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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Just a first sketchy makeshift': German travellers and their cartographic encounters with Africa, 1850-1914
Authors:Jones, AdamISNI
Voigt, Isabel
Periodical:History in Africa (ISSN 1558-2744)
Geographic term:Africa
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/history_in_africa/v039/39.1.jones.pdf
Abstract:The maps of Africa produced in Europe on the eve of colonial partition and in the early decades of colonial rule purported to represent in a scientific manner what European explorers had 'discovered'. Yet in reality they derived to a significant extent - albeit indirectly - from the spatial knowledge of Africans whom these explorers encountered. Whilst there are not many sources produced by Africans themselves, it is possible to read the European accounts as potential depositories of African spatial knowledge and to consider how this knowledge may have been filtered in the process of cartographic production. Taking German travellers and in particular the work of August Petermann in Gotha (in the period 1854-1878) as an illustration, the article analyses the difficulties a European faced when attempting to grasp Africa in spatial terms, the motivations and importance of African 'informants', and the transformation of 'cartographic encounters' into maps. It also examines how some Africans responded to the growing market for geographical knowledge. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]