Domestic slaves could be considered part of the master's household and would not be sold to others without extreme cause.
In the Ashanti Region, human sacrifice was often combined with capital punishment.
Ibn Battuta, who visited the ancient kingdom of Mali in the mid-14th century, recounts that the local inhabitants vied with each other in the number of slaves and servants they had, and was himself given a slave boy as a "hospitality gift.""The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion of three to one to the freemen.
They claim no reward for their services except food and clothing, and are treated with kindness or severity, according to the good or bad disposition of their masters.
Historians John Thornton and Linda Heywood have provided an estimate, that of the Africans captured and then sold to Europeans around 90% of those who were shipped in the Atlantic slave trade.
Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard Chair of African and African American Studies, has stated that "without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred." The entire Bubi ethnic group descends from escaped intertribal slaves owned by various ancient West-central African ethnic groups.