You know sumpem I remembered a Black in European coat of arms, ... some of the families were titled Mina , wasn't certain where the name originated, ... now it makes some sense, these folks were Akan expats from Elmina marrying Euros.
By the 1640s, a trade in enslaved persons would begin, and some of the captives would find themselves in Brazil. The Dutch had taken Elmina from the Portuguese in 1637, and then some of the northern Portuguese captaincies of Brazil in 1630. In need of a labour force in their new sugar plantations in the New World, they began a slave trade from their base at Elmina. But by the mid 1640s they were facing a full-scale rebellion led by Portuguese planters in Pernambuco, north-eastern Brazil. One of the rebel generals was João Fernandes Vieira. After the Battle of Monte das Taboas, Fernandes Vieira freed many of his own slaves who had fought with him, including one Antônio ‘Mina’ (from the coast of Elmina). These ‘Mina’ slaves were part of the Dutch contingent brought from the Gold Coast. Antônio then became the captain-major of an entire company of Africans from the Mina coast, who fought alongside the Brazilian rebels as the war continued. So highly did Fernandes Vieira prize this company of Mina soldiers that, early in 1646, he sent a ship laden with sugar to Elmina ‘to buy in return a cargo of cloths, those woven there as well as those made of wool, to give to his own soldiers [from Elmina]’
Ok I restepped the passage from the book, yes the folks were Luso-Afrucans, they were rich and they were great slavers.
Good info. I think some of the answers are in that book Anansi recommended a while back called A Fistfull of Shells. Was going to get it from library before COVID shut down services. But could be several things in the mix like the dust, cowries, iron, and in some places salt bars.
Given that African technology produced adequate results for local use and was sometimes even superior to European methods (like some African steel production), it seems that European "volume strategy" might have enabled them to undercut local producers with cheap iron product in 18/19th cen. Also if I remember a thread, suitable wood for charcoal smelting was a problem in some areas, (desert for example), but even more wooded zones, because not just any kind of wood produced suitable results. Europe, particularly Britain, had easy access coal deposits to get around this problem aiding the "volume undercut" strategy. But cant remember that exact thread that broke down some issues.
As for the cowries, a "volume flood" strategy by Europeans shipping billions of shells from the Maldives seems to have taken over the cowrie currency and eventually caused it to collapse, per Anansi's book on Gbook Preview.
Re da gold the African technology seems to have enabled Mali to become a world leader in gold production, one-third per one source I seen. What I haven't yet figured is the gold flows to Europe. We know the Mansa hauled so much gold north it depressed gold markets in Cairo for years. So the Maghreb/Levant was doing pretty well. But not so much detail on how EUrope benefited, perhaps because a lot of the gold moved as gold dust and not as coins that could be collected centuries later. We know the Portuguese were desperate to bypass the Islamic world and get directly to the West African gold sources, so they must have been eyeing Africa for quite some time.
Post by northsiderasta on Nov 29, 2020 4:05:11 GMT -5
I've read several mentions of steel production in African smelters being of a higher quality due to the bellows & charcoal achieving hotter temperatures than the Euros could obtain for many years.Its not surprising metallurgy was better in Benin than Birmingham at this time.