Edmund Abaka is an assistant professor of history at the University of Miami.
Listed in: African Studies · History · African History
Kola is a “food-drug”—like coffee, tea, coca, and tobacco—a substance considered neither food nor medicine, but used to induce “flights of fancy.” It is incorporated into rites of passage and ceremonies to cement treaties and contracts; its medicinal properties were first recognized outside Africa in the twelfth century; and it is a legal and popular stimulant among West African Muslims.
“The kola trade illustrates some of the unexpected features of the economic history of West Africa that are also reshaping our understanding of its cultural past.... Highly recommended.”
International Journal of African Historical Studies