat us or drag us up onto deck but started to undo the metal chains around my legs, However not the one on my neck, and pushed me out into the blinding sunlight that I had not seen in about what felt like a year. Was I back at my home now, No I wouldn't be I was far from my home. I was in a land of strange people who spoke strange words of a strange culture, everything about this new place was strange and it was not good in anyway possible. Everything was different and it was all impacting my what use to be strong body at once giving me a nasty shock. However, of course I was smart enough to know this was not the end of my pain theses strange people had to have a purpose for me or why else would I be hear? All I knew was this little time of freedom I had was probably just to move us all somewhere else to humiliate all the other people of my race, of course that's what it was for. My prediction was pretty much correct, we where all put in big cages and one but one the strange people took us out and burnt our fragile skin with a strange liquid that left a weird mark on our skin, hiding all our cuts up from the blind eye. Finally it came to be my turn to get burnt and marked with black liquid, but suddenly my body was incredibly weak and I was finding it hard to walk, no hard to stand. When the liquid made contact with my skin I can't even remember screaming or not all I can remember was it absorbing most of the strength I had left and with that I was thrown back into the cage. Time passed without me noticing and with every passing day I became a bit weaker until it came to the matter I was so weak I was starting to not even pick up the strange words the strange people were speaking. I could make things like "She's a weak one to sell." and "He will get us a good bit of loot." but I did not know what any of it meant, from their gestures that I could just spot out I think they were talking about me and my fellow people in the cage.

Then one day strange people started to crowd around the cages, they all looked particularly excited or even hopeful they all said things like "that one looks like a good buy." and "He looks strong, I hope he's nice and healthy." however I could still not work out these words the strange people spoke. I looked out the cage, my vision slightly blurred, to see people raising there hands whilst a man called out numbers rapidly until he beat a stick of some sort on a block of wood and a man handed over what looked like money or gold in turn for the man on the podium. Were these strange people buying us? I think they were, I mean Nyima had sold me for resources so why couldn't the strange people do it too. Whilst in my trail of thought I had not realized that somebody had dragged me up onto the podium and strange people were now running there hands over me, inspecting me. I panicked with my remaining strength, rapid words were coming out of the man with the strange sticks mouth and people were putting up their hands, trying to buy me I heard he name Alexander Blue, did he buy me? Well I will never know because at that moment everything went black and I fell to the floor dead.