Oyo, Benin, Ashanti: The Guinea Coast

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1995 Hard cover First edition. New in very good dust jacket. Square and tight-Pages bright without marks or plates-Fast shipping Sewn binding. Paper over boards. African ... Kingdoms of the Past. Audience: Children/juvenile. Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
Part of the "African Kingdoms of the Past" series, this extremely readable reference work gives the history of West Africa's Guinea Coast from ancient days to the arrival of the Portuguese in the 1470s to the slave trade that wracked the area and up to the present day. Mann doesn't gloss over the fact that many Africans had always kept prisoners of war as slaves, and in fact enjoyed a lucrative business with white slave traders in later years. However, Mann also introduces young readers to the glories of ancient Africa, from its magnificent cities and art to the stories and traditions of its people. While acknowledging the impact of Western culture, the author notes that Africans "are still proudly distinct peoples with their own languages, traditions and belief systems." The book includes marvelous photos of old treasures and modern cities.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10Portraits of three West African kingdoms are created through the use of legends and history. Mann looks first to Ife, which is understood to be the founding kingdom of the Yoruba and predated the rise of Oyo, the subject of the second chapter. Next come thematic chapters on the environment, kingdom building (including the origin of states in the Sudan prior to the development of Ife), and the slave trade; then the chapters on Benin and Ashanti. An epilogue takes the story through colonial rule to the present. Each chapter about a kingdom opens with an appealing oral tradition central to the kingdom's identity, followed by information about its history and culture. However, this material is not always well organized, and the line between story and history becomes blurred, allowing readers to conclude that African history is mostly legend. Overall, the book seems somewhat fragmented and confusing. The attractive layout includes excellent-quality full-color photographs and lively border designs. A map locates the featured kingdoms projected onto a map of current West African nations. A clearer, more knowledgeable history of these kingdoms is included in Philip Koslow's Centuries of Greatness, 750-1900 (1994) and his books in the "Kingdoms of Africa" series (all Chelsea) provide excellent detail. Yet some young people will appreciate Mann's adding brief versions of the griots' stories to the history.Loretta Kreider Andrews, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875186573
  • Publisher: Macmillan Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/1/1995
  • Series: African Kingdoms of the Past Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 105
  • Age range: 10 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.02 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

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