The Shell Money of the Slave Trade
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Shell Money of the Slave Trade by Jan S. Hogendorn
Book DescriptionThis study examines the role of cowrie-shell money in West African trade, particularly the slave trade. The shells were carried from the Maldives to the Mediterranean by Arab traders for further transport across the Sahara, and to Europe by competing Portuguese, Dutch, English and French traders for onward transport to the West African coast. In Africa they served to purchase the slaves exported to the New World, as well as other less sinister exports. Over a large part of West Africa they became the regular market currency, but were severely devalued by the importation of thousands of tons of the cheaper Zanzibar cowries. Colonial governments disliked cowries because of the inflation and encouraged their replacement by low-value coins. They disappeared almost totally, to re-appear during the depression of the 1930s, and have been found occasionally in the markets of remote frontier districts, avoiding exchange and currency control problems.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521541107
(229mm x 152mm x 14mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 18-Sep-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Jan S. Hogendorn
Slow Death for Slavery, Paperback (July 1993)» View all books by Jan S. Hogendorn
Examines the decline of slavery in Northern Nigeria during the first forty years of colonial rule. The book raises doubts over the moral legitimacy of both the Sokoto Caliphate and the colonial state and charts the development of British policy towards resolving the dilemma of slavery.
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