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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:How debt became care: child pawning and its transformations in Akuapem, the Gold Coast, 1874-1929
Author:Coe, CatiISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Ghana
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/41485044
Abstract:Studies of slavery in Africa have noted the persistence of those relations in different forms, such as pawning, that allow social changes in power, status and wealth to be weathered more gradually. As pawning itself became less frequent, did other kinds of relationship take its place? Some scholars have argued that pawning was folded into marriage and fatherhood; others that there are continuities with fosterage and domestic servant arrangements today. This article examines the question of pawning's transformations in Akuapem, a region in southeastern Ghana involved in forms of commercial agriculture that were heavily dependent on slave labour and the capital raised by pawning. Ultimately, it argues that debt became key to fatherhood and fosterage relations between children and adults, changing from a short-term exchange to more lifelong reciprocal relations of care. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]