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The African Slave Trade To Asia And The Indian Ocean Islands

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the African slave trade to Asia across the Sahara Desert. The only criteria for the Muslim was that the slave be pagan, and since African traditional religions were unacceptable, sub-Saharan Africa became the most important source of slaves for the Muslim merchants who established elaborate commercial networks to transport them out of Africa across the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The Red Sea slave trade was ironically older than the trans-Saharan. The Greek mercantile presence in the Indian Ocean did not survive the dominance of Rome in the Mediterranean, but trade on the East African coast was continued as in the past by merchants from Arabia, Persia, India, and China who plied the waters of the Indian Ocean on the monsoon winds of the Sabaean Lane. Slavery was an institution in most African societies, and its abolition came later than in the Americas.

Keywords:African slave trade; Americas; Arabia; Asia; Greek; Indian Ocean; Muslim; Persia; Red Sea



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