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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gold Mining and Jula Influence in Precolonial Southern Burkina Faso
Author:Werthmann, KatjaISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic term:Burkina Faso
Subjects:gold mining
political history
social history
History and Exploration
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40206587
Abstract:The 'Lobi' region in what is today southern Burkina Faso is frequently mentioned in historical accounts of gold mining in West Africa. However, little is known about the actual location of the gold mines or about the way gold mining and trade were organized in precolonial times. This article points out that some previous hypotheses about precolonial gold mining, trade and the sociopolitical organization of this region - notably that gold mining and trading were directly controlled by the 'Mande-Jula' from Kong - are flawed, partly because 'Lobi', as the name for both the region and its inhabitants, is misleading. In fact, the references to 'Lobi' merge two distinct gold-producing zones along the Mouhoun river, about 200 km from each other. The present-day populations of southern Burkina who have settled there since the eighteenth century do not know who was mining gold prior to their arrival, and many of them have not been involved in gold mining at all due to conceptions of gold as a dangerous substance. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]