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Last updated: 26 March, 2007 - Published 08:03 GMT
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Bunce Island slave post

Bunce Island, off the coast of Sierra Leone, was one of 40 major European commercial forts built along the west African coast during the era of the slave trade.

Established by the British Royal Africa Company in 1672 Bunce Island was the coastal meeting point for European traders and African merchants coming from the interior.

Umaru Fofana visited the Bunce Island ruin not far from the capital, Freetown.

Photographic tour:

Remains of a jetty at Bunce island

The remains of the Bunce Island jetty where thousands of slaves began their horrific journey to the southern American states, where plantation owners paid high prices for slaves from the region.

The remains of cannons on the island

Cannons defended the island against outside attack. Bunce Island was attacked twice by pirates and four times by the French when it was a going concern.

A arch of the Bunce ruin

Six forts were built on the site during its time as a major regional trading post.

Part of the bunce island ruined fort

After the British Abolition Act of 1807, Bunce Island was used as a saw mill and trading post.

Entrance to a slave dungeon

Slaves held on the island awaiting transportation to the Americas were kept in cramped underground dungeons.

slave grave

Some slaves didn't survive captivity long enough to make the crossing and were buried on the island.

Trader grave

Some of the traders also met their end on the island, British firms like the Royal Africa Company operated here from about 1670.

All photographs by Umaru Fofana

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