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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Redrawing historical maps of the Bight of Benin Hinterland, c. 1780
Author:Lovejoy, Henry B.
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies (ISSN 0008-3968)
Geographic term:West Africa
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00083968.2013.876920
Abstract:Given advances in digital cartography, mapmaking is straightforward, affordable, accurate and easy to scale. In the absence of reliable contemporary maps of pre-colonial sub-Saharan West Africa, scholars have been compiling paper-based illustrations of the continent for different regions, periods and purposes. In consequence, there is a large collection of maps thematically, spatially and temporally fragmented throughout the historiography of Africa and the African Diaspora. As a means of addressing this crucial problem, this article surveys hundreds of primary and secondary source maps related to the Bight of Benin hinterland in order to examine the inconsistencies of historical maps of pre-colonial Africa. This theoretical and methodological discussion about historical mapmaking is the first step to defragmenting key secondary source maps and improving upon our historical understanding about Africa's internal geography. Part of the solution is a remake of the political map of the Bight of Benin hinterland in c. 1780. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]