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What was impact of the slave trade on African societies?


Title: FIGURE 2. Map of the Central Site Area of Savi. Author: Chris Matthew Last modified by: Chris Matthew Created Date: 10/14/2008 8:25:12 PM Document presentation ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What was impact of the slave trade on African societies?

What was impact of the slave trade on African
  • Rodney Europe underdeveloped Africa
  • Fage Slave trade helped to control population
  • Archaeology provides
  • necessary social scientific generalization to
    balance historical particulars
  • Long-term view to trace continuity and change and
    put Atlantic slave trade into better context
  • Provides a view from inside African societies
    largely missing from documentary record

Slave trade in Senegambia Susan Keech McIntosh
  • Islamic Saharan slave trade was larger than most
  • transformed smaller-scale Senegambian societies
    into complex chiefdoms/states, especially
    Jolof/Wolof empire
  • Linguistic study shows Mandé governing
    terminology for Chief (Farba) and slave (Jamm)
    date to this era
  • Pre-Atlantic Slavery tied to competitive
    acquisition of prestige
  • Slaves labored in fields, mines, and hauling for
    trade, also in military providing owners access
    to wealth used to enhance prestige
  • One sign of this is elite burials which contain
    sacrificed servants taking slaves to afterlife
  • Analysis of servant teeth show poor childhood
    nutrition caries and hypoplasies

Archaeology of Atlantic trade in Senegambia
  • Tobacco pipes explode in numbers, likely derived
    from Moroccan sources at end of 16th century
  • Pottery shows significant decline in quality
  • Extremely porous paste because of use of organics
    for temper weak and friable pots
  • Limited range of vessel forms
  • Sharp decline in decoration
  • Decline in labor investment time-consuming
    elements such as crushing and sieving pottery
    temper and kneading clay were eliminated
  • Social distress caused by slave trade and
    collapse of Jolof empire ie. greater social and
    political unrest and restrictions

Post-Atlantic Trade
Archaeology of Atlantic trade in Senegambia, cont
  • Upper Senegal River in 18th and 19th centuries,
    directly connected to Atlantic trade by French
    and British expeditions
  • Pre-Atlantic-era region was sparsely populated.
  • Tata fortified elite residences at higher
    elevations. Overlooking plages, commoner/slave
    residences on valley floors
  • Settlement system emerged as elite adopted
    large-scale commercial agriculture and slave
    raiding to compete with and supply European
  • Archaeology also shows domesticated animals
    (sheep/goat and cattle) and a rise in alcoholic
    beverage bottles prestige efforts?

Banda, Ghana 1300-1925 Anne Brower Stahl
  • Frontier community between southern forest
    states (Akan, Asante) and Saharan trading empires

Banda, Ghana
  • Early site Kuulo Kataa, occupied 1300-1650
  • Likely manufacturing center for pottery and iron
    tools, serving Begho a large trading entrepôt
    connecting forest states to trans-Sahara trade
  • Cosmopolitan associations
  • Fauna wide ranging and diverse
  • Long-distance Lion, leopard, hippo, warthog,
    forest primates
  • Local tortoise, lizard, rodents
  • Flora
  • Local and imported crops tobacco, maize
  • Artifacts
  • Huge pottery mounds, iron slag
  • Trade goods copper (north), gold weights
    (south), marine shells, glass beads (coast)

Banda, Ghana
  • Later site Makala Kataa. History
  • Early Makala, 1750-1820
  • Hiatus, 1820-1890
  • Late Makala, 1890-1920
  • Conflict between Begho and rising Asante state
    disrupted area in late 17th Century
  • Banda chiefdom re-unified in late 18th century
    with shared multi-ethnic authority with
    chieftancy passing back and forth between
  • Early Makala Kataa established as part of Asante
    expansion, connecting Banda population to
    Atlantic trade in slaves, gold, agricultural
  • Conflict in region after 1820 disrupted
    communities again
  • Late Makala Kataa, resettled after British
    stabilized the region and expelled Samroi jihad.
    Site abandoned as part of British led
    sanitation/rationlization scheme in 1920s that
    invokved forced relocation of rural communities

Banda, Ghana
  • Changes at Makala Kataa in Banda during the 19th
    century are similar to those in Senegambia
  • Ceramics
  • Early MK Neutron activation shows jars were from
    clays on west side of Banda hills, bowls were
    from closer east side
  • Late MK no jars, all pottery from closer eastern
    clay source sites
  • imported iron pots replace jars
  • Clay tobacco pipes reveal parallel trading
    network to pottery vessels, increasing
  • Fauna
  • Early and Late MK local species dominate
  • Flora
  • Early and Late MK Maize dominant domesticate

Banda, Ghana
  • Housing
  • Early MK multi-purpose L-shaped mud brick
    buildings and compounds
  • Late MK smaller pole and daga
    ephemeral/temporary huts, arranged as individual
    freestanding houses
  • Artifacts
  • Early MK suggest domestic production of most
    needs with pottery and iron artifacts revealing
    connection local trade networks, few European
  • Late MK more restricted local trade combined
    with surge in European produced goods white clay
    tobacco pipes, bottle glass, glass beads
  • Pattern shows decrease in local production and
    trade, replaced with individualized household
    focus tied directly to inter-continental market

Clark and Blake the power of prestige
  • self-interest and the accumulation of prestige
  • Alliance vs. domination cultivation of followers
  • gift-exchange and social debt
  • Internal competition and factionalism
  • External/regional relations
  • From marriage to trade
  • Development of local exclusivity, enhancing
    prestige and increasing competition
  • Peer-polity interaction sphere

Barra Phase ceramics Mazatan, Mexico
Increased value with new imported technology but
maintained traditional gourd forms
Clark and Blake Counter-intuitive processes
  • Population concentration
  • Vs. population pressure
  • Technology Ceramics
  • moves from complex to simple
  • Agriculture Maize
  • focused on prestige/social status vs. subsistence

Location of Savi and the Hueda kingdom and
surrounding cities
Historical context of Hueda and Savi
  • Slave Coast coastal state
  • Under domination of inland Allada kingdom in 16th
    and 17th century
  • Late 17th century increase in demand for slaves
    for New World plantations supported Hueda
  • Capital at Savi became powerful international
    trading center
  • Savi palace housed Hueda elite, weekly market,
    and trading lodges of the English, Dutch,
    Portuguese, and French.
  • Only African capital to house traders from
    multiple nations
  • Conquered by Dahomey Kingdom in 1727

Central Area of Savi.
Chain and shackles for confinement of slaves at
Savi. Structure 710. Found in situ with larger
storage jars
Palace at Savi.
  • Brick paving in select rooms
  • few artifacts, public rooms
  • Concentration of key European trade goods
  • European and Chinese fine ceramics
  • firearms
  • fine glassware
  • alcoholic beverage bottles
  • Tobacco pipes and beads found in all Savi

Ditch system at Savi
  • Extensive system of ditches enclose the palace
  • Large 10-70m wide up to 220m long, up to 8m
  • Causewayed, meandering layout poor defensive
  • Possible effigy of Dangbe python deity

Temple of Dangbe in Ouidah from Chaudoin
  • Dangbe is supreme deity, associated with weather,
    fertility, the control of movement, and the
    transition between social categories
  • Dangbe defended Savi by protecting the rivers at
    its borders
  • Procession of King to Dangbe temple was most
    sacred ceremony on Huedan calendar

Procession to the Temple of Dangbe from Des
Marchais (1731 Plate 7).
Huedan coronation ceremony. Note the conical
python shrine in the center of the palace
courtyard from Des Marchais (1731plate 4).
Appropriation of Dangbe after defeat of Hueda
  • Savi conquered and destroyed by Dahomey kingdom
    in 1727
  • Dahomey incorporate Dangbe deity in form of Dan
    Ayido Houédo rainbow serpant
  • Also constructed ditch system surrounding at

Ogundiran, Of Small Things Remembered Beads and
  • Study of Bight of Benin on Slave Coast before and
    during slave trade
  • Shows the connection between imports, political
    power, and culture change, emphasizing strategic
    indigenous continuities
  • No region consumed nearly as many cowries as
    Slave Coast.
  • Tracing connections between cowries and local
    transformations caused by the slave trade.

Ogundiran, Of Small Things Remembered Beads and
  • Exotic trade beads were sumptuary objects
  • Used to display status, materialize alliances,
    and reward hard work on behalf of the king
  • Archaeology has identified a bead production
    factory at Yoruba kingly center of Ile-Ife
    attached specialists

Ogundiran, Of Small Things Remembered Beads and
  • Cowries date to 1500s, and explode in numbers
    after 1600
  • Indian Ocean origin, Portuguese transport
  • Used as currency in Allada and Yoruba hinterlands
  • Monopolized by aggrandizing Oyo and Dahomey

Why Cowrie Currency?
  • State control of Atlantic trade economy
  • Managed all parties through a common standardized
    medium used for collecting taxes, tribute, tolls,
    and fines
  • Supported ever increasing volume and variety of
    trade goods (p. 439)
  • Could not be counterfeited

Why Cowrie Currency?
  • Cowries were unifying agent during time of
    stressful change (Atlantic and slave trades)
  • Cowries were used by all people, not just elites
    and merchants.
  • Used for brideprice, tribute, other debts
  • Cowries intimately connected to vast increase in
    slave trade after 1630 through the Allada port.
  • Cowries were slave money

Cowrie Mythology
  • Elite Myth
  • Oba Eresoyen (1735-37) made peace with Ocean
    deity, Olokun, creating a balance between land
    and sea
  • Olokun transformed from sea and fishermens deity
    to god of wealth, giver of children, deity of
    traders, source of all life
  • Could be seen as sanctioning European presence
    and slave trade

Cowrie Mythology
  • Non-elite Myth
  • Tied to slavery and human-cowrie conversion
  • Cowries as fished from the ocean with slave
    corpses as bait
  • Quote, bottom p. 443 as indictment of monarch
  • Vulture/buzzard sacralization
  • Bringing cowries to women in the market
  • symbolizing greed, death, and destruction wrought
    by merchant economy
  • Illustrates mutual interdependency by tying
    destruction to creation in the form of the market
    and women

Self-Realization and Individualization
  • Cowries are not sumptuary goods, they also
  • the new men and women and new wealth, people
    with the potential to challenge the old
    political order
  • Simultaneous elaboration of private
    individualized deities
  • Orí representing the spiritual inner head
  • Ibori shrines conical cowrie covered leather
    containers stored in Ile Orí

Ile Ori House of Head
Triumph of Orí
  • By the late 19th century Ori was the most
    universal deity
  • Came to assign to the deities their different
    functions, a transformation that revels the
    depersonalization of market exchange
  • The market was shifting to be about the
    production of wealth rather than the exchange of
  • cowries as money helped smooth the ruptures this
    process caused.

Triumph of Cowrie
  • Cowrie wealth flowed independent of state and
    lineage control
  • It was rather under individual control
  • Cowries and the market challenged traditional
    social relations of production
  • Men pulled to new market towns, womens textile
    production gives them new power
  • Cowries increased freedom and insecurity and must
    be rationalized

Feminization of cowries
  • Marketing of previously domestically-produced
    cloth prompted a separation in divinations
  • Òpèlèmale divination chain of palm and iron
  • Eerindinlogun female divination of cowries
  • Associated with Osun (diviner of cowries), who
    saved the life of Orunmila, who in turn granted
    her a seat at the pantheon
  • Only female deity in pantheon
  • Osun is tied to rise of women as traders in cloth
    and as creators of wealth in Yoruba societies
  • Osun associated with imports cloth, beads,
    brass, cowries and drank only maize beer
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