Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora

Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora

by Edda L. Fields-Black


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Mangrove rice farming on West Africa's Rice Coast was the mirror image of tidewater rice plantations worked by enslaved Africans in 18th-century South Carolina and Georgia. This book reconstructs the development of rice-growing technology among the Baga and Nalu of coastal Guinea, beginning more than a millennium before the transatlantic slave trade. It reveals a picture of dynamic pre-colonial coastal societies, quite unlike the static, homogenous pre-modern Africa of previous scholarship. From its examination of inheritance, innovation, and borrowing, Deep Roots fashions a theory of cultural change that encompasses the diversity of communities, cultures, and forms of expression in Africa and the African diaspora.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253016102
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 07/11/2014
Series: Blacks in the Diaspora
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Edda L. Fields-Black is an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in pre-colonial and West African history. With research interests extending into the African diaspora, for more than 15 years Fields-Black has traveled to and lived in Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Carolina, and Georgia to uncover the history of African rice farmers and rice cultures.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

1. The Rio Nunez Region: A Small Corner of West Africa's Rice Coast Region
2. The First-Comers and the Roots of Coastal Rice-growing Technology
3. The Newcomers and the Seeds of Tidal Rice-Growing Technology
4. Coastal Collaboration and Specialization: Flowering of Tidal Rice-Growing Technologies
5. The Strangers and the Branches of Coastal Rice-growing Technology, c.1500 to 1800
6. Feeding the Slave Trade: The Trade in Rice and Captives from West Africa's Rice Coast

Appendix I.1 Fieldwork Interviews
Appendix I.2 Rice Terminology in Atlantic Languages Spoken in the Coastal Rio Nunez Region

What People are Saying About This

Northwestern University - LaRay Denzer

Fields-Black . . . offers important new insights into West African agricultural history and the dynamics of diasporic connections.

author of Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas - Judith Carney

An imaginative book . . . The writing is good and the ideas important.

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