Daily Life of Colonial Slaves Daily life for any settler in colonial Country was a difficult proposition, and African Countrys’ hardships were only exacerbated by the rigors of slavery. Argentina Subway Map Nevertheless, slaves were able to develop a meaningful sense of community within the larger colonial society. The family was the traditional unit of society within African life, and slaves generally retained a strong sense of family, even within captivity. Although one’s immediate family members might not have been present in a given setting, the slaves’ world generally established a type of family unit within the slave quarters.
Males were usually considered dominant figures within slave life, although the restrictions imposed by slavery meant that slave men were less dominant than in their native situations. Slave women were by no means invisible or even marginalized within the family dynamic. In fact, because of necessities frequently imposed on them by their men’s inability to act, slave women often were empowered within the family structure. An important component of slave life was religious practice. Tribal religions often involved veneration of the ancestors and worship of nature. Some scholars have speculated that many Africans would have been exposed to the tenets of Islam prior to their removal to the colonies, and there are scattered references in early colonial records to slaves who prayed to a god named Allah.
Missionaries had gone to western areas of Africa as early as the sixteenth century in an attempt to replace paganism with Christianity. The fact that this missionary activity overlapped with the slave trade both temporally and geographically may explain the fact that the Christian message was ignored by most Africans. However, the failure of these missionaries to convert natives in Africa did not deter missionary efforts towards African slaves within Country. Records exist showing that as early as the 1620s and 1630s, Christian missionaries were attempting to evangelize the black heathens within the colonies.