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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Possible Sources for the Origin of Gold as an Economic and Social Vehicle for Women in Lamu (Kenya)
Author:Romero, Patricia W.
Year:1987
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Volume:57
Issue:3
Pages:364-376
Language:English
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:women
islands
gold
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
arts
economics
Historical/Biographical
Religion and Witchcraft
Links:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1160719
http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&res_dat=xri:pao:&rft_dat=xri:pao:article:4011-1987-057-00-000019
Abstract:Lamu is a highly stratified Muslim town and island off the northern Kenya coast. Although it was known to travellers through the centuries, it probably did not reach its zenith as intermediary in trade with the Persian Gulf until the nineteenth century. On the basis of Eugenia HERBERT's 'Red gold of Africa: copper in precolonial history and culture' (1984), the present article examines the origin and meaning of gold in Lamu society. It argues that gold, once associated with ancient deities, and later with royalty in both Egypt and India, became a form of life insurance for Hindu women in India. From there it took on economic and social meaning to women throughout the Muslim world. In Lamu the style of jewellery still reflects the designs of India, although today the craftsmen are Kenyan Indians. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French.
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