Landhuis Kenepa, though once one of Curaçao largest and wealthiest plantation, is best known in the island’s history as the place where the seeds of slavery emancipation first took root. On August 17, 1795, a slave named Tula informed Kenepa landowner Casper Lodewyck van Uytrect that the African captives refused to continue working the plantation. He was told to take his complaint to the Lieutenant Governor at Fort Amsterdam, but knowing what fate probably awaited him there, Tula and other leaders of the revolt spread out into the countryside to convince slaves from other plantations to join them in an armed fight for freedom.
The sporadic battles against the Dutch in power lasted almost two months, but by October 3, the ringleaders, including Tula, were captured and publicly executed to deter any further insurrection.
Though slavery was not officially abolished on Curaçao until 1763, the road to emancipation began at Landhuis Kenepa. In 2007 a museum displaying rituals, customs, history, and culture from an Afro-Curaçaon point of view was established at Landhuis Kenepa called Museo Tula. The enlightening permanent and revolving exhibits can be viewed independently or with a guide for groups.
The Tula Museum is located on an old plantation home “Kenepa”. There are several renovated plantations on the islands and they are referred to as a “Landhuis”. Located on the western part of Curacao, the museum is a tribute to Curacao’s African heritage, and its role in slavery and the slave trade. The Willemstad Harbor was a major hub for slave trading and exportation in centuries past.
Also on site is a gift shop with local crafts and the Creole Kitchen, a unique café featuring Creole-Caribbean-African cuisine. Guided eco-tours of the surrounding countryside, including a 17th-century garden, are also available.