Women And Slavery: A Commodity For Trade

Slavery is a fact of history and continued till the 19th century. Slavery is basically an Arab and western concept and it was was practically non existent in the east.

Maybe this was due to the concept of the eastern religions like Buddhism and Hinduism which never condoned slavery. It must be understood that the caste system was not akin to slavery, where the man or woman lost his freedom and served the master till death. His offspring continued to serve the master as slaves. In contrast the caste system was division of society by work and profession.
Slaves were mainly

blacks, though the Arabs did covet white women as slaves. The Arab pirates roamed the Medeterrerian Sea and the North Atlantic and raided the coastal villages to capture white women for slavery. This was a great scourge during the Ottoman Empire. But the magnitude of this salve trade was nothing like the Black slave trade. As per estimates 150 million Negroes may have been taken as slaves to the Americas, both south and north.
Initially only the men were taken, but the slave traders realized that women could also be useful and hence the trafficking in women commenced. The women slaves worked sometimes in the houses of the white owners. It was not
long before sexual exploitation commenced. Even if a black woman was raped, she had no legal defense as she was considered the property of the owner and he had full physical rights over the women in his realm. Matters worsened as sometimes the owner of the house mated with his own daughter from the black woman. Young boys also had relationships with their half sisters.
Slavery endured till the 19th century before it was outlawed. But the Arabs and Muslims persisted with slavery for some more time before the western powers prevailed. The Arabs also used women slaves as part of their harem. But the pride of place in their harem were the white women. The Berbers who were the pirates of the Arabs were adept in capturing white women for slavery and harems. Slave trade of white women was lucrative and elaborate organizations existed. the Arabs were prepared to pay a hefty sum, some times 6 times the cost of a black women. Virgin white women fetched an even higher price.
The women had the worst time in slavery. Their offspring’s were earlier referred to as mullatos. This word is not used much now, because of its connotation with slavery.


Article Written By Madan G Singh

An early retired Gp Capt from Air Force who is an Executive Director in the Corporate world. Loves to write fiction and articles. Published over 60 short stories and his novel" Romance of the Frontier" is published from Notion Books.His second novel is on way for publication. The author also has close to 10,000 articles on the b net with millions of views

Last updated on 29-07-2016 264 0

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