On Trans-Saharan Trails: Islamic Law, Trade Networks, and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Western Africa

On Trans-Saharan Trails: Islamic Law, Trade Networks, and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Western Africa

by Ghislaine Lydon
ISBN-10:
1107611784
ISBN-13:
9781107611788
Pub. Date:
08/13/2012
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
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Overview

On Trans-Saharan Trails: Islamic Law, Trade Networks, and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Western Africa

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 the Wad Nun traders, who specialized in outfitting camel caravans in the nineteenth century. Through an examination of contracts, correspondence, fatwas, and interviews with retired caravaners, 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 methods employed by women participating 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 African, Middle Eastern, and world history and to scholars of long-distance trade, Muslim societies, and Islamic law.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107611788
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/13/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

1. Making history across the African divide; 2. Trans-Saharan trade in the longue durée; 3. Markets and the movement of caravans: nineteenth-century developments; 4. Guelmīm and the Wād Nūn traders; 5. The organization of caravan trade; 6. Business practice and legal culture in a paper economy of faith; 7. Trade networks and the limits of cooperative behavior; 8. On trans-Saharan trails.

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