Edo on Slavery

The Edos acquired slaves for debt recovery purposes or insolvency, avenging maltreatment or captured in war. In some cases slaves were born into slavery. The Edos did not engage in buying and selling of slaves like other Kingdoms and nations.  They did not need to earn income in this way; tributes the king received from many quarters maintained the kingdom’s riches and ability to cater for its people.

On occasions, hardened criminals who posed a threat to the safety of others would be exchanged with foreign traders and that was the extent of the kingdom’s involvement in slave trade.  

The slave children had the same experiences as the household children except that if a slave child had something the other child wanted, s/he had to give it up and in some households had to be served food last. Slave children did most of the work the other children refused to do. They joined in games and other activities when they were not working.

Slave girls after a long service sometimes became one of the many wives of house master. Slave boys who worked out their time gained their freedom, they could also marry into the household and become family members enjoying privileges of the family.

This meant that slaves could buy their freedom by paying their master the price of their purpose or by marrying into the household.

Maltreating a slave was not part of the Edo culture. 

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