The Gift explores how objects of prestige contributed to cross-cultural exchanges between Africans and Europeans during the Atlantic slave trade. An eighteenth-century silver ceremonial sword, commissioned in the port of La Rochelle by French traders, was offered as a gift to an African commercial agent in the port of Cabinda (Kingdom of Ngoyo), in twenty-first century Angola. Slave traders carried this object from Cabinda to Abomey, the capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey in twenty-first century's Republic of Benin, from where French officers looted the item in the late nineteenth century. Drawing on a rich set of sources in French, English, and Portuguese, as well as artifacts housed in museums across Europe and the Americas, Ana Lucia Araujo illuminates how luxury objects impacted European–African relations, and how these economic, cultural, and social interactions paved the way for the European conquest and colonization of West Africa and West Central Africa.
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- ISBN: 9781108839297
- Number of pages: 307
- Weight: 490g
- Dimensions: 237 x 159 x 19 mm