The Development of Indigenous Trade and Markets in West Africa: Studies Presented and Discussed at the Tenth International African Seminar at Fourah Bay College, Freetown, December 1969, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Development of Indigenous Trade and Markets in West Africa

Studies Presented and Discussed at the Tenth International African Seminar at Fourah Bay College, Freetown, December 1969, 1st Edition

By Claude Meillassoux


452 pages

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Originally published in 1971 and written in English and French, with summaries in both languages, the essays in this volume dsicuss the effects of internal economic and political conditions and of external relations on the development of trade and markets in West Africa from the period of the slave trade to the growth in the 20th century in production for overseas markets and rapidly expanding urban centres. Other essays discuss various aspects of local and regional trade and markets from the nineteenth century onwards.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction Claude Meillasoux

1. Adaptations et réactions des sociétés ouest-africaines aux transformations de la traite

2. Les rapports de l'organisation sociale et du commerce

3. Le commerce à longue distance et les marchands

4. L'impact du capitalisme

5. Les marchés et les aires marchandes. English version

Part 2: Special Studies: The Adaptation of African Economy and Trade to Changes in the Nineteenth-Century European Trade

1. Prices and Profitability Colin W. Newbury

2. De la traite des esclaves à l'exportation de l'huile de palme et des palmistes au Dahomey: XIXe siècle Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch

3. Asante Policy Towards the Hausa Trade in the Nineteenth Century Ivor Wilks Trade and Social Organisation

4. Commerce pré-colonial et organisation sociale chez les Dida de Côte d'Ivoire Emmanuel Terray

5. L'organisation du commerce pré-colonial en Basse-Côte d'Ivoire et ses effets sur l'organisation sociale des populations côtières Marc Augé

6. Trade and Trading Patterns of the Akan in the 17th and 18th Centuries Kwame Y. Daaku

7. Le commerce pré-colonial et le développement de l'esclavage à Gũbu du Sahel (Mali) Claude Meillassoux Long-distance Trading and the Development of Specialized Trading Groups

8. Atebubu Markets: ca. 1884-1930 Kwame Arhin

9. Les Yarse et le commerce dans le Yatênga pré-colonial Michel Izard

10. Pre-colonial trading networks and traders: The Diakhanké Philip D. Curtin

11. La cité marchande de Bouna dans l'ensemble économique Ouest-Africain pré-colonial Jean-Louis Boutillier 12.Parenté et commerce chez les kooroko Jean-Loup Amselle

13. Cultural Strategies int e organization of Trading Diasporas Abner Cohen Trade Areas and Market Centres

14. Cycles de marchés et 'espaces' socio-politiques Marc Piault

15. Two Types of West African House Trade Polly Hill

16. West African Market-Places: Temporal Periodicity and Locational spacing Robert H. T. Smith

17. Periodic and Daily Markets in West Africa B. W. Hodder The Impact of Modern Capitalism on African Trade

18. La politique coloniale française à l'égard de la bourgeoisie commerçante sénégalaise (1820-1960) Samir Amin 19. The Supply Response of Retail Trading Services to Urban Population Growth in Ghana Rowena M. Lawson 20. Capitalism, Capital Markets, and Competition in West African Trade Marvin P. Miracle

About the Author

Claude Meillassoux was a French neo-Marxist economic anthropologist and Africanist. Meillassoux, a student of Georges Balandier, did fieldwork among the Guro (Gouro) of the Côte d'Ivoire: his thesis was published in 1964. In the 1970s he criticised Marshall Sahlins's use of the notion of "domestic mode of production". Meillassoux was throughout his life a politically committed critic of social injustice

About the Series

African Ethnographic Studies of the 20th Century

Routledge is delighted to be re-issuing 79 volumes originally published between 1931 and 1988 in association with the International African Institute. Unavailable outside a few key libraries, many of these republished volumes were at the cutting edge of a fieldwork and ethnographic revolution in African anthropology in the decades after 1930. It involved the production of a wide body of fieldwork-based ethnographic documentation about the cultures of the different societies in Africa. Secondly, it saw a methodological turn to intense, localized investigations of cultural tradition and social change in a rapidly modernizing context. These investigations involved a more sustained and systematic, more professional and ‘scientific’ form of immersion and participant observation, than anything that had gone before. The sites of engagement were urban as well as rural; the pioneering researchers were female as well as male. No longer was the journal essay the repository of the latest research in the discipline, but rich ethnographies running into hundreds of pages.

The volumes are supplemented with maps, which will be available to view on or available as pdfs from the publishers.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies