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Social Outcomes Of Trade Relations: Encounters Between Africans And Europeans In The Hubs Of The Slave Trade On The Guinea Coast

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Chapter Summary

During the centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, commercial centers developed all along the West African coast at sites where trade routes from the interior were connected to Atlantic trading networks. Everywhere along the Guinea coast traders, arriving from the hinterland or from overseas, relied on the services of expert local middlemen or brokers and other professionals, such as guardsmen, porters, sellers of food, water and firewood. Although the search for economic gain was at the root of the alliances between Africans and Europeans in the coastal contact zone, their encounters also produced numerous social customs to facilitate mutual relations. The Elmina-Dutch cooperation had commenced in 1637, following the Dutch conquest of the castle from the then destitute Portuguese garrison. Many Elmina earned a living in trade or by rendering services to the Company.

Keywords: Africans; Atlantic trading networks; Elmina; Europeans; Guinea coast; Portuguese; slave trade



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