Navigating African Maritime History

BookNavigating African Maritime History

Navigating African Maritime History

Research in Maritime History, 41


January 1st, 2009



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This book is a collection of essays addressing multiple aspects of African maritime history in attempt to counter the lack of academic research that exists in comparison to other nations and continents, and to assert the value of African topics to the global study of maritime history. Each essay addresses African maritime history whilst also demonstrating an inextricable link to the global maritime stage. The topics discussed include early human migration to Africa; early European contact with Africa; the role of West African maritime communities in the Atlantic slave trade; New World slaveholders and the exploitation of African maritime skillsets; the construction of Atlantic world racial discourses; the rise and fall of colonial rule; and African immigrant communities in Europe. These essays cover maritime topics such as seafaring labour, navigational technology, swimming, diving, surfing; plus political subjects that include colonisation, decolonisation, immigration and citizenship. The book consists of eight essays and an introduction that evaluates the existing research into African maritime history. It includes case studies from every major geographical part of the continent, bar North Africa, and covers the Early Modern period up to the twentieth century. The purpose is not to provide a comprehensive chronological history, but rather a diverse collection of topics across a range of periods and locations to reflect the wealth of maritime topics in the history of Africa and their global significance. It concludes with a call for further research into non-European maritime activity, to deepen the global historiography.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Copyright Page4
Table of Contents7
About the Editors9
Contributors' Notes11
"Introduction: Charted Routes and New Directions in the Study of Africa's Maritime History"13
"Austronesian Mariners and Early Trans-Indian Ocean Crossings"31
"Eight Hens per Man per Day: Shipwreck Survivors and Pastoral Abundance in Southern Africa"45
"State Control and Regulation of Commerce on the Waterways and Coast of Senegambia, ca. 1500-1800"69
"Swimming, Surfing and Underwater Diving in Early Modern Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora"93
"Rough Sailing: Risks and Opportunities for Immigrant African Maritime Workers in Gabon, ca. 1860-1914"129
"Desertion, Dereliction and Destitution: The Travails of Stranded West African Seamen in the United Kingdom, ca. 1921-1934"151
" 'The White Wife Problem: ' Sex, Race and the Contested Politics of Repatriation to Interwar British West Africa"175
"Sailing Beyond Apartheid: The Social and Political Impact of Seafaring on Coloured South African Sailors"201