African Slave Trade
Slavery in Africa has not only existed throughout the continent for many centuries, but continues in the current day. Systems of servitude and slavery were common in parts of the continent, as they were in much of the ancient world. In most African societies where slavery was prevalent, the enslaved people were not treated as chattel slaves and were given certain rights in a system similar to indentured servitude elsewhere in the world. When the Arab slave trade and Atlantic slave trade began, many of the local slave systems changed and began supplying captives for slave markets outside of
Africa. CO] Slavery in historical Africa was practiced in many different forms and some of these do not clearly fit the definitions of slavery elsewhere in the world. Debt slavery, enslavement Of war captives, military slavery, and criminal slavery were all practiced in various parts of Africa.  Although there had been some trans-Sahara trade from the interior of Sub- Sahara Africa to other regions, slavery was a small part of the economic life of many societies in Africa until the introduction of transcontinental slave trades (Arab and Atlantic). Slave practices were again transformed with
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European colonization of Africa and the formal abolition of slavery in the early 19th century. Slavery in Africa The main slave routes in medieval Africa. This article discusses systems, history, and effects of slavery within Africa. See Arab slave trade, Atlantic slave trade, Mafia, and Slavery in contemporary Africa for other discussions. A Zane slave gang in Zanzibar (1889). Africa.  19th century. Forms of slaveholder Multiple forms of slavery and servitude have existed throughout Africa during history and were shaped by indigenous practices of slavery as well as the
Roman institution of slavery (and the later Christian views on slavery), the Islamic institutions of slavery, and eventually the Atlantic slave trade. CO] Slavery existed in parts of Africa (like the rest of the world) and was a part of the economic structure of some societies for many centuries, although the extent varied.  In sub-Sahara Africa, the slave relationships were often complex with rights and freedoms given to individuals held in slavery and restrictions On sale and treatment by their masters. 7] Many communities had hierarchies between different types of slaves: for example, differentiating teen those who had been born into slavery and those who had been captured through war.  “The slaves in Africa, I suppose, are nearly in the proportion oftener to one to the freemen. They claim no reward for their services except food and clothing, and are treated with kindness or severity, according to the good or bad disposition of their masters. Custom, however, has established certain rules with regard to the treatment of slaves, which it is thought dishonorable to violate.
Thus the domestic slaves, or such as are born in a man’s own house, are treated with more lenient than those which are purchased with none. But these restrictions on the power of the master extend not to the care of prisoners taken in war, nor to that of slaves purchased with money. All these unfortunate beings are considered as strangers and foreigners, who have no right to the protection of the law, and may be treated with severity, or sold to a stranger, according to the pleasure of their owners. Mongo Park, Travels in the Interior of Africa v. II, Chapter XII – War and Slavery. In many African societies, there was very little difference between the free peasants and the feudal vassal peasants. Enslaved people of the Shanghai Empire were used primarily in agriculture; they paid tribute to their masters in crop and service but they were slightly restricted in custom and convenience. These non-free people were more an occupational caste. 4] Slavery in African cultures was generally more like indentured servitude, although in certain parts of sub-Sahara Africa, slaves were used for human sacrifices in annual rituals, such as those rituals practiced by the denizens of Doomed.  Slaves were often not the chattel of other men, nor enslaved for life.  The forms of slavery in Africa were closely related to kinship structures. In many African communities, where land could not be owned, enslavement of individuals was used as a means to increase the influence a person had and expand connections. 11] This made slaves a permanent part of a master’s lineage and the children of slaves could become closely connected with the larger family ties.  Children of slaves born into families could be integrated into the master’s kinship group and rise to prominent positions within society, even to the level of chief in some instances.  However, stigma often remained attached and there could be strict separations between slave embers of a kinship group and those related to the master. 1 1] Chattel slavery Chattel slavery is a specific servitude relationship where the slave is treated as the property of the owner. As such, the owner is free to sell, trade, or treat the slave as he would other pieces of property and the children of the slave often are retained as the property of the master.  There is evidence of long histories of chattel slavery in the Nile river valley and Northern Africa, but evidence is incomplete about the extent and practices of chattel slavery throughout much of the rest of the continent prior to written records by Muslim or European traders. 1 2] Domestic service Many slave relationships in Africa revolved around domestic slavery, where slaves would work primarily in the house of the master but retain some freedoms. Domestic slaves could be considered part of the masters household and would not be sold to others without extreme cause. The slaves could own the profits from their labor (whether in land or in products) and could marry and pass the land on to their children in many cases.  Pawnshop Pawnshop, or debt bondage slavery, involves the use of people as collateral to cure the repayment of debt.
Slave labor is performed by the debtor, or a relative of the debtor (usually a child). Pawnshop was a common form of collateral in West Africa. It involved the pledge of a person, or a member of that person’s family, to service another person providing credit. Pawnshop was related to, yet distinct from, slavery in most conceptualizations because the arrangement could include limited, specific terms Of services to be provided and because kinship ties would protect the person from being sold into slavery.
Pawnshop was a common practice throughout West Africa prior o European contact, including amongst the Akin people, the Ewe people, the Ga people, the Your people, and the Eddo people (in modified forms, it also existed amongst the Fig people, the Gobo people, the Jaw people, and the Fond Military slavery Slaves for sacrifice at the Annual Customs of Doomed – from The history of Dynamo, an inland Kingdom of Africa, 1793. Military slavery involved the acquisition and training of conscripted military units which would retain the identity of military slaves even after their service. 14] Slave soldier groups loud be run by a Patron, who could be the head of a government or an independent warlord, and who would send his troops out for money and his own political interests.  This was most significant in the Nile valley (primarily in Sudan and Uganda), with slave military units organized by various Islamic and with the war chiefs of Western Africa. [1 5] The military units in Sudan were formed in the 1 sass through large-scale military raiding in the area which is currently the countries of Sudan and South Sudan. 14] Slaves for sacrifice Although archaeological evidence is not clear on the issue prior to European intact, in those societies which practiced human sacrifice, slaves became the most prominent victims.  Local slave trade Several nations such as the Shanty of present-day Ghana and the Your Of present-day Nigeria were involved in slave-trading. Groups such as the Imbalance of Angola and the Minimize of Tanzania would serve as intermediaries or roving bands, waging war on African states to capture people for export as slaves.
Historians John Thornton and Linda Hope. N. Rood of Boston University estimate that 90 percent of those shipped to the New World were enslaved by Africans and then sold to European traders. Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard Chair of African and African American Studies, has stated that “without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred. [1 6] In regards to the indigenous slave trade, Dry. Curran-Parry has said that: The viewpoint that “Africans” enslaved “Africans” is obfuscating if not troubling. The deployment of “African” in African history tends to coalesce into obscurantist constructions of identities that allow scholars, for instance, o subtly call into question the humanity of “all” Africans. Whenever Saints rulers sold non-Senates into slavery, they did not construct it in terms of Africans selling fellow Africans.
They saw the victims for what they were, for instance, as Escapees, without categorizing them as fellow Africans. Equally, when Christian Scandinavians and Russians sold war captives to the Islamic people of the Basis Empire, they didn’t think that they were placing fellow Europeans into slavery.