Slave shackles

In the 15th century, decades before they sailed into the Caribbean, Spanish merchants, captains, and adventurers had already conquered and enslaved the people of the Canary Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. On the western coast of continental Africa, the Portuguese had been cultivating a slavery-based economic policy. This legacy of conquest and slavery shaped the colonization of Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean. Some of the first American encounters between Europeans, Indians, and Africans took place in Puerto Rico, and its early history of genocidal violence and physical exploitation was repeated throughout the Americas.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
19th century
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
Place Made
Puerto Rico
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Cultures & Communities
Puerto Rico
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ethnic
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Title (Spanish)
Grilletes de Esclavo

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