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Ankle bracelet tells of modern day slavery

10 August 2010 by Sam

simple brass coloured u-shaped bangle

This bracelet may look like a beautiful piece of jewellery but the story behind it is much less attractive. Curator of transatlantic slavery Rebecca Watkin explains:


“The International Slavery Museum team have recently displayed two ankle bracelets which have been donated by Anti-Slavery International. One of the ankle bracelets was ‘worn’ by a young girl in Niger who was subjected to a form of descent based slavery.

Descent based slavery occurs in some countries where people are either born into or are from a group that society views as suited for being used as slave labour. People from this group are not allowed to own land or inherit property and denied an education, a status which is carried from one generation to the next.

The bracelets represent the importance of the museum’s work in developing its collections in this area and campaigning on the issue. The team felt it was important to display the ankle bracelets with the personal stories, which really challenge the visitor who believes slavery to be an issue of the past and not of the present.

The bracelets are displayed in a new display case in the Legacies gallery which was acquired several months ago to showcase the museum’s new collections.

You can see more recent acquisitions, most of which are not yet on display, on the International Slavery Museum’s website.”

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