Anastácia Escrava, Muzzled wounds of slavery

Santa Anastacia, Anastácia Escrava, an Angolian princess, kidnapped and forced to become the mistress of her white master in Brazil.  There are no words for the horrors and torture, Anastacia had to bear for resisting her capture, her rape and abuse and for that she was forced to wear a metal muzzle – common practice in Brazil and the Caribbean. Muzzles were used to prevent slaves from eating the sugar cane and as a general punishment for acts of resistance. Anastacia contracted gangrene from the muzzle and eventually it killed her. Below is a sculpture by  Matt Branson, of Anastacia muzzled.



A wounded body is one who turns day into night
one who returns to the womb
A wounded body is one who turns laughter into tears
one who weeps under blue skies
A wounded body is one who faces the wall
one who no longer smiles
A wounded body is one who bleeds from inside
one who can no longer dream
A wounded body is one who reaches out
but finds only silence and nothingness
A wounded body is one who cannot smell the roses
one who only feels the pain of thorns.

For some the wounds are timeless, stretching back in history
for others they are but moments in the present
Listen to my wounds, feel my wounds
taste the wounds of my ancestors, if you dare
Do not deny my wounded body
do not mistake my wounds for weakness
on the contrary, my wounds are my strength

© Sokari Ekine

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