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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Donkeys, elephants and oxen: in search for an alternative to human porters in 19th-century Tanzania
Author:Pallaver, KarinISNI
Periodical:Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione (ISSN 0001-9747)
Geographic term:Tanzania
road transport
Abstract:This article explores some of the European efforts to find an alternative to human porterage in East Africa in the 1870s, when locally recruited couriers were the only means to reach the interior. The article first outlines European knowledge of Africa in the 19th century and the problems human porterage presented to Europeans of the time. Next, it examines the first attempts to develop a new transport system, notably the use of draft and pack animals, focusing on the use of oxen by Rev. Roger Price of the London Missionary Society and the Swiss trader Philippe Broyon, and the use of Indian elephants by King Leopold of Belgium. The third part deals with efforts by the Church Missionary Society and the Imperial British East Africa Company to construct new cart or wagon roads. The article shows how the Europeans' first encounter with the interior of East Africa was marked by considerable ignorance of its climatic, environmental and morphological conditions and that their efforts to find an alternative to human porterage therefore largely failed. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]