Starting in the 1880s, European nations focused on taking over African lands, racing one another to coveted natural resources and establishing colonies they would hold until an international period of decolonization began around 1914, challenging European colonial empires up to 1975.
To prevent the slaves from eating fruits such as apples, pineapples, oranges, cashews, bananas, plantains and sugarcanes etc while harvesting them, yet they were made to work consistently in all the plantation farms.
To stop the slaves from chanting our African spiritual songs. Not only that those our spiritual and war songs affected the slave masters, it also motivated some slaves to rebel and fight back not minding losing their lives.
To stop slaves form teaching our African local dialects (languages) to their children…whereby destroyed our dialects, and forced them to learn foreign languages.
Last but not the least, to starve slaves as a punishment in the slave camps. The mask prevented them from eating or drinking. Sometimes the slave masters would forced an apple (a whole 🍎) into the mouths of slaves before they wore the metal mask on them with the padlocks so that they couldn’t talk.