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8 Disturbing Images of Instruments of Torture Used on Black People

torture mask 1


Variations of a mask were used against captured Africans who tried to escape their bondage. In an article on fugitive Africans in Brazil,¬†Esclave Marron a Rio de Janeiro” (Runaway Slave in Rio de Janeiro), a Mister Bellel notes that¬†masks were used for further torture:

“Captured fugitives are forced to do the hardest and roughest work. They are ordinarily placed in chains and are led in groups through the city’s neighborhoods where they carry loads or sweep refuse in the streets. This type of slave is so frightful that, while they have lost all hope of fleeing again, they think of nothing but suicide. They poison themselves by drinking at one swallow a large quantity of strong liquor, or choke/suffocate themselves by eating dirt/earth. In order to deprive them of this way of causing their own deaths, they put a tin mask on their faces; the mask has only a very narrow slit in front of the mouth and a few little holes under the nose so they can breathe.”

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