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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Addictives in northeast Africa: a brief survey of an aspect, of nineteenth-century cultural history
Author:Tafla, Bairu
Periodical:Afrika und Übersee: Sprachen, Kulturen
Geographic terms:Northeast Africa
Subjects:drug use
Abstract:Geso (Rhamnus prinoides) and coffee are only two of the drugs, or stimulants to use their euphemistic nomenclature, known to Northeast Africa since time immemorial. Beans, leaves, roots, barks as well as fluid extractions were used for recreational, medicinal, stimulative and ritual purposes. Some of these addictives were peculiar to particular ethnic, religions or social units and, hence, they were regarded as identity markers in accordance with which legends, taies and myths were formulated and obscure historical events explained by the usera themselves or by their neighbours. In this essay the author briefly surveys the types, geographical distributions, uses, nomenclatures as well as their historical significance in the nineteenth century, the period during which the use of known drugs was widely spread, new ones were introduced and attempts to stamp out some of them failed. Northeast Africa is understood to be the whole region between the White Nile and the Indian Ocean, and between Lake Sudolph and the Red Sea. Emphasis is, however, laid on highland Ethiopia. Bibliogr.