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Louisiana Slave Trade

The Ivory Coast and the Gold Coast

The Ivory Coast, from Cape Palmas to Cape Three Points, was named so because of the quantity of ivory traded there. In the 1770s, this region provided 3,500 slaves annually. From Cape Three Points to the mouth of the Volta River, lays the Gold Coast where the Europeans maintained in the 18th century not less than a hundred trading posts and fortresses, the most impressive being the Cape Coast and Elmina castles. Until 1700, the region was known as a slave importing country where slaves were put to work in gold mines. Gold Coast slave exports rose sharply in the eighteenth century with the rise of Ashanti Kingdom. Very few slaves from the Ivory Coast and the Gold Coast were imported in Louisiana except the Mina who were among the most frequent ethnicities in this country. They belong to the Ewe group and their traditional domain is rather centered on the Mono River, encompassing eastern Ghana, the territory of modern Togo, and the west of modern Benin. It is more likely that most of the Mina transported to Louisiana were shipped from the Bight of Benin also known as the Slave Coast.