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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Sustaining the system: trading towns along the middle Zaire
Author:Harms, R.ISNI
Book title:Women and slavery in Africa
Geographic term:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
mercantile history
Abstract:Commerce was booming in the second half of the 19th century along the middle Zaire. The key to wealth, in the years that preceded the Belgian conquest, was trade, and the key to trade lay in the creation of elaborate organizations that mobilized the services of men and women, slave and free. Long distance commerce was the work of men, both slave and free; women provided the support system. primarily by growing the food that sustained the men at home and on trips. In this role there was little difference between slave and free. By manipulating marriage arrangements of female slaves, rich traders built up close-knit and competitive corporate trading groups which successfully expanded trade in the central Zaire basin. Map, ref.