A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave by PDF

ISBN-10: 0241003172

ISBN-13: 9780241003176

A groundbreaking new historical past that might remodel our view of West Africa

By the time of the 'Scramble for Africa' within the past due 19th century, Africa had already been globally hooked up for plenty of centuries. Its gold had fuelled the economies of Europe and Islamic international considering the fact that round a thousand, and its subtle kingdoms had traded with Europeans alongside the coasts from Senegal right down to Angola because the 15th century. till not less than 1650, this used to be a alternate of equals, utilizing quite a few currencies - most significantly shells: the cowrie shells imported from the Maldives, and the nzimbu shells imported from Brazil.

Toby Green's groundbreaking new ebook transforms our view of West and West-Central Africa. It reconstructs the area of kingdoms whose life (like these of Europe) revolved round conflict, taxation, alternate, international relations, complicated non secular ideals, royal demonstrate and extravagance, and the creation of art.

Over time, the dating among Africa and Europe revolved ever extra round the alternate in slaves, destructive Africa's relative political and fiscal strength because the phrases of economic trade shifted enormously in Europe's favour. despite those turning out to be capital imbalances, longstanding contacts ensured notable connections among the Age of Revolution in Europe and the US and the start of a innovative 19th century in Africa.

A Fistful of Shells attracts not only on written histories, yet on archival study in 9 international locations, on artwork, praise-singers, oral heritage, archaeology, letters, and the author's own event to create a brand new viewpoint at the background of 1 of the world's most crucial regions.

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A Fistful of Shells: West Africa from the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution

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