The Trajectories of Bond-Servant and Slavery in Old Calabar: A Postcolonial reading of Jeta Amata’s Amazing Grace and Etubom Effiwatt’s Ofin Ekedi Eyen

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Abstract

The notion of the bond-servant, which is often construed as domestic slavery, existed in Old Calabar before the arrival of the European slave merchants. Old Calabar was a prominent sea port city on the Atlantic coast during the slave trade period. With its rich hinterland, a virile population and good anchorage, it offered many attractions to traders of various ethnic-nationalities; one of which was the bond-servant. This situation allowed that a person becomes a servant and get bond to a master; it might be likened to the indentured servants in African-American history. It is the contention of this paper that this social phenomenon provided a smooth surface for slavery to thrive in this Atlantic coastal town. The essay is substantiated by the analysis of two historical films that tell the story of bondservant and slavery in Old Calabar; supported also by personal conversations with some bloodlines of bond-servants. The paper submits that the practice of bondservant which thrived in Old Calabar took a different hue from the form of Atlantic slave trade thus contradicting the articulation of the “reservoir theory”.

Key Words: Bondservant, Slave, Old Calabar, Atlantic slave trade, Europeans

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APA

Ekpe, B. (2021). The Trajectories of Bond-Servant and Slavery in Old Calabar: A Postcolonial reading of Jeta Amata’s Amazing Grace and Etubom Effiwatt’s Ofin Ekedi Eyen. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/the-trajectories-of-bond-servant-and-slavery-in-old-calabar-a-postcolonial-reading-of-jeta-amata-s-amazing-grace-and-etubom-effiwatt-s-ofin-ekedi-eyen

MLA 8th

Ekpe, Bassey "The Trajectories of Bond-Servant and Slavery in Old Calabar: A Postcolonial reading of Jeta Amata’s Amazing Grace and Etubom Effiwatt’s Ofin Ekedi Eyen" Afribary. Afribary, 26 Dec. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/the-trajectories-of-bond-servant-and-slavery-in-old-calabar-a-postcolonial-reading-of-jeta-amata-s-amazing-grace-and-etubom-effiwatt-s-ofin-ekedi-eyen. Accessed 04 Jul. 2022.

MLA7

Ekpe, Bassey . "The Trajectories of Bond-Servant and Slavery in Old Calabar: A Postcolonial reading of Jeta Amata’s Amazing Grace and Etubom Effiwatt’s Ofin Ekedi Eyen". Afribary, Afribary, 26 Dec. 2021. Web. 04 Jul. 2022. < https://afribary.com/works/the-trajectories-of-bond-servant-and-slavery-in-old-calabar-a-postcolonial-reading-of-jeta-amata-s-amazing-grace-and-etubom-effiwatt-s-ofin-ekedi-eyen >.

Chicago

Ekpe, Bassey . "The Trajectories of Bond-Servant and Slavery in Old Calabar: A Postcolonial reading of Jeta Amata’s Amazing Grace and Etubom Effiwatt’s Ofin Ekedi Eyen" Afribary (2021). Accessed July 04, 2022. https://afribary.com/works/the-trajectories-of-bond-servant-and-slavery-in-old-calabar-a-postcolonial-reading-of-jeta-amata-s-amazing-grace-and-etubom-effiwatt-s-ofin-ekedi-eyen