The Slave Route Project was launched officially during the First Session of the International Scientific Committee of the Slave Route in September 1994 in Ouidah, Benin, one of the former major slave markets on the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. This initiative is designed to encourage Member States to inventory, protect and promote memorial places and sites linked to the slave trade and slavery, which bear tangible witness to that history and to include them in national and regional memorial tourism itineraries.
Systems of slavery had existed in the islands of the Indian Ocean since before colonization and the societies of the Indian Ocean came into being at different times through ancient slave trades and migrations of populations from Africa, Asia and Europe. Mauritius was one among the Indian Ocean countries which has played a major strategic role in the history of Slave Trade in the Indian Ocean. The initiative of erecting this monument purposefully at the foot of the Le Morne Brabant Mountain highlights the importance of the country in the slave trade at the regional level and the powerful significance of the Le Morne Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site as focal place for Commemoration of the Abolition of Slavery and its strong symbolism of Resistance to Slavery. Mauritius is known to be the fourth country where the monument was erected and other countries in the Indian Ocean where this project was formerly initiated was Mozambique, Madagascar and Reunion Island which were also linked to slavery and slave trade. For more information please click on the following link: The Slave Trade in the Indian Ocean
The International Slave Route Monument at Le Morne was unveiled in on 01st February 2009 at the foot of the Le Morne Brabant Mountain. The monument is located in a garden with native vegetation. The monument is be integrated with the restored natural environment of the peninsula and the western cliff and slope of the Mountain as a setting. The monument was purposefully erected at this particular area of the landscape because of its linear connection between the sea, beach, a historical and legendary place called' Valley of Bones' and the west cliff face. The locality provides a clear eastward view to the edge of the mountain, caves on the cliff faces and the sheer drop by maroon slaves from the top of the mountain to the 'Valley of Bones' to achieve freedom. The locality is near the intended heritage trails and connects to the circular contour path around the Mountain, providing linkage with other heritage and natural sites of significance. From the top contour path, when standing at the 'Valley of Bones', there is a clear westward view towards the beach and the 'Passe des Marrons' and the 'Passe de La Prairie', the two points of escape to the open sea and Madagascar. When moving slightly northwards, one can discern the 'eye' on the 'face of the mountain' on looking south-eastwards.