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Chapter Summary

Slave survival in captivity on the coast of Africa and on the Middle Passage depended in large part on their nutritional status. This chapter suggests that there were significant differences in the health status of Angolan and Upper Guinea slaves. The basic diet of Angolans in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was milho, beans, and roots crops such as yams, with the cereals made into porridge or unleavened bread balls. The chapter speculates that changes in agricultural production in Africa that were associated with the introduction of American crops may have changed the nutritional status of Africans and been a factor behind changing mortality rates among slaves. It concludes that profits seem to have been greater on Angolan slaves, which raises the question as to why Pèrez continued to deal primarily in slaves from Upper Guinea even though Angolan slaves were becoming more readily available at that time.

Keywords: Angolan slaves; Middle Passage; slave trader; Upper Guinea slaves



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