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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Kola in the History of West Africa
Author:Lovejoy, Paul E.ISNI
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:mercantile history
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
History and Exploration
External link:https://doi.org/10.3406/cea.1980.2353
Abstract:Grown only in the forest, kola found a ready market almost everywhere in West Africa, including the savanna and southern Sahara, many hundred of kilometres north of its production zone. Despite the great care needed to preserve the nuts - which are vulnerable to a variety of pests and must be kept moist -, kola was central to north-south exchange between forest and savanna. This article concentrates on it, although one must keep in mind that other commodities, especially gold, salt, livestock, slaves, textiles, leather goods, and iron hoes, were also important, and that the commercial patterns described also relate to a wide range of commodities. Kola is isolated for analysis in order to determine the origins of C. nitida production, to establish the probable routes of distribution in the savanna, and to contribute to the construction of a chronological framework for further analysis of trade in West Africa. Bibliogr., maps, notes, tab. For commentary on this article see p. 149-171, with a rejoinder by the author on p. 173-175.