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The Slave Trade and Culture in the Bight of Biafra : An African Society in the Atlantic World - G. Ugo Nwokeji

The Slave Trade and Culture in the Bight of Biafra

An African Society in the Atlantic World


Published: 13th September 2010
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The Slave Trade and Culture in the Bight of Biafra dissects and explains the structure, dramatic expansion, and manifold effects of the slave trade in the Bight of Biafra. By showing that the rise of the Aro merchant group was the key factor in trade expansion, G. Ugo Nwokeji reinterprets why and how such large-scale commerce developed in the absence of large-scale centralized states. The result is the first study to link the structure and trajectory of the slave trade in a major exporting region to the expansion of a specific African merchant group - among other fresh insights into Atlantic Africa's involvement in the trade - and the most comprehensive treatment of Atlantic slave trade in the Bight of Biafra. The fundamental role of culture in the organization of trade is highlighted, transcending the usual economic explanations in a way that complicates traditional generalizations about work, domestic slavery, and gender in pre-colonial Africa.

'The best analysis yet of the interaction between the demand for African captives in the Americas and an African society that, relatively late in the slave trade era, came to generate many of those captives. It largely resolves the problem of how a stateless society with no tradition of sending slaves out of the region could be drawn into a highly significant role in the largest coerced migration in history. This is a major contribution to both Atlantic and African history and is a compelling read.' David Eltis, Emory University
'Nwokeji has written a much-needed and masterful account of the intricacies of human trafficking as they pertain to the Bight of Biafra. Refreshing and innovative, his work breaks new ground. Original in perspective and interpretation, The Slave Trade and Culture in the Bight of Biafra is essential reading for the history of West Africa and the transatlantic slave trade.' Michael A. Gomez, New York University
'Nwokeji treats the Atlantic slave trade as an interactive process among supply and demand, cultural features, and local institutions. This is an important, innovative, impressive work.' Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Rutgers University
'It should be indispensable for scholars and students of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade. It will serve as a model for future work on the mechanics of the slave trade within Africa.' The Journal of African History

List of Tables and Figuresp. ix
Map of the Bight of Biafra and Its Hinterlandp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Forewordp. xxiii
Introductionp. 1
The Aro in the Atlantic Context: Expansion and Shifts, 1600s-1807p. 22
The Trade Diaspora in Regional Context: Aro Commercial Organization in the Era of Expansion, 1740-1850p. 53
Culture Formation in the Trading Frontier, c. 1740 to c. 1850p. 82
Household and Market Persons: Deportees and Society, c. 1740-c. 1850p. 117
The Slave Trade, Gender, and Culturep. 144
Cultural and Economic Aftershocksp. 178
Summary and Conclusionsp. 204
Notes on Sourcesp. 209
Sources Citedp. 223
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521883474
ISBN-10: 0521883474
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 13th September 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.7 x 16.1  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.54