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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Alcohol in early Southeastern Nigeria
Author:Okonkwo, Uche Uwaezuoke
Periodical:Lagos Historical Review (ISSN 1596-5031)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:alcoholic beverages
social change
economic conditions
Abstract:There exists several misconceptions on the origin of gin distillation and importation in eastern Nigeria.The historical reality is that prior to the coming of Europeans to the coastal region of the area, the only alcohol brand known to the people was palm wine. It was used for various rituals and social gatherings until the Europeans came with assorted alcohol brands. The impact of alcohol, local and imported, on the socio-cultural and economic lives of the people of the area in early Nigeria is discussed in this study. With the coming of the Europeans, new status symbols and changing social relations and new elite power structures developed. From the era of the Trans Atlantic slave trade, the import of gin, rum, and whisky became prevalent. Imported alcohol was used in exchange for slaves and to pay 'comey' (gratification to the chiefs). The exorbitant prices of imported alcohol brands, which was a later development, paved the way for the distillation of alcohol locally. Alcoholic beverages continued to play an important role in international trade and in the economy. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]