Jenini is a border community and its residents are cosmopolitan people who speak Nafaanra, Koulango, Djula, and Ligbi. It was a slave camp in Ghana during Samory Toure’s reign c. 1870 – 1895.
Samory Toure, a Mandinka warrior, established slave camps, like Jenini, near Sampa in the Bono Region of Ghana. He built an empire covering parts of Bamako in Mali, Burkina Faso, La Coté d’Ivoire, Sudan and Ghana.
Enslaved peoples were brought to Jenini from different areas. People entered slavery by being captured, purchased, or born into slavery. They found roles in agriculture, craft production, smith, trade, and leather works.
Ceramics archaeological investigations were done at Jenini and evidence suggested that the enslaved people, held at the camp, used clay from the same source for their pottery, though they came from many different regions.
Archaeological excavations at Jenini began in July 2004, with a goal to better understand the lives of its enslaved occupants.
Jenini’s preservation and excavation can thus be compared to that at Elmina, a port on the Ghanaian coast central to the West African slave trade.
There are mass graves at Jenini. People have found human bones lying outside houses that had been built on the site. As people sweep their compounds, they see frames of skulls on the ground, and whenever it rains, a lot of bones are washed away.
Slave camps and markets serve as a reminder of slave trade and Jenini as a pivot of domestic slavery in Africa is not often talked about among local populations.
Jenini remains a salient reminder of Africa’s involvement in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
It is a shared duty for you and I to promote Jenini to attain it’s deserving popularity.