Description - On Trans-Saharan Trails by Ghislaine Lydon
This study is the first of its kind to examine the history and organization of trans-Saharan trade in western Africa using original source material. It documents the internal dynamics of a trade network system based on a case study of 'Berber' traders from the Wad Nun region, who specialized in outfitting camel caravans in the nineteenth century. Through an examination of contracts, correspondence, fatwas and interviews with retired caravaners, Professor Lydon shows how traders used their literacy skills in Arabic and how they had recourse to experts of Islamic law to regulate their long-distance transactions. The book also examines the strategies devised by women to participate in caravan trade. By embracing a continental approach, this study bridges the divide between West African and North African studies. The work will be of interest to historians of Africa, the Middle East, and the world and to scholars of long-distance trade, Muslim societies and Islamic law.
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(228mm x 152mm x 38mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Ghislaine Lydon
Dr Ghislaine Lydon is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of History at UCLA. The author of several articles on West Africa, she has done extensive fieldwork in both West and North Africa and archival work in France. With the help of traditional Muslim scholars, Dr Lydon has also received basic training in Islamic law. She is the recipient of numerous grants, including a Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Award and a Council for American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Research Fellowship. She is also a member of several associations, including the African Studies Association, the Saharan Studies Association, the West African Research Association, and the Middle Eastern Studies Association. Dr Lydon is fluent in Arabic, French, and Spanish.