Thursday, June 13, 2013

Curacao, more than pretty painted buildings

Day 12
We have finally arrived at our last port of call, Willemstad, Curacao, the island of the beautiful and colorful painted buildings. This is truly a magical island full of history.

Queen Emma Swinging Bridge
We had no planned ship excursion for this port and ventured off on foot to find the Kurá Hulanda Museum. The museum holds the largest African collection in the Caribbean.  I had been looking forward to visiting this museum ever since I read about it some months ago. The museum did not disappoint!  It was much larger than we had anticipated and we had a wonderful tour guide who was nice enough to allow us to record the tour. There is even a replica of a slave ship which you can go inside of and gives you a pretty good idea of what it was like to make the middle passage.

The contents of the first contract with WIC stipulated the delivery of 24,000 slaves during a period of seven years. At their arrival on Curaçao, slaves were immediately accommodated in special slave depots. After a medical examination they were taken to agents of the "Asientistas". At first, the depots were situated in the Schottegat area, where the slave ships docked. It is conceivable that there was a slave depot in the area of the present museum Kurá Hulanda.

If you are ever in Curacao, Do not miss this museum!!! It was the highlight of our cruise.

Below is a slideshow of our day in Curacao, including some footage from the museum tour. I will also post the other museum videos in a separate post.

About: Kurà Hulanda
The forced relocation of Africans from Africa to the Americas and the Caribbean by Europeans from the 17th to the 19th centuries, changed the face of the world forever. Museum Kurà Hulanda is situated right at the city-center harbor of Willemstad, where Dutch entrepreneurs once traded and transshipped enslaved Africans along with other 'commercial goods'. This museum impressively exhibits the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in its totality, from slave capture in Africa through the Middle Passage and the relocation in the New World.

The museum Kurà Hulanda demonstrates that the African and diverse cultural heritage has influenced Curaçaoan and Caribbean societies until today.

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