On Tuesday, divers and South African and American researchers gathered to remember the Mozambiquan captives who drowned in the ocean as they were transported to Brazil.
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Face2Face Africa recently reported on the finding of Portuguese slave ship Sao Jose-Paquete de Africa, which held about 400 captives from the South African nation.
Just about 100 miles from South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, the ship sunk due to tumultuous waters in December 1794.
As Face2Face Africa previously reported:
While half of the captives drowned in the sinking, the other half — according to the ship captain’s inquiry responses — were resold in to slavery at Cape Town’s slave market.
In the 1980s, treasure hunters would discover the downed ship, but it would take another 30 years before researchers realized it was actually a slave ship.
While the remains of the ship are currently being displayed at Iziko Slave Lodge Museum in South Africa, a memorial took place this week to remember the lives that were lost.
Diver Kamau Sadiki (pictured far right) led the memorial, which included depositing Mozambiquan soil in the ocean with a handful of divers.
Of the experience an emotional Sadiki said, “The reason I’m here at the ceremony and ritual is to acknowledge those people, those Africans, those human beings that died on the San Jose.
“What we did was ritualistically, essentially brought those people back home.
“The soil that we had [and dropped in to the sea] was from their homeland, and so we were taking them back home.
“And hopefully in those turbulent seas, they can find some sense of peace and comfort in knowing that some of their home is there with them.”
Watch part of the memorial and see the slave ship artifacts here:
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