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Wagon Routes: An Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The subject of this book is the attempts made by travellers in the period during which South Africa was governed by the Dutch to describe the interior and the indigenous inhabitants of Southern Africa. In the book Van Linschoten published all the information he had collected about the secret trade networks of the Portuguese in Asia. He also dedicated a number of pages to Southern Africa, in which he stated that the Portuguese had found gold in Monomotapa. He had also added a map indicating the location of the "empire" of Monomotapa. The map gave an overview of the topography of the foreign region. The existing critical literature broadly follows two approaches: on the one hand, in the older studies, a positivistic reconstruction of the routes followed by the expeditions, and on the other, in recent literature, a postcolonial accusation against colonial representations.

Keywords: inhabitants; Introduction; map; Monomotapa; Portuguese; South Africa; trade networks; travelers; Van Linschoten; Wagon Routes



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