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|Calabar on the Cross River: Historical and Cultural Studies
|Imbua, David L.
Lovejoy, Paul E.
Miller, Ivor L.
|City of publisher:
|Africa World Press
|From about the middle of the seventeenth century, Calabar emerged as a vibrant entrepôt where Europeans traded with coastal merchants to purchase enslaved people and raw materials destined for the Americas and Europe. Referred to as 'Old Calabar' in the historical sources, this busy port was located on the eastern side of the Calabar River at the confluence with the Cross River and was the center of a vast network of international trade extending to the Grassfields region of Cameroon and to the Benue River valley directly north. The essays in this volume examine different periods of Calabar history, with reference to the early merchant accounts of local customs, twentieth-century reports of colonial historians and anthropologists, and late twentieth-century analysis by a new wave of Nigerian, Cameroonian and many international scholars. The wide breadth of these studies shows the historical importance of this small city in the Atlantic world, despite its relative loss of much of its economic and political centrality today.